Our nation’s social infrastructure is composed of the economic and social investments that are necessary for U.S. workers and families to be able to take care of their loved ones and remain productive members of the U.S. workforce. Social infrastructure is an essential support system for workers in the United States that enables the rest of the economy to function. Yet the nation has long underinvested in it. This policy choice leaves workers to fend for themselves in times of health or economic crises. They face impossible choices between their loved ones and their livelihoods, which ripple out to affect the broader economy.

As the debate continues on the size and scope of social infrastructure investments to include in the Build Back Better Act now under negotiation in Congress, Equitable Growth today released a new essay on the need for policymakers on Capitol Hill to boost investments in social infrastructure. The essays, penned by two of the nation’s leading experts on social and economic policy—Liz Ananat of Barnard College and Anna Gassman-Pines of Duke University—is the latest in a series of pieces by Equitable Growth scholars making the case for robust social infrastructure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlighting an extensive body of research on the benefits of social infrastructure programs for workers and the overall economy, these scholars make a compelling case: For the United States to emerge from the pandemic in a stronger economic position than it entered it, policymakers must make substantial investments in the nation’s social infrastructure. This includes income support for families, U.S. child care and early education systems, home- and community-based services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities, and a comprehensive paid leave  program.

Read the full article about social policy by Alix Gould-Werth and Sam Abbott at Washington Center for Equitable Growth.