A Lifeline for Labor

October 23, 2020

Those with and without jobs need support now.

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

More than a Paycheck

Amid a record 77,640 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and historic levels of long-term unemployment, US economic recovery could be in jeopardy without immediate intervention. 

Extending unemployment benefits is a necessary first step. But as Omidyar Network principal and Roosevelt board member Joelle Gamble argues in a WIRED UK op-ed, we must also build a better labor market. 

“US lawmakers should continue to provide ample benefits for workers hurt by this pandemic, while also focusing on both improving the quality of workplaces and making sure that workers have a voice within them,” she writes. “If the US is ever to achieve the faster economic recovery that other advanced nations are enjoying, lawmakers must recognise that for most Americans, work is about so much more than a paycheck.”


Worker Rights as Industrial Policy

“Though industrial policy and labor policy have often been conceptualized as two different domains, this division is unhelpful and unnecessary,” Roosevelt Fellow Darrick Hamilton and New America Senior Fellow Cassandra Lyn Robertson write in an American Prospect op-ed. “Centering worker livelihoods in industrial policy through an Economic Bill of Rights is one step toward reframing what a healthy economy looks like. The post–New Deal era shows that we can have an economy that serves the worker without sacrificing economic growth overall.” Read on.

For more from Hamilton, watch his appearance at Bloomberg Equality’s virtual briefing, “COVID-19 Exposed: The Quest for Equity.”


What We’re Reading

Tackling Climate Change Seemed Expensive. Then COVID Happened. [feat. Roosevelt’s Mark Paul] – Grist

To Lift Up Communities of Color, Fix Public Transit – Bloomberg CityLab

The Kids Might Be Alright, but What about the Moms?The Hill

With Healthcare at Stake, Stacey Abrams Explains “What the South Must Do”The Root

Stiglitz Urges Banks to Mend “Bad Activities,” Return to Lending – Bloomberg

7 Movies and TV Shows That Explain US Elections, from Gerrymandering to Hanging Chads – Vox