Once in a Generation
November 19, 2021
A New Economic Consensus
This morning, after months of negotiations, the House passed President Biden’s Build Back Better Act. From paid leave and universal childcare to clean energy and climate resilience, the bill makes unprecedented investments in care and climate.
It also sets a new precedent: that government can and must be shaping these vital sectors to drive equitable, sustainable prosperity.
“In its ambitious economic plan, the Biden administration is . . . departing from a long-dominant neoliberal consensus . . . in favor of a sweeping new vision for economic growth based on privileging work over wealth and planet over profit,” Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong writes in Foreign Affairs.
Today’s House vote was a crucial step in that direction. But on this day, we also witnessed—yet again—the entrenched hurdles to true equity. The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial reminds us that there is no justice when our judicial system protects white supremacy.
Inflation in Context
As consumer prices increase, many Roosevelt experts have been analyzing the moment and suggesting enduring structural solutions. Read more:
- In a Washington Post op-ed, J.W. Mason and Lauren Melodia argue that stimulus measures did not cause today’s inflation—in fact, they helped avoid “material hardship for millions of families and the risk of tipping the economy into a downturn.”
- In new analysis, Joana Duran-Franch and Mike Konczal find that real wages (wages adjusted for inflation) are increasing in a majority of occupations, and especially for those at the bottom of the income distribution.
- And in a recent issue brief, Todd N. Tucker explains how industrial policy—particularly price controls, which have been used effectively throughout history—can address current supply issues and protect consumers from price gouging by producers.
What We Need for a Multiracial Democracy
“The only way to achieve the promise of our multiracial democracy is to not shy away from either ‘multiracial’ or ‘democracy,’” Wong and Roosevelt Deputy Director of Race and Democracy Kyle Strickland write in Democracy Journal. “A new kind of politics will depend on a new narrative that . . . points toward a vision of society that imagines and describes something bigger, more inclusive, and more democratic.”
As Roosevelt’s Shahrzad Shams explains, this new narrative must make its way into our courts, where conservatives have used “colorblind” ideology to obstruct racial progress.
“It is crucial that we adopt a race-conscious jurisprudence that reckons with our history and present-day realities,” Shams writes. “One that not only acknowledges the state-sanctioned violence perpetrated against people of color, but that allows for democratic processes to effectively remedy these injustices.”
Learn more in “A Jurisprudential Reckoning: How Conservatives Use “Colorblind” Ideology to Obstruct Racial Justice.”
What We’re Reading
Connecting Climate Goals to Industrial Goals [feat. Roosevelt’s Todd Tucker] – The American Prospect
The Build Back Better Act Can Level the Field for Single Parents [feat. Roosevelt’s Felicia Wong] – The Nation
3 Ways Policymakers Can Reframe How They Think about Race to Create a More Fair Economy [feat. Strickland and Wong] – Fast Company
The Patriarchy Penalty – Ms. Magazine
Don’t Learn the Wrong Lesson on Inflation – Politico
The Roosevelt Rundown will be on hiatus until December 3.