The COVID-19 pandemic has created a devastating economic recession that has forced unprecedented levels of fiscal and monetary policy. Economists are beginning to rethink the economy in ways that could revolutionize the field. However, the application of macroeconomics is subject to governments and all the political turmoil that comes attached to them. President-elect Joseph Biden, who will soon lead the largest economy in the world, has demonstrated an interest in a large relief package focused on supporting working families and small businesses. Here are a few more economic policies we can expect from a Biden administration.
The pandemic has created a reverse Robin Hood-like scenario where the top 1% have seen exponential increases in their wealth while the lowest earners have faced mass job losses, evictions, and disproportionate COVID-19 deaths and infections. This has raised existing tensions between the working class and the extraordinarily rich, putting more pressure on Biden to wield his executive authority to provide relief for working families through executive policies such as student loan forgiveness.
Biden’s treasury secretary choice, Janet Yellen, is undoubtedly one of his best cabinet appointments yet. Yellen has an unmatched level of experience given her time as chair of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors and as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank during the economic recovery that followed the 2008 financial crisis. In terms of her policy, Yellen is considered a “dove” on Wall Street, meaning she tends to focus more on unemployment over inflation, a policy that will overwhelmingly benefit working families who have lost their jobs during the recession. This does not mean that Yellen will push the inflation rate up to numbers significant for ordinary families, it simply means that there will be a priority on getting Americans back to work instead of sacrificing hundreds of thousands of jobs in order to reduce the inflation by incredibly small amounts. Yellen would also make history by being the first woman to ever serve as treasury secretary, falling in line with Biden’s commitment to have the most diverse cabinet in history. Given her vast experience and dedication to helping ordinary Americans, It should be no surprise that Yellen’s appointment has managed to satisfy both progressives and conservatives.
The rest of Biden’s major economic proposals, such as his tax plan, are completely up to the Senate. If Democrats do not succeed in securing both of Georgia’s runoff Senate seats in January, there is little to no chance of any of Biden’s economic policies being implemented for the next two years. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel has exhibited a complete lack of care for working families and the economy by eliminating any chance of stimulus package negotiations with Democrats.
Despite the uncertain state of the Senate, President-Elect Biden, through his policy proposals and cabinet appointments, has demonstrated a commitment to a united country and a swift economic recovery. We can finally expect sound economic policies that will accelerate our economy towards recovery by making it serve the interests of the working class, not just the top 1%.
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