A Debate: Is the American Economy in Decline?

October 18, 2012 // 3:00pm4:30pm

Is the Great Recession and ensuing anemic recovery a result of long-run structural weaknesses that signal permanent American economic decline unless dramatic steps are taken to reverse it? Or should it be seen as a typical but severe downturn caused by a financial crisis from which the the United States will recover in due time and return to a healthy long-term economic and jobs growth trajectory? Getting the right answers to these questions is critically important for policymakers and goes to the heart of the economic issues being debated in the Presidential election.

Please join us for a compelling debate that explores these two competing interpretations and examines what the United States needs to do to restore robust economic growth. Robert Atkinson and Ed Luce will debate the affirmative, based on arguments from their books Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage and Time to Start Thinking, arguing the U.S. economy is suffering from underlying structural weaknesses which will continue to comprise America’s economic competitiveness until addressed.

Dan Gross and Jim Pethokoukis will counter that the decline of the American economy has been much exaggerated and that the U.S. economy remains structurally sound and is in fact poised for rapid growth once the financial crisis abates, as argued in the book Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . and the Rise of a New Economy.

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
Event Speakers List: 
  • President, ITIF; Author, Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage
  • Chief U.S. Commentator, Financial Times; Author, Time to Start Thinking
  • Daily Beast/Newsweek Global Finance Editor; Author, Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline...and the Rise of a New Economy
  • Kent Hughes // Public Policy Fellow
    Former Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Columnist-blogger, American Enterprise Institute
Back to top
Event Documents: 
Back to top

Wilson Center Photo Gallery

Browse or share photos from the Wilson Center’s events.

To Attend an Event

Unless otherwise noted:

Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.