Tim Price

Deputy Editor

Recent Posts by Tim Price

  • In Defense of Public Service: Roosevelt Honors Commitment to Common Good

    Jul 14, 2014Tim Price

    Honorees at the 2014 FDR Distinguished Public Service Awards felt vindicated -- but why does public service need vindicating?

    Honorees at the 2014 FDR Distinguished Public Service Awards felt vindicated -- but why does public service need vindicating?

    Outside of election night victory speeches, it’s rare to see America’s elected officials express much happiness in public. In a political culture dominated by partisan rancor, personal attacks, and donor-friendly positioning, governing seems a joyless affair. Nor are the American people pleased with their leaders’ performance; polls reflect widespread dissatisfaction with all levels of government. So it was inspiring, refreshing, and a little surprising to see the sense of pride and achievement on display last Thursday evening in Washington as the Roosevelt Institute honored Vice President Joe Biden, Congressman George Miller, Senator Tom Harkin, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro at the 2014 FDR Distinguished Public Service Awards.

    Presented annually, the Distinguished Public Service Awards recognize and celebrate individuals who carry forward the spirit of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by devoting their lives to the public good. During this year’s ceremony, the audience heard from the four honorees as well as presenters including Dr. Jill Biden, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Al Franken, and former Senator Christopher Dodd. The speakers reflected on the honorees’ long list of policy achievements, from fighting for higher wages and paid family leave to passing the Americans with Disabilities Act. There was a smattering of amusing anecdotes (Senator Harkin’s ’70s-era polyester suits were evidently considered both an electoral liability and a fire hazard). And everyone who stood at the podium found a way to talk about their distinct but deeply felt personal connections to the Roosevelt legacy. Above all, they seemed genuinely moved to be celebrated rather than insulted for their work.

    The most striking speech of the night was delivered by Vice President Biden. He received the Roosevelt Institute’s highest honor, the Freedom Medal, for promoting the vision of worldwide democracy and human rights that FDR famously expressed in his 1941 Four Freedoms Address. The Vice President spoke of his award as a “vindication” of a career spent in public service; and about his long-held belief that, setting aside their individual political views and policy preferences, all elected leaders got to be where they are because their constituents “saw something good in them,” and because they in turn wanted to do some good for their constituents.

    It’s a nice thought. In practice, there is plenty of cause for cynicism, especially in light of the flawed or absent policy response to the Great Recession and the ongoing crisis of inequality in the U.S. And when politicians do fail to uphold the public good, they should be held accountable. But there is also no doubt that a great deal of America’s anti-government culture, and of the political dysfunction that keeps government from working effectively, has been created and nurtured by right-wing ideologues who view government as a problem in and of itself. If public servants as a category are in need of vindication, it is largely because of this conservative effort to denigrate the very idea of working through government to achieve common goals.

    Thursday’s awards were a welcome reminder that not everyone has given in to this cynicism – that the term “career politician” can be an affirmation and not just an epithet. It was obvious from listening to these men and women speak that they have felt a powerful call to serve, and have made a leap of faith that progress is possible through long years of hard work and dedication. That was what Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt believed as well, and they proved it with bold and ambitious New Deal programs that built the American middle class from the ground up, reshaping the U.S. forever. By honoring those who continue their work today, maybe we can encourage all Americans to make that leap once again.

    Tim Price is the Communications Manager for the Roosevelt Institute.

    Photos: (Top) Congressman Miller, Congresswoman DeLauro, and Senator Harkin with Roosevelt Institute Board Chair Anna E. Roosevelt. (Bottom) Vice President Biden accepting his award accompanied by wife Jill. Credit: Crystal Vander Weit.

    Share This

  • Daily Digest - July 3: America's Workforce is Still Segregated After All These Years

    Jul 3, 2014Tim Price

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    On the Civil Rights Act's 50th, Workplaces Remain Segregated (Colorlines)

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    On the Civil Rights Act's 50th, Workplaces Remain Segregated (Colorlines)

    Though the Civil Rights Act brought legal segregation to an end decades ago, people of color are still being pushed into lower-paying occupations, writes Rinku Sen.

    • Roosevelt Take: A new infographic from the Roosevelt Institute's Future of Work initiative outlines five policy proposals that would promote an inclusive workforce.

    Domestic Care for Family Members Isn't Valued If Its Givers Are Exploited (Truthout)

    In a book excerpt, Sheila Bapat cites research from Roosevelt Fellow Annette Bernhardt and others to show how domestic workers are shut out from standard labor protections.

    We Know We Work Too Much. Now How Do We Stop It? (New Republic)

    Bryce Covert looks at paid leave and vacation laws, health care reform, work-sharing programs, and other potential statutory solutions to America's oversized workweek.

    Porsches, Potholes and Patriots (NYT)

    The Fourth of July should prompt a celebration of America's great public investments -- and an acknowledgment that they depended on taxes, writes Nicholas Kristof.

    Census: One-Quarter of Americans Now Live in "Poverty Areas" (Slate)

    Data from 2010 shows that a growing number of Americans live in areas where more than 20 percent of the population is below the poverty line, notes Jordan Weissmann.

    Yellen Drives Wedge Between Monetary Policy, Financial Bubbles (Reuters)

    Fed chair Janet Yellen says monetary policy is the wrong tool to curb financial risk, report Michael Flaherty and Howard Schneider. She sees no need to raise rates at present. 

    New on Next New Deal

    Graduated and Living With Your Parents? You May Be Luckier Than You Think.

