Getting America Back to Work (Part 1)

It's no surprise the economy is on the minds of most Americans. One in ten of us is out of work. It's a rate that hasn't changed in a year and a half.  So why aren't jobs being created? Why aren't businesses hiring? Can the government do anything about it? Should it? Three different economists with three very different views discuss how they would get America back to work.

Transcript

Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman


Getting America Back to Work: Part One


An Interview with Heather Boushey, Alan Tonelson, and Kevin Hassett.


JIM GLASSMAN:

Welcome to Ideas in Action a television series about ideas and their consequences. I'm Jim Glassman. It's no surprise that the economy is on the minds of most Americans. One in ten of us is out of work. It's a rate that hasn't changed in a year and a half. So why aren't jobs being created? Why aren't businesses hiring? Can the government do anything about it? Should it? We've invited three different economists with very different views to tell us what they would do to get America back to work. Joining me to explore this topic are; Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress where she focuses on job creation and employment; Kevin Hassett, senior fellow and director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former senior economist at the Federal Reserve; and Alan Tonelson, research fellow with U.S Business and Industry Council, a national business organization that represents nearly two thousand domestic American companies. The topic this week: Getting America back to work. This is Ideas in Action.


ANNOUNCER:

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JIM GLASSMAN:

 Nearly 15 million Americans who want a job can't find one according to the Labor Department. About one third of those unemployed have been out of work for more than a year and about two and half million more have given up looking for work all together. An additional nine and half million Americans work part time but want to work full time. During the recession nearly eight million jobs were lost and many analysts say it will take years for the country to return to what we would consider a normal unemployment rate. So what can and should we do to spur job growth. Heather officially the recession is long over, why haven't jobs increased?


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well I think there's a couple of things, I mean, first off what does it mean that the off-- that the recession is officially over? What that means is that we're no longer-- our economy is no longer falling off a cliff. It's no longer getting worse. What that doesn't mean is that we're back to where we need to be. We've seen improvement, we've seen jobs being created, we've seen some economic growth so we're sort of on that upswing. But we're still not back to where we want to be. One of the big reasons that we haven't seen jobs is because we haven't seen the growth in investment and the growth of you know firms going out there and seeing that economic demand and saying, 'hey I need to hire some new people.' That's what's going to create jobs, and we're just not there yet. What we really need to see is more demand, more investment, then that's when we'll start to see jobs start to come back in our economy.


JIM GLASSMAN:

Kevin you agree with that analysis?


KEVIN HASSETT:

Yeah. I think Heather pretty much nailed it and in fact I think we need to stipulate up front before you start talking about policy that the experience that we're going through right now is very similar to the experience of every other country that's gone through a financial crisis at least in recorded economic history. Typically it's the case that even a decade after a financial crisis the unemployment rate in the country that's been stricken is about double where it was before the crisis began.  That means that eight years from now, if we're typical for a country after financial crisis, we're still going to have unemployment in the sort of eight percent range. And I think that what we need to do, in this show and other places, is think about what are we going to do about that? How can we make it so that we in fact have a better experience than the typical country? 


JIM GLASSMAN:

So you're saying this is a different kind of recession. It's not like the recession in the-- you know, early 90s or even the one in 2000. This is caused by financial crisis and there's a lot of research now-- Rogoff and Reinhart and--


KEVIN HASSETT:

Exactly. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

--Wrote a famous book about this. So that we shouldn't expect to recover all that quickly. 


KEVIN HASSETT:

Well we could conceivably but it's certainly not the base case and we actually understand the linkage between the financial crisis and slow growth. The biggest thing is that the financial crisis is set off by too much credit. As credit contracts after the crisis then it's a drag on the economy for a long, long time.


JIM GLASSMAN:

Credit meaning companies--


KEVIN HASSETT:

Loans. Making loans-- to firms to buy machines and so on--


JIM GLASSMAN:

I want to pursue this and I'm going to get to each of you but-- so what do you think the solution is? How can we create jobs now? Do we have to just sit around and wait for ten years?


