Joe Biden’s popular stimulus reveals a changed America

ANALYSIS | In attitude, if not reality, the US has become a social democratic country

03 March 2021 - 19:27 By Janan Ganesh

The coronavirus pandemic has become a rout of national stereotypes. In France, seat of reason, advancer of germ theory, anti-vaxxers are legion. The avowedly liberal British submit to what by some accounts is a lockdown of near-unique harshness. Germany’s vaccination rate defies what we “know” of its purring Audi of a state. Of all the surprises, though, it is the US thirst for government that is most confounding.

There are popular laws, beloved laws and President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. For once, the whisker by which it passed the House of Representatives on Saturday does not mirror a split nation. That a cross-partisan supermajority of Americans agrees on any proposition at all is weird enough. But this proposition entails $1.9-trillion (about R28-trillion) of public spending, amid a growing economy, under a president of wrongly but widely impugned legitimacy, after two lavish bills to the same end in 12 months. The debate about the wisdom of such largesse is everywhere except in the public...

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