A Letter from Our CEO: Giving Thanks for the Progress We’ve Made
November 24, 2021
By Felicia Wong
Looking back on 2021 in this season of giving thanks, the Roosevelt Institute is so grateful for your support. It’s been a year unlike any other—from the violent insurrection at the Capitol to debate over the biggest public investments in our nation’s history. We are thankful for your partnership in our work, as we help drive a sea change in economics and carry a new paradigm for justice and democracy forward.
Thanks to your support, the Roosevelt Institute’s longtime work to move our country toward a new, inclusive economics has changed the rules of engagement. We have built the case for intentionally structured, large-scale public spending, bringing ideas that were once considered fringe into mainstream policy debate. We showed that a wealth tax is both smart and possible. Senator Warren and Leader Schumer used our research to urge President Biden to cancel student debt, a matter of racial justice. Roosevelt’s macroeconomic work helped to shape the structure and scale of the American Rescue Plan, countering concerns about deficits and helping people better understand inflation.
On the global stage, as the Biden administration’s US representative on the G7 Panel on Economic Resilience, I helped author the “Cornwall Consensus”—a progressive answer to the old, 1980s-era Washington Consensus. That shift precipitated the recent global minimum tax agreement. Additionally, based on a proposal Roosevelt developed in June, the US and EU announced a “green steel deal”—incentivizing trade in steel produced cleanly.
Across the Institute, we are putting our belief that personnel is policy into practice. Through our student network, we continue to recruit and train diverse young people to help create a more equitable, greener economy and society. Our work to help cultivate and recommend candidates in the most diverse and economically bold administration in our nation’s history has produced major gains.More than a dozen of these new leaders are former Roosevelt staff, fellows, and board members who now serve in the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce, the National Economic Council, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
As we prepare for 2022, we at the Roosevelt Institute are clear in our purpose. Continue to shift the paradigm. Prepare and support the progressive leaders we need to carry that paradigm forward.
We know the road ahead will not be easy. The “zombie neoliberalism” of failed trickle-down economics is creeping into the debate. The clear and present threat to democracy itself from autocratic impulses may well become a permanent fixture of electoral politics. In the face of these dangers, we will continue to elevate the possibility of new ideas and a new narrative—based on the broadly shared movement values of freedom, repair and redress, and material equity—to secure our future as a multiracial democracy.
All of us at Roosevelt are incredibly grateful for your support, which makes this work possible. We send our warmest wishes for a healthy, liberatory, and joyous holiday season!
Thank you for all that you do.
Felicia J. Wong
President and CEO