The Democrats Tout a New Tonic

Industrial policy becomes a hot presidential campaign issue

Industrial policy. The term sounds as if it might be the title of a dense academic tome, of interest to only the most diligent of scholars. To the contrary, industrial policy has suddenly become a centerpiece for ringing political speeches and a lightning rod for public debate. It is extolled as a salvation for the U.S. economy and denounced as a step toward socialism. Most Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed some form of industrial policy, hoping to use it as a springboard to the White House. Critics call it "Democratic supply-side economics."

But while President...

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