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The scourge of America's economy isn't the success of the 1 percent - quite the opposite. The bigger problem is the government's well-meaning but misguided attempt to reduce the payoffs for success.

Four years ago, Edward Conard wrote a controversial bestseller, Unintended Consequences, which set the record straight on the financial crisis of 2008 and explained why U.S. growth was accelerating relative to other high-wage economies. He warned that loose monetary policy would produce neither growth nor inflation, that expansionary fiscal policy would have no lasting benefit on growth in the aftermath of the crisis, and that ill-advised attempts to rein in banking based on misplaced blame would slow an already weak recovery. Unfortunately, he was right.

Now he's back with another provocative argument: that our current obsession with income inequality is misguided and will only slow growth further.

Using fact-based logic, Conard tracks the implications of an economy now constrained by both its capacity for risk-taking and by a shortage of properly trained talent - rather than by labor or capital, as was the case historically. He uses this fresh perspective to challenge the conclusions of liberal economists like Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz and the myths of "crony capitalism" more broadly.

Instead, he argues that the outsized success of the most successful Americans is not to blame for the stagnating incomes of the middle and working classes. If anything, their success has put upward pressure on employment and wages.

Conard argues that high payoffs for success motivate talent to get the training and take the risks that gradually loosen the constraints to growth. Well-meaning attempts to decrease inequality through redistribution dull these incentives, gradually hurting not just the 1 percent but everyone else as well.

Conard outlines a plan for growing middle- and working-class wages in an economy with a near infinite supply of labor that is shifting from capital-intensive manufacturing to knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven fields. He urges us to stop blaming the success of the 1 percent for slow wage growth and embrace the upside of inequality: faster growth and greater prosperity for everyone.



About the Author

Edward Conard

Edward "Ed" Conard is the author of two top ten New York Times bestselling books: "The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class" and "Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong." He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he was a founding partner of Bain Capital, where he worked closely with his friend and colleague, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

In May of 2012, Conard published Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong. The book was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine and went on to become a New York Times top ten non-fiction bestseller. Because of the publicity surrounding the publication of his book, Conard was the tenth most searched author on Google in 2012.

Since its publication, Mr. Conard has made over 100 television appearances in which he has debated leading economists including Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Alan Kruger, Austan Goolsbee, and Jared Bernstein; journalists including Jon Stewart, Fareed Zakaria, Chris Hayes, and Andrew Ross Sorkin; and politicians such as Barney Frank, Howard Dean, and Eliot Spitzer.

Prior to Bain Capital, Conard worked for Wasserstein Perella & Co., an investment bank that specialized in mergers and acquisitions, and Bain & Company, a management-consulting firm, where he led the firm's industrial practice.

Conard has a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Michigan.

For up-to-date information on Ed, visit the homepage http://www.edwardconard.com

Become a fan of Ed on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/EdwardConard

Follow Ed on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/EdwardConard

Connect with Ed on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/EdwardConard

Follow Ed on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/Edward_Conard



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