Biden Alumni Talk Industrial Policy

April 27, 2023

Six former officials on how we got here, and what’s next.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

An Industrial Policy Moment

Once described by the IMF as “the policy that shall not be named,” industrial policy is now central to the Biden administration’s economic agenda.

The six authors of this week’s new Roosevelt report had a lot to do with that.

In Industrial Policy Synergies: Reflections from Biden Administration Alumni, Sameera Fazili, Jane Flegal, Jennifer Harris, Janelle Jones, K. Sabeel Rahman, and Tim Wu offer reflections on the passage and early implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

And they paint a dynamic picture of what’s to come.

“[T]hese perspectives share a common belief that leaving it to the market to decide which industries survive and thrive is a recipe for economic vulnerability,” Roosevelt’s Todd N. Tucker writes in the collection’s foreword.

“What the administration is trying to do is not just maximize the number of a given widget in the economy, but unleash a self-reinforcing and inclusive growth dynamic.”

Read each essay:

For more about the collection, watch video from our April 25 launch event in Washington, DC, and read event takeaways from Tucker and Isabel Estevez.


How Culture Warriors Seized the Right

Once the foot soldiers of the right-wing movement, social conservatives are increasingly setting the agenda, arguing for a state that takes an active role in shaping and preserving traditional institutions like the nuclear family. However, this vision of family offered by social conservatives is inextricably linked with a disturbingly retrograde view of gender, sexuality, reproductive rights, and American history.

On a new episode of How to Save a Country, hosts Felicia Wong and Michael Tomasky talk to Julie Kohler—writer and host of the podcast White Picket Fence—about the role social conservatives played in American politics in the past, and the increasing power this coalition wields in politics today.

“If you really endorse this notion that the state should be playing a role in establishing moral culture, what you can end up with is a comfort with, if not open embrace of, illiberal authoritarianism,” Kohler says.

Listen now, and follow for new podcast episodes every Thursday.


What We’re Reading

A Case for Climate Optimism, and Pragmatism, from John PodestaThe New Yorker

How to Fix Crumbling Child Care Infrastructure – Bloomberg

Harry Belafonte Dragged Us into the Future – Vulture