Building on three sold-out years, the vibrant Oxford-style public policy debate series, Intelligence Squared U.S., arrives at the Skirball Center for ten provocative and informative live debates on hot-topic issues of the day.
Obama's economic policies are working effectively
Signs of economic recovery are everywhere. Housing prices have bottomed out; the stock market has rallied; and capital markets are operating normally. Today, economists are debating whether or not the recession is over. When Obama took office, the debate was whether a sharp decline in economic activity would trigger more bank failures in a vicious cycle, culminating in a full scale depression. His policies have restored confidence and that is the most important thing.
Others argue that his policies will seriously undermine the long-term growth of the US economy. Our fiscal outlook is so poor that inflation is likely, undermining faith in the dollar as a global reserve asset. Cap and trade legislation will make US industry less globally competitive; his health care proposals will leave us both poorer and less healthy; and the dramatic increase in taxes needed to pay for all this will discourage risk-taking and investing.
Panelists for the motion:
Lawrence Mishel, Steve Rattner and Mark Zandi
Panelists against the motion:
James K. Galbraith, Allan H. Meltzer and Eliot Spitzer
Lawrence Mishel is president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). He has researched, written, and spoken widely on the economy and economic policy as it affects middle- and low-income families. He is principal author of a major research volume, The State of Working America, which provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. labor market and living standards. Steve Rattner has served as counselor to the secretary of the Treasury and led the Administration’s efforts to restructure the auto industry. Prior to joining the Treasury Department he had served as managing principal of Quadrangle Group LLC and was with Lazard Frères & Co. as deputy chairman and deputy chief executive officer. He is currently a fellow of Brown University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mark Zandi is chief economist and cofounder of Moody’s Economy.com, where he directs the company’s economic research and consulting services. Dr. Zandi was an economic advisor to the John McCain campaign for President, has provided advice to the Obama Administration, and regularly testifies in Congress. He is quoted often in national and global publications, is frequently interviewed by major news media outlets, and is the author of Financial Shock, an exposé of the subprime financial crisis. James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., Chair of Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin, and a professorship in Government. He is a senior scholar with the Levy Economics Institute and chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security. Galbraith is the author of seven books, most recently, The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (2008), writes a column for Mother Jones, and contributes to the American Prospect, the Nation, and the Texas Observer. Allan H. Meltzer is a professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of History of the Federal Reserve, Volume I: 1913-1951 (2002), a definitive research work on the Federal Reserve System. He has been a member of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, an acting member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a consultant to the US Treasury Department and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Eliot Spitzer is the former governor of the state of New York. He served eight years as New York attorney general and was named him “Crusader of the Year” for his landmark settlement with ten of the nation’s largest securities firms over charges of misleading investors by Time magazine. As a prosecutor in the Rackets Bureau of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Spitzer served as lead attorney in a case that broke the Gambino family’s stranglehold on New York’s garment industry. He currently writes a biweekly column on finance and the economy for Slate.
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John Donvan, correspondent for ABC News Nightline, returns to moderate the IQ2US series. The debates can be watched on the Bloomberg Television ® network, are aired by NPR® on more than 185 stations and podcasts are available from iTunes. Newsweek is the IQ2US media sponsor for the 2009/2010 season.