Mike Davis

President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness visits SMU

SMU Professor Mike Davis speaks to FOX 4 NewsAs the nation prepares for President Barack Obama’s speech on jobs and the economy, SMU’s Collins Executive Education Center hosted a listening session with members of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness Sept. 1, 2011.

Local businesses and stakeholders joined presidential advisers to discuss public and private sector partnerships that may create opportunity and support job creation.

“The ideas and information exchanged at these events will help inform the future policy work of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which meets with President Obama each quarter to recommend critical steps that both the private and public sectors can take to create jobs and help strengthen the economy,” according to a White House Press Office release. The SMU session focused in the importance of infrastructure investment to creating jobs across sectors of the American economy.

SMU Cox School of Business economics professor Mike Davis was among the audience members during a panel discussion that featured U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue. The panel examined the merits of public/private partnerships and federal spending on infrastructure improvements.

Afterward, Davis observed that “today’s grim employment numbers will certainly lead to more calls for massive increases in government spending on infrastructure. Unfortunately, such spending will do little to help the unemployed.”

There are two reasons for this, Davis says. First, “there are very few genuine ‘shovel ready’ projects. Most infrastructure projects take several years to plan and require almost no new workers in the initial stages of development.” Davis cited research by Stanford University economists John Cogan and John Taylor, which found that only 2 percent of the $862 billion in stimulus money spent between 2008 and the middle of 2010 actually went to purchase new public goods.

“The government would have liked to have spent more money and put more people to work, but the projects just weren’t there,” Davis says.

The second problem with infrastructure spending “is that far too many projects are driven by political, not economic, considerations,” Davis adds. “Few politicians want their name attached to a sewer treatment plant – they want a highway or an airline terminal named in their honor.”

According to Davis, “almost every objective expert on infrastructure recognizes that the most valuable projects are often the least glamorous. This wasteful, inefficient spending makes it harder for the economy to recover and create real jobs.”

> Watch a clip of Mike Davis from FOX 4 News

Faculty in the News: Feb. 9, 2009

Etruscan alabaster urnGreg Warden, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, provided expertise for an Associated Press story on the new exhibition of Etruscan treasures at SMU’s Meadows Museum. The story ran in USA Today Feb. 4, 2009.

Mark Roglán, Meadows Museum Director, discussed the museum’s “reinvention” for a feature article in D Magazine, February 2009.

Alan Bromberg, Dedman School of Law, was one of 5 law professors who filed an amicus brief on behalf of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban concerning a recent insider-trading complaint filed by the Securities Exchange Commission. The brief was discussed in The Wall Street Journal Feb. 4, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about a recent Gallup poll that shows Texas in the nation’s political middle with The Austin American-Statesman Feb. 1, 2009.

Mike Davis, Finance, Cox School of Business, discussed the need for the stimulus package now before Congress with The San Francisco Chronicle Feb. 1, 2009.

Faculty in the News: Winter Break 2008-09

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, provided expertise for several political stories, including:

  • how Republicans in Congress may be playing a high-risk game by snubbing Barack Obama, who has publicly sought their support, in Forbes magazine, Jan. 29, 2009
  • how a new bill that would boost health care coverage for children would cost and benefit Texans, in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 15, 2009
  • the continuing influence of West Texas in the state legislature as Tom Craddick is replaced as speaker, in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Jan. 3, 2009
  • Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, and the Illinois governor’s scandal, in The Washington Examiner, Dec. 28, 2008

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the challenges Barack Obama will face as president, including the challenge of expectations, with The Austin American-Statesman Jan. 18, 2009.

Kathleen Cooper, Tower Center for Political Studies, Dedman College, discussed how Texas will be affected as investments based on high oil prices fall on hard times in an op-ed published in The Houston Chronicle, Jan. 10, 2009.

Robin Lovin, Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed whether there is a place for “divine certainty” in the White House in The Dallas Morning News‘ Texas Faith blog Jan. 27, 2009. He also wrote about President Obama and the nature of historical moments for National Public Radio website Jan. 21, 2009.

SMU Theology Dean William LawrenceWilliam Lawrence, Dean, Perkins School of Theology, talked about the often unusual relationship between presidents and preachers in a commentary on 90.1 KERA-FM Radio Jan. 16, 2009 (listen online or download) audio. He also discussed “firsts and lasts” in American political discourse in a KERA commentary broadcast on Dec. 19, 2008 (listen online or download) audio.

