Glenn Hubbard will give a talk on his just published book, The Wall and the Bridge: Fear and Opportunity in Disruption’s Wake, where he argues for an economic policy based on bridges of preparation and adaptation, rather than walls of protection and exclusion.
Free-market economists have noted that there are winners and losers in a competitive capitalist world. Yet the question of how to deal with the difficult real-life consequences faced by the losers has largely been ignored. Populist politicians have tried to address the issue by creating walls—both physical and economic—to insulate communities and keep competition at bay. While recognizing the emotional appeal of walls, economist Glenn Hubbard reasons that because they delay needed adaptations to the ever-changing world, walls are ultimately destined to fail. Instead Hubbard promotes the benefits of an open economy and creating bridges to support people in turbulent times so they remain engaged and prepared to reap the rewards of a new economic landscape.
Glenn Hubbard is Director, Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business, dean emeritus, and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School. In addition to The Wall and the Bridge, he is the author of three popular textbooks, as well as co-author of The Aid Trap: Hard Truths About Ending Poverty; Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America; and Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps to a Better Health Care System.