April 01, 2021

Social Equity & Inclusive Economics

A new focus has emerged in economics and public policy as governments at all levels have started incorporating measures intended to enhance social equity into their planning procedures. Increased access to affordable housing and the reallocation of resources are just some examples of the aspects that are now being considered during the legislative cycle in order to potentially address the deficiencies created by previous domestic policies.

The concern surrounding social inclusion has made its way to the federal government with yesterday’s announcement of the first step of the American Jobs Plan by President Joe Biden. This initial portion of the president’s legislative initiative targets infrastructure improvements across the board, but the second half is expected to be proposed later this month and will aim to fund educational and social programs related to housing, workforce development, racial equity, and more. The New York Times published an article that outlined the various provisions of this infrastructure bill and quantified how many sections of our transportation network stand to be repaired or replaced while alluding to some of the anticipated elements that could be included in the plan’s second step.

At the local level, the COVID-19 pandemic actually afforded the Town of Breckenridge, CO the ability to reevaluate how they plan their tourism activities and future events so that they can become even more inclusive and influential for the surrounding community. The Summit Daily news outlet recently covered the use of a town-wide survey to better assess the overall effectiveness of prior events, as well as the potential implementation of requirements for prospective functions to meet certain equity and sustainability standards before receiving approval.

Meanwhile, some legislators remain hesitant when considering the new push for social equity, updated climate policy, and inclusive economics. Reuters released an article that detailed Republican Senator Pat Toomey’s apprehension toward the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s research into climate change, income equality, and other social topic areas. Sen. Toomey penned a letter asking for information about the Fed’s examinations, which he believes are detracting from what he sees as their primary analytical concerns and facilitating a social agenda.

REMI was joined in February by Colby Lancelin, Principal Planning Coordinator for the Atlanta Regional Commission, for a guest webinar presentation that explored the long-term economic and demographic changes that were generated by the outbreak of COVID-19. “Pandemic and the Economy: Crisis Diverted?” contained outlines of how to use the REMI model when evaluating various potential scenarios, determining the corresponding outcomes, and assessing how current and future policies might impact regional populations.

Click here to access The New York Times‘s description of the American Jobs Plan.

You can also read the Summit Daily article by clicking here.

To access the Reuters article, you can click here for more information.

Feel free to review the presentation slides and a recording of Mr. Lancelin’s guest webinar on our website by clicking here.