The Economy Isn’t the Weather

December 1, 2022

What’s changed since the Great Recession.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

A Tale of Two Recoveries

Fun fact: The US economy’s rebound from the COVID recession has been five times faster than its recovery after the Great Recession.

You read that right. And to explain why that is—and how workers have benefited—this week’s episode of How to Save a Country features two people who’ve had front-row seats in the Obama and Biden administrations.

Joelle Gamble is the current chief economist at the US Department of Labor; Heidi Shierholz (now the president of the Economic Policy Institute) was its chief economist between 2014 and 2017.

Together, they talk with hosts Felicia Wong and Michael Tomasky about how the shifts in economic policy thinking over the last decade helped produce today’s record-breaking recovery.

“The economy is not like the . . . weather . . . it really is a policy choice,” Shierholz says. “The difference in the speed of the recovery really, really underscores just how unbelievably important fiscal policy is, like Keynesian stimulus, to generating a strong recovery.”

Listen now, and follow for next Thursday’s How to Save a Country season finale—with special guest Sen. Elizabeth Warren.


Crypto’s False Promises

The implosion of cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX last month is the latest reminder of what we’ve long known: Crypto can’t solve our economic problems.

“[N]o matter how successful industry insiders are in reviving crypto’s reputation and political influence in the months and years ahead, it will always remain a private endeavor whose central interests are misaligned with the goals of an accessible and equitable economy,” Roosevelt’s Emily DiVito and Joseph Miller write.

Read more in “Crypto’s False Promises, and What True Financial Inclusion Looks Like.”


An Industrial Policy Moment

Public investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS and Science Act are set to build clean energy infrastructure across the nation.

In two new blog posts, Roosevelt’s Todd N. Tucker and Sunny Malhotra identify 208 existing manufacturing facilities where this can begin; and explore the political, and bipartisan, resonance of industrial policy.

“Crucially, as the data . . . show, there are both material and discursive openings for both parties to lean into industrial policy,” they write.

Read on.


What We’re Reading

A Movement for Free College [by Roosevelt’s Alí Bustamante]Nonprofit Quarterly

The Black Investors Who Were Burned by Bitcoin [feat. Roosevelt fellow Mehrsa Baradaran]The Atlantic

The Climate Villains of the Rail StrikeThe New Republic

Antitrust Misunderstands Innovation. This Is How We Fix It. – ProMarket