2023 American Economic Forum

November 01-01, 2023
Washington, D.C.
8:30 am

What Does A Humane Economy Look Like In America Today?

Americans are concerned about the economy, poll after poll shows. Inflation. Debt. Trade Wars. Deindustrialization. Great Power Competition. Sweeping omnibus spending bills and trillion dollar deficits. Short-term financial planning that erodes the long-term prospects for companies and workers. The promises and perils of Artificial Intelligence.

These economic concerns can have wide-reaching consequences, including delaying family formation, home ownership, and many other aspects of the life script that provided generations of Americans with a sense of security and rootedness. Conservatives are divided on approaches to handle the current malaise.

ISI invites you to our 2023 American Economic Forum to hear leading conservative economists, political leaders, and intellectuals discuss how to untangle the American economic crisis. Join us on November 1st at the Catholic University of America’s Heritage Hall for a discussion of the central economic issues that we face today and how to chart a better course for a more prosperous, humane economy.

You’ll hear panels and lectures on a range of important topics such as AI, social capital, immigration and wages, American economic history, and more.

Register Now!

Panelists and Speakers

Luke Burgis

Luke Burgis is Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Director of Programs at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America where he’s also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Business. Luke is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies across the tech, healthcare, and consumer product spaces. He is the author of the bestselling book Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, published in 2021, which has now been translated into more than 20 languages and won numerous awards. His essays and other writing have appeared widely in publications ranging from Literary Hub to Wired Magazine to First Things. Luke is the co-founder, with Dr. Joshua Miller, of The Inscape Center for Personal Vocation in Steubenville, Ohio. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.

Saagar Enjeti

Saagar Enjeti is the cohost of Breaking Points on YouTube. He was named 2019-20 Tony Blankley Fellow by Steamboat Institute. Saagar is also a Media Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC where he co-hosts The Realignment podcast. Saagar previously served as White House Correspondent for The Daily Caller and Foreign Affairs Correspondent for The DC News Foundation. Saagar received his master’s degree in US National Security Policy from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s in economics from The George Washington University. Saagar has studied extensively across the globe spanning 3 continents and has visited over 40 countries.

Sohrab Ahmari

Sohrab Ahmari is a founder and editor of Compact: A Radical American Journal. Previously, he spent nearly a decade at News Corp., as op-ed editor of the New York Post and as a columnist and editor with the Wall Street Journal opinion pages in New York and London. In addition to those publications, his writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe New RepublicThe SpectatorChronicle of Higher EducationTimes Literary SupplementCommentaryDissent, and The American Conservative, for which he is a contributing editor.

Sohrab is the author of multiple books, including his latest Tyranny, Inc.: How Private Power Crushed American Liberty–and What to Do About It. 

Elbridge Colby

Elbridge A. Colby served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, in which capacity he was responsible for defense strategy, force development, and strategic analysis for OSD Policy. During 2017 and early 2018, Colby served as the Department of Defense co-lead for the development of the Department’s premier strategic planning guidance, the National Defense Strategy, which was released in January 2018 and focuses the Department on major power competition and sustaining the Joint Force’s military edge in a more competitive era. Colby is also responsible for developing the Defense Planning Guidance and the Defense Planning Scenarios, and serves as a lead Policy representative to the Program and Budget Review and Support for Strategic Analysis processes. 

Prior to entering government service, Colby was from 2014 to 2017 the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and from 2010 to 2013 a principal analyst and division lead for global strategic affairs at CNA. Earlier in his career he served for over five years in the U.S. Government at the Department of Defense, Department of State, and in the Intelligence Community working on a range of strategic forces, WMD, and intelligence reform matters, including service with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003. Colby has also served as a staff member for or consultant to a number of government commissions, including the 2014 National Defense Panel, the 2008-2009 Strategic Posture Commission, and the 2004-2005 President’s WMD Commission. 

Colby is the author of many book chapters, reports, and articles on defense and foreign policy issues, and co-edited a volume on Strategic Stability: Contending Interpretations. He has testified before Congress and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Colby is a recipient of the Exceptional Public Service Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and of the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Colby is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great DepressionThe Forgotten Man: Graphic, a full length illustrated version of the same book drawn by Paul Rivoche, Coolidge, a full-length biography of the thirtieth president and The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americas CrazyNational Review called the Forgotten Man “the finest history of the Great Depression ever written.” The Economist wrote of Coolidge that the book “deserves to be widely read” and made it an editor’s choice for 2013. The Forgotten Man: Graphic reached the number 1 spot in its bestseller category. Miss Shlaes is under contract to write “The Silent Majority,” a third volume on the twentieth century.

Miss Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, a national foundation based in the birthplace of President Coolidge. The Foundation’s goal is to share Coolidge with Americans, by hosting high school debate and events at the Coolidge site and through newer media. She is especially interested in education.

