1. What's Really Holding Us Back
In Democracy Journal, Roosevelt Fellows Mike Konczal and Marshall Steinbaum write that the Great Recession, like the Great Depression before it, showed that our economic problems are fundamentally about concentrated corporate power, and the best response is for an active government to provide alternatives.
2. Unconfirmed Reports
Roosevelt VP of Policy and Research Nell Abernathy joined a roundtable with Salon’s Carrie Sheffield and Alli Joseph to discuss Donald Trump’s “Soviet” press conference, the latest allegations about Russian election interference, and the ongoing confirmation hearings for Trump’s cabinet picks. Watch it here.
3. Making Plans for 2017
The Roosevelt network gathered for its annual Midyear Leadership Retreat, where they discussed diversity and equity in the network, combatting increased privatization of public goods, and intentional growth and recruitment strategies for the year ahead. Click here to view highlights from the weekend.
4. Can Trump Deliver?
Writing for Project Syndicate, Roosevelt Senior Fellow Rob Johnson argues that Trump prevailed by challenging the orthodoxy on structural inequality and the downsides of globalization, but if he tries to address those problems without fixing the rigged system he criticized, he's doomed to fail.
5. America's Jeff Sessions Problem
Roosevelt Communications Manager Alexander Tucciarone writes that, among Trump’s many troubling cabinet picks, Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions stands out as a threat to communities of color, immigrants, and anyone concerned about civil rights, police violence, and equality under the law.
1. The Remaking of America
In his latest column, Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that 2017 could be remembered as a turning point in U.S. and world history as Donald Trump takes power and both the Republican and Democratic Parties struggle to redefine themselves and their agendas for a new era.
2. A State of Emergency
Roosevelt Fellow Todd Tucker writes in Politico that while courts could try to intervene to block Trump’s trade plans, such as a 10 percent tariff on imports, the broad powers delegated to the presidency could allow Trump to declare the decline of American manufacturing a national emergency.
3. Fighting for the Franchise
The Intercept reports that Florida’s high court will consider a petition to allow a ballot referendum that could restore voting rights to people with felony convictions. Read more on this initiative from Roosevelter Carl Amritt, who has worked closely with Floridians for a Fair Democracy.
4. The Anti-Domination Approach
In a Washington Monthly review of Roosevelt Fellow K. Sabeel Rahman’s new book Democracy Against Domination, Kevin Carty writes that Rahman articulates a populism that serves as an alternative to laissez-faire libertarianism and moderate managerialism.
5. The New Sheriffs
At Vox, Matt Yglesias notes that while Trump is putting together a Wall Street-friendly team, House Republicans already have a detailed plan to weaken financial regulation. And as Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal tells him, that starts with depowering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
1. Looking Ahead to 2017
In her year-end blog post, Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong reflects on the work that the Roosevelt Institute has done this year and how it has laid the foundation for many important fights in the year ahead, from taming corporate power to rewriting the racial rules and empowering a new generation of leaders.
2. The Return of Voodoo Economics
Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that Donald Trump’s economic promises are based on the “big lie” that big tax cuts and higher infrastructure and defense spending can coexist with lower deficits – and it’s going to cost American workers.
3. Police Violence in the Trump Era
Roosevelt Fellow Dorian Warren writes in Ebony that the Trump presidency, with its promises of a harsh “law and order” approach, brings with it an increased threat of police violence against black and Latino Americans, and the only solution may be local movement-building and activism.
4. The Student Debt Crisis Is Real
In the Boston Review, Roosevelt Fellow and Senior Economist Marshall Steinbaum makes the case that the cost of acquiring a college degree has become a toll that Americans must pay to enter the workforce, and that the best response is to expand free public college and eliminate the gatekeepers to higher ed.
5. Remembering FDR's Call for Unity
Reflecting on Barack Obama’s post-election call for shared commitment to democratic norms, Roosevelt Senior Fellow David Woolner recalls FDR’s own message about the importance of national unity and what it means in the face of electoral interference by the FBI and Russia.
1. It's the Economy, Stupid
Roosevelt VP of Research and Policy Nell Abernathy moderated a discussion with Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz and Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong about the Trump administration’s economic policies and what progressives must do now to support workers. Click here to watch it on Facebook.
