I love your graphics and your thoughts, except I feel you skipped over a couple points.
First is that the world economy, led by the US, is in massive debt. The probability that things will simply keep going for 5 or 10 more years, with trillion dollar budget deficits and trillion dollar stimulus packages, is close to nil. To believe that gridlock and trillion dollar budget deficits can just continue year after year, is normalcy bias.
We are close to being unable to service our debt. Massive defense spending has, post-WW2, tended to cause wars to break out. Yet the US literally cannot afford a war without going bankrupt. So, under Biden, we will probably need to restructure our debt. We will argue for a global digital currency, asap. We will seek a path for devaluation of the dollar that doesn’t provoke a panicked run on our central bank. That path will exist only by the goodwill of other nations.
We will wait on China to announce they are retaking Taiwan, and they will, at some point. But they are not in a rush. They can wait on us to reach our weakest moment economically. We are already the weaker military power in the region. We will lose if we fight. So we won’t fight. Or, we fight anyway, lose militarily, and are economically devastated by it.
The world will run towards the safety of the digital yuan and away from the danger of the dollar. And if you think middle-class Americans are suffering now, wait until you experience life under the sudden, persistent high inflation! A meal at McDonald’s will be $100. A doctor’s visit will be $2,000. Your salary will not keep pace. Seriously, that’s how little our dollars will be worth when we finally go bankrupt and must restructure and devalue quickly and at massive scale. 90% of us will live through 5 to 10 years of poverty, working only for food and housing, unable to afford anything else, until the dollar is revalued, debts are restructured or forgiven, and we reform our education system and start to rebuild a new economy. Get ready, it’s coming, barring some enormous creativity and innovation.
And that’s the second point I felt was underplayed. Biden has a mandate from both sides for bold, aggressive, interventions and reforms of the government and almost all of its systems. If he uses it, the old system of party positioning (social vs. economic, with the assumption that they are orthogonal for most people), will fall apart. And thank God for that.
His agenda needs to look like this:
Year 1: voting rights, electoral reforms, political representation reforms, media and government/judicial reforms. Democracy itself must be protected against would-be fascist parties and dictators of the future.
Year 2: Stabilize the economic/social foundations: Education reforms, defense reforms, fix Social Security, environmental policy.
Year 3: Fix the economy: economic policy reforms, finance reform, infrastructure/jobs.
Year 4: Better society: Police reforms, healthcare system, immigration reforms, tort reform, and so on.
Four phases for four years. Anything less ambitious is political suicide and probably national suicide. Biden and the Democratic Party had better show progress and effort at a pace that matches the urgency most Americans, on both sides, are feeling regarding our nation’s economic and social conditions.
If we want to avoid civil war, we need Biden to offer a plan that is big and bold and, above all else, fast. None of this “one signature accomplishment per administration” bullsh*t. One per quarter is the pace we Americans demand and deserve.
The appeal of fascist populism and dictators has always been that they offer the hope of big, bold moves made at lightning speed.
Right now, it seems the Progressives are going to own this vision of bold, aggressive interventions and reforms, and the sense of urgency. What the Democratic Party leaders need to understand is that they will have the hearts and possibly the votes of 80% of Americans come 2024, including the more objective-minded Trump supporters.
They should stop defining their position as a tradeoff of economic vs. social. All Americans are united in wanting both.
The new axes for party positions should be speed and boldness of change. In the Republican camp, we have slow and small. Change everything, but be very careful. In the Democratic camp, we have fast and big. Change everything, and go big, and fast.