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Event Invitation from the Urban Institute

What We Talk about When We Talk about Fairness

Urban Institute

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EDT)

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
public Ended Free  

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Event Details


  • Greg Ip, U.S. economics editor, The Economist (moderator)
  • Isabel Sawhill, senior fellow in economic studies, Brookings Institution; former associate director, Office of Management and Budget
  • Eugene Steuerle, Institute fellow, Urban Institute; author, Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy
  • Joseph Thorndike, director, Tax History Project, Tax Analysts; author, Their Fair Share: The American Tradition of Taxing the Rich (forthcoming)
  • Charles Verharen, professor of philosophy, Howard University

“I know the world isn’t fair,” pen-in-cheek cartoonist Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) observed, “but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?”

Whether one is a 6-year-old imp, a 36-year-old voter, or a 66-year-old policymaker, coming to grips with what’s fair, equitable, or just -- or even how to debate their definitions -- can be a lifetime’s pursuit.

This forum will tackle the many dimensions of fairness through multiple lenses: economics, history, and philosophy, especially as they come into play in debates over taxes, spending, and public policy more generally. With election season heating up and candidates drafting their stump speeches, they’ll be making a lot of claims about fairness. Are there ways to assess these claims beyond whether the policy prescriptions agree with ours?

At the Urban Institute
2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.
Lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. The forum begins promptly at noon.

To watch the live video webcast or a recording, go to
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/urban-institute-events. (No registration necessary.)

Have questions about What We Talk about When We Talk about Fairness? Contact Urban Institute

When & Where

The Urban Institute
2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EDT)

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Urban Institute

The Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and delivered evidence-based solutions that improve lives, strengthen communities and increase the effectiveness of public policy. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the fiscal health of government across a rapidly urbanizing world.
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What We Talk about When We Talk about Fairness
Washington, DC Events Conference

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