James Pethokoukis, AEI

James Pethokoukis


Washington, DC, United States

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  • Unknown
  • AEI
  • HumanProgress.org
  • The Week
  • The Boston Globe
  • NBC News
  • Business Insider
  • Vox
  • CNBC

Past articles by James:


Did We Lose the War on Poverty? My Long-Read Q&A with Scott Winship

Populists in both parties tell the story of a stagnant American economy where little progress has been made in reducing poverty. In today's America, they claim, it's almost impossible to raise a family on a single income. Scott Winship cites evidence to the contrary. → Read More

Marian Tupy's Interview with James Pethokoukis

This interview originally appeared in Faster, Please! 1. Marian Tupy, you are the editor of HumanProgress.org, which chronicles the ways human welfare has improved dramatically over the last few centuries. Why is this an important project? The last two or three centuries, which we call “modernity,” are fundamentally different from the previous 12,000 years, when we lived primarily as… → Read More

This is the way the Biden presidency ends — not with a whimper, but a boomflation?

Why workers, investors, and Biden fans ought to be really worried about the economy → Read More

Let’s make the future what it used to be

We’re still waiting for flying cars, but we could be on the verge of the most expansive era of innovation in human history. → Read More

Why Apple's $3 trillion valuation bodes well for us all

Now Apple isn't the whole stock market, but it's a pretty good chunk of it. At that $3 trillion valuation, according to The New York Times, Apple accounted for nearly 7 percent of the total value of the S&P 500, breaking IBM's record of 6.4 percent in 1984. It's not crazy to think the condition of this massive consumer-products company — which also directly employs nearly about 100,000… → Read More


What we can learn about economics from nails (and nail guns)

We can learn quite a bit about economics through the production and evolution of the humble nail. Once a precious commodity, nails declined in price as a result of lower material prices and higher productivity — to the point that they are treated as disposable today. → Read More

Is nuclear fusion finally for real? Some very rich people seem to think so.

All we have to do is solve one of the trickiest engineering problems in human history: recreating the sun here on Earth → Read More


Will the Omicron variant affect the US economy — and the Biden agenda?

While the Omicron coronavirus strain may turn out to be a momentarily scary false alarm, it could also slow economic growth. And depending on the variant’s severity, it could generate criticism that Build Back Better is not a bill for an America still in the middle of a dangerous outbreak. → Read More

Powell may not be the Fed pick progressives want, but he's the one they need

Why progressives should stomach Biden's Fed chair nominee → Read More

Democrats' agenda is decimated. And that's okay.

The upside of losing parental leave from the Build Back Better plan → Read More

Will Democrats give up tax hikes to save the world?

A carbon tax could be the answer to Democrats' endless negotiation woes → Read More

How Biden's legislative agenda could collapse if Democrats don't make a deal soon

Forget 'transformational.' Choose 'achievable' — for the sake of democracy → Read More

Are childless Americans really uninvested in the future?

Measuring the impact of declining birth rates on the American economy → Read More

The disappointing GDP report is a wake-up call for Democrats

With the size of the economy now beyond where it was before the COVID-19 outbreak, policymakers need to think about how their actions will affect both growth and inflation going forward. From that perspective, then, the progress being made on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is encouraging. Of that amount, some $550 billion would be new spending, so far including $110 billion for… → Read More

Jeopardy's high-stakes hunt for a new host

Replacing one of the most beloved game show hosts of all time is no easy task → Read More

The benefits of billionaires in space

The fact that this time it's superrich guys heading into space has created a new progressive-populist twist on the long-time anti-space sentiment of the far left. "Our social, political, and economic systems are built around the idea that tax breaks for billionaires buying leisurely space travel is more important than feeding, clothing, and housing all our children," tweeted Rep. Jamaal Bowman… → Read More


The 21st-century degrowth movement makes the same mistake about human nature as 20th-century socialists

Like 20th century socialists before them, today's degrowthers ignore basic human nature: without growth, change, and new challenges and opportunities, humans become deeply dissatisfied. → Read More

Biden's budget predicts the Roaring Twenties will end in 2022. Uh oh.

Biden's budget predicts the Roaring Twenties will end in 2022. Uh oh. → Read More

Republicans might be right this time about inflation

They're trying to rain on Biden's parade. That doesn't mean their concerns aren't legitimate. → Read More


Some thoughts about millennials, socialism, and Scandinavia

The Socialist Scandinavia presented in much of American political discourse doesn’t really resemble the genuine article — Nordics are just as business-friendly as the US, if not more so. Moreover, the Nordic countries enjoy some scale advantages due to their smaller size. → Read More