Forging a Path Forward for Progressives, Defining Neoliberalism, & Challenging Austerity

July 21, 2017

The Roosevelt Rundown is an email series featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s top 5 stories of the week.

1. How Progressives Can Move Forward

Our government’s failure to truly grapple with the growing concentration of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands has left millions of voters feeling economically stranded and skeptical of both parties. For progressive policymakers, fashioning a laundry list of policies won’t be enough. They’ll need to speak clearly on how corporate concentration is holding our economy back, what that means to people’s lives and what they plan to do about it. Our President and CEO Felicia Wong’s column in TIME shows us what this could look like.

2. “Neoliberalism” is More Than Just a Word

The term “neoliberal” gets hurled around often these days but it is more than just an insult or label. It describes a powerful set of ideas that have dominated the Democratic Party, and our entire political system, for decades. Many now argue the Democratic Party adopted this mindset to its own detriment. Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal breaks it all down in his latest Vox column.

3. Austerity is a Sham

Policymakers who want to dismantle the safety net argue we simply don’t have the money to provide a sturdier economic foundation to those who are struggling. In our latest report “Reality Check: Raising Revenue for Structural Reform and Large-Scale Public Investment”, we show how this is not true. “Lack of funding” is a matter of political will rather than economic reality. The money is available and tax policy that fosters a healthier, more productive economy is possible.

4. Trump on Trade

President Trump ran last year, and arguably flipped several Midwestern states that historically preferred Democratic presidential candidates, by promising a bold new approach to US trade policy. After the administration released its NAFTA renegotiation plans, Roosevelt Fellow Todd Tucker explored the ways Trump’s trade doctrine is more of the same. Tucker’s thoughts were featured in outlets like Bloomberg and CNBC.

5. How Trumpcare Would Hurt Women

Earlier this week and in the face of widespread grassroots resistance and public disapproval, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled his party’s health care bill. After promising for years to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Republican Party did not have the votes. But before this dramatic turn (and with the reality that the story might not be over), Roosevelt Fellow Andrea Flynn continued sounding the alarm on the ways Trumpcare would be a raw deal for American women.

What We’re Reading:

Just over eight years since President Obama was sworn in, and six months into his successor’s term in office, racial divisions and disparities continue to hold our society back.  In this thorough and thought-provoking piece, activist and scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw examines the ways that dreams of a “post-racial” country receded back to the stubborn, ugly realities of race in America.


On Thursday July 27, Roosevelt Visiting Fellow Rohit Chopra and the Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas-Gabriel will hold a lunch conversation at the Roosevelt Institute’s New York office about how $1.4 trillion of student debt is impacting the economic prospects and political perspectives of young Americans. Learn more and RSVP on our website.