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From California Capitalism to Bidenomics

The Biden administration's ambitious spending and investment programs are precisely what the US economy needs to thrive in the twenty-first century. Best of all, the economic strategy now being pursued at the national level has already proven highly successful in the country's wealthiest, most dynamic state.

BERKELEY – US President Joe Biden’s first months in office have been impressive. The number of COVID-19 vaccines that have been administered is more than twice what he promised, and the spread of the coronavirus has slowed sharply. In the first quarter of this year, the US economy grew by 6.4% (the fastest quarterly rate since 1984), owing to monetary and fiscal stimulus and the broader reopening of the economy.

Economists at Goldman Sachs expect the 2021 US growth rate to be the fastest in three decades and recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute finds significant acceleration in productivity growth to follow. Under Biden, consumer confidence has rebounded: 55% of voters feel good about the state of the economy, up from 43% when he took office and 34% in May 2020.

Many commentators have compared the Biden administration’s economic agenda to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal or to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s post-Sputnik expansion of federal science and infrastructure spending. But the best analogy for Bidenomics is California, which has pioneered a strategy of innovation-based sustainable and inclusive growth.

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