    Millennials forced to move home may have their economic futures determined by where they were born, writes Roosevelt Campus Network Operations Director Lydia Bowers.

    Share This

  • Daily Digest - July 2: Public Unions Meet the Conservative Guillotine

    Jul 2, 2014Tim Price

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    The Wage War for Public Workers' Unions (MSNBC)

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    The Wage War for Public Workers' Unions (MSNBC)

    Harris v. Quinn shows Supreme Court conservatives want to "weaponize the First Amendment" against public unions, says Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren.

    The Supreme Court Doesn't Care for Caregiving Workers (HuffPost)

    Roosevelt Institute Fellow Annette Bernhardt writes that the Harris decision is just the latest example of how our public policy treats caregiving as second-class work.

    Are the Authoritarians Winning? (NYRB)

    Authoritarianism is gaining traction as democracies falter, writes Michael Ignatieff, but Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz's new white paper offers a comprehensive solution to the liberal state's fiscal crisis. (Note: This article is behind a paywall.)

    How Bad Policy is Making the Great Recession's Damage Permanent (WaPo)

    Austerity and low inflation are holding back productive capacity, writes Matt O'Brien, and unless they're willing to take more risks, some countries may never fully recover.

    5 Ways Wall Street Continues to Sandbag the Economy, and How to Fix It (Prospect)

    To set the economy back on track, Democrats must stop propping up the financial sector and undertake a massive public investment program, argues Robert Kuttner.

    Low-Wage Workers' Newest Ally Is a Washington Bureaucrat (The Nation)

    Zoe Carpenter talks to David Weil, the new director of the Labor Department's Wage and Hour division, about his plans to enforce and improve standards in the workplace.

    New on Next New Deal

    The Supreme Court's One-Two Punch Against Women's Health: McCullen and Hobby Lobby

    Rulings against the contraceptive mandate and buffer zone laws will create more barriers between women and basic health services, argues Roosevelt Fellow Andrea Flynn.

    Share This

  • Daily Digest - July 1: SCOTUS Rulings Increase Burden on Women and Workers

    Jul 1, 2014Tim Price

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    Supreme Court Delivers a Win for Hobby Lobby and a Loss for US Women (The Hill)

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    Supreme Court Delivers a Win for Hobby Lobby and a Loss for US Women (The Hill)

    The majority ruled that the contraceptive mandate was a burden on religious employers, but ignored the burden of women's health costs, writes Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn.

    The Best Way to Fix the Employer Mandate (The Hill)

    An additional payroll tax on employers who don't provide health coverage would help low-wage workers and raise revenue, argues Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch.

    Why is Washington Still Protecting the Secret Political Power of Corporations? (Guardian)

    The Securities and Exchange Commission could require corporations to disclose more of their political contributions, writes Alexis Goldstein, but it has proved reluctant to act.

    The $236,500 Hole in the American Dream (New Republic)

    The wealth gap between white and black Americans is growing, writes Dean Starkman, and closing it will take a major overhaul of housing policy and other asset-building strategies.

    A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread That Unravels Illegal Bank Deals (NYT)

    Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess retrace the investigation that led to BNP being caught funneling money for Iran and Sudan and ultimately paying a record $8.9 billion penalty.

    New on Next New Deal

    SCOTUS Ruling Doesn't Gut Unions, But Creates New Challenges for Care Workers

    The Supreme Court's decision in Harris v. Quinn will make it harder for home care workers to organize for better pay and jobs, writes Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch.

    Money in Politics is a Local Problem, Too

    Rethinking Communities Brain Trust member Eugenia Kim writes that large donors have come to dominate even local politics, but communities have the power to resist them.

    Share This

  • Daily Digest - June 30: Inequality is a Choice We Can Stop Making

    Jun 30, 2014Tim Price

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    Inequality Is Not Inevitable (NYT)

    Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that policies and politics have created America's economic divide, and only engaged citizens can fix it.

    Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

    Inequality Is Not Inevitable (NYT)

    Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that policies and politics have created America's economic divide, and only engaged citizens can fix it.

    • Roosevelt Take: For more on Stiglitz's plan to address inequality, read his Roosevelt Institute white paper on tax reform.

    How Cities Can Take on Big Cable (Bloomberg View)

    The Federal Communications Commission should preempt state laws that ban cities from building competitive fiber networks, writes Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford.

    Public Sector Unions Could Radically Change This Week (WaPo)

    Today's Supreme Court decision on Harris v. Quinn could seriously weaken public employee unions if their compulsory dues are ruled unconstitutional, notes Lydia DePillis.

    Will the Government Finally Regulate the Most Predatory Industry in America? (The Nation)

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering new rules to protect the 12 million Americans a year who rely on high-interest payday lenders, reports Zoe Carpenter.

    Why This Company Decided to Make Its Salaries Public to All Employees (Think Progress)

    The CEO of data analytics company SumAll tells Bryce Covert that increased pay transparency has led to greater productivity and trust and less stress over compensation.

    What Americans Think of the Poor (Prospect)

    A new Pew poll shows that even many conservatives who agree that "poor people have it easy" also believe the economic system is unfair, writes Paul Waldman.

    New on Next New Deal

    Summer Vacation is Feeding the Achievement Gap

    Students from low-income families face substantial setbacks without access to summer learning programs, write Roosevelt Institute Director of Operations Sarah Pfeifer Vandekerckhove and policy intern Candace Richardson.

    Share This

Pages