Three Ways to Measure Biden’s Race Equity Progress

January 27, 2022

One year after a historic executive order.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

Biden’s Equity Agenda, Analyzed

On day one of his presidency, President Biden issued an unprecedented executive order

“Affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our Government,” it said—just months after record-breaking Black Lives Matter protests and weeks after an insurrection at the Capitol.

One year later, how much progress has the administration made? In a new blog post, Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong analyzes Biden’s equity agenda with three criteria: 

  • the policies, 
  • the full and creative use of federal institutions and tools, and 
  • the transformation of government itself. 

“On balance, the Biden team is using existing governmental powers toward big, important, and ambitious goals—certainly a change from the previous administration’s view of government and governmental powers, and more broadly a change from any previous administration’s view of how the federal government should prioritize equity,” Wong writes.

“The scale of outcomes based on this conceptual and rhetorical shift remains a real open question.”

Read more in “Assessing Biden’s Equity Agenda, One Year In.” 


The Social Cost of Carbon

We need strong climate policy to keep warming below 2°C and meet targets set in the Paris Agreement and by the Biden administration.

That requires accurate calculations of the social cost of carbon, as Nicholas Stern, Roosevelt’s Joseph Stiglitz and Kristina Karlsson, and Charlotte Taylor explain in a new issue brief

“In a market economy, prices are critical to resource allocation, to guide investment, to guide regulation. You have to have some notion of the benefits of reducing carbon (or the cost of not reducing carbon, either way),” Stiglitz told Bloomberg in an exclusive interview [paywall] about the brief.

“So, to me, once you start viewing climate change as an existential issue, it has to be addressed.”

Learn more in “A Social Cost of Carbon Consistent with a Net-Zero Climate Goal.”


Progressive Ideas for Addressing Inflation

This week in the Washington Post, Roosevelt experts and allies weighed in on proactive tools to combat inflation.

  • Build our childcare infrastructure: From Roosevelt Deputy Director of Macroeconomic Analysis Lauren Melodia: “Insofar as today’s inflation—or the fear of future inflation—is linked to labor market tightness or dynamics, investment in childcare is critical for minimizing ongoing disruptions and expanding people’s ability to work across all industries.”
  • Explore price controls: From Roosevelt Director of Governance Studies Todd Tucker: “To deal with the supply shocks and commodity hoarding that the transition to a clean energy economy could produce, no policy response should be off the table—especially those such as price controls that have a history of effective use.”
  • Strengthen antitrust: From Roosevelt Fellow Lindsay Owens: “Given the pernicious and pervasive links between concentration, shortages and price hikes, any policy response must center [addressing concentrated corporate power].”
  • Don’t stop making public investments: From Roosevelt Fellow Darrick Hamilton and Demond Drummer: We shut down the economy to save lives, and “it is simply disingenuous and irresponsible to lay current price levels solely, or even primarily, at the feet of fiscal stimulus.”

Read more ideas from Melodia and Roosevelt Fellow J.W. Mason in “Rethinking Inflation Policy: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery.”


What We’re Reading

Beyond Neoliberal Politics: What a Multiracial US Democracy Requires [by Roosevelt’s Kyle Strickland]Nonprofit Quarterly

The Real Secret of Central Banking: There Are No Maestros [by Roosevelt’s J.W. Mason]Barron’s

To Fight Climate Change, Bring Back State Planning [feat. Roosevelt’s Todd N. Tucker]New York Magazine

US Economy Grew 1.7% in 4th Quarter, Capping a Strong YearNew York Times

Canceling Student Debt Is a Women’s Issue—We Hold Two-Thirds of the BurdenThe Hill