Political Lessons from California, Trade Negotiations Are Escalating, and Talking Facts

June 1, 2018

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

1. California Today, America Tomorrow

For Boston Review, Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong examines political lessons from California—the “state of resistance.” Through a book review of Dr. Manuel Pastor’s State of Resistance: What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Mean for America’s Future, Wong outlines why the state’s story—both its history and path forward—shows us what’s possible for the U.S. more broadly: “More inclusion is pragmatic, possible, and in fact essential as we seek to make real the promise of our national democracy.” 

2. Trade Negotiations Escalate

With the latest move to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on America’s allies, the Trump administration brought the United States that much closer to a trade war this week. Roosevelt Fellow Todd N. Tucker spoke with Bloomberg about the ways that these developments risk disrupting ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations and place great strain on America’s key relationships across the globe. Now that leaders in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union are making it clear that they intend to fight back against the White House, it appears that the era of globalization is entering a turbulent new phase.

3. Thinking Outside the (Patent) Box

In response to the corporate tax cuts included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the Roosevelt Institute released a new paper from former Legal Fellow Andrew Hwang. Thinking Outside the (Patent) Box: An Intellectual Property Approach to Combating International Tax Avoidance examines global tax avoidance schemes that are likely to remain pervasive among multinational corporations under the new tax code and proposes policy tools to curb these extractive practices. If policymakers are truly committed to building a progressive corporate tax system that encourages broad-based economic growth, they should consider both tax and IP law reform as solutions.

4. Talking Facts

Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal joined the Radio Dispatch podcast to discuss the recent Dodd-Frank rollback, as well as the leveling power unions have to reduce economic inequality. From efforts to deregulate the financial sector to corporate disinvestment in workers, it’s clear that the rules today are limiting the economic well-being of Americans. But as Konczal explains, we can and must change our economy and society: “There is some broad market power that has really shut down our capacity, and we need to challenge that on all fronts, be it worker organizing, antitrust, [etc.]”

5. 10 Principles for a Federal Job Guarantee

On Wednesday, PolicyLink—a national research organization focused on building racial and economic equity—hosted a webinar to outline the 10 core principles behind a federal job guarantee. Roosevelt Senior Fellow Sandy Darity and Fellow Darrick Hamilton joined economist Stephanie Kelton, scholar Alan A. Aja, and activist Ady Barkan to make the case for this big idea. Darity warned against any job guarantee proposals that are not universal. “This is for everybody,” he said. Watch the webinar here.

What We’re Reading

Elections matter. After a huge progressive victory in Virginia last year, the state legislature voted to expand Medicaid this week, extending health care access to over 400,000 low-income Virginians. “For every person celebrating the Virginia General Assembly voting to expand Medicaid today: This is the product of your hard work to win the elections that fundamentally changed the conversation in Richmond. And we’re just getting started,” tweeted Virginia House member Danica Roem.

What We’re Listening To

Following their bold piece in The Nation on investing in progressive female candidates, Roosevelt’s Felicia Wong and Democracy Alliance Senior Vice President Julie Kohler joined The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss the “Year of the Woman.” Listen here.