US supply chains to reach ‘communities of color’

As noted earlier, the Biden Administration is seeking to link foreign policy with domestic policy. Specifically, Biden is seeking an economically stronger middle class and working class, while ensuring that historically disadvantaged communities, including those of color, benefit.

Yesterday, Biden signed an executive order aimed at more resilient supply chains with the longer-term strategic goal of competition with China.

The statement ends with a discussion about the impact on jobs and communities within the US.

President Biden has directed his Administration to ensure that the task of building resilient supply chains draws on the talent and work ethic of communities across America, including communities of color and cities and towns that have for too long suffered from job losses and industrial decline. As the Administration implements the Executive Order, it will identify opportunities to implement policies to secure supply chains that grow the American economy, increase wages, benefit small businesses and historically disadvantaged communities, strengthen pandemic and biopreparedness, support the fight against global climate change, and maintain America’s technological leadership in key sectors.

A warehouse (cc Reycenas)

So in the Biden playbook, the nation’s “unlimited competition” with China will run right through communities in need of jobs, higher wages and more opportunity. Whether Biden will be successful remains to be seen, of course. Biden will require support in Congress. Having said that, programs that see government dollars flowing to localities can always be shaped to gain a given representative’s support.

Is there any precedence for this? Yes, actually. NASA’s creation is a one example. People today wonder why NASA has so many facilities flung so widely across the US and the South. This was done during the Civil Rights era, in part, to assure that people in places like Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama benefited from the space race, as well as California, Texas, and Florida.

The US middle class and foreign policy: democracy’s new dance

Joe Biden

I wanted to push a little deeper on the question of how (or even why) US foreign policy should be more in sync with the middle class.

So I’ve recorded a podcast that discusses this potential new direction in US democracy – the effort, however early, to ensure that US foreign policy goals support working families. This is an idea US President Joe Biden mentioned in his foreign policy speech on February 4.

US President Joe Biden

In my podcast, I mention the report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2020, which can be found here.

Also, the 2018 World Unpacked podcast, also by CEIP, hosted by Jen Psaki in which CEIP’s Salman Ahmed discusses his findings from visiting Ohio, can be found here.

Both the report and podcast are well worth digging into, especially as the ideas appear to be shaping Biden’s approach.

Science fiction from Cixin Liu, Chinese civilization, democracy and the future

If democracy is to become durable again in the 21st Century, its citizens will need some set of ideals to work towards. The work of Chinese sci-fi author Cixin Liu is rich with the sense of civilization and purpose that is lacking in the culture in open democracies today.

Coronavirus information confrontation

“Whoever understands that environment and its opportunities best will have the upper hand in this information confrontation. The US, as in many areas of competition with China – space, cyber, technology policy, supply chains – appears to have been caught flat-footed by Beijing’s shift in strategy.”

Full story here at The Age.