Summary of How To Fix Capitalism for America’s Workers

How To Fix Capitalism for America’s Workers summary
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Tax and regulatory reforms implemented during the 1980s, and since taken even further, have left US workers with an extremely low share of national wealth. This wide distributional inequality calls out for remedy. In an informative podcast produced by Fred Dews, economist Richard V. Reeves of the Brookings Institution explores ways to aid workers and repair the defects in capitalism. In the discussion, policy experts Isabel V. Sawhill and Steven Pearlstein, along with call-in guests, offer diverse opinions and recommendations that contain some new responses to old problems.

About the Podcast

Richard V. Reeves and Isabel V. Sawhill are senior fellows at the Brookings Institution, where Fred Dews manages The Brookings Cafeteria podcast and the How to Fix Capitalism series. Steven Pearlstein is a professor at George Mason University and a Washington Post columnist.



Gross income inequality in the United States is not an unavoidable outcome of capitalism.

The Reagan-era free-market overhaul of the economy that began in the 1980s and that several subsequent presidents have expanded through to today, ended up having onerous impacts on the middle class. These public policy choices lowered taxes on the affluent and removed regulations on business. The outcomes have hit Americans hard in terms of wealth inequality. Wages have stagnated, and labor participation rates are dropping.

A first step toward redressing these results may...

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