Most Americans won’t head to the polls to choose their next president for more than a fortnight. The unseen battle to shape the economic course of the Biden administration that may be ushered in on November 3 is already under way, however.
Washington insiders argue the real “result” of the election will only become clear in the days after the vote. If victorious, Biden will quickly begin handing out the senior positions to shape policy under his presidency.
The 77-year-old is keeping the Democrats’ broad coalition of progressives and moderates together for now, unified by the fight against Donald Trump. The presidential candidate has also made a point of consulting a broad range of economists in the lead up to the vote. But his eventual choices for key posts like treasury secretary, and the leadership of the National Economic Council will signal which Democratic faction has truly won power.
Among Biden’s top three economic advisers are the “progressive” camp including Jared Bernstein, his previous chief economist and an adviser to the current campaign. Bernstein, who served under Barack Obama, has been outspoken on topics such as the losers from globalisation and the need for a higher minimum wage.
He calls Trump “duplicitous”, accuses him of fighting for the “donor class”, and tells The Sunday Telegraph: “There is a key role for government to play in making sure that working people get a share of a growing economy and that one of the most important aspects of that goal is ensuring workers have the bargaining power they lack.”
The message from Bernstein is that Bidenomics is about “making sure that middle class working families are getting a fair shake and access to the opportunities they need”.