The idea of a general confusion about the nature of capitalism and what its alternatives really look like was revisited later on by Tyler Cowen.
“I would focus most of all on the issue of ideas,” he said. “Do the people of this country still believe in capitalism? And I know that if you listen to Bernie Sanders, or look at some polls, a lot of young people have more sympathy for what they call ‘socialism’ than ever before, but I don’t think they mean real socialism. If you ask Americans questions such as ‘Do you support trade?’ the answers are more positive today than they were five years ago. …So if you look at a lot of basic issues of tolerance, belief in the system, people accepting consumerism, heralding innovation, I think, mostly, people here believe in capitalism.
Here is the full report, also including John Taylor and Alan Krueger and others. Here is Fortune’s take on me on Trump and Sanders. They caught me on an optimistic day. Here is the video link for the whole session.
If you’re ever invited to the Milken Institute Los Angeles conference, I recommend it highly. They have about the highest quality presentations and presenters I can recall hearing in a long time, maybe ever. One reason for this is simply that they do not let people go on for too long.