How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too

MON, OCT 20, 2008 (1:43:48)

While liberals continue to believe in the free market, conservatives have abandoned it all together. If conservatives no longer take free markets seriously, why should liberals? Why keep liberal thought in the straitjacket of pay-as-you-go, of assigning inflation control to the Federal Reserve, of attempting to “make markets work”? Why not build a new economic policy based on what is really happening in this country? James K. Galbraith, professor of government at the LBJ School and author of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, is in conversation with Robert Kuttner, distinguished senior fellow at Demos and co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect. Teresa Ghilarducci, an economic policy analysis professor at The New School for Social Research and the director of SCEPA moderates, This event was held by The New School.

+ BIO: James K. Galbraith

James K. Galbraith teaches at the LBJ School. He holds degrees from Harvard and Yale (Ph.D. in economics, 1981). He studied as a Marshall Scholar at King's College, Cambridge in 1974-1975, and then served in several positions on the staff of the U.S. Congress, including Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee. He was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in 1985. He directed the LBJ School's Ph.D. Program in Public Policy from 1995 to 1997. He directs the University of Texas Inequality Project, an informal research group based at the LBJ School.

Galbraith's new book is The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (2008). He is the author of Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance and the American Future (1989) and Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay (1998). Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View (Cambridge University Press, 2001), is coedited with Maureen Berner and features contributions from six LBJ School Ph.D. students. He has co-authored two textbooks, The Economic Problem with the late Robert L. Heilbroner and Macroeconomics with William Darity, Jr.

Galbraith is a Senior Scholar of the Levy Economics Institute and Chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security, a global professional network. He writes a column for Mother Jones, and occasional commentary in many other publications, including The Texas Observer, The American Prospect, and The Nation.

+ BIO: Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is a journalist, author, economist and eminent public intellectual. Mr. Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, and senior fellow at the New York think-tank Demos. A longtime columnist for BusinessWeek, he continues to write for Huffington Post and the Boston Globe. He was a co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute and serves on its board.

His magazine writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, Columbia Journalism Review, and Harvard Business Review. He has contributed major articles to The New England Journal of Medicine as a national policy correspondent. He contributes columns to The New York Times international edition. Mr. Kuttner has served as national staff writer on The Washington Post, chief investigator of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, economics editor of The New Republic, and assistant to renowned journalist I.F. Stone.

Educated at Oberlin College, The London School of Economics, and the University of California at Berkeley, he has taught at Brandeis, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Harvard's Institute of Politics. He is the author of eight books, including the 2008 New York Times bestseller, Obama's Challenge: American's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency.

Bob's latest work is A Presidency in Peril, dealing with the financial crisis and the related political and regulatory battles of President Obama's first year. A fascinating and incisive look at both the promise that Barak Obama brought when assuming the mantle of the presidency and the factors that have served to tamp down that promise.

+ BIO: Teresa Ghilarducci

Teresa Ghilarducci is the Irene and Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. Her 2008 book When I'm Sixty-four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them (Princeton University Press) investigates how to restore the promise of retirement for all Americans. Her book Labor's Capital: The Economics and Politics of Employer Pensions, MIT Press, won an Association of American Publishers award in 1992. She co-authored Portable Pension Plans for Casual Labor Markets in 1995. Ghilarducci publishes in referred journals and testifies frequently before the US Congress. She is the WURF fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and serves as a public trustee for the Health Care VEBAs for UAW Retirees of General Motors and for the USW retirees for Goodyear and served on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's Advisory Board from 1996-2001, and on the Board of Trustees of the State of Indiana Public Employees' Retirement Fund from 1996-2002. Her research has been funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, US Department of Labor, the Ford Foundation, and the Retirement Research Foundation.

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