Institute of Politics

Peter Meijer

Former Republican U.S. Representative from Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District

  • Winter-Spring 2023 Pritzker Fellow

  • Seminars


Former Congressman Peter Meijer was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where his family has resided for four generations. Peter enlisted in the Army Reserves and, while a student at Columbia University, deployed to Iraq in 2010 to conduct intelligence operations. After graduation, Peter joined Team Rubicon, a veteran-based disaster response organization, and led humanitarian efforts in South Sudan dealing with a refugee crisis, New York after Superstorm Sandy, Oklahoma after a series of devastating tornadoes, and the Philippines following Super Typhoon Yolanda. Concurrently, Peter served on the Board of Directors and was later Chairman of the Board of Student Veterans of America, one of the largest post-9/11 veteran service organizations advocating for veteran educational opportunities.

Peter then worked with an international NGO in Afghanistan, managing a large team to provide conflict analysis to humanitarian groups and deliver emergency assistance after kidnappings and targeted killings, before returning to the United States and obtaining an MBA at New York University. In 2017, Peter returned home to Michigan to work in urban redevelopment before launching his first campaign for Congress. He was elected to represent Michigan’s third congressional district in 2020 in the most expensive congressional race in Michigan of the cycle.

In Congress, Peter served on the Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, and Science, Space, and Technology committees, and was a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. He doubled the record for the number of bills signed into law by a freshman in the minority, including a commission to reform the State Department, increase resources to combat human trafficking, deal with supply chain crises, and ensure coverage for veterans suffering from burn pit-related ailments. Peter was defeated in his first re-election by a Trump-endorsed primary challenger and currently resides in Grand Rapids with his wife Gabriella.


“Government Regulations & the American Dream”

William Strauss and Neil Howe’s prophetic 1997 book The Fourth Turning theorized that cycles of history repeat roughly every 80 years, with each cycle broken down into periods of a High (1940s/1950s), Awakening (1960s/1970s/1980s), Unraveling (1990s/2000s), then Crisis (2010s, 2020s). Perhaps recency bias and ex post rationalizations muddy our judgment, but when for the first time in modern history younger generations are on track to underperform their parents in terms of job status or income, there is at least one objective Crisis at hand.

The recent return of inflation has brought renewed focus on cost of living and affordability issues. Gas prices spiking, shortages in housing supply, and interest rate increases have raised generational doubt about whether younger generations will have access to the same opportunities as their parents. It’s understandable that many turn to state power while seeking solutions, but a thorough study of the cost drivers in each category often reveals government policies and regulations that add significant cost.

This seminar will examine the factors driving cost of living inflation in the United States, while comparing government policies and outcomes in the United States relative to comparable economies. The goal is to both arrive at an understanding of the cost and value of the regulatory state, and the interests and incentive structures at play that make it increasingly difficult to craft nimble policies in the face of daunting challenges.

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