KRC Joins National Campaign Urging Federal Reserve at Jackson Lake Meeting to Focus on Job and Wage Growth for Average Americans

Date of Press Release: 
August 28, 2015



August 28, 2015

Ellen Lyon, 717-919-9924

KRC Joins National Campaign Urging Federal Reserve at Jackson Lake Meeting
to Focus on Job and Wage Growth for Average Americans

JACKSON LAKE, Wyo. – Keystone Research Center Executive Director Stephen Herzenberg, Ph.D., joined economists and community activists from around the country this week at a gathering organized to urge Federal Reserve officials not to raise interest rates, as they are widely expected to do this year, and instead focus on job and wage growth for working Americans.

The economists and advocates came together under the banner of the national “Fed Up campaign,” organized nationally by the Center for Popular Democracy in partnership with the Economic Policy Institute, Center for Economic Policy Research and other groups. The Fed Up campaign gathering at the Jackson Lake Lodge coincides with an annual meeting at the same venue of top Federal Reserve System officials, other policymakers, researchers and financial industry participants from throughout the United States to discuss challenges facing the global economy. The theme of this year’s symposium, organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, is “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy.”

Dr. Herzenberg is part of a delegation of community members from the Philadelphia Fed region organized by Action United in Philadelphia. Similar delegations came to the gathering from other Fed regions. “From its creation a century ago and still today,” Herzenberg said, “the Federal Reserve is supposed to serve the people, not just the bankers, including by placing a priority on keeping unemployment low. Ensuring that central bank officials hear the stories of people on the front lines of our slow economic recovery can help ensure that the Fed understands the real impact of its actions.”

The Fed Up campaign kicked off last year with a small gathering at Jackson Lake Lodge. Again this year, the campaign has gained national media attention and elevated public discussion about the negative impact of a premature interest rate hike.

The Fed Up press conference yesterday morning featured individuals from around the country describing the challenges of finding family-sustaining jobs in our slow recovery and economists, including Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz presenting the facts on the absence of any inflation threat and compelling evidence for the need to drive unemployment lower because wages are still flat. The rest of the schedule includes teach-Ins on such topics as “Who’s Afraid of High Wages? A History of the Inflation Bogeyman” and “The Fight for $15, Full Employment and the Fed” and a closing assembly today on “How Do We Build a Fed That Works for Us?”

“This national campaign is unique in the way it combines organizing people whose economic opportunities hinge on Fed choices with a marshalling of economic facts by some of the most respected economists in the country,” Herzenberg said. “The heartbreaking struggles of people trying to support their families and the hard numbers – on the lack of inflationary pressure, the Depression-era unemployment rates among people of color and wage stagnation – drive home the same message: reducing unemployment and driving up wages need to be the top priority of the Fed for the foreseeable future.”

Reporters who would like to interview Herzenberg or other members of the Philadelphia Fed region delegation should contact Ellen Lyon at 717-919-9924 or Delegation members can tell their own compelling stories of the challenges of finding good jobs in the current recovery.