KEVIN HASSETT:

Well I think that there are actually a number of solutions that we could pursue and I'm looking forward to talking about these with the rest of the panelists. I think that the main thought that I'd want to lead off the show with is this: that typically after financial crisis you have a decade where you grow about a percent a year less than you're used to, so that means in the U.S we should be looking at two and a half percent growth instead of three and half percent growth. So what we need to do is we need to swing for the fences. We need to consider policies that could on average deliver something like a percent a year of growth for a long, long time. Not something that would necessarily jack up growth just this year. A leading candidate, I believe, is fundamental tax reform, Alan Auerbach, who's a famous democratic economist, and I wrote a book about fundamental tax reform a couple years ago. We said that if we switched towards a consumption tax in the U.S that you could gain about a percent a year of growth over a decade. That's the kind of big change that we need to consider. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

So Kevin says tax reform, which may mean cutting marginal tax rates and other people say increase in government spending but you don't think that either of those two is the right approach.


ALAN TONELSON:

It's not so much that they're not the right approaches it's that neither will be sufficient. And the reason has to do with the fact that this is indeed not your grandfather's recession. It's resulting from the fact that we had such a wild spending party in this country for so long we face a massive deleveraging going forward. Meaning we have to reduce our very high and very dangerous debt burdens. More important we have to figure out how to grow while doing that at the same time. That's extremely difficult. What it also means is that the standard relationships between tax cuts, investment increases and growth, and employment, have been greatly weakened if not broken. One big reason is that this economy today exists in a world economy that has-- permeated it with enormous volumes of exports of goods and services. So that often, whatever tool we wind up using, when we stimulate spending we no longer stimulate the same amount of growth and hence the same amount of employment that we used to.


JIM GLASSMAN:

Because we're importing?


ALAN TONELSON:

The economy is much more open to imports. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

So what is your big idea? Or what are the big ideas to get things going?


ALAN TONELSON:

The big idea-- and I'm not-- I'm certainly not denigrating the need for tax reform, for more spending, especially on public infrastructure which is in such tragic-- tragic disrepair-- but what is urgently needed in order to grow while cutting debts is substituting on a very significant scale what we make at home, goods and services, for what we presently import. And given the fact that consumers must retrench, and we should want them to, and given the fact that there's not a lot more government stimulus that's going to be provided for purely political reasons, that's about the only solid growth option we have left. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

Heather, what do you think about that? What Alan's saying is make it harder to bring goods into the country to compete with American made goods. What do you think about that? 


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well a couple of things. I mean I do think it's interesting he's-- Alan has pointed out that exports may be the only place where we can see an increase in demand coming from and--


ALAN TONELSON:

It's net exports.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Net. Exactly. 


ALAN TONELSON:

Net.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Net. Net exports.


ALAN TONELSON:

It's the net.


JIM GLASSMAN:

You're saying we need to export more or import less?


ALAN TONELSON:

Relative to imports.


JIM GLASSMAN:

Right.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Relative to imports--


JIM GLASSMAN:

Ok.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

And that that's-- that is a strategy. It's one we have to sort of be thinking about. I want to come back to that in a second because I also want to touch on something that Kevin said which is that, you know, it is true that we're coming in-- that this is a recession that is a fallout of a financial crisis and we know from the research that yes these tend to be deeper more protracted. But I would caution us against having these lower expectations that we can't do anything about it. We've seen other countries deal with this slightly differently; Germany for example had a larger decline in output than we did here in the United States but did not see the increase in unemployment that we saw because they have different labor institutions and practices. So there are things that we could do to get folks back to work. For example, one of the most important things they have is they've allowed folks to cut their hours and get a short term-- a part time benefit from the unemployment system in Germany which then allows them to share the labor a little bit so you don't see the high unemployment and especially the-- the millions out of work that we've seen here in the United States. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

--I don't want to interrupt you there but believe it or not Kevin Hassett is in favor of that--


KEVIN HASSETT:

Heather and I know that--


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Yes--


KEVIN HASSETT:

--We've talked about that--


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

[Laughs]


JIM GLASSMAN:

But I think a lot of people would be surprised that you, working for a conservative--


KEVIN HASSETT:

Sure, it's actually an interesting story that-- those who know me know that I used to live in Germany and I speak German and a friend of mine came to me at believe it or not his wedding and he said to me, 'geez the German unemployment rate isn't going up. What's going on with that?' and so I started digging into and calling friends in Berlin and found a program that basically I think of as kind of fractional unemployment insurance. So right now if the firm lays you off then you get unemployment insurance and the only way to get government to sort of play ball with helping a firm reduce cost is to lose the whole worker. In Germany they let you cut five guys 20 percent and they each get 20 percent of their unemployment insurance is basically loosely what they do. And then so firms don't separate people from the workforce and the reason why that's so important is that we see that when somebody's out of the workforce for more than a year it's very hard for them to get back in. It's kind of like ground control to Major Tom, they're not tied to the capsule and they're floating out to space and they get very, very separated because-- both because they're discouraged and because firms will look at you and they'll say, 'well Jim you haven't had a job for two years, you know, what's up with that?' and they'll be nervous about hiring you. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

Right. Whereas you would have had 80 percent of a job. What do you think about that Alan?