Mike Davis, Finance, Cox School of Business, discussed why most individuals have zero comprehension of $1 trillion, and how to make the amount easier to understand, with The Dallas Morning News Jan. 29, 2009.

Ravi Batra, Economics, Dedman College, discussed the current state of the country and its economy in a feature profile published in The Fort Worth Weekly Dec. 16, 2008.

Karen Thomas, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, wrote about the changes already begun because of President Obama in an article published in The Dallas Morning News Jan. 20, 2009.

Tony Pederson, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, provided expertise for a Jan. 4, 2009 Associated Press article on how former competitors in the news business are forging content-sharing deals to mitigate staff cuts and other losses. The article ran in several newspapers in early January, including The Chicago Tribune.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, talked about Amway’s effort to revive its own brand with The Houston Chronicle Dec. 25, 2008.

SMU Education Dean David ChardDavid Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, wrote an op-ed about the banning of the book ttyl by the Round Rock (TX) Independent School District. The opinion piece was published in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Jan. 13, 2009.

Hal Barkley, Counseling, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, talked about how to cope with families and stress during the holidays with The Dallas Morning News Dec. 22, 2008.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed potential hazards in Houston’s air with The Houston Chronicle Jan. 12, 2009.

David Blackwell, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, discussed how power from underground “hot rocks” could become the “killer app” of the energy industry with The Christian Science Monitor Dec. 31, 2008.

Faculty in the News: Oct. 24, 2008

Ben Voth, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, discussed the contrasting styles of John McCain and Barack Obama in the final 2008 presidential debate with The Christian Science Monitor Oct. 16, 2008.

Ed Fox, Marketing, described the shopping habits of bargain hunters and how they benefit cut-price retailers such as Dollar Tree in The AARP Bulletin Oct. 19, 2008.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, discussed how – and how much – North Texas citizens contributed to 2008 presidential campaigns with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Oct. 20, 2008.

David Blackwell, Earth Sciences, spoke about the recent success of a new technology to generate geothermal power from producing oil wells in Sustainable Business Oct. 20, 2008.

Mike Davis, Finance, talked about what it will take for financial institutions to restore consumers’ trust in The Dallas Morning News Oct. 20, 2008.

Robin Pinkley on WFAA-TV NewsKumar Venkataraman, Finance, discussed the role of credit ratings agencies in the current financial meltdown with The Dallas Morning News Oct. 21, 2008.

Robin Pinkley (right), American Airlines Center for Labor Relations and Conflict Resolution, talked about the importance of negotiation in a tight economy with WFAA-TV News Oct. 21, 2008.

Dan Howard, Marketing, discussed the shock value and effectiveness of a new series of transit ads for The Family Place, a Dallas organization that provides shelter and assistance for victims of domestic violence, with The Dallas Morning News Oct. 23, 2008.

Faculty in the News: Oct. 2, 2008

Raj Sethuraman, Marketing, discussed the possible turnout for the Dallas Museum of Art’s new exhibit, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” in The Dallas Morning News Sept. 29, 2008.

Mike Davis, Finance, talked about why some businesses not only survive but prosper during an economic recession with MSNBC Sept. 29, 2008.

Misty Solt, Center for Family Counseling, and Tony Picchioni, Dispute Resolution Program, provided expertise for Mercedes Olivera’s column on the opening of SMU’s Center for Family Counseling in The Dallas Morning News Sept. 27, 2008.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, discussed whether Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will run against each other in the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race with The Houston Chronicle Sept. 26, 2008.

Faculty in the News: Summer 2008

VOTE buttonsCal Jillson, Political Science, provided expertise for several Election 2008 stories during the summer, discussing:

  • the significance of Hillary Clinton’s prime-time speech placement at the Democratic National Convention in The Canadian Press Aug. 24, 2008
  • the drama viewers won’t see at the major parties’ political conventions in The Arizona Republic Aug. 18, 2008
  • the “mixed bag” for students and universities resulting from the new Higher Education Act in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Aug. 10, 2008, as well as Texas’ fund-raising importance to both major political parties in the paper’s July 28, 2008 edition
  • the reasons why John Cornyn’s campaign press releases are aimed at his Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate rather than at his Democratic opponent, Rick Noriega, in The Houston Chronicle Aug. 4, 2008
  • Texas Democrats’ hopes that Barack Obama’s candidacy can help the state party rebound in the Associated Press July 17, 2008, as well as the lack of a “quick fix” for the foreclosure crisis, now matter who is elected president, with the wire service for its July 5, 2008 edition
  • how the gay-marriage issue will play out in the presidential campaign in Reuters June 19, 2008
  • the differences in style and substance between Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama in Singapore’s The Electric New Paper June 15, 2008

Gas pumpBruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, spoke with several media outlets during Summer 2008 about soaring fuel prices and other energy issues, including:

Peter Weyand, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, discussed Usain Bolt’s Olympic sprinting performance, and the possibility of humans someday running as fast as the fastest four-legged animals, with The Times of India Aug. 20, 2008.

