On Wednesday, September 23 Axios' Felix Salmon hosted a conversation on capitalism in America, featuring Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Director of Harvard's Democratic Knowledge Project Danielle Allen and founder and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures John Hope Bryant.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal discussed the details of the Paycheck Recovery Act, examples of other countries that have taken measures to stabilize their economies through the COVID-19 crisis, and the importance of accessible health care.
- On the Paycheck Recovery Act: "It [could be] an automatic stabilizer to the economy...So it doesn't require congressional approval and therefore congressional bickering over what a package should or shouldn't be. It automatically kicks in."
Danielle Allen unpacked how the erosion of labor's bargaining power over the course of the 20th century has contributed to income inequality and how investing in the public good can lead to a more resilient public health system and economy.
- On an effective public health system: "Public goods and substantial investment in public health infrastructure is a public good...Federal government needs to invest in and support data systems. States need to build out boots-on-the-ground organizational implementation, rebuild the sort of practices of their public health organizations in order to deliver those goods in practice as services."
John Hope Bryant discussed economic inequality in America, the importance of financial literacy and more accessible job training and internships.
- On how economic inequality has impacted Black communities: "Where have we succeeded? The arts and entertainment and sports. Why? Because the playing field is level and the rules are published. Free enterprise and capitalism, the rules aren't published."
Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Omidyar Network CEO Mike Kubzansky, who discussed how the American economy can become reimagined to work for the public good.
- "Markets are not laws of physics. They are actually built by political economy and interests and power and ideas, which means they can be also rebuilt in different ways and unbuilt in important ways as well."
Thank you Omidyar Network for sponsoring this event.