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The Roundtable

"Economic Dignity" By Gene Sperling

Book cover for "Economic Dignity"

When Gene Sperling was in charge of coordinating the shaping and execution of the U.S. government’s economic policy in the Obama White House, he found himself surprised and dismayed when serious people in Washington worried out loud that Obama’s focus on health care was a distraction because it was “not focused on the economy.”

Too often, Sperling found that our economic debate confused ends and means. We measured economic success by metrics like GDP instead of whether the economy was succeeding in lifting up the sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and security of people.

In a time of wrenching economic upheaval, as we face the worst downturn since the Great Depression, Sperling’s new book, "Economic Dignity," seeks to reframe the conversation and offer a profound big-picture vision of why the promotion of dignity should be the singular goal by which we chart America’s economic future.