The Bidenomics Brief
REVIEW: ‘Ours Was the Shining Future’ by David Leonhardt
Despite gloomy consumer sentiment, President Joe Biden is proud of the economy he has created.
"[I]t wasn’t that long ago we were losing jobs in this country," the president said at a Labor Day event with a Philadelphia metal workers’ union. "In fact, the guy who held this job before me was just one of two presidents in history that left office with fewer jobs in America than when he got elected office. By the way, do you know who the other one was? Herbert Hoover."
The line works on two levels: by comparing President Donald Trump to Hoover, a presidential failure, but also by analogizing Biden to Hoover’s successor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The implication, delivered to a union audience, is not an accident. FDR was a union-backed president who oversaw passage of the Wagner Act, ushering in decades of union dominance. Biden has sought to pick up that mantle, walking picket lines, barnstorming union halls, and otherwise signaling that he is, in the words of former AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka, "the most pro-union president in history."
Charles Fain Lehman is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal.
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