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ADVISORY: Gene Sperling, Sen. Michael Bennet, Austan Goolsbee, and Nick Hanauer Join Other Policymakers, Economists for a Conference on the Middle Class

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Contact: Katie Peters
Phone: 202.741.6285

RSVP to attend this event

Washington D.C. – On Wednesday, August 1, the Center for American Progress will host a conference to highlight and explore emerging economic evidence that a strong middle class is critical for robust economic growth. Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, will keynote the conference that also includes panels with Senator Michael Bennet and Rep. Bobby Scott.

Featured at the conference will be a live debate pitting “supply-oriented economics” with former Bain Capital managing director Edward Conard and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore against an economic theory that the middle class is the key driver of growth with venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and former chief economic adviser to President Barack Obama, Austan Goolsbee.


Welcoming remarks:

  • Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

Presentation: Income Inequality and the State of the Middle Class:

  • Michael Ettlinger, Vice President for Economic Policy, Center for American Progress

Panel 1: Policy Matters – Do’s and Don’ts for building a Strong Middle Class:

  • Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA)
  • Anna Burger, Advanced Leadership Fellow, Harvard University; former Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Matt Miller, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; co-host, Left, Right, & Center; Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company
  • John Podesta, Chair, Center for American Progress, moderator

Panel 2: A Strong Middle Class or Bust:

  • Heather Boushey, Senior Economist, Center for American Progress
  • Larry Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute
  • Betsey Stevenson, Associate Professor, University of Michigan; former Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Judith Warner, contributing writer, New York Times Magazine; Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, moderator

Keynote Speaker:

  • Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy

Debate: Who Holds the Keys to Prosperity?

  • Edward Conard, former Managing Director, Bain Capital, LLC
  • Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal
  • Austan Goolsbee, Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago; former Chairman, President’s Council of Economic Advisors
  • Nick Hanauer, Partner, Second Avenue Partners
  • Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-Large, Reuters, moderator

Concluding Remarks:

  • Tom Perriello, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Counselor for Policy, Center for American Progress


August 1, 2012
9:00am – 2:30pm
Breakfast and lunch will be served


Washington Court Hotel
525 New Jersey Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20005 Map & Directions

RSVP to attend this event

For more information, contact Katie Peters at or 202.741.6285.



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