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Economics Roundtable
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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In this episode:

Economists discuss the reality of a recession


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52:01 minutes (24.97 MB)
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Economist Ron Van WinkleEconomist Ron Van Winkle With worries about the economy falling into recession, the government is working on a "stimulus package" to put money in the hands of citizens, but will it help?

All Americans have watched the roller coaster economy of the last few weeks with some anxiousness, the ups and downs of the markets at home and abroad, the emergency rate-cut by the federal reserve bank, the fears of inflation, and the promise of shiny new checks arriving at your door as a government rebate. The message: We'll give you money to spend our way back to prosperity. But does a plan like this even work?

In his state of the union, President Bush asked congress to quickly pass an economic stimulus package that would put 600 dollars in the hands of millions of americans...and even more for those with children. The message: Spend money - jump start the economy.

Economist Dteven Lanza: Photo by Lauren HouseEconomist Steven Lanza: Photo by Lauren House With so many Americans feeling like they're under a mountain of debt - won't the government checks just go to paying off the banks or the credit card companies. Or, as some suggest, does it mean we'll just go sending our newfound money back overseas - in the form of deeply discounted WalMart products?

Today, where we live, an in-depth look at our economy, the realities of how to stay out of a recession, and we'll analyze whether this economic stimulus will really help.

Our guests are West hartford Economist Ron Van Winkle, Steven Lanza, executive editor of The Connectciut Economy and Nick Perna, head of Perna Associates.

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First point:

If this stimulus is going to help the economy, at least tell us what are the best sectors to spend this money on so that it has the best effect.

Second point:

I strongly favor investing in alternative energy infrastructure – we could invest massively in solar panels on American businesses. It would generate American jobs, support American businesses, and give us a jump start on some energy independence. That is an economic stimulus everyone could be proud of, it would give back for the next 20 years, and it could be mobilized very quickly with existing technologies.

Susan A. Masino, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Trinity College