In the decades after World War II, the United States developed an implicit social compact that businesses, government, and individuals would all play a role in ensuring the health, retirement, and other benefits that families need. That social contract is breaking down as firms retreat from their role as a provider of social benefits and as demographic trends strain our social insurance programs. In a global economy marked by rapid technological change, global labor markets, and mobile capital, a new model is needed to provide American families with economic security and to keep the American economy productive.
On July 26, 2007, following the welcome by Jason Furman, Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution and Director of The Hamilton Project, a roundtable of leading experts discussed their views on what the obligations of government, employers, and individuals should be to one another in such changed world.
Participants included Jared Bernstein, Director of the Living Standards Program for the Economic Policy Institute (EPI); Jason Bordoff, Policy Director for The Hamilton Project; Stuart Butler, Vice President of Domestic and Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation; Thea Lee, Policy Director for the AFL-CIO; and Mark Schmitt, Senior Fellow with The New America Foundation and columnist for The American Prospect. The panel was moderated by Kenneth Baer, co-editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Following the discussion, the panelists took audience questions.
Director, The Hamilton Project
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Director, Living Standards Program for the Economic Policy Institute
Jason E. Bordoff
Policy Director, The Hamilton Project
Stuart M. Butler
Vice President of Domestic and Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation
Policy Director, AFL-CIO
Senior Fellow, The New America Foundation
Columnist, The American Prospect
Moderator: Kenneth Baer
Co-Editor, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas