June 21, 2016
A series of policy panels held before the 2016 Robert M. Ball Award, focusing on the racial wealth gap and entrepreneurs and social insurance.
Panel 1: Insuring Innovation: Entrepreneurs and Social Insurance in an Aging and Diverse Society
Entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth, but entrepreneurs face many risks, including loss of economic security. A supportive social-insurance infrastructure can make it easier for risk-takers to realize their entrepreneurial potential. Programs such as Social Security, the ACA, unemployment insurance, and Medicare are integral parts of this infrastructure, particularly with respect to the entrepreneurial potential of older adults and racial minorities. This panel discussion will bring experts on entrepreneurship among seniors and people of color together with experts on social insurance to explore how social insurance supports entrepreneurship, and what more could be done. This panel is funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Director of Research and Policy
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Walter Frick (moderator)
Harvard Business Review
Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School
Jean C. Setzfand
Senior Vice President, Programs
Justin G. Tanner
Associate Director, Office of Legislative, Education & Intergovernmental Affairs,
Minority Business Development Agency,
U.S. Department of Commerce
Panel 2: Unequal Access to Paid Family Leave: A Key Source of Disparities in the Workforce
The lack of paid family leave coverage for working Americans reinforces existing disparities among workers by gender, race and ethnicity, marital status, educational attainment, socio-economic status, and part- versus full-time status. While the Family and Medical Leave Act has been a critical support for those who are eligible, data have shown that those who can afford to take unpaid leave are much more likely to be white, highly educated, and higher socioeconomic status employees. This is problematic for a society in which income inequality across demographic groups is already widespread. An expert panel will explore how the lack of a universal paid leave policy is disparately affecting long-term success for workers, and what can be learned from existing state and international paid leave programs.
Executive Director and Chief Economist
Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Sarah Jane Glynn (moderator)
Director, Women’s Economic Policy
Center for American Progress
Resident Scholar, Economic Policy
American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Professor of Public Policy and Economics,
Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy,
University of Virginia
Panel 3: What is Social Security’s Role in Reducing the Racial Wealth Gap?
Much of the discussion on the racial wealth gap has focused on the importance of helping families of color gain greater access to the means to build wealth through traditional assets like housing, retirement funds, and personal savings. These are undeniably important components in achieving greater equality in wealth. Yet could an additional policy lever to help communities of color build wealth be Social Security? Ensuring the stability of Social Security’s finances and pursuing discrete policy changes to the program could help to increase the asset holdings of black and Latino families and have a significant impact on the racial wealth gap. This panel discussion will discuss the racial wealth gap and explore the implications of changes to Social Security on the racial wealth gap.
Center for/Global Policy Solutions
Jeff Cruz (moderator)
Senior Analyst for Social Security and Income Security
Senate Budget Committee
Vice President for Policy
National Academy of Social Insurance
The Urban Institute