Miss Shlaes is winner of the Hayek Prize and currently serves on the jury for the prize, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute. She has twice been a finalist for the Loeb Prize in commentary. In 2002 she was co-winner of the Frederic Bastiat Prize, an international prize for writing on political economy, and later chaired the jury for that prize. In 2003, she was JP Morgan Fellow for finance and economy at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2004, she gave the Bradley lecture at the American Enterprise Institute. Her lecture, titled “The Chicken versus the Eagle” looked at the effect of the National Recovery Administration on the entrepreneur in the New Deal. Over the years she has served at the Council on Foreign Relations (as senior fellow in economic history) and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, where she was one of four directors, working on economic program.

Miss Shlaes taught at the King’s College and New York University’s Stern School of Business for ten years.

Many readers know Miss Shlaes from the Wall Street Journal, where she served on the editorial board, writing on foreign policy, taxation and other topics, or from the Financial Times and Bloomberg, each of which carried her syndicated column over the years. Currently Miss Shlaes appears in print Forbes and in National Review. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale College, Miss Shlaes is married to fellow journalist and editor Seth Lipsky. The Lipskys have four children.

Tim Carney

Timothy P. Carney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on economic competition, cronyism, civil society, localism, and religion in America. He is concurrently the senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner.

Mr. Carney’s latest book, Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse (HarperCollins), was published in February 2019. His previous books include Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses (Regnery Publishing, 2009) and The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money (John Wiley & Sons, 2006), which was awarded the 2008 Culture of Enterprise award by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Mr. Carney’s next book, on parenting and culture in America, will be published by HarperCollins in early 2024.

In addition to his Washington Examiner columns, Mr. Carney has been published in a variety of magazines, websites, and newspapers, including the AtlanticNew York Post, the New York TimesReason magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. His television appearances include CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and PBS NewsHour.

Mr. Carney has a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis.

Erika Bachiochi

EPPC Fellow Erika Bachiochi is a legal scholar specializing in Equal Protection jurisprudence, feminist legal theory, Catholic social teaching, and sexual ethics. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute in Cambridge, MA, where she founded and directs the Wollstonecraft Project. Her newest book, The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision, was published by Notre Dame University Press in 2021.

Oren Cass

Oren Cass is the executive director of American Compass and author of The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America (2018). He is a contributing opinion writer for the Financial Times and his work also appears regularly in publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

From 2005 to 2015, Oren worked as a management consultant in Bain & Company’s Boston and Delhi offices. During this period, he also earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was elected vice president and treasurer of the Harvard Law Review and oversaw the journal’s budget and operations. While still in law school, Oren also became Domestic Policy Director for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, editing and producing the campaign’s “jobs book” and developing its domestic policy strategy, proposals, and research. He joined the Manhattan Institute as a senior fellow in 2015 and became a prolific scholar, publishing more than 15 reports for MI and editing its popular “Issues 2016” and “Issues 2020” series, testifying before seven congressional committees and speaking on dozens of college campuses. He founded American Compass at the start of 2020.

Steve Moore

Stephen­ Moore is an economics journalist, author, and columnist who served as the senior economics writer for the Wall Street Journal editorial page and as member of the Journal’s editorial board. He continues to be a regular contributor at The Wall Street Journal and other outlets, such as Fox News, CNN and CNBC, and writes a nationally syndicated political column .

Currently, Moore is the chief economist for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, recently released “An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States,” which explains why eliminating or lowering tax burdens at the state level leads to economic growth and wealth creation. This is the latest of many books he has co-authored.

In his earlier career he Moore was founder and president of the Club for Growth, a 25,000-member organization dedicated to helping elect free market, tax-cutting candidates to Congress and served as the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Budgetary Affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

Jon Askonas

Jon Askonas is an assistant professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America, where he works on the connections between the republican tradition, technology, and national security. He is currently working on two books: A Muse of Fire: Why the U.S. Military Forgets What It Learns in War, on what happens to wartime innovations when the war is over and The Shot in the Dark: A History of the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group, the first comprehensive overview of a unit that helped the Army adapt to the post 9/11 era of counterinsurgency and global power competition. His writing has appeared in Russian Analytical Digest, Triple Helix, The New Atlantis, Fare Forward, War on the Rocks, and the Texas National Security Review.  

David Goldman

David P. Goldman is president of Macrostrategy LLC, a Senior Writer at Law & Liberty, and a Washington Fellow at the Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life. He writes the “Spengler” column for Asia Times Online and the “Spengler” blog at PJ Media, and is the author of You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-Form the World (Bombardier Books) and How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying Too)(Regnery).

Neil Chilson

Neil Chilson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity. Chilson is a lawyer, computer scientist, and author of the book “Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World.”

Chilson was previously the senior research fellow for Technology and Innovation at Stand Together, where he guided efforts to understand and promote the legal and cultural paradigms that best enable people to discover, innovate, and improve all our lives.

