Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hangin' with George Stephanopoulos and Paul Krugman

Ok, the title's a bit of an exaggeration. But I was asked by the Miller Center (a political history- and policy-oriented think tank in Charlottesville, VA, where I had a fellowship in olden times) to write the "white paper" for the next in a series of debates on ABCs "This Week" that's coming up this Sunday morning. The subject of the debate is: "Is the Recovery Built to Last?" This is the fourth season of these periodic "This Week" debates organized by the Miller Center (the first three aired on PBS). In the last debate, for example, Paul Ryan and George Will squared off against Barney Frank and Robert Reich on the proper size and role of government.

Here's the line-up for this Sunday:

CARLY FIORINA, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, former governor of Michigan
PAUL KRUGMAN, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist
ERIC SCHMIDT, executive chairman of Google
DAVID WALKER, former Comptroller General
GEORGE WILL, Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator

My paper's been sent to the panelists. I'm realistic about how much they'll read/use it, of course, but I'm hoping Stephanopoulos will nudge discussion toward a couple of my points. You can click on the paper at the top right of the "This Week" webpage.

I hope you've found this a more interesting entry than the one I could have written about two things that just won't relent: my over-the-top-amount-of-work semester (next stop, checking the page proofs and index on the Minnesota book) and my back injury ...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Covering my Bases

Hey everyone -- I'd really love your help picking some potential cover images for my book coming out this fall on the history of US population debates (called The State and the Stork) that I can suggest to the press. The book focuses on anxieties about US population growth, so a crowded image of an Indian market is out. Indeed, I'm thinking I want to avoid a picture with a lot of people in it -- which just seems a little hackneyed. You all agree? Plus, a lot of the book is about how population concerns in the US have centered not on fears of true resource exhaustion (or starvation) but on "quality of life" issues, such as crowded national parks, etc. The book also features economists -- and debates about the intersection between population theory and economic growth theory -- but, I was surprised to be told, those concepts apparently don't make for good covers ... Here are some ideas friends have suggested so far (these are approximations, not the actual images I'd use; and for the record I don't own any of these images), and yes, that's Salt Lake and the Wasatch mountains:


Of course, maybe I should just go with a picture of me and the Paul Ehrlich (more on that to come?):

I'm in Salt Lake and thrilled to be done with my index (wow, those are more work than I thought) and to see Lydia and Gary and the boys out here. I'm less thrilled to miss physical therapy ...