What with the inmates running the asylum, you might think it's an odd time to talk about the concrete ideas that grow out of the speech President Obama gave recently in Kansas... ideas in the spirit of actually building an economy that works a lot better for a lot more of us. But if anything like the low job growth we've seen for the past decade continues, we will need ambitious infrastructure and social spending programs not just in bad times but in good times, too. Again, it may seem strange to start planning that kind of agenda when the polar opposite is transpiring in the halls of power. But then again, maybe this is exactly the right time. Maybe, as Congress creeps under the impossibly low bar we've already set for them, it's actually the right time to start promoting a new vision.
President Obama's speech last week in Osawatomie, Kansas was widely recognized as an important and revealing look at his domestic policy framing and agenda as the election year begins in earnest. The contrast between you're-on-your-own economics and the president's we're-in-this-together agenda has the potential to be deeply resonant with the vast majority of Americans for whom you're-on-your-own has been a terrible bust. It is now time to add some concrete to the structure the president began to build -- to begin to think about which policies grow out of the contrasting views of the political economy he compellingly introduced.