Economists like Jonathan Gruber are concerned that American economy glitters on the outside, but the reality is quite different. Jobs and economic growth are concentrated in a few crowded coastal enclaves, and investors are developing technologies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, threatening middle class jobs elsewhere. Gruber joins us with insight from his co-written book Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream, contending that in order to turn this tide we must look to a brilliant and all-but-forgotten American success story.
He recounts how, beginning in 1940, massive public investment generated breakthroughs in science and technology that helped win WWII and gave rise to a booming economy. Private enterprise then built on these breakthroughs to create new industries such as radar, jet engines, digital computers, mobile telecommunications, life-saving medicines, and the internet. This became the catalyst for broader economic growth that generated millions of jobs. Gruber tells the story of this first American growth engine—and provides the blueprint for a second. He invites us to consider his pragmatic, sure-to-be controversial plan that he contends will lead to job growth and a new American economy in places now left behind.
Jonathan Gruber is the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT. A key architect of both Romneycare and Obamacare, he appears regularly on both Fox News and MSNBC. Slate has named him one of the top twenty-five “Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time.”
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