[act-ma] (Wed.) 3/25 Cambridge Forum Discusses "Economic Inequality" with Colin Gordon and Michael Widmer

director at cambridgeforum.org director at cambridgeforum.org
Fri Mar 13 12:56:30 PDT 2015

3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
email: director at cambridgeforum.org

/RELEASE     /                                                                     
March 13, 2015


On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. Cambridge Forum hosts historian
COLIN GORDON, author of the web-based Growing Apart study, discussing
“Economic Inequality” and its impact on a healthy democracy and a
robust social contract.  MICHAEL WIDMER, recently retired president of the
Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, responds.  Gordon explores the growth
of economic inequality in late 20th and early 21st century United States. 
What are the causes of today’s economic disparities?  During previous
eras of great economic inequality, government programs attempted to level
the playing field.  How might inequality be handled today?  How can tax
policy support or lessen economic inequality? What can citizens do to spur
a more equitable distribution of wealth today?

COLIN GORDON is professor of history and public policy at the University of
Iowa, where his research focuses on public policy and political economy in
the United States since 1920. He is the author of  /Growing Apart: A
Political History of American Inequality/, which uses historical and
economic analysis to trace the causes and consequences of economic
inequality in the United States.  This project is archived at
inequality.org and was serialized, as “Our Inequality,” in /Dissent /in
Spring 2014.   His three pervious books are /Mapping Decline: St. Louis
and the Fate of the American City; Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health
in Twentieth Century Ameri/ca; and /New Deals: Business, Labor and
Politics, 1920-1935/.  Gordon’s digital projects include two mapping
projects: /Mapping Decline,/ an interactive mapping project based on his
St. Louis research, and  /Digital Johnson County/. /The Telltale Chart/ is
a data visualization project focusing on historical and recent economic

Gordon is a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project, for
which he has written a number of reports on health coverage, economic
development, and wages and working conditions.  He has written for the/
Nation, In these Times, Z Magazine, Atlantic Cities/, and /Dissent/, where
he is a regular contributor.

MICHAEL WIDMER recently retired after 23 years as president of the
Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. His analyses of budgetary and tax
issues are widely respected for their clarity, common sense, and
comprehensive understanding of complex fiscal issues.  Boston /Globe/
columnist Renee Loth summed up the vision he brought to the Massachusetts
Taxpayers Foundation: “its broad, un-reflexive view of the state’s
competitiveness: fiscal health and rational taxes, yes, but also
investments in education, health care, and the quality of life.”

/This program is funded in part by MassHumanities, which receives support
from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities/.

The program is free and open to the public. The forum takes place at the
First Parish in Cambridge, 1446 Massachusetts Avenue in Harvard Square. 
Cambridge Forum is recorded and edited for public radio broadcast. Edited
podcasts are available, and select forums can also be viewed in their
entirety on YouTube.

Cambridge Forum
3 Church Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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