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Biden's Neo-Populist Economic Doctrine

Within the space of just half a year, US President Joe Biden has completed a necessary economic-policy regime shift that started chaotically under his predecessor. But while the Biden administration has a much better handle on the issues, that doesn't mean the new dispensation will be without risk.

NEW YORK – About half a year into Joe Biden’s presidency, it is time to consider how his administration’s economic doctrine compares to that of former President Donald Trump and previous Democratic and Republican administrations.

The paradox is that the “Biden doctrine” has more in common with Trump’s policies than with those of Barack Obama’s administration, in which the current president previously served. The neo-populist doctrine that emerged under Trump is now taking full form under Biden, marking a sharp break from the neoliberal creed followed by every president from Bill Clinton to Obama.

Trump ran as a populist – commiserating with left-behind white blue-collar workers – but governed more like a plutocrat, cutting corporate taxes and further weakening the power of labor vis-à-vis capital. Nonetheless, his agenda did contain some truly populist elements, particularly when compared to the radically pro-Big Business approach that Republicans have pursued for decades.

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