Reclaiming Freedom, Putting Power at the Center of Antitrust, and the Google Walkout

November 2, 2018

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

1. Reclaiming Freedom

In an essay for Talking Points Memo, Roosevelt Vice President of Policy and Strategy Nell Abernathy and Fellow Mike Konczal outline why the current moment—as voters, in recognizing that existing economic rules and assumptions are not working, demand a bold economic agenda—is a generational opportunity to reclaim the idea of “freedom” and redefine liberalism: “Progressives now have an opportunity to propose not just a new set of policies, but a new set of values.… We can demonstrate that progressive economic policy is essential to creating the conditions in which individuals can have agency and power over their lives.”

2. Putting Power at the Center of Antitrust

On Thursday, University of Tennessee law professor Maurice E. Stucke presented a new standard for antitrust—the effective competition standard—as proposed in his paper with Roosevelt Research Director and Fellow Marshall Steinbaum, during the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ongoing competition hearings. For The Hill, Roosevelt Deputy Editorial Director Kendra Bozarth explains why antitrust law and enforcement must center power“[The second Gilded Age], though deeply troubling, provides a critical opportunity to do better, by implementing progressive policies that meaningfully address the market power crisis.”

3. The Google Walkout

In an “unprecedented series of walkouts,” thousands of Google workers left their offices worldwide to protest the tech giant’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct. Similar to the teacher strikes in states like Oklahoma and West Virginia, the mass walkout could bolster workers’ ability to tame corporate power: “The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests.” This showing of worker activism “is yet another example of how collective action can help remedy sexual harassment and discrimination,” said Roosevelt Fellow Brishen Rogers in Bloomberg.

4. When an Economic Model Fails to Capture Reality

After Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the Livable Incomes for Families (LIFT) Act—a plan to take back the Trump tax cuts and redirect that cash to low- and middle-income Americans—her proposal was met with counterintuitive skepticism on the right. For the blog, Roosevelt Fellow Michael S. Linden explains how economic analyses can fail to capture reality“If these models are based on an understanding of how the economy works that can’t adequately explain what’s actually happening in the economy, that’s a huge problem,” he writes. “Everything we know about the real-world economy tells us that a proposal like Senator Harris’s would be an economic plus.”

5.A Tragic Toll on Women

The New York Times recently published a report about women who, while working in physically demanding jobs, lost their pregnancies after requests for less-strenuous assignments were denied. In “The Rules of the Economy Are Taking a Tragic Toll on Women and Their Pregnancies,” Roosevelt’s Kendra Bozarth and Fellow Andrea Flynn respond: “It’s high time for lawmakers to rewrite the rules, so that carrying a pregnancy to term—and raising a healthy, economically secure family–does not depend on the humanity or generosity of an employer. Those features are apparently in short supply.”


On Tuesday, November 13, the Roosevelt Institute is joining the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) in Washington D.C., for an expert panel event on the declining state of competition in high-tech industries. The event will begin with an interview of Jonathan Tepper, co-author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of CompetitionCheck out the incredible lineup of panelists and RSVP today.