Obama and the Capitalist Crisis: The Politics of Economic Stagnation
33 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 21 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 19, 2011
Barack Obama campaigned for and was elected president amidst an economic and financial crisis many called the worst since the 1930s and during a dramatic drop in support for the incumbent Bush administration. Many liberal and progressive voters hoped for a sharp break with business-driven public policies on the domestic front, perhaps in the form of a New New Deal. What have been the results midway into Obama's first term? This paper explores the distinct nature of Obama's political economy in the areas of the economic stimulus, banking and financial regulation and health care reform. What are the main interests and ideological/political assumptions that seem to have shaped Obama's approaches? How have these approaches been received by progressive and labor constituencies, other Democratic leaders, and various segments of the business community? How can these approaches and reactions be explained analytically?
Keywords: Obama, Political Economy
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