Reflecting the influence that blacks, particularly black women, are expected to have in an administration that will feature the first female, and first black AND the first Indian vice president, the Biden team has already made a point to fill its transition team with minorities, moreso than any previous administration.
According to Bloomberg, the Biden team has already selected dozens of progressive economists to help with the transition, including Mehrsa Baradaran, whose book “the Color of Money”, is a critical text for contemporary left-wing economists. She’s joined by Lisa Cook, an economist at Michigan State University, on the “landing team” for banking & securities regulators, including selecting potential new members of the Federal Reserve board of governors (for which there is presently one vacancy).
They are among more than 500 experts who will be called upon to deliver an important racial “perspective” as Biden and his team hash out reforms related to health-care, housing and other issues.
Unsurprisingly, the radical “economists” quoted in the Bloomberg story praised Biden’s staffing decisions as an “incredible signal to the black community”.
“Its an incredible signal to the Black community,” said Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, co-founder of the Sadie Collective, a nonprofit working to get more Black women in economics. “This administration is going to be focused on thinking about: ‘How do we build up Black wealth? How do we close this racial wealth gap?'”
The report arrives as policy makers, even typically-staid central bankers, are weighing in on issues like racial inequality like never before. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic, the first Black Fed president in the central bankâs 106-year history, says systemic racism is an economic and moral issue.
In a move reminiscent of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who made a big deal out of the fact that he had selected Canada’s first “gender-balanced” cabinet (only to be labeled a ‘fake feminist’), Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris are going all in, making diversity the priority when it comes to building their team.
While 50% of the Biden-Harris “landing team” will be made up of women, more than 40% of the administration’s advisers are expected to be from outside groups that are historically underrepresented in the federal government, including racial minorities, people with disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQ.
“Having these individuals who are representative of their community in the actual room where they can voice their perspective and have their perspective actually translate to policy – it matters more than you think,â Opoku-Agyeman said.
Opoku-Agyeman added that she will be closely watching the Biden administration to see whether it makes good on its promise to enforce a progressive agenda. However, one name that didn’t come up in the Bloomberg story was that of Stephanie Kelton, the former top economic advisor to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Kelton has become perhaps the best-known proponent of MMT in the US.
The big question right now, though, is how might Biden react when these same advisors urge him to throw the full weight of his influence in supporting the Green New Deal?