Friday, September 22, 2023

Bidenomics: what if Joe Biden’s political weakness was paradoxically due to the success of the reindustrialization of the United States?

Joe Biden is betting on his economic record to convince voters in 2024. His strategy: bidenomics

©AFP/POOL/Nhac Nguyen


To convince voters in 2024, Joe Biden is betting on his economic record. However, his reindustrialization policy struggles to bear fruit.

Atlantic: Joe Biden is betting on his economic record to convince voters in 2024. His strategy: bidenomics. What does it consist of? Protectionism?

Jean-Paul Betbeze: Biden has very tense relations with China. With Covid and then the war in Ukraine, the Americans realized that they depended on Beijing, especially on everything related to semiconductors. Microchips to power iPhones or even cars.

Under these conditions, Biden is playing the protectionism card as Trump would have done. This is a protectionist, “return to the United States” industrial policy, planned for several years. They will develop this policy to try to recover lost technological competitiveness.

Guy Millière: The word Bidenomics was coined by White House communications advisers, but it will only be able to convince a minority of Americans that after three years of Biden’s presidency, the economic situation in the United States is good. Many Americans make the comparison with the results of the economic policy followed by Donald Trump until the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, and the comparison is disastrous for Biden. According to a recent poll, only 34 percent of Americans approve of the Biden administration’s handling of the economy, 59 percent disapprove. When asked who Americans trust most to take care of the economy in the coming years, 47 percent said Donald Trump, 36 percent said Joe Biden. And that makes sense. Studies show that, on average, an American family of four must spend $700 more per month in 2023 than in 2020 to maintain the same standard of living, which adds up to a whopping $8,400 per year. All prices have increased since Joe Biden came to power in January 2021. The price of fuel has almost doubled and Americans use their cars a lot. The price of electricity has increased an average of 20 percent, and in some states much more, food prices have skyrocketed. This is all a result of the Biden administration’s energy policy, and most Americans know it. People on the left accept suffering thinking that sacrifices are necessary to save the planet. The others do not accept and are the majority. Biden cannot be defined as a protectionist, he favors products made in the United States, but has not established additional customs barriers.

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Compared to Europe, the United States is doing quite well. Inflation is at 3.7% and interest rates at 4.3%. You who live in Las Vegas, are Americans happy?

Guy Millière: In fact, inflation in the United States fell to 3.7 percent. It had exceeded 9 percent due to the trillions spent in the first months of the Biden administration and the massive use of money printing, which allowed this spending to be financed. The fall in inflation was the result of an increase in interest rates, decided by the Federal Reserve Board to reduce inflation. A little over a year ago, interest rates were much lower. Rising rates have deeply affected the housing market and many Americans have had to abandon their purchasing plans. Most Americans feel dissatisfied when they go to the gas station to fill up the tank, when they go shopping at the supermarket, when they want to own a house or apartment.

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Why is this reindustrialization policy not bearing fruit at the political level? Doesn’t it create millions of jobs?

Jean-Paul Betbeze: When reindustrializing, it takes more than ten years. There is no immediate effect. Reindustrialization is the new technological revolution. It is a medium-term economic policy. This new industry is made up of engineers. You don’t find them like that. This policy is also an attempt to catch up with China.

Guy Millière: There is no reindustrialization policy. Aggressive economic policy deregulates and reduces taxes on businesses, leading to increased private investment. The economic policy carried out under Biden in the United States is increasing regulations and taxes on companies, and there is no increase in private investment. The federal administration subsidizes companies to make them move further in a direction defined by itself, the federal administration. Federal subsidies are aimed at the microprocessor sector and it remains to be seen whether they will be used in any meaningful way. Subsidies are political decisions and do not always go to the most successful companies. Federal subsidies are directed to the electric car sector. There is no growing demand for electric cars. There is a government desire to force Americans to switch to electric cars, often against their will. The job creation numbers provided by the Biden administration take into account the jobs that have been recreated by companies that had to lay off because they were forced to close during the pandemic, but the net job creation under Biden is quite low, and if the Unemployment is low, it is because many Americans are receiving government assistance and are no longer looking for work. The employment rate in the United States (the proportion of people with a job among those of working age) is lower today than in 2019, before the pandemic.

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According to a recent CBS poll, only a third of Americans believe Joe Biden will complete his second term. Don’t his public appearances inspire confidence?

Jean-Paul Betbeze: Joe Biden doesn’t know if he will run again. He is sick and frail. Those around him maintain a certain vagueness. Not to mention there is extraordinary violence on the part of his opponents.

Guy Millière: Joe Biden is senile and incapable of governing. This was already the case in 2020, and the major American media did everything possible to hide it. Others around Biden govern and decide. Joe Biden is incapable of carrying out an electoral campaign. His public appearances show his senility more and more blatantly. If he were re-elected, he would quickly hand over power to Kamala Harris. He is not senile, but incompetent, and that poses a serious problem for Democrats, who would like to replace her. By electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2020, they put themselves in a difficult situation.

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