Biden’s “Building Back Better”? New Deal or Same Ol’ Deal? February 11, 2021

Political economists Doug Henwood (of The Nation, Jacobin, and Left Business Observer) and Bryan Snyder (of Dollars & Sense) join us to dissect the newly installed Biden administration and what it means for the people and for left politics in our time. What is the meaning of Biden’s actions since taking office? His cabinet appointments? His much-heralded executive orders? His stated policy objectives (and those of the Democratic Party leadership that now controls both houses of Congress?)What are the openings for progressive, labor, environmental, and social justice movements foreseeable in the coming period? In what ways is Biden’s admin likely to depart from the Trump regime’s policies? In what ways have the current crises (from COVID-19, to endemic police violence, to widespread unemployment) created new opportunities that could allow for the new regime to be pressured from without? Are there openings for a (Green) New Deal under Biden, or are we likely to be fed more of the same ol’ deal? What are we likely to see coming down from the Biden administration, based on its recent moves, as well as its ideological and policy history? How can those committed to a just, sustainable, and more equal world best prepare to respond and engage the new terrain?