...and I strongly encourage readers to listen to the audio webcast or show up if you're in the D.C. area on December 10th.
The discussion will be held at the Urban Institute and is called "New Unemployment and What to Do About It: Jumpstarting the Job Market". There will be a series of interesting guests. First, Tim Bartik of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research will be there. The Upjohn Institute does some really incredible labor economics research that I've been following for a long time. Bartik is especially good - he's long been an advocate of job creation tax credits (corporate tax cuts for newly hired employees), a policy favorite of mine. I like to think of these policies as the labor-demand equivalent of the EITC. Bartik actually has a history of debating the merits of these tax credits with some of my colleagues here at the Urban Institute in the Tax Policy Center who are more skeptical.
Next there is Robert Graboyes of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). I don't know Graboyes, but I know the NFIB. They're the ones that produce the data that says loudly and clearly that we have aggregate demand issues, but for some reason always lobby against regulation and taxes as the biggest problem for business.
There will also be Cliff Johnson of the National League of Cities. I don't know him. Finally, Bob Lerman of the Urban Institute - long time advocate of community colleges and apprenticeship programs - will round out the list of panelists. Lerman is a professor of economics at American University, a celebrated labor economist, and one of my graduate school references. I'll actually be with him on a site visit investigating the operation of an apprenticeship program in Indiana for the two days prior to this event.
Margaret Simms, a really wonderful economist here at the Institute and all around nice and insightful person will be moderating the panel.
I am really going to think hard about the questions I want to ask (I always ask questions at these things). I kinda want to make sure the NFIB guy knows what his data actually say, and challenge him if he side-steps that - but I also would like to hear more about the job creation tax credits. This should be a very interesting talk.