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Elizabeth Warren

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She makes a very good senator but she would make a ho hum president compared to Tulsi or Bernie.

 I lost A LOT of respect for her when she pulled back her comment about the primary being rigged, her constant lying campaign for decades about being a native (she contributed to a recipe book called pow wow chow, where she claimed to be Cherokee), and her approval of Trump's military budget with more money than trump even asked for.

Also, I don't think she will do well in campaigning in the general.

 Sean O. Gamalson1 week ago (edited)

Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex.

 tmcfootball961 week ago

Elizabeth Warren has three major problems from my point of view

  1. She supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 election.
  2. She is "republican-light" in foreign policy.
  3. It is clear that she deftly abused the claim that she has Indian ancestry to advance her career 

The main concern about her is that  in case of winning she might turn out to be "Hillary light" in disguise of tax for the rich.

Biography notes (adapted from Wikipedia)

Warren was born Elizabeth Ann Herring in Oklahoma City on June 22, 1949,  the fourth child of middle-class parents Pauline (née Reed, 1912–1995) and Donald Jones Herring (1911–1997). Warren has described her family as teetering "on the ragged edge of the middle class" and "kind of hanging on at the edges by our fingernails". She had three older brothers and was raised as a Methodist.

Warren lived in Norman until she was 11 years old, when the family moved to Oklahoma City. When she was 12, her father, a salesman at Montgomery Ward, had a heart attack, which led to many medical bills as well as a pay cut because he could not do his previous work. Eventually, their car was repossessed because they failed to make loan payments. To help the family finances, her mother found work in the catalog order department at Sears. When she was 13, Warren started waiting tables at her aunt's restaurant.

Warren became a star member of the debate team at Northwest Classen High School and won the state high school debating championship. She also won a debate scholarship to George Washington University (GWU) at the age of 16.  She initially aspired to be a teacher, but left GWU after two years in 1968 to marry Jim Warren, whom she met in high school.

Elizabeth Warren and her husband moved to Houston, where he was employed by IBM. She enrolled in the University of Houston and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology and audiology. For a year, she taught children with disabilities who were enrolled in a public school. Her qualifications were based on an "emergency certificate", because she had not taken the education courses that were required for a regular teaching certificate.

The Warrens moved to New Jersey when Jim received a job transfer. She soon became pregnant and decided to remain at home to care for their child. After their daughter turned two, Warren enrolled in Rutgers Law School at Rutgers University–Newark. She worked as a summer associate at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Shortly before graduating in 1976, Warren became pregnant with their second child. After she received her J.D. and passed the bar examination, she decided to perform legal services from home; she wrote wills and did real estate closings.

The couple had two children, Amelia and Alexander, before they divorced in 1978.   Two years later, Warren married Bruce H. Mann, a law professor, but she decided to retain the surname of her first husband.   She also has grandchildren. 

Warren has said that as a child she was told by older family members that she had Native American ancestry, and that "being Native American has been part of my story, I guess, since the day I was born".  Warren was criticized in 2012 for having listed herself as a minority in a directory for Harvard Law School. Opponents said Warren falsified her heritage to advance her career through minority quotas. Warren denied these allegations, and several colleagues and employers (including Harvard) have said her reported ethnic status played no role in her hiring.   An investigation by The Boston Globe in 2018 found "clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools." 

Following a challenge by President Donald Trump to pay $1 million to her favorite charity if she could prove her Native American ancestry via a DNA test, Warren released results of a DNA test in 2018.  It concluded that "while the vast majority of [Warren's] ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in [her] pedigree, likely in the range of 6–10 generations ago."  The use of DNA to determine Native American heritage has been criticized by the Cherokee Nation as "inappropriate and wrong".   During a 2019 public appearance in Sioux City, Iowa, Warren was asked by an attendee, "Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald more fodder to be a bully?" Warren responded:


I am not a person of color; I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes, and only tribes, determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference. I grew up in Oklahoma, and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard stories about our ancestry. When I first ran for public office, Republicans homed in on this part of my history, and thought they could make a lot of hay out of it. A lot of racial slurs, and a lot of ugly stuff. And so my decision was: I’m just gonna put it all out there. Took a while, but just put it all out there. 

Career

Warren discussing the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the ICBA conference in 2011. During the late 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Warren taught law at several universities throughout the country while researching issues related to bankruptcy and middle-class personal finance.  She became involved with public work in bankruptcy regulation and consumer protection in the mid-1990s.

Academic Career

Warren started her academic career as a lecturer at Rutgers University, Newark School of Law (1977–78). She moved to the University of Houston Law Center (1978–83), where she became Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1980, and obtained tenure in 1981. She taught at the University of Texas School of Law as visiting associate professor in 1981, and returned as a full professor two years later (staying 1983–87). In addition, she was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan (1985) and research associate at the Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin (1983–87).  During this period, Warren taught Sunday school.   Early in her career, Warren became a proponent of on-the-ground research based on studying how people actually respond to laws in the real world. Her work analyzing court records, and interviewing judges, lawyers, and debtors, established her as a rising star in the field of bankruptcy law.  One of her key insights, according to Warren and economists who follow her work, was that rising bankruptcy rates weren't caused by prolifigate consumer spending, but by the attempts of middle-class families to buy homes in good school districts. 

Warren joined the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a full professor in 1987 and obtained an endowed chair in 1990 (becoming William A Schnader Professor of Commercial Law). She taught for a year at Harvard Law School in 1992 as Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Commercial Law. In 1995, Warren left Penn to become Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  As of 2011, she was the only tenured law professor at Harvard who had attended law school at an American public university.  Warren was a highly influential law professor. Although she published in many fields, her expertise was in bankruptcy and commercial law. In that field, only Bob Scott of Columbia and Alan Schwartz of Yale were cited more often than Warren.  

Advisory roles

In 1995, Warren was asked to advise the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.  She helped to draft the commission's report and worked for several years to oppose legislation intended to severely restrict the right of consumers to file for bankruptcy. Warren and others opposing the legislation were not successful; in 2005 Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which curtailed the ability of consumers to file for bankruptcy.  

From November 2006 to November 2010, Warren was a member of the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion.  She is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an independent organization that advises the U.S. Congress on bankruptcy law.  She is a former vice president of the American Law Institute and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Warren's scholarship and public advocacy combined to act as the impetus for the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011. 

Public life

Warren has a high public profile; she has appeared in the documentary films Maxed Out and Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. 
 

TARP oversight

Warren stands next to President Barack Obama as he announces the nomination of Richard Cordray as the first director of the CFPB, July 2011.
On November 14, 2008, Warren was appointed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to chair the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.  The Panel released monthly oversight reports evaluating the government bailout and related programs.  During Warren's tenure, these reports covered foreclosure mitigation; consumer and small business lending; commercial real estate; AIG; bank stress tests; the impact of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on the financial markets; government guarantees; the automotive industry; and other topics.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The bureau was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law by President Obama in July 2010. In September 2010, President Obama named Warren Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up the new agency.  While liberal groups and consumer advocacy groups pushed for Obama to formally nominate Warren as the agency's director, Warren was strongly opposed by financial institutions and by Republican members of Congress who believed Warren would be an overly zealous regulator.    Reportedly convinced that Warren could not win Senate confirmation as the bureau's first director,  Obama turned to former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and in January 2012, over the objections of Republican senators, appointed Cordray to the post in a recess appointment.  

Political affiliation

Warren was registered as a Republican from 1991 to 1996.  Warren voted as a Republican for many years, saying, "I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets".  According to Warren, she began to vote Democratic in 1995 because she no longer believed that to be true, but she states that she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither party should dominate.  According to her, the Republican Party was no longer "principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets" and was instead tilting the playing in favor of big financial institutions and against "middle class American families."

U.S. Senate

On September 14, 2011, Warren declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate. The seat had been won by Republican Scott Brown in a 2010 special election after the death of Ted Kennedy.   A week later, a video of Warren speaking in Andover became a viral video on the Internet.  In it, Warren replies to the charge that asking the rich to pay more taxes is "class warfare", pointing out that no one grew rich in the U.S. without depending on infrastructure paid for by the rest of society, stating:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. ... You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

President Barack Obama later echoed her sentiments in a 2012 election campaign speech. Warren ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination and won it on June 2, 2012, at the state Democratic convention with a record 95.77% of the votes of delegates.    She encountered significant opposition from business interests. In August the political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claimed that "no other candidate in 2012 represents a greater threat to free enterprise than Professor Warren".  She nonetheless raised $39 million for her campaign, the most of any Senate candidate in 2012, and showed, according to The New York Times, "that it was possible to run against the big banks without Wall Street money and still win".

Warren received a prime-time speaking slot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention on September 5, 2012. She positioned herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class that "has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered". According to Warren, "People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged." Warren said Wall Street CEOs "wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs" and that they "still strut around congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them".

Tenure

On November 6, 2012, Warren defeated incumbent Scott Brown with a total of 53.7% of the votes. She is the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts,  as part of a sitting U.S. Senate that had 20 female senators in office, the largest female U.S. Senate delegation in history, following the November 2012 elections. In December 2012, Warren was assigned a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, the committee that oversees the implementation of Dodd–Frank and other regulation of the banking industry.  Warren was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on January 3, 2013. 

At Warren's first Banking Committee hearing in February 2013, she pressed several banking regulators to answer when they had last taken a Wall Street bank to trial and stated, "I'm really concerned that 'too big to fail' has become 'too big for trial'." Videos of Warren's questioning became popular on the Internet, amassing more than one million views in a matter of days.  At a Banking Committee hearing in March, Warren asked Treasury Department officials why criminal charges were not brought against HSBC for its money laundering practices. With her questions being continually dodged, Warren compared money laundering to drug possession, saying: "If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're going to go to jail ... But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night." 

In May 2013, Warren sent letters to the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Reserve, questioning their decisions that settling rather than going to court would be more fruitful.  Also in May, suggesting that students should get "the same great deal that banks get", Warren introduced the Bank on Student Loans Fairness Act, which would allow students to take out government education loans at the same rate that banks pay to borrow from the federal government, 0.75%.,  Independent Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed her bill saying: "The only thing wrong with this bill is that [she] thought of it and I didn't". 

During the 2014 election cycle, Warren was a top Democratic fundraiser. Following the election, Warren was appointed to become the first-ever Strategic Adviser of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a position that was created just for her. The appointment further added to speculation about a possible presidential run by Warren in 2016.

Saying "despite the progress we've made since 2008, the biggest banks continue to threaten our economy", in July 2015 Senator Warren, along with John McCain (R-AZ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Angus King (I-ME) re-introduced the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, a modern version of the Banking Act of 1933. The legislation is intended to reduce the risk for the American taxpayer in the financial system and decrease the likelihood of future financial crises. 

In a September 20, 2016, hearing, Warren called for the CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, to resign, adding that he should be "criminally investigated" over Wells Fargo's opening of two million checking and credit-card accounts without the consent of their customers under his tenure.  

In December 2016, Warren gained a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, termed by The Boston Globe to be "a high-profile perch on one of the chamber's most powerful committees", which the Globe said would "fuel speculation about a possible 2020 bid for president". 

On February 7, 2017, Republicans in the Senate voted that Sen. Warren had violated Senate rule 19 during the debate on attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, claiming that she impugned his character when she quoted statements made about Sessions by Coretta Scott King and Sen. Ted Kennedy. "Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed to happen", King wrote in a 1986 letter to Sen. Strom Thurmond, which Warren attempted to read on the Senate floor.  This action prohibited Warren from further participating in the debate on Sessions' nomination for United States Attorney General. Instead, she stepped into a nearby room and continued reading King's letter while streaming live on the Internet.  

On October 3, 2017, Warren called for Wells Fargo's chief executive, Tim Sloan, to resign during his appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, saying, "At best you were incompetent, at worst you were complicit". 

Political positions

Warren is known for her progressive politics and her populist views on the economy.  According to the UK magazine New Statesman, she is among the "top 20 US progressives". 

In December 2016, Warren announced plans to introduce a bill to address President-elect Donald Trump's perceived conflicts of interest related to his business empire. Under her proposed bill, Donald Trump could face impeachment if he fails to declare conflicts of interest between his presidential role and his business interests. Warren states, "The only way for President-elect Trump to truly eliminate conflicts-of-interest is to divest his financial interests and place them in a blind trust. This has been the standard for previous presidents, and our bill makes clear the continuing expectation that President-elect Trump do the same."  On January 9, 2017, the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act, was first read in the Senate. 

In November 2018, Warren said she will not vote for Trump's United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) saying, "It won't stop outsourcing, it won't raise wages, and it won't create jobs. It's NAFTA 2.0." She also believes that it will make it harder to reduce drug prices because it will allow drug companies to lock in the prices they are currently charging for many drugs. 

In January 2019, Warren criticized President Donald Trump's announcement of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan. Although she agreed that US troops should be withdrawn from Syria and Afghanistan, she said such withdrawals should be part of a "coordinated" plan formed with US allies. 

2018 election

Main article: United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2018

On January 6, 2017, in an e-mail to supporters, Warren announced that she would be running for a second term as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. She wrote in the e-mail, "The people of Massachusetts didn't send me to Washington to roll over and play dead while Donald Trump and his team of billionaires, bigots, and Wall Street bankers crush the working people of our Commonwealth and this country," and "This is no time to quit." 

The Senate election in Massachusetts took place on November 6, 2018. Warren defeated her Republican opponent, Geoff Diehl by a 60% to 36% margin.

2016 presidential campaign

Warren stumps for Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, October 2016

In the runup to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Warren was put forward by supporters as a possible presidential candidate. However, Warren repeatedly stated that she was not running for president in 2016.  In October 2013, she joined the other fifteen Senate Democratic women in signing a letter that encouraged Hillary Clinton to run.  There was much speculation about Warren being added to the Democratic ticket as a vice-presidential candidate.  On June 9, 2016, after the California Democratic primary, Warren formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. In response to questions when she endorsed Clinton, Warren said that she believed herself to be ready to be vice president, but she was not being vetted.  On July 7, CNN reported that Warren was on a five-person short list to be Clinton's vice-presidential running mate.   However, Clinton eventually chose Tim Kaine.

Warren vigorously campaigned for Hillary Clinton and took an active role in the 2016 presidential election. She remarked that Donald Trump, the Republican presumptive nominee, was dishonest, uncaring, and "a loser".

2020 presidential election

At a town hall meeting in Holyoke, Massachusetts on September 29, 2018, Warren said she would "take a hard look" at running for president in the 2020 election after the conclusion of the 2018 United States elections.  On December 31, 2018, Warren announced that she was forming an exploratory committee to run for president.


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Old News ;-)

[Feb 19, 2019] Rhetoric and platitudes aren't enough

Feb 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Matt Chew , , 1 week ago

Liz Warren is talking about what Bernie talked about in '16. I'm concerned that she has progressive rhetoric but centrist instincts. Her voting record isn't as progressive as I believe is necessary. She needs to be able to withstand scrutiny if she hopes to attract progressive voters. Rhetoric and platitudes aren't enough... #LeadersNeedToLeadByExample

Steven H , 1 week ago

I don't think I'm alone in finding a big difference that was not mentioned in the video. While I greatly appreciate Elizabeth Warren, and those clips you showed from earlier today were very encouraging, there is just a quality Bernie and Tulsi share that is very rare among politicians. Something about the way they speak, their past actions, and ways they don't speak, just hit home really hard a believability that they are extremely genuine and from the heart. I see some of this from EW, but, Bernie and Tulsi are just incredibly impressive in regard to this quality... it doesn't feel like supporting a politician, it feels like supporting a kind of way of being and appreciation for what we all are so many of us try to make our way of life. fwiw, I think it's also a big part of AOC's appeal.

[Feb 19, 2019] What's the difference between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is a cautious, cowardish (her behaviour during 2016 was disgusting), but pretty energetic careerist. Her views will quickly change under pressure, so good talking points will never translated into real policies. The fact the wealthy control the USA is not news. This is the fact of life and always be. the question is how to reach optimal middle point when interest of the bottom 80% standard of living do not deteriorate.
Probably close to Barack Obama who also utters all right things during election complain and then blatantly betrayed his voters.
She clearly is the top anti-corruption candidate and will expose the level of corruption in Washington. So she is preferable to Kamala Harris and other establishment candidates.
The fight between organized and rich few and unorganized and poor many became hotter right now. But what is the power base of anti-neoliberal movement. That can be only trade unions, which were decimated. So the first step might be to restore the power of unions.
Notable quotes:
"... Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex ..."
"... Warren missed her moment when she failed us in 2016. She'd be VP today, and thinking about running in 2024. She shied away and instead, we have Trump ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

christina hayes , 1 week ago

Elizabeth Warren is weak. She did not have the courage to stand up to the Clinton machine in 2016 when she could have made a difference by standing up against corruption. Now she is waffling on what it means when she says she supports Medicare for All, as now she is open to tweaking the Republican "Affordable" Care Act. She won't fight for us. We need real fighters. We need Bernie and Tulsi.

Bacon Strips , 1 week ago

Kamala Harris Record is horrendous. It is absolutely disgusting. She is literally jumping on the bandwagon just to get elected.

Rik Longenecker , 1 week ago

She's a great ally, but not a leader. She's waffling on Medicare for all. Bernie or Tulsi will lead.

Unapologetic , 1 week ago

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Elizabeth Warren but in the last few years she's shown that she's not as reliable as i thought she was. She's way to soft when it comes to calling out the corruption in the dem party. She's also shown she's more willing to bend to the will of the Dem establishment and that is not the kind of President we need right now.

I'll be posting a video on her campaign soon & unfortunately I'll have to tear into her a lot more than you did in this video

tmcfootball96 , 1 week ago

Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex. She will lose to Trump if she gets the nominee. Tulsi is a real progressive with balls. #Tulsi2020

INF Flux , 1 week ago

Warren missed her moment when she failed us in 2016. She'd be VP today, and thinking about running in 2024. She shied away and instead, we have Trump.

I don't think she has the ability to motivate she could have had back then. I don't think she has the savvy to beat Trump. We need Tulsi or Bernie, the rest would lose in the general.

tomjulio2002, 1 week ago

Sorry but there is no comparison between Warren and Sanders.

Warren is either at best a coward (see primary 2016) or at worst a con (at lot of words but no action when it matters). So not much will change with her, except that Trump would be gone. Then we will get a worse than Trump next time around when people get even more disappointed and desperate.

For Sanders, you know for sure that he means what he says and that he intends to try.

The question is whether he will have the courage to go for it when the going gets tough. Or will he buckle like he did at the 2016 convention thinking best to get half a loaf than risking to get nothing.

With Sanders, there is at least a chance (albeit a slim one in my opinion) of big changes happening on the issues like Medicare for all, Green New Deal, Free public college...

For me, Warren is a no go.

Also Gabbard is clearly a fighter but I am still hazy on some of her positions. But I will take her before I even take another look at Warren (if somehow Warren becomes the nominee).

[Feb 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren in 2020 Who Can Beat Trump

May 11, 2017 | www.youtube.com

BestAnimeFanservice , 1 year ago

Tulsi Gabbard is courageous and stands up against her own party regardless of the political cost. Elizabeth Warren is a coward; she never stands up against her party; she only fights the easy fights (GOP,Trump). Elizabeth Warren was a college professor she knows the words the young kids want to listen and she says them often. Mark my words 'Elizabeth Warren in 2020 will be the Walter Mondale of 1984'

Megan Parish , 1 year ago (edited)

Tulsi Gabbard. She supports Medicare for all and Elizabeth Warren does not. She's also really pushing the fake Russia story all over MSNBC. Tulsi was the only one who didn't endorse Hillary.

D. Martin , 1 year ago (edited)

Liz voted to get rid of Habeas Corpus and we're going to put her up for president now? Bernie and Liz will certainly maintain the Democratic Party line on the Middle East.

TheGr8stManEvr , 1 year ago (edited)

I'll never trust Warren again. She's a Fauxgressive, just like Obama. #FoolMeOnce

TheKeithvidz , 1 year ago (edited)

tulsi %100 but Warren supported Ben Carson & Hillary Rodham - to be fair she's far from the worse.

branden burks , 1 year ago

Mike don't be naive. The Democratic Party has learned NOTHING! They'd definitely cheat a true progressive in 2020. Have you seen ANY changes? Do you hear what their lawyers say about cheating Sanders on the record?

branden burks , 1 year ago

I'd take Tulsi Gabbard over Elizabeth Warren. Warren showed her true colors. Always too little too late and she doesn't do it by mistake. Gabbard just does the right thing because it's right. I don't think Warren could beat Trump. He can poke way too many holes in her.

[Feb 13, 2019] What a Midwestern Presidential Candidate Learned From Marxist Intellectuals

Notable quotes:
"... "The absence of effective state, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power," he explained. "The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise." ..."
"... Roosevelt was, however, conscious of the threats posed to the American experiment by the rapid consolidation wealth and power. And he knew that progressive taxation could be used to address those threats. ..."
"... The Democrats who seek to dislodge Donald Trump in 2020 will all need to make tax policy a priority. Republicans have for so long practiced reverse Robin Hood politics -- take from the poor and give to the rich -- that the promised Democrats make will be unobtainable without the infusion of revenues that comes from taxing the wealthy. Changing tax policy also infuses governing with democracy, as it dials down the influence of specially interested billionaires (such as the Koch brothers) and their corporations. ..."
"... Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America ..."
"... People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.thenation.com

What a Midwestern Presidential Candidate Learned From Marxist Intellectuals | The Nation The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes."

That's what Teddy Roosevelt proposed in his agenda-setting "New Nationalism" speech from 1910 , when he prodded the United States toward a fuller embrace of progressive reform. As a former president who was preparing to again bid for the position, Roosevelt opened a conversation about tax policy in order to frame a broader debate about at least some of the values that should guide American progress.

