"Inequality" has morphed into a dirty word in the current political environment, but that's not stopping Edward Conard from defending it in The Upside of Inequality.
"The upside of inequality is a deep pool of highly trained and motivated talent working in Silicon Valley and at companies like Google producing much more innovation than their counterparts in the rest of the world," said Conard.
Conard added that even in this slow growth environment, U.S. innovation is causing the country to grow employment twice as fast as Germany and France, and three times faster than Japan with median incomes that are far higher.
Conard is the author of the New York Times bestseller Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong. He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Conard was previously a managing director at Bain Capital, where he worked closely with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Conard said crony capitalism does take place in the economy, but it is not as prevalent as often portrayed on the campaign trail or media. He said the fact that technology companies can rise up and completely replace entrenched leaders proves that mobility remains in the economy.
Conard also disputes the notion that America's CEOs are excessively compensated, saying that the country needs "extraordinary people" to run our companies.
"Our large companies and banks are very important assets," said Conard. "They do have to compete pay-wise to compete with the entrepreneurs and the opportunities in Silicon Valley."
Regarding the current presidential race, Conard said Donald Trump has "bumped into something important" on trade which is that risk taking and properly trained talent are being used to employ emerging market workers as opposed to Americans.
Still, Conard is not necessarily going to pull the lever in the voting booth for Donald Trump. Like his friend Mitt Romney, Conard is leery of both candidates.
"My palms are sweating as I look at the choices," said Conard.