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Annual Steinhardt Lecture

Date: 7:30pm - 9:00pm PST February 16, 2012 Location: Council Chamber, Templeton Student Center

Council Chamber, Templeton Student Center

Guest lecture by Dean Baker, Co-Director of Center for Economic and Policy Research“The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.”


The economic debate between progressives and conservatives is routinely framed as a battle between progressives who support government intervention in the economy to promote equality and reduce poverty and conservatives who favor leaving things to the market. This “loser liberalism” framing, where the liberal agenda is about taxing the winners to help the losers, is likely to lead to bad policy outcomes and is also disastrous from a political standpoint.


As a practical matter, both progressives and conservatives want the government to intervene in the economy. The difference is that conservatives are smart enough to try to conceal the interventions they support, which have the effect of redistributing income upward. These interventions are simply treated as the natural working of the market.


This talk will cover some of the largely undiscussed government policies that redistribute income upwards. This list of policies includes patent and copyright protection, too big to fail insurance for large banks, and protectionist barriers that prop up the pay of doctors and other highly educated professionals.

Learn more about the Annual Steinhardt Lecture.