Will Bidenomics (ever) help Biden? If not, what will?

All about Bidenomics: a recap from the Berlin Summit "Winning back the people", May 2024


6. JUNE 2024

Despite Biden’s strategy of growing the economy from the middle out and from the bottom up – contrary to the traditional top-down approach – his administration’s successes have not significantly swayed public opinion or diminished Trump’s support. But why is that?

Recent studies presented at the Berlin Summit, which examined factors contributing to the rise of populism and strategies to counter it, suggested that increased public spending, onshoring, and the creation of new manufacturing jobs are essential to reducing existing inequalities. European data indicated that regions benefiting from EU investment exhibited lower levels of support for populist parties, implying that economic improvements and targeted investments can mitigate right-wing support.

However, translating these findings to the American context reveals significant challenges. Despite the positive outcomes of Biden’s extensive investment programs, US polls indicate that these efforts have not garnered substantial support for Biden. This discrepancy can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, there exists a stark partisan divide in the United States, with many Republicans broadly disapproving of Biden and the IRA. Secondly, American voters tend to be more anti-interventionist compared to their European counterparts, which complicates the acceptance of large-scale government interventions.

Additionally, there is a general lack of awareness among the public regarding the IRA and its implications. This gap in understanding makes it difficult for individuals to recognize the tangible benefits of such policies in their daily lives. Nevertheless the marginal effects of these policies could potentially influence critical battleground states and the overall election.

The problem of misinformation further exacerbates this issue. A significant portion of the populace attributes their wage gains to personal achievements rather than to the broader economic improvements facilitated by government policies. This misperception undermines the recognition of governmental contributions to economic growth.

Historically, the United States has focused more on inflation than on austerity, a contrast to the experiences of other countries like Germany. This focus, coupled with generational discontent, particularly among younger voters, further complicates Biden’s position. Many younger Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of international issues, such as the conflict in Gaza, and view his economic policies as nostalgic and expensive, primarily benefiting historically privileged segments of the population.

To make a substantive difference, it is argued that investments should be directed towards education and childcare, supporting younger generations more directly. Moreover, improving the communication strategy to effectively convey the benefits and successes of Biden’s policies is crucial. Relying on voter rationality and luck is insufficient in the face of widespread misinformation and distrust.

Ultimately, the challenges Biden faces are not solely rooted in the efficacy of his economic policies but also in the broader political and social dynamics of the United States. The lack of trust in Biden translates into skepticism towards his policies. In such a polarized environment, depersonalizing policy discussions and focusing on clear, direct benefits to the populace may be essential in bridging the partisan divide and gaining broader support.



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