Is America becoming Downton Abbey? And more from the Wonkblog Debates.

October 24, 2013
Here are highlights of Tuesday's Wonkblog Debate! (Photo by Jeff Martin)
Here are highlights of Tuesday's Wonkblog Debate! (Photo by Jeff Martin)

Wonkblog readers stuffed the DC Improv Tuesday night for our third Wonkblog Debate. This time we focused on the economy--and specifically whether Congress and the political process were leading us down a bad path. Here are some highlights.

Heather Boushey of the Center for American Progress makes the case that yes, the culprit is Congress in not offering a better policy architecture that might get growth on track.

Part of the challenge, argues Tony Fratto of Hamilton Place Strategies, is that "our founders screwed up a little bit." That is to say, government just doesn't work well when the two houses of Congress are controlled by opposite parties.

Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy explores whether we now have a political system that is "structurally dysfunctional" in economic policymaking.

And James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute argued that inequality isn't the dominant problem facing the economy, but rather a lack of economic mobility. The risk is that America becomes a world like a certain television show set in early 20th century Britain, with a few ultra-wealthy and a lot of menial workers whose job is to serve the rich.

You can watch more clips here, or listen to the whole event here. Thanks to our panelists and stay tuned for the announcement of the next Wonkblog Debate!

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