Robust economic growth has resulted in a sustained increase in living standards that has made the U.S. economy the envy of much of the modern world. However, recent trends in demographics, social insurance programs, technological progress, human capital, immigration, income inequality and fiscal policy have generated uncertainty regarding the prospects for sustaining such growth. While the short-term economic effects of the pandemic have been dire with large declines in output and employment, the medium-term and long-term perspectives are less clear. For example, the pandemic has the potential to accentuate existing headwinds by increasing deficits and reducing educational outcomes for younger generations. However, the pandemic may improve medium- and long-run growth by accelerating the adoption of new technology and creating productivity gains through an increase in business flexibility regarding remote work and the use of telemedicine.
At this event, the Honorable Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, joined John Diamond, the director of the Baker Institute Center for Public Finance, to discuss policies to support high rates of growth in the United States, given the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
12:50 p.m. — Moderated Conversation
1:20 p.m. — Q&A
The Honorable Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., was sworn in as the 17th secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2017. Secretary Carson previously served as director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he assumed when he was just 33 years old, becoming the youngest major division director in the hospital’s history. In 1987, he successfully performed the first separation of craniopagus twins conjoined at the back of the head. He also performed the first fully successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa. Carson received dozens of honors and awards in recognition of his achievements including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He is also a recipient of the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Carson has authored nine books, four of which he co-wrote with his wife Candy. The U.S. News Media Group and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership named him among “America’s Best Leaders” in 2008. Carson and his wife also co-founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. The fund is currently operating in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and has recognized more than 7,300 scholars, awarded more than $7.3 million in scholarships and installed more than 150 Ben Carson Reading Rooms around the country. Secretary Carson graduated from Yale University and earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School.
John W. Diamond, Ph.D.
Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance; Director, Center for Public Finance, Baker Institute