At the heart of Roosevelt's agenda was a specific form of taxation. While progressive taxation in a general sense was desirable and necessary, Roosevelt was particularly enthusiastic about "another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective -- a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate."

Teddy Roosevelt, it should be noted, was a Republican who possessed considerable wealth of his own. He was a flawed figure who let down the progressive cause at many turns and never matched the courageous domestic and foreign policy vision advanced by his rival for leadership of the progressive movement, Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette. But Roosevelt recognized that taxing inherited wealth not merely to collect revenues but to preserve and extend democracy.

"One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege." -- Teddy Roosevelt, 1910

"The absence of effective state, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power," he explained. "The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise."

Roosevelt's critics may have characterized him as a radical, but he was never as radical (or as right) as La Follette. Roosevelt was, however, conscious of the threats posed to the American experiment by the rapid consolidation wealth and power. And he knew that progressive taxation could be used to address those threats.

Bernie Sanders knows this, as well. That's why Sanders is proposing a progressive estate tax on the fortunes of the top 0.2 percent of Americans. The senator from Vermont's newly introduced "For the 99.8% Act" would collect $2.2 trillion from 588 billionaires.

"At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the three richest Americans own more wealth than 160 million Americans, it is literally beyond belief that the Republican leadership wants to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 0.2 percent," argues Sanders. "Our bill does what the American people want by substantially increasing the estate tax on the wealthiest families in this country and dramatically reducing wealth inequality. From a moral, economic, and political perspective our nation will not thrive when so few have so much and so many have so little."

Sanders is widely expected to bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. If he does so, Sanders will not be the only contender with a bold plan to tax the rich. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren , for instance, has a plan to levy a 2 percent tax on the assets of wealthy Americans with more than $50 million. From those with over $1 billion, she'd demand an additional 1 percent.

The Democrats who seek to dislodge Donald Trump in 2020 will all need to make tax policy a priority. Republicans have for so long practiced reverse Robin Hood politics -- take from the poor and give to the rich -- that the promised Democrats make will be unobtainable without the infusion of revenues that comes from taxing the wealthy. Changing tax policy also infuses governing with democracy, as it dials down the influence of specially interested billionaires (such as the Koch brothers) and their corporations.

What is notable about the Sanders plan is that, with his proposal to establish a 77 percent tax on the value of an estate above $1 billion, the senator is merely seeking "a return to the top rate from 1941 through 1976."

Sanders is proposing an approach that renews American values, as notes University of California–Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez. "The estate tax was a key pillar of the progressive tax revolution that the United States ushered one century ago. It prevented self-made wealth from turning into inherited wealth and helped make America more equal," explains Saez. "However, the estate tax is dying of neglect, as tax avoidance schemes are multiplying and left unchallenged. As wealth concentration is surging in the United States, it is high time to revive the estate tax, plug the loopholes, and make it more progressive. Senator Sanders' bill is a bold and welcome leap forward in this direction."

Teddy Roosevelt understood this economic calculus, and this democratic imperative.

"In every wise struggle for human betterment one of the main objects, and often the only object, has been to achieve in large measure equality of opportunity. In the struggle for this great end, nations rise from barbarism to civilization, and through it people press forward from one stage of enlightenment to the next," the Republican president explained in 1910. "One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now."

John Nichols is The Nation 's national-affairs correspondent. He is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America , from Nation Books, and co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy .

[Feb 12, 2019] Rubio One-Ups Sanders And Schumer With Plan To Curb Corporate Buybacks

Notable quotes:
"... To that end, the senator from Florida on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to limit corporate buybacks. Unlike a plan pitched by Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer earlier this month, Rubio's plan would seek to end preferential tax treatment of share buybacks, by decreeing that any money spent on buybacks would be considered - for tax purposes - a dividend paid to shareholders, even if individual investors didn't actually part with any stock. ..."
"... Any tax revenue generated by these changes could then be used to encourage more capital investment, Rubio said. As part of the proposal, Rubio would make a provision in the tax law that allows companies to deduct capital investment permanent (that provision is currently set to expire in 2022). ..."
"... But before lawmakers take their next steps toward regulating how and when companies should return excess capital to shareholders, they might want to take a look at a column recently published by WSJ's "Intelligent Investor" that expounds a concept called "the bladder theory." ..."
"... But the law most likely to govern here is the Law of Unintended Consequences. ..."
"... That companies bought back a record $1 trillion worth of stock last year while employers like GM slashed jobs and closed factories has stoked criticisms of the Trump tax cuts, but as the gulf between the rich and the poor grows ever more wide (a phenomenon for which we can thank the Federal Reserve and other large global central banks) it's worth wondering: facing a simmering backlash to one of the most persistent marginal bids in the market place, have investors already become too complacent about proposals like Rubio's? ..."
"... Worse, since they're largely funded by increased corporate debt (!) they amount to corporate strip-mining by senior management. This is disgraceful and dangerous. The debt will bust some corporations when the inevitable next downturn comes. ..."
"... This buyback cancer, which has grown rapidly because of corrupt SEC thinking and perverse tax incentives, requires urgent treatment. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

For better or worse, Republican Senator and one-time presidential candidate Marco Rubio isn't about to let the Democrats own the fight to curtail one of the most flagrant examples of post-crisis corporate excess. And if he can carve out a niche for himself that might one day help him credibly pitch himself as a populist firebrand, much like the man who went on to claim the presidency after defeating him in the Republican primary, well, that sounds to us like a win-win.

To that end, the senator from Florida on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to limit corporate buybacks. Unlike a plan pitched by Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer earlier this month, Rubio's plan would seek to end preferential tax treatment of share buybacks, by decreeing that any money spent on buybacks would be considered - for tax purposes - a dividend paid to shareholders, even if individual investors didn't actually part with any stock.

According to CNBC , the plan calls for every shareholder to receive an imputed portion of the funds equivalent to the percentage of company stock they own, which, of course, isn't the same thing as directly handing capital to shareholders (it simply changes the tax rate that the company buying back the shares would pay).

Ultimately, Rubio hopes that these changes would discourage companies from buying back stock. Those companies that continued to buy back shares would help contribute to higher revenues by increasing the funds that can be taxed, while also raising the rate at which this money can be taxed. Any tax revenue generated by these changes could then be used to encourage more capital investment, Rubio said. As part of the proposal, Rubio would make a provision in the tax law that allows companies to deduct capital investment permanent (that provision is currently set to expire in 2022).

But before lawmakers take their next steps toward regulating how and when companies should return excess capital to shareholders, they might want to take a look at a column recently published by WSJ's "Intelligent Investor" that expounds a concept called "the bladder theory."

Overall, however, buybacks (and dividends) return excess capital to investors who are free to spend or reinvest it wherever it is most needed. By requiring companies to hang onto their capital instead of paying it out, Congress might - perhaps - encourage them to invest more in workers and communities.

But the law most likely to govern here is the Law of Unintended Consequences. The history of investment by corporate managers with oodles of cash on their hands isn't encouraging. Hugh Liedtke, the late chief executive of Pennzoil, reportedly liked to quip that he believed in "the bladder theory:" Companies should pay out as much cash as possible, so managers couldn't piss all the money away.

That companies bought back a record $1 trillion worth of stock last year while employers like GM slashed jobs and closed factories has stoked criticisms of the Trump tax cuts, but as the gulf between the rich and the poor grows ever more wide (a phenomenon for which we can thank the Federal Reserve and other large global central banks) it's worth wondering: facing a simmering backlash to one of the most persistent marginal bids in the market place, have investors already become too complacent about proposals like Rubio's?

We ask only because the Dow soared more than 350 points on Tuesday, suggesting that, even as Rubio added a bipartisan flavor to the nascent movement to curb buybacks, investors aren't taking these proposals too seriously - at least not yet.

Celotex
This still doesn't address the insider trading aspect of stock buybacks, with insiders front-running the buyback.

vladiki

No one's arguing that if a company's groaning with cash then buybacks make sense. But it's the other 95% of of them that are the problem. Compare the 20 year graphs of buybacks with corporate profits, corporate debt, corporate tax paid, corporate dividends paid.

They tell you what everyone in higher management knows - that they're a tax-free dividend mechanism pretending to be "capital rationalisation".

Worse, since they're largely funded by increased corporate debt (!) they amount to corporate strip-mining by senior management. This is disgraceful and dangerous. The debt will bust some corporations when the inevitable next downturn comes.

This buyback cancer, which has grown rapidly because of corrupt SEC thinking and perverse tax incentives, requires urgent treatment.

james diamond squid

Everyone is in on this ponzi. I'm expecting tax deductions for buying stocks/homes.

[Feb 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's plan to tax the super-rich has been tried before. Here's what happened by Benjy Sarlin

Notable quotes:
"... Under Warren's proposal, households with over $50 million in assets would pay a 2 percent tax on their net worth every year. The rate would rise to 3 percent on assets over $1 billion. Warren's plan would affect just 75,000 households total. ..."
"... Taxes on wealth in Switzerland are not fixed, but set by 26 regional governments with rates that varied from 0.13 percent to 1 percent per year in 2016, according to the OECD report. They also are much broader, affecting not just millionaires, but many middle-class households as well ..."
"... A study of the country's tax system by Jonathan Gruber and several other economists found that for every 0.1 percent taxes on wealth went up in an area, the wealth taxpayers reported to the government dropped by 3.5 percent ..."
"... "When you tax people's wealth, they manage to somehow reduce their taxable wealth," Gruber told NBC News. "We don't know if it's by saving less or by hiding it. ..."
"... "It's really difficult to enforce," said Alan Cole, a former adviser to House Republicans on tax policy. "That's why almost everyone goes the capital gains tax route and very few go the wealth tax route." ..."
"... The OECD's report found that countries with wealth taxes have tended to collect relatively similar amounts of revenue over time even as the overall wealth in their countries increased at much faster rates. This suggests taxpayers either found new ways to get around them or that legislators and tax collectors weren't keeping pace with annual growth. ..."
"... While they expect the rich to succeed in shielding some of their assets, Warren advisers Saez and Zucman peg the number at 15 percent total based on a survey of existing research. In a letter to Warren, they wrote that Gruber's study was an "outlier" and that studies of wealth taxes in other countries like Sweden and Denmark showed less tax avoidance ..."
"... Lily Batchelder, a professor at New York University and former economic adviser under President Barack Obama, pointed to The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a 2010 U.S. law in coordination with other governments around the world that requires banks to report activity by American citizens. ..."
"... The fear that the ultra-rich will not just lowball their fortunes, but pack up and take them to a rival country, is a significant reason the wealth tax has declined. In France, President Emmanuel Macron replaced the country's decades-old wealth tax with a narrower tax on real estate partly in response to data suggesting 60,000 millionaires had left the country since 2000. ..."
"... In one prominent case, famed actor Gérard Depardieu moved across the border to less-taxed Belgium while criticizing France's policies. It wasn't just the wealth tax -- the previous government also imposed a 75 percent tax rate on income for millionaires, a policy that bears similarities to a proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. ..."
"... Warren's plan would apply to Americans based on citizenship, not where they live or where their money is earned, so the ultra-rich couldn't easily move to avoid it. If they renounced their citizenship, they'd have to pay a one-time 40 percent "exit tax" on their net worth. ..."
Jan 29, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

Versions of a "wealth tax" proposed by the 2020 hopeful have been put in place in a number of countries. Most have gotten rid of them.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has made a splash with her plan for a "wealth tax" on the super-rich, a major break from typical Democratic proposals that target income, investment gains and inheritances.

While wealth taxes aren't a new invention and a handful of developed nations currently have them in place, they are on the decline: The number nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with a wealth tax dropped from 12 to four from 1990 to 2017, according to a report by the organization last year.

With inequality hitting new heights, though, Democrats running for president have made finding new ways to tax the rich and distribute the benefits downward a key part of their economic message. Wealth taxes are making a comeback in policy discussions abroad as well, led by French economist Thomas Piketty's call for a global tax on the rich.

Now economists are debating what other countries can tell us about the Warren Ultra-Millionaires Tax and whether it's useful to tie their experiences to the United States.

Video Will Begin In... 3 Sen. Elizabeth Warren on her wealth tax proposal Jan. 24, 2019 16:00

One prominent case study is Switzerland, where a longstanding series of wealth taxes account for about 1 percent of GDP each year. That's a much higher share than in other countries with a wealth tax and it's similar to what Warren's advisers predict her own tax would raise.

"The comparison everyone is thinking of is Switzerland, because it's probably the best precedent for a reasonably effective wealth tax," Ari Glogower, a professor at Ohio State University who researches wealth taxes, told NBC News.

The country's wealth tax may offer some insight into one looming question over Warren's wealth tax, which is whether its targets would find ways to avoid paying it. It's an important debate, because Warren's counting on her tax to raise a lot of money for social programs: $2.75 trillion over 10 years, according to an estimate by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two economists advising her campaign.

Under Warren's proposal, households with over $50 million in assets would pay a 2 percent tax on their net worth every year. The rate would rise to 3 percent on assets over $1 billion. Warren's plan would affect just 75,000 households total.

Taxes on wealth in Switzerland are not fixed, but set by 26 regional governments with rates that varied from 0.13 percent to 1 percent per year in 2016, according to the OECD report. They also are much broader, affecting not just millionaires, but many middle-class households as well .

A study of the country's tax system by Jonathan Gruber and several other economists found that for every 0.1 percent taxes on wealth went up in an area, the wealth taxpayers reported to the government dropped by 3.5 percent .

"When you tax people's wealth, they manage to somehow reduce their taxable wealth," Gruber told NBC News. "We don't know if it's by saving less or by hiding it. "

Critics point to these shifts as evidence that a wealth tax is an inefficient way to collect taxes. While the IRS can easily check the price of a publicly traded stock, it may be hard to value a privately held company or a rare art collection until it's sold, which is often a source of legal battles in calculating estate taxes. But unlike an estate, which is taxed once at death, the government would have to figure out the value every year.

"It's really difficult to enforce," said Alan Cole, a former adviser to House Republicans on tax policy. "That's why almost everyone goes the capital gains tax route and very few go the wealth tax route."

The OECD's report found that countries with wealth taxes have tended to collect relatively similar amounts of revenue over time even as the overall wealth in their countries increased at much faster rates. This suggests taxpayers either found new ways to get around them or that legislators and tax collectors weren't keeping pace with annual growth.

Anticipating this concern, Warren's plan includes a pledge to bolster the IRS, require a minimum number of audits, and use a variety of techniques to indirectly value more difficult to price assets.

While they expect the rich to succeed in shielding some of their assets, Warren advisers Saez and Zucman peg the number at 15 percent total based on a survey of existing research. In a letter to Warren, they wrote that Gruber's study was an "outlier" and that studies of wealth taxes in other countries like Sweden and Denmark showed less tax avoidance .

As Gruber noted, Switzerland's broad tax base makes it a less than exact comparison. But the tax rate in Warren's plan would also be much higher, giving its targets more motive to avoid it. They would also be more likely to have skilled accountants and lawyers to help them out.

"It doesn't mean it's a bad idea or it won't raise money," Gruber said. "Elizabeth Warren's tax would raise money, it's a question of how much."

At the same time, some argue recent changes in finance make it harder for the rich to hide assets from tax collectors.

Lily Batchelder, a professor at New York University and former economic adviser under President Barack Obama, pointed to The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a 2010 U.S. law in coordination with other governments around the world that requires banks to report activity by American citizens.

"It's certainly not perfect and there's more work to be done, but compared to even five years ago, the landscape has really changed," she said. "So people who are looking at this from five or 10 or 20 years ago are missing that."

Gruber's study does cut against another top concern raised by critics of a wealth tax -- that it will cause taxpayers to pack up and move. Even with lower-tax options inside the same country, their research found little sign of people moving to avoid higher rates.

The fear that the ultra-rich will not just lowball their fortunes, but pack up and take them to a rival country, is a significant reason the wealth tax has declined. In France, President Emmanuel Macron replaced the country's decades-old wealth tax with a narrower tax on real estate partly in response to data suggesting 60,000 millionaires had left the country since 2000.

In one prominent case, famed actor Gérard Depardieu moved across the border to less-taxed Belgium while criticizing France's policies. It wasn't just the wealth tax -- the previous government also imposed a 75 percent tax rate on income for millionaires, a policy that bears similarities to a proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Warren's plan would apply to Americans based on citizenship, not where they live or where their money is earned, so the ultra-rich couldn't easily move to avoid it. If they renounced their citizenship, they'd have to pay a one-time 40 percent "exit tax" on their net worth.

[Feb 12, 2019] Trump gave a huge tax cut to corporate America betraying his middle class voters.

Casino Capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist.
"We can have extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few; or, we can have democracy, we can't have both." Judge Brandies was right
Notable quotes:
"... "We can have extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few; or, we can have democracy, we can't have both." Judge Brandies was right. The Republicans have chosen extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, the few who happen to donate to their campaigns specifically, rather than democracy. The Republicans have sold out the American people. ..."
"... It's all thanks to the Roberts' SCOTUS's Citizens United decision, the McCutcheon decision, and egregious GOP'er gerrymandering of 2010. Vulture Capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Bruce Rozenblit, Kansas City, MO Feb. 4

I don't think it's that complicated. Donald Trump is the Republican party. He has solidified his power in three basic ways. The first is that he gave a huge tax cut to corporate America. This greatly boosted profits and the stock market reacted in sync. This is all Wall Street and big business cares about. Nothing else matters to them and consequently they ignore everything else that Trump does, no matter how awful, how incompetent and how damaging it is to our republic.

Ronny Dublin, CA Feb. 4

@R. Law "We can have extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few; or, we can have democracy, we can't have both." Judge Brandies was right. The Republicans have chosen extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, the few who happen to donate to their campaigns specifically, rather than democracy. The Republicans have sold out the American people.

R. Law Texas Feb. 4

We agree with Dr. K.: " But maybe the gravitational attraction of big money -- which has completely captured the G.O.P., and has arguably kept Democrats from moving as far left as the electorate really wants -- is too great. " defines the issue, since 'voters' are not the actual consumers of politics being sold by the pols - those consumers are the pols' donors: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/government-wealthy-study_n_5154879.html

It's all thanks to the Roberts' SCOTUS's Citizens United decision, the McCutcheon decision, and egregious GOP'er gerrymandering of 2010. Vulture Capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist.

[Feb 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren -- Est. $5 Million

Feb 12, 2019 | therapyjoker.com

Elizabeth is super rich when compared to the average American citizen (who's worth is around $100,000), but keep in mind that Congress is virtually made up of some of the richest people in the country.

While a whole lot of Elizabeth's net worth is based around the investments she's made, she also has a huge house that's worth almost $2 million which isn't bad at all. The house is reportedly in Massachusetts.

CNN reported that Warren is worth between $3.7 million and $10 million dollars because of her combined net worth with her husband and ranked her the 76th wealthiest out of 541 senators and representatives.

It's quite interesting to know that Warren didn't start off rich – she was born to a middle-class family and rose to the top based on pure merit.

She earned a degree in bankruptcy law and began teaching in universities just like her husband. They were soon able to amass a huge amount together.

[Feb 12, 2019] Social anger at neoliberalization as a material force in 2002 elections

Feb 12, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez, February 12, 2019 8:11 pm

Daniel,

For decades we have heard about the loss of industrial production throughout what is called the "Rust Belt". It's presented, even as recent as the prior presidential election as a relative regional problem that only began post-Reagan.

With all due respect, it looks like you forgot that at some point quantity turns into quality, so making simple extrapolations might well result in an oversimplification of the current situation.

You essentially ignore the current reality of rising popular anger, and the fact of breaking of the social contract by neoliberal (and first of all financial) oligarchy, which is as detached from "deplorable" as French aristocracy ("let them eat cakes" mentality.)

In 2019 it is clear that the USA completely and irreversibly moved from an economy based on high wages and reliable benefits to a system of low wages and cheap consumer prices, to the detriment of workers, which means that social contract was broken ( https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/the-past-and-future-of-americas-social-contract/282511/ ).

While less dangerous for the oligarchy then when the USSR used to exist, the level of social anger comes into play as never before. In 2016 became a material factor that decided the elections. I do not see that 2020 will be different.

The most detrimental effects from outsourcing and offshoring will come to the forefront probably in 10 years or so when the oil price might be well over $100 per barrel. But even now this huge social experiment on live people in redistribution of wealth up turn out to be detrimental for the unity of the country (and not only to the unity).

The current squabble between globalist, Clinton wing of Democratic Party allied with the corporatists with the Republican Party (with supporting intelligence agencies) and rag-tag forces of the opposition is a good indication of the power of this resentment.

Spearheaded by intelligence agencies (with material support from British government ) attack on Trump (aka Russiagate) is the attack on the idea of an alternative for neoliberal globalization, not so much on the personality or real or perceived Trump actions; the brutal, Soviet-style attack on the deviation from neoliberal status quo directed on the political elimination of the opposition by elimination of Trump from the political scene. Much like Show Trials were in the USSR (in this case people were charged to be British spies ;-)

There are two countries now co-existing within the USA borders. Which often speak different languages. One is the country of professionals, managers, and capital owners (let's say top 10%). The other is the country of common people (aka "deplorable", or those who are below median wage -- ~$30K in 2017; ratio of average and median wage is now around 65% ).

With the large part of the latter living as if they live in a third world country. That's definitely true for McDonald, Wall-mart (and all retail) employees (say, all less than $15 per hour employees, or around half of US workers).

I think the level of anger of "deplorable" will play the major role in 2020 elections and might propel Warren candidacy. That's why now some MSM are trying to derail her by exploiting the fact that she listed her heritage incorrectly on several applications.

