With the advent of COVID-19 and an unprecedented economic shock, measures that were a month ago far outside the mainstream policy debate have moved to center stage. One of the most startling—at least to those unfamiliar with the history of US federal policy responses to previous crises—is nationalization. For instance, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo—hardly known as a champion of the radical left—has taken to Twitter to demand Donald Trump nationalize the supply chains for essential medical supplies. Meanwhile, demands from the grassroots are getting bolder—environmental group Food and Water Watch, for instance, has gone public with a demand to use public ownership of the fossil fuel industry to protect workers while winding the sector down. As more sectors of the economy stagger or rush towards collapse in the COVID shock, calls for nationalization are only going to get louder.
Join us for a one-hour webinar roundtable sorting out the surprising history of nationalization in the US, the demands currently on the table, and what we need to know in order to make sure nationalization is used to make a more democratic economy, not set up a post-crisis reconsolidation of corporate power.
- Kate Aronoff, staff writer at The New Republic, and author of “A Moderate Proposal: Nationalize the Fossil Fuel Industry”
- Thomas Hanna, Director of Research at The Democracy Collaborative, and author of “A History of Nationalization in the US: 1917-2009”
- Robert Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law at Cornell University School of Law, Visiting Professor of Finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, Fellow with New Consensus, and author of “How to Mobilize the Military to Produce the Supplies America Needs to Fight Coronavirus”
- Alexander Sammon, staff writer at The American Prospect, and author of “It’s Time to Nationalize the Airlines”
Organized by The Next System Project at The Democracy Collaborative.