Commonwealth National Podcast

Laura Tyson, Professor, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Member, Brookings Institution Hamilton Project (5/3/2007)

Duration: 
1:09:31

LAURA TYSON
Professor, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Member, Brookings Institution Hamilton Project

Former Clinton administration economic advisor Laura Tyson discusses the challenges facing American economic policy and urges new approaches to help more Americans enjoy the fruits of our business success. Despite record world growth and solid U.S. economic expansion in recent years, she says many Americans feel they aren’t enjoying the benefits of that growth. Tyson cites recent polls showing that “the majority of Americans are worried about reaching their economic goals” and “whether their children will be better off than they are or worse off than they are.” She says those fears are understandable: “The probability that a family will experience a drop in family income of 50 percent or more has basically doubled in the last 20 years.” So while the economy as a whole has done well and has even stabilized its ups and downs, for the individual American not at the top of the food chain, “the risk that you could fall off a cliff has increased.” Plus, health insurance is becoming harder to get and harder to keep, Tyson says, pension programs have been reconfigured to increase the risk to the worker, and unemployment compensation needs to be modernized to reflect the length of time the modern worker today can expect to be out of work between jobs. Tyson talks about these issues and more to explain her involvement in the Hamilton Project, a nonpartisan effort to encourage “interesting new ideas” for the nation’s economic policy.
 

This program was recorded live on May 3, 2007