This morning’s De Pere at Dawn was a great panel of William Lepley, Associate Professor of Finance, School of Business Administration, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; Wendy Scattergood, Assistant Professor of Political Science, St Norbert College; and Kevin Quinn, Associate Academic Dean and Professor of Economics, St. Norbert College discussed the economic outlook for the next bit of time based on the results of the election. It was fun, fascinating and informative plus we gleaned a few tidbits about our panelists too!
So — from my notes!
Wendy Scattergood led off discussing the policy side of the election. This just in … Wisconsin is a swing state. Shocked. You’re shocked aren’t you?? If you were like me (and admittedly I’m a bit of a wonk so I just *may* have followed all of this a bit too closely for my own mental health), but you were probably under the impression the “white male” voter was a staunch Republican and the “over 65″ demographic was Democratic. WRONG!! Those white male voters, largely 65 and over, college degree holding and living in the suburbs are switch-voters and just slightly more Republican. And the 65+ demographic? Welll .. in 2004, they voted largely Democratic; in 2008 they were split and in 2012 they were the only age demographic carried by the Republican Presidential ticket. The 30-44 year old demo was largely split. Minority voters were more Democratic and it was the first time in Wisconsin for minorities to be enough of a block to swing an election. Some other wonk-y things of note: Urban (large cities) voted Democratic; mid-size cities (Green Bay/Appleton) voted Democratic and suburbs & rural voted Republican. In state legislative races, redistricting was viewed as a factor, but not the only factor. The reality of legislative races in Wisconsin is we know our legislators and vote based on knowing them – not their party affiliation.
You may have noticed Wisconsin has an electoral split-personality of sorts. At the federal level, Wisconsin elected Democrats Barack Obama and Tammy Baldwin and at the state level gave both houses of the legislature to the Republicans. The other new factor in Wisconsin is the “straight party” voting option no longer exists (and you may not have noticed this on your ballot). The theory is that with that off the top of the ballot, voters chose by individual in the “down tickets” races and party affiliation, as a blanket, was removed from the equation for voting.
Dr. Scattergood also shared the perspective that 2010 was a case of “retrospective voting,” where the voters look at the economy as they felt it at that time, said “no,” and changed directions. She also talked briefly about the Friday deadline for Wisconsin to decide if the state will set up the health care exchange or let the federal government do so. The feeling was Wisconsin will design its own.
Fun fact about Wendy – she is a cellist and plays with the Manitowoc Symphony as her great escape!
Dr. Kevin Quinn was next up and is not only an interesting economist with a great sense of humor, but was fascinatingly understandable too! With a quick nod to Europe’s past and current problems (Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy…) He started with the old adage of “In war, truth is the first casualty,” (Aeschylus Greek tragic dramatist 525-456 B.C.) expanding it include the new old adage that in politics, like war, truth is the first casualty; but when it comes to economics in politics they don’t just lie, they make things up. Kevin shared that really, the Great Recession of 2008, really had its beginnings much earlier in the decade and became very visible in 2005-2007 when all the growth was in the housing sector and that, “turned out to be illusory.”
ed note: my favorite word of the day! Illusory (adjective): causing illusion, deceptive; misleading. Of the nature of an illusion; unreal. I love college professors!
Dr. Quinn then talked about the “fiscal cliff,” which he believes we will look back on as this year’s Y2K panic. He reminded us that over about the last decade, the US has run up a debt of about $15 trillion (FYI that is 15,000,000,000.00 and is the first time, in round numbers, since World War II that our debt has equaled our GDP), about a trillion to China and most to ourselves (2 wars, drug benefit for medicare and tax cuts). He summed it up that we lowered our income while we increased our spending then put a very large bandage on a very hairy part of our National anatomy and the time has come to pull it off! When is that time? Well, approximately January, but then the debt ceiling conversation is due again in February/March. Kevin is optimistic that, in the end, we will resolve this issue nationally and the hand-wringing will be largely much ado about nothing. He does think there is a chance we will go “off the cliff,” but will do so attached to a bungie cord and bounce back up.
