Tim Carney on ‘Alienated America’


Our old friend (and former CEI Warren Brookes Journalism Fellow) Tim Carney has a new book out, “Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse,” and the American Enterprise Institute recently hosted a public discussion to examine its “findings and claims.”  

Tim has long been an expert on we could call popular economic dissatisfaction, especially the understandable anger among everyday Americans with the cronyism and rent-seeking so often to be found in Washington, D.C. His previous books, “The Big Rip-Off” and “Obamanomics” cover this theme, though his new book goes beyond the unfair, but relatively straightforward, way in which corporate lobbying turns into subsidies and profits.

In “Alienated America,” Tim talks about families and communities, and the institutions and behaviors that enable some (but too few) to flourish. As he points out in the video above, there was a renewed interest in Rust Belt America and the pathologies of the white working class in America during the most recent presidential election. Tim covers that territory, as many political writers have in the past three years, but with a new insight that goes beyond domestic employment trends and the rise of manufacturing in China.

At a time when populist conservatives like Tucker Carlson and urging Americans to reject free trade and large-scale immigration because of an alleged civilizational malaise, Tim’s insights are especially valuable. See also his recent Washington Examiner column, “The state of our neighborhood communities is not strong.”