Maintaining The Strength of American Capitalism

Maintaining the Strength of American Capitalism

December 15 2019

The Economic Strategy Group (ESG), a non-profit program of the Aspen Institute, is composed of a diverse, bipartisan group of distinguished leaders and thinkers with the goal of promoting evidence-based solutions to significant U.S. economic challenges. Co-chaired by Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and Erskine Bowles, the ESG fosters the exchange of economic policy ideas and seeks to clarify the lines of debate on emerging economic issues while promoting bipartisan relationship-building among current and future generations of policy leaders in Washington.


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    Welcoming Remarks

    Erskine Bowles,  Economic Strategy Group

    Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Economic Strategy Group and Paulson Institute

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    Panel I: The Causes, Consequences, And Policy Responses To Market Concentration

    There is little consensus about how recent changes in the size and market share of firms within industries impacts overall economic growth. Some argue that recent trends reflect the increasing ability of big business to accumulate market power, thwart competition, and erect barriers to entry. Others argue these trends result from more benign factors, such as technological innovation and the associated productivity gains that accrue to the firms that make such investments. This panel of distinguished experts and practitioners will consider the extent to which recent data supports each of these explanations and consider policy approaches to promoting and sustaining market competition.



    Doug Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum

    Thomas Philippon, New York University Stern School of Business

    Nancy Rose, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics


    Greg Ip, The Wall Street Journal

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    Panel II: Strategic Investments And Fiscal Realities

    There is widespread agreement that promoting the competitiveness of American firms and workers will require new investments in infrastructure, people, and basic science. The popularity of big, bold spending proposals such as Medicare for All, Universal Basic Income, or Free College for All, also reveals an appetite among voters for dramatically expanding the role of government to address the failures of American capitalism. Yet, the country’s unsustainable fiscal trajectory complicates the feasibility of new spending programs and investments and raises important questions about the optimal amount of government revenue in today’s economy. Do Americans want more from their government than they are willing to pay for? This panel will consider whether and how new revenue should be raised, and how new spending priorities should be balanced with existing fiscal realities.



    Chris Hughes, Economic Security Project

    Damon Jones, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

    Melissa S. Kearney, Economic Strategy Group and University of Maryland

    Robert E. Rubin, Council on Foreign Relations and Centerview Partners


    Jim Tankersley, The New York Times

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    Session Iii: The Evolution Of American Capitalism

    This session will feature a fireside chat with Bridgewater Co-Chairman & Co-Chief Investment Officer Ray Dalio on the promises and challenges of American capitalism.


    Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates

    Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Economic Strategy Group and Paulson Institute


  1. Jim Tankersley
    Jim Tankersley
    Economic And Tax Policy Correspondent,The New York Times

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