The Price of Neoliberalism

April 8, 2022

Learning from the shocks of this century.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

How Neoliberalism Fueled Today’s Crises

Over the last two years, the pandemic has underscored the fragility and hidden risks of our economy’s supply chains, financial systems, and safety net. 

The first two months of Russia’s war in Ukraine have deepened that understanding: Sanctions and rising gas prices have spotlighted the moral trade-offs nations and corporations were—and are—making in the name of efficiency and profit.

The shared roots of these macroeconomic crises? Neoliberalism, as Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues in a new piece.

“Under the neoliberal globalization regime, firms are supposed to buy from the cheapest source, and if individual firms fail to account appropriately for the risk of being dependent on Russian gas, governments are not supposed to intervene,” he writes.

“We need to start rethinking globalization and its rules. We have paid a high price for the current orthodoxy. Hope now lies in heeding the lessons of this century’s big shocks.”

Read more from Stiglitz in “Shock Therapy for Neoliberals.”


Ketanji Brown Jackson Makes History

As Rep. Ayanna Pressley put it yesterday, “Watch your step, concrete ceiling just shattered.” 

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is a milestone for our nation—and an important step toward a court that looks like the nation it serves.

Efforts to transform the court continue. But today, we celebrate Judge Jackson’s incredible achievement—all that it represents for Black women and girls, and all that it represents for our country’s future.


Wage Growth Continues

“[W]hile there has been debate about how much workers’ wage gains have been compromised by rising inflation today, we continue to find evidence of average real wage growth for low-wage earners,” Roosevelt’s Joana Duran-Franch and Ira Regmi write

Their analysis builds off of earlier research and finds real average wage gains for 47 percent of all occupations over the last two years, including for those at the bottom of the wage distribution. 

“This real wage growth is essential for an equitable and inclusive economy and necessary for a robust economic recovery,” they write.

Read more in “Increasing Wages for Low-Income Workers Is Key for a Full Economic Recovery.”


Join the Conversation

Join us on April 27 from 1–2 pm ET for the exclusive virtual launch of American Prospect co-founder Robert Kuttner’s new book, Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy.

Kuttner and The Sum of Us author Heather McGhee will discuss the legacy of the New Deal, its lessons for today, and the potential of this moment.

Register now.


What We’re Reading and Watching

Visions of a Post Neoliberal Future: In Conversation with Ai-jen Poo, Sheryl Evans Davis, and Felicia Wong (video) – Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy

A Moral Political Economy That Puts People above Property [co-authored by Roosevelt’s Darrick Hamilton]  – Hewlett Foundation

The US’s First Black Woman Senator on What Ketanji Brown Jackson Brings to the Supreme Court – Vox

Amazon Workers’ Union Victory Is Turbocharging a New Labor Movement – Axios

Yes, Colonialism Caused Climate Change, IPCC Reports [feat. Roosevelt’s Adrien Salazar] – Atmos