ALAN TONELSON:

Well what's also very critical to remember about Germany is experiences that to a great extent Germany has exported its way out. In fact Germany's global trade surplus is about 20 percent higher year on year between 2009 and 2010. So Germany, which was a country that many respected observers like Martin Wolf from the Financial Times has accused of exporting too much, saving too much, not consuming enough, they have extricated themselves from a very deep hole, absolutely, by exporting their way out, by doing more of what they had been already doing. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

But isn't that kind of cultural? I mean, you know, the United States is just not an exporting country, I mean it's exporting more than it used to. It's exporting a lot in the services economy. We just did a show on that. But really Americans have never been focused that much on exports.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well, I think in one sense you're right that, I mean, we used to be a country that exported a lot more, but we're also a country that is not sort of taking the time to focus on that as an economic strategy and sort of thought through what does that mean to be making stuff that we're going to send out around the world. I think there's a very important thing-- services are great to export, that's one issue-- but you don't get the kind of positive externalities, to use an econ term, when you have services that you do with manufacturing. With manufacturing you have the technical innovation, but you also have-- so you have all sort of the high tech stuff, but then if you have the actual sort of commercialization making it you can create millions of good jobs here in the United States if you focus on a strategy that encourages that kinds of economic development. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

What kinds of jobs do you think Americans can expect to see increase over the next ten years?


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well we know what has been projected to increase over the next ten years. Those are a lot of jobs in services, most of them don't require higher education, they also tend to be jobs in many of the caring sectors-- home help aids, childcare workers, these kinds of jobs. And interestingly these jobs are also currently vastly disproportionally on average jobs that are held by women. So those have been the growth areas for quite some time now and are projected to be sort of moving on into the future. Now, I mean clearly the recession changes to some degree, you know, how we think about that path and what we do moving forward may change that but I think that-- those jobs I think we will continue to see an increase in--


JIM GLASSMAN:

But Heather isn't it true that when you look at the unemployment figures by education level you find that unemployment is actually quite low among people that have college degrees and higher and people who have less education they're the ones who are suffering the most? So doesn't it make sense that there would be more jobs created at the higher education levels?


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well-- that's not actually what we've seen. I mean and that's not actually what's projected but I think that the-- you know it is typically the case that the more education you have the less unemployment folks see. You know these jobs at sort of the lower end of the spectrum you know are the ones that have been more subject to layoffs, you've seen higher job losses, you see sort of more job turn over. I think that-- those are some of the keys there but I don't know that it is that-- yeah.


JIM GLASSMAN:

I want to get to one obvious point that our viewers are kind of wondering about most likely: spending? I mean what about government spending? We had a stimulus plan which some people think worked, some people think didn't work, but at any rate there is sentiment certainly in this country for more government spending. Can't the government create jobs by spending money?


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

I think there's a couple of things that government can and should continue to do. First off in the Recovery Act we poured a lot of smart money-- and actually before the Recovery during the last year of the Bush Administration into the unemployment insurance system. One of the most important things we can do to keep people with a little money in their pocket when they're out of work but also keep money flowing through our economic system.


JIM GLASSMAN:

But 99 weeks of unemployment-- isn't there a point at which people begin--


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Nobody's talking--


JIM GLASSMAN:

--Begin to say, 'well hold it I'm getting paid not to work plus I could probably find a part time job on the black market and not have to pay taxes.' I know lots of stories like this.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well I think there's two things there. Number one what's going to happen at the-- or what we're looking at is not the folks-- there is this issue of folks getting 99 weeks but there's also the folks needing 27 weeks of benefits and that's something that requires continued action by congress to make sure that folks are getting those benefits after they've been unemployed for at least 6 months and that is where we need to be very concerned. Granted once somebody's been out of work as Kevin said for a year or two they're disattached from the labor market they're losing skills, we need to be focusing on what to do about those long term unemployed-- 


JIM GLASSMAN:

Ok but besides unemployment insurance--


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Yes--


JIM GLASSMAN:

--Which I think most Americans think is a good idea. What about you know these big public-spending projects-- Alan mentions infrastructure?


