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Event Economics

2024 Hayek Lecture

Tuesday May 2024


Phil Gramm winner of the 2024 Hayek Prize; former Chairman of the Banking Committee; author of The Myth of American Inequality
John Early winner of the 2024 Hayek Prize; author of The Myth of American Inequality
John Tierney Senior Fellow | Contributing Editor, City Journal @JohnTierneyNYC

When assessing income inequality in America, it is helpful to keep in mind a piece of wisdom attributed to Mark Twain: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know that ain’t so.” Throughout his career, F.A. Hayek steadfastly believed that the free market, combined with a societal respect for property and rule of law, is the key driver of improved living standards over time. In The Myth of American Inequality, authors Phil Gramm, Robert Ekelund, and John Early go back to the postwar era and take a comprehensive look at data and perceptions surrounding income inequality and raised living standards. How do official statistics fall short of telling the real story on inequality and quality of life? In what ways have earnings, household consumption, and overall prosperity improved for today’s population compared with previous generations?

Please join us for an evening reception and program featuring the Honorable Phil Gramm and John Early, winners of the 2024 Hayek Prize, discussing the myths surrounding income inequality; how inequality and lack of social mobility are often overstated; and how policymakers can act on reliable economic indicators.

Senator Phil Gramm joined Lone Star Funds as Vice Chairman in December of 2012. He served as Vice Chairman of UBS Investment Bank for nine years. At UBS he provided senior leadership in such landmark IPOs as Visa, the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), the China Merchants Bank, LGPhillips in Korea and the privatization of Telstra in Australia. Senator Gramm served six years in the US House and eighteen years in the US Senate. His legislative record includes landmark bills like the Gramm-Latta Budget, which reduced federal spending, rebuilt national defense and mandated the Reagan tax cut, and the Gramm-Rudman Act, which placed the first binding constraints on federal spending. As Chairman of the Banking Committee, Senator Gramm steered through legislation modernizing banking, insurance and securities law, which had been languishing in Congress for 60 years. Gramm is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He taught economics at Texas A&M University for 12 years. He has published numerous articles and books. 

John Early is a mathematical economist who currently leads the international consultancy Vital Few, LLC and serves as an adjunct scholar at the CATO Institute. He began working as a legislative assistant to Senator George McGovern and moved on to serve two appointments as assistant commissioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He has also held senior leadership positions in global consultancies on quality and operational performance and as chief customer and strategy officer for a Fortune 100 company. He has more than 80 professional publications on topics that include improving measurements of price change, labor force dynamics, measurement accuracy, quality management, and improving healthcare.

Robert Ekelund (1940-2023) was a professor and eminent scholar in economics (emeritus) at Auburn University, beginning his career at Texas A&M University as professor of economics. He previously was a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and in 2003 served as the Vernon Taylor Distinguished Visiting Professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He also was an Independent Institute research fellow, adjunct faculty member of the Mises Institute and served as an advisor to the Heartland Institute.He is the author of more than 20 books and several hundred articles on the history of economic theory, economic history, and economic policy in the specific areas of art, religion, and regulation.

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