April 29th, 2024 3 Minute Read Press Release

Manhattan Institute Announces Phil Gramm, Robert Ekelund, and John Early as Hayek Book Prize Winners

New York, NY (April 29, 2024) —The Manhattan Institute (MI) is pleased to announce that Phil Gramm, the late Robert Ekelund, and John Early have won the 20th annual Hayek Book Prize for their book The Myth of American Inequality: How Government Biases Policy Debate, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022). The authors will receive a $50,000 award and Gramm will deliver the annual Hayek Lecture in New York City on May 28. 

Gramm, Ekelund, and Early’s book, which analyzes statistics that overestimate American economic inequality, was among five other finalists:  

The Myth of American Inequality is a groundbreaking book that is especially timely in an election year,” said Hayek Book Prize jury chair John Tierney. “It vividly and meticulously refutes the politicians, journalists and scholars who claim that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer. It exposes the fatal flaws in the statistics and studies purporting to show that the rich are not paying their 'fair share' of taxes and that ordinary workers’ wages have stagnated. The book shows that income inequality has actually declined, that poverty has almost disappeared, and that Americans of all social classes have shared in the growing prosperity produced by capitalism.” 

“We are highly honored to accept the Hayek Book Prize and deeply appreciative for the recognition our book is receiving from the Manhattan Institute,” commented Phil Gramm and John Early. “This additional attention will help focus the debate surrounding income inequality and poverty by getting the facts straight before leaping to yet more harmful policies. U.S. official statistics dramatically overstate both income inequality and poverty by not counting two-thirds of transfer payments as income gained by the recipients and all taxes paid as income lost to the taxpayer. Fortunately, separate official government data already existed that allowed us to remedy these deficiencies.”

About the Hayek Lecture and Book Prize  

Political philosopher and Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek, author of groundbreaking works such as The Road to Serfdom and The Constitution of Liberty, was the key figure in the twentieth century revival of classical liberalism. He was also a formative influence on the Manhattan Institute. When our founder, Sir Antony Fisher, asked how best to reverse the erosion of freedom, Hayek advised him not to begin with politics per se but to fight first on the battlefield of ideas. The Hayek Lecture and Prize affirm and celebrate this mission.   


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