Averting a K-Shaped Recovery

October 16, 2020

Spend now to prevent long-term damage.

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

Why We Must Spend Now

Per two new studies, the CARES Act saved millions from poverty at the beginning of this pandemic. But with most aid depleted or expired, and no follow-up from Congress, as many as 8 million people have now fallen into poverty since May—and Black people and children have been hit the hardest. 

That points to a possible K-shaped recovery, wherein low-income people fall even further behind, while high-income people bounce back quickly.

As Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz explained on WBUR’s Here & Now, such conditions could delay full economic recovery by two years and necessitate a targeted relief program.

Coming soon, a new Roosevelt issue brief by Stiglitz will explain why the COVID-19 crisis is different from other economic downturns and how we can recover and restructure in its wake.


How Public Options Can Increase Equity

At the 23rd annual Milken Institute Global Conference this week, Roosevelt President & CEO Felicia Wong joined GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, Yale Law School’s Daniel Markovits, and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker for a session on privilege and the policies we need for greater equity. 

“We can talk about public options; we can talk about public options for broadband, we can talk about public options for banking, we can talk about public options for universities. And this isn’t just some fantasy idea from the progressive left,” said Wong. “These are actually things that we have done in American society in the past that have made huge differences in real people’s lives.” Watch here.


Reparations across the Americas

“What can be learned from the evolving case for a national reparations program in the United States for Black people whose ancestors were enslaved across the Americas? In light of the Black Lives Matter protests, the time is now for these conversations,” Roosevelt Senior Fellow Sandy Darity and folklorist A. Kirsten Mullen write in a British GQ op-ed. “As protests opposing anti-Black police violence and racial inequity have erupted around the globe, the cause of reparative justice has become ever more compelling.”


What We’re Reading and Listening To

America’s Judiciary Doesn’t Look like AmericaThe Atlantic

[Roosevelt’s] Lisa Cook on Gender and Race in Economics (Podcast) – Bloomberg

If We Want More Companies like Patagonia, We Need Laws to Enforce It [feat. Roosevelt’s Bharat Ramamurti]Fast Company

Trouble on Main Street [feat. Ramamurti] – NPR

The Blueprint the US Can Follow to Finally Pay Reparations [feat. Roosevelt’s Sandy Darity] – Quartz

Earth’s New Gilded EraThe Atlantic