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Hubbard urges student political activism

By Tyrice HesterSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

In order to help improve the United States’ current economic crisis, students must become more involved in politics.

Glenn Hubbard addressed the Hofstra community Monday morning about the nation’s current rising budget deficit as a part of the Distinguished Lecture series. Lectures for this series are held five times a year and are open to the Hofstra community only.

The country’s current state of economic crisis, predicted by Hubbard, will continue to affect the Unites States economy and eventually reach schools and students.

“We no longer live in a world that can match its debt,” said Hubbard.

In the past, Hubbard has served as deputy assistant to the United States Treasury, consultant to the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He has written over 100 scholarly articles, and is the author of three textbooks. He is currently the dean of Finance and Economics at the Columbia University Business School.

Zack Wolpoff, a freshman finance major, agreed with Hubbard’s incentive.

“We have a right to vote and we should use it,” Wolpoff said. “We should vote for politicians who want to change the direction America is going in. It is so important to be aware of what is going on.”

Hubbard’s address touched on an array of topics, most of which can be found in “Balance: The Economics of Great Power from Ancient Rome to Modern America,” a book he co-wrote with Tim Kane. The content incorporates issues like economic power and the association with government overstretching. A history of the accomplishments and failures of domestic and foreign finance and advice on how to reform the nation’s debt by specifying spending and adjusting revenue were also covered.

Hubbard’s analysis validates that fiscal and political issues are responsible for the cause of the current nation’s decline. Budget failure on behalf of government and political officials allow social programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security to accrue a deficit that is not entirely capable of being covered.

“By accomplishing a specific spending limit,” Hubbard proposed, “raising our budget or lowering spending, we can make strides to restore our economy. To change the game you must change the rules. I worry about the younger people. I worry about my children, and what students have to ask themselves is what the government can do for them. What do these issues mean for the future of education costs?”

Hubbard is not alone in his concerns. Dr. Richard Himelfarb, associate professor of political science, agrees with these sentiments.

“When we hit the proverbial wall, we are going to have to make some major decisions,” Himelfarb said. “Middle class programs eat up our expenditure. Taxes will rise significantly and benefits will be cut. It won’t be gradual. What this means is these problems will fall into the lap of the younger generation. The burden of fixing this will become their responsibility.”

Hubbard’s parting advice to students, who he believes have a hard time grasping fiscal problems due to economists who fail to provide clarity, is to be politically active.

“It doesn’t matter what party you associate yourself with. Getting involved is key,” Hubbard said.

The Distinguished Lecture Series aims to inform and influence the Hofstra community. Richard Guardino, the Vice President of Hofstra’s Business Development Center coordinates the program. The selections of key note speakers are chosen based on a variety of motives.

“We try to bring the nation’s most powerful and influential people to the students,” said Guardino. “We hope to give students a chance to interact with accomplished and informed individuals in hopes that they will benefit from them.”

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