Why Is the Senate Failing To Build Back Better? Blame Sexism

Build Back Better is not just about what’s right. It’s about what’s necessary to keep our country from falling apart at the seams. If we don’t mitigate climate change now, climate disasters will become more frequent, and more deadly and destructive. If we don’t build a strong childcare system, parents won’t be able to go to work, and we will lose skills and experience, as well as huge chunks of the labor force.

Without BBB, we’re losing not just a move toward equity, health and well-being—but also the chance at lasting prosperity.

Don’t Fence Me In: Reproductive Freedom and Women Workers

For centuries under common law, a daughter or a wife was the property of the family father or husband or, upon his death, the closest relative with a penis. Whatever was theirs was his, but most importantly the family patriarch oversaw her most valuable asset: her womb. In earliest medical thought, a womb was fertile ground in need of guarding and fences to make property rights clearer, and she to be plowed and planted with seed, quite literally semen.

We thought such laws and cultural metaphors were behind us. But now the cowboys of Texas have put a bounty on women’s wombs. The stakes are women’s civil rights as citizens, surely, but also financial ones.

Let Me Tell You About My Feminist Economic Agenda

It’s 2022, and we’re finally talking about how to solve the problems that have been plaguing U.S. workers for ages—women of color in particular.

Three policies from 2021 stand out in particular for their outsized positive impact in solving for gender and racial inequities: the child tax credit; Biden’s forgiving of $12 billion in student loan debt; and guaranteed income pilots.

Build Back Better Is in Peril. Low-income Families Can’t Afford To Lose It

As families hope Democratic leadership will find a different path to pass Build Back Better policies like childcare or paid leave, another revolutionary policy is just beginning to enter mainstream awareness: guaranteed income.

Guaranteed income involves regular payments directed to specific marginalized groups, as a way to address economic inequities caused by systemic racism and sexism. Economic justice organizations like the Magnolia Mother’s Trust argue that a federal guaranteed income program would not just help low-income families pay their bills, but also reduce financial stress and set their families up for long-term success. 

One Victory in Building Equity for Black U.S. Families—Millions More to Go

For Black people to build wealth, white people need to be comfortable redistributing some of theirs. A success story out of Eugene, Ore., shows how homeownership can begin to remedy income and wealth gaps for Black families.

But while it is amazing that the community came together to help Ms. Lyllye realize her dream of home ownership, there are millions of Black Americans just like her who deserve the same thing. To make that a reality, we need government policies such as increased mortgage options and subsidizing down payments for those impacted by historically discriminatory housing policies.