Bold v. Old: Big Problems Call for Bold Solutions

As the 2020 cycle gains momentum, so does the race for fixes to our country’s most pressing issues: more than half of Americans can’t come up with $500 in case of an emergency. The racial and gender income and wealth gaps remain entrenched. 40 percent of adults had trouble meeting their basic needs in the last year.

Given these facts, it’s no surprise that bold economic solutions that would’ve been brushed off as too radical just a few years ago are now springing up in even centrist circles. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. cautioned in a lesser-known portion of his iconic I Have a Dream speech, “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

This urgency to solve for rapidly-growing inequality and the concentration of wealth in the hands of too few has rightly jumped to the forefront of our national debate, and was the driving force behind the recent Bold v. Old conference held in the shadow of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Co-hosted by Change Change, Economic Security Project, Hewlett Foundation and Roosevelt Institute; Bold v. Old brought together politicians, organizers, thought leaders and policy experts to explore ideas to incite concrete, systemic change to reverse our economy’s current structure of rewarding only a few while leaving everyone else struggling — particularly women and people of color.

Weaving together topics as far ranging as antitrust law and how we reclaim populism, the event tapped into some of our nation’s brightest minds to investigate how issues of power and agency are at the root of economic justice. Speakers included Senators Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown and Kamala Harris; former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, National Domestic Workers Alliance Director Ai-jen Poo, FTC Legal Fellow Lina Khan, Demos President Sabeel Rahman, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and emcee Baratunde Thurston. Check out some highlights of the day here:

You can find videos of full panels from the event here. While the onstage action ran the gamut from moving personal experiences with poverty from writer Stephanie Land to detailed plans from political leaders on how to create a more equitable financial system, the major takeaway from the day is that the North Star of a future in which all Americans can thrive is finally within sight.