As I have said before, the US abandoned economists or anything like economic policies/planning in the middle of the 70s. Around that time, the one profession, economics, was replaced by another, investment banking. The complex study of social reproduction and development was replaced with the extremely simple preoccupation not even with markets but making money (financial growth) from markets.
The reason for this shift was in part due to the fact that by the 70s (the end of the Golden Age of Capitalism), the US did actually solve the problem from which branch the main concerns of economics, scarcity. But if scarcity has been solved for 40 years—therefore making any reversion from the present dominant post-economic mode of rent-seeking to the earlier one of industrial development nothing but a complete waste of time and energy—is there any future for the economics profession? This is the deepest question possible, and its answer is: Yes. A glimpse of this future can found in the pages of a 2007 book, The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by an actual economist, James K. Galbraith. The relevant pages concern how the US can realistically address the pressing problem of climate change:
What are the elements of [a plan that deals with climate change]? A rough template can be drawn from the only major example of successful planning in the history of the United States: the economic mobilization for World War II. That mobilization doubled GDP within four years, reduced unemployment to zero, placed an army of 11 million men and women in the field, controlled inflation, and established both the technical and financial foundation for a generation of stable prosperity and social progress—albeit founded on ever-increasing use of fossil fuels. Unraveling fifty years of burning [fossil fuels] will require economic transformation on a similar scale...
And what would the economists role in all of this be?
One key is to keep the loss, and any required compensation, small by ensuring that feasible technical alternatives—for transportation, heating, and other basic needs—come into existence as they are needed. That is a matter of engineering, of the investment plan. Another key is to deliver compensation in deferred form—in effect, as an illiquid bond that generates purchasing power not in the present while the available technologies remain destructive, but in the future when they will have become more sustainable. This job—controlling the time flow of purchasing power to match the pace of technical transformation—is the economists’ job.
Know that if an American economist is not talking about climate change, they are as useful to you as a traffic engineer whose goal in life is to improve road conditions for automobiles.