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"Inequality and the State of Working America" with Josh Bivens

A Tenth Decade Project Discussion

On April 7, 2016, Maxwell faculty, alumni and advisors and administrators gathered at CSIS in Washington, DC, for the discussion “Inequality and the State of Working America: Growth That is Progressive Doesn’t Just Happen – It Needs to Be an Overarching Policy Priority."  Hosted by the Tenth Decade: Work, Labor and Citizenship Project, the event welcomed Josh Bivens, Research and Policy Director at the Economic Policy Institute, along with Maxwell Associate Professor of Geography Matthew Huber, for the discussion.

Bivens argues that there is no generalizable relationship between growth and inequality. He lays out two major implications of this research. First, this means we cannot assume “growth” by itself will solve issues of inequality. Second, it is up to policymakers to create the institutions to ameliorate inequality regardless of whether the economy is growing or not. Bivens argues that full employment, public investment, and increased bargaining power for labor are the kinds of policies that can solve the inequality crisis in the United States.

Introduction and welcoming remarks were provided by James B. Steinberg, Dean, Syracuse University's Maxwell School.