For the 100th episode of the Political Economy podcast, James Pethokoukis sat down with Michael Strain and Stan Veuger during the Ricochet – AEI Podcast Summit in Washington, DC.

In a recent column for Bloomberg View, Michael Strain concedes “Big Tech” may be monopolistic, but argues that is no reason to break them up. Despite the wide variety of sins Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook stand accused of — promulgating fake news, stifling innovative competitors, and crushing mom-and-pop shops, to name a few — by the standards of consumer welfare, Big Tech is one of the best things to happen to the American economy in decades. He joins the podcast to discuss this argument and the future of the economy more broadly.


Earlier this week Californian legislators reached a “landmark deal” to become the first state to proceed with a $15 minimum wage, the fifteenth to initiate minimum wage increases this year. While some California municipalities had already moved in this direction, this measure would mean a raise for one in three California workers. And in some low-wage areas still struggling post-recession,  it would mean a raise for one in two workers. But in the country’s most populous state – where the economic recovery has been almost completely a product of Silicon Valley – many fear this massive experiment will devastate already weak sectors and the general business climate, and mean major job losses for those who need jobs most.

To figure out just what the prognosis is for California, I talked with my AEI colleague Michael R. Strain.  Strain is the deputy director of economic policy studies and resident scholar at AEI, focusing on labor economics, applied microeconomics, public finance, and social policy. He publishes regularly in academic journals and policy journals,  is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, and often writes for The New York Times, National Review, The Atlantic, and other publications. Prior to AEI, he worked at the US Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

What does a smart center-right growth and jobs agenda look like? On this week’s episode of Ricochet’s Money & Politics podcast, I ask that question of Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute. A repeat guest on the podcast, Strain began his career in the research group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Before joining AEI, he managed the New York Census Research Data Center, a U.S. Census Bureau research facility. He writes frequently on labor markets, taxes, and inequality.

A Jobs Agenda for the Right – National Affairs