What kind of economic policy is Joe Biden pursuing? Is it liberal, left, green? It has become common to call Joe Biden's economic policy "Bidenomics". Google search for "Bidenomics" returns 256,000 hits, wrote Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, in a just-published article at Intereconomics (bimonthly journal covering economic and social policy issues in Europe or affecting Europe).
This is how Eichengreen defines Bidenomics: "At root, President Biden and his team envisage a more expansive economic role for government."
This more expansive economic role for government refers to a) renewing infrastructure and fighting climate change and b) expanding the welfare state.
a) Joe Biden proposed to spend 2,3 trillion dollars on roads, bridges, broadband and climate change abatement. Will the proposals be implemented? "Over the summer, the infrastructure package was downsized to $600 billion of new spending," Eichengreen writes. Moreover, most climate change measures had to be stripped out of the infrastructure deal to garner Republican support. So, on the one hand, it seems pretty sure that there will be some far-reaching infrastructure measures (because infrastructure renewal is something on which both parties in principle agree on); on the other hand, there is significant uncertainty about potential climate policy measures.
b) Joe Biden also proposed a 1,8 trillion Dollar American Families Plan for healthcare, childcare, eldercare and education programs. Many people compare this to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, which created unemployment insurance, a minimum wage and federally funded pensions. Eichengreen: "They would be a sea change for a country traditionally reluctant to contemplate anything resembling the European welfare state." Will this be implemented? The Republicans refuse. But: "Some view the question through the lens of successive American economic and political orders. First, there was the 'New Deal Order', when it was taken for granted that the government would provide public goods and services. In the 1980s, this gave way to the 'Neoliberal Order,' when Ronald Reagan ushered in an era of limited government and market fundamentalism. Perhaps the pendulum is now swinging back, as Biden imagines, toward a 'New New Deal Order'." So there might be a slim chance, also because the pandemic has alerted many Americans to the precariousness of their lives.
That is how Eichengreen ends his article: "Bidenomics faces a narrow path, and that it may end up being less than a New New Deal."