The United States faces four converging and overlapping challenges—a public health crisis and resulting economic one, a reckoning over structural racism, and the worsening effects of climate change—all of which require substantially greater public investment to overcome. Indeed, a growing body of research finds that declining public investment is damaging to U.S. communities and the overall strength of the economy because older infrastructure depreciates, and economic and social challenges go unaddressed.

To elevate research about the need for increased public investment, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and the Groundwork Collaborative hosted a virtual event on April 6 titled “Investing in an equitable future.” The webinar, a relaunch of Equitable Growth’s Research on Tap series, featured Cecilia Rouse, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who was interviewed by Washington Post reporter Tracy Jan, as well as a discussion on the need for structural changes among a panel of economic and social policy experts—Jhumpa Bhattacharya, vice president of programs and strategy at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development; Joelle Gamble, a special assistant to the president for economic policy on the White House National Economic Council; and Saule Omarova, a Cornell University law professor—that was moderated by Equitable Growth’s Policy Director Amanda Fischer.

The speakers agreed that there were fundamental structural problems before the pandemic caused by massive income, wealth, and racial inequality, even if topline economic indicators, such as the overall employment numbers, suggested the U.S. economy was strong. The goal of policymakers, they said, should not be to return to the pre-pandemic economy but to build a stronger, more equitable future in which prosperity is broadly shared.

Read the full article about equitable investing for a more just future at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.