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Wed Sep 29, 2021, 05:35 PM

I'm One of Biden's Advisers. Here's How I Think About His Economic Agenda.

Last edited Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:38 AM - Edit history (1)

By Heather Boushey

Ms. Boushey is a member of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers.

9-29-2021

Even in normal times, the nation’s economic policies can often feel detached from the daily lives of millions of Americans who get up and go to work each day, terrified that they might slip out of the middle class — or never make it in — but for me, an economist advising President Biden, the struggle to achieve economic security is deeply personal.

In the early 1980s, when interest rates hit almost 20 percent, my father was “pink slipped” from his machinist job building 747s at Boeing, an event that upended our family finances. It wasn’t just my family. All the kids on my cul-de-sac watched as our parents worried about health insurance and the mortgage. We were lucky; the recession was relatively short, and between my mom’s paycheck and my dad’s benefits, we got by until the orders for planes resumed.

But I recall being shocked by how much power Boeing had over our lives. When my dad was laid off, the economic security my parents had long worked for disappeared overnight. It got me thinking about the question that would come to animate my career: How can what social scientists call countervailing forces — things like unions and democratic governments that respond to crises affecting communities through no fault of their own — cushion individual families against the whims of the marketplace?

Millions of Americans don’t trust the government or its ability to improve their lives, and it’s not hard to see why. For decades, politicians of both parties have allowed corporations to grow into vast monopolies. They gave tax breaks to companies that shifted jobs overseas while promoting the use of fossil fuels that are destroying our planet and poisoning our communities. And they offered huge tax cuts to the very wealthy while refusing to support working families.



https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/29/opinion/government-biden-families.html?smid=tw-share

( Outstanding. )

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Reply I'm One of Biden's Advisers. Here's How I Think About His Economic Agenda. (Original post)
BeckyDem Sep 2021 OP
raging moderate Sep 2021 #1
BeckyDem Sep 2021 #2
KPN Sep 2021 #3
raging moderate Sep 2021 #7
jaxexpat Sep 2021 #4
Uncle Joe Sep 2021 #5
Red Pest Sep 2021 #6
Fiendish Thingy Sep 2021 #9
BeckyDem Oct 2021 #12
Fiendish Thingy Sep 2021 #8
bucolic_frolic Sep 2021 #10
Ursus Rex Oct 2021 #11

Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 05:41 PM

1. They believe the rich tycoons are the only true workers.

I remember my sudden enlightenment in the eighties, reading a book written by a right-wing reactionary. This writer declared that people doing physically demanding jobs were not really workers; she said they were "only laborers." And therefore, in her estimation, these people deserved only enough pay to barely keep living. She thought the "true workers" (the rich tycoons and their designated cronies) should rake in almost all of the profits.

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Response to raging moderate (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 05:43 PM

2. Yep and the authors dreams came true too.

We must change that.

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Response to raging moderate (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 05:46 PM

3. Did you burn that book?

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Response to KPN (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:21 PM

7. It was a library book.

I returned it fast, though.

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Response to raging moderate (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:06 AM

4. That was essentially Ayn Rand's schtick.

According to her the proletariat was merely a great, lazy, dirty carpet upon which the successful wiped their feet and sat their umbrella stand. Her heroes let neither love, honesty, trust or reality get between them and their goals of wealth and power. The same power which they were honored to protect so valiantly, steadily plodding on under its burden.

What a hateful hag.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 11:45 AM

5. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread BeckyDem.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 02:14 PM

6. Excellent opinion piece, let me recommend another

[link:https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/22/opinion/biden-moderate-democrats.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article|]

Title:
Why Are Moderates Trying to Blow Up Biden’s Centrist Economic Plan?
by Zachary D. Carter

An excerpt -
At the close of 1933, The New York Times published an open letter from the British economist John Maynard Keynes to President Franklin Roosevelt offering both high praise and a dire warning. In the first nine months of his presidency, Keynes argued, Roosevelt had proved himself a hero to all those around the world who believed in “rational change” through “the existing social system.” But Keynes saw danger ahead: Without a robust economic recovery, Roosevelt’s reform program would disintegrate, taking with it liberal dreams of reversing the global slide into authoritarianism.

Roosevelt didn’t always see eye to eye with Keynes, but he ultimately took the advice, ramping up spending on housing, relief payments and direct hiring to better complement his battles against monopolies and the titans of high finance. The recovery strengthened, and American democracy survived as Europe descended into fascism.

Keynes’s wisdom resonates today, though the precise contours of our economic dilemma differ. Like Roosevelt, President Biden entered office in a flood of crises. The pandemic was claiming thousands of American lives each day, vigilantes had just stormed the Capitol, and millions of people remained out of work amid soaring inequality. Each of these calamities threatens not only the political viability of Mr. Biden’s political party but also the future of American democracy. The president recognizes the stakes and has bet everything on his economic agenda.

Over the past few weeks, however, centrists in Mr. Biden’s own party have been chiseling away at his signature legislative proposal, the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, to the point where the bill’s future is in jeopardy. It is not unheard-of for politicians to disagree with members of their own party, but the recent Democratic attacks on the plan have been remarkable for their incoherence.

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The article goes on to address the remarkable incoherence and poor reasoning by some of those so-called moderates who want a smaller plan. Zachary Carter makes it quite clear that President Biden's plan addresses many problems in our country not with revolutionary approaches, but rather, in my opinion, with evolutionary approaches. As a biologist (microbiologist), I love evolutionary fixes, but you should read and decide for yourselves.

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Response to Red Pest (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 04:04 PM

9. Whether or not Biden's BBB passes, late-stage capitalism will collapse eventually

Leaving a gaping hole and opportunity for either 1) Social Democracy or 2) Fascism

Having BBB in place will decrease the odds of fascism emerging, something the bipartisan bill alone cannot guard against, as it merely supports the status quo.

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Response to Red Pest (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 10:18 AM

12. Thank you for adding that. +1

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 03:59 PM

8. That's why the "take what we can get" philosophy misses the mark completely

“Take what we can get” is shorthand for “abandon working families”.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 06:52 PM

10. Cannot read the rest of the article but

the reasons given for mistrusting government are liberals' reasons. The far right mistrusts government for some other reasons that I cannot fathom, and none of them care one bit about income in equality even if they're on the low end of things. So something else is going on here.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 10:16 AM

11. It seems pretty clear what else is going on.

They're being paid or coerced to block it.

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