UC Berkeley Labor Center to host teach-in

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The UC Berkeley Labor Center will host a teach-in April 4 featuring a number of the campus’s preeminent economic and political science thinkers, as well as outside speakers and activists.

The event, “Economic Inequality Teach In: Causes, Consequences and Solutions,” will analyze the issues surrounding the current economic climate and stratification and will feature some of the campus’s most popular thinkers, including public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and political science professor Paul Pierson, as well as community labor activists.

“(Income inequality) has become a huge issue over the past several years, so (the teach-in) will be looking at both the causes of income inequality and what can be done about it,” said Ken Jacobs, chair of the Labor Center.

The Labor Center is the public service and outreach arm within the campus Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

“There’s greater and greater evidence that inequality hurts economic growth,” Jacobs said in underscoring the event’s significance. “(This is) a dangerous mood for the country to be in,” he added, highlighting a shrinking social safety net and the concentration of economic growth among the super-wealthy as examples of some of the issues the event will tackle.

Jacobs said he expected around 200 students and community members to attend the event, which begins at 1 p.m. in 100 Lewis Hall.

“We are very lucky to have at UC Berkeley some of the most preeminent scholars in (economic inequality),” he said. “Our objective is to bring together people in the university and the broader practitioners working on these issues.”

Sara Grossman covers research and ideas.