The Future of the Left, a Government that Works for the People, and Achieving a Unified Progressive Vision

January 4, 2019

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

1. The Future of the Left

From bold ideas like a Green New Deal to thinking bigger about who our government serves, Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong joined KCRW’s Left, Right & Center to discuss the future of the progressive movement and what to expect in 2020. There are three clear priorities that those on the left should stand for, says Wong: expanded health care, better jobs, and a government that works for the public good and is not corrupt. “It’s important to get back … to this idea that government actually works for people.”

2. Solutions for an Inclusive Economy

For Fast Company, Eillie Anzilotti reviews seven bold ideas “to make the economy work for more people,” including enacting a universal basic income and forgiving all student debt. Roosevelt Senior Economist and Policy Counsel Lenore Palladino elevated the Accountable Capitalism Act from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as a way to rebalance decision-making within America’s corporations and close the pay gap between executives and workers. “In America, unless you are already wealthy, the chances of you getting rich–or even just earning enough to live securely–are slim,” writes Anzilotti. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

3. A Government that Works for the People

For the Washington Post, political pundit Greg Sargent examines three things to watch in the new Congress, as Democrats reclaim the House majority and have set their sights on corruption within the Trump administration. Roosevelt’s Felicia Wong explained why the fight for anti-corruption reform is a fight for a stronger democracy and a fairer economy: To rewrite the rules, we need a “government that actually works better for the public good.” “The public good is a tall order, but achievable,” she elaborated on Twitter. “We must recognize that freedom and equality are not trade-offs.”

4. Achieving a Unified Progressive Vision

“Democrats are coming into control of the House and entering the 2020 presidential primary unified in their opposition to President Donald Trump—but split on almost everything else,” write CNN’s Gregory Krieg and Lydia DePillis. Roosevelt Vice President of Advocacy and Policy Steph Sterling lays out the foundation of a unified progressive vision. “We think what’s really important is that policymakers are articulating a diagnosis of the economy that really centers the role of outsized corporate power, and the role of government to curb that power,” she said. “We’re not going to upskill our way to an economy where working people are getting a fair share.”

5. On the Economy

In December, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter point, signaling that it thinks that the economy is operating at full employment. On the blog, Roosevelt Fellow JW Mason explains why people who believe that the economy could work better for ordinary people should hesitate to agree. “Critics of the president who argue that the economy is already at full employment risk replaying the 2016 election, where the Democrats were perceived—fairly or not—as defenders of the status quo, while Trump spoke to and for those left behind by the recovery,” he writes.

What We’re Reading

A crucial part of curbing corporate power is reviving antitrust law and enforcement. HuffPost reporter Paul Blumenthal reached out to experts, including Roosevelt Research Director and Fellow Marshall Steinbaum, to discuss how progressives can be aggressive with antitrust. Newly appointed chair of the antitrust subcommittee, Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) will lead the charge in Congress.