If you go
What: Seminars at Steamboat presents Alice Rivlin with "The Future of Capitalism"
When: 5 p.m. Thursday
Where: Strings Music Pavilion at Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads
Cost: Free, donations welcome at door
Steamboat Springs Alice Rivlin thinks the recession has created a chance to fix the nation's economic system.
Rivlin is a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at The Brookings Institution, is a former vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board and was the first director of the Congressional Budget Office. The economist speaks Thursday afternoon at the final Seminars at Steamboat event.
Her talk is called "The Future of Capitalism, How to Preserve What Works and How to Make It Work Better."
"I want to talk about the opportunities that we have now to repair our economic system, and particularly market capitalism, and do some of the things that we probably should have done a long time ago but that are dramatized by this crisis," Rivlin said.
Those tasks include finding new ways to regulate the financial market and protecting vulnerable members of society, she said. Part of that latter task involves reforming the U.S. health care system.
An ailing health care system puts pressure on the economy in a couple of ways, Rivlin said.
"The rising cost of health care is a major problem for the economy going forward and particularly for the federal budget because the rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid are driving future federal budget deficits," she said.
The second part relates to the labor force.
"We have a lot of people who've been uninsured for a long time," Rivlin said, "but the exposure of people who are losing their jobs and losing their health care has really dramatized the problem and made it more urgent to get it fixed."
Jane Stein, a founder and board member for the Seminars at Steamboat, said Rivlin had strong credentials as a speaker about the economy.
"She's a leading expert," Stein said. "She's a leading economist. She had been the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, which is an appointment that has to be approved by Congress, by the Senate, so it's a very high position."
Rivlin will address an issue that's on the tip of many people's tongues, Stein said.
"I haven't seen any polls, but the economy would be up there among issues that people in the U.S. care about," she said.
Rivlin said she planned to address broader economic issues rather than those specific to Steamboat Springs. She said she'd offer some predictions but mostly would address problems that need to be solved.
Rivlin said she hoped people leave her talk with broader knowledge about the state of the economy.
"I hope they have a better sense of how the problems fit together and what we can do about them, and some determination to fix some of the things that brought us to this quite difficult situation," she said.