Center for American Progress

: Is the Rising Tide Lifting All Boats?
Past Event

Is the Rising Tide Lifting All Boats?

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EST

Is the Rising Tide Lifting All Boats?

Richard Alm,  Economics Writer,  Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Heather Boushey,  Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Diana Furchtgott-Roth,  Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Employment Policy, Hudson Institute
Jeff Madrick,  Director of Policy Research,  Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School

Moderated by:
Christian Weller Ph.D., Senior Economist, Center for American Progress

Few can imagine America without a strong and growing middle class, but today many wonder how the middle class is really faring. Are typical American families doing better than a generation ago? Do they have real opportunities to build a richer life for themselves and their children? Do they enjoy some security or instead live on the edge of economic ruin? A distinguished group, progressive and conservative, will offer a diversity of perspectives on the state of America’ s middle class and appropriate policy responses.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Program: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch will be served at 12:00 PM.
Admission is free.

Center for American Progress
1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map and Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

Click here to RSVP  or call 202-741-6246



Note: All video provided in QuickTime (MPEG-4) format.

Powerpoint Presentations


• The Middle Class Squeeze at 25-Year High in 2005, by Christian Weller
• Middle Class Progress?, by Christian Weller

Event Transcript


Richard Alm is an Economics Writer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where he has worked for over two years. At the Dallas Fed, he also serves as the editor of two publications, Economic Letter and Southwest Economy. Prior to joining the Dallas Fed, Mr. Alm was a business writer for the Dallas Morning News. He is the co-author with W. Michael Cox, chief economist of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, of Myths of Rich and Poor, a 1999 book. Also with Dr. Cox, Mr. Alm is a co-author of the Dallas Fed’s series of annual report essays from 1992 to the present, as well as numerous newspaper articles, such as “The Great American Jobs Machine” in the New York Times.

Heather Boushey joined the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in 2003. Her work focuses on the U.S. labor market, social policy and work and family issues. Dr. Boushey’s work ranges from examinations of current trends in the U.S. labor market and how families balance work and child care needs to how young people have fared in today’s economy and health insurance coverage. She has testified before Congress and authored numerous reports and commentaries on issues affecting working families, including the implications of the 1996 welfare reform. She is a co-author of The State of Working America 2002-3 and Hardships in America: The Real Story of Working Families. Dr. Boushey is a research affiliate with the National Poverty Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and on the editorial review board of WorkingUSA and the Journal of Poverty. Her work has appeared in Dollars & Sense, In These Times and New Labor Forum, and peer-reviewed journals, including Review of Political Economy and National Women’s Studies Association Journal. Previously she was at the Economic Policy Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research and her B.A. from Hampshire College.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and directs the Center for Employment Policy. From February 2003 to April 2005 Ms. Furchtgott-Roth was chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor. She advised Secretary Elaine L. Chao on economic issues and compiled America’s Dynamic Workforce, a study of the flexibility and dynamism of the U.S. labor market. Previously she served as chief of staff and special adviser at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Ms. Furchtgott-Roth is coauthor of Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economics of Women in America and The Feminist Dilemma: When Success Is Not Enough. Her articles have been published in The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, The Los Angeles Times, Le Figaro, Civil Rights Journal and Journal of Regulation and Social Costs, among others, and she has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows. Ms. Furchtgott-Roth was assistant to the president and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Executive Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Associate Director of the Office of Policy Planning in the White House under President George H.W. Bush. From 1987 to 1991 she was an economist at the American Petroleum Institute, where she authored papers on energy and taxation. Ms. Furchtgott-Roth was an economist on the staff of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1986 to 1987. Ms. Furchtgott-Roth received her B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College and her M.Phil. in economics from Oxford University.

Jeff Madrick is editor of Challenge magazine, visiting professor of humanities at The Cooper Union and director of policy research at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and a former economics columnist for The New York Times. He is the author of several books, including Taking America and The End of Affluence, both of which were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Taking America was also chosen by Business Week as one of the 10 best books of the year. His most recent book is Why Economies Grow. He has written for many other publications, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Institutional Investor, The Nation, American Prospect, The Boston Globe and Newsday, and the business, op-ed and magazine sections of The New York Times. He has appeared on  The  Charlie Rose Show, The NewsHour with Jim  Lehrer, Now, CNN, CNBC, CBS News and NPR. He was formerly finance editor of Business Week and an NBC News reporter and commentator. His awards include an Emmy and a Page One Award. He was educated at New York University and Harvard University and was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard. He is currently at work on a biographical history of the American economy and a brief work on the purposes of government.

Christian Weller is a Senior Economist at the Center for American Progress, where he specializes in Social Security and retirement income, macroeconomics, the Federal Reserve and international finance. Prior to joining American Progress, he was on the research staff at the Economic Policy Institute, where he remains a research associate. Dr. Weller has also worked at the Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn, Germany, in the Department of Public Policy of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C., and in universal banking in Germany, Belgium and Poland. His work appears in publications ranging from the Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, International Review of Applied Economics, The Journal of Development Studies and Journal of International Business Studies to  The Atlanta Journal Constitution, USA Today, The  Detroit News, Challenge and  The American Prospect. Dr. Weller is often cited in the press and  has been a frequent guest on news programs on ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg Television. Dr. Weller holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.