Industrial Strategy Is Here
September 23, 2022
Biden’s top economist explains this moment.
The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.
How to Save a Country
Fresh off a legislative winning streak—and unprecedented industrial policy advances—the Biden administration is having a moment right now.
Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, had a lot to do with that.
On the first episode of How to Save a Country, Deese tells hosts Felicia Wong and Michael Tomasky about the uniting principle behind the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act: “competent, effective government focused on investing in the United States, building in the United States, building capacity that’s going to connect to people’s lives.”
“[W]e no longer have to talk in the future tense about what America’s industrial strategy should be. It’s here.”
Unions Preserve Jobs
In 2020, employment plummeted to an extent not seen since the Great Depression.
But for millions of workers, union membership protected them from the mass layoffs of the early pandemic.
“While total employment declined by 15.1 percent for all workers between January and April 2020, those covered by a union contract experienced a decline of only 6.7 percent,” Roosevelt’s Alí Bustamante writes in a new brief.
And while total employment did not return to pre-pandemic levels for two years, workers in unions were able to recover pandemic-related employment losses in just four months.
Why Market Power Matters for Inflation
“[M]arkups from before the pandemic were a strong predictor of the increase in markups during 2021, suggesting that market power had a role in driving inflation,” Roosevelt’s Mike Konczal testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy this week.
Learn more about Konczal and Niko Lusiani’s findings in “Prices, Profits, and Power: An Analysis of 2021 Firm-Level Markups.”
What We’re Reading and Listening To
Joe Biden and the End of Reaganomics with [Roosevelt’s] Felicia Wong – Why Is This Happening? The Chris Hayes Podcast
A Left Answer to Inflation [feat. Roosevelt’s Todd N. Tucker] – In These Times
Why Some Blame Record Corporate Profits for High Prices [feat. Roosevelt fellow Lindsay Owens] – NPR All Things Considered
Biden Has Helped the Quiet Revolution of Giving People Money – New York Times