Monday, June 22, 2015

“The American dream is dead.” — Donald Trump, 2015

“I believe we can restore the American Dream and expand it to reach more people than ever before.” — Senator Marco Rubio

At this year’s FreedomFest ( in Las Vegas next month (July 8-11), we are going to debate the question, “Is the American Dream Alive or Dead?” If it is on life support, how can we restore the American dream of a fulfilling, well-paying job, enough money to retire comfortably, a nice home and a stable government to grow a family and a happy life?

This is the foremost question I will ask, as moderator, at the Dream Debate of the Century on July 9, when Paul Krugman, #1 New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist, confronts Steve Moore, #1 Wall Street Journal columnist and chief economist at Heritage Foundation. I will ask them what policies they would advocate to restore the American dream. You won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime debate.

Here are three charts that paint a depressing picture of the U.S. economy.

First, we see that business creation has been in decline now for more than 30 years and, for the first time since statistics were collected, more businesses are failing than being created. As the Brookings Institute concluded, “But recent research shows that dynamism is slowing down. Business churning and new firm formations have been on a persistent decline during the last few decades, and the pace of net job creation has been subdued. This decline has been documented across a broad range of sectors in the U.S. economy, even in high-tech.”

Second, community banks are disappearing, and new ones are not being created. Financial regulation is stifling banking activity and that situation is not a good sign for small business and entrepreneurship.

Third, Americans are dropping out of the labor market.

I look forward to the Paul Krugman-Stephen Moore debate at FreedomFest in July to get to the source of this economic malaise.

On a positive note, the stock market is at a record high and has recovered strongly since the Great Recession. But can it last? At FreedomFest, we are going to debate that too in our Bull vs. Bear Debate, which will occur after the Krugman-Moore Debate.

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