Transition announcement today that Barack Obama intends to form a White House Task Force on Working Families, to be chaired by Joe Biden and to include “the Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Commerce, as well as the Directors of the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors.”
It’s a bit hard to say what that’s going to accomplish, but in the announcement Biden says “Our charge is to look at existing and future policies across the board and use a yard stick to measure how they are impacting the working and middle-class families: Is the number of these families growing? Are they prospering? President-elect Obama and I know the economic health of working families has eroded, and we intend to turn that around.” It’s good to see these questions getting asked. Over the past eight years to a remarkable degree the focus has been on trying to put as good a spin as possible on things rather than on trying to actually improving wages and living standards for the bottom 80 percent of Americans.