LIVE STREAM at 9:00am EST: The U.S. Economy — Plotting A Course Correction


The U.S. economic recovery is in serious need of a course correction.
The policy measures pursued to date have failed to produce a sustainable recovery of demand and investment, have reflated financial assets but at the expense of much needed job creation, and have done little to correct the global imbalances that helped cause the crisis.
The New America Foundation/Economic Growth and Smart Globalization Program is hosting a national economic policy forum today to discuss these issues.
The event will STREAM LIVE here at The Washington Note.
Details below.
New America Foundation National Economic Policy Forum
New America Foundation — 1899 L Street NW, 4th Floor; Washington, DC
8:30 to 9:00am – Registration & Coffee
9:00 to 9:05am – Introductory Remarks
Director, American Strategy Program
New America Foundation
9:05 to 9:45am
A No-Nonsense Discussion on U.S. Economic Growth and Jobs
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
United States Senate
Chairman, Economic Growth Program/Smart Globalization Initiative
New America Foundation
9:45 to 11:00am – Session 1
Jobs, Public Investment & Infrastructure: Serious vs. Non-Serious Policies

Chairman, House Populist Caucus
U.S. House of Representatives
Policy Director, Economic Growth Program
New America Foundation
Co-Editor, The American Prospect
Author (forthcoming), A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future
11:00am to 12:15pm – Session 2
Wrestling with Currency, Mercantilism & State Capitalism: Time for a New Plaza Accord?

Director, Economic Growth Program
New America Foundation
Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Chairwoman, The Stern Group
Former Chairwoman, International Trade Commission
Former Member, President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations
12:15pm – Closing Remarks
— Ben Katcher


9 comments on “LIVE STREAM at 9:00am EST: The U.S. Economy — Plotting A Course Correction

  1. Alex says:

    I think that reaching our goals (especially the people’s on energy) takes a lot of commitment, good planing, the right kind of regulations and a SPECIFIC, well-conjured up plan.
    For sustainability, it takes more than simple laws, to pass a single bill, it takes practically a life time to undo all the wrong things that were previously done. Look at the European Union and the other powerful nations, with the Kyoto treaty… I honestly think that Kyoto is going to be something worth while…


  2. The Pessimist says:

    Carroll and Sweetness,
    I agree entirely with both of your assessments of my assessment and will simply add an explanation for my view.
    The public is in fact ignorant for a couple of legitimate reasons:
    1.The lack of effort expended in gathering information is indisputably partially the result of too many hours spent in the pursuit of more pressing needs, such as employment, family, personal relationships and simple self-preservation in these difficult economic times.
    2. The mainstream media simply does not perform in the interest of the public. Their priorities are not news, journalism or information but rather profits. For their business model to be successful they must attract ever greater amounts of advertiser dollars. Market expansion drives the media model, not investigative journalism.
    Here is a thought I developed about a year ago when I was similarly enraged by the actions of our media that I feel pretty accurately exposes their true motivations:
    “The Corporate media, being that they are guided by the ethos of capitalism rather than journalism, are singularly compelled to sell themselves out to the highest bidder, which in their business are advertisers. There cannot be any journalistic objectivity in any story when the writer’s sole responsibility is to satisfy the demands of the paymaster, whose motive is profit, not proof.”
    I also refrain from “blaming” the ignorant public from their ignorance, I simply attempt to understand why the condition exists as it does so deeply in our modern society. Only with objective understanding can beneficial corrections be applied.
    “Ignorance is bliss” may be a blessing for an individual, it is a parasite to a population.


  3. Sweetness says:

    Carroll, yes. There is a HUGE opportunity for a press that really does its job.
    In their “defense,” I will only say that when they do large exposes on, say, the Fair Tax bill, even the reading public tends to skip those huge broad sides and head to the comics.


  4. Carroll says:

    Posted by The Pessimist, Mar 19 2010, 9:16PM – Link >>>>>>>>>>>
    I am not saying the public is “ignorant” as in chosing to be ignorant..just they are ignorant of the true facts on many issues that affect them.
    Also not ‘blaming’ them. What average worker after 60 or 70 hours a week at work can devote time to ferreting out for himself the details of so many things. Not many. And add to that press and media that constantly either misleads them or tells them nothing of import.
    The public ends up being ‘kept ignorant’ of the many details in legistations that could impact their lives.


  5. The Pessimist says:

    With all due respect, an excuse for ignorance from my own definitions:
    Ignorance: A lack of knowledge or awareness of particular topics.
    When one has simply not yet applied the process of learning to the topic not fully understood. Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of. Ignorance is infinitely amendable with the simple application of effort.
    Stupidity: The result of people simply refusing to apply the process of learning to topics that they find intimidating or unrewarding.
    Rather than initiating the thought process and following it to an objective conclusion, they instead retreat into intellectual laziness and arrogantly project an infallible understanding of a topic of which they actually have a limited understanding.
    In the words of Thomas Paine: “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
    I prefer an ignorant person over a stupid person. An ignorant person can and will learn if they so choose to, whereas a stupid person simply will not make the requisite effort.
    The American public at large can be forgiven for their ignorance if they acknowledge its real source; their own lack of effort. Absent this self admission of guilt they should not be excused for their ignorance but rather exposed for their self-imposed lack of effort and its consequential absence of knowledge.
    Crude I admit, but that is how I interpret the intellectual capacity of the American public in the age of wholesale media propaganda, and the reason for its unfortunately successful utility.


