Open Markets looks at what has gone wrong with capitalism in advanced economies—and, more importantly, what can be done about it. It focuses on three topics.
The first is trade. Economists have long argued that free trade makes everyone richer. But lately that view has come under attack. Mr Trump argues that America’s trade deficit is a bad thing. Others point out that trade can hurt people who are outcompeted by imports. Economists are asking themselves some tough questions. Is free trade always a good thing? Do the losers from free trade need to be compensated? If so, how?
Next, competition. Capitalism works best when people and businesses compete on a level playing field. That encourages high standards and innovation. Yet there is lots of evidence that today’s capitalism is not as competitive as it once was. We look at what has changed, and what can be done about it.
Lastly, we consider the role that government plays in the modern economy. In particular, we examine an idea that is gripping economists, politicians and tech titans: a universal basic income (UBI). In a world where foreign competition and automation risk putting large swathes of the population out of work permanently, is a UBI the solution? How would governments pay for it?
Open Markets will feature TheNewsEditorial‘s articles on these topics as well as contributions by outsiders. We invite dissenting opinions. The idea is to refine thinking on how economies can be improved, for the benefit of as many people as possible.
Sources: “What’s happening to the world income distribution? The elephant chart revisited” by H. Kharas and B. Seidel; OECD; World Wealth and Income Database; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Harvard Institute of Politics.