Seven questions EPI’s experts would ask at tonight’s debate

For all of the hype surrounding U.S. electoral debates, the flashy cable news forum and gladiator-style tone of the questions often lead to candidates jostling for soundbites rather than debating actual substance.

Economic inequality and the erosion of worker power are not only central to EPI’s mission, they are also key to the American political landscape today. With that in mind we tapped our experts for a bit of a wishful thinking exercise, collecting questions on a variety of issues that are core to our research.

Here are seven issues we would like to see raised in tonight’s presidential debate:

  1. Stagnant wages are one of the main challenges facing American workers. What do you see as the chief culprit and what policies would you implement to address this problem?
  2. What do you see as the key causes of income inequality, and what are your top two solutions? Is CEO pay too high? What would you do to rein it in?
  3. How do you plan to address America’s racist institutions, and the persistent lack of minority and woman representation in the most powerful offices of the land?
  4. Trump’s trade policies are chaotic, but he appears to have tapped into a problem that resonates with voters—trade deals that favor corporations over people. What is your positive alternative to Trump on trade?
  5. Name one way in which your thinking about the economy has changed over time. What’s an economic policy you’ve supported in the past that you no longer support?
  6. Teachers in Chicago are on the brink of a massive strike, part of a nationwide trend, as they push for social and educational justice for students of color. What is your long-term plan to fully support America’s public schools and how would you ensure that students of color get additional resources needed to overcome decades of disinvestment?
  7.  Upon taking office, you will inherit a humanitarian crisis at the border that is mostly the result of Trump’s draconian policies and his administration’s mismanagement. What would you do to address the reports of human rights violations by agents of the United States government and to end the poor conditions inside ICE immigration jails and Border Patrol facilities?