Debt problem addressed in McCombs lecture series

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McCombs School of Business senior lecturer John Doggett discusses economic strategies to eliminate international debt and create new jobs during a lecture for the Texas Enterprise Speaker Series at the AT&T Conference Center on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Skyler Moore | Daily Texan Staff

The United States is experiencing its worst recession since World War II, and education will play a key part in the recovery, McCombs School of Business senior lecturer John Doggett said Thursday.

During his lecture for the Texas Enterprise Speaker Series, Doggett said the U.S. must admit it has a debt problem and dedicate itself to fixing it.

Doggett said the country needs to be aware of the metaphorical “ugly baby” that is our national debt and admit that the U.S. cannot sustain itself by running on creditors’ good graces.

“It’s not a Tea Party issue or a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, it’s a math issue,” Doggett said. “When you’re in business you don’t have the luxury of lying about what’s going on. We are in the midst of the longest and deepest, in terms of jobs, recession for our country since World War II, and our politicians are lying about this ugly baby.”

Doggett said that as the U.S. continued to accumulate a national debt that has reached more than $14.5 trillion, nations that were previously underdeveloped and predominantly communist during the Cold War adopted the United States’ love of capitalism, resulting in economic powerhouses such as China and India that hold most of our debt. Many U.S. citizens hold a grudge instead of capitalizing on the idea, he said.

“They are playing our game and they are playing our song and we’re blaming them,” Doggett said. “That’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard. We are facing competition that has bought into our vision and are executing it in ways we couldn’t imagine.”

One facet of Doggett’s many-tiered solution to jump start the U.S. economy focuses on education and marketing university research.

“The first thing we do is understand the impact of our university system,” Doggett said.

Doggett said he hopes UT will soon become a leader in research that has practical and marketable uses, similar to the far-reaching impact of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s research and innovation.

He said changes in the educational system, coupled with industry changes, can turn the U.S. economy around.

Finance senior Eva Agoulnik said she believes the issues Doggett spoke about tie into many fields and students of all majors should be worried about the national debt crises.
“It’s all one big problem,” Agoulnik said. “It’s all interconnected.”

During his lecture Doggett said UT has been making strides toward marketing its research more effectively, and that research entrepreneurship is a cause he will continue to advocate.

Ruth Shear, program assessor for the Freshman Research Initiative, a new University program that will place freshmen in a research setting, said the University is already taking steps to market its research.

“The Colleges of Natural Sciences has a new dean to develop jobs and companies in the program,” Shear said.
Associate dean for innovation and science enterprises Skip Porter will host two lectures in early October focusing on student research and entrepreneurship, Shear said.

Printed on September 9, 2011 as: Fate of US recession depends on politicians' capacity to face truth