Bill Lepley reminded us of all the things that were not the fault of bankers! (Much to the delight of our bankers in attendance!!) He talked about the health care legislation, a/k/a the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, as well as the Dodd/Frank Act that are both now laws-for-certain and not for-maybe-until-Inauguration Day. Interestingly, he described Dodd/Frank as a framework of “we want to look like …” and then pushing it to the regulatory authorities to write the law. That said, with certainty, we will all now move forward.
Fun factoid about Bill! Not only does he LOVE baseball (only 5 1/2 months until baseball season!), but he plays too!
After a question regarding the health care implementation and would it be an increase or drag on the national economy, the panel talked about the long-term result of the health care changes. First that providers will be paid more on quality therefore likely seeing a much greater use of “evidenced-based” medicine. This lead to a bit of a discussion that paying doctors for the health results of their patients is often viewed with the same eyes as paying teachers for the test scores of their students. (a discussion that fascinates me!) The other synopsis is that the most likely positive is that we will see a lowering in the rate of increase of health care costs. Did you follow that bouncing ball? Costs won’t go up as much. Not a great slogan true, but sounds like could be real money.
All in all, even if I couldn’t get Bill to bite on giving his stock market response prediction … it was a fascinating morning and I’m very appreciative to our panelists for their time, talents and humor and to their institutions for loaning them to us for the morning!
Laura Schwartz, international television commentator, speaker, and author of the new book “Eat, Drink and Succeed,” will appear at the grand opening of the newly redesigned Todd Wehr Hall on the St. Norbert College campus on Tuesday, April 27.
Schwartz, an alumna of the college, will sign copies of her book at the opening, which takes place from 10-11 a.m., and will speak at 7:30 that evening in the Fort Howard Theatre of the college’s F. K. Bemis International Center. A wine reception and book signing will follow her lecture.
Laura Schwartz was White House director of events during the Clinton administration, served as a senior advisor to Senator John Kerry during his presidential campaign, and has worked extensively with former President Clinton on behalf of his foundation. She is currently a political consultant and frequent guest on the CBS Early Show, as well as BBC World News and other international television programs. In “Eat, Drink and Succeed,” she details the networking strategies that led to her ascendance in the Clinton administration, and prescribes techniques for others seeking similar success.
Both the grand opening of Todd Wehr Hall and the evening lecture/reception are free and open to the public.
ST. NORBERT COLLEGE MUSIC THEATRE TO PRESENT
THREE PRODUCTIONS THIS SUMMER
De Pere: Artistic director Dudley Birder announced that St. Norbert College music theatre will expand its 2010 summer season by presenting three productions during the months of June and July.
“Forever Plaid,” a nostalgic and entertaining view of the 50s, and “Nunsense,” a vibrant romp that chronicles the zany antics of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, will share the Webb Theatre during the month of June.
The June musicals will be presented in repertoire fashion with each playing nine performances. “Forever Plaid” will run June 9-12, 21-22, 25, 27 (matinee) and 30.
“Nunsense” opens June 16 with performances on June 17-18, 20 (matinee), 23-24, 28-29 and July 1. “Forever Plaid” and “Nunsense” are currently in rehearsal.
The Walter Theatre will be the site of the July production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” back by popular demand. Eight performances will be presented July 22-25 (matinee), 27-29 and 30.
Open auditions for “Joseph” have been scheduled as follows. Children’s auditions are scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 14, and 4 p.m. on Monday, March 15.
Auditions for adults will be held May 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. Rehearsals will begin June 8. For further information call Dudley Birder at (920) 403-3116 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for “Forever Plaid,” “Nunsense” and “Joseph” are now available at the St. Norbert College ticket office. Call (920) 403-3950 or purchase tickets online at tickets.snc.edu.
Tuesday, February 23, 3 p.m.
