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EconomicPolicyInstitute March 5, 2007

On February 22, The Agenda for Shared Prosperity held its second public forum in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. With nearly 200 people in attendance, the event featured New York Times columnist Paul Krugman as the keynote speaker. Three new briefing papers, aimed at removing the obstacles that disconnect working Americans from the rewards of their work, were unveiled at the event. In A New Social Contract: Restoring Dignity and Balance to the Economy, Thomas Kochan and Beth Shulman analyzed the shift in values that has subordinated the interests and security of workers to stock prices and short-term gains that benefit the fortunate few. Two other papers presented at the forum explored in greater depth the role and potential of unions. Harley Shaiken reviewed the erosion of workers’ access to union representation in Unions, the Economy, and Employee Free Choice.

Thomas Kochan, Beth Shulman
Thomas Kochan and Beth Shulman

Richard Freeman discussed how workers’ desire to have an advocate for them in the workplace has been on the rise in the paper, Do Workers Still Want Unions? More Than Ever.

Audio/video, a full transcript [PDF] and other information are available at www.SharedProsperity.org.

What is The Agenda for Shared Prosperity? EPI and a group of 50 economists and policy experts joined together to develop a comprehensive, achievable, and workable economic plan that will reduce economic insecurity and provide broadly shared prosperity. The Agenda for Shared Prosperity was launched to address the growing gap between America’s promise and its problems.

The kickoff event was held at EPI on January 11. Senator James Webb was the keynote speaker; Jacob Hacker (Yale University) presented a health care proposal to provide affordable and universal coverage; and Jeff Faux (EPI distinguished fellow) presented a policy agenda to shape globalization so that it benefits working people here and abroad. Video and audio for the January 11 event are also available at SharedProsperity.org.

The Agenda for Shared Prosperity is based on a simple idea: the success or failure of our economy is measured not by the value of the stock market or the size the gross domestic product, but rather by the extent to which the living standards of the vast majority of Americans are rising. The Agenda will advance an economic program that is comprehensive, understandable, and workable.

The next forum for the Agenda will be held on April 12. Nobel prize-winning economist and best-selling author Joseph Stiglitz will be the keynote speaker. Details of the event will be available shortly at SharedProsperity.org. Sign up to receive more information about this event when it becomes available.

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