State of the Union
February 7, 2020
By Matt Hughes
New progressives offer a temperature check.
The Roosevelt Rundown is an email series featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s top stories of the week.
A Progressive Response to SOTU
In response to a State of the Union speech riddled with inaccuracies, the Progressive Caucus Action Fund served a temperature check featuring commentary from new progressivism’s leading thinkers—including Roosevelt President & CEO Felicia Wong. “Trump is going to run his re-election campaign on the claim that the economy is great. The truth is that the American economy is not great,” Wong said. “In order to restore the integrity of American democracy, we must be explicit about the need for anti-corruption reforms and commit to reducing conflicts of interest—among legislators and regulators—through new rules that curb the influence of money in politics and policymaking.” Read on.
As Black History Month continues, two new Roosevelt papers highlight the need for centering Blackness beyond February. In “Don’t Fixate on the Racial Wealth Gap: Focus on Undoing its Root Causes,” Insight Center for Community Economic Development President and Roosevelt Fellow Anne Price argues that focusing on the root of racial wealth inequality—rather than the gap alone—is vital to right the wrongs of the past and prevent their recurrence. “We must seize the moment to think big and dismantle anti-Blackness, the foundational architecture of the rules that maintain racial oppression and economic exclusion today,” Price writes. See coverage of the report in Forbes.
- Hidden rules of race: In a working paper (and forthcoming issue brief), Roosevelt Fellow Lenore Palladino explains how corporate equity ownership has increasingly contributed to the racial wealth gap. Read more and revisit Roosevelt’s issue brief on the racial rules of corporate power.
The Future of Progressivism
In a new profile, Teen Vogue’s Allegra Kirkland speaks with Southern Economic Advancement Project Executive Director Stacey Abrams at the Roosevelt Network’s 15th birthday party. “What I wish people understood is that to me, politics is a means to an end. It is not an end in itself,” Abrams says. Read on.
On March 26 and 27, join Roosevelt and progressive organizations across the country at EconCon 2020. With dozens of panels and experts, and keynote speakers Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym, the conference will highlight progressivism’s big ideas for building tomorrow’s economy. Register here.
What We’re Reading
How Private Equity Buried Payless – New York Times
Fossil Fuels Aren’t Even a Very Good Investment – New Republic
The Youth Climate Movement Comes to New Hampshire – New Republic
When a Small Town Loses Its Only Bank – American Banker
The Hidden Costs of Banking While Poor – Pitchfork Economics
Taxing the Superrich – Boston Review