  6. Carroll says:

    One problem.
    Ingorance among the public contributes to their being used as cogs for the capitalist machine that doesn’t benefit them as much as it should.
    Example… this afternoon I got a survey call from the the “Fair Tax” folks…Michale Reagan, the step son of President Reagan was the recorded caller.
    Question 1) do you want fair taxes for all Americans”…Me- Yes
    Question 2) do you agree taxes shouldn’t be raised on average Americans…Me-Yes
    Question 3) don’t you think a fairer tax would be one where americans pay tax only on new things they buy…Me-NO
    Question 3) do you want the Fair Tax bill in congress passed…Me-NO.
    I was probably one out of 10,000 or more they called that had actually read the “Fair Tax”
    plan and knew what a piece of crapola it is.
    But it sounds good to those who don’t know any better. It’s all in the details and unfortunately a lot of public doesn’t bother with the details


  7. The Pessimist says:

    Don Kervick, I agree with the thesis of what you say. I raise just one point of contention:
    From Economics 101 we recall two important terms: concessions and benefits.
    It seems to me that “the people” as you label them are contributing ever greater concessions, typically in the form of higher taxes or reduced services, and receiving ever diminishing benefits from their mostly non-negotiable concessions?
    Without intending to micro-analyze your posting I will argue that in all aspects of our society, “the people” are themselves never intended to be a benefactor of government policy, be it economic, political, military, industrial, educational, social or the output from any other so-called “public institution.”
    It just seems to me that the working class, tax-paying public are being for the most part utilized as nothing more than raw input resources, in the form of money and labor, towards the production of special interest and politically connected output products. The politically connected truly do need the politically disconnected, but only in order for their politically engineered experiment in “free market” economics to operate as it is truly intended, by funneling the limited funds of the “have-nots” into the tax-avoiding coffers of the “have-yachts.”
    “The people” are simple factors of production. Unfortunately for the benefactors of American style capitalism, “the people” have needs and wants as well. The ultimate challenge to the politically well connected then is to convince “the people” that their needs and wants can be satisfied with ever diminishing personal benefits. The trick is to convince the American public that less is more when measuring their compensation against their contribution.
    In conclusion, the rulers of our national institutions that you appear to be appealing to for greater social equality have no interest in improving the quality of life for the anonymous masses, they are only interested in increasing their already grossly over-swollen personal net worth’s and advancing the legacy of their family name when they ultimately leave the game.
    I agree entirely with what you deduce as the solution to our national economic and social needs, I simply disagree that the solution can be achieved as a result of any influence from “the people.” As I stated earlier, “the people” are nothing more than factors of production, and are not now, nor ever will be, factors of “policy making.”


  8. Dan Kervick says:

    People should really listen to these panels, including Steve’s great introduction. These folks are right on target. Special shout-outs to Shwenninger and Kuttner.
    The big political question, however, is this: How do we sell these kinds of policies to the American people, and how do we fight past the dinosaur thinking in the conservo-neoliberal craptocracy that bogs down mainstream political, media and economic discourse in this country? All the panelists agree that the ideas they think are necessary can’t get an adequate hearing right now, and can’t get elevated to a serious level, even in a Democratic administration.
    We need something beyond think-tanks and policy fora that are mainly listened to by other policy people. Just as we need a serious national economic strategy and industrial policy, we also need an organized national “intellectual policy” that harnesses intellectual and economic resources to make a sustained public intellectual investment in the American people. We need to get grown up about our domestic “public diplomacy” and the mobilization of intellectual innovation and talent for *political ends*. We need an organized national effort to *change people’s minds* on a mass scale, and intellectuals need to sign up to participate in this kind of effort on a massive scale. We can’t afford to have the people with bright ideas just talking to other people with bright ideas, while talking over the heads of the rest of us.
    Unless we can figure out how to make concepts like industrial policy, strategic economic planning, social investment and deliberate labor and wage strategies mainstream common-sense thinking again among ordinary Americans, and overturn the mindless, quasi-religious laissez faire economic orthodoxies that have hollowed out our economy and turned it into a wasteland of vapid and unproductive consumerist rot and debt-driven hustles, nothing will change despite the presence in academic departments and think tanks of intellectuals who know what changes are needed.
    This can’t just be left as the job of politicians, as much as the intellectuals and wonks would like to make it so. Politicians just aren’t smart enough, they aren’t honest enough and they aren’t free enough.


  9. Jon Gelbard says:

    I really hope your panel gets into clean energy economy-related solutions.
    Here’s a very interesting letter to Congress penned by a friend of mine who is an energy expert, Chris Nelder:
    We need to get our economy off of the sinking ship that is fossil fuel dependence and on to the ship that will take us to the next great industrial revolution and period of prosperity — the clean energy economy.
    I don’t see anywhere close to the attention and investment from the U.S. govt yet required to achieve this goal, especially in comparison to countries like China and some in Europe.
    We’re still stuck with a “Petroleum Ceiling” on our economy — as the economy recovers, oil prices shoot up, harming or even ending the recovery.
    The only way to break through The Petroleum Ceiling on our economy is to decouple our economy from its oil dependence as soon as possible (which will, of course, also help to solve climate change and reduce the health impacts of dirty energy on our economy conveyed by the National Research Council last October: (health care solutions and clean energy solutions are very much linked).
    In general, I’d like to see more on this blog about the foreign policy implications of these types of policy choices.
    –Jon Gelbard, Ph.D.


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