2. Michelle Obama's Legacy
In The Nation, Roosevelt National Network Director Joelle Gamble examines how the First Lady has embodied the tension between respectability and authenticity experienced by black women in the public sphere, and how women like her have opened the door to a different kind of movement politics.
3. The Fake News Solution
Writing for Jacobin, Roosevelt Fellow and Senior Economist Marshall Steinbaum argues that the answer to the problem of “fake news” is not to let Facebook and other companies self-police, but for Congress to take action to limit private corporations’ power to control the flow of information.
4. Trump's Economic Radicalism
Bryce Covert and Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal write in The Nation that although President Obama had modest economic victories, including his response to the Great Recession, the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, and his executive orders, they are worth defending—and they will all be under fire.
5. Could Putin Trigger a Revote?
Roosevelt Fellow Todd Tucker and law professor Steven J. Mulroy write that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election could provide grounds for courts to order a do-over of the November election, particularly if evidence emerges that ballots were tampered with.
1. Learning from Trump
On Medium, Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal analyzes Donald Trump’s campaign speeches to understand how he won white working class voters and finds that he emphasized job creation and the harmful effects of trade, eschewed attacking the rich or talking about poverty, and used a set of easy-to-grasp symbols and catch phrases.
2. Defending Dodd-Frank
Mike Konczal also testified before the House Financial Services Committee on the impact of regulations on short-term financing, arguing that Dodd-Frank has improved the health and stability of the financial system and that the law should be built upon, not rolled back under the new administration. Watch it here or read his prepared remarks.
3. How the WTO Shaped the Carrier Deal
Roosevelt Fellow Todd Tucker looks at the difference between the deal Trump cut with Carrier and Washington state’s prohibited deal with Boeing, placing both in the larger context of a globalization regime that pits workers against each other to fight for scraps.
4. Infrastructure for the Rich
Roosevelt VP of Research and Policy Nell Abernathy tells Grist that Trump’s infrastructure plan is good for corporations and private interests, but bad for anyone who wanted an economically transformative vision or an effort to address the growing crisis of climate change.
5. The Impact of Paid Family Leave
In a new report, “What to Expect When Your Employees Are Expecting,” Roosevelt @ GW student Adam Graubart examines how paid family leave policies have affected economies in California and New Jersey and makes the case for a similar policy to be implemented in Washington, D.C. A final vote on the plan will take place on December 20.
1. Democracy Against Domination
In the American Prospect, Roosevelt Fellow K. Sabeel Rahman discusses how most of today’s modern abuses of private power call for the antitrust remedies that were enacted during the Progressive Era and that we need to get serious about enforcement. Learn more about Rahman’s new book Democracy Against Domination in his Q&A with Dissent Magazine.
2. How Democrats Can Recover
Roosevelt’s Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz discusses his recent Vanity Fair piece on the Leonard Lopate Show. In a wide-ranging conversation, Stiglitz touches on the emergence of Donald Trump, the need to keep pushing a progressive economic agenda for working-class Americans, and proposes ways in which the Democrats can address these challenges.
3. Stay Woke
In a Mic round-up, Roosevelt network and other young leaders share how young people can take action and lend their support to the causes they care about under a Trump presidency. The network's Joelle Gamble, Brenna Conway, Dominic Russel and more remind readers that organizing and community are essential.
4. How Much Will Black Lives Matter Now?
Roosevelt Fellow Dorian Warren joins Capital & Main’s post-election Q&A series about how to carry the fight for racial justice into the Trump era. He offers specific ideas about what people can do in the months ahead to protect communities: “We have no choice — our backs are to the wall.”
5. Socializing Finance
In a thorough and thought-provoking Jacobin Magazine piece, Roosevelt Fellow J.W. Mason takes a look at the toll the financial sector currently takes on the real economy. He outlines the bold, groundbreaking steps that could be taken to make sure Big Finance works for the American public and broader economy, not the other way around.