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

I think that that-- that was going to be my second point. I think that that is exactly what where we should be focusing our government dollars right now for a couple of reasons. Number one interest rates are at historic lows, construction costs are low, we got lots of unemployed people, this is the best time for government to go out and spend its dollars effectively on infrastructure. Second reason: as Alan pointed out our infrastructure is in disarray, we've got bridges falling down, we've got roads in disrepair, now is the time to move our economy into the 21st century. This helps small American businesses, transport their goods, it helps us get to work. Now is the time to do it. But then third, the other thing we're seeing is that the private sector just isn't investing right now, they are not making the kinds of investments that we need to see. A lot of economists you know, when the economy's booming you don't want to want government to be investing too much because it would crowd out private sector investment, that is the least of our worries right now, there's not-- what we're trying to do is actually to create the confidence of the private sector that America's sort of on an upswing, and that we're going to have the infrastructure to make that happen--


JIM GLASSMAN:

I want to see what Kevin thinks about that-- about more government spending-- private sector's not spending any--


KEVIN HASSETT:

First on infrastructure, I-- you know, it's correct that the infrastructure is a mess, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives it a D. So there's a lot of stuff to do out there and we're not doing it because when we allocate highway funds or stimulus funds to do something we tend to build a new highway in, you know, in honor of somebody's wife or something. So we need to be smarter--


ALAN TONELSON:

Because it's more fun--


KEVIN HASSETT:

--It's more fun for the congressman --


ALAN TONELSON:

--For more photo ops. 


KEVIN HASSETT:

Yeah that's right but it--


JIM GLASSMAN:

--But that's just a general inefficiency-- ok yeah.


KEVING HASSETT:

Yeah I was just going to say that I think that the reason why-- a main reason why people aren't investing right now is exactly what Milton Friedman used to write about that people look at one and half trillion dollar deficits and they think geez they're going to have to tax me to get that money and so why should I really load up on new investments going into the future when the U.S is the second highest corporate tax place on Earth, it's about to be the highest because Japan is finally lowering their corporate rate, and we've got these massive deficits, they're going to have to be funded by taxes. I have a friend who told me that he did a calculation where he said you know if U.S firms pay the typical share of the current deficit going forward, the present value of it that they've paid in taxes in the past, then most of them would have a negative book value because of that high liability. So in that kind of a state-- then if we get too aggressive about trying to fix the roads and so on then we're not going to resolve the uncertainty about how we're going to fix this deficit. So I think what we need to do while we're having a tax reform we need to recognize that government spending has to come down, revenues probably have to go up, and we have to create a kind of certain climate so that people have the confidence to invest again. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

So it's sort of a Catch 22 that if government spends a lot of money, private sector's not spending, but the government spends it, people-- you mentioned Milton Friedman-- people understand intuitively that--


KEVIN HASSETT:

That they're going to have to pay for that.


JIM GLASSMAN:

--That they have to pay for that through taxes and so they're less likely to invest. And so--


KEVIN HASSETT:

And especially when firms--


JIM GLASSMAN:

--So you're kind of stuck, I mean, there's really not much you can do. You're saying the answer's actually to cut government spending.


KEVIN HASSETT:

I think that we're ready. We're past the point where we need a quarter or two of really high government spending to keep us from falling off a clip and we're at the point where we need to try to fix things that are broken so that we can look ahead for a decade not just for a year and say oh ok I can be confident again. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

And you're skeptical about government spending as well?


ALAN TONELSON:

I'm skeptical about government spending in the abstract. I'm certainly strongly in favor of more government infrastructure spending because again the needs today are so great; every time I drive to work it's like a-- life threatening activity--


JIM GLASSMAN:

So you're saying-- right, you're saying we need to fix the bridges anyway, even if we didn't have this problem--


ALAN TONELSON:

But there's-- but there are added benefits. For example, most construction materials are made here still, it's changing slightly, but it's still largely true. Much of the steel that is used in roads and bridges etc., is made here, not enough of it and there should be more, but that creates a tremendous multiplier effect too. Plus the-- jobs not only from installing this stuff, but from actually making it. The problem with this uncertainty argument is that-- and I can tell you I work with nearly two thousand companies, they're mainly small to medium size companies, they're very entrepreneurial, they love to make money and they hate the government and they hate the health care plan, ok? They are terribly worried that they're-- exactly going to have to pay for that health care plan. But the main reason they cite to me for not buying this or that new piece of machinery or adding onto the factory or hiring new workers is they don't have enough orders. And they see no prospect of a significant number of orders coming on a stream--


