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Event Summary

The large fiscal imbalances currently plaguing the United States are significant cause for concern. At an AEI event on Thursday, AEI’s own Glenn Hubbard and the Hudson Institute’s Tim Kane argued that sizeable imbalances have historically led to the collapse of world powers, the topic of their new book “Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America” (Simon & Schuster, May 2013).

The authors’ presentation examined America’s future through the lens of the decline of powers such as the Spanish and Ottoman Empires, and was followed by comments from three discussants. Matt Miller of The Washington Post was intrigued by the authors’ call for a greater competition of ideas in the political sphere and their apparent willingness to witness the rise of a third, fourth, or even fifth political party.

AEI’s Michael Barone, however, defended America’s two-party system, which in recent decades has led to split governments with Democrats holding the presidency and Republicans controlling the Congress. According to Barone, this is evidence of a strong competition between the two parties.

Jared Bernstein concluded by stressing the need for fiscal policy to optimize economic growth; however, he disagreed with Hubbard and Kane that smarter fiscal policy should come in the form of a balanced budget amendment.
–Veronika Polakova

Event Description

Please join us for an event celebrating the release of Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane’s “Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America” (Simon & Schuster, May 2013).  Hubbard and Kane will introduce the book, which examines how economic imbalances have induced the collapse of world powers such as the Roman Empire, Ming Dynasty, and Ottoman Empire. The authors conclude that America will face inevitable demise if it does not solve its dysfunctional fiscal balance.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Download Audio as MP3


12:45 PM

1:00 PM
Kevin A. Hassett, AEI

Michael Barone, AEI
Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
R. Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School and AEI
Tim Kane, Hudson Institute
Matt Miller, Washington Post and KCRW’s Left, Right & Center

2:15 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Veronika Polakova at [email protected], 202.862.4880.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Michael Barone is a resident fellow at AEI. A political analyst and journalist, he studies politics, American government, and campaigns and elections. The principal coauthor of the annual “Almanac of American Politics” (National Journal Group), he has written many books on American politics and history. Barone is also a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner and a contributor to Fox News Channel. He served previously on the editorial board of The Washington Post and as a senior writer at US News & World Report.

Jared Bernstein joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in May 2011 as a senior fellow. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team. He has previously served as a senior economist and the director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute and as deputy chief economist at the US Department of Labor. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books including “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?” (Berrett-Koehler, 2008) and nine editions of “The State of Working America.”

Kevin A. Hassett is the director of economic policy studies and the John G. Searle Senior Fellow at AEI. Before joining AEI, he was a senior economist on the board of governors of the US Federal Reserve System, an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia Business School, and a policy consultant to the US Department of the Treasury during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He served as an economic adviser during the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign, as chief economic adviser to Senator John McCain during the 2000 presidential primaries, as senior economic adviser during the McCain 2008 presidential campaign, and as economic adviser to the Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaign. Hassett also writes a column for National Review.

R. Glenn Hubbard, a former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, is currently the dean of Columbia Business School and a visiting scholar at AEI. He specializes in public and corporate finance and financial markets and institutions. He has written more than 90 articles and books, including two textbooks, on corporate finance, investment decisions, banking, energy economics, and public policy. He has served as a deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of the Treasury and as a consultant to, among others, the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Tim Kane is the chief economist at the Hudson Institute and founder of the social networking firm StoryPoint. Kane’s research on entrepreneurship and job creation has been widely cited, notably in the “2011 Economic Report of the President.” He has served in multiple executive and scholarly roles at think tanks and universities. Kane’s most recent book is “Bleeding Talent” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), which explores entrepreneurial leadership in the US military. His most recent book, “Balance” (Simon & Schuster, with R. Glenn Hubbard), examines the economic decline of great powers. Kane maintains a blog with R. Glenn Hubbard, Previously, Kane was a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he established the blog and initiated the annual Economics Bloggers Forum. Kane organized a quarterly survey of top economics bloggers, which he continues to produce as a Hudson Institute report. As the former director of international economics at the Heritage Foundation, Kane was the lead author of the joint Heritage and Wall Street Journal “Index of Economic Freedom.” As a former intelligence officer in the US Air Force, he served two tours of duty in Asia.

Matt Miller is an author, columnist, radio host, television commentator, and consultant whose work focuses on agenda-setting ideas and creative problem-solving in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Miller is a weekly columnist for The Washington Post; the host of “Left, Right & Center,” public radio’s popular political week-in-review program; a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as a senior adviser in the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1995, and as a White House fellow from 1991 to 1992.

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