How Do We Imagine the Good Life?

June 14, 2024

The Right has put forward an exclusionary vision of society. The Left has to counter it.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

The Progressive Answer to Neoliberalism’s Cultural Wreckage

Neoliberal ideology has caused devastation from both a policy standpoint and a cultural standpoint. Narratives of narrow self-interest and grind culture have seeded widespread loneliness, burnout, and overwork—and the political Right has successfully harnessed those feelings to sow a reactionary vision of an exclusionary society.

In a new essay collection for The American Prospect, progressive thinkers and policymakers have better answers.

Expanding on our recent Cultural Contradictions of Neoliberalism report, and with an introduction by report coauthor Shahrzad Shams, the essays offer a range of ideas for what “the good life” could look like:

“It’s a lofty goal, no doubt,” Shams writes. “But at this political hinge point, it’s arguably more important than ever. After all, we cannot achieve what we cannot dream.”

Read the entire collection.


Rethinking Money and Banking

From the 2008 stock market crash to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in 2023, every banking crisis reignites the debate on how to build a resilient financial system. In a new brief, Roosevelt Fellow Lev Menand offers a new perspective: Rethink the concept of money and banking entirely.

“Banking is a special type of financial intermediation because it involves expanding the total supply of money in the economy,” writes Menand. “Banks, in other words, do not need existing money to lend; their deposits function as money and they create new [deposits] when they originate new loans.”

Menand’s brief provides a sweeping historical overview of the changing US monetary system and a thorough analysis of the current policy landscape, focusing on three types of reform: hardening the regime of monetary liberalism, implementing structural reforms drawing on public utility principles, and introducing public options for bank deposits.

Read more in “Money and Banking in the United States: A Guide to the Policy Landscape,” and more about why this matters in a new blog post by Ming Jing.


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