JIM GLASSMAN:

--Why don't they-- maybe I should ask Heather this question? You know the rest-- there are parts of the rest of the world who are doing really, really well. I mean you know the Chinese are growing at eight percent, the Brazilians are growing at I don't know six percent, the Indians are growing at eight percent, and the United States can sell things to the Indians, to the Brazilians, to these countries that are doing well. So they may not have the orders in the United States, which is, obviously we've got some problems, but if you buy Alan's argument and we kind of shut down our own borders then other countries are going to shut down theirs. How do you feel about this whole trade solution? 


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well I think that the key here is that we need customers here in the United States. I mean we're-- we can-- you know we need to sort of create--


JIM GLASSMAN:

Sure but it's a big world. I mean the United States is three million people; the world is 6 billion people, why do we have this fetish about just selling to Americans?


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Well I think you need--


JIM GLASSMAN:

I'll let Alan answer.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Yeah. Alan's like of the--


JIM GLASSMAN:

I know. But why don't you-- but you should-- no I-- why don't you answer the question and then we'll go to Alan.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

I think you need to do both. I mean certainly I think you need to focus on-- you know what can policy makers do to encourage U.S exports, what can we do to make sure that we're creating the kinds of things we can export, and what kinds of foreign policy and dollar policy are we pursuing that makes our exports competitive overseas. And I think all of those are things you know folks here in Washington are talking about and I think that's certainly a place to think about. But there's also this question of you know here in the United States because you aren't creating the kinds of jobs here at home, you're not creating the demand here at home for the goods and services that creates the incentive for firms, especially the small and medium sized firms for whom there maybe a large--


JIM GLASSMAN:

Ok, we're getting back to the main question which is how do you create jobs? I mean-- what are the-- where do they come from? Can you create jobs without having decent economic growth? I mean you know we have-- Heather started off by talking about well the recession may be over but we're still not growing very much, well you know what we actually are growing. We're growing two or three percent, I mean we're growing a little bit. Why aren't we creating jobs?


ALAN TONELSON:

Well we're growing at 1.7 percent rate lately. 


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Yeah. It's not very much.


ALAN TONELSON:

1.7 percent-- after trillions of dollars of stimulus.


JIM GLASSMAN:

Year on year I think it's-- I'm not happy with it either--


ALAN TONELSON:

That's the annual rate--


JIM GLASSMAN:

But we are growing, we're not in a recession, why aren't-- is there-- why aren't we creating jobs? And how do we create them?


KEVIN HASSETT:

This is-- I want to circle back again because it's one of those moments where at least on economics Heather and I don't always agree but on this one it's very maddening that Washington hasn't stepped up and copied the Germans a little bit and I just want to put it in perspective; you know the government can't create jobs, ok, the private sector is really-- I mean they can give people jobs-- but mostly the private sector is the engine of job growth but the-- and the private sector is doing it-- it's creating what four million jobs a month and destroying four million jobs a month and so the net is about zero.


JIM GLASSMAN:

Right. This is a very important point. Can you just put a finer point on this? People don't-- I don't most people understand--


KEVIN HASSETT:

And so when you see that we created 100 thousand jobs the last month and it's not because you know everybody stayed in place and then there was 100 thousand new jobs because they built a building over there-- what happened was that if we created 100 thousand jobs in a typical month maybe four million jobs were created, new jobs because they put in a new donut shop in your town and so on, and 3.9 million jobs were destroyed because some-- some you know factory cut back or again a donut shop closed. And so the net number of 100 thousand is the sort of job creation number that matters for unemployment because there's people sitting unemployed and it's the net number that gets them employed. We can drive the net number up by slowing job destruction because the underlying flows are so enormous. There's millions and millions of jobs being created and destroyed every month. Government shouldn't think ok I'm going to go out and create jobs because the government isn't really going to do that, but the government can change it's policies so that job destruction is slowed. If you could cut job destruction by about ten percent with a work sharing program like the Germans have-- and I think that's a reasonable expectation of what you might be able to accomplish-- that's 400 thousand jobs a month. That would be five million jobs in a year, you know and that's not the whole problem but it's a big step forward. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

Yeah. Heather.


