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Thinking Big, Thinking Forward

Event Details

Thinking Big, Thinking Forward

Time: February 11, 2009 at 9am to February 18, 2009 at 4pm
Location: Capitol Hilton
City/Town: Washington DC
Website or Map: http://www.thinkingbigconfere…
Event Type: bankingforpeople
Organized By: happy to connect anyone with before and after interactions of this meet organised by DEMOS
Latest Activity: Feb 11, 2009

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Event Description

Bankingforpeople has become a network we all need to interact before we can get on with our deepest sustainability concerns and communal love for humanity and parenting of children. It is the most disgraceful situation USA has put the world in - let's be clear without wall street and new york's blind and -in more than a few cases corrupt - financial services leaders it is almost unimaginable the world would have been spun to this level of destruction of trust. Others who must accept responsibility are utterly unfree mass media, global professions who have shredded their own hippocratic oaths, and of course all those involved in the worst for humanity double adminsitration USA has ever had

Comment Wall

Comment by chris macrae on February 11, 2009 at 3:24am
Towards an Economics of Shared Prosperity

A manifesto from the "Thinking Big, Thinking Forward" conference.

The American Prospect, Demos, The Institute for America's Future and The Economic Policy Institute | February 10, 2009 | web only

America faces a daunting challenge. Even as we dig our way out of the worst economic implosion since the Great Depression, we must construct the foundations of a new economy, one that extends opportunity to "every willing heart," and provides basic security – a job with a decent wage, affordable health care, a quality education, dignity in retirement – for every working family.

This will require far more than a short term stimulus. The current recovery plan must be understood as a down-payment on a sustained expansion of public investment vital to building this new economy. It is time to discard the scorn for effective government that contributed our current travails, and commit to making the investments critical for our future as a centerpiece of a new economics of shared prosperity.


The severe crisis exposes the abject failure of the conservative ideas and policies that drove us off this cliff. Now, the Obama administration and Congress struggle to enact emergency measures to get the economy going. But it is not sufficient to get the economy out of recession and go back to business as usual. The old economy cannot be resuscitated.

For nearly three decades, business as usual has been an economy of low wages and high insecurity, where families compensated for flat or falling incomes by borrowing against their homes, incurring credit card and medical debts, taking on crushing college loan burdens, while reckless financial speculators treated the real economy as a casino. That economy stayed afloat only through asset bubbles. Now that bubble economy has imploded.

We need to think beyond a one-time stimulus, and to think big to build a durable and broadly shared prosperity.

As President Obama suggests, this requires a revived social contract to replace the private promises on health care, pensions and job security that have been shredded by the corporations and the financial speculators. We must insure that every child gets a healthy and fair start in life, from pre-natal care to high quality education. We must construct a 21st century infrastructure, with transport and energy and communications leading the necessary transition to a sustainable economy. We must support the research and development that generate breakthroughs that forge the markets of the future. We'll need far more investment in workers and a commitment to a society where all jobs pay a living wage. And we will need to transform our global policy, because America can not afford to go back to being the consumer of last resort for the world.


A strategic, substantial and sustained recovery plan can provide a beginning. Strategically, the current recovery legislation makes critical investments in areas from energy efficiency to education and more. However, its effectiveness is weakened by excessive tax cuts, particularly those for business, that are poorly targeted for generating jobs. In size, at $825 billion over two years – about 2.5 percent of GDP annually – it is too modest in scale. With the collapse of consumer demand, the depression in manufacturing, the accelerating global downturn and the state and local budget crisis, it would be far wiser to spend that amount each year, rather than over two years.

What is critical, too, is that the increased investment be sustained. Only sustained public investment can rebuild the social contract destroyed during the past thirty years. These outlays must be deficit-funded until the economy comes out of recession. After the economy gains its footing, we need to pay for them in a fiscally responsible fashion, requiring both new spending priorities and higher taxes on those who can afford to pay.

This transformation will be


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