LIVE STREAM at 9 AM: Jobs, Investment and Energy


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There has been no shortage of hand-wringing about America’s current unemployment crisis, which is unprecedented in modern times. But what has been lacking is a set of concrete proposals to address the jobs crisis in concert with other significant problems facing the United States: creaking infrastructure, climate change, and massive current account and fiscal deficits.
To refocus the debate on sustainable economic redevelopment, the New America Foundation, Economists for Peace & Security (EPS) and Bernard Schwartz are hosting “Jobs, Investment and Energy: Meeting President Obama’s Challenge,” a symposium that will bring together leading politicians, academics, and policy thinkers to offer recommendations for the economic redevelopment of America.
Event details are available here.
I have pasted the full agenda below.
8:30am – Registration & Breakfast
9:00am – Welcoming Remarks
James K. Galbraith
Economists for Peace and Security
Bernard Schwartz
Chairman, BLS Investments
Member of the Board, New America Foundation
9:15 to 9:45am – Keynote Speaker
The Hon. Edward G. Rendell
Governor of Pennsylvania
9:50 to 11:00am – Session One: How to Budget for Jobs & Investments
Allen Sinai
Decision Economics
featured speakers
Marshall Auerback
RAB Capital Plc
Linda Bilmes
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
James K. Galbraith
Economists for Peace & Security
11:00 to 12:10pm – Session Two: Rebuilding America: How to Do It & How to Pay for It
James K. Galbraith
Economists for Peace & Security
featured speakers
John Alic
Pew Center for Global Climate Change
Sherle R. Schwenninger
Director, Economic Growth Program
New America Foundation
John Robert Behrman
Democratic Executive Committeeman
Thirteenth Senate District of Texas
Michael Lind
Policy Director, Economic Growth Program
New America Foundation
12:10pm to 1:30pm – Session Three: Energy and Climate: What is the Program?
Richard Kaufman
Bethesda Research Group
featured speakers
Marcellus Andrews
Barnard College
Kate Gordon
Energy Policy, Center for American Progress
Charles Hall
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Lisa Margonelli
Director, Energy Policy Initiative
New America Foundation
— Ben Katcher


11 comments on “LIVE STREAM at 9 AM: Jobs, Investment and Energy

  1. Bob Harders says:

    Besides a good 5 cent cigar, what this country needs is more Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak geniuses to design and sell super efficient electric passenger vehicle kits that are safe and practical.
    Big Auto and Big Oil aren’t interested in such products. I still have a Chicago Tribune copy from 01/01/85 where the headline blasted, “GM to build all-electric car”.
    25 years later, what did we get? A long ago SINGLE discontinued GM electric model. And what now? –a Volt model promising more than it can really deliver?
    The new “Steves” have to think outside the box like the first Steves did when they turned IBM into a has-been PC company — one not willing to effectively compete. IBM could have ruled the PC market for decades had they simply understood the OS market and what the OS meant to the popularity of the PC. IBM could have easily purchased a young Microsoft and kept the PC world in the U.S. while producing millions of export products to the rest of the world!
    Maybe a new-style, progressive auto designer/manufacturer can finally bury the already dead GM and Chrysler.
    The think tankers involved in this symposium won’t offer much for creating real U.S. jobs, creating real exciting investment opportunities in the U.S. and from the picture they certainly don’t appear to have much energy. Who in this symposium has even thought of offering tax breaks for all-American-made products. Which empty-suitor? Any? Not one? Who needs more from this lofty, out-of-touch crowd?
    Let the creative juices flow in the private garages, shop and tech classes and school labs, and let’s rebuild America with jobs that produce super efficient car kits with the many optional parts and add-ons. Millions of U.S. jobs could be the result.
    The U.S. auto industry is so far behind in producing green products and it’s history shows it won’t move fast enough or big enough to effectively compete. It’s time to get rid of the old clunkers.
    May iTune gift cards come with your next new vehicle!


  2. MarkL says:

    Corporations like Walmart don’t actually need to shed jobs—they’re doing so to get greater profit.
    Of course that’s what their aim is, and nothing wrong about that, per se; however, is it possible to structure tax policy to reward companies that create more jobs?


  3. Don Bacon says:

    No argument from me on what course to take. I’m simply suggesting that GNH is a way to think about how to measure the success of a sustainability effort. Focusing on people, that is, and not the stock market averages.