ST. NORBERT COLLEGE TO HOST 8TH ANNUAL
FULL-TIME JOB AND INTERNSHIP FAIR
DE PERE: St. Norbert College will host its 8th annual Full-time Job and Internship Fair Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 3-5 p.m. in the gymnasium (2nd floor) of the Ray Van Den Heuvel Family Campus Center.
Employers seeking candidates for full-time and internship positions can register at http://www.snc.edu/career/employers/. The cost is $75 per table for private sector firms, and $37.50 for government and non-profit agencies.
Deadline to register is Feb.16th. For more details call (920)-403-3040 or email email@example.com
Beginning Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
FOR 28TH YEAR OF GREAT DECISIONS LECTURE SERIES AT ST. NORBERT COLLEGE
Great Decisions is a national program meant to bring together local, regional and national experts in an eight-week lecture series discussing international issues of interest to the community. St. Norbert College is hosting the public event for its 28th year in northeastern Wisconsin.
Topics for the series are selected by the Foreign Policy Association of America and are intended to provide a local forum for discussion on current political and economic issues of the day. The speakers themselves are selected by participating colleges and universities. St. Norbert College is one of only two schools in Wisconsin that presents the entire series. (UW-Milwaukee is the other.)
The following are the topics and speakers for 2010. All lectures will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday evenings, in the Fort Howard Theater, Bemis International Center.
Global Financial Crisis (Feb. 17) David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winner as a journalist 2001; nominated three more times since. Author of three books in the field.
Special Envoys (Feb. 24) Art Cyr, director of International Business Center, CarthageCollege.
Russia and its Neighbors (March 3) Ian Kelly, past director of the Russia Desk, U.S. State Department.
Preventing Genocide (March 10) Celesten Musekura, founder of African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries.
U.S.-Chinese Security Relations (March 24) Julia Chang Bloch, foreign affairs veteran and past U.S. ambassador, who is currently the ambassador in residence at the University of Maryland.
Global Crime (March 31) Robert and John Pavich, father and son, are international criminal attorneys and have argued before the international criminal court in The Hague. John Pavich is a 1998 graduate of St. Norbert College.
The Persian Gulf (April. 7) Rami George Khouri, a well-known editor and journalist in Lebanon, speaks around the world on this subject.
Women in Latin American Politics (April 14) Gratzia Villarroel, associate professor of political science at St. Norbert College and a known specialist in the field of international studies.
Advance subscription for the entire series is available for $40 per person. Subscription includes admission to all eight lectures and a copy of the Great Decisions briefing book. The briefing book includes background information on the lecture topics and access to the association’s web site, www.fpa.org, for resources, guides to topics and online discussion forums. Admission to individual sessions is also available for $5 at the door, and briefing books are available for $15.
For more information, contact the St. Norbert College Center for International Education at (920) 403-4075, or go to www.snc.edu/cie/greatdecisons.html.
Very cool …
Sunday, May 16, 2010
GWEN IFILL NAMED COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER
AT ST. NORBERT COLLEGE
DE PERE, WIS: St. Norbert College has announced that Gwen Ifill, acclaimed journalist, author and moderator of PBS’ “Washington Week in Review,” will be the Commencement speaker on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. in Schuldes Sports Center on the De Pere campus. Ifill will also receive an honorary degree from the college.
The best-selling author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” (Doubleday, 2009), Ifill also moderated the Vice Presidential debates during the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2008.
She has covered six presidential campaigns, and during the 2008 campaign season, brought “Washington Week” to live audiences around the country as part of a 10-city tour.
Now in its 40th year, “Washington Week” is the longest-running prime-time news and public affairs program on television. Each week, Ifill brings together journalists in Washington to discuss the major stories of the week with reporters who cover the news that emanates from the nation’s capital and affects the nation and the world.
A native of New York City and a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Ifill has received more than a dozen honorary doctorates. She has also been honored for her work by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, Ebony Magazine and Boston’s Ford Hall Forum.
She also serves on the boards of the Harvard University Institute of Politics and the Committee to Protect Journalists.