But when the anger of "deplorable" is in play, then, as Donald Trump aptly quipped, one could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody and do not lose any voters. I think this is now true for Warren too.

Here are some old, but still interesting, facts circa Nov 2011 ( https://www.businessinsider.com/sad-facts-deindustrialization-america-2011-11 ):

-- The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001
-- The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000
-- From 1999 to 2008, employment at the foreign affiliates of US parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million
-- In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent
-- As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941. The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000
-- As of 2010 consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services
-- In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th
-- Asia produces 84% of printed circuit boards used worldwide.
-- In September 2011, the Census Bureau said 46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty, which is the highest number of poor Americans in the 52 years that records have been kept

NOTE: Programming jobs in the USA are expected to shrink in 2019 ( -21,300 ) so it is incorrect to look at IT industry as a potential compensating industry for manufacturing layoffs. ( https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-technology-jobs )

[Feb 11, 2019] Elizabeth Warren and the High Price of Racial Progress

The real question is whether she abused her "second identity" for career purposes or not.
Feb 11, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

President Bill Clinton claimed at a forum in 1998 that his grandmother was "one-quarter Cherokee." The assertion, from a politician with a not-always-sterling reputation for truthfulness, went unheralded.

Clinton's mother had earlier been described, in a 1992 article , as a "descendant of Irish farmers and Cherokee Indians." The genealogical receipts were never in evidence. But families have their stories; few seemed to care one way or another.

They do now.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of the most talented politicians in the nation and one of the most important policy leaders in her party. She has superb communication skills, including the ability to distill complex class and economic dynamics into compelling, comprehensible rhetoric . She is extremely smart. She might make a fine nominee, even president.

She also can't seem to shake a political problem that posed no noticeable discomfort to Clinton.

The latest installment -- it seems there may be more -- was the unearthing of an apparently not-so-confidential Texas state bar form that Warren filled out three decades ago when she was a law professor at the University of Texas. On the form she wrote her race as "American Indian."

The discovery follows her recent release of a report she commissioned on her DNA that was occasioned by previous controversy about her claims to American Indian ancestry.

Many people find the storm over Warren ridiculous. And they have reason. At a time when the president of the United States makes regular and open appeals to bigotry, harping on Warren's minor identity foibles seems absurd. Warren is not calling Mexicans rapists. She's not caricaturing black neighborhoods as savage war zones where you can't walk down the street without being shot. She has sexually assaulted no one.

Nor did Warren dress in blackface at a time when anyone mindful of history, or even mildly conscious of contemporary American society outside the confines of a creepy college fraternity, understood it to be an act of social barbarism.

The Boston Globe reported that Warren gained no career benefit from her self-designation. "At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman," the Globe reported.

Regarding the Texas bar form, Brian Beutler tweeted , "The fact that she made the claim on a form that was meant to be unlogged and confidential actually underscores her point that she identified as she did out of sincere belief."

Warren is 69. Over the years, she has surely mentioned her Indian affinity many times -- contributing recipes in the 1980s, for example, to "Pow Wow Chow: A Collection of Recipes from Families of the Five Civilized Tribes" -- without social awkwardness or professional consequence.

Warren also grew up in Oklahoma, a state created from Indian Territory. "I think what Warren has done in identifying as American Indian -- and particularly as a Cherokee -- is very Oklahoman," said Circe Sturm, author of " Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the 21st Century. "

Blue-eyed Indians are too common to be political fodder in Oklahoma. "In Oklahoma, you have plenty of native people who look white but have native ancestry or tribal citizenship," Sturm said in a telephone interview.

There was a time when Elvis Presley could grab a piece of "race music" and exploit it for fame and fortune in the white mainstream. Three decades ago, Warren perhaps thought she was respectfully identifying with a brutalized minority, or just imagining herself as the person she thought she was, or wanted to be. You didn't need malicious intent, or a desire to game racial classifications, to want to stretch the bounds of whiteness.

But as nonwhite Americans have gained more political power, cultural appropriation, conscious or otherwise, has become increasingly fraught. Complicating matters, tribal identity is a political designation, and Cherokees are wary of granting inclusion to any Bill or Elizabeth who purports to have an ancestor somewhere.

Historically, whites generally had greater freedom to try on new identities, and explore new social arrangements. Racial minorities had their identities assigned, and "passing" beyond rigid definitions was a perilous exercise.

Now the rules are evolving. A once-free, or at least freer, range of white identity is gradually being fenced by consequences, just as consequences have bound racial minorities to identities for centuries. A white frontier is closing.

One of the chief institutions grappling with this transformation, and driving it, is the Democratic Party. As a woman, Warren has benefited from the party's new openness to female power. But she's being buffeted by crosswinds on race.

Republicans and much of the GOP-allied media, active or silent partners in the Trumpist campaign to sustain white political, social and economic power, are rarely as gleeful as when attacking liberals who struggle to conform to the emerging norms that conservatives subvert. (The case of GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy's family, which has cashed in on dubious claims of Indian heritage, is curiously less scrutinized than Warren's predicament.)

The mainstream news media, always eager to posit a Democratic counterpoint to the criminality and corruption swirling around Trump, may conclude that Warren's Indian issue is an offense so grave that it rivals substandard email protocol. The Democratic Party itself, testing its surroundings with multiracial sensors, may conclude that it has enough high-quality alternatives to Warren that it can afford to leave a star player on the bench.

That would be a shame. Warren is well worth hearing from. But it may also be the high price of progress. Democrats, after all, are the only game in town. Republicans, seated in the whites-only section of the bleachers, hurling insults at the players on the field, won't join in making social justice and empowerment a cause.

Being first movers into a multiracial, female-empowered century has given Democrats a strategic advantage and moral high ground. But the new terrain is often tough to navigate , as another quality politician, Senator Al Franken, discovered . The march forward can be unforgiving, leaving even good people behind.

[Feb 10, 2019] Can Elizabeth Warren reclaim her role as Democrats' top foil to Trump? by Sabrina Siddiqui in

Notable quotes:
"... The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer. ..."
"... Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin. ..."
"... At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans. ..."
"... Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry. ..."
"... But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. ..."
"... Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m. ..."
Feb 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Warren's official entry into the race has differed sharply from when she captured widespread liberal enthusiasm in her unlikely bid for the Senate seven years ago.

The two-term senator will join a crowded Democratic primary field with no clear frontrunner – and several contenders jockeying to claim the progressive mantle that she aspires to grasp. She has also found herself contending with a lingering controversy for previously identifying as Native American over the course of nearly two decades.

The question now is whether Warren, who moved early to build an expansive field operation in anticipation of her presidential run, can overcome early setbacks and reclaim her role as the Democratic party's top foil to Donald Trump.

divider

Born to middle-class parents in Norman, Oklahoma , Warren has spoken candidly about how her family's livelihood was upended when her father's heart attack forced him out of work. Addressing crowds across the country, Warren often recalls how her late mother – determined not to lose the family's home – "pulled on her best dress" and got her first paying job at the department store Sears.

The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer.

Her research in bankruptcy law – and the impact on the average person's medical bills, mortgage payments and other installments – led Warren to become a leading expert on the subject and rise in the academia world.

"These are the issues she still cares about," said Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School who helped recruit Warren to its faculty.

"I think she is extraordinary for this reason, that she got into politics because she cared about some issues. She didn't get into politics because she wanted to be in office and then tried to figure out what issues she cared about."

Warren cultivated a profile as a populist firebrand against the backdrop of the Great Recession, earning the ire of Wall Street by spearheading the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – an agency established under the Obama administration as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010.

Upon being passed over to head the agency she helped create, Warren decided to continue the fight from within the government, embarking on a campaign to win back the late senator and liberal icon Ted Kennedy's seat from the Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, in the high-profile 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.

Roughly $70m was spent on the bitterly waged contest, which catapulted Warren to the national stage.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren speaks during day two of the Democratic national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 5 September 2012. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The race also saw Warren cement herself as a leader of the burgeoning progressive movement within the Democratic party; branding the choice before voters as "Wall Street versus you", Warren viewed the election as an opportunity to hand a major defeat to what she once dubbed as "the largest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth".

Following her victory, Warren's profile grew so rapidly that speculation swiftly emerged over a potential White House run in 2016, despite the inevitability of Hillary Clinton's candidacy. A group of progressives even mounted a #DraftWarren campaign.

Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin.

After Trump derided Clinton as a "nasty woman", Warren famously riffed: "Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote, and on November 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever."

The 2016 presidential election did not, however, produce the groundswell of unified opposition to Trump that Democrats had hoped for. Instead, it left the party in search of a clear leader to fill the void left by Obama's departure from the White House.

For Warren, it looked as though her moment had arrived.

In the early days of the Trump administration, Warren quickly emerged as the face of the Democratic opposition, matching the president's tweets with sharp ripostes of her own and holding his cabinet nominees to account when they appeared for consideration before congressional committees.

During the confirmation process for the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, Warren famously read a letter written 30 years prior by Coretta Scott King, in which the widow of Dr Martin Luther King Jr warned of Sessions' civil rights record from the time of his nomination for a federal judgeship.

Silenced by Republicans mid-speech on the Senate floor, Warren read the letter on Facebook Live. The hashtag #LetLizSpeak trended on Twitter and the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted" was coined.

At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans.

Although Warren long ignored the president's taunts, she took the unusual step of addressing the issue head on in October by making public the results of a DNA test revealing that she did, in fact, have some Native American ancestry.

Rather than putting the topic to rest, Warren's move was rebuked by some tribal leaders, who felt it politicized their identity, and reignited the story.

Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry.

An exhaustive investigation by the Boston Globe found no evidence that Warren benefited from doing so, and nearly every living Harvard law professor involved in her hiring has said it was not a factor in their votes to offer her a tenured position.

"When we brought her to Harvard, no one had a clue that she thought of herself as Native American," said Laurence Tribe, the school's professor of constitutional law.

"I think she's had an unfair rap," he added. "I don't think it's the case that she ever exploited her family's background or ancestry in a way that some people seem to think she did."

The Cherokee nation, one of the groups that was critical of Warren, said she privately apologized to to tribal leaders.

But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. Warren apologized once more, telling reporters: "I'm not a tribal citizen.

"My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty. I really want to underline the point, tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship."

Warren remains a popular figure in the Democratic party and was easily re-elected to a second Senate term in the 2018 midterm elections.

Even so, she received fewer votes in her home state than Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, prompting Warren's hometown paper to urge the senator to reconsider a presidential bid.

"While Warren won re-election, her margin of victory in November suggests there's a ceiling on her popularity," the Boston Globe editorial board wrote. "Baker garnered more votes than she did in a state that is supposed to be a Democratic haven."

She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically. She takes very sharp and controversial positions

Barney Frank

"While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure," the board added. "A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump." Those close to Warren dismissed the editorial as having more to do with the personal biographies and inclinations of those who sit on the board. "She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically," said Frank. "She takes very sharp and controversial positions."

"So, yeah, they're going to be people who are unhappy with her."

More challenging for Warren, friends and former colleagues said, would be the task of distinguishing herself within a diverse field of Democratic candidates that includes at least three of her Senate colleagues and a record number of women seeking the party's nomination.

Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m.

Fried, who served as solicitor general under Ronald Reagan, said he disagreed with some of the more expansive economic policies touted by Warren. But her greatest asset as a candidate, he acknowledged, would be to approach the campaign with the same steely resolve to elevate the middle class that endeared her to voters seven years ago.

Although he is only occasionally in touch with Warren as she embarks on what will undoubtedly be a grueling campaign for America's highest office, Fried recalled recently sending Warren a lengthy article about capitalism and income inequality.

To his surprise, he received a response from Warren 10 days later. She had not only taken the time to read the article, but highlighted a portion that stood out to her. "How many presidential candidates would do that?" Fried asked. In her email, Warren also recounted to her old colleague how not very long ago they sat together on a flight discussing the prospects of a Clinton presidency. That day never came to fruition, Warren noted. "I don't know what lies ahead," she added. "But I know what I'm fighting for."

[Feb 10, 2019] 'Rigged system': will Warren's rage against the rich win over 2020 voters? by Josh Wood

Feb 09, 2019 | -> www.theguardian.com

While controversy around her heritage lingers, voters call the Democrat's fight against economic injustice 'inspiring' On a cold, blustery January day in 1912, immigrant women walked out of the Everett Mill in the -> Massachusetts factory town of Lawrence demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Mill owners and city government responded in a swift and heavy-handed manner; local militias and police forces were called to the streets. Protesters died. Many more were arrested.

On a cold, blustery February day 117 years later, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren stood in front of Everett Mill -> to announce her candidacy for president of the United States , channeling the spirit of those women as she told her supporters that they were in a fight for their lives against a rigged system that favors the rich and powerful.

ss="rich-link"> Why women 2020 candidates face 'likability' question even as they make history Read more

"These workers – led by women – didn't have much. Not even a common language. Nevertheless, they persisted," she said. "The story of Lawrence is about how real change happens in America. It's a story about power – our power – when we fight together."

For Warren, who grew up in an economically struggling Oklahoma household and who first rose to mainstream prominence by handing out practical financial advice to American families, the word "fight" is central to her platform and political ethos – it was a word peppered throughout her speech.

But on Saturday, she made clear that hers was not just a fight against president Donald Trump, but against a system she described as one where the rich, privileged and powerful oppress the rest of the country.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Supporters in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

"The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken, he is just the latest – and most extreme – symptom of what's gone wrong in America, a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else," she said. "So once he's gone, we can't pretend that all of this never happened."

The backdrop of the mill, where the so-called Bread and Roses strikes originated, was symbolic. But so too was the choice of the modern day city of Lawrence, which is one of those places in America that has felt left behind in recent times. To many in New England, Lawrence is synonymous with crime, drugs and poverty. The Republican governors of Maine and New Hampshire have invoked the city's name when laying blame for the opioid crises in their states. As was the case at the time of the strikes, Lawrence is a working class city of immigrants, with a population that is about 80% Latino. It is a city where wealth is nearby, but out of reach for many.

Sebastian Brown, 31, moved to Lawrence five years ago. While he had yet to choose a candidate to support, he was excited by Warren's message and was happy Warren chose the town as the site of her announcement.

ass="inline-garnett-quote inline-icon ">

I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives

Vicki Ward, rally attendee

"This is a working class city. And I think her – and Bernie [Sanders] – are running on platforms that speak to the working class and how they're being screwed over by the rich and powerful," he said. "And I think she's a great messenger for it."

While there was optimism about Warren's candidacy at her rally, she enters an already crowded Democratic field amid -> r enewed controversy over her past identification as Native American.

For years now – since even before he was president – -> Trump has needled Warren on the issue , calling her "Pocahontas". He and others accuse Warren of falsely presenting herself as Native American to gain unfair advantages in life.

The controversy was re-ignited last week when the Washington Post -> published Warren's 1986 registration card for the Texas State Bar. In it, she listed "American Indian" as her race.

Warren has now apologised repeatedly for identifying as Native American, saying in recent days that she "should have been more mindful of the distinction with tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty". She still maintains that Native American ancestry was part of her family's story passed down to her.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren called Donald Trump the 'most extreme' symptom of a broken system. Photograph: Cj Gunther/EPA

How damaging the controversy will be remains to be see. Warren enters a diverse Democratic field where other candidates belong to minority groups: New Jersey senator -> Cory Booker is African American ; -> California senator Kamala Harris was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. -> Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is both the first Hindu and first Samoan-American member of Congress, and the former San Antonio mayor -> Julián Castro is Latino . When the Democratic race gets heated, Warren's portrayal of race could prove to be a point of attack.

Peter Devlin, a 56-year-old dentist from the nearby town of North Andover, said he was at the rally to hear what Warren had to say but said that the Native American controversy "is going to be a problem" for her campaign.

"I voted for her as senator, but I'm concerned about her electability," he said. "It's going to be a tough run. She's got a bit of baggage and she's so sort of cliche progressive liberal that I think there's a lot of America that's not up for that. But I want to hear what she's up to."

ss="rich-link"> Stacey Abrams on the ticket? Democrat's star turn fuels talk for 2020 Read more

However, other attendees, like 64-year-old Vicki Ward, who drove two hours to the event from Vermont, were ready to throw their support behind Warren on the first day of the senator's presidential campaign.

"I think she's got the qualities that we need," she said. "I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives."

Maryann Johnson, who came to Warren's announcement from New Hampshire, also said she was already sold on Warren.

"I basically agreed with everything she said. We need to have more equality, there needs to be less corruption in government," she said. "She's inspiring."

Topics -> Elizabeth Warren -> US elections 2020 -> Massachusetts -> Democrats -> US politics analysis Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

[Feb 06, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Identified Herself As American Indian On 1986 State Bar Registration

Feb 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"Fauxcahontas " is never going to live this one down.

In a report published Tuesday night, just before President Trump started his State of the Union, the Washington Post revealed that it had discovered a document where 2020 Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren, who was exposed by a DNA test that backfired late last year for having a negligible amount of Native American heritage, listed her race as "American Indian" on a registration card for the Texas State Bar in the mid-1980s.

The card lists Warren's name, gender and the address for the University of Texas law school in Austin, where she was working at the time. On the line for "race," Warren wrote: "American Indian." Meanwhile, lines for "National Origin" and "Physical handicap" were left blank.

As WaPo explains, "the card is significant" because, for the first time, it shows that Warren "directly claimed the identity."

One spokeswoman said Warren was sorry for "not more mindful of this" (presumably referring to the risks that this would all blow up in her face later in life), when she was younger, and for falsely identifying as a Native American for more than two decades.

"I can't go back," Warren told WaPo.

According to WaPo, the card, dated April 1986, is the first document to surface showing Warren claiming Native American heritage in her own handwriting. Her office didn't deny the authenticity of the document.

WaPo explained that it found the card through an open-records request.

Using an open records request during a general inquiry, for example, The Post obtained Warren's registration card for the State Bar of Texas, providing a previously undisclosed example of Warren identifying as an "American Indian."

The card was filled out by Warren after she was admitted to the Texas bar. Her reasons for joining the bar are unclear: Though, at the time, she was doing legal work on the side, the work wasn't anything that required her to be admitted to the bar. The date on the card coincided with her fist self-identified listing as a "minority" by the Association of American Law Schools, where she reported herself as a minority in the directory every year beginning in 1986 (the year the Association started listing minority law professors). Her name dropped off that list in 1995.

Warren also famously had her ethnicity changed to Native American from "White" in December, 1989 while working at UPenn, two years after she was hired. She also listed her ethnicity as Native American when she started working at Harvard Law School in 1995.

In a sign that Warren's listing herself as Native American may have been more an act of self-delusion than an attempt to give herself a leg up in the world of academia, the card explicitly states that "the following information is for statistical purposes only and will not be disclosed to any person or organization without the express written consent of the attorney."

Back in October, Warren's decision to release her DNA test results revealed that she had a negligible level of Native American heritage (possibly as little as 1/1,024 Native) while the stunt - which backfired spectacularly - angered leaders of the Cherokee nation, who, as WaPo explained, typically exercise tight control over the process of connecting individuals with the tribe. Warren's apology for that incident hasn't been uniformly accepted, and there are still some who want to see a more thorough apology from Warren.

Whether this is enough to sink her primary bid remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: We imagine President Trump will be weighing in with some more prospective campaign materials.


PrideOfMammon , 28 seconds ago link

Warren is an insane carpetbagger. But that is practically the definition of an American.

August , 7 minutes ago link

An apology for being stupid isn't really required.

Dr Anon , 10 minutes ago link

How funny: on the 2020 ballot she identifies as the village idiot.

charlie_don't_surf , 12 minutes ago link

Now let's see obama's college applications that show he listed himself as a foreign student from kenya.

chrsn , 19 minutes ago link

I'm not that mad at her.

When you overemphasize and exaggerate identity politics beyond all reason, you're bound to get plenty of people playing these angles. She's already benefited from it, so too ******* bad.

Hugh G. Rection , 56 minutes ago link

Hmmmm, makes me wonder again just why Obama sealed all his college records.....

Maybe he was embarrassed about that D- in Constitutional law, or maybe he claimed foreign citizenship

Insurrector , 26 minutes ago link

Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983 with a degree in political science and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991.

Trump graduated from the undergraduate school of finance and commerce at Penn (Wharton school), but he did not graduate at the top of his class or with honors. He did NOT graduate at the top of his class at Wharton undergrad or grad, as the Liar in Chief has frequently quipped. It is believed he was in the bottom third of the undergraduate class.

It is illegal under federal law to release any former student's records to reporters or members of the public without that person's specific, written permission. Obama hasn't released them, but neither have other presidential candidates released their college records.

Trump has not released his records from Penn either. But of course he is your Orange Geezus, so this is an inconvenient truth for you

[Feb 05, 2019] Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included

Feb 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:22 PM

Is anyone else tired of the longest, least productive waste of war in American history ? What have we achieved, where are we going with this ? More war.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:31 PM
We are being fed a fairy tale of war about what men, long dead, did. And the reason they did it. America is being strangled by the burden of belief that now is like then.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:46 PM
By the patrician men and women administrators, posturing as soldiers like the WW2 army, lie for self profit. Why does anyone believe them ? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, each an economic decision, rather than a security issue.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:48 PM
America is dying on the same sword as Rome, for the same reason.
Plp -> JF... , January 31, 2019 at 07:28 AM
Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included
Julio -> mulp ... , January 31, 2019 at 08:58 AM
Well done! Much clearer than your usual. There are several distinct motivations for taxes. We have been far enough from fairness to workers, for so long, that we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats.

So I would say high marginal rates are a priority, which matches both objectives. Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years.

Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.

Gerald -> Julio ... , January 31, 2019 at 04:14 PM
"...we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats. So I would say high marginal rates are a priority..."