Suku Nair, Computer Science and Engineering, talked about growing concerns for the security of wireless technology with Fox 4 News Aug. 17, 2008.

SMU Olympic swimmerDave Wollman, Track and Field/Cross Country, shared tips on how to train like an Olympian with The Dallas Morning News Aug. 12, 2008.

Fred Moss, Law, discussed recent developments in the Dallas City Hall corruption case with CBS 11 News Aug. 13, 2008. He talked about the merits of hate-crime charges being filed against a man accused of committing random shootings in four Dallas suburbs with The Dallas Morning News July 9, 2008. In addition, he discussed the issues involved in using DNA testing to exonerate those who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes with Reuters July 2, 2008.

Van Kemper, Anthropology, spoke with The Dallas Morning News Aug. 12, 2008, about how the proposed renaming of historic Ross Avenue has put the Dallas City Council in a no-win situation.

Mike Davis, Finance, discussed why the Consumer Price Index may not match a family’s reality with The Dallas Morning News Aug. 4, 2008.

Linda Eads, Law, talked about the merits of searching a defense attorney’s office in a Frisco, Texas murder-for-hire case with The Dallas Morning News July 27, 2008.

Edward Fox, Marketing, discussed the implications of the Minyard supermarket chain’s sale of 37 Carnival stores, along with the Carnival brand itself, with The Dallas Morning News July 24, 2008. He also talked about Wal-Mart’s plans to dramatically scale down a proposed new store in Austin with The Austin American-Statesman June 24, 2008.

Planet EarthMaria Richards, Earth Sciences, discussed geothermal energy as the “lost” component of the alternative-energy push with U.S. News & World Report July 21, 2008.

Patricia Mathes, Institute for Reading Research, talked about North Texas students’ struggles with the written portion of the TAKS test with The Dallas Morning News July 20, 2008.

Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, discussed a decision by the State Board of Education to allow elective Bible courses in Texas high schools with The Dallas Morning News July 11, 2008.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, discussed whether Karl Rove’s criticism of Mitt Romney is aimed at helping Romney become John McCain’s running mate with Salt Lake City’s Deseret News July 16, 2008. He also talked about why both Barack Obama and John McCain need the abortion issue with Reuters May 28, 2008.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, discussed the shortcomings of the new North Texas clean-air plan with the Dallas Business Journal July 11, 2008.

Geoff Orsak, Engineering Dean, provided expertise for a Robert Miller column on how North Texas engineering schools are meeting the demand for engineers with state-of-the-art programs and facilities. The column appeared in The Dallas Morning News June 29, 2008.

Alan Brown, Psychology, discussed his research, which may reveal the secret to winning game shows, with Psychology Today for its July/August 2008 issue.

Dan Howard, Marketing, provided expertise for a story on how frugal spenders can buck an economic downturn that appeared in The Arizona Republic Aug. 8, 2008. He talked about how rising ticket prices will affect the future of the airline industry in The Dallas Morning News June 23, 2008. In addition, he discussed how General Motors’ possible discontinuation of the Hummer reflects the restructuring of the North American automotive industry with The Ottawa Citizen June 14, 2008.

Jessica Dixon, Law, discussed the “puzzling” actions of Texas Child Protective Services in the case of the FDLS polygamist cult with The Dallas Morning News June 18, 2008.

Oil derrickFrank Lloyd, Cox Executive Education, discussed the importance of capable leadership in the global petroleum industry with The Earth Times June 18, 2008.

Robin Lovin, Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed the changing relationship between religion and politics in an essay published in Religion and Ethics Newsweekly June 12, 2008.

Joseph Dancy, Law, discussed how landowners can test the mineral-rights market through an eBay auction with Platts June 3, 2008

Ron Moss, Admissions, discussed the effects of intense college admission competition among the 2008 high school graduating class with WFAA Channel 8 June 3, 2008.