Commentary

Economic Strategy Group Member Statement, December 2019

January 03 2020 • AIESG

Aspen Economic Strategy Group (AESG) Member Statement December 2019

We, the undersigned members of the AESG, have collectively worked at the highest levels of the policy, business, government, academic, and civic communities. We believe that our nation’s economic policies need to be adjusted so that more people participate more fully in our economic success. We believe that this can only be accomplished through effective government, which will require leaders to engage in principled compromise and make decisions grounded in facts and analysis. We call on our nation’s leaders to recognize the following as immediate economic priorities and to develop responsive policy agendas based in sound economic reasoning and evidence:

1. Long-Run Economic Growth. Economic growth is critical to our nation’s continued prosperity and competitiveness in the global economy. It is fostered by increases in productivity and labor force participation. Policy leaders should evaluate economic policies based on their potential impact on long-run growth and on how they strengthen the resilience of our economy in the face of economic fluctuations.

2. Widespread Prosperity. Rising wage and income inequality over the past 50 years in the United States illustrates that economic growth is not sufficient to deliver universal economic prosperity. The public and private sectors need to do more to distribute economic opportunity as widely as possible and, where necessary, supplement the wages of hard-working low and middle income Americans.

3. Robust Market Competition. Fair and robust market competition advances economic innovation and helps growth translate into greater individual welfare. In sectors where there are indications that increased market concentration reflects a reduction in healthy market competition, policymakers should focus on reducing barriers to competitive entry and vigorous enforcement of competition law.

4. A Sound Fiscal Path. Our nation currently faces an unsustainable fiscal trajectory. An unsound fiscal position will preclude adequately funding national priorities, could complicate efforts to respond to future economic challenges, and places a greater economic burden on future generations. Our nation’s elected leaders should work together to stabilize the federal debt, which will require economic growth, new revenues, and reform of entitlement and other spending programs that lowers spending growth while maintaining benefits for low and middle income Americans.

5. Funding for Necessary Investments. Advancing U.S. economic competitiveness and expanding economic opportunity requires investments in our nation’s economic and human potential. This will entail increased expenditures and reforms to educational institutions and programs, as well as spending on physical infrastructure and basic sciences.

Signatories

Kelly Ayotte, Former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire

Ben S. Bernanke, Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Economic Studies Program, Brookings Institution

Erskine Bowles, President Emeritus, The University of North Carolina

Lanhee J. Chen, David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Kenneth I. Chenault, Retired CEO and Chairman American Express

James S. Crown, Chairman and CEO Henry Crown and Company

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., President, Purdue University

Diana Farrell, President and CEO, JPMorgan Chase Institute

Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer BlackRock, Inc.

Jason Furman, Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Timothy Geithner, President, Warburg Pincus LLC

Austan Goolsbee, Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business, The University of Chicago

Danielle C. Gray, SVP, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Doug Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum

Glenn Hubbard, Dean Emeritus and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School

Neel Kashkari, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Melissa S. Kearney, Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics, The University of Maryland

Edward P. Lazear, Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; The Davies Family Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

N. Gregory Mankiw, Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Magne Mogstad, Gary S. Becker Professor in Economics and the College, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics University of Chicago

Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League

Janet Murguía, President and CEO, UnidosUS

Phebe Novakovic, Chairman and CEO, General Dynamics

Michael A. Nutter, David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

James Owens, Chairman & CEO Emeritus, Caterpillar Inc.

Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Chairman, Paulson Institute

Penny Pritzker, Founder and Chairman, PSP Partners

Bruce Reed, CEO & Co-founder, Civic LLC

Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chairman Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations

Margaret Spellings, President and CEO, Texas 2036

William Spriggs, Chief Economist, AFL-CIO

Robert K. Steel, Chairman, Perella Weinberg Partners

Mark A. Weinberger, Former Chairman and CEO, EY

Tom Wilson, Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer The Allstate Corporation

Janet L. Yellen, Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Brookings Institution

Jeffrey Zients, CEO, The Cranemere Group Limited

Robert Zoellick, Senior Counselor, Brunswick Group