Forgive me, but high marginal rates (which I hugely favor) don't "redistribute the accumulated wealth" of the plutocrats. If such high marginal rates are ever enacted, they'll apply only to the current income of such plutocrats.

Julio -> Gerald... , January 31, 2019 at 06:22 PM
You merged paragraphs, and elided the next one. The way I see it, high rates are a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth, and its diversion into financial gambling.

But yes that would be a very slow way to redistribute what has already accumulated.

Gerald -> Julio ... , February 01, 2019 at 04:48 AM
Didn't mean to misinterpret what you were saying, sorry. High rates are not only "a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth," they are also a reimposition of fair taxation on current income (if it ever happens, of course).
Global Groundhog -> Julio ... , February 02, 2019 at 01:39 PM
Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years. Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.
"

more wisdom as usual!

Although wealth tax will be unlikely, it could be a stopgap; could also be a guideline to other taxes as well. for example, Elizabeth points out that billionaires pay about 3% of their net worth into their annual tax bill whereas workers pay about 7% of their net worth into their annual tax bill. Do you see how that works?

it doesn't? this Warren argument gives us a guideline. it shows us where other taxes should be adjusted to even out this percentage of net worth that people are taxed for. Ceu, during the last meltdown 10 years or so ago, We were collecting more tax from the payroll than we were from the income tax. this phenomenon was a heavy burden on those of low net worth. All this needs be resorted. we've got to sort this out.

and the carbon tax? may never be; but it indicates to us what needs to be done to make this country more efficient. for example some folks, are spending half a million dollars on the Maybach automobile, about the same amount on a Ferrari or a Alfa Romeo Julia quadrifoglio, but the roads are built for a mere 40 miles an hour, full of potholes.

What good is it to own a fast car like that when you can't drive but 40 -- 50 miles an hour? and full of traffic jams. something is wrong with taxation incentives. we need to get a better grid-work of roads that will get people there faster.

Meanwhile most of those sports cars just sitting in the garage. we need a comprehensive integrated grid-work of one way streets, roads, highways, and interstates with no traffic lights, no stop signs; merely freeflow ramp-off overpass interchanges.

thanks, Julio! thanks
again
.!

JF -> Global Groundhog... , February 04, 2019 at 05:42 AM
Wonderful to see the discussion about public finance shifting to use net worth proportions as the focus and metric.

Wonderful. Let us see if press/media stories and opinion pieces use this same way of talking about the financing of self-government.

Mr. Bill -> anne... , February 03, 2019 at 08:15 PM
Jesus Christ said, in so many words, that a man's worth will be judged by his generosity and his avarice.

" 24And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26They were even more astonished and said to one another, "Who then can be saved?"

[Feb 04, 2019] Opinion Elizabeth Warren Does Teddy Roosevelt

Notable quotes:
"... Follow The New York Times Opinion section on ..."
"... Twitter (@NYTopinion) ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

America invented progressive taxation. And there was a time when leading American politicians were proud to proclaim their willingness to tax the wealthy, not just to raise revenue, but to limit excessive concentration of economic power.

"It is important," said Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, "to grapple with the problems connected with the amassing of enormous fortunes" -- some of them, he declared, "swollen beyond all healthy limits."

Today we are once again living in an era of extraordinary wealth concentrated in the hands of a few people, with the net worth of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined. And this concentration of wealth is growing; as Thomas Piketty famously argued in his book "Capital in the 21st Century," we seem to be heading toward a society dominated by vast, often inherited fortunes.

So can today's politicians rise to the challenge? Well, Elizabeth Warren has released an impressive proposal for taxing extreme wealth. And whether or not she herself becomes the Democratic nominee for president, it says good things about her party that something this smart and daring is even part of the discussion.

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The Warren proposal would impose a 2 percent annual tax on an individual household's net worth in excess of $50 million, and an additional 1 percent on wealth in excess of $1 billion. The proposal was released along with an analysis by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of Berkeley, two of the world's leading experts on inequality.

Saez and Zucman found that this tax would affect only a small number of very wealthy people -- around 75,000 households. But because these households are so wealthy, it would raise a lot of revenue, around $2.75 trillion over the next decade.

Make no mistake: This is a pretty radical plan.

I asked Saez how much it would raise the share of income (as opposed to wealth) that the economic elite pays in taxes. His estimate was that it would raise the average tax rate on the top 0.1 percent to 48 percent from 36 percent, and bring the average tax on the top 0.01 percent up to 57 percent. Those are high numbers, although they're roughly comparable to average tax rates in the 1950s.

Would such a plan be feasible? Wouldn't the rich just find ways around it? Saez and Zucman argue, based on evidence from Denmark and Sweden, both of which used to have significant wealth taxes, that it wouldn't lead to large-scale evasion if the tax applied to all assets and was adequately enforced.

Wouldn't it hurt incentives? Probably not much. Think about it: How much would entrepreneurs be deterred by the prospect that, if their big ideas pan out, they'd have to pay additional taxes on their second $50 million?

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It's true that the Warren plan would limit the ability of the already incredibly wealthy to make their fortunes even bigger, and pass them on to their heirs. But slowing or reversing our drift toward a society ruled by oligarchic dynasties is a feature, not a bug.

And I've been struck by the reactions of tax experts like Lily Batchelder and David Kamin ; while they don't necessarily endorse the Warren plan, they clearly see it as serious and worthy of consideration. It is, writes Kamin, "addressed at a real problem" and "goes big as it should." Warren, says The Times, has been " nerding out "; well, the nerds are impressed.

But do ideas this bold stand a chance in 21st-century American politics? The usual suspects are, of course, already comparing Warren to Nicolás Maduro or even Joseph Stalin, despite her actually being more like Teddy Roosevelt or, for that matter, Dwight Eisenhower. More important, my sense is that a lot of conventional political wisdom still assumes that proposals to sharply raise taxes on the wealthy are too left-wing for American voters.

But public opinion surveys show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the rich. One recent poll even found that 45 percent of self-identified Republicans support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's suggestion of a top rate of 70 percent.

By the way, polls also show overwhelming public support for increasing, not cutting, spending on Medicare and Social Security . Strange to say, however, we rarely hear politicians who demand "entitlement reform" dismissed as too right-wing to be taken seriously.

And it's not just polls suggesting that a bold assault on economic inequality might be politically viable. Political scientists studying the behavior of billionaires find that while many of them push for lower taxes, they do so more or less in secret, presumably because they realize just how unpopular their position really is. This "stealth politics" is, by the way, one reason billionaires can seem much more liberal than they actually are -- only the handful of liberals among them speak out in public.

The bottom line is that there may be far more scope for a bold progressive agenda than is dreamed of in most political punditry. And Elizabeth Warren has just taken an important step on that agenda, pushing her party to go big. Let's hope her rivals -- some of whom are also quite impressive -- follow her lead.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .


Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29 Times Pick

This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed. This isn't about punishing oligarchy. This is about saving democracy. The concentration of wealth parallels the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it is economic climate change with consequences equally as dire as global warming on all lifeforms. The challenge will be no less difficult, replete with a powerful lobby of deniers and greed-mongers ready for war against all threats to their power and position. Their battle cry is apres moi, le deluge -- as if taxing wealth and privilege is barbarians at the gate and the demise of civilization rather than curbing cannibals driven not by hunger but voracious greed. Everywhere climate change deniers are being drowned out by a rational majority who now see the signs of global warming in every weather report and understand what this means for their children if we continue to emulate ostriches. Likewise, the same majority now sees the rising tide of inequality and social dysfunction and what that means for the future as a global caste system condemns nearly all of us -- but mainly our progeny -- to slavery in servitude to our one percent masters. Elizabeth Warren is no nerd. She's our Joan of Arc. And it's up to us to make sure she isn't burned alive by the dark lords as she rallies us to win back our country and our future.

956 Recommend
Peter Wolf New York City Jan. 28

Warren's proposal- and her desire to try to actually explain these basic economic realities without dumbing them down- has put her at the top of my list for the Dems so far. I was/am a big Bernie fan, and Bernie is great with the big picture (it's Yuge). But Warren really knows the details and how to craft an economic policy. Trump will call her names (that's his specialty), and she will explain reality (her specialty).

924 Recommend
Rich Berkeley CA Jan. 29 Times Pick

@George, It's not scapegoating the wealthy. When I was born, the top marginal tax rate was 91%. This has shriveled, along with inheritance and cap gains taxes. This was not due to an act of nature: it was a series of conscious policy decisions and SCOTUS decisions that created the situation we face today. Great societal damage derives from wealth inequality -- think public schools, access to college, housing costs, and more recently, political influence. Those who have far more money than they need distort the economic and political landscape, to the detriment of the majority. Class warfare against the poor and middle classes must end. Reversing the policies that changed the US from having a growing middle-class of my childhood to the shrinking one my kid faces is simply correcting bad policy. It can't come soon enough.

828 Recommend
DazedAndAmazed Oregon Jan. 28

I recently listened to a TED talk where Yuval Harari observed that capitalism beat out communism in the 20th century in large part due to the distributed decision making platform it provided that far out-performed what was available to the limited number of central planners in communist systems. It occurs to me that this same limiting dynamic of a restricted number of decision makers can occur in capitalist systems if wealth (and power) become concentrated. When just 2200 billionaires meet in Davos to choose the path forward for the rest of the 7.53 billion inhabitants of this planet (without their input) we can be assured that a series of sub-optimal decisions will have been made.

787 Recommend
R. Law Texas Jan. 28

We'd add 1 more item to Warren's plan: Kill Wall Street's carried interest loophole.

726 Recommend
DBman Portland, OR Jan. 29 Times Pick

Elizabeth Warren is impressive. She has the passion of Bernie Sanders. Unlike Sanders, she has a deep understanding of the policy and mechanisms that can achieve that result. A plan to tax extreme wealth is brilliant and, at about $275 billion per year, will ease the budget deficit. As the Times noted, Warren also can talk expertly about subjects as diverse as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to net power metering. The political punditry is probably wrong about voters rejecting a too-intellectual candidate. (They seem to be wrong a lot lately.) Especially in contrast to Trump, voters hunger for someone who is passionate, smart, has their interests at heart, and is very well informed.

661 Recommend
JSH California Jan. 28

If amassing billions of dollars isn't a hoarding disease, nothing is. Who needs more than a few hundred millions dollars, anyway? Perhaps it would be less of a problem if the uber-wealthy didn't secretly try to get their taxes lowered. They also, like the Koch brothers, like to buy policy positions and elect politicians that hurt most of the rest of us. The Bill of Rights isn't meant to be a list of suggestions. A democratic republic isn't meant to be ruled by the wealthiest 0.01 percent of all Americans. When those with the money get to establish opinions as to what is and isn't too radical for this nation, all of the marching and demonstrating the rest of us do doesn't amount to much. Vote the Republicans out of office in the next election and keep voting them out until their number fit in the bathtub they would have liked to drown the government in. That's two or three, tops.

597 Recommend
Anne-Marie Hislop Chicago Jan. 29 Times Pick

Yes. I remember a time when at least some of the rich viewed paying their taxes as "giving back" to the country which had been so good to them.

570 Recommend
Bill Belle Harbour, New York Jan. 29 Times Pick

A small transaction tax on the sale of stocks and bonds that was proposed as a way to sure-up and expand social security and Medicare should be added to the list of higher taxes on earned income. Furthermore, the tax rates on salaries and wages should no longer be penalized with high rates so that the privileged who make their money from transactions can pay a favored tax rate that is much much lower than the rates paid by people who work. Please, Paul, write a column on what Teddy Roosevelt and FDR advocated. They were nearly a hundred years ahead of where Americans want us to be. Minimum wage, from the Roosevelts' perspective meant a wage that could support a family. It meant making enough for a family to take a vacation and put some money away to retire. They weren't contemplating a wage for teenagers when they talked about minimum wage. The Roosevelts wanted to see retirement security. They were advocates of legislation that prevented employers from ripping off the wages of their workers. Liz Warren isn't radical; neither is OCA, or Bernie Sanders. They are merely informed about our history and the trends around the world.

554 Recommend
Mike Rowe Oakland Jan. 28

We should use some (a pittance) of the $300 billion a year this proposal would raise on giving the IRS the resources it needs to actually enforce the laws already on the books, and to the prisons, to house tax-cheats like our "president".

468 Recommend
FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 28

''Make no mistake: This is a pretty radical plan.'' - Uhm No. A radical plan is not allowing any single person or family to even HAVE a billion dollars, let alone tax them @ a paltry 3%. A radical plan would be to do way with money altogether, and have all of us contribute proportionally and progressive into one single community, instead of having 26 people have the SAME wealth as HALF of the world's population. A radical plan would be to actually work together so that our species could actually survive, instead of destroying our planet, and us as an extension. I am really tired of people and pundit alike trying to box in people and ideas before they even get off the ground, because all it does is continue the status quo. Perhaps the point, I suppose...

467 Recommend
Linda Oklahoma Jan. 28

I'm reading Susan Orlean's book, The Library Book. It's not just about the fire in Los Angeles but covers much of the history of libraries. If you love libraries, you probably know who Andrew Carnegie was. At one time, he was the richest person in the world. In middle-age, he decided to give his money away. He built 1,700 libraries for towns that couldn't afford them. I'm sure he had his problems and wasn't perfect. But, Carnegie realized you really can't take it with you and you can do much good while on earth. When I see rich people who only seem to care about showing up at premiers, jetting around the world, wearing different outfits every time they're photographed, and not seeming to care about all the pain on earth, it hurts. A certain billionaire bragged that not paying taxes made him smart. That means he's not paying to help the poor, the sick, the elderly, not paying for safe roads or safe water systems, not paying for the soldiers he claims to be so proud of. If these rich people were true Americans, they'd be proud to pay their fair share, proud to support the country that gave them so much. Happy to give away their money because they have more than they'll ever use. They won't be remembered for being rich. But look when you drive through small towns. More than 100 years after he gave his money away, you still see the name Carnegie on libraries across America.

370 Recommend
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ Jan. 28

Perhaps after being trickled on by Grand One Percent bladder fluid economics for 40 years, some of the Grand Old Peasants will towel off, turn over their Grand Old Plantation voter ID cards and give progressive taxation another chance in 2020. Perhaps after decades of slurping 'free-market' horse manure fed to them by Randian Republican sociopaths, GOP voters will stop buying a rigged right-wing rip-off that works hard to make them impoverished, sick and dead with no healthcare. Perhaps Republistan voters will concede that Bible study, an assault rifle, Hillary Hatred and forced pregnancies aren't worth a lifetime of minimum wages and an early funeral. The Grand Oligarchy Party has been pushing feudalism for 40 lousy years. All those American flags planted in front yards across the heartland have inadvertently voted for Moscow on the Potomac. Was that your Russian-Republican intention ? To be just like the Kremlin ? I don't think so. Turn off your FOX News Republistan-state-run TV. Turn off the hate radio. Learn how civilized countries like Canada, Japan, Western Europe and others take care of their citizens. They don't pamper their billionaires and multinational corporations with 0.1% welfare. They tax people more...and citizens get much more. No one in those countries goes bankrupt from medical bankruptcy; that's a uniquely Republican gift to the American people. Healthy taxes are the price of a healthy civilization, and Republicans can't stand civilization.

355 Recommend
Orthoducks Sacramento Jan. 29 Times Pick

Let's be honest: there's a limit to how much wealth one person or even one clan can reasonably use, and it's way below $1 billion. The super-rich are not motivated by money. Many of them are motivated by power, and money is an important surrogate for power, but by no means the only We need to think about all the ways that the super-wealthy exercise power -- not just about money -- about which ones are harmful to society, and how they can be restrained or redirected.

326 Recommend
dajoebabe Hartford, ct Jan. 29 Times Pick

It's only a matter of time before the uber rich pay more in taxes. And when all the tired right-wing arguments about "penalizing people for being successful." and "socialism" get trotted out by the right-wing media echo chamber, there's a quick and decisive answer. The additional taxes (that have been there before and always should have been preserved) are the price of admission to a system that is the only one in the world where such vast sums can be accumulated with so little being required in return. Taxes pay for the roads, bridges, sewer systems, public protection, airports, seaports, armies, navies, court systems, research, health assistance, disaster relief, and future employee training and education of the society, to name just a few things. Having the middle class and poor pay for this disproportionately is absurd. And is unsustainable. People have to buy things, money has to circulate, or capitalism falls apart. Period.

290 Recommend
Robert White Plains, NY Jan. 29 Times Pick

Warren's approach could work, but persuading the public is another story. Every time Democrats want to raise taxes on the wealthy, Republicans claim Democrats are raising taxes on everybody. This has gone on for decades! Why can't Democrats get this point across without having it perennially hijacked?

256 Recommend
BC New York City Jan. 29 Times Pick

These potential changes in the tax law are important and, if enacted, will actually replicate what happened at the turn of the 20th century, when marginal tax rates started to rise dramatically, eventually landing in the 90% range in mid-century. That's when the middle class was truly allowed to come into existence. Accumulated wealth, it was learned more than 100 years ago, is not healthy for society in general. Personally, I would like to see a complete overhaul of the tax structure so that the earnings on the first 10K to 20K are not taxed at all. This would put much more money into the hands of people who, in the immortal words of Molly Ivins, would use it to go out and buy shoes for their babies.

231 Recommend
Charlie Bronx Jan. 28

@Peter Wolf I know it's childish, but I'd love to see her start calling him Pinocchio.

227 Recommend
Steve B Old Pueblo AZ Jan. 28

Raising taxes on the super wealthy won't really hurt them. How about eliminating taxes on Social Security? That would be very popular with most senior citizens.

223 Recommend
ChristineMcM Massachusetts Jan. 28

"And there was a time when leading American politicians were proud to proclaim their willingness to tax the wealthy, not just to raise revenue, but to limit excessive concentration of economic power." I believe it's only since the 1980s that taxing wealth became akin to killing one's newborn. That's when voo-doo economics started the mess we we're in, where every Republican administration then and since delivered tax cuts for the folks who needed it least. The latest abomination, the Trump tax heist, was, really the coup de grace. That the net worth of the 0.1% equal the bottom 90% of the entire nation is not only obscene, it bodes ill for our society. Of course, it's gotten even worse since Citizens United, because, greed feeds on itself, now that every wealthy family can buy some politicians. The fact that so many, even Republicans, aren't screaming their heads off makes me think that--like Medicare for All--a new wealth tax is not the anathema it once was. Maybe ordinary Americans are sick and tired of hearing corrupt cabinet members tell unpaid federal workers to just apply for a loan.

209 Recommend
Gwen Vilen Minnesota Jan. 28

Elizabeth Warren is my personal pick. Flashy she ain't. But experience, knowledge of government, the details of policy changes, and , most of all - integrity, she's got it in spades. Remember the kick back on Nancy Pelosi and how that proved totally unjustified? Same with Warren. This kind of experience, savy, and integrity is just what we need right now.

202 Recommend
Fourteen Boston Jan. 28

What's so radical about having the ultra-rich pay back 2.75 trillion? They've stolen plenty more trillions than that.

161 Recommend
Mac Clark Tampa FL Jan. 28

Coming from Senator Warren, I find this is THE MOST EXCITING 2020 campaign proposal on the table. Senator Warren and her team of world class economists are serious and credible. It might take two years to understand some of these issues, but we are coming out of a four year soak in corruption and lies like we never knew. We need some all-American TLC. Senator Warren can help us recover our national mojo.

158 Recommend
Ray Zielinski Champaign, IL Jan. 28

@George The practical necessity is that we have crumbling infrastructure and are woefully behind the times in providing affordable medical care, secure retirements and quality public education. The alternative, is to take funds from the military - the other elephant in the room that remains strangely out of bounds in this discussion when cuts to "entitlement programs" are discussed. And further, what is the larger immoral situation: excessive wealth concentrated in the hands of a few or the inability of the richest country on the planet to provide a healthy, safe, well-functioning society for its citizens? And don't try the philanthropy non-starter - this reflects the priorities of the ultra rich, not the nation as a whole.

140 Recommend
FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 28

@Yuri Indeed, and such a succinct comment. If we can wake up but a fraction of that 100,000,000 that sit on the sideline any given election, then we might have a chance. Keep the faith. (and vote)

130 Recommend
Truthinesx New York Jan. 28

I think Elizabeth Warren's time has come. Thank God. Trump has paved the way for smart, competent leader ship. And a woman no less.

122 Recommend
Vink Michigan Jan. 28

The super wealthy should welcome a tax such as this. The alternative is pitchforks and torches which are actually a pretty good idea.

118 Recommend
stan continople brooklyn Jan. 28

@Peter Wolf We have all these Democrats approaching the same issue from different directions, at different levels of sophistication, which is good. So long as they, with the kind cooperation of the media, are able to flesh out their case, the more people from varied backgrounds they will reach. It's great that we're already talking about such things relatively early in our interminable election cycle. In fact, any candidate who is not talking about tax policy, but instead is focused on "working across the aisle" should be immediately scratched off everyone's list. We've had enough of such pablum, where "bipartisan" is just a euphemism for being a good corporate stooge.

108 Recommend
Bill Belle Harbour, New York Jan. 28

@Steve B We can all thank Ronald Reagan for taxes on social security benefits. Taxing social security benefits was necessary to narrow the deficit he created with Trickle Down I. Trickle Down II (The Job Creators), and Trickle Down III (Ryan's Private Objectives) have followed with their own form of penalizing the little people.

101 Recommend
L'historien Northern california Jan. 28

Warren has excellent ideas that must be carefully explained to various groups of Americans who a very susceptible to Fox and other right wing pundits​. She must stay on the offensive to be sure her ideas are not twisted by those who will be very upset with her message getting out. She will constantly need to inform and "teach" the underlying math to win over the group that will take the right wing click bait and Kool aid. It will be tough reaching this group but then again Warren is tough!

