This Explainer explores how the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is used in measuring our economic growth and whether alternative measures are also needed to provide a more comprehensive outlook of economic progress.
What do people mean by “money in politics” or “campaign finance reform”? Running for office requires money—for staff, travel, TV ads, etc. In many countries, much of the cost of public elections is paid for by public funds, so the voters control the process and candidates are only accountable to their constituents. But in most places in the U.S., election campaigns are funded only with private money, most of it coming in the form of large checks from wealthy donors.
Both economic and racial justice are core progressive priorities, but too often we discuss them separately. On the contrary, racial and economic harms are intertwined, as are our desired solutions to them. Wealthy elites exploit racial fears to turn working people against each other and government; economic pain increases racial resentment and facilitates scapegoating, fueling support for punitive measures against people of color.
Give states additional Child Care and Development Block Grant funding to double the number of children served by child care assistance, make the federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable, and expand Head Start and Early Head Start.
Home ownership is commonly understood as the quintessential marker of having arrived in the middle class: a family’s home is often the single largest asset that they own and has traditionally served as an important vehicle for wealth accumulation and economic security.
Public financing of elections, as a state and local democracy reform, can help enhance the political voice and power of working-class people and people of color. It is an effective antidote to the outsized influence corporations and major donors currently have on both politics and policy.