Normally I would not engage in such a shameless bleg, but as you may know, I’m on a panel at a conference Tuesday and only last night was given the topics and the names of the fellow participants.
From the agenda:
Outlooks on the Domestic Economy
Moderated by: Derek Thompson, Senior Editor, The Atlantic @DKThompson
· Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities @econjared
· Heather Boushey, Chief Economist and Director, The Washington Center for Equitable Growth@HBoushey
· Bill Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Center for Bipartisan Policy @billhoagland
· Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget@MayaMacGuineas
· Yves Smith, Publisher, Naked Capitalism; Author, ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism @yvessmith
I knew the day was going to be dominated by neoliberals (this is DC, after all, you just get slight differences in coloration within that school of though) but in past years, my panel has had at least one other pretty progressive voice (the genuine kind, as opposed to progressives) and a centrist or two.
This is a completely different kettle of fish. Maya MacGuineas was head of Fix the Debt, which has now been rebranded. Bernstein and Boushey are loyal water-carriers for the Administration. And all three can dial this session in, they’ve got well-honed talking points for occasions like this.
On the one hand, it’s a compliment of sorts to be on a panel with “establishment” figures of some repute, but the flip side is the fact that I am on this panel says the picking on the left get mighty thin once you get past Joe Stiglitz.
Yours truly is at a considerable disadvantage by the mere center of gravity on the rest of the panel. I have some ideas as to how to surmount that, and since I am hours overdue from turning in, I’m afraid I won’t bore you (particularly since one can only do a bit of prep for events like this and then respond in real time).
What would help is if readers can provide me with some good examples/links (PARTICULARLY WITH DATA) of how intellectual (or actual) corruption and bad incentives are having large-scale impact. For instance, Andrew Smithers at the FT has been writing about the scale at which large companies are borrowing and buying back their own stock. I need op-ed or article length treatments; papers are too long and complex to recap in a setting like this.
A second area is help in rebutting the “government debt is a problem” theme, particularly as relates to pensions. This audience will go glassy-eyed if I use MMT based arguments, so don’t go there. For instance, it’s pretty common to blame the Detroit bankruptcy on pensions when they weren’t a meaningful culprit, as this Alternet article explains.
A few, well-selected pieces or factoids would be helpful. I’ll have some time to do my own searching but it would be preferable if I can gander through some pre-screened material and pick out ideas and facts that are useful.
And wish me luck!!!