  4. JamesL says:

    Don, with all due respect to your many contributions here, sustainability isn’t just good, it is essential. Any unsustainable course is in fact suicidal. I would counter that while GHN indicators can be “good”, and further might become tools of accountability, they are not essential, particularly during a period of time when actions will spell out the future, as we have now. One of the most detrimental aspects of those promoting ‘sustainable society’ is an over-reliance on hope (and its gorgeous girlfriend Happiness) where hope is elevated to a position above pragmatic and clear-eyed assessment.
    WWII, the Good War–for many the absolute pinnacle of American achievement and spirit–valued pragmatic assessment of the situation, placing it at least at the level of hope. FDR may have relied on hope, but Eisenhower credited four physical manifestations of the war effort as having been pivotal, including the Jeep and the atom bomb. Those days now, nearly seventy years past, are viewed with deep nostalgia, but our national ability to think pragmatically has been crippled by the systemization of corporate greed and short term profits. Neither hope nor happiness will overcome greed or create sustainability. That will take something far different and much more serious.
    You can talk politics until the cows come home, and the only difference between the before and the after is that the cows will be home.


  5. Don Bacon says:

    Sustainability is good, and it reminded me of something.
    Coronation Address of His Majesty King Khesar, The 5th Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan, 7th November, 2008
    “It is with great pride that we stand as new democracy, having successfully completed an unprecedented and historic transition.
    “Yet we must always remember that as our country, in these changing times finds immense new challenges and opportunities, whatever work we do, whatever goals we have – and no matter how these may change in this changing world – ultimately without peace, security and happiness we have nothing. That is the essence of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Our most important goal is the peace and happiness of our people and the security and sovereignty of the nation.”
    Coinciding with the coronation of the 5th King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, popularly known as King Khesar, in November 2008, the Royal Government of Bhutan has adopted the GNH index. Happiness of the people was made the guiding goal of development. The exact phrase Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product and was coined by His Majesty the 4th King of Bhutan, who is the author of GNH.
    GNH indicators can become tools of accountability. The sense of common purpose embodied in a coherent set of indicators enables ordinary men and women to more readily judge and hold accountable their leaders, by checking whether these the targets are being fulfilled. GNH Index variables include: Psychological wellbeing, Ecology, Health, Education, Culture, Living Standards, Time Use, Community Vitality and Good Governance.
    news article: 23 March, 2010 – Come mid April enumerators will start knocking on doors of 15,000 households across the country gathering data on mortality, nutrition, health, literacy and education and living conditions of Bhutanese women and children.
    “It’ll provide a comprehensive picture on the development status of Bhutanese women and children,” said Kinga Tshering, the director of the national statistical bureau (NSB), which will carry out the survey. “Bhutan is doing such a survey for the first time.”
    (from various sites)


  6. JamesL says:

    Sustainability crept into the Monday post but it is a word that rarely shows up at TWN. And Monday it managed to arise only in a context of ‘economic sustainability’.
    The US system is currently unsustainable. It will continually degrade with humans taking the brunt and corporations picking the cherries if the current course remains unchanged. People in general are not disputing this so much as ignoring it. The question is not ‘what is an economic system that is sustainable’ but rather ‘what societal actions are sustainable and what economic reforms are necessary to support those actions’.
    In order to determine economic reforms one must determine what actions are sustainable, and THAT question is the one that is being studiously ignored by nearly all parties. Especially in the US. If you think the definition of a sustainable modern society is known and accepted you are fooling yourself. Politics and economics will be studied and argued til most of the humans on the planet are without heat and food, beset by disease and poisoning of their own making, and kept under control only by heavy authoritarianist governments if a focused national dialog about what sustainability means, requires, and entails is not undertaken. A key understanding of this problem is that this dialog cannot happen at just any old time, when we get around to it. The inertias countering meaningful change are too great. Wait too long and the inertias become insuperable. Period.
    Dealing with this issue should be part of TWN because all the other major aspects of what appear to be the problem–politics, economics, foreign trade, immigration– hinge on whether where we are headed is a viable destination. At present the destination isn’t viable.


  7. Carroll says:

    To do anything about this congress would have to take on their corporate contributors.
    Who thinks they are going to do that?


