Jobs and the Future of the US Economy: Possibilities and Limits

One day before the October 2 March for Jobs, progressive economists are holding a conference at Howard University in Washington, D.C. to discuss solutions to the jobs crisis.  The conference call is below.

The US economy is in the midst of the greatest jobs crisis since the Great Depression. But this crisis is more than a short run phenomenon. For many decades we have experienced a long-term failure to generate jobs for all. A fundamental restructuring of the US economy is essential to overcome both the crisis and reverse the long term failure to generate jobs.

A number of proposals have been offered to make jobs a central priority of US economic policy. Our purpose in calling this conference is to bring together the proponents of these various programs, to discuss their similarities and differences, and develop a strategic perspective on how to proceed.

Current sponsors include: the Howard University Economics Department, the Chicago Political Economy Group, the National Jobs for All Coalition, the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

We invite all who wish to contribute and further this effort to participate.

Date: Oct 1, 2010
Armour J. Blackburn University Center
Washington, DC 20059
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Registration and introduction: 9-9:30.  At registration a donation of $20 will be requested to cover expenses and lunch.  Fee is waived for Howard students.

Registration: 9-9:30.
Morning Session I: Jobs Proposal Presentations: 9:30-12:00
Introduction and Moderator: Haydar Kurban, Howard University

  • Joshua Bivens, Economic Policy Institute
  • Mathew Forstater, Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and University of Missouri, Kansas City;
  • Darrick Hamilton, New School for Management and Urban Policy and Center for Economic Policy Analysis;
  • Philip Harvey, National Jobs for All Coalition and Rutgers University Law School, Camden;
  • Joseph Persky, Chicago Political Economy Group,and University of Illinois, Chicago
  • John Schmitt, Center for Economic and Policy Research,
  • Jeffrey Thompson, Political Economic Research Institute,and University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Morning Session II: Summary and Discussion of Similarities and Differences of
Jobs Programs: 12:15 – 1:15

Chair and Discussant: Charles Betsey, Howard University
Discussant: Michael Golash, Amalgamated Transit Union, Washington DC

The morning panelists and attendees will engage in a facilitated discussion and exchange.

Lunch Break: 1:30 – 2:30

Afternoon Session: Strategic and Political Considerations 2:45-4:30

Panelists (Institutional affiliation for identification only):
Moderator: Aisha Thompson, Howard University

  • Trudy Goldberg – National Jobs for All Coalition and Adelphi University
  • Rodney Green – Howard University
  • Elce Redmond – South Austin Coalition, Chicago
  • Mel Rothenberg – Chicago Political Economy Group and University of Chicago

For further information contact:


3 Responses

  1. If the military continues a plan offering incentives to foreign shipping bringing foreign goods into our country , asking them not to pollute our environment with a dirty water trail and a carbon footprint, while trying to limit US carbon emissions in manufacturing, while the administration negotiates currency manipulation, and hidden carbon emissions with a communist country, why would American manufacturing invest heavily in our country? Why is our president, trying to ease the economic problems of foreign ships, rather than trying to level the playing field for American manufacturing, by NOT helping them and protecting our environment and our economic interest? Ballast Water and how it is handled, mainly the timeline will create “CHANGE” that will affect America’s stature in the world for many decades to come. It would be quite understandable for an American plan to subsidize what little shipping industry we have and perhaps even helping promote its growth. A slow plan helping foreign shipping will allow, for foreign ships to continue polluting longer, till foreign shipping industry decides to “take a step” with a week military plan. The type of stimulus this administrations military plan for change is offering, will only help foreign shipping and those who import foreign manufactured products, but may offer temporary economic recovery as foreign manufacturing powers carry the US on their coat tails , until the next economic crisis. Fast decisive legislation for ballast water as the law of the land, not providing economic incentives for ships, from a foreign tax base, bringing foreign goods into our country, would send a message to American manufacturing and perhaps affect their investing policy, as it would level the playing field for industry to grow, providing long term jobs and economic security to our country and may even create stronger countries on our borders where poverty and a bad quality of life is breeding growing instability and violence. Soon, September this new military study created for “change” coinciding with the Coast Guard 20 year plan, and the EPA, — over two years after Senator Boxer killed the legislation created by the largest elected legislative voice of the American people,– they will meet to discuss their “new findings” and might have “new” recommendations. Will they continue on a slow course for change to protect foreign economic interest, or will they speed up mandatory requirements allowing faster protection of our waters and economic growth for our country?
    The following report for Congress in DEC 2009 that explains that national ballast water legislation would do the same thing as tariffs, plus protect our environment from the carbon footprint and dirty water trail of foreign ships bringing foreign manufactured imports into our country, stealing jobs from Americans. “Although estimates of the costs of ballast treatment may be imprecise and vary from vessel to
    vessel, there is some general agreement on average costs.14 For example, it may cost an estimated $400,000 per vessel for modification of container/bulk vessels to use onshore ballast water treatment facilities at California ports. More generally, the cost of retrofitting vessels to treat
    ballast water has been estimated at between $200,000 and $310,000 per vessel for mechanical
    treatment and around $300,000 for chemical treatment.15 Most of this expense will be borne by
    foreign shipping companies, as the U.S. flag fleet is a small percentage of the global fleet,16 and
    likely passed along to consumers of products imported on these ships.”

  2. We strongly suspect that neither party really knows what they’re doing, nor does any group of experts know what to do.

    This is an area of uncharted waters, and everyone has theories, including the President. He’s placing his untested theories into action, and people are uncomfortable.

    Even if the executed policies are the “right” ones, that is something which we will not know for several years down the road, even if then.

    This economic problem is simply too large, complex, and interconnected with the economies of other nations, over which the US has no control. To fix most things in the universe, you have to get them to sit still at least for a short period of time. This is a dynamic situation.

    If we as a society actually knew what worked, and could establish a direct cause and effect relationship with any certainty, we would have done it by now. Don’t you think?
    If the solutions were that clear cut, wouldn’t you think that the governments of some other large world economics would have placed those solutions into action already?

    Any self-respecting, honest person would not claim WITH CERTAINTY that what they did at point X led directly to condition Y. Who really knows that? Let’s get real folks.

    Quite frankly, we don’t think that any leader or legislative body ever KNOWS that what they do will have a specific, desired effect. Like any business person, they simply just give it their best shot and hope and pray that things will turn out OK. At least business people have more control over their smaller entities.

  3. How very true, no one knows where we are heading because we are changing our course every time we get opposition.

    If we keep the heading study we will know what corrections to make or take a new direction. To hold the direction both parties must behave in a responsible way.

    For once corporations should think of what is good for USA and not the balance sheet.

    This is the simple solution, minor details can be worked out.

    However, this will not happen because powerful people and corporations do not depend on USA there play ground is the world.

    How do we make them understand that they owe something to USA ? There lies the anwser.

    Our human family needs to be more mature and the conditions in USA confirm it.

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