94 Recommend
Billy The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Jan. 28

Fixing the consequences of ultra-concentrated wealth and power is going to take whatever it takes. It has to be done. When a cop arrests a person for resisting arrest, the person resisting doesn't really get much chance to plead that the world would be a better place for all if he were not in jail. It should not be left to the wealthiest among us to decide what tax they themselves pay. A tiny minority calls the shots as to the fundamental frameworks that underlie our problems. This has to change. Taxpayers bailed out the rich ten years ago. None of them went to jail. It's time to pay the taxpayers back.

79 Recommend
JK Central Florida Jan. 28

@DazedAndAmazed Your comment makes me think of a book I found so interesting: Anand Giridharadas's book "Winners Take All -The Elite Charade of Changing the World". It has a ton of information, but the elevator description might be your last paragraph: "When just 2200 billionaires meet in Davos to choose the path forward for the rest of the 7.53 billion inhabitants of this planet (without their input) we can be assured that a series of sub-optimal decisions will have been made." Thanks for taking the time to post your perspective.

78 Recommend
Bill NW Outpost Jan. 29

@Bill -- The easiest. surest and fairest way to not only "shore up" Social Sec. is to do away with the cap on the SS tax so that everyone pays their fair share. Always thought that should be a simple fix-

75 Recommend
November 2018 has Come; 2020 is Coming Vallejo Jan. 28

@Anne-Marie Hislop I agree, Anne - Marie. There was a time when being rich carried a responsibility to contribute more to the world than those with less; a responsibility to serve society overall, and one's country and community in particular. Also the rich were expected to have better manners and more discerning taste than those who worked because they had the free time to study and model grace and refinement. In addition, the wealthy were expected to be patrons of the arts, the sciences, and religion by contributing money and time to support practioners, research, and experimentation in these areas. Finally, the wealthy were expected to raise children who were role models, leaders, and volunteers who contributed emotionally and spiritually to their schools and communities. Compare Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt to Paris Hilton or the tRump family.

75 Recommend
Phyliss Dalmatian Wichita, Kansas Jan. 28

Amen and hallelujah, and I'm an atheist. For those asleep or oblivious, we're in the new gilded age. But faux gold, as evidenced by the occupant sitting in the Oval Office. These " Job Creators " are creating Jobs only for shady attorneys and accountants specializing in creative mathematics, sham Corporations, Trusts and TAX avoidance. See: the Trump Family. What's the average, law abiding citizen to do ??? Absent actually eating the Rich, WE must overhaul the entire system. Warren is very nerdy, and very necessary. Unfortunately, the great majority of Men will not vote for any Woman, not yet. See: Trump. She would be a most excellent choice for VP, the back-up with a genius IQ and unstoppable work ethic. President ??? A modern day, working man's Teddy OR Franklin Roosevelt, and His name is Senator Sherrod Brown, Of the very great state of Ohio. MY native state. Think about it, it's the perfect pair.

71 Recommend
Yabasta Portland, OR Jan. 28

Good thing Bernie didn't propose this, because then PK would call it crazy on the merits, and impossible to get through Congress anyway.

70 Recommend
Ellen San Diego Jan. 28

@Steve B As a 70 plus woman, living in high tax California on a fixed income now, I dread tax time and always wonder why I pay taxes on Social Security, money I already paid taxes on once upon a time. Now I learn that this "gift" is thanks to Ronald Reagan, and of course am not surprised.

66 Recommend
Ray Zielinski Champaign, IL Jan. 28

@Peter Wolf I particularly like Elizabeth Warren's ability to talk policy. But as a career academic I also realize that she sounds to most like a law professor giving a lecture. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a winning formula but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

65 Recommend
FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 28

@Linda What an outstanding comment worthy of our pause. Thank you.

58 Recommend
Nana2roaw Albany NY Jan. 28

Yesterday a billionaire threatened the Democratic Party with certain defeat in the 2020 Presidential election if the Party chose a candidate not to his liking. Increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few will ultimately spell the end of our democracy.

55 Recommend
Gustav Durango Jan. 28

If there were ever a politician for our time, the second and more egregious gilded age, it should be Elizabeth Warren. She INVENTED the Consumer Financial Protection Burueau! She has studied the big banks and Wall Street for decades! She knows how they operate better than anyone on the planet. She is the Teddy Roosevelt of our time, but are we smart enough to elect her?

53 Recommend
michael lillich champaign, ill. Jan. 28

Good on ya, Liz! Yes. Big ideas. Bring 'em on, Dems. We're waiting.

52 Recommend
Ralph Philadelphia, PA Jan. 28

My wife and I find Warren to be the most impressive candidate we've seen in a long time. She has the mastery of detail that can actually move our country to where it should be. No lazy demagoguery, either -- and she communicates well.

51 Recommend
George Minneapolis Jan. 29 Times Pick

The primary purpose of taxes should be to raise necessary revenues, not the confiscation of "excessive" wealth. Making the case for the moral and practical necessity to contribute more would be more effective than the tiresome scapegoating of the wealthy.

51 Recommend
Bevan Davies Kennebunk, ME Jan. 28

Senator Warren's Plan is sensible and modest. Does that mean she is a radical socialist? Hardly. Just doing the work of the people.

50 Recommend
FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 28

@RR I happen to live in one of those Scandinavian paradises. I, nor my family, have ever had a problem with ''care''. We also have higher education paid for through a moderately higher tax structure. (perhaps 10% average higher than the U.S.) I sleep like a baby and all is taken care of. (as well as 5 weeks vacation per year) You are welcome to visit anytime.

49 Recommend
andrewm L.I. NY Jan. 28

@Shiv, the wealthiest 20% of Americans also have about 90% of the wealth (as of 2013, probably higher now). According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 20% in income paid about 87% of individual federal income taxes in 2018. But income tax is just a portion of tax. Personal income taxes were about 48% of federal revenues in 2017, payroll tax was 35%. Since payroll taxes are regressive, the top 20% of income tax payers pay a considerably lower percentage of total taxes than the percentage of the nation's wealth they control. Saying those paying more in taxes than they receive in direct benefits and services are 'paying all the taxes' is simplistic and deceptive. It isn't even accurate to say that they are completely funding the transfers and services to the bottom 50%, since the federal government operates at a deficit. The deficit is covered in large part by debt owed to the social security fund, which is funded through payroll taxes. When you include state and local taxes, it looks like the percentage of total taxes paid by each income quintile is not far off from the percentage of total income that they bring in. The tax system in the U.S. overall is 'barely progressive'. https://www.ctj.org/who-pays-taxes-in-america-in-2015 / https://whorulesamerica.ucsc.edu/power/wealth.html https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-20-of-americans-will-pay-87-of-income-tax-1523007001

48 Recommend
Joe Ryan Bloomington IN Jan. 28

We probably all remember the scene where Chinatown's detective, J. J. Gittes, asks the bad guy, Noah Cross, "How much are you worth?" And Cross says, "I've no idea." There are two take-aways from this. One is the low marginal utility of wealth at Mr. Cross's level. This is what makes the optimal progressivity of a wealth tax positive. But the second is the literal take-away: he really doesn't know. Nobody knows. So, as Prof. Piketty points out (pp. 518ff of his book), the value of even a nominal wealth tax in terms of transparency -- forcing the system to determine what the distribution of wealth actually is -- is substantial, aside from revenue generation. If we're going to give wealth a vote, via Citizens United etc., then wealth should at least have to register.

48 Recommend
Sclibrarian SC Jan. 28

@Linda I wish I could "like" this x1000 times !

47 Recommend
Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Robert As this op-ed shows, even a majority of Republicans ALREADY supports this idea. So the problem is not so much getting rid of the GOP's fake news, but having a voter turnout where the demographics of those who vote reflect the demographics of the entire population. In 2016, a whopping 50% of citizens eligible to vote, didn't vote. And the lack of political literacy among many progressives has certainly been a factor here. So what is needed is for ordinary citizens to start engaging in real, respectful debates with their family, friends, neighbors, colleagues etc. again, to make sure that everybody votes. Only then will we have more impact on what happens in DC than Big Money.

46 Recommend
Fourteen Boston Jan. 28

@Robert Here's how to simply and easily get the point across: a red hat with 70% on it.

46 Recommend
Umesh Patil Cupertino, CA Jan. 28

@DazedAndAmazed This is a superb insight you are providing....the 'critique' of Late Capitalism from the perspective of 'Systems Stability'. I work in the field of Distributed Systems Management though Cloud for Living. The way with Distributed Decision Making is, in a number of situations it is a lot more resilient and powerful. There are advantages of Command & Control decision making (war for example). But in Late Capitalism that concentration of Decision Making in hand of few has gone too far. To understand all this, to figure out the relevance of Distributed Decision Making, to articulate all this to masses and then to formulate sane policy proposals out of all that - that is not a simple task. So Sen. Warren, please continue the 'nerding'. I am Kamala Harris constituency, but the intellectual heft Warren is bringing to this campaign; I love that. She needs to bring her such big guns for a couple of marquee social issues as well as about America's Foreign Policy. Obviously, it cannot degenerate into 63 details policy papers like HRC. The trick is to make the campaign about few core issues and then there to 'have the house cleaned' - completely worked out theory, understanding, explanation and policy proposals. Hope E. Warren does that, she is capable no doubt. (Predictable election cycles - such a good thing with American System....for a while just to think and discuss things apart from the Orange Head in White House - it is so refreshing...)

45 Recommend
roy brander vancouver Jan. 28

@Alice: It's new, in that this proposed wealth tax does not hit the $350 in the bank account of a waitress, as inflation does.

43 Recommend
Thomas New York Jan. 28

J suspect that the notion that proposals to raise taxes sharply on the wealthy are too left-wing for American voters is wishful thinking or propaganda by the wealthy, on whom many pundits and analysts rely, one way or another, for their jobs. "It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." I don't know whether I agree with Warren on enough things to support her, but I hope this idea influences the Democratic platform and becomes reality.

42 Recommend
John B St Petersburg FL Jan. 28

@Tom The current Republican Party is toxic – to democracy, truth, ethics, human health, human survival, equality, education, nature, love... most anything a decent person values. We can get rid of it and still have a two-party system of reasonable people who disagree on the best way to solve problems.

42 Recommend
Ellen San Diego Jan. 28

@DazedAndAmazed I read somewhere that the Davos crowd was intent on speeding up the development of robots to do those jobs so they wouldn't have to deal with pesky humans who want an occasional break.

42 Recommend
Rajiv California Jan. 29

As a person who has done fairly well, there is no end to your "needs" once your start getting wealthy. Let's take flying. First, you are happy to get a deal every now and then on a flight to Hawaii. After a while, you earn status, so now you want to be first in line, have baggage privileges and get into premium economy with an extra 5 inches of leg space. Then, it's enough status to "earn" business class upgrades. Next you have to have business class on every flight, so you pay up. There's first class, but now you can afford NetJets where you get fractional ownership of a jet to fly almost anytime you like. If you get even wealthier, you get your own jet with an on demand staff. It's "worth it" as your time is valuable. It goes on and on. Every time you get more, you can't live without it. You feel like you deserve it because you've worked so hard for that money. Knowing some of those super rich, they will complain about those fascist attacking their success. They "donate" a lot to candidates whose job it is to protect their wealth. While Warren's ideas via Piketty are really interesting, maybe we need to work on our culture and values so people understand what they are doing when they expect that jet with a staff that waits in them like royalty. Then let's invest in the IRS to stop the cheating that deprives our citizens of at least $200 billion/year. After that, let's look at closing loopholes and increasing taxes.

41 Recommend
Bonnie Luternow Clarkston MI Jan. 29 Times Pick

Until we get the money out of elections, the moneyed will control those elected. I'm not sure what our elected officials are more afraid of - meeting with their electorate and facing our anger, or voting against Grover Norquist et al.

41 Recommend
Peter Czipott San Diego Jan. 28

During the primaries and the subsequent campaign, Democratic candidates should run explicitly and continually as new Teddy Roosevelts, using his words and images of him -- presenting the Democratic Party as the Roosevelt Republican alternative when it comes to taxation policy. It would reduce right-wing attempts to cast them as Maduros-in-waiting to pure late-night comic fodder: which is what they properly are. In fact, they should identify past Republican champions of as many of their policy proposals as possible and run as "Democrats: the Real Republicans."

40 Recommend
R. Law Texas Jan. 28

@rtj - Indeed; but maybe Chuck will remember how Dem voters swarmed the polls last November, listen to AOC for a paragraph or two, and re-consider his knee-jerk opposition. Then again, these Are the dystopian post-Citizens United days, so Chuck's opposition is probably a given; maybe Auntie Maxine Waters could change his mind in a public debate ?

39 Recommend
Bruce Shigeura Berkeley, CA Jan. 28

Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie have blown open up a discussion that had been locked down since Reagan -- tax the rich. Krugman is too timid. Time to radically redistribute wealth from the capitalist class to the people in the form of jobs and social benefits. Tax the banks and corporation to 40+% and end all tax incentives -- corporate welfare. Apple used its tax break to buy back stock to enrich investors. Facebook bought up competitors like Instagram and suppresses start-ups. A hedge fund bought Toys R Us, loaded it with debt, then bankrupted it. The right-wing turn of rural white Americans is largely due to economic anxiety resulting from the industrialization of agriculture and global commodification of grain -- all the profits leave farm communities for mega-corporations based in cities and Wall Street, as well as global capitalist de-industrialization. Americans on both the right and left believe the system is rigged, because it is. Warren's tax on personal assets is the first baby step. To win 2020, Democrats have to secure the vote of minorities, women, and Millennials, and peel off some white working-class voters. They have to fight for working people against the capitalists.

34 Recommend
Thinker Upstate Jan. 28

@dajoebabe And we have to keep educating people, in large part at taxpayers expense, so they can continue to speak up as you have. The idea that everything, education, healthcare, prescriptions, housing, food, etc has to be on a max-out-profit basis is not sustainable for a decent society. If you look into the history of successful billionaire families who might profess that government should not be used to create equal financial opportunity, you may find that they have benefited from U.S. government policies themselves to get to where they are. So why prevent others from having the opportunity to join them ?

33 Recommend
javierg Miami, Florida Jan. 28

@Linda A great comment reflective of those who in the past made this the great country it is. I only wish more were like Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren.

33 Recommend
sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut Jan. 29

@Bill A small transaction tax on sales of stocks would not raise that much money. What it would do is much more useful -- put program trading and the arbitraging of tiny, tiny price differences on huge, huge trades out of business. The sort of liquidity they provide is not needed by the market and is not worth the price we pay for it.

33 Recommend
Glenn Ribotsky Queens Jan. 28

Absolutely agree with R. Law--the carried interest loophole has got to go. That's probably contributed more to the aggrandizement of oligarchical fortunes than just about anything else. But I'd also add two more modest suggestions: --Eliminate the cap on individual Social Security contributions. There's no reason it should fade to black at $132,900 gross annual income. It should be applicable to ALL earned (and unearned) income. --Institute a small stock trade/financial transactions tax; even a 0.1% rate here would raise significant revenue, and it also might curb a lot of wild equities speculation. But, of course, none of this is likely until we can get big money out of politics; it's impossible to get representatives to represent their actual constituents, rather than their oligarchic campaign funders, if the latter are the prime source of campaign money. So, as the risk of repeating myself: --Publicly funded elections, with low three digit limits on individual campaign contributions and NO corporate, organizational, church, or (yes, even) union contributions. No PAC's, 501's, or any other letter/number combinations. --Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. --Legislative repeal of the Citizens United decision.

32 Recommend
White Buffalo SE PA Jan. 29

@Tom "Wealthy people reinvest their money in economic ventures that grow their wealth, which generates greater productivity while creating jobs and wealth for the society." Like, for example, the investments that caused the 2008 Republican Great Recession for example? That plan hasn't worked since Reagan. And taxing 2%-3% of enormous wealth is hardly taking away "all the wealth of individuals!" We also need to roll back estate tax to pre-Reagan policies.

32 Recommend
Roger California Jan. 29

@George The moral and practical necessity is that oligarchy is antithetical to democracy. I would think that was obvious.

31 Recommend
sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut Jan. 29

@Tom So businessmen and financiers need checks and balances, and these checks and balances include high taxation and occasionally breaking a business into pieces because it is too big and powerful. We broke up Rockefeller's company. We should be thinking about Amazon, Google, Facebook, and even Microsoft. We are using Word and Excel because Microsoft owned the operating system they run under, not because they were better products. Now we are stuck with their strengths, weaknesses, and odd habits.

31 Recommend
Ed Kalispell, MT Jan. 28

By all means tax the rich-but spend/invest wisely. No wars, aircraft carriers, or walls. Give every social security card holder $1,000/mo. and watch the economy take off.

30 Recommend
calhouri cost rica Jan. 28

Boy do I wish I could share Dr, Krugman's hopefulness. But after the Supreme Court decision equating money with speech and one of the two major political parties literally a "wholly owned subsidiary" of those very 0.01%, as the ancestral Scot in laments, "I hae me doots."

30 Recommend
Schrodinger Northern California Jan. 28

@Blair A Miller....Rewarded for hard work and talent? Well that is the myth. There is a case to be made that capitalism rewards greedy and unethical people who have a talent for working the system. There is also no question that it rewards monopolists and the fortunate.

30 Recommend
Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Kurt Heck It doesn't. That's precisely why we have to stop the GOP strategy to pass tax cut after tax cut for the wealthiest all while making life even more difficult for the other, very hard-working 99%. And if you believe that in order to be a billionaire today you must work hard, it's time to update your info. Most of them inherited a fortune already, together with the knowledge needed to engage in financial speculation, which in the 21st century is totally disconnected from the real economy - or rather, they PAY experts to engage in financial speculation, and that's it. It's time for the most industrious to at least be able to pay the bills, get the education and healthcare they want, and become represented in Congress again. THAT is why we need a tax increase for the extreme rich, all while increasing the minimum wage, and expanding Medicaid and Medicare. THAT is how we'll finally become an entirely civilized country too. Not by adding trillions and trillions to the debt just to make the extreme wealthy even wealthier, as the GOP just did again.

29 Recommend
K D P Sewickley, PA Jan. 29

The NYTimes reported in October, "Over the past decade, Jared Kushner's net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million. And yet, for several years running, Mr. Kushner paid almost no federal income taxes." Let's not get lost in the details of how we do it: taxing wealth, making income taxes more progressive, restoring the estate tax, or something else. Let's remember that Jared Kushner is the poster boy for our current (extremely unfair) tax system.

29 Recommend
Souvient St. Louis, MO Jan. 29

I care about taxes and wealth inequality, so I like that Warren is talking about them. I'm also a bit of a policy wonk, so I like the fact that Warren focuses on policy issues. As a classically trained economist, though, I know how quickly others' eyes glaze over when I get too excited about anything related to finance or economics. The vast majority of people lack the patience for it. Too many think they understand far more than they really do because they read a handful of articles and watched CNBC a couple times. And when people believe they already know something, they're unlikely to greet new ideas with an open mind. A wealth tax makes sense to me on a lot of levels. I just hope Senator Warren keeps the explanation as simple as possible. For every wonk she wins over, she risks pushing two rubes away if she makes it any more complicated. It's unfortunate that we live in the Twitter era of gadfly attention spans, but we do. Dems need to do a better job of distilling their platform to bumper stickers. If they do that, the polity might actually remember some of their talking points.

29 Recommend
Matthew Carnicelli Brooklyn, NY Jan. 28

Win or lose, Elizabeth Warren will bring the lion's share of ideas to this presidential season. It's one to say that you support a trendy concept, but it's quite another to have thought through the implications of your proposals - and be prepared to first defend, and then implement them. Warren is, and will be - from Day 1. We shouldn't settle for "hope and change" this time; we need a President in 2021 capable of thinking her way through a maze of societal problems, and unafraid to passionately, untiringly champion her preferred option. Paul, as an aside, do you think that we would have lost the House of Representatives in 2010 if someone had opted for that much larger stimulus package that you, Joe Stiglitz and Robert Reich were recommending (thus causing the economy to more quickly and fully rebound in time for the midterms)?

28 Recommend
Dpm U.S. Jan. 29

Also, when the MTR was 91%, the rich were still rich. So we shouldn't need to worry about them.

28 Recommend
JW New York Jan. 29

Plus she isn't screaming and flailing her arms all the time.

28 Recommend
Barry of Nambucca Australia Jan. 29

@Tom A 2% tax on wealth from $50 million to $1000 million, will have minimal impact on the mega rich, with hopefully maximum benefit going to those who need government assistance.

27 Recommend
HL Arizona Jan. 29

@George- The primary purpose of Citizens United was to allow the wealthy a back door into stealing our public institutions and public contracts along with reducing the taxes on passive income for their own personal expansion of wealth. While I agree this is a form of class warfare, the rich have won the war. Instead of thinking of this as confiscation, consider it insurance for keeping your head up.

27 Recommend
Zelmira Boston Jan. 29

@Charlie Brilliant--thank you!

27 Recommend
Taz NYC Jan. 28

I could say, Where was Dr. K. when Bernie was talking progressivism, but it's water under the bridge. Onward... The Dem's center of gravity has moved toward dynamic progressivism so dramatically, so quickly, Clinton could run on her 2016 platform as a moderate Republican. Go get 'em, Dems! Make the smart, fair economic case to the hurting middle classes and you'll run the table.

26 Recommend
ruth goodsnyder sandy hook, ct. Jan. 29

@Charlie Love "Pinocchio". It is perfect. He needs to be made fun of. I think that would drive him crazy.

26 Recommend
Mencken California Jan. 29 Times Pick

As any basketball player will tell you, go big or don't go at all.

