Paul McCulley says infrastructure bill advances both capitalism and social justice


U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the October Jobs Report at the White House in Washington, DC on November 5, 2021.

Evelyne Hockstein | Reuters

Well done, President Biden.

America wants gentler, gentler capitalism; he does not want galloping socialism.

You understood it: Trickle up must reaffirm its democratic power against plutocratic runoff.

The pursuit of a more perfect union between the fairness imperative of democracy and the profit imperative of capitalism should not and should not always be a partisan spitting contest.

America welcomes bipartisan sensitivity – a robust, but civil, public debate that does good things.

That is exactly what the bill you will be signing soon does: do good things.

Public investment is the living infrastructure of America’s dual adherence to democracy and capitalism.

Former President Barack Obama was right when he berated the capitalists for their false pride in believing that they alone built this great nation.

Yes, the pursuit of private profit is the wonderful working power of economic efficiency, pushing back the frontier of prosperity, through a process of creative destruction of private capital.

But this capitalist engine can only rightly purr when it is harnessed to a platform of public investment, funded by the collective taxing and borrowing power of democratic citizens.

We can, collectively, build a better America, where the invisible hand of capitalism pays attention to the visible will of a democratic people.

It is not socialism; it is a shared enlightenment, a joint venture between the pursuit of private profit and democratic social justice.

Paul McCulley is the former CEO of bond giant PIMCO and currently a senior researcher at Cornell Law School and an assistant professor at Georgetown McDonough School of Business.


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