Call it neopopulism: a bipartisan attitude that mistrusts the free-market ethos instead of embracing it.


It may be the most discussed fact about American politics today: The country is deeply polarized. The Republican Party has moved to the right by many measures, and the Democratic Party has moved to the left. Each party sees the other as an existential threat. One consequence of this polarization, politicians and pundits often say, is gridlock in Washington.

But in a country that is supposed to have a gridlocked federal government, the past four years are hard to explain. These years have been arguably the most productive period of Washington bipartisanship in decades.

What other neopopulist policies might lie ahead? More legislation to address China’s rise and more industrial policy are possible. A bill to ensure that the United States has access to critical minerals like lithium and copper would qualify as both.

Policies to help young families are plausible, too, predicted Oren Cass, who runs American Compass, a conservative think tank that is critical of laissez-faire economics. In January, a large bipartisan House majority passed an expanded child tax credit, although it has not passed the Senate.

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