About the Authors

Dr. Arthur B. Laffer

Dr. Arthur B. Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates and Laffer Investments, and many publications have named him “The Father of Supply-Side Economics.” Dr. Laffer served as a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for both terms and advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on fiscal policy in the United Kingdom during the 1980s. He has been a faculty member at the University of Chicago and University of Southern California. One of his earliest successes in shaping public policy was his involvement in Proposition 13, the groundbreaking California initiative that drastically cut property taxes in the state in 1978. In March 1999, he was noted by Time magazine as one of “the Century’s Greatest Minds” for his invention of the Laffer Curve, which has been called one of “a few of the advances that powered this extraordinary century.” He has received many awards for his economic research, including two Graham and Dodd Awards from the Financial Analyst Federation and The Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. In December 2017, Dr. Laffer became the first recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Laffer Award for Economic Excellence, and in December 2019, President Donald Trump awarded Dr. Laffer with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions in the field of economics. He graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1963 and received both his MBA and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore formerly served on The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and frequently wrote on the economy and public policy. In January 2014, Moore returned to The Heritage Foundation—about 25 years after his tenure as the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Budgetary Affairs from 1984 to 1987. Moore now serves as the Chairman of the FreedomWorks Task Force on Economic Revival. He was previously the founder and president of the Club for Growth, which raises money for political candidates who favor free-market economic policies. Moore also founded the Free Enterprise Fund before joining The Wall Street Journal. Over the years, Moore has served as a senior economist at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and as a senior economics fellow at the Cato Institute, where he published dozens of studies on federal and state fiscal policy. He was also a consultant to the National Economic Commission in 1987 and research director for President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Privatization.  During the 2016 presidential campaign, Moore served as a senior economic adviser to Donald Trump, where he worked on tax reform, regulatory reform, and energy policy. Moore is a Senior Economic Analyst at CNN along with writing regularly for National Review, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, The Washington Times, and Orange County Register. Moore holds a Master of Arts in economics from George Mason University. He has authored numerous books, including Who’s the Fairest of them All, It’s Getting Better All the Time, Still an Open Door?, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States, Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy and the recently released Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy with Dr. Arthur Laffer.

Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams is Chief Economist and Executive Vice President of Policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where he works with state policymakers, congressional leaders and members of the private sector to develop economic policy solutions for the states. Williams also founded the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform in 2011. Prior to joining ALEC in 2007, Williams served as staff economist at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, authoring numerous tax policy studies. Williams’ work has appeared in many publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Financial Times, Toronto Star, The Australian and Investor’s Business Daily. He is a contributor for The Hill and a columnist at Tax Analysts, the leading provider of tax news and analysis for the global community. Williams also serves on the Advisory Board of the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) and as an adjunct fellow at the Kansas Policy Institute. He has written for the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition, Williams was a contributing author of In Defense of Capitalism (Northwood University Press). He has spoken to audiences across all 50 states and provided testimony for the U.S. Congress, as well as numerous state legislative bodies. His work has been featured at the federal level by The White House, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. He is a frequent guest on talk radio shows and has appeared on numerous television outlets, including the PBS NewsHour, Fox Business News and Bloomberg. Williams was also the recipient of the prestigious Ludwig von Mises Award in Economics.

    Rich States, Poor States 17th Edition

    The 17th edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index is the latest in our annual series examining each state’s competitiveness and economic outlook. Used by lawmakers across the states…
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