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Jared Bernstein, who has been tapped to serve on Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, previously said the U.S. economy would need to be reinvented – centered largely on a reimagined relationship with the government.
“The coronavirus, too, demands a thorough restructuring of the relationship between government and markets — one that leaves us much better prepared for a set of challenges that tend to recur but that somehow always surprise us,” Bernstein said in an op-ed published in The Washington Post in March. “We need to restructure the role of government in the economy to avoid, at best, being back here again in a few years — and, at worst, the implosion of a capitalist society that large swaths of the public have every right to question.”
Restructuring could involve more direct federal aid for businesses, in addition to a “comprehensive system of social insurance, from cradle to grave.” The latter would include federalized unemployment insurance, as well as a different form of retirement security.
Bernstein, who previously served as chief economist and economic adviser to Biden during the Obama administration, said the globalized economy and inequality are driving the need for changes.
During testimony before lawmakers in July, Bernstein said the most important factor in jumpstarting the economic recovery was getting the virus under control.
“By forcefully taking charge of the public health aspects of the crisis and by ensuring that fiscal relief will be there as long and as deeply as people need it, Congress can help reduce the American people’s uncertainty and economic insecurity,” Bernstein said before the Joint Economic Committee.
He also argued for policy responses including uninterrupted, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, increased nutritional support, state and local fiscal relief and help for small businesses.
On Tuesday, when speaking of the President-elect’s agenda, Bernstein advocated for the need to build back an economy that’s more resilient and inclusive.