Hosted by Forum One President/CEO and HKS MPP Chris Wolz, Professor Roger Porter addressed 50 Kennedy School alums, former students and guests over breakfast on Presidential politics and related policy issues. Supported by HKS Executive Education, this stimulating event was held in downtown DC at OpenGov Hub, courtesy of HKS alum and OpenGov Hub manager Nada Zohdy.
Chris and Nada made opening remarks, as did HKS DC Alumni Council President Steve Powell and VP Jayme Johnson, whose group organized the event. Other Councilors present were Nancy Bearg, Yael Marciano and Treasurer Lisa-Joy Zgorski. HKSers Melissa Wilf and Andy McLeod also kindly helped out.
Professor Porter welcomed alumni and friends ranging from Mark Cannon (MPA 1955) to former students to those who had worked for him.
After graduating from Brigham Young University and studying at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Porter got his MA and PhD from Harvard. He joined the Kennedy School faculty in 1977. Formerly a White House Fellow, Porter advised Presidents Ford, Reagan and George H. W. Bush for a decade.
"Our current Presidential candidates are ignoring the devastating economics of growing entitlements while opposing free trade in this new world of higher efficiency and cheaper shipping," lamented Porter.
“Trade and technology are the great equalizers. America is still the world’s greatest and most efficient manufacturer. But demographics are changing with lower birth rates, longer and healthier lives and slowing immigration.”
“The President must teach reality and emphasize a ‘consequentialist mentality’ that parents should instill.”
“The monumental injustice making millennials think only of the present is the demoralizing and crushing burden of our national debt,” said Porter.
“Imagine a restaurant saying you can’t eat until you pay someone’s bill from 30 years ago. There is never a good time to do difficult things. We must act now.”