26 Recommend
Ashleigh Adams Colorado Jan. 29

As Yascha Mounk has been saying for years, democracy isn't about a firm belief in the power of the people, or a belief in personal liberty - above all, its support is determined by one thing: whether it is delivering results for the majority of the population. If it doesn't, it loses support; and unfortunately, for decades now, it hasn't been delivering results. Even Obama, the great liberal hope, stacked his cabinet and advisors with the likes of Geithner, Bernanke, and Sommers, appointing people to the FTC who were too soft to trust-bust or aggressively tackle mergers. I am of the belief that Trump was a warning. We got him because ordinary people have been losing faith that the government is working for them. If we want to regain that faith, we need a government (meaning both an Executive and a Legislature) that is prepared to go full FDR in 2021. Trust bust corporations that have decreased power of workers by consolidating labor market, and the power of consumers by monopolizing goods and services. Expand social security. Cut the red tape to build millions of desperately-needed housing units. Take away the excess wealth of the plutocrats, and their political power. Expand voting rights. Make unionization easier, and healthcare more affordable by socializing it. Without this, we run the risk of losing our democracy. 2020 is do or die. Warren has a record of fighting for this. She has my vote.

25 Recommend
hen3ry Westchester, NY Jan. 28

If the people who make their fortunes in America because of Americans don't want to support the country that helped them perhaps they should consider this: our sweat, our hard work, and our tears were a vital part of their success. It doesn't matter how brilliant the idea is or smart the inventor is or how cleverly the product is marketed. If the public isn't ready for it, it won't sell and money won't be made. There is a lot of luck involved in making a fortune. Part of that luck depends upon us and our willingness to buy into what is being sold. Yes, the inventor or the creator has to have the drive to succeed. S/he has to accept failure, work very hard, and have faith that s/he will succeed. It's nonsense to claim that Bill Gates would not have created Windows if he knew he'd be taxed at very high rates. He didn't know if it would succeed as well as it did. The purpose of taxes is to support the country. It's to have a government that can fund basic research to help us, create nationwide rules to ensure that milk in New York is milk in North Dakota, and to regulate those little things like roads, bridges, water safety, and keep the country safe. Any exceedingly rich corporation or person who doesn't want to support that is not patriotic in the least. They are greedy.

25 Recommend
martha hulbert maine Jan. 28

A pragmatic and sensible way forward, not to mention humanistic.

25 Recommend
Acajohn Chicago Jan. 28

@FunkyIrishman I've been saying this for years! $100 million personal wealth cap would be ideal. Beyond that is merely obscene wealth.

25 Recommend
Mary Lake Worth FL Jan. 29

@DBman I have thought about a Warren-Biden ticket, or even Biden-Warren. Every time I look at the US of today, what screams out is the hollowing out of the middle class, the stagnation of our class system, and ultimately the failure of the American dream. Monopoly is increasingly the normal order of our business world. Extreme wealth and extremely the large population of most of us just scraping by. Let them eat cake is sounding more and more stale.

24 Recommend
Mark Cheboygan Jan. 28

Make America Great Again. Repeal the Bush and Trump tax cuts.

24 Recommend
Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@JSH The American Revolution was a revolt of American born property holders, not of the peasants or the slaves. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are both very strong on property rights. The rights of an individual to own property free from seizure by the government is at the heart of Liberalism. We live in a two party state. If we truly eliminated the Republican party we'd be no different than China. America only gets better if the Republican party gets better. The Democratic party could use some improvement too. I support Warren's tax plan. It's a reasonable and sensible move, not just a bunch of poorly thought out hot air.

24 Recommend
Jerome Stoll Newport Beach, CA Jan. 28

There was also a small flat tax proposed on the sale of each share of stock. Special treatment for gain makes no sense to me at all. Would people stop buying stock if it was treated as ordinary income? I doubt it.

24 Recommend
Peter J. New Zealand Jan. 28

This is but one in a long line of cogent reasonable suggestions to tax mega rich a little more. Unfortunately while the economics makes sense, these schemes fail politically because enough of the vast majority of much poorer people in the middle class can be convinced that there is something unfair by singling out the successful. The Steve Jobs story, whereby a poor boy with a great idea should be able to make tons of money. The only way a change will come is if the middle class' eyes can be opened to the fact that for every Steve Jobs there are thousands of Jay Gatsbys who inherited their wealth and privilege and who now spend much of their time and money ensuring that the laws are written so that they can keep their wealth. The inequity of the present laws, via tax loopholes and corporate subsidies to favour the very rich should be highlighted, showing the middle class how they are constantly being ripped off in order to fund the rich.

24 Recommend
Ellis6 Sequim, WA Jan. 29

There are polls and then there is reality. In Alabama in 2003, a newly-elected conservative Republican governor proposed a constitutional amendment to raise taxes on the wealthiest Alabamans. The measure was defeated 67.5%-32.5% with low-income voters opposing it by a significant margin. In Washington in 2010, voters defeated a referendum to impose a modest income tax on the state's wealthiest residents. (There is no income tax in Washington.) It seems unlikely that in the state with the country's most regressive tax system that 65% of the voters are wealthy. Despite language in the referendum that guaranteed it could never be applied to lower incomes without a vote of the people and a provision to lower property taxes by 20%, paranoia, not reason, ruled the day. It lost 65%-35%. Polling is easy. But when concrete proposals go to the voters, the wealthy interests overwhelm voters with fear and lies, and the voters, complacent and ill-informed, can be easily manipulated. Conservative Alabama and liberal Washington State both defeated measures that would have helped their state finances significantly. The money raised was to be spent on education, health care for the elderly and other radical things some of which would have helped the poor, but lower income voters cast their votes as though, despite their current conditions, they'd be subject to the taxes tomorrow or next month or next year.

24 Recommend
Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@Acajohn "Why isn't there one billionaire or multi billion dollar company that actually takes pride in paying their fair share?" Like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the two richest men in America, who have pledged to follow Carnegie's example, and taken actions to do so?

23 Recommend
WK Green Brooklyn Jan. 29

@DBman - The notion that Sanders has no deep understanding of the policies that he champions is a stroke of common wisdom that is not very wise, as anyone who ever bothered going to he web site would find. In 2016, at least, it was chalk full of issues and positions with a long section on how it could be paid for. Krugman seemed to shun him for reasons that were never clear to me, but Sanders' proposals had the ear of quite a few economists. Even Krugman's crush, Thomas Piketty was intrigued. I'm thrilled that both Warren and Sanders are in this, and if the primary were today I could probably toss a coin. But I find this constant picking at Bernie Sanders and his "flailing arms" to be grating and uninformed. It's akin to asking him to just smile more.

23 Recommend
Rockets Austin Jan. 28

Would Jeff Bezos' life change one iota if he had to pay a billion dollars this year?

23 Recommend
Bejay Williamsburg VA Jan. 29

Not just Roosevelt. "The consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property... Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." - Thomas Jefferson, October 28, 1785. "An enormous proportion of property vested in a few individuals is dangerous to the rights, and destructive of the common happiness, of mankind; and therefore every free state hath a right by its laws to discourage the possession of such property." - Benjamin Franklin, July 29, 1776. "All property ... seems to me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the public has the right of regulating descents and all other conveyances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it." - Benjamin Franklin, December 25, 1783.

22 Recommend
Jerry in NH Hopkinton, NH Jan. 28

Bring back the inheritance tax on large estates and we have a winner!

22 Recommend
aem Oregon Jan. 28

Senator Warren should consider a few adjustments to her plan. First, tax capital gains income at the same rate as earned income. Eliminate the carried interest deduction and close some other egregious loopholes (including the new "pass through" income loophole). Finally, give the wealth tax a nine year period after which it would have to be renewed. Call it a "Patriotism Tax". Pledge to use it for infrastructure improvements and debt reduction. I think that could be very popular.

21 Recommend
Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@FunkyIrishman That is a radical plan, one tried many times before. It fails because humans are not perfect, and not perfectible. They try to accumulate wealth and power, are jealous of each other's possessions and mates, and try to create circumstances that favor their offspring over others of the next generation. The fields of human evolutionary biology and psychology tell us that your plan can not and will not work. Not only that, countless Utopians have tried this in the past. Most fail within months, even with a small group of people who all supposedly love one another. All societies founded on the belief that humans are perfectible have failed. Societies founded on the belief that humans will be venal, corrupt, and power-hungry tend to have the safeguards that allow them to survive. That's why the constitution is full of "checks and balances". Don't think you can replace them with a society of peace and love where we will all live in quiet harmony. You can only replace them with better checks and balances if you hope to succeed. John Lennon's "Imagine" is a lovely song. But it's just a wish list, not a manifesto.

21 Recommend
Mary Lake Worth FL Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian So well said!! Please go forth and yell it from the hills, from editorial pages, from any local setting. It is time.

21 Recommend
Acajohn Chicago Jan. 28

@Linda Yes, what kind of person, especially one with obscene wealth, prefers to keep every penny rather than pay taxes that make our country function? Why isn't there one billionaire or multi billion dollar company that actually takes pride in paying their fair share?

20 Recommend
Alan J. Shaw Bayside, New York Jan. 28

@Yabasta Sanders said little about taxation. In his debates with Clinton, he advocated scrapping the ACA and starting de novo, whereas Clinton suggested legislation to improve it. Thanks in part to Sanders' attacks on Clinton, both personally and on policy, Trump got elected and the Republicans have tried in every possible way to destroy it. On this issue, will Pelosi and Warren follow the so-called progressivism of Sanders?

20 Recommend
Laurie USA Jan. 29

@John Homan I don't get your criticism of Rajiv either. Rajiv know what he is talking about. The rich can never have enough; more is not enough. We see it all the time. We need to eliminate the dynasties and equalize the democracy.

20 Recommend
Mark Thomason Clawson, MI Jan. 28

Existing wealth and annual income are two very different things. Both are now problems. Existing wealth disparity is the accumulation of all the last 40 years of income disparity, plus the "work the money did" to pile itself up higher. Our laws magnified the wealth disparity. That was deliberate and calculated. Our laws allow it to pile up without the former taxation at death to trim it back. We charge only half the tax rate on the "work" of the money itself, the special "capital gains" rate. It is specially privileged from taxes, which is entirely new over these last few Presidential Administrations. It was said that would encourage job growth. It never did. Nobody who knew anything about the subject ever really believed it would. What is now proposed by Warren is to fix what they so deliberately broke. This would not come up if they had not done that first. And if we hadn't done this, we'd have had the job growth this stifled, from the consumer purchasing power it took to pile up as wealth, much of it speculative and overseas.

20 Recommend
Stevenz Auckland Jan. 28

Conservative voters are against taxes because *if* they get rich they don't want to pay them. As a liberal I, on the other hand, would be *delighted* to have to pay this tax!

20 Recommend
Charlton Price Jan. 28

@George Tax policy also should strive to assess from each taxpayer according to the means of that tax payer. Note the source of that statement of principle.

20 Recommend
Thomas Washington DC Jan. 29

By all means let's tax the rich. But what I find most alarming is Kamala Harris's call for yet ANOTHER tax cut for the middle class. Every since the days of Saint Ronnie, Americans have been misled into believing they deserve tax cut after tax cut. And the result for the commons (those goods and services that we share) has been disastrous. Americans already pay lower taxes than most of the developed world. Yet the candidates are also calling for more benefits: Medicare for All and free college. The defense establishment continues to clamor for more resources. What we need is to increase taxes on the rich along with a robust tax enforcement system, so that Americans see that EVERYONE is pulling their weight, according to their means.

20 Recommend
Eitan Israel Jan. 29

Redistribution of wealth through progressive taxation is as American as apple pie. In addition to taxing wealth, there should be a significant estate tax on the top 1%. Getting rich is for many the American Dream, but that does not entitle the rich to endless wealth forever. Others should have an opportunity to take their shot.

20 Recommend
PB USA Jan. 28

A couple of points: at the turn of the 20th Century (about the time that Teddy Roosevelt was railing against the rich), John D Rockefeller had more lawyers on staff than the United States Government. Rockefeller's net worth at that point (they had not yet broken up Standard Oil at that point), was $1 billion, at a time when the total receipts of the US Government were $700 billion. Krugman also mentions Piketty and his book. A central theme in Piketty's book, not mentioned here, was that there is no countervailing force that naturally takes us back to a more equitable distribution of wealth. That only occurred because the world suffered through two world wars, and a depression, out of which came a determination by FDR to use government as a countervailing force. And so it is not an accident that the Republican Party is trying to kill government because that is the only large, countervailing force known to be effective. Do we really want a world where a Jeff Bezos has more lawyers on staff than the US Government? Don't laugh; something similar has happened in the past.

19 Recommend
Harry Thorn Philadelphia, PA Jan. 29

@George Instead of debating the issues, it's a cheap personal attack to label it scapegoating.

19 Recommend
Susan Anderson Boston Jan. 29

Elizabeth Warren is the real deal. I hate that we are focusing on 2020, but I'm with her all the way. She has spent a lifetime doing her best for all of us.

19 Recommend
lzolatrov Mass Jan. 28

@Alan J. Shaw You can't be serious. She didn't bother taking the time to travel to Michigan and Wisconsin (which both ended up narrowly going for Trump). She was too busy in the Hamptons with her uber rich friends. Come on!

18 Recommend
Quinn New Providence, NJ Jan. 29

@dajoebabe For the last 40 years, we have had the GOP tell us that government is the problem and lower tax rates will supercharge economic growth. Now we have a nation with a superpower's army, third rate infrastructure, a porous social safety net and a mediocre education system. Granted that government cannot solve all problems (nor should it try!), but the evidence is clear that the effects of our disinvestment in ourselves is now coming to the fore. If we are truly at the point where raising the marginal tax rate on a very small number of households will cause economic collapse, then our capitalist system has failed and should be replaced.

18 Recommend
Rick Morris Montreal Jan. 29 Times Pick

Interesting ideas, but to get Americans (read Republicans) to swallow this whole is doubtful. Perhaps some marketing is in order. Let's not call this a tax. Let's call it a gift. High value households would give to the government agency of their choice (Social Security, Veteran's Affairs, EPA etc..), garner a modest tax credit as in charity donations, and as a plus receive a full accounting of how their money was spent by an independent auditor. Their gifts could be publicized on social media, thus generating the kind of attention that could generate higher and higher donations. Just a thought.

18 Recommend
Daniel Salazar Naples FL Jan. 29

We could also use Teddy Roosevelt's anti-corruption and environmental values as well. I think he is one Republican completely disowned by the current Republican Party. While I do not believe Elizabeth Warren has any chance to be President, her candidacy will certainly force intelligent debate on the Democratic Platform for 2020. She will make a tremendous Treasury Secretary and break the Goldman Sachs stranglehold on that position.

18 Recommend
rtj Massachusetts Jan. 28

@R. Law She's have to get it past Chuck.

18 Recommend
John Kell Victoria Jan. 28

Let's not stop with progressive taxes on the income and wealth of corporations and individuals. We need to ban monopolies outright, and limit the market share of oligopolies to something like 20%. And we should even limit the fraction of a corporations' shares (e.g. 10%) that can be owned by any one entity (corporal or corporate), and make privately-held corporations go public once they reach a certain size. There's a lesson we can learn from Mother Nature: "Too big to fail" really means "Too big to exist"!

17 Recommend
Michael Skadden Houston, Texas Jan. 28

Maybe Piketty instead of Teddy Roosevelt -but the rates for the wealthy should be higher, especially for passive income, to force the rich if for no other to avoid taxation to invest their money in the economy.

17 Recommend
Nancy Rhodes Ohio Jan. 28

@Orthoducks Koch brothers and others behind A.L.E.C. legislation my nominees

17 Recommend
Steven Roth New York Jan. 29

I'm a fiscal conservative and I think it's a great idea. I would love to hear what Warren Buffet thinks.

16 Recommend
Osama Jan. 29

@George. "Poverty exists not because we can't feed the poor, but because we can't satisfy the rich."

16 Recommend
Elin Minkoff Florida Jan. 28

@Linda: Your comment is just wonderful, and gets to the crux of what is right, fair, decent, moral. Some super wealthy people will always be superficial and greedy, and others will always be generous, and have profound character and depth. People who are remembered with the greatest respect, fondness, reverence, and joy, are not those who have amassed fortunes, but those who have done what they could with their fortunes, for those who would never have fortunes. Or people who sacrificed for others, if not with their fortunes, then by other means. It is not desirable to be remembered for being selfish, greedy, and financially predatory like trump and his ilk.

16 Recommend
David Henan Jan. 29

Aside from the fact that a a massive concentration of wealth is inimical to a functioning democracy because it inevitably leads to a concentration of power, if the tax code is meant to give incentives to productive behavior, what is less of an incentive to being productive than inheriting hundreds of millions of dollars? I personally knew an heiress from one of the most famous wealthy families of the 20th century; the name would be familiar. She was a good person, but a drug addict. So was her brother. No one needs to start life with a hundred million dollars. It's not healthy.

16 Recommend
Thomas New York Jan. 28

@Yabasta: with both houses controlled by the extreme right wing it was definitely impossible.

15 Recommend
Ellen San Diego Jan. 28

@Far from home I've been posting about (and smarting from ) Krugman's comment about Bernie's proposal for universal healthcare being "rainbows and unicorns" for some time now. It seems as if the NYT has decided that, for the sake of the future of the nation, there has to be some give, some sharing, some sense of the common good. Hurrah for that.

15 Recommend
Jan Schreuder New York Jan. 29

@John Coctosin tax and spend is what a government is for. Spending it on infrastructure as opposed to increasing the already bloated pentagon budget and not on a wall, would be preferable. And reallocation, so that for instance teaching becomes a viable career choice again, would be a very useful government task. I don't know whether mr. Coctosin ever worked in the private industry but if he did he must have seen a lot of waste. Though willful blindness is of course "so expected from" the right.

15 Recommend
Balance FL Jan. 29

@George "Conficatory taxes on excessive wealth" is a sin tax-a tax on greed. There is only so much money on person can use in a lifetime if it is to be more than a competitive status and power symbol and is not given back as an investment to build society and the future. The numbers-$50 million are HUGE. Anyone, with that kind of money who could resent paying 1% toward the future and toward society is simply, selfishly and sinfully, GREEDY! It's about time the excessively wealthy, who do not allow their wealth to trickle down as wages, or even trickle through the economy as investments for the benefit of society, are taxed because it has become apparent that only taxes will force them to let go of their wealth.

15 Recommend
John B St Petersburg FL Jan. 29

@thewriterstuff Trump making his tax returns public has nothing to do with IRS staffing. And yes, a better staffed IRS does a better job of catching tax cheats. (No idea why they never nailed Trump's father, though.)

14 Recommend
Chris Michigan Jan. 28

@R. Law - We also need to get rid of the stepped-up basis loophole.

14 Recommend
PATRICK G.O.P. is the Party of "Red" Jan. 29

Senator Warren is a scholar from Harvard, the premier seat of policy education. There are few Americans with her depth of knowledge and education being she was a professor there. If Warren says we should adopt that tax policy, we should. Congresspeople might be good at writing legislation, but people like Warren provides an exceptional policy to be codified into law. American trends away from expert leadership is destructive.

14 Recommend
Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Gwen Vilen We will only have a government for the people if it's a government BY the people. That means politicians who REALLY are just like you and me, not always very charismatic, not always your ideal best friend, or a "savior", or common sense spiritual leader such as Michelle Obama, but instead people who flaws, all while being decent citizens, with a very clear moral compass, AND the skills and intellectual capacity to know how to design new, science-based law projects and how to obtain political agreements in DC without even THINKING of starting to stop implementing already existing law (= shutting down the Executive branch of government).

14 Recommend
Duane McPherson Groveland, NY Jan. 29

@Peter Wolf, Warren would be an excellent Cabinet member. But people vote for President on an emotional level, and I don't think Warren has that emotional charisma. It's excellent that she is running and running early, because that way she can set some of the parameters of discussion, which is what she's doing now.

14 Recommend
DJS New York Jan. 29

@JSH "Who needs more than a few hundred millions dollars, anyway? I'd settle for enough money be able to afford to rent a decent apartment on Long Island.

14 Recommend
Ken Tillson, New York Jan. 29

Just how much money does somebody really need? The Bezos divorce is going to result in two people having "only" 70 billion dollars each. 1 billion, 10 billion, 70 billion; at some point, how can you tell? At some point, doesn't it just become a number?

13 Recommend
Jim MA/New England Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian Best comment I have read on this subject, Thank you. It should be understood that the wealthy just don't care and are very un- American. Wealth in our society will equal slavery for everyone else and it has already begun. See the republican tax plan if you have any doubts.

13 Recommend
Lizmill Portland Jan. 29

Tyrants like FDR and Eisenhower? Sweden and Denmark?

13 Recommend
White Buffalo SE PA Jan. 29

@Tom Two points: If you add the compound interest forgone on the amount paid in SS taxes I wonder if the calculation changes. The wealth of the over 65 group is very differentially distributed, just like wealth in general. Think what the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, the Walmart heirs and Warren Buffet do to that distribution. Just because Ellen is 70 does not mean she is participating in the relative wealth growth of the over 65 cohort you note. I imagine with few exceptions most very wealthy people are over 65, but that does not mean the reverse is true, that most over 65 are wealthy or even comfortable. For a large number SS is their main source of support, and rampant ageism makes it very difficult for even healthy over 65 years to find a job to supplement it. Taxing SS is a form of double taxation. People with high incomes could still be taxed on their income after excluding SS. Or, since you are so concerned about the people collecting more in SS than they paid in, taxation could start on all benefits exceeding that figure. (And you seem totally unconcerned with all the people who collect nothing or much less than they paid in. If you are worried about one group not being in balance you should be equally worried about the other group not being in balance. I am ok with both because I consider SS to be an insurance program. I don't pay income taxes on my insurance proceeds paid for by premiums on which I did pay taxes.

