Economic Policy

  • Neoliberalism: Not Dead Yet

    by Brett Christophers

    The reassertion of state power over economies during the COVID pandemic shouldn't yet be taken as a sign of a turn away from the dominance of finance capital over the global economy and politics – market fundamentalism is only one part of the system. 

  • Why "Progressives" Want to go Back to the 1950s

    by Walter Russell Mead

    Biden's developing economic and trade policies reflect a turning away from the free market "Washington Consensus" led by Democratic policymakers like Larry Summers. The political benefits of embracing protection, populism and labor seem clear, but the economic effects are uncertain. 

  • Why the GOP Can't Balance the Budget—and Why they Don't Care

    by Monica Prasad

    An ideological commitment to tax cuts and political unwillingness to cut entitlements (or defense spending) means post-Reagan Republicans can't balance the federal budget. Their solution has been to stop pretending to care about it. 

  • How to Fight Inflation Without Interest Rate Hikes and Recession

    by Meg Jacobs and Isabella M. Weber

    The history of World War II price controls shows that it is possible to fight inflation without imposing recession, if controls are targeted and backed by concerted effort to win political support. 

  • Why Biden Failed

    by Adam Tooze

    If Biden’s plan was to stabilize US democracy with progressive politics – an updated New Deal for the 21st century – the conclusion now must be that his presidency has failed.

  • The Economy is Good, Actually

    by Zachary D. Carter

    An economic historian says that the recovery from the pandemic is historically good in terms of the share of gains going to low-income workers, but the politics are not working in the Democrats' favor. 

  • 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.