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Economic Policy



  • Can Biden Avoid Carter's Biggest Blunder?

    by Meg Jacobs

    “I’ll give it to you straight,” Carter said. “Each one of us will have to use less oil and pay more for it.” This arguably sensible position was disastrous politics. Can Biden do more to encourage conservation while acknowledging the economic pain fuel prices inflict?



  • Why Are Moderate Dems Trying to Blow Up Biden's Economic Plan?

    by Zachary D. Carter

    Centrists' efforts to chisel away at the Build Back Better bill threaten its passage, its effectiveness, and the prospects of Democrats to hold power in the future. A biographer of John Maynard Keynes wonders why they're doing it. 



  • Back to the Seventies?

    by Kenneth Rogoff

    Problems of political economy complicate the job central bankers face in setting interest rates. From international relations to domestic politics to an aging population, an economist considers the similarities and differences between now and the 1970s. 



  • What Scaremongering About Inflation Gets Wrong

    by Rebecca L. Spang

    Inflation has become a subject of political dread as Americans have shifted from seeing themselves as producers to seeing themselves as consumers. But historical perspective shows that policy picks winners and losers and is dependent on choices about what to measure and how.   



  • Joe Biden Wants to Be Like Roosevelt. But Can He Get the Votes?

    Jill Lepore and Jelani Cobb join New Yorker Editor David Remnick's podcast to discuss the prospects for an ambitious program of spending and public works. As Lepore says, “You can’t put F.D.R. in Dr. Who’s phone booth and bring him to 2021."



  • Why Trump Still Has Millions of Americans in His Grip

    Columnist Thomas Edsall surveys recent research about the past and future economic impact of automation and artificial intelligence and concludes that Democratic elites have a short time left to get ahead of cataclysmic changes in employment or else the Trump phenomenon will only be a preview of political rage. 



  • How Domestic Labor Became Infrastructure

    Writer Moira Donegan argues that including funding for care workers in the infrastructure bill is eminently reasonable; feminist intellectuals for decades have argued that this work is essential to the broader economy, so funding it and supporting it makes sense economically and to recognize the labor of women. 



  • The Meaning of the Democrats’ Spending Spree

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    Joe Biden supported a balanced budget amendment in 1995, ran as the "establishment" candidate in the Democratic primaries, and has been a regular advocate of bipartisanship. So why is his administration proposing the massive American Rescue Plan Act, and showing a willingness to act without securing Republican cooperation? A tour of recent history can explain. 



  • Government has Always Picked Winners and Losers

    by David M.P. Freund

    Government action has always been tied to economic growth, and always involved policy choosing winners and losers. Policies proposed by the Biden administration as part of the COVID recovery aren't inserting the government into the market, they're changing the parties favored by government policy. 



  • The U.S. Government Should Promote the General Welfare

    by Lawrence Wittner

    The preamble of the Constitution states that the federal government was established "to promote the general welfare." The Democratic Party, for its own good and that of the nation, must aggressively seize that mantle now. 



  • Manufacturing Isn’t Coming Back. Let’s Improve These Jobs Instead

    by Gabriel Winant

    Instead of focusing on infrastructure projects, the federal government should act to improve the pay and working conditions of medical and care workers, who have been a growing share of the American working class for decades. This would make poorer and older Americans healthier as well. 



  • The United States Is Picking Up Where The Great Society Left Off

    by John Stoehr

    Comparing the recent COVID relief bill to the 2009 bailout of the subprime crisis shows a rapid turn away from the Republican and New Democratic consensus that social welfare assistance must be tied to work and limited to people who are "deserving."



  • A Living Wage Should Be A Constitutional Right

    by John A. Gronbeck-Tedesco

    "It is time we invert John F. Kennedy’s famous dictum (“Ask not what your country can do for you …”) and ask what can the country do for us?"



  • The Forces That Stopped Obama’s Recovery Will Not Stop Biden’s

    by Jonathan Chait

    Has the bipartisan Washington elite preoccupation with budget deficits faded since the Obama Administration's troubled efforts to promote economic recovery in 2009? Will austerity wreck Biden's goals too? Jon Chait says that moment has passed. 



  • Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed

    The Senate negotiations over the Affordable Care Act and the 2009 Recovery Act are not ancient history. It remains to be seen if Senate Democrats can learn from them. 



  • The Depression-Era Lessons That Can Solve Today’s Evictions Crisis

    by Anya Jabour

    Social workers and researchers Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge conducted an important study of evictions in Chicago during the Great Depression and advocated for federal support for a minimum standard of living including housing. The looming eviction crisis demands similar big thinking.