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Analysis: The fate of millions of Americans rests on Biden's economic team

December 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during her last news conference in office December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Yellen announced that the Federal Reserve is raising the interest rates by a quarter point to 1.5%. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Joe Biden's incoming economic team will shoulder the desperate hopes of millions of Americans who have lost jobs, face eviction from their homes or who are going hungry in a monstrous Covid-19-induced slump.

(CNN)Joe Biden's incoming economic team will shoulder the desperate hopes of millions of Americans who have lost jobs, face eviction from their homes or who are going hungry in a monstrous Covid-19-induced slump.

In the long term, Biden's team, after two presidencies in which inequality has expanded despite massive economic expansion that has benefited the stocks-owning classes, must prove that vows to lift up the middle class are actually realistic in a globalized world and are more than just slogans flung out by nostalgic politicians on the campaign trail.

The credentials of many of Biden's new team leave little doubt that the former vice president plans to keep his promises to America's workers and to repay the faith of labor unions that have long backed his political campaigns.

Cecilia Rouse, Biden's pick to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, is also a labor economist and has said she turned to the discipline to forge social change.

The most immediate test facing Biden's team is an already dire economic situation that will likely be far worse when he takes office on January 20 as the pandemic rages in a fall and winter spike.

Still, Biden will have the advantage of being able to argue to Congress that a new economic package -- while desperately needed -- will be a bridge to better times that are in the near future, thanks to the highly encouraging news about the effectiveness of vaccines developed under the Trump administration.

If there is an explosion of pent-up economic demand, he could go into a midterm election year that is often punishing for first-term presidents able to argue he both beat the pandemic and saved the economy.

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