Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Adam Tooze Looks At The Biden Administration's Industrial Policy

And concludes:

"Ultimately, what we see expressed in the Biden administration’s new industrial policy
is America’s liberal elite struggling to craft a policy and a narrative that goes with it, to
justify their claim both to domestic and global hegemony."

Here's how he got there. From his Chartbook substack, June 17:

Chartbook 221 The IRA (& the Fed) debate - bringing hegemony back in.
Also a response to Gabor and Mason.  

What is the IRA? Is it a game-changing new industrial policy? Or is it the old wine of neoliberal de-risking in new bottles, in which the state stands ready to socialize the losses whilst capital privatizes the profits? The argument has gone back and forth in recent months. It is a debate about technical questions of policy. What tools of policy are these and what can we expect them to do? But it is about far more than that. The administration has made the IRA into centerpiece of what Jake Sullivan has dubbed the new "Washington consensus", making it the opening of a new era in economic policy. The skeptics, by contrast, see mainly continuity with the past. Nor is this merely a scholastic debate. The argument is ultimately about what we can reasonably expect from reformism. The IRA matters because as far as climate policy is concerned, it is the best that the American democratic process is likely to deliver any time soon. So, if you are skeptical about the IRA you must face the question of what you actually expect policy to deliver over the next thirty years, the thirty years that are decisive for addressing the climate crisis.

For a snapshot of the ongoing debate, I recommend again this fascinating discussion....
***Phenomanal World video***
...In an extremely helpful new blogpost, JW Mason proposes a taxonomy within which to clarify and locate some of the contending positions in the debate.

Mason's taxonomy focuses attention on two axes: how far is industrial policy driven by direct state engagement v. how far does it operate at arms-length through incentives? On the other hand, how far is green industrial policy broad-brush offering general financial incentives for green investment, as opposed to more fine-grained focus on key sectors and technologies?....


If interested see also:
"The Cult of Adam Tooze"

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