As the 2016 presidential election draws near, five La Follette School faculty members shared their expertise on several key policy issues with more than 30 students, staff, and colleagues Tuesday. The hour-long discussion was part of the Public Affairs Seminar (PA 802) course.
Faculty members Menzie Chinn, Pam Herd, Greg Nemet, Rourke O’Brien, and Tim Smeeding gave brief overviews of policy issues in their respective areas of study before taking student questions. Several also noted the lack of substantive policy discussions during the presidential campaign.
Students asked about international trade, economic policies, and more general topics, such as policy issues receiving little attention by the leading presidential candidates. O’Brien and other faculty members expressed surprise that the candidates aren’t talking about political reforms such as campaign financing and gerrymandering. After the discussion, Chinn posted the election's macroeconomic policy issues on his blog, Econbrowser.
La Follette School Director Don Moynihan concluded the discussion by asking the students what they will remember about this election 20 years from now. Answers ranged from the obsession over email messages to the media’s impact on the campaigns and the potential for electing the first female president.