Before Stand Together, Chilson was the Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission, where he focused on the economics of privacy and blockchain-related issues. Previously, he was an attorney advisor to Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. In both roles he advised Chairman Ohlhausen and worked with staff on nearly every major technology-related case, report, workshop, or other FTC proceeding since January 2014. Neil joined the FTC from telecom firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer. Neil is frequently quoted by the press and his work has appeared in numerous news outlets, including The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostUSAToday, and Newsweek. Neil has a J.D. from The George Washington Law School, a M.S. in computer science from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. in computer science from Harding University.

Johnny Burtka

John A. Burtka IV is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He graduated from Hillsdale College with degrees in French and Christian Studies and earned a graduate degree in theology from La Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence, France. Johnny began his career at ISI, where he served as a development officer. He returned to ISI after four years at The American Conservative magazine, where he served as Executive Director and Acting Editor. Johnny has appeared on Fox News and Fox Business and written for the Washington Post, the Richmond Times-DispatchFirst Things, the American Mind, and the Intercollegiate Review, among other publications. He has been a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute and has participated in academic fellowships at Washington College and the Trinity Forum. Johnny lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Amanda.

Dan McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy is vice president for the Collegiate Network at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and editor of ISI’s journal Modern Age. He is responsible for ISI’s college journalism programs, which support independent campus publications and provide internships and fellowships to outstanding student reporters, writers, and editors. He has an extensive background in journalism, including as a columnist for The Spectator and past editor of The American Conservative. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, The National Interest, First Things, Reason, and a wide range of other publications. Before coming to ISI, he was director of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program at The Fund for American Studies. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (where he edited a Collegiate Network paper) and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Sam Hammond

Samuel Hammond is Senior Economist at the Foundation for American Innovation, where his research focuses on innovation and science policy and the institutional impact of disruptive technologies. He previously worked as the director of social policy for the Niskanen Center, where he remains a senior fellow; as an economist for the Government of Canada specializing in regional economic development; and as a graduate research fellow for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Sam received a BA in Economics from Saint Mary’s University and M.A.’s in Economics from George Mason University and Carleton University.

Michael Toscano

Michael Toscano is executive director of the Institute for Family Studies. Michael is a leader in efforts nationwide to adopt laws to make technology safer for kids. He has written on family policy, tech policy, the uses of technology to reshape work, and the effect of technological change on America’s republican form of government. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street JournalNewsweekThe New York PostFirst ThingsCompactThe American ConservativeNational Review, and elsewhere. Under his leadership, IFS has more than doubled its annual budget and quadrupled its research output. He is co-author with Peter Wood of “What Does Bowdoin Teach? How a Liberal Arts College Shapes Students” (2013).

Erik Matson

Erik W. Matson is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and a lecturer in political economy and markets in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America. He serves as a the deputy director of the Adam Smith Program at George Mason University in the Department of Economics. His research, which has been published widely in academic journals and volumes, focuses on the history and philosophy of eighteenth century British political economy. He is currently working on a two-volume book project on the history of Christian economic thought with Jordan Ballor. Erik holds a PhD in economics from George Mason University. 

Conference Schedule

Catholic University of America – Heritage Hall

Nov. 1st, 2023

Schedule of Events

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. – Registration & Light Breakfast

9:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m. –  Panel: “Social Capital” 

  • Tim Carney, American Enterprise Institute 
  • Erika Bachiochi, Ethics and Public Policy Center 
  • Michael Toscano (moderator), Institute for Family Studies 

10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. – Keynote Lecture: “How ‘Liberty’ of Contract Swallowed Liberty” 

  • Sohrab Ahmari, Compact Magazine 

10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m. – Refreshment Break 

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m. – Panel: “Artificial Intelligence” 

  • Neil Chilson, Center for Growth and Opportunity 
  • Jon Askonas, Catholic University of America 
  • Samuel Hammond (moderator), Niskanen Center 

11:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Panel: “American Economic History” 

  • David Goldman, Asia Times 
  • Erik Matson, George Mason University 
  • Johnny Burtka, Intercollegiate Studies Institute 

12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. – Lunch 

1:00 p.m.-1:40 p.m. – Keynote Interview 

  • Elbridge Colby, The Marathon Initiative interviewed by Saagar Enjeti, Breaking Points 

1:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m. – Panel: “Immigration & Wages” 

  • Oren Cass, American Compass 
  • Steve Moore, Heritage Foundation 
  • Dan McCarthy (moderator), Intercollegiate Studies Institute 

2:30-2:45 p.m. – Refreshment Break 

2:45 p.m.-3:30 p.m. – Keynote Lecture: “New Deal Rebels”

  • Amity Shlaes, Coolidge Foundation 

3:35 p.m.-4:15 p.m. – Closing Keynote: “The New Architects of Desire” 

  • Luke Burgis, Catholic University of America 

4:20 p.m.-5:30 p.m. – General Reception