  8. Unemployment Gone MAD says:

    Sandy Levin, Ways and Means Committee New Chairman
    (aka Mr. Tax Fairness)
    How To Help the Unemployed Now!
    Government Stop Taxing Unemployment Benefits!
    So does it make any sense in 2010 to keep the tax man’s hammer down on the unemployed? Did the government not give the banks a break who created this economic mess in the first place? Did the government’s bail out money not provide profit, survival and fat bonuses for the Wall Street crews? Does the government not plan tax breaks for small business who reinvest in plant, equipment and rehires? Did the government not give big auto a Cash for Clunkers program to boost sales along with financial restructure for GM? Is there not a 8,000 dollar tax credit for first time home buyers who are fortunate to have jobs? So why is there no mention of 100% tax free unemployment compensation for the down trodden, displace and forgotten, we the unemployed.
    Is it because we the unemployed have no voice? At the Unemployment Gone Mad community we are seeking to change this injustice with a new tax reform bill and one voice. The bill is called the “Jobless STUB Retro 2009 U/B Tax Free Act”? STUB, is like the paycheck stub we no longer have and stands for STOP TAXING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. The new legislative bill needs Sandy Levin, Ways and Means Committee New Chairman to step up and committee members to climb on board. This bill will make all unemployment collected in 2009 totally tax free not just the current law exemption of a ridiculous $2400 (about 6 checks). The Gone Mad opinion is 2009 life lines deserve tax free status during the 2009 new depression blues year. We feel this travesty of paying taxes on unemployment benefits when there are 5.8 million long term unemployed is truly deplorable and an issue worthy of action. Also, remember a record 20 million collected some unemployment in 2009. From the entire Unemployment Gone MAD community, Sandy Levin you can do it.


  9. The Pessimist says:

    Will anyone participating in this conference have the courage to broach one topic that is contributing to our present economic malaise yet seldom discussed: Corporate Campaign Financing?
    Corporation’s lust for profits; politician’s lust for contributions. With uninhibited coordination between the two their efforts become mutually beneficial. The result: Off shoring American jobs increases corporate profits; increased corporate profits frees up more money for campaign contributions. Increased campaign contributions buy’s greater amounts of legislative favoritism. Notice that the American people are not in this equation.
    American corporations are now incentivized towards sacrificing American jobs in favor of Chinese jobs. The corporate profiteers don’t care what nationality manufactures their products. They only care about its profit margin. Greater profit margins are realized from manufacturing in China. So, good bye American jobs. Until Congress dis-incentivizes this practice American workers will continue to be discarded like yesterday’s trash.
    This would go against 200 years of precedent, but it is none-the-less a core issue that is inevitably pushed into the background during economic discussions such as the one being promoted by Mr. Katcher.
    We need to disconnect Congress from the Corporations, and the surest means with which to accomplish this is to remove any incentive that facilitates cooperation between the two that ultimately becomes detrimental to the public. The obvious, at least to me, process to follow is to adopt some form of strict, enforceable Campaign Finance Reform.


  10. Roci says:

    Mr. Bacon makes several good points. Jobs have been draining from this Nation ever since the 1980’s when the knackering of labor unions and collective bargaining really began in this country. These “bottom line barracudas” will be made to restore American Jobs in only one way. Our national jellyfish, otherwise known as Congress, has to take action that make the “disposable employee” no longer profitable. When “offshore America” is forced by law to use well paid American Labor, who get benefits to match, then and only then will these jobs return. But Congress is bought and paid for by the same people who would fight tooth and nail against this, with even more venom than the fight against health care. No, American jobs as we once knew them are gone forever, and we wonder why profits cost us so much. Check Please!


  11. Don Bacon says:

    There’s no ‘hand wringing’ by corporate executives who are not troubled at all by the outsourcing of US jobs, thereby increasing profits (and campaign contributions), and thank you very much US politicians for helping this treachery.
    It’s not rocket science. Corporate executives and their political agents have improved corporate bottom lines by shucking US jobs. So what’s to debate?
    The “free trade” acts have resulted in more imports than exports. ‘Offset programs’ for foreign military sales have enlisted foreign embassy support; US ambassadors have helped out by working with the US Chamber of Commerce to line up foreign manufacturers for US products.
    There are hundreds of outsourcing companies in the US which offer enticing packages for dozens of job descriptions from advertising & marketing to writing & editing (
    There is almost no limit to the ways to export jobs. A truck driver told me recently about how WalMart distribution centers, often placed in rural areas, will experience less workload (and fewer jobs) because ‘store packs’ will now be assembled in China, where the wages are lower, and shipped directly to US stores (where clerks are being replaced by self-checkout).
    This is not a cyclic recession. The lost jobs are not returning.
    Going green with solar panels? China can do it — best prices: Shenzhen Zhong Jing Solar Co., Ltd., Sunny Power & Technology Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Gusige Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd., Xuzhou Superenergy Photoelectricity Technological Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Jiasheng Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd., Foshan Sontasun New Material Co., Ltd., etc. etc. I’ll take one egg roll with that!


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