The Truth is Powerful

A Return to Normal Isn’t Good Enough for the American Economy

Masked kitchen workers pass finished plates of food to a server at Claro restaurant in New York City. The Biden administration took office promising not just recovery but also renewal. Its catchphrase “Build Back Better” may sound like an overworked alliteration, but it captures the idea that we need a stronger, more vital nation, not just a return to prepandemic conditions. Today’s underwhelming jobs report

underscores how difficult the recovery will be.

The two main pillars of the administration’s strategy are the $3 trillion American Jobs Plan and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan , which includes proposals for universal childcare, paid family leave, and tuition-free community college. Arguing over what counts as infrastructure or whether the proposed investments should be funded with a corporate tax increase misses the main point: This is the moment to focus on what the U.S. really needs for a sustained recovery, one that will reverse decades of economic inequality and finally attend to long-neglected issues of climate change and racial justice.

The American Jobs Plan makes up for decades of underinvestment in the physical and social structures that make our economy work. This includes traditional infrastructure like highways, bridges, and tunnels, many of which […]

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