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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

The Budget Deficit Panic

Dean Baker, Ph.D. - Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research (Washington DC)

Friday September 24, 2010
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

Unemployment is both at scary levels and looking, for many people, close to permanent. States may have to throw further hundreds of thousands of people out of work to balance their budgets. Businesses sit on huge piles of cash because they do not see demand to justify investment. But, if one were to judge from the actions of Congress, publicity in much of the media, and the statements of leaders of President Obama's "Fiscal Responsibility" commission, the USA's biggest economic problem is the possibility that the federal deficit would be too big ten or twenty years from now.

For more than two decades Dean Baker has been a leading critic of the deficit hawks. No other economist has done as much trenchant and original work that identifies the shortcomings both in the ideas that "entitlements are going to kill the economy" and that the deficit should be the dominant economic policy concern.

Attention: Parking will not be available in the visitors parking lot next to Crawford Hall on October 8th, October 22nd and October 29th. On other Fridays a few spaces are available for visitors with mobility concerns. Parking options for visitors from beyond campus include the Severance Hall parking garage on East Boulevard, the small lot on Adelbert Road just uphill from Euclid Ave, and other lots on campus.

More About Our Guest....

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, and National Public Radio. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian Unlimited (UK), and his blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. His analyses have appeared in many major publications, including the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, the London Financial Times, and the New York Daily News. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Dean has written several books, his latest being Taking Economics Seriously (MIT Press, 2010) which thinks through what we might gain if we took the ideological blinders off of basic economic principles. False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy (PoliPoint Press, 2010) considers what caused - and how to fix - the current economic crisis. In 2009, he wrote Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy (PoliPoint Press), which chronicled the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles and explained how policy blunders and greed led to the catastrophic - but completely predictable - market meltdowns. Among his other works are The United States Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2007); The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2006), and Social Security: The Phony Crisis (with Mark Weisbrot, University of Chicago Press, 1999). His book Getting Prices Right: The Debate Over the Consumer Price Index (editor, M.E. Sharpe, 1997) was a winner of a Choice Book Award as one of the outstanding academic books of the year.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

October 1: Ashwini Sehgal MD, Duncan Neuhauser Professor of Community Health Improvement and Director, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, CWRU and Metrohealth: The U.S. News and World Report Hospital Rankings.

October 8: Karen Gahl-Mills, Executive Director, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture: How the Arts Levy is Spent.

October 15: Kathryn C. Lavelle, Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs: Sovereign Debt and Sovereign Default: International Institutions in the Developed and Developing Worlds.

October 22: Professor Karen Beckwith, Assistant Professor Justin Buchler, and Adjunct Assistant Professor Andrew Lucker, Department of Political Science: Midterm Elections Forecast.

October 29: Special Inamori Center Event, as part of International Peace and War Summit: see

November 5: Max Mehlman, Professor of Law: Why We Need Death Panels.

November 12: Kelly McMann, Associate Professor of Political Science: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan and Its Implications for the War in Afghanistan.

November 19: Jessica Green, Assistant Professor of Political Science: Global Responses to Greenhouse Gases.

December 3: Paul Ernsberger, Associate Professor of Nutrition: Health At Any Size.

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion. Overflow parking is also available in the Severance Hall parking garage on East Boulevard.

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

September 21, 2010

Upcoming Events

2010 Midterm Election Preview

September 24, 2010 7:30-9 p.m., Mandel Center Building, Room 115, 11402 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH

A panel discussion featuring: Jerry Austin one of America's most experienced and most successful strategists and advisors, having operated his own marketing and political consulting firm for more than 30 years and Mark Weaver a national political communications expert with more than two decades of high-level experience, having counseled clients at the national level and in 16 states.

For more information please visit the Center for Policy Studies web site.

The Budget Deficit: How Big an Issue, and What Should Be Done About It.

September 25, 2010 12:30-2 p.m., Mandel Center Building, Room 115, 11402 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH

A panel discussion featuring: Josh Gordon, Ph.D. the Policy Director of The Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan, grass roots organization dedicated to educating the public about federal budget issues and their consequences for the future and Dean Baker, Ph.D., a nationally known economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.

For more information please visit the Center for Policy Studies web site.

September 2010










































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