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Dean Baker will be among the speakers at Saturday's event.

Sometimes it takes hitting bottom before people are motivated to initiate the kinds of changes they should have made all along. Which is why, despite the bleak economic news that just keeps coming and coming, there's also reason to hope. And if you're among those looking for an infusion of measured optimism, I recommend checking out the Michigan Policy Summit going on at Cobo Center tomorrow, Saturday, May 16. The organizers promise that "Michigan's and the nation's top domestic priorities will be in sharp focus ... as community leaders and policy experts gather ... to concentrate on policy initiatives aimed at re-energizing the state's economy."


Among the highlights will be keynote speaker Dean Baker, who earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan and is now co-director of the prestigious Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. The author of several books, his most recent is Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy, which "chronicles the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles and explains how policy blunders and greed led to the catastrophic -- but completely predictable -- market meltdowns."


I'm also looking forward to seeing the iconic Grace Lee Boggs -- who is hope personified -- receive a lifetime achievement award.


But that's just for starters. See the full agenda at mipolicysummit.org. Registration for the daylong event begins at 8 a.m. Cost is $30.


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