For decades, mainstream opinion and policymakers agreed that the organization of production was best left to markets and private businesses. Bidenomics promises a decisive turn away from this neoliberal consensus. The renewed interest in industrial policy in the US (and elsewhere) suggests a larger and more active role for the state in organizing economic activity. While as recently as the Obama administration, it was widely believed that a carbon tax was all that was needed for the green transition, the focus now has shifted toward direct public support for the green economy.
Can the new green industrial policy live up to its promises? Can a surge of public money and green investment generate a sustained economic boom? Or are there deeper structural constraints on growth, which these kinds of measures can’t overcome? Will higher investment in the US simply undermine competing industries elsewhere? Can Bidenomics’ partial break with economic orthodoxy help advance a socialist project? Or does that require a more decisive break with the existing order?