Despite several previous attempts, weekly roundups have never exactly been a weekly phenomenon here at the LPE Blog. Like New Year’s resolutions to exercise regularly, we keep starting out with good intentions and an initial consistency in fulfilling them, only to find ourselves staring at a pile of un-rounded-up weeks wondering what happened.
But here we go again.
This time we’re starting with a fresh innocence, because we’re a fresh editorial board. As blog OG Kate Redburn announced at the beginning of the month, they have stepped down at Managing Editor (though will remain on in advisory capacity–on which more in a couple weeks). And much of the rest of the editorial board has shifted around as well.
So, before we get our Roundup on, we thought we’d pull back the curtain and introduce ourselves.
Luke Herrine (@ldherrine) is the new Managing Editor. He is a PhD Candidate in Law at Yale Law School, and he has worked as a Lead Editor here at the Blog since he arrived at YLS two years ago. His current research focuses on the political economy of consumer law, of higher education, of contract law, and of various sorts of household debt (and their potential cancellation). Much of this research grows out of his experience working as a lawyer-organizer with the Debt Collective, where he developed a(n un)healthy fury about how deeply neoliberal and neoclassical frames of analysis have been internalized both by elites and by working people.
Isabel Echarte (@IsabelEcharte) is a rising 3L at YLS, where she is a member of the Latinx Law Students Association, the Law and Political Economy student group, and the Housing Clinic’s mortgage foreclosure defense team. In continuing her work on the blog (she has been a Lead Editor for the past year), Isabel will be covering housing, money, finance, and other property issues. This summer she is working at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board. Last summer, she provided employment legal services at Make the Road NY. Prior to law school, she witnessed the horrors of cost-benefit analysis and the role of economic analysis in policy first hand while working at a think tank.
Anna Wherry (@annawry) is a rising 3L at Yale Law School and PhD student in anthropology at Johns Hopkins. At Yale she works with the Global Health Justice Partnership and is a member of the Law and Political Economy Student Group. She’ll be tracking content on family law and health law for the weekly roundup. This summer she’s at the Brooklyn Defender Services Family Defense Practice, where she’s learning about the racial and class dynamics of family court and how child services involvement in family life is changing during COVID.
Sarang Shah (@SarangBerkeley) is a rising 3L at Berkeley Law and is the chair of the Law and Political Economy Society at Berkeley. He will be covering topics on antitrust and other areas where law meets economics, as well as reaching out to students interested in LPE. This summer, Sarang is working with Open Markets Institute in Washington, DC as a Louis Brandeis Law and Political Economy Fellow. Next fall, he will be joining the East Bay Community Law Center’s community economic justice clinic. Before law school, Sarang was a theoretical physicist, magazine founder and editor, progressive activist and journalist on the money-in-politics beat, tech writer for Palantir, and amateur actor and playwright (roughly in that order).
Caroline Parker (@CarolineLParker) is a rising 2L at YLS and is the co-president of the LPE student group and Yale Animal Law Society. She will be providing content related to environmental justice, climate change, and the child welfare system. Before law school, Caroline was steeped in the logic of child-saving while working on foster care and juvenile justice policy with state and local agencies in Colorado. This summer, she is interning at the Center on Race Poverty and the Environment, which supports frontline communities that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of toxic industry, agriculture, and factory farming.
But enough about us.
This week at the blog, we have been hosting a series of posts responding to the inspiring uprisings going on all around us, the brutal response thereto, and the conditions that led to them.
On Monday, Monica Bell laid out a framework for thinking the deeper structural violence towards Black people and communities that enables the type of police brutality that led to these uprisings and those that have come before.
On Tuesday, Jocelyn Simonson argued that standard prescriptions for police reform that focus on measurable costs and benefits and/or process-based legitimacy fail to address the real problem: the lack of community power over agents of public safety.
On Wednesday, Kate Levine questioned the wisdom of prosecuting police both because it diverts energy from the deeper problems that lead to police violence and because prosecution is rarely successful.
On Thursday, Joanna Schwartz canvassed the failures of the current system for civil suits to hold police responsible and suggested ways to make them more effective.
Stay tuned for further installments in this series!
Meanwhile, some of our reading recommendations from around the internet.
Two absolutely essential pieces on the uprisings and the changes they might bring about: this from Michelle Alexander in the New York Times is an incredibly powerful statement of the scope of changes necessary to the moment and this from Keeanga Yamahatta-Taylor in the New Yorker situates the uprising in recent history and helps orient our political horizons.
In a different register and on a different topic, this essay on Jared Kushner’s absurdly ineffective COVID response team by David Roth at the New Republic doubles as one of the most profound and pithy meditations on the continuities between Trumpian incompetence and right-wing think tankery yet published.
This summer, the LPE community is conducting a webinar academy on Anti-Monopoly and Regulated Industries. Our first session this past Tuesday with K. Sabeel Rahman and Suresh Naidu covered an introduction to monopolies from an economics perspective. This piece by Gabriel Winant in The Nation reviews a recent popular book about the history of the anti-monopoly tradition and poses an important question for all of us in this area: what are its limits?
In Dissent Magazine, Joelle Gamble elaborates on a must-read Twitter thread from last week on how economic assumptions uphold racist systems: “Racism is rational when it upholds institutional arrangements that preserve white wealth and economic power…And economists who want to challenge racism must recognize the role of history, power, and institutions in shaping behavior.”
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor argues for #CancelRent — outlining how federal, state, and local governments have thus far failed to protect tenants and low-income homeowners while showing that activists are presenting an alternative vision for a more just outcome. “As a society, we must ask whether the failure to pay rent or a missed mortgage payment should be punished with a death sentence.”
Christine Desan and Nadav Orian Peer at Just Money: “Twice in two decades, shocks have destabilized our financial and economic system with such violence that the Fed’s action, directed in convoluted ways by the Treasury and questionable in terms of constitutionality, became necessary. There could be no more clear demonstration that we need to restructure our financial architecture. Neither the crises, nor their distributive effects, nor the way their remedy eludes accountability, are sustainable in a democratic society.”
Interview with Mehrsa Baradaran: “…the rhetoric of free-market capitalism has been used at several points in history just to cut down black claims of inclusion.”
Julie Kohler’s “The End of Family Values” in The Boston Review and Sophie Lewis’s “Covid-19 Is Straining the Concept of the Family. Let’s Break It,” in The Nation both argue that COVID reveals the limits of neoliberalism’s attempts to shift the state’s welfare responsibilities onto the nuclear family.
A fascinating and timely thread on Elinor Ostrom’s forgotten early work on police.
Kate Aronoff on the connection between police funding, climate programs and current state budget cuts (mostly focused on CA).
An older, but really good piece by Dorothy Roberts I have been thinking about in the context of calls for social workers to replace police.
Phew! That’s a long roundup post. Anybody still here?