A Debate: Is the American Economy in Decline?

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
5 Floor Conference Room
Washington
DC
20004

Is the Great Recession and ensuing anemic recovery a result of long-run structural weaknesses that signal permanent American economic decline unless dramatic steps are taken to reverse it? Or should it be seen as a typical but severe downturn caused by a financial crisis from which the the United States will recover in due time and return to a healthy long-term economic and jobs growth trajectory? Getting the right answers to these questions is critically important for policymakers and goes to the heart of the economic issues being debated in the Presidential election.

Please join us for a compelling debate that explores these two competing interpretations and examines what the United States needs to do to restore robust economic growth. Robert Atkinson and Ed Luce will debate the affirmative, based on arguments from their books Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage and Time to Start Thinking, arguing the U.S. economy is suffering from underlying structural weaknesses which will continue to comprise America’s economic competitiveness until addressed.

Dan Gross will counter that the decline of the American economy has been much exaggerated and that the U.S. economy remains structurally sound and is in fact poised for rapid growth once the financial crisis abates, as he argues in Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . and the Rise of a New Economy. He will be joined on the counter side by James Pethokoukis, columnist and blogger for the American Enterprise Institute.

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