Joe Biden gave a speech at a metal-working plant in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, near his hometown of Scranton — did you know? Joe Biden is from Scranton! He slammed Donald Trump as being out of touch with working Americans and called for using the power of the American government to help build a post-coronavirus economy that's fairer for workers, with good, clean-energy, union jobs. Biden's testing out a new slogan, "Build back better," to push his economic recovery program, which has some very noticeable DNA from earlier proposals rolled out by Jay Inslee and Elizabeth Warren during the primaries. As Biden's campaign site puts it,

[This] is no time to just build back to the way things were before, with the old economy's structural weaknesses and inequalities still in place. This is the moment to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and the next generation.

It was a very good speech, if you have a half hour to spare; Biden had to compete with a bunch of chirping birds in the venue, which frankly was kind of charming. Let's watch!

Joe Biden Delivers Remarks on His Economic Recovery Plan to help America Build Back Better youtu.be

Biden's plan borrows a key element from Inslee and Warren's green manufacturing plans: The federal government buys a lot of stuff. So let's make sure that the money spent on procurement reinforces worthwhile economic goals, by requiring that government contracts go to companies that are based in America, that use green manufacturing methods, and that pay their workers a living wage and encourage unions. Wherever possible, also make sure the stuff the government procures is energy-efficient, ideally non-polluting altogether. And maybe fewer contracts to companies that just incorporated four days before and are run by convicted frauders? Well, let's not get crazy.


Biden said the tax code, and the economy in general, have for too long been tailored to help the investor class at the expense of virtually all other parts of the economy. "We must reward work as much as we rewarded wealth — but now we just reward excessive wealth." In addition to rolling back most of Trump's 2017 Big Fat Tax Cut for Rich Fuckwads, Biden said we need to see the economy as working for everyone, not just Wall Street:

It's way past time to put an end to the era of shareholder capitalism, the idea that the only responsibility a corporation has is to shareholders. That's simply not true; it's an absolute farce. They have responsibility to their workers, their community, to their country. That isn't a new or radical notion, these are basic values and principles that built this nation.

And it wouldn't be a Joe Biden speech without at least one weird, folksy colloquialism. In calling for $300 billion in government investments in research and development, Biden said China is "spending multiple billions of dollars trying to own the technology of the future, while we sit with our thumb in our ear." (I checked; he didn't say "rear.")

Biden also went after Donald Trump several times, accusing him, accurately, of promising to be an advocate for working Americans while pushing policies that actively hurt workers. We could quibble that both Trump and his voters both knew damn well that most of that rhetoric was really a smokescreen for playing on racial resentments, but in economic terms, Biden was dead on. In one of his more stinging points, Biden said it's "understandable" that a guy whose entire life has been spent in wealth and privilege like Donald Trump doesn't know what it's like to struggle from paycheck to paycheck. But it's "unconscionable," Biden said, that Trump is so obviously incapable of even trying to empathize with the plight of people who are struggling.

Hilariously, Donald Trump, who may only have been told that Biden spoke about "buying American," complained to reporters today that Biden had "plagiarized" the economic plan from Trump's own "America First" economic ideology.

"He plagiarized from me. But he can never pull it off — he likes plagiarizing," Trump told reporters on the White House lawn.

Bold words from the guy whose wife kept stealing entire speeches from Michelle Obama (and trying to blame it on Twilight Sparkle). We're still looking for the parts of Trump's plan that involved using government procurement to create green jobs and strengthen unions, though we suppose using government to enrich Donald Trump and his cronies is at least slightly similar. After all, in both cases, government spending goes to advance each guy's central political goals. Trump's just happens to be himself, and is that so wrong?

As Trump was accusing Biden of stealing from him, Fox News was already accusing Biden's proposals of being simultaneously ineffectual and a dangerous path to Marxism, because if there's anything Americans hate, it's good jobs, fairness, and a clean environment. Please give us oligarchy!

Biden added that next week, he'll be releasing a clean infrastructure plan, and there again we expect it to be heavily influenced by ideas from Warren and Inslee. Can't wait to see Trump insist he came up with the idea of Infrastructure Week first.

[Politico / WaPo /Joe Biden campaign site / NY Post]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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