The Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) hosted its 16th annual Economic Outlook Conference on November 8th, 2012 focusing on the post-election impacts on the economy. The title for this year’s economic outlook presentation was The Light at the End of the Tunnel.” As usual, the presentation provided a current and long-range view of the economic indicators affecting Maryland and the U.S. economy.  Although we are in a better place than we were last year we continue to be cautiously optimistic as we race towards full recovery.

Aside from the presentation, a panel discussed the recent presidential election and how the results will influence the economic recovery. The panel consisted of Dr. Nina Kasniunas (Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations, Goucher College), Dr. Timothy Sullivan (Associate Professor, Towson University), and Steven Hershkowtiz (Student Regent, University System of Maryland Board of Regents). Discussion topics ranged from the effects of the fiscal cliff to workforce development, education, and the importance of the growing minority population. One big takeaway from this year’s panel discussion is the change in demographics and the importance of the growing Hispanic population on presidential elections moving forward.

Post-Election Impacts on the Economy panel (left to right): Steven Hershkowitz, Dr. Tim Sullivan, Dr. Nina Kasniunas, and Jeff Salkin

Our keynote speaker this year consisted of well-known cartoonist, Kevin Kallaugher (KAL). Not only did he provide a quick history of the 2012 election through cartoons, the audience was also lucky enough to get a hands-on lesson of how to draw President Barack Obama. Needless to say, KAL brought a lot of laughter and energy to the conference.

Kevin Kallaugher (KAL), political cartoonist, demonstrating how to draw cartoons

Overall, this year’s conference was a huge success and we continue to get positive feedback from attendants. Dr. Joseph McGinn (Dean of the Honors College) summarized the conference perfectly by saying the program “stuck a perfect balance of insight and levity.”

Hope to see everyone at next year’s event!