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October 29, 2015

Economic Policy Might Seem Scary, But Good Guides Help


Making sense of economic policy can seem like a long journey on a dark path with lots of potential forks in the road and, at times, uncertainty as to where it will lead us. That’s why it’s best to have a trusted guide helping to light the way. And one of the best guides to what really matters – and how our policy choices can impact our future – is Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and one of the keynote speakers for our policy summit December 3

Bernstein’s blog, On the Economy, and his column at PostEverything provide short, timely, often humorous explanations of the most important economic policy issues of the moment, including his assessment of the information most useful for understanding the real state of play and how policymakers can and should improve things. His analysis is sharp and draws on his decades of experience looking at macroeconomic policy and how the choices we make affect ordinary Americans. His experience includes serving as the Chief Economist and Economic Advisor for Vice President Joe Biden, the executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and the director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute.

For example, Bernstein’s recent post on tax rates and innovation provides a quick, easy-to-read rebuttal of an important assertion being made by some economists. Bernstein’s rebuttal is based on information about the real world rather than theoretical models, and this approach is a staple of his work. Bernstein also does a great job providing clear, concise summaries of important work by other economists, like his column on Blinder and Zandi’s recent work on how the counter-cyclical actions of the Obama administration successfully prevented the Great Recession from being even deeper and longer.

And Bernstein’s own books make significant contributions, including his most recent one, which provides a concrete agenda for reconnecting economic growth with broadly shared prosperity, and Crunch, which provides an easy-to-read FAQ on U.S. economic policy.

Whether you’re a regular reader of Bernstein’s blog or this is the first time you’ve heard of him, his plenary during TCI’s policy summit should be both fun and interesting. Economic policy is a lot less scary when someone is illuminating what’s really going on. Bernstein’s one of the best people right now providing that light, and we’re lucky he is coming to Richmond to share it with all of us. Don’t be left in the dark.

– Laura Goren, Senior Policy Analyst


University of Michigan’s Ford School
CC BY 2.0

The Commonwealth Institute

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