The gains from trade and technological advance in recent decades have been enormous. But the transformation has had some downsides, too. These drawbacks have transformed our politics in recent decades, and the economic disaster accompanying the coronavirus pandemic has only magnified them. Defenders of markets have too often sought to dismiss the downsides, while populists point to them as reasons to build walls of protectionism and regulation. Both approaches are forms of denial. Guest Glenn Hubbard joins us to discuss how we can make the most of the benefits of economic dynamism while addressing its costs. Rather than erecting “walls” in pursuit of perpetual economic security and stability, he argues for a policy approach focused on building “bridges” that could better connect those who suffer from economic disruption to the benefits of America’s free-market system.
Glenn Hubbard is the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School and was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. His forthcoming book is titled The Wall and the Bridge (Yale University Press).
This podcast discusses themes from Glenn’s essay in the Fall 2020 issue of National Affairs, “The Wall and the Bridge.”