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July 30, 2013

Obama Pushes “Middle-Out Economics”; Media Cite Democracy Role

In a July 24 speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama made the case for “middle-out economics” — the very subject of our Summer 2013 symposium, “The Middle-Out Moment.” In his highly anticipated address, the President stressed, “an economy that grows from the middle out, not the top down — that’s where I will focus my energies.”

Leading up to and after the speech, several media outlets noted the increasing visibility of the “middle-out” idea in progressive policy circles. The New York Times called it “the catchphrase that the White House has settled on.” The Washington Post dubbed it “the official Democratic creed.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that Democratic strategists have taken up the message “that ‘middle out’ policies work better than ‘trickle down’ ones.”

And those outlets noted Democracy’s role in advancing that message. In the Post, columnist Matt Miller wrote, “[H]ats off to progressive activists Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu, who pushed this smart messaging so relentlessly for two years.” (Hanauer and Liu, both members of the Democracy board, have been writing about “middle-out economics” in our pages for years.) In Bloomberg Businessweek, Peter Coy also cites Liu and Hanauer’s piece in Democracy’s current issue in a piece on the spread of the “middle-out” message. Annie Lowrey of the Times notes that the “middle-out” catchphrase that Obama has adopted is the subject of Democracy’s current issue.

To read our symposium on “The Middle-Out Moment,” click here.


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