13 Recommend
Nancy Rhodes Ohio Jan. 28

@Phyliss Dalmatian This Ohio gal would like to see Sherrod Brown as President, with E.W. at his side. My favorite combo at this point of the run up to 2020.

13 Recommend
Miriam NY Jan. 29

Robin Hood revisited, 21st century-style. The people both want and need it, and the disproportionate upper crust can afford it. What could be a simpler or more effective solution to the economic plight that is stifling a robust middle class? As the criminals in and about the Whitehouse have their days in court, who could deny the rationale behind such a restructuring of our Internal Revenue Code?

13 Recommend
Doug Keller Virginia Jan. 29

The shutdown taught a clear lesson: people squarely located in the middle class (in this case, federal workers) cannot afford to miss a single paycheck. Add that awareness to the cluelessness of the wealthy who, with the attention brought to them by their position in the trump administration, put that cluelessness on full display -- and add the awareness that the trump tax break benefitted the wealthy only while saddling the nation with debt -- put those together, and we will find positive support for what amounts to a relative pinprick of sacrifice from the ultra wealthy, as proposed by Warren and likeminded Congresswomen.

13 Recommend
Jane S Philadelphia Jan. 29

@George American public policy is designed to concentrate wealth at the top and impoverish the bottom. Progressive taxation is but one measure to correct the economic structure that results in death and destitution, even among fully employed workers. Health care for all and living wages are additional measures. Extreme poverty in America is a result of public policy which further enriches the wealthy. Course correction is a moral imperative.

13 Recommend
Quinn New Providence, NJ Jan. 29

@Tom It's a giant leap to say that a 2% tax or a higher marginal rate is the confiscation of wealth. It's also a giant leap imply that only the very wealthy reinvest their money. Where do you think the dividends and gains in your 401K account go? They are reinvested! The key point is that many of the very wealthy have used their wealth and influence to change the tax code and other laws to their benefit. There is zero evidence that a lower marginal tax rate on the wealthy has any correlation to job creation, but there is a very strong correlation between lower tax rates and income disparity.

13 Recommend
CarolinaJoe NC Jan. 28

@Yabasta It is way too detailed for Bernie. His platform lacked on details (numbers).

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PATRICK G.O.P. is the Party of "Red" Jan. 29

Taxes are the necessary fact of a thriving civilization. When confronted by the trained mindset of anti-tax rhetoric issuing from a clone of selfish leadership, I simply say; if it were not for taxes, we'd all be driving on rutted dirt roads and dying young. Tax the rich so they survive the slings and arrows of discontent they created. They will thank us for it later.

13 Recommend
Duffy Currently Baltimore Jan. 29

@George I'actually tired of the rich scapegoating the poor. Like Romney calling them takers. The wealthy will be fine, don't worry.

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JimB NY Jan. 29

I like the idea, although it may be very difficult to value certain kinds of assets and how they may have appreciated. For example, if the Republican Congressman you bought as a freshman goes on to win a Senate seat, how much would his value have increased?

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loveman0 sf Jan. 28

With the exception of one principle house, apply capital gains taxes to inheritance over $5 million at death.

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Duane McPherson Groveland, NY Jan. 28

@GP, You already pay a wealth tax, if you own a home. It's called "property tax". Why should the very wealthy not pay a property tax, too? But in the present condition, they do not, and can easily hide their wealth from view, and pass it to their heirs without paying any tax. Which just adds and adds to the concentration of wealth among the few.

12 Recommend
Clyde Pittsburgh Jan. 29

Of course it makes perfect sense. Which is why those uber-rich people will not allow this to happen. They'll do everything they can to shut down Ms. Warren. It's what they do.

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John Quixote NY Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian Language is power- and you've got it! I nominate you for her speechwriter!

12 Recommend
JMM Worcester, MA Jan. 28

If I were doing tax policy from scratch, I'd include both the Warren wealth tax, a progressive income tax culminating with the AOC 70% marginal rate, treat capital gains as regular income, eliminate the carried interest loophole, and investigate the taxing of all "non-profits" including religious and political organizations. I would replace the standard deduction and personal exemption with a universal basic income. I would reduce the military budget and provide at least a buy-in to medicare. Anything less that than, I don't consider "radical."

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Wendy Maland Chicago, IL Jan. 28

If the Democratic party continues to do nothing to address the problem of the top .1 percemt owning 90 percent of American wealth, we are destined to sit idly by as the heartbreaking inequities and divisions of this country deepen.... and this means, too, that we will be doing very little to address the deeper causes of a certain kind of American desperation and violence. It's time to address the radically warped system with sensible countermeasures. This is, in my view, a moderate position that moderate, sensible politicians will promote. Doing nothing to address this enormous problem is the most radical position of all.

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Patrician New York Jan. 29

@Phyliss Dalmatian "The great majority of men will not vote for any woman"... Oh for heaven's sake: this is what a self-fulfilling prophecy is all about. The number one rule of power is: no one gives up power, you've got to take it. There's no point waiting.They told Dr. King to wait. Thankfully, he didn't. Otherwise, we would still be waiting. I like Sherrod Brown. But, what are his ideas and proposals? All the ideas are from Warren and she should get behind Brown - only because he's a man?! I'm losing my mind. We need to fight for what's right. Warren - Brown (in that order on the ticket) Other than that... cheers to you! :)

12 Recommend
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ Jan. 29

@hm1342 I work and pay taxes and have done so for 40 years. I'm happy to pay taxes, not because I'm dependent on them, but because I realize a few things that make you uncomfortable: 1. No one does it by themselves; we all rely on others at work, at home and in life; we're part of society; we are not solo warriors on some mystical heroic island 2. Not everyone is as fortunate as I; I'm glad the poor, the disabled, the unlucky, the elderly, the uneducated and the unskilled can get a modicum of government assistance when their chips are own 3. Canadians and Europeans and the Japanese do not suffer from 'dependency' syndrome; they're hardworking people with healthy market economies who have decent government that regulate healthcare extortion and corporate extortion to a minimum; it's a pretty humane arrangement 4. Corporations and CEO's have been redistributing upward for about fifty years; 20:1 CEO:worker pay was the 1960's norm....now a 350:1 ration is common. 5. Tax rates for the rich and corporations have collapsed from the 1950's to 2019; the right-wing pretends they're high, but they're not. 6. America has the greatest health-care rip-off in the world at 17% of GDP; it's an international 'free-market' disgrace that no foreign country would touch a 300-foot pole because it would bankrupt them, just as it bankrupts Americans. Keep living in a 1787 time tunnel and see where it gets you. Or buy a calendar...and evolve.

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Judy M Los Angeles Jan. 28

Equality is the basis of society; it has always been close to my heart. Thank you, Paul Krugman, for standing clearly for economic equality.

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Far from home Phnom Penh, Cambodia Jan. 28

@Yabasta Thanks for saying this. It was my first thought too. No mention of "rainbows and unicorns" this time. Maybe I can go back to reading PK through the next election.

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Gini Green Bay, Wi Jan. 29

@George The purpose of taxes is not only to fund public necessities, but also to encourage society to behave in a manner which is good for all of society. Thus, in World War 2 income tax was set quite high, to discourage consumption of scarce resources. It is not scapegoating the wealthy to have them pay a proportional share of their wealth to fund the public good, and to, in a small way, discourage inherited wealth. It is through our society that they are able to accumulate their wealth, it follows that they should have incentive to preserve and further that society.

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Duane McPherson Groveland, NY Jan. 28

I agree completely with a progressive tax on net wealth. Piketty proposed this in "Capital in the Twenty-first Century" back in 2014. I'm happy to hear that Elizabeth Warren has picked up the idea. The elegance of it is that it does not prevent the wealth-motivated from seeking high incomes and accumulating a lot of wealth in their lifetime. But it reduces the incentive to earn an ever-higher income, and it prevents the wealthy from creating wealth dynasties. And consider this: even a 90% tax on inherited wealth would mean, for someone who accumulated a $10 billion estate, that their heirs would receive a $1 billion inheritance as a grubstake. Not a bad start in life, if I say so myself.

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rtj Massachusetts Jan. 28

@Phyliss Dalmatian "Think about it, it's the perfect pair." Can't argue.

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Marvin Raps New York Jan. 29

Almost any tax measure to re-distribute wealth is appropriate in a nation that values economic justice. However, answering the question of just how people accumulate billions, while so many others struggle so hard to remain in place. First, it is necessary to dispense with the fiction that the wealthy earned it so let them keep it. No one person or one family EARNS billions. The hard work necessary to create wealth belongs to many hard working and creative people and to numerous public institutions that make its creation possible. Both are entitled to a fair share of the wealth they help to create. It is the laws and even traditions that allow one individual to CAPTURE and keep so much wealth. And those laws and traditions need to be changed. Start with a Living Wage plus full benefits for all workers and salary scales that are reasonable, not the 1:300 that some CEO's currently enjoy. End golden parachutes for retiring or even fired executives and tax unearned income at the same rate as earned income. Equal opportunity cannot stand without economic justice.

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rtj Massachusetts Jan. 28

@Fourteen Ok, that was funny.

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John Griswold Salt Lake City Utah Jan. 29

@George No, part of the purpose of taxes should be to counteract the normal power of capital that causes the formation of massive personal fortunes which distort the economy relied on by all. It's not scapegoating to try to put our economy back in balance, to curtail its division into the Main St. economy, currently starved by that wealth division so heavily favoring the fabulously wealthy, and the shadow economy of Wall St. gambling, commodity market manipulation, and asset ownership.

12 Recommend
ADM NH Jan. 29

@Bill If you have a chance to talk to any low-income Repubiclan voters, make sure to tell them about the cap on social security taxes. Most don't even know there is a cap. Remove the cap and social security is solvent in perpetuity. It's one of the greatest scams ever played on the American poor by the rich. And very few who make less than the cap know anything about it.

12 Recommend
Robert Seattle Jan. 28

Paul, it would be great if you could compare the revenue effects of this Warren proposal with the actual tax policies that were in effect during the Eisenhower administration. It seems that the progressive taxation rates of that era, topping out at about 90% marginal rates, should and could be the "gold standard" for comparison with current plans. The neolib/libertarian campaign, stretching back to those years and even earlier, has been wildly successful in brainwashing Americans with regard to both public finance and the link with tax structures. And the removal of controls on money in politics has us in a truly toxic environment that in my view has already tipped us into an oligo-klepto-plutocracy. The ravaging of all three branches of government has reached critical mass, and we're teetering on the brink in a way that may not be reversible.

11 Recommend
Dawne Touchings Glen Ridge, NJ Jan. 29

Any candidate who is promising health care for all and a substantial response to climate change and crumbling infrastructure, has to be talking taxation of the wealthy either by income tax or wealth tax or both. Otherwise, they are just blowing smoke. Elizabeth has that combination in her platform.

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Bill from Honor Jan. 29

@White Buffalo It is a tragic commentary on the American political system that FDR felt he had to make a compromise with the Devil in order to gain the passage of progressive legislation. The situation continues today with the institutions of the electoral college and especially the US Senate, where the population of several small easily manipulated states can hold equal power to representatives of states with many times more people. In our times the circumstances often result in gridlock when the Senators from progressive states refuse to compromise with these who represent minority viewpoints.

11 Recommend
Tom Miller Oakland, California Jan. 29

Warren Buffett and other billionaires who are socially committed should endorse Senator Warren's proposal and her candidacy. Let Trump call her names; she knows what she's doing and is truly on our side.

11 Recommend
Jay Arthur New York City Jan. 29

The national debt as a % of GDP was higher after WWII than it is now. Then we had three decades of prosperity along with a steady decline in the debt. How? High marginal tax rates. Since Reagan's election the debt has steadily increased, so that now it's almost as high as it was in 1945. We solved this problem before, we can solve it again. Warren and AOC are right on.

11 Recommend
Laurel McGuire Boise Idaho Jan. 29

I don't understand why people talk as if increasing the responsibility of the very wealthy and discouraging stockpiling of well is som3 untried idea that would plunge America into chaos....we've had it before. No chaos involved.

11 Recommend
Paul Rogers Montreal Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian: the two issues, inequality of wealth and global warming, are related. The vast wealth of the Koch Brothers enables them to drown out rational debate with propaganda. Propaganda must be abolished.

11 Recommend
Paul Rogers Montreal Jan. 29

@carl bumba They are not as bad as we think??? They are worse! Read "It's Even Worse than It Looks" by Mann and Ornstein.

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PATRICK G.O.P. is the Party of "Red" Jan. 29

There is a very simple logic to focus on; The corruption of Republicans from campaign donations to legislation as directed by wealthy's lobbyists enriching their wealthy benefactors, to gross wealth inequality as a result, is overwhelming justification to get that wealth back to the nation through progressive taxation. Tax the wealthy before they export America's wealth. It isn't trickling down as much as trickling Up and Out of the country.

11 Recommend
mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

The idea that a couple of extra percentage points of taxes on fifty million dollars could be considered to be outrageous shows how radical the right-wing has become in this country. Someone who has that much income- I was going to say "earned", but it's the lower-class working people who earn it for them- would not even miss that money. And how much money can you actually spend in a way that makes you happy, or happier, anyway?

11 Recommend
ivisbohlen Durham, NC Jan. 29

@Linda Wonderful post, but reminds me that I get sick every time I have to pass the Koch courtyard or whatever it's called in front of the Met museum. They get their names out there as 'philanthropists'. The ultra-wealthy are happy to get their names out for PR purposes. I notice the Koch empire has even started television advertising about how their wonderful companies create jobs.

11 Recommend
Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Taz In real life, Obama already increased taxes for the extreme rich, and Hillary's campaign agenda included additional tax increases. So this is merely a logical continuation of what Democrats have always stood for.

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bill washington state Jan. 29

I've noticed two things that have happened in my lifetime. Many Billionaires and near billionaires have proliferated while at the same time social security has become more precarious and homelessness has exploded. And of course our overall national debt has dramatically increased. Nobody needs a billion dollars or even ten percent of it for that matter. Not sure if Warren's plan is the best but it would generate a ton of money to improve the collective good and it still wouldn't dent the billionaires much.

11 Recommend
SAF93 Boston, MA Jan. 29

I for one, would be happy to pay the extra taxes that Senator Warren proposes, should I ever amass over $50million in wealth!

11 Recommend
JW New York Jan. 29

The downside to this proposal is that my newest Bugatti Veyron I was planning to gold-plate may have to be silver-plated instead. Worse, my tenth beach house estate I was planning on building on the island I purchased off Fiji may have to be scaled back to a bungalow occasionally rented out to cover the utilities. Oh, the pain. And forget about me trying a hostile takeover of a major media outlet I will not name.

11 Recommend
Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29

@FunkyIrishman I think Trump intentionally or inadvertently has destroyed anything resembling the status quo. It's the political equivalent of Newton's Third Law of Motion: that for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. Trump is the ugly face of unbridled power and privilege, leavened only by vainglory ignorance. He's the equivalent of melting icecaps and stranded polar bears when it comes to the concentration of wealth and economic climate change. His utter failure will be the rational majority's success in plowing a better and more equitable path forward. There's been nothing more radical than Trump. He's made radical solutions compelling and necessary. And inevitable.

11 Recommend
CarolinaJoe NC Jan. 28

Hmmm. Sounds like no brainer to me. Surprised it would generate that much new revenue. Imgine what we could make better and more affordable in this country, health care, education, infrastructure....

11 Recommend
FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 28

@RR (x2) Well now that we are slinging around insults ... (I will take your points one by one) I have gone to the doctor many a time and been out in about the same, while we pay nothing. Nothing for co-pays and nothing for prescriptions. Tax rates being 10% more are not criminal. Most Americans are NOT happy with their health insurance - costs going up too fast and bankrupting. If you want to cite something, then please do. This is also taking into account that ALL should be covered. (and not covered by the least effective and most expensive way possible in an emergency room) Uhmm no. The American worker is not 30 - 40% more productive and you cannot compare GDP from one country to the next and extrapolate from that. Fancier cars and bigger houses are not the rate to which you judge a society. Finally, there is the tired argument by those on the right that there are ''free things'' - no we all contribute progressively into a system where all benefit, and not just a small amount. You many try again.

11 Recommend
CH Indianapolis IN Jan. 29

Prof. Krugman, why do you give credit to Elizabeth Warren's party rather than to Elizabeth Warren herself? Her party will deserve credit if they can get beyond the corporatists and nominate her. Otherwise, no. Last night on Lawrence O'Donnell, Sen. Warren explained how the wealthy have manipulated the system for years to accumulate more and more wealth. Their lobbyists persistently ask Congress for small, subtle changes in the law that benefit them. Because the individual changes seem minor, Congress often goes along, but, over the years, they add up to major benefits allowing the wealthiest to accumulate more and more assets. Billionaire Howard Schultz's ability to self-fund a presidential campaign and the Koch political network's efforts to make its own preferred policies exemplify another reason for taxing the wealthiest. They can and do use their vast resources to cause significant harm to the country.

11 Recommend
Sherrie California Jan. 29

Watched Sen. Warren on MSNBC last night and she did well to explain her plan to us "regular folks," rare for a politician. Just ask Paul Ryan. This plan can work if we don't let Republicans lie about its benefits. Nail the Fox crew to the wall in siding with their uber rich boss Murdoch, who loathes the plan (I wonder why). This plan can work if it still contains tax break goodies for the 90%---all levels. We all have to join together and we all have different economic concerns. That's a fact. This plan can work if the public realizes it prevents tapping into Social Security or Medicare or cutting benefits. This plan can work if we can hear over and over again how the money will be spent on climate change, healthcare, college tuition, infrastructure, cyber security, and poverty, to name a few. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This plan will work if they point to the Republican tax debacle giveaway of 2018 did NOTHING to help any of those problems but was a major giveaway to the rich who did not reinvest into the economy but cashed in instead.

11 Recommend
Meredith New York Jan. 29

The ripple effects of more fair, adequate, progressive tax rates are huge throughout the society. Low tax rates and tax havens for the rich and corporations lets mega donors keep increasing their donations (investments) in our politicians and elections, thus their dominance over lawmaking. This effectively subverts our professed ideals of equality and citizen influence. It subverts our constitution, bill of rights, and the safeguards of our 3 equal branches. Big money values infect our executive, legislative and judicial branches. The S. Court legalized unlimited donor money (investments) in our elections, pretending that any limits would subvert the 1st Amendment's Free Speech. We see the effects on tax laws and weak regulations giving huge advantage to the donor elites. In effect they are regulating our govt.

11 Recommend
johnj san jose Jan. 28

@Mystery Lits You are wrong in every argument you make. You don't live in isolation, you live in an organized society that makes your wealth possible. There would be no wealth in the US if we didn't have a functioning society, and there would be no functioning society without taxation and government functions. And "the rich" didn't go anywhere in the fifties and sixties when the taxation was much higher than today. Also these 0.1 to 0.01% that Warren is proposing to tax don't pay vast majority of the taxes, it's the upper 10% that pays the majority.

11 Recommend
Gene S Hollis NH Jan. 28

I agree that the tax rates from the 1950's were economically, fiscally and socially sound. Were it not a violation of the constitutional ban on bills of attainder, I would propose a more rigorous tax be applied to the Kochs and the Adelsons. When it comes to spending more on Medicare (which I interpret to mean more than the current 17-18% of GDP), however, we should not. I recently had a health problem while traveling in Germany. I spent 4 days in a teaching hospital (University Clinic of Bonn--UKB). Not only did I receive excellent care, which my American doctor told me was as good as any care available here, but the bill came to around $4300 (€3700). That included three diagnostic procedures. The Medicare-approved payments for the same care would have been about $28,000. Throwing more money down the bottomless pit of U.S. medical practice is futile. The proceeds of such a capital levy as that proposed by Ms.Warren would be better spent on addressing hunger, on infrastructure and on retiring some of the national debt

11 Recommend
Ralph Averill New Preston, Ct Jan. 28

A tax on significant accumulated wealth is past due. The same for inherited wealth. Apparently the hated "Death Tax" doesn't go far enough. Many self-made millionaires promote the benefits of pulling one's self up by one's boot straps. Why are they so adamant about denying the opportunity to their children? When Warren Buffett turned over much of his wealth to charity through Bill Gates, he was asked if he wasn't giving away his children's inheritance. Buffett responded, (paraphrase,) "My children have enough to do whatever they want. They do not have enough to do nothing." In my perfect world, it would be difficult to be very rich or very poor, and no one would ever go without.

10 Recommend
Meredith New York Jan. 29

Nice headline---Eliz Warren does Teddy Roosevelt--- who broke up the trusts in the progressive era. And Bernie Sanders aimed to do Franklin Roosevelt. Sanders had the quixotic idea to restore the New Deal. But he was soundly bashed and trashed by Krugman and most NYT columnists/reporters. Even if he wasn't their ideal candidate, his proposals should have been given the respect of serious discussion, like we now are getting for Ocasio and Warren. Do a compare and contrast on policy---Warren and Sanders. Interesting to see what we can learn.

10 Recommend
Jose C North Gotham Jan. 29

Speaking of billionaires, I just heard Howard Schultz on NPR trashing Warren's wealth tax plan. So what does this say? Even a so-called progress wealthy person really doesn't want to give up a scintilla of coin. I think the counter-argument, that increasing the income of the 0.1% with tax breaks, does not lead to significant increases in prosperity for everybody - the "lifts all boats" ruse. A recent article in the NY Times shows that this is the case. That is, yachts are being lifted, dinghies are getting shredded by their propellers.

