It’s Not Too Late

October 30, 2020

We can save our economy and planet by acting now.

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

The Economy of Tomorrow

This week’s Q3 GDP toplines mask two central facts: 1) Lower-income Americans are experiencing a vastly different economy than those at the top, and 2) now-expired federal stimulus helped prevent deeper harm.

With COVID-19 cases and long-term unemployment rising, and economic activity slowing, we need further federal support now. And as Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz explains in a new issue brief, we can apply the lessons of this and prior downturns to design better policy—timely and sustained support for the individuals and sectors that need it most.

In an exclusive interview with Vox’s Emily Stewart, Stiglitz elaborates on the paper’s takeaways.

“We know from other economic downturns that there are these irreversibilities—hysteresis, as I sometimes put it. You don’t un-bankrupt a firm, after the economy starts to recover, that’s already gone bankrupt. There’s an enormous amount of organizational and informational capital that gets destroyed. 

“The longer and deeper the downturn, the harder the recovery is. That’s where the predicate that we are at risk of doing too little rather than too much comes from.”


A Green Recovery

There’s no such thing as climate-neutral stimulus, as Roosevelt’s Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Kristina Karlsson, Kitty Richards, Bracken Hendricks, and David Arkush argue in a new report: “ . . . all fiscal policy is climate policy. A green stimulus policy recognizes this, building the dual goals of reducing emissions and speeding the transition away from fossil fuels into efforts to induce greater investment, job creation, and financial flows across the wider economy.” Read on for the principles and proposals that could drive a green recovery, and learn more in Bloomberg Green’s coverage of the report.


Student Debt Is a Racial Equity Issue

To boost the economy and help close the racial wealth gap, $75,000 in student debt cancellation would be an appropriate target, per new analysis from Raphaël Charron-Chenier, Louise Seamster, Tom Shapiro, and Laura Sullivan. Read about the latest data in a new blog post from Roosevelt Research Associate Anna Smith.


Emerging Research

Today, the Roosevelt Network’s 2019–2020 Emerging Fellows—Kevin Cao, Anthony Potts, and Emma Tucker—unveiled their yearlong research findings in three new issue briefs. Read them all now: 


What We’re Reading

Virus Economic Destruction Renews Push against GDP Fixation [feat. Roosevelt’s Joseph Stiglitz] – Bloomberg

To Reduce Racial Inequality, Raise the Minimum WageNew York Times

The Invisible Struggle of the Asian American Small-Business Owner – Vox

The Mystery of How Many Mothers Have Left Work Because of School ClosingsNew York Times