Mar 31 Thu 6.30-8.15pm New America/Century American Amnesia: The War on Government and Getting Back to Prosperity by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson

The two authors, one from Yale and one from Berkeley, of American Amnesia, a timely reminder of just how helpful government has been in the past century or two in boosting the development of American society, invention and productivity, discussed their book while largely omitting to tell us in detail what these boosts were. Their book, however, is a thorough briefing on all these aspects of how government has played a central role in expanding US prosperity and social advance.

Have we all forgotten just how beneficial and productive the p[artnership between government and business has been over the past century?

The mixed economy was the most important social innovation of the twentieth century. It spread a previously unimaginable level of prosperity and enabled steep increases in education, health, and economic security. And yet, extraordinarily, it is anathema to many current economic and political elites.
Like every other prospering democracy, the U.S. developed a mixed economy that channeled the spirit of capitalism intro strong growth and health social development. In this bargain, government and business were as much partners as rivals. But, according to Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson’s new book, American Amnesia, what’s good for business and what’s good for Americans has become misaligned. As anti-government advocates of free market fundamentalism have gained power, they are bent on scrapping the instrument of a century of unprecedented economic and social progress.

Join New America and The Century Foundation for a conversation with Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, along with Saskia Sassen, K. Sabeel Rahman, and Sheelah Kolhatkar, on how to reignite the engine of America’s prosperity.


Jacob Hacker
Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science & Director, Institute for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University
Co-author, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper

Paul Pierson
John Gross Professor of Political Science, University of California at Berkeley
Co-author, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper

Saskia Sassen @SaskiaSassen
Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University
Author, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

K. Sabeel Rahman @ksabeelrahman
Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Fellow, New America

Sheelah Kolhathar @sheelahk
Features Editor and National Correspondent, Bloomberg Businesswek

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