Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Economists Debate Policy at Restaurant Finance Confab


Arthur Laffer is known for his Laffer Curve and supply-side economics.

 Who knew economists could be so entertaining? In a debate to open the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference Monday, Arthur Laffer and Robert Reich mixed it up in a lively session, from a conservative and liberal point of view, respectively.

Laffer is best known for the Laffer Curve, which demonstrates the tradeoff between tax rates and actual tax revenue. He’s called the father of supply-side economics and advised President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Reich, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, was secretary of labor under Bill Clinton, and just published his new book, “Saving Capitalism for the Many, not the Few.”

Said Reich: “It is absolutely true average wages are going up, but there is a big difference between average and median. The median wage is actually going nowhere. This is a potential problem, because you need enough people who can buy stuff.”

Laffer said “it has been a disastrous 14 years” for the economy, and added for a strong economy you need five things: a low-rate, broad-based flat tax; spending restraint; sound money; free trade; and minimal regulation.

“Then get the hell out of the way and let the private sector solve the economy,” he said, to great applause.

Laffer, in fact, got the most applause from the conservative-leaning crowd of restaurant operators and financiers, gathered at the Wynn in Las Vegas. “You cannot tax an economy into prosperity,” Laffer said. “People respond to incentives. It’s not Democrats or Republicans. If you tax people who work, and you pay people who don’t work, do I really have to say the next sentence to you?” Again, the crowd roared its approval.

Reich shot back with the thing he likes about Laffer: “You can be so forceful and so persuasive—and so wrong.”

The annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, presented by the Restaurant Finance Monitor, continues through Wednesday noon at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas.




Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Covers everything from good news to bad judgment

About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




Atom Feed Subscribe to the Franchise Times News Feed »

Recent Posts