A Tale of Two Recoveries: What’s Changed since the Great Recession
How to Save a Country · 42 minutes ·

A Tale of Two Recoveries: What’s Changed since the Great Recession

Fun fact: The US economy’s rebound from the COVID recession has been five times faster than its recovery after the Great Recession.

You read that right. And to explain why that is—and how workers have benefited—we’ve got two people who’ve had front-row seats in the Obama and Biden administrations.

Joelle Gamble is the current chief economist at the US Department of Labor; Heidi Shierholz (now the president of the Economic Policy Institute) was its chief economist between 2014 and 2017.

Together, they talk with Felicia and Michael about how the shifts in economic policy thinking over the last decade helped produce today’s record-breaking recovery.

“The economy is not like the freaking weather, right? Like it really is a policy choice,” Heidi says. “The difference in the speed of the recovery really, really underscores just how unbelievably important fiscal policy is, like Keynesian stimulus, to generating a strong recovery.”

Joelle and Heidi discuss how to measure a recovery, why this inflation moment is a corporate profit story, and how to shift people’s view of the government’s role—by “doing things that help people and doing them well,” Joelle says.

Presented by the Roosevelt Institute, The New Republic, and PRX. Generous funding for this podcast was provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network. Views expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of its funders.

You can find transcripts and related resources for every episode at howtosaveacountry.org.

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