AGENDA 2016–REVIVING U.S. ECONOMIC GROWTH: The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) teamed up with Columbia University’s Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy to co-host a compelling symposium Nov. 6-7 in New York on revitalizing the U.S. economy. The event featured a distinguished roster of Richman Center economists and scholars, as well as PPI analysts and special guests, and more than two-dozen top policy aides to Members of Congress, Governors, and Mayors.
Held on Columbia’s Manhattan campus, the symposium examined the U.S. economy’s recent performance, as well as the causes of the long-term decline of productivity and economic growth. Against the backdrop of the 2016 election debate, the participants grappled with specific ideas for unleashing more economic innovation, modernizing infrastructure, reforming taxes, improving regulation, expanding trade and reducing inequality by ensuring that all children have access to high-quality public schools.
NEW DEMOCRATS SOUND ALARM: PPI President Will Marshall was quoted in a piece by The Guardian addressing the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates and the party’s shift to the left. “There is no question that the prevailing temper of the Democratic party is populist: strongly sceptical of what we like to call capitalism and angry about the perceived power of the monied elite in politics,” said PPI president and founder Will Marshall. “But inequality is not the biggest problem we face: it is symptomatic of the biggest problem we face, which is slow growth.”
WHAT DEMOCRATS ARE MISSING: In an op-ed for CNN, Marshall argues that Democrats must focus on economic growth and optimism leading into the 2016 election. “After their first debate in Las Vegas, Democrats congratulated themselves on having been more substantive than the Republicans. True enough: No sentient viewer could confuse the GOP Gong Show with the PBS NewsHour.
“But amid all the wonkery, something big was missing — a sense of economic optimism, buttressed by fresh ideas for stimulating innovation and growth. Working Americans want to know how they and their children can find opportunities and win in the global knowledge economy. Instead, Democrats dwelled at great length on how badly they are losing. They had plenty to say about inequality, but almost nothing about how to create new jobs, enterprises and wealth.”
PPI EUROPE ENGAGEMENT: Chief Economic Strategist Dr. Michael Mandel and Executive Director Lindsay Mark Lewis visited Paris, Brussels, and London last week, as PPI continues to engage with top European policy leaders on important economic issues across the pond, including Safe Harbor 2.0, digital trade, international taxation, encryption, copyright, and other growth issues. PPI is committed to building the transatlantic dialogue between the US and Europe, and this trip was a continuation of our desire to deepen our economic relationship.
TPP’S IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES: Ed Gerwin, PPI Senior Fellow for Trade and Global Opportunity, was quoted by Quartz on how TPP will help small businesses interested in exporting their goods. “TPP has a whole chapter on international e-commerce, and another on small- and medium-sized companies. … the TPP ‘could be potentially transformative,’ Ed Gerwin, a trade expert at the Progressive Policy Institute, tells Quartz. ‘That stuff is a big deal,’ says Gerwin. ‘Having uniform rules is really important.’