The Forge Fellowship 2019, the Economic Case for a GND, and Voters Want to Tax the Wealthy

February 22, 2019

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

1. The Forge Fellowship 2019

At Roosevelt, we believe that government can and should be a force for the public good. Since our nation’s founding, however, communities across the country have been left out of the institutions and processes that were built to uphold the public good. Through the Forge Fellowship, created in memory of forever-Roosevelter Reese Neader, the Roosevelt Network is reclaiming public power in local communities by developing student leaders at public universities and community colleges. Please share this opportunity with your networks, so that we can reach more future leaders and help guide them as they build pathways for themselves and for others to participate in our society.

2. Making the Economic Case for a Green New Deal

For Forbes, Roosevelt Fellows Susan R. Holmberg, JW Mason, and Mark Paul make the economic case for a Green New Deal (GND): “The costs of a Green New Deal are affordable, but the costs of inaction are literally beyond calculation. As economists, we see a GND as eminently reasonable. As human beings, we see it as a necessity.” In a NowThisNews video, Mason makes accessible the argument for why a GND is good for the economy. “A Green New Deal doesn’t mean cutting back on other material needs,” he said. “It means mobilizing the vast unused capacity of our economy that is currently going to waste.” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) shared the clip on Twitter.

3. Changing How Corporations Operate—and Who They Serve

Roosevelt Senior Economist and Policy Counsel Lenore Palladino was in the news this week talking all things stock buybacks and the role of corporations in the US economy. “What actually needs to happen is a more fundamental reorientation away from shareholder primacy—away from this idea that the whole purpose of corporations is to make as much money for shareholders as possible,” she said on the Pitchfork Economics podcast with Nick Hanauer. Speaking with Fast Company’s Eillie Anzilotti, Palladino explained how we get there: “We need a whole constellation of policies to really rebalance power in the United States.”

4. Bold Ideas for 2020

For CNN, Lydia DePillis writes on progressive thinkers and doers as key drivers of the 2020 election—opening with the work of Darrick Hamilton, executive director of the Kirwan Institute and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, who has “been in hot demand lately.” DePillis also explores one of Roosevelt’s big ideas: that progressive tax policy isn’t only about raising revenue. “What we’re seeing is the way that raising taxes on the wealthy can both de-concentrate their power and can serve to shift incentives towards the creation of productive private investment,” added Roosevelt Vice President of Advocacy and Policy Steph Sterling.

5. Voters Want to Tax the Wealthy

“A proposal to tax wealth finds support across party lines, along with the premise that the government should combat inequality,” write Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, economist journalists at The New York Times. Many Americans understand that the economy is not working for most of us, and they largely support proposals—including Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) wealth tax and the idea to raise the top marginal tax rate on people who make more than $10 million a year—to fix this. This is, in part, because of the “finally dawning realization among Democrats that taxing the rich is good politics along with good policy,” said Roosevelt Fellow Michael Linden in the NYT article.

What We’re Reading

In “Dollars on the Margins,” Matthew Desmond, sociologist and author of Evicted, expertly writes on why providing Americans with a living wage is as much about human decency as it is about economic security. “A LIVING minimum wage buys prescriptions and rest and broccoli, yes; but it also provides something less tangible,” he explains. “Low wages are an affront to basic dignity. They make people feel small, insignificant, and powerless.”