Balance: The economics of great powers from ancient Rome to modern America
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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.

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About the Author

 

Kevin A.
Hassett
  • Kevin A. Hassett is the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also a resident scholar and AEI's director of economic policy studies.



    Before joining AEI, Hassett was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia (University) Business School. He served as a policy consultant to the US Department of the Treasury during the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

    Hassett has also been an economic adviser to presidential candidates since 2000, when he became the chief economic adviser to Senator John McCain during that year's presidential primaries. He served as an economic adviser to the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign, a senior economic adviser to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign, and an economic adviser to the Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaign.

    Hassett is the author or editor of many books, among them "Rethinking Competitiveness" (2012), "Toward Fundamental Tax Reform" (2005), "Bubbleology: The New Science of Stock Market Winners and Losers" (2002), and "Inequality and Tax Policy" (2001). He is also a columnist for National Review and has written for Bloomberg.

    Hassett frequently appears on Bloomberg radio and TV, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, NPR, and "PBS NewsHour," among others. He is also often quoted by, and his opinion pieces have been published in, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

    Hassett has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College.

  • Phone: 202-862-7157
    Email: khassett@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Emma Bennett
    Phone: 202-862-5862
    Email: emma.bennett@aei.org

 

Michael
Barone
  • Michael Barone, a political analyst and journalist, 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.

    Follow Michael Barone on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202-862-7174
    Email: michael.barone@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Andrew Rugg
    Phone: 202-862-5917
    Email: andrew.rugg@aei.org

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