Today’s Forgotten Man: Amity Shlaes On Cronyism in America

From the Great Depression through the Great Recession, millions of Americans have been left behind by government economic policies. A major reason for this is cronyism – politicians and bureaucrats putting the interests of favored groups over average Americans. This has resulted in a two-tiered society where government gives privileges to the influential few and everyone else is forgotten. Many Americans have lost faith in the idea that success depends on working hard and playing by the rules. What can be done in America so that every generation has the opportunity to do better than the last?

New York Times bestselling author Amity Shlaes joins the Charles Koch Institute’s Dana Wade to discuss this question and many more. Looking at today’s economic situation through a historical lens, Shlaes will examine the role of cronyism in stifling economic growth and the potential of millions of Americans.



Amity Shlaes, author and historian
Shlaes is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression and Coolidge, a full-length biography of the thirtieth president. Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. She is also a winner of the Manhattan Institute’s Hayek Prize and currently chairs the jury for the prize. She has twice been a finalist for the Loeb Prize in commentary. In 2002, she was co-winner of the international Frederic Bastiat Prize for writing on political economy, and she later chaired the jury for that prize. In 2003, she was JP Morgan Fellow for finance and economy at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2004, she gave the Bradley lecture at the American Enterprise Institute. Over the years, she has served at the Council on Foreign Relations (as senior fellow in economic history) and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, where she was one of four directors, working on the economic program. Shlaes serves as presidential scholar at The King’s College, where she teaches Coolidge and economics, and she previously taught at New York University’s Stern School of Business.


Dana Wadesenior research fellow at the Charles Koch Institute
Wade spent several years on Capitol Hill before joining the Charles Koch Institute. Most recently, she served as deputy staff director of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and as Republican deputy staff director of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. She also worked for Rep. Paul Ryan on the House Budget Committee and for Senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential race. Her private sector experience includes working for the Options Clearing Corporation and for Accenture. Wade graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s in economics and earned a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

*Please note that CPAC registration is required to attend this event.

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