The members of Biden’s economic team, formed by hardships, focus on families

US President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on December 1, 2020. (Top LR) Cecilia Rouse, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary Candidate and Treasury Secretary Candidate Adewale Wally Adeyemo. (Lower LR) Council of Economic Advisers, Jared Bernstein, Candidate for the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, Council of Economic Advisers, Heather Boushey.

Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled six key members of his economic team to the nation. Together, they form a diverse group of experts whose personal history and economic philosophy represent a stark departure from the last four years of President Donald Trump’s administration.

“It’s a family-oriented team,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware, involving the candidates. – This team will always be there for you and your family.

In fact, the family was the consistent, if unexpected, topic that candidates held on Tuesday for all six speeches.

Biden’s economic advisers described how their early difficulties became windows through which economic policy is still seen as an accomplished economist.

Janet Yellen, former Federal Reserve president and finance secretary candidate for Biden, described how her father, a family doctor, treated patients in the basement of their home in Brooklyn’s working class.

At night, he said, his father will talk about “what work means to his patients, friends and neighbors. Especially when they lose a job, financial worries, family problems, health problems, loss of dignity and self-sufficiency.” worth.”

Yellen added: “I became an economist because I was worried about the unemployment of people, families and communities.”

Neera Tanden, a veteran democracy policy adviser, Biden, who tapped the leadership of the Office of Administration and Budget, described her single mother, an immigrant from India, who relied on food stamps to feed her two daughters and Section 8 housing coupons to pay rent.

“I’m here today because of my mother’s harshness, but also because of the country that believed in us, invested in her humanity and our dreams. Today I’m here for social programs, budget decisions, a government that saw my mother’s dignity and gave her a chance.” Tanden said.

Stories like Tanden and Yellen were also striking because of how different they are from the experiences and biographies of Trump’s first advisory board – they announced a few days after the president’s desperate victory in the 2016 election.

Trump’s all-white men’s financial advisory team was heavily weighted by Wall Street barons and billionaires.

President Donald Trump, National Security Adviser to US President Donald Trump, John Bolton will attend a working dinner with US Secretary of Finance Steven Mnuchin with Chinese President Xi Jinping after the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 1 December 2018.

Kevin Lemarque | CNBC

“I want people who have made a fortune,” Trump said in late 2016, explaining his presidential election preferences. Most of all, however, Trump said he did not believe the “poor man” could be an effective economic adviser. He wanted rich people to run the economy, “because we want that kind of thinking.”

No such “mindset” was seen on Tuesday in Wilmington. Instead, they focused on immigrant experiences, marginalized groups, and union workers.

Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, a former deputy director of the National Economic Council and deputy candidate for finance, Biden, told how his immigrant parents came to America from Nigeria.

Adeyemo described that his parents, “a primary school principal and nurse, came to America to create a better life for me and my siblings. They taught us that we have a responsibility to serve our community and the country, which has given us plenty of opportunities,” he said.

The election of Cecilia Rouse, an economist from Princeton and Biden to lead the Council of Economic Advisers, described how the first university economics department coincided with a steep recession in the early 1980s. “It was impossible for me to separate what we learned from what I knew was going on in cities across the country,” he said.

Jared Bernstein, a long-term economic adviser at Biden who wants to join the CEA, recalled that he was raised by a single mother who held a photo of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the wall.

Most recently, Heather Boushey, another Biden-elect, joined the CEA. He recounted how his father was fired from his job at Boeing in the 1980s. “For the first time, I really experienced this pain called the economy,” he said.

“I was shocked by the profound power that this mysterious force has held in my life, in my friends, and in my community,” Boushey said.

Biden is expected to name even more key White House positions in the coming weeks.