The surprising result(s) of the 2016 election dramatically changed all expectations for the economy. The Trump administration had campaigned on the promise of making very significant changes to economic policy hoping to achieve strong economic growth, lower taxes, controlled immigration, better regulatory policy, higher wages, reduced poverty, improved health care policy, smaller trade deficits, a shrinking federal deficit, and a declining national debt. Financial markets have benefited from the optimistic expectation that some or all of these promises will come to pass, but the necessary legislation has (as of this writing) been slow in coming. If we have concrete policy proposals by this fall we will look at them in detail in class. In any event we will take a thorough look at the present status of the U.S. economy and consider what types of economic policy changes should be considered and how they might operate to achieve our desired ends. A significant majority of academic and private sector economists are in close agreement as to how these objectives can best be achieved (e.g. the IGM Forum, former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisors, etc.) but the general public and politicians are focused on alternatives that are far less likely to be economically successful. Explaining and discussing these differences in the fall will add some hot sauce to our classes.
NEW INFORMATION as of 8/2/17: The course will be a series of presentations on topics selected in August for timeliness and consequence. Given the 90-minute class format, there will be no breaks and no Q&A during class. I will, however, be available both before and after class to answer questions and engage in discussion of the points raised during class.