The Hidden Rules of Gender

April 16, 2021

There’s no economy without care.

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


We at Roosevelt mourn the continued loss of Black and brown lives to police brutality. For the justice and accountability our communities deserve, we all must work to dismantle systemic racism.

An Overdue Investment in Care

“I don’t know how anyone could live through the pandemic and not see clearly that a care infrastructure is part of the backbone of an overall strong economy.” 

Roosevelt Fellow Lenore Palladino in the New Republic

The future of policymaking is—and must be—gender-forward. 

And as the pandemic has reminded us, we can’t afford to wait for it.

Over the last year, the COVID-19 crisis and structural sexism have intersected to devastating effect: Women have disproportionately lost or left their jobs, reduced their paid hours, and devoted additional, unpaid hours to childcare and household work

Black and brown women, who faced record job loss and are overrepresented both in the hardest-hit industries and in care work, could experience prolonged and unnecessary economic loss—as they always have—in the absence of meaningful structural change.

As Roosevelt’s Rhiana Gunn-Wright told the New Republic, “Economic transformation is not possible without care infrastructure, at least if you want to do it equitably.”

Enter the American Jobs Plan, a significant portion of which would invest in the care economy at unprecedented scale and with a transformational approach, as Roosevelt Program Manager Emily DiVito explains in a Washington Post op-ed.

In contrast to the subsidy-driven solutions of prior interventions, the AJP would spend $25 billion for the creation of childcare facilities and $400 billion for home and community care for people with disabilities and the elderly. 

In addition to creating jobs and bolstering collective-bargaining rights, it would also “address the supply shortages that make finding care difficult—shortages made worse because about 20,000 childcare centers have closed permanently during the pandemic,” DiVito writes. “It’s a strong pivot toward policymaking that tackles systemic sexism in the economy head-on.”


The Inflation Illusion

Last week, Roosevelt’s Mike Konczal, J.W. Mason, and Lauren Melodia warned that the year-over-year inflation numbers for March, released on Tuesday, might seem misleadingly high. 

As predicted, the Consumer Price Index did indeed rise—2.6 percent—as did food and gas prices. 

However, as they emphasized—and the White House echoedthese numbers are not cause for concern, because they reflect deflation in 2020 rather than inflation this year. 

To get a more accurate picture, and to avoid raising alarm over artificially high numbers, monitor the inflation rate starting from January 2020, as Konczal told Slate.


Join the Conversation

On Tuesday, IRS commissioner Charles Rettig estimated that the US loses roughly $1 trillion each year in unpaid taxesdue primarily to tax evasion by large corporations and the wealthy. Next week, join us for two webinars covering how this happens, and how to fix it. 

Fair Share: How Wealth Tax and Progressive Taxation Can Create Equity

With opening remarks from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET


  • Lindsay Owens, Great Democracy Initiative Fellow and Groundwork Collaborative Interim Director 

Featured speakers:

  • Amanda Fischer, Policy Director at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth
  • Darrick Hamilton, Roosevelt Fellow and Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Race, Stratification, and Political Economy at The New School
  • Kitty Richards, Roosevelt Fellow and Strategic Advisor to the Groundwork Collaborative

Learn more and register


In partnership with our colleagues at the Brennan Center for Justice:

Tax the Rich: How to Tackle Wealth Inequality in America

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM ET


Featured speakers:

Learn more and register.


What We’re Reading

The Shooting of Daunte Wright and the Meaning of George Floyd’s Death – The New Yorker

Fed Is Taking On a Racist Legacy in the Field of EconomicsBloomberg

In a Year of Reckoning, Slavery Reparations Bill Moves Forward in the House [feat. Roosevelt’s William “Sandy” Darity Jr. and Mehrsa Baradaran]Los Angeles Times

Sharing Work Is a Smart Alternative to Layoffs—and the Feds Pay [feat. Roosevelt’s Kitty Richards and Emily DiVito]Bloomberg

Welcome to the New Progressive Era – The Atlantic

Can Biden Be Our FDR?New York Times