1. The Infrastructure We Need
A new report by Roosevelt Senior Fellow Damon Silvers, Senior Program Associate Eric Harris Bernstein, and Roosevelt @ University of Michigan member Dominic Russel argues that we must make transformative investments in high-speed rail, universal broadband, and a carbon-reducing power grid to create the foundation for a 21st century economy—and we must do so in ways that are inclusive and targeted.
2. The Winning, Unheard Message
An election night survey conducted by Democracy Corps finds that Roosevelt’s Rewrite the Rules message appeals to voters who want bold economic reforms, but as Joan Walsh notes, many who might have agreed with Hillary Clinton’s economic positions did not hear enough about them during the campaign.
3. The Next Four Years
In Vanity Fair, Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that to regain voters’ trust, Democrats must steer away from neoliberalism and embrace a boldly progressive economic agenda. On Medium, Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal warns that progressives should not expect to find room for compromise with the newly empowered GOP—but we can be ready to oppose it.
4. The Growing Campus Movement
Roosevelters across the country have been joining and leading efforts to organize against the policies of the Trump administration. GW Today reports on a White House protest led by groups including Roosevelt @ GW, leaders of Roosevelt @ Cornell talked to The Cornell Daily Sun about their efforts to foster dialogue between different campus groups, and UCLA Roosevelter Francesco Arreaga calls on his school to uphold its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the Daily Bruin.
5. Giving Students a Voice in Their Community
Roosevelters at Binghamton University held a launch event for their Binghamton Blueprint, which received local news coverage. Their report outlines student solutions to local issues focused on poverty, economic development, and public education. Read it here.
1. Where Does Progressivism Go From Here?
Roosevelt Fellow K. Sabeel Rahman writes at The New Republic that the political fallout from 2016 will linger long after Election Day, and while progressive reformers have an opportunity to advance a new moral vision of democracy and the economy, they must make sure that it’s an inclusive one.
2. Bad for Business
Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz writes in the Tampa Bay Times that Donald Trump’s business record, even if it weren’t littered with failure and bankruptcy, does not give him the tools he needs to manage a national economy. Bullying, cheating, and reneging on debts won’t make a country prosper.
3. An Open Letter to Baby Boomers
Roosevelt National Network Director Joelle Gamble and Editorial Director Tim Price warn that a self-absorbed generation of voters could send Trump to the White House and put the country’s future in jeopardy—but they’re not talking about millennials.
4. How to Save the International Order
Roosevelt Fellow Todd Tucker writes for Time magazine that as a rising tide of nationalism threatens the postwar international legal order, leaders must be willing to rewrite bad deals, exercise judicial restraint, and work harder to improve public opinion on globalization.
5. Merger, He Wrote
Roosevelt Legal Fellow Andrew Hwang kicks off a new blog series, Mergers & the Monopoly Moment, with a look at AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner and the ways in which it could hurt the public interest by limiting consumer choice.
1. Stiglitz Speaks Out
Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz was a guest on Vox’s “The Ezra Klein Show,” where he discussed his background in Indiana, the evolution of his career, and the work he’s doing now to rewrite the rules of the American economy. And in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he explains why Donald Trump’s economic platform is wrong for American workers.
2. Monopoly Power in Silicon Valley
As part of The New York Times's Room for Debate, Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong says tech giants should be collaborating with government to serve people, not spending huge amounts on lobbying to exempt themselves from regulations that would benefit consumers.
3. A New Frontier for Antitrust
In the wake of the proposed AT&T/Time Warner merger, Pacific Standard talks to Roosevelt Program Director Kathryn Milani and Legal Fellow Andrew Hwang about Roosevelt’s Untamed report and why antitrust policy should consider the public interest and the threat monopolies pose to democracy.
4. Where's the Growth?
Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal tells The Atlantic’s Alana Semuels that one factor contributing to weak economic growth is that, despite historically low interest rates, corporations are chasing short-term returns for their shareholders instead of investing for the future.
5. Shutting Down the Pipeline
Kyle McElroy, a chapter organizer for the Roosevelt network and student at DePaul University, calls on Hillary Clinton to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline and stand with the Sioux tribe whose sacred land—and health—would be endangered if construction is allowed to continue on the crude oil pipeline.