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

And, you know, I think one of the-- I think that-- this is the right time for that policy. We've seen-- we've seen you know millions of jobs destroyed during this recession and I think some folks were sort of thinking oh this is going to be over we're not really going to have to think through this policy but now is the right time. We're seeing the growth in the labor market slowing, we're not-- we're seeing you know sort of this challenge so I just want to underscore that I think this is the right time for this--


JIM GLASSMAN:

--Let me be sure I understand this policy. I mean a lot of people kind of made fun of the French when they said well you-- nobody can work more than 40 hours, they're only going to work 35 hours and that way we're going to create jobs-- I thought that was called the "Lump of Labor" fallacy back when I went to-- when I was studying economics. How is it that you can cut people's-- the amount of time that people work and yet suddenly create--?


KEVIN HASSETT:

Can I ask another-- cause I-- I was just going to say that-- it's much different because we're not telling them they have to do it. 


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

Right.


KEVIN HASSETT:

So what's happening is that there's always some guys creating jobs, some guys destroying jobs, and right now government policy tells the people who are destroying jobs; well you've got two choices, one is that you can lay somebody off in which case the government will help make it not so bad for them, and of course firms want to do that, they like they're workers typically and it says or you could reduce people's hours a little bit in which case the government's not going to help. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

I see so one they have a choice. Either kind of fractional unemployment or you---


KEVIN HASSETT:

--And the government policy is biased towards the wrong answer right now. And we need to fix that.


JIM GLASSMAN:

--Somebody leaves the workplace. Right. Right answer is fractional--


HEATHER BOUSHEY:

We should note that there are you know, there's 17 states that allow firms to do this but we could be doing a lot more to get the other states to do it, we could be doing a lot more to make it easier for states, for employers in these states to apply for these programs to get this short term compensation. So there's a lot that policy makers could do on this. 


JIM GLASSMAN:

Heather unfortunately we're going to have to stop you right there; we've run out of time. But we'll continue our conversation on how to get Americans back to work on our next program. And before we go I want to remind viewers that you can catch Ideas in Action whenever and wherever you choose. To watch complete shows just go to our website, ideasinactiontv.com or download a podcast from the iTunes store. And that's it for this week's Ideas in Action. I'm Jim Glassman, thanks for watching. 


ANNOUNCER:

For more information visit us at ideasinactiontv.com. Funding for Ideas in Action is provided by Investor's Business Daily. Every stock market cycle is led by America's never ending stream of innovative new companies and inventions. Investor's Business Daily helps investors find these new leaders as they emerge. More information is available at investors.com. This program is a production of Grace Creek Media and the George W. Bush Institute, which are solely responsible for its content. 


 

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Featured Guests

Heather Boushey

Senior Economist, Center for American Progress

Heather Boushey’s focus at the Center for American Progress is on employment, social policy, and family economic well-being. Currently, she is also working on the recession’s impact on workers and their families, as well as policies to promote job creation. She co-edited the 2009 eBook, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything” and was a lead author of “Bridging the Gaps,” a 10-state study about how low- and moderate-income working families are left out of work support programs.

Prior to working at the Center, Heather held an economist position with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Economic Policy Institute, where she was a co-author of their flagship publication “The State of Working America.”

Heather’s research has been published in academic journals and has been covered in major newspapers. The New York Times called her one of the “most vibrant voices in the field.” She also spearheaded a successful campaign to save the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation from devastating budget cuts.  

Kevin A. Hassett

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Kevin A. Hassett is a Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he concentrates on the U.S. economy, tax policy, investments and the stock market.

Before joining AEI, Kevin was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University, as well as a policy consultant to the Treasury Department during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations. Kevin also served as an economic adviser to the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign and as Senator John McCain's chief economic adviser during the 2000 presidential primaries and as a senior economic adviser to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign.

He writes a weekly column for Bloomberg.

Alan Tonelson

Research Fellow, U.S. Business and Industry Council

Alan Tonelson is a Research Fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a national business organization representing nearly 2,000 domestic American companies, most of them small and medium-sized manufacturers. His work focuses on the impact of economic globalization on America’s economy and the domestic manufacturing base.

Alan is a contributor to the Council’s AmericanEconomicAlert.org website, and a columnist for the Washington Times and IndustryToday.com. The New Republic called him “the most influential economist spreading the nationalist gospel.”

In 2000, he authored a book on globalization and the U.S. economy, “The Race to the Bottom,” published by Westview Press.

Previously, Alan was a former Fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute and Associate Editor of Foreign Policy.

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