After spending months trying to sell his economic agenda under the banner of “Bidenomics,” the president’s team is frustrated. Voters aren’t believing them when they say that the economy is doing excellent and that Joe Biden deserves the credit.
Rather than make a meaningful attempt to understand the American people’s economic pain and recognize why it isn’t being detected by traditional economic indicators, the president’s team has settled on a different solution—experimenting with different economic messaging.
As the general election fast approaches, Team Biden is rolling out a new economic argument that, in the words of POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn, “tries to frame former President Donald Trump as the candidate of corporate tax cuts and Biden as a scourge of the ultra-wealthy.”
But Biden is no scourge of the ultrawealthy. In fact, he is a dear friend and ally of the wealthy cronies and plutocrats that make up the worst of America’s upper classes.
The “wealthy” in America are not a monolith. There is an important distinction to be made between the members of this class—how they made their money.
As Franz Oppenheimer pointed out ninety-eight years ago and Murray Rothbard built upon forty-eight years later, there are two mutually exclusive ways of acquiring wealth. The first is through production and exchange.
Among the wealthy, that usually means those who successfully engaged in entrepreneurship—those who hypothesized that people would value a new good or service; invested their time, labor, and money into production to find out; and were proven right.
These types did not become wealthy at others’ expense. On the contrary, they got wealthy because they produced something people valued enough to voluntarily pay for, making everyone involved better off.
The other way of acquiring wealth, in Rothbard’s words,
is simpler in that it does not require productivity; it is the way of seizure of another’s goods or services by the use of force and violence. This is the method of one-sided confiscation, of theft of the property of others. This is the method which Oppenheimer termed “the political means” to wealth.
The wealthy of “the political means” use political connections and lobbying to bypass the need to provide stuff people are willing to pay for. They amass their fortunes by tapping into the government’s perceived power to take and redistribute the population’s money. It’s these types that have greatly benefited from Biden’s presidency.
His biggest legislative “achievement” was a $430 billion spending bill, most of which consisted of subsidies for the energy and technology firms that have forgone consumer wants to instead play along with the president’s unsustainable green agenda.
The first years of the Biden administration also contained the most brazen transfer of wealth to Big Pharma in the country’s history. Americans were forced to pay billions of dollars to fund and later purchase new vaccines and treatments from the industry giants—all while Washington banned and thwarted cheaper alternatives.
The Biden administration then tried its best to force every American working at a mid—or large-sized business to take Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines. Although that specific effort was rolled back and applied only to the millions of federal employees, many government-funded and quasi-private organizations like universities followed the government’s lead and mandated the vaccines anyway, to the undoubtable joy of pharmaceutical company executives.
As president, Biden has also been exceptionally friendly to weapons companies and Pentagon contractors. Even though he brought what had been a very profitable war in Afghanistan to an end, he quickly made up for it by forcing the American people to fund a proxy war against Russia that has so far transferred billions of their dollars to the so-called defense industry—with plans to transfer billions more.
If that wasn’t enough, Biden’s unconditional support for Israel’s indiscriminate strategy in Gaza has brought the United States right to the brink of yet another major, and therefore lucrative, war in the Middle East.
Also, though not specific to Biden, his administration has represented a continuation of the same decades-old Washington policies that have financialized the economy and cartelized the banking system—leaving everyday Americans overly in debt and low on savings by design—all to the benefit of Wall Street and the big banks.
The nonproductive, parasitic portion of America’s ultrawealthy has thrived under Biden’s presidency. Because they owe their riches to the federal government, they stand only to gain from the expansion of taxing and spending that Biden appears set on pursuing in a second term.