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Feb. 17, 2021, 8:40 a.m. EST

Now Biden will have to match Trump’s record on inequality

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Peter Morici

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Biden’s choices

Biden’s choices for his economic team were driven through  climate change , pro-union and diversity screens, and their perceptions of the Trump years and what needs to be done can result in policies that poorly allocate capital—just as the Trump team had its lens for progress.

Prior to the election,  American utilities were already racing  to build wind, solar and battery storage, and  the auto industry rushing to improve battery design and increase production capacity to support EV production .

Surging stock prices are making capital terribly cheap for green businesses

During the Obama administration, industrial policy—as epitomized by  high-speed railSolyndra  and  car batteries —posted a discouraging record. During the Biden years, investing more rapidly in green technologies faster than technology is advancing could leave us with obsolete facilities five or 10 years from now and even bigger growth headaches.

From 2016 to 2019,  poverty dropped sharply  to its lowest level since 1959. The  wealth of Hispanics, blacks and the bottom half of the households overall increased 65%, 33% and 35% —much more than for whites and the upper half of households overall.

Biden’s campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, the Trump economy worked for everyone and now the new president faces some daunting challenges to beat that record.

Peter Morici is an economist and emeritus business professor at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist.

More bold ideas from Peter Morici:

Biden has more room to spend than conservatives might like

Biden needs this bold strategy to reimagine the economy so it can create jobs for everyone

Biden can forge bipartisan cooperation with a bold infrastructure program

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