Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Biden's lost agenda

In the Fall of 2020 the American people decided to dump Trump. Americans didn't agree on much else; voters rejected significant change. Overall the result did not surprise me, especially given the summer riots and the "defund the police" movement.

Biden's agenda is mostly history. Except for the most important part. I'm going to get to that in a future post (it's not student loan forgiveness!), but first I want to reference the future America rejected. I'll use George Packer's summary in the Oct issue of The Atlantic (emphases mine):

America’s Plastic Hour Is Upon Us

... The scale of Biden’s agenda is breathtaking. At its center is a huge jobs program. A Biden administration would invest $2 trillion in infrastructure and clean energy. He proposes creating 3 million jobs in early education, child care, and elderly care—sectors usually regarded as “soft” and neglected by presidential candidates—while raising their pay and status. “This economic crisis has hit women the hardest,” Sullivan said. “These care jobs are primarily jobs filled by women—and disproportionately women of color and immigrant women—but they don’t pay a fair wage, and the opportunities to advance aren’t there. This is a big, ambitious, bold proposal—not an afterthought, but at the core.” Another $700 billion would go to stimulating demand and innovation in domestic manufacturing for a range of essential industries such as medical supplies, microelectronics, and artificial intelligence. Some $30 billion would go to minority-owned businesses as part of a larger effort to reduce the racial wealth gap.

Biden is proposing industrial policy—massive, targeted investment to restructure production for national goals—something that no president has openly embraced since the 1940s. His agenda would also give workers more power, with paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, a public option for health care, and an easier path to organizing and joining unions. It would more than double the federal minimum wage, to $15 an hour ...

Ok, that's the agenda that was. Wave good-bye to it, but don't give up entirely. There's something in there that can be saved.

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