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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Will the Working Class Ever Recover? The Great Recession and Beyond

Tim Black, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University

Joseph White, Ph.D. - Political Science Department Chair, Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Director of the Center for Policy Studies
Friday September 13, 2013
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

American politicians don’t talk much about "the working class," or "workers" any more. They talk about "the middle class." But how can everyone be middle?

Below the "1 percent" there are still big differences in how people work, the kinds of jobs they have, the skills they can bring to the labor market. And while the "1 percent" have done better than everyone else, the traditional "working class" – people who begin their careers at age 18 or slightly older, working in manufacturing or construction or service jobs, have been doing especially poorly for a long time.

The Great Recession especially slammed manufacturing and construction. But would even a cyclical recovery help all that much? What is the future for a very large portion of our country? This is a question of economics, sociology and politics. It may not be black and white – but Professors Black and White will offer observations and a basis for discussion.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guests

Tim Black is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Associate of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University. His scholarly work examines the intersections between larger social structures and personal lives. He attempts to identify the processes and mechanisms through which social and economic marginalization is (re)produced and to show how life in marginalized spaces is negotiated. His research focuses on the post-1970s period of neoliberalism and, more recently, the Great Recession and their respective impacts on the working classes and marginalized communities more specifically. He advances a medium of sociological storytelling to illustrate how social structures are lived. Black teaches courses on urban sociology, urban poverty, and qualitative research methods.

Professor Joe White came to Case in 2000 and became Department Chair in 2003. He previously was Associate Professor of Health Systems Management in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, and before that was first Research Associate and then Senior Fellow in the Governmental Studies Program of the Brookings Institution. He received his A.B. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. White’s research focuses on the U.S. federal budget, the U.S. health care system, Social Security, and comparing health care systems in rich democracies. His most recent work includes analyses of the cost control provisions and politics of the U.S. health care reform; of budgeting by both Presidents Bush and Obama; and of the role of experts in health policy debate.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

September 20: Germany's Election on Sunday. With Mark Cassell, Professor of Political Science, Kent State University. ***Alternate Location: Spartan Room, 3rd Floor of Thwing Center***

September 27: "Congressional Republican Leadership." With Justin Buchler, Associate Professor of Political Science. ***Alternate Location: Mather House Room 100***

October 4: China's New Leadership After a Year. With Paul Schroeder, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science. ***Alternate Location: Mather House Room 100***

October 11: "3D Printing" or Additive Manufacturing: What Is It, and What Could It Do? With Malcolm Cooke, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Executive Director of think(box). ***Alternate Location: Spartan Room, 3rd Floor of Thwing Center***

October 18: Patenting Genes. With Craig Nard, Tom J. E. and Bette Lou Walker Professor of Law, and Director, Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts.

October 25: Why Performance Enhancing Drugs Should be Legal in Sports. With Max Mehlman, Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law and Director of the Law-Medicine Center.

November 1: Press Freedom and the Edward Snowden Affair. With Jim Sheeler, Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing.

November 8: Is It or Is It Not Cancer? Is That the Question? With Nathan A. Berger, Distinguished University Professor and Director, Center for Science, Health and Society.

November 15: The Opportunity Corridor and Beyond: Transportation Issues in University Circle. With Debbie Berry, Vice President of Development, University Circle Inc.

November 22: Economic Effects of Health Care Reform: The Massachusetts Experience. With Mark Votruba, Associate Professor of Economics.

November 29 : No Session - Thanksgiving Break

December 6: TBA
September 9, 2013

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Upcoming Events

Triggering the Second Amendment: The Constitutionality of Gun Rights and Gun Control

Please Note Changed Start-Time

2013 CWRU Constitution Day Program, A Discussion With Nelson Lund, J.D., Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law and Lawrence Rosenthal, J.D., Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law, Monday September 16, 2013, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Moot Courtroom (A59), Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Blvd, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. Sponsored by the Office of the President, Office of Government and Community Relations, Department of Political Science, Center for Policy Studies, and the School of Law. A reception will follow this program at the law school.

The Constitution Day Student Committee welcomes Professor Nelson Lund and Professor Lawrence Rosenthal to discuss the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. This provision, however, is not without controversy. In the wake of mass shootings across the country, recent federal and state bills have attempted to limit an individual’s ability to own or buy certain kinds of weapons. This program furthers a national conversation over the balance between individual rights and domestic security.

Nelson Lund has written widely in the field of constitutional law. He has also published essays on employment discrimination and civil rights, the legal regulation of medical ethics, and the application of economic analysis to legal institutions and legal ethics. He holds an M.A. in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. Professor Lund attended the University of Chicago School of Law, where he served as executive editor of its law review and chapter chairman of the Federalist Society. He clerked for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Patrick Higginbotham and for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. At George Mason, he teaches Constitutional Law, Legislation, Employment Discrimination, State and Local Government, and seminars on the Second Amendment.

Lawrence Rosenthal has written extensively on first amendment issues, criminal law, criminal procedure, and civil rights. He continues to engage in litigation in the United States Supreme Court and other appellate courts, usually on a pro bono basis. At Harvard Law School he was the articles editor of its law review. He clerked for Judge Prentice Marshall of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and for Justice John Paul Stevens. Professor Rosenthal served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, specializing in organized crime and public corruption prosecutions. At Chapman University, he teaches Civil Rights, Constitutional Argument, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Local Government Law.

September 2013






































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

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