10 Recommend
Blunt NY Jan. 28

Ignoring the irrelevance of the Teddy Roosevelt comparison (hardly has anything to do with the rest of his article anyway), this is pretty good from a guy who did all he could to kill Bernie against Hillary. Bernie would have said pretty much the same as Warren then and probably would agree with the proposals now. So Dr K, good to have you back in the midst of the progressives and assume you had a lapse of reason for the past 3 or 4 years. Saez, Piketty and Zucman are fantastic. I am delighted the first two are helping Warren. Ps. All three deserve the Nobel Prize. At least as much as you did.

10 Recommend
Phyliss Dalmatian Wichita, Kansas Jan. 28

@Schrodinger He's the real deal. NO fake hair, teeth or a scintilla of hypocrisy. I'm sold.

10 Recommend
Dave Mineapolis Jan. 29

What ever happened to taxing dividend income the same as regular income?

10 Recommend
Jack Mahoney Brunswick, Maine Jan. 29

I was disappointed that she didn't run in 16. She knows that large swaths of our population are under-educated, superstitious, and under the impression that their little arsenals will make a dent should their conspiracy theories that heroically place them behind bushes at Lexington and Concord at odds with the US government somehow come to pass. As someone who has taught school, she appears to understand that trying to engage the back row not only fails to produce positive results but also annoys and appalls those who showed up in good faith. Similarly, she appears to know that the best way to enlighten is to lay out the facts as accessibly as possible and trust that those viewing the facts can come to logical conclusions. Note that if her theory is fatally flawed, so is the Republic. Adlai Stevenson, when told that every thinking American would vote for him, reportedly was chagrined and noted that to win he needed a majority. That was in the 1950's, when sensible tax policies had not been hijacked by dark messaging funded by those who had so much to gain if American safety nets such as Social Security and, in the 1960's, Medicare, could be misconstrued as the insidious tentacles of the Red Menace. The messengers of deceit, thanks to Citizens United, no longer have to whisper doom from the shadows. Rest assured that if EW moves toward the nomination we will be frightened by slick ads that equate gross wealth not with a cancerous concentration but with American lifeblood.

10 Recommend
Barbara Iowa Jan. 29

@JW Not sure why anyone on the left sneers at Sanders. Did you know that Sanders has an approval rating of something like 80% in Vermont, a state that used to be full of Republicans and still has plenty of conservatives? People who pay serious attention to Sanders like and respect him. We'll actually be very lucky if we get someone with Sanders' magnetism. If you listen closely, his anger is at injustice, not at other people. He cares about everyone.

10 Recommend
Frank Columbia, MO Jan. 29

Why do we have college football coaches making $6million per year ? Because slightly lesser coaches make $5million per year. They could all get by very nicely on a quarter million per year. It's the same with the 1% : they need their fortune only in comparative terms. In the meantime 80% of us live in an economy comprising about 20% of our country's wealth, a very poor country in itself indeed.

10 Recommend
Berkshire Brigades Williamstown, MA Jan. 28

Liz has always been ahead of the curve. She knows well that it's time for Democrats to right the ship of state by reducing income and wealth inequality before it sinks our democracy. Go Liz! Go Dems! Go big .. before it's too late!

10 Recommend
M Lindsay Illinois Jan. 29

"...public opinion surveys show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the rich." Yet, congress refuses to support such tax reform. I guess that tells us that most politicians are serving and protecting their wealthy political donors rather than our country.

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SherlockM Honolulu Jan. 29

Here's a fine way to make America great again. Yes, let's go back to the marginal tax rates of the prosperous '50's. What have we got to lose?

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JLM Central Florida Jan. 29

@Linda One summer in Sigourney, Iowa, when I was a small boy, my grandfather took me into the library Carnegie built and talked about it with great pride. By the way, he served in both world wars and was a prominent Republican. Oh, how times have changed.

10 Recommend
Joe White Plains Jan. 29

This is going to be a tough choice for average voters. Work till the day you die, live in squalor and penury in old age as the social safety net is cut, and condemn your family to ever decreasing living standards -- or in the alternative, tax the accumulated wealth of billionaires. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

10 Recommend
hm1342 NC Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian: "This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed." Their is plenty of power, privilege and "greed" in our nation's capital, and it is practiced daily by individuals who are elected and un-elected.

10 Recommend
John Wesley Baltimore MD Jan. 29

RICH- THE ANSWER IS NOT CLASS WARFARE VS THE RICH...I'm not rejecting this proposal out of hand but Warren/Picketty have been putting the cart before the horse-she needs to identify and focus on a fiscal need, THEN assemble tax policy to pay for it in an earmarked way...and it has to be gradual, ideally phased in over 10 plus years. Suggestions ? What do we need to establish Medicare for all ? Or address infrastructure problems over next 10-20 years ? Or make SS solvent ? Determine the revenue you need, not the "revenge" you might want vs the "rentiers" - and I think a very good place to start would be top tax advantages accounts very heavily at high rates.Its absurd Mitt Romney has like what $200 million in his IRA and hes only taking the RMD ?? Tax any income to an IRA with a balance over say $10 million....nobody needs a tax break at that level.

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Jesse DENVER, CO Jan. 29

But billionaires are the job creators, the noble stewards of finance and cap... and I'm laughing. Tax the rats. If they complain, tax them more. Let them move to Singapore and share their crocodile tears with crocodiles (does Singapore have crocodiles?) America's oligarchs have given the working class 40 years of wage slavery and we've given them a life in the clouds. Time to renegotiate.

10 Recommend
A.G. Alias St Louis, MO Jan. 29

@John Homan It's I thought was about taxing the rich more, not only on high incomes but on high net worth also. Rajiv said about how the rich donate to causes that reduce their taxes, by say, electing more tax-cutting Republicans. The Koch brothers are good examples. I didn't quite get your criticism of Rajiv.

10 Recommend
voreason Ann Arbor, MI Jan. 29

If Elizabeth Warren is nominated for president, and I hope she will be, I believe we will see the most virulent, vile and vituperative campaign imaginable against her by the right, the wealthy and the corporate interests. It will be a battle for the soul of this country. But if anyone can make the case to the middle class for real economic and tax reform in the face of the attacks that such a plan will face, Elizabeth Warren is the person to do it. She has a first class intellect, she has remarkable communication skills and, as she says, this is her life. She's not running in order to "be" president, she's running to enact policies that have the potential of turning the tide in this country in favor of the people and away from the plutocrats. And in this, she will face real opposition from many within her own party. It's going to be an interesting two years.

10 Recommend
ACounter Left coast Jan. 29

@CarolinaJoe Bernie's details on paying for Medicare for All and his other initiatives were -- and still are -- at www.berniesanders.com/issues It shows proposed changes to the tax code tiers and estimates of the revenue raised, as well as revenue raised by closing loopholes and by other methods.

10 Recommend
Margo Atlanta Jan. 29

@Bonnie Luternow Try it - try to have a direct call with your members of Congress, it isn't happening. Not unless you can deliver some benefit, like large campaign contributions. They're afraid of us.

9 Recommend
Plennie Wingo Weinfelden, Switzerland Jan. 29

Much simpler is to just tax ALL income as ordinary income. No more favored capital gains rate.

9 Recommend
george Iowa Jan. 29

This column " Elizabeth Warren does Teddy Roosevelt " says a lot about Professor Warren but very little about Teddy. I read a column yesterday by Charlie Pierce where he goes into detail about TR`s New Nationalism speech. There are parts of this speech that are real eye openers such as - The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being. Or- We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs, so that the people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs. This speech spends a lot of time praising the Saviors of our Country, The Civil War Veterans. And it also says a lot about the proper place for Capital and Corporations, servants not masters.

9 Recommend
Marx and Lennon Virginia Jan. 29

@George I might agree with you if this was a momentary phenomenon, but it's not. The imbalance that is finally plain to all began with subtle changes in the balance between capital and labor in the early 1970s. The truly rich understood what they were doing. They found a fulcrum that allowed them to pry money and power from the increasingly vulnerable middle and lower classes, so they did. To correct this by less drastic means will take at least that long again. I doubt we can wait another 45 years, so yes. We need to use the taxation authority as the fulcrum to pry back the people's fair share. There is no other option as far as I can see.

9 Recommend
CallahanStudio Los Angeles Jan. 29

@Tom: Your characterization of the argument as suggesting that "we should just take all the money from individuals because we can" is as complacent as your reference to Lenin and Mao. Did you miss the part where Krugman points out that we have already used progressive taxation in this country to advance the collective economic good? U.S. economic policy from the Great Depression to Reagan unleashed a rising tide that truly floated all boats in the U.S. economy. It was the gratuitous tax giveaways to the wealthy advocated by Milton Friedman, among others, that gave our wealth distribution its present hourglass configuration.

9 Recommend
Tim W Seattle Jan. 29

Let's add another thing: scrap the cap on the amount of wages subject to the 6.2% Social Security tax, currently set at $128,400. Why should someone making $20 million a year only pay the SS tax on the first $128,400? Scraping the cap would make SS solvent forever, and could even reduce the percentage we're taxed.

9 Recommend
dwalker San Francisco Jan. 29

@Robert Elizabeth Warren is a good explainer, and when she starts banging on a point she's convincing. Importantly, she doesn't do it just once, she makes it a theme to be hammered. A great lesson of the Vietnam War was that it is *repetition* that drives change -- in that case, TV news repeatedly showing flag-draped coffins coming home, covering marching protesters, exposing atrocities, etc. Whether through timidity or laziness or slavishness to big money donors, Democrats have failed to create a momentum on the idea of wealth inequality that would persuade the public. This will change with Elizabeth Warren and, if he chooses to run, Bernie Sanders. In this regard, a prediction: At some point before November 2020, we will hear the phrase "I welcome their hatred."

9 Recommend
Ellen San Diego Jan. 28

Far from radical, the ideas of Warren, Sanders, and AOC are sensible, logical, and fair. Bring on any politician who means business such as these proposals and can articulate them, isn't a billionaire already, and doesn't have a tawdry history of being entangled with Wall Street, and watch him/her win.

9 Recommend
Glassyeyed Indiana Jan. 29

Thank you for not treating Elizabeth Warren the way you treated Bernie Sanders. I believed all that stuff about you being a liberal until you treated Bernie as though he were worse than Trump. "Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win."

9 Recommend
Andrew Zuckerman Port Washington, NY Jan. 29

@dmckj Progressive taxation isn't all that progressive anymore. Capital gains and even earned income of incredible amounts of money as well as stock options are taxed at low rates. In case no one has noticed, the AMT is a bust. It doesn't work and when it does, it harms the upper middle class rather than the super-rich. The "high-end earners" pay a lot (but not enough) because they are the only ones who have so much income that taxing them does not adversely affect the economy. We have rich folks who can afford giant yachts and not so rich folks who can't survive an unexpected $400 bill. That is not the way the economy should work. Eventually, income inequality will even weaken corporate profits and destroy the economy. Even large corporations need customers who can buy their products.

9 Recommend
Rima Regas Southern California Jan. 28

FDR 2.0 must address the social class the Great Recession created. Those are the now 50-60 year olds and millennials who lost jobs, pensions, and are still underemployed and in the gig economy. Starting in ten years, if nothing is done,very will have 95 million or so homeless. Leaving it to states to construct affordable housing won't do. We need Universal Basic Income. This is needed regardless of whether the GOP and Trump's scams cause a depression. Bernie and Elizabeth would easily demand Congress act on these ideas. Bloomberg and Schultz? Not on your life. A decent future is progressive. We need FDR 2.0. we need to be done with triangulation. The GOP is an untrustworthy partner. --- Things Trump Did While You Weren't Looking [2019] https://wp.me/p2KJ3H-3h2

9 Recommend
Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29

@Jim Thanks for your reply and appreciation. I'm lucky to be an Editor's Pick as there are so many great comments by thoughtful and articulate NYT readers, particularly those who follow Krugman's columns. I agree with your sense of wealth as a social disease that's highly contagious. We need a vaccine and I hope Sen. Warren is it and she inoculates a strong majority by 2020.

9 Recommend
Constance Warner Silver Spring, MD Jan. 28

Let's hope Warren succeeds, whether she becomes President or not. I recall that under Eisenhower-era rates of taxation, the middle class and the working class had a lot better deal than we have today. Heck, we even had a better deal under Nixon-era rates of taxation. It's weird to be nostalgic for Nixon, but look at what's in the White House now.

9 Recommend
JP MorroBay Jan. 29

Thanks for a great column again, and yes, Ms. Warren in on the right track. Now if we could only get the corporate media to stop trivializising her policies as "nerdy" we might get somewhere.

9 Recommend
DocBrew Central WI Jan. 29

While Warren's proposal and ACO's marginal tax ideas both have merit, let's be honest- ideas such as these have no chance until campaign finance reform occurs. Given the current composition of the SOCTUS that seems impossible for several decades, as the obscenely rich simply buy the government they want.

9 Recommend
Kwip Victoria, BC Jan. 29

@Brenda I suggest that you rethink your position. I appreciate the frustration with the current system but the public school system is habitually underfunded. The $40k is not a direct benefit to each child. Look into that. And maybe look at Finland where schooling is considered one of the most important benefits to a country. As a result you see the best university graduates going into teaching because they make a very good salary and they are supported by an administration that supports their efforts, efforts that come with passion for helping kids.

9 Recommend
PJ Salt Lake City Jan. 29

Thank you Mr. Krugman for another great read. Your influence is so important in our politics. Keep up the good work.

9 Recommend
Murray Illinois Jan. 29

A 2% tax on wealth is not much more than what many of us pay the financial industry to 'manage' our savings. The investment funds take their percentage, and the companies managing the portfolio take theirs. Small investors tend to pay a higher percentage in fees than larger investors. When all is taken into account, people living paycheck to paycheck pay the highest percentage, of what ends up being zero wealth. This 'wealth tax' would help rectify the imbalance.

9 Recommend
Whole Grains USA Jan. 29

I'm very impressed with Elizabeth Warren,not just for her tax proposals, but because she is so intelligent - and genuine. Some say that she is too heady to win but she certainly has more charisma than Adlai Stevenson, who lost in the 1950s because he was too intellectual. And he didn't have a catchy slogan such as "I Like Ike." Unfortunately, it's all about how politicians are perceived. I would like to see Warren more poised and not afraid to express her sense of humor.

9 Recommend
Karen Brooklyn Jan. 29

@Brenda If talent and drive - particularly talent - were the deciding factor in wealth accumulation, the descendants of Fred Trump would be living on the street.

8 Recommend
Julie Parmenter Jan. 29

@Linda We have a Carnegie library in our small town of 2400 in rural Indiana. It is still in use as a community resource center and town history museum. It is a beautiful sturdy brick building and I assume it will be around for 100 more years. We just outgrew it and had to build a new one. Carnegie will be remembered for this, not his great wealth. Same with Gates and Buffett.

8 Recommend
SteveHurl Boston Jan. 28

I've generally been impressed with Warren's economic analyses, going back a couple of years before she ran for Senate. A close version of this plan deserves support. If it seems "radical," it's probably because the USA drifted so far to the right. I blame disco and "Grand Theft Auto."

8 Recommend
CDN NYC Jan. 28

Her tax proposal would be a nightmare to implement. How do you value thinly traded assets (real estate, art, antiques, etc.)? Hire a valuation expert? Have the IRS contesting it every year? Litigate? Please, tax all dividends as ordinary income, eliminate/change the duration for long term cap gains treatment, make inherited assets have a zero cost basis, etc. Simple to implement, enforce, ideas.

8 Recommend
4Average Joe usa Jan. 29

In 1906, Representatives and Senators did not spend 4.5 days a week, every in a cubicle, begging for money, calling rich people all day. We have elected telemarketers. (no insult intended to telemarketers.)

8 Recommend
Elizabeth Bennett Arizona Jan. 29

It's not surprising that "the usual suspects" are already trying to disarm Elizabeth Warren's well thought out tax plan. Many American billionaires are nouveau riche, and don't have the sense of responsibility that the very wealthy used to feel towards the less fortunate. And the Republican party is right there egging them on to resist fair taxation--like Elizabeth Warren's proposal.

8 Recommend
Christy WA Jan. 29

I'm all for her. Warren is by far the smartest presidential candidate in the Democratic pack and I'm all for supertaxing the superrich -- as well as making mega-corporations pay the proper taxes they've been evading for so long.

8 Recommend
Stephen Boston Canada Jan. 29

@George The confiscation of excessive wealth is exactly the point and that point is a practical one -- to mitigate the tendency of unregulated large scale economies to form parasitic aristocracies that lead to resource deprivation in vast portions of the society's population. And this is not a scapegoating of the wealthy, it is refusing to worship them, it is to call them back to Earth and ask of them what is asked of each of us.

8 Recommend
Mjxs Springfield, VA Jan. 29

"Malefactors of great wealth," Theodore Roosevelt called them. Prosperity that delivers unbelievable amounts of wealth to a very few while the other 99% struggle is not sustainable. TR was no wild-eyed Socialist: he was a man of wealth and property and wished to remain so. He and FDR were both blue-blooded aristocrats. Both were saving capitalism by restraining its excesses.

8 Recommend
Schrodinger Northern California Jan. 28

@Phyliss Dalmatian...Like you, I'm not sure that the US is ready for a female President. Also like you, I am intrigued by Sherrod Brown. Is he too rumpled for the White House or is that part of his appeal?

8 Recommend
Pinewood Nashville, TN Jan. 29

@Tom, Whether you realize it or not, the good old USA takes away the wealth of individuals and hands it over to the government to allocate. The rest of your statement, about tyrants, is just wrong. You are equating communism with taxation, a silly thing to do. Educate yourself.

8 Recommend
Alex Washington D.C. Jan. 29

@Peter Wolf I agree with you 1000%. I'm tired of people arguing that certain persons would not be good candidates because they sound too smart. That's the dumbest argument I've heard so far. If someone sounds smart, then GOOD. I hope they ARE smart. Right now we are a laughing stock of the world because our leaders are actually proud to sound stupid and boorish. Out with charisma and in with intellect and expertise, please. I wouldn't want Tom Hanks performing brain surgery on me, nor do I want him in the White House (much as I enjoy seeing him on the big screen

[Feb 02, 2019] The Democratic Party's public enemy No. 1 Howard Schultz

Feb 02, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

He called Warren's wealth tax proposal "ridiculous" and Harris' single-payer health care plan "not American," while also saying "we can't afford" debt-free college, a plank likely to end up in many candidates' platforms.

"What's 'ridiculous' is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else," Warren fired back on Twitter.

Bill Burton, a former deputy press secretary in the Obama White House who is now working for Schultz, told NBC News that his boss anticipated there would be "immediate vigorous debate about whether this is a good idea."

[Jan 21, 2019] The Social Contract According to Elizabeth Warren

Notable quotes:
"... Uber passengers were paying only 41% of the actual cost of their trips; Uber was using these massive subsidies to undercut the fares and provide more capacity than the competitors who had to cover 100% of their costs out of passenger fares. ..."
"... Warren Supports Medicare for All Only Nominally ..."
"... Never mind that Warren can say, virtually in the same breath, that insurance companies "still make plenty of money" and "we have plenty of work to do to bring down health care spending." RomneyCare was the beta version of ObamaCare. We tried it, as a nation, starting in 2009, and here we are.[5] Is that's what Warren wants, fine, but why not simply advocate for it? ..."
"... Except, perhaps, one distinctly slanted toward insiders. " Work hard and play by the rules " is a Clintonite trope ..."
"... but only through the institutional framework of unions ..."
"... Warren's emphasis on the economic market for health "care?" (insurance companies making plenty of money ..."
"... I've long ago disabused myself of the notion that E. Warren is more than "lipstick" on the usual "pig", but it was good to have written support for that thesis and I will save it for my reference. ..."
"... Non-profit health insurance Company – https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2014/04/25/former-excellus-ceo-package-total-m/8155853/ The final retirement package for former Excellus BlueCross BlueShield CEO David Klein likely will exceed -- by millions -- the $12.9 million the company reported to the state in March. $29.8 Million in retirement. Non-profit for who? It's a complete misnomer and a huge problem in the discourse of healthcare. Hospitals are usually non-profits too. They non-profitly charge you $80,000 for a few stitches and some aspirin. ..."
"... The transcript could easily have been a speech by Hillary (and even delivered to Goldman Sachs if Hillary had had the foresight to realize that every speech would become known to everybody in the Internet age -- before Russiagate was leveraged into Social media banning of anti-establishment speech). ..."
"... The Eric Schmidt who took Google down the primrose part of spying on everybody. Warren is centrist. ..."
"... Warren 2020 campaign is DOA. If you want Trump for another four years go with Warren 2020. Bernie would have won. ..."
"... " Elizabeth Warren is Hillary Clinton reborn, and they're both unlikable, because they're both inauthentic scolds who suffer from hall monitor syndrome. They spent their entire lives breaking every rule they could find while awkwardly fantasizing about running every tiny detail of everyone else's lives . ..."
Jan 21, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on January 20, 2019 by Lambert Strether New America (board chair emeritus Eric Schmidt , President the aptronymic Anne-Marie Slaughter ), a nominally center-left Beltway think tank ( funding ) " took up the mission of designing a new social contract in 2007 and was the first organization [anywhere?] to frame its vision in these terms." On May 19, 2016, New America sponsored an annual conference (there was no 2017 iteration) entitled "The Next Social Contract." Elizabeth Warren, presidential contender, was invited to give the opening keynote ( transcript , whicn includes video). Warren shared a number of interesting ideas. I will quote portions of her speech, followed by brief commentary, much of it already familiar to NC readers, in an effort to situate her more firmly in the political landscape. But first, let me quote Warren's opening paragraph:

It is so good to be here with all of you. And yes I will be calling on people. Mostly those of you standing in the back. I always know why people are standing in the back. That's what teachers do.

Professional-class dominance games aside, it's evident that Warren is comfortable here. These are her people. And I would urge that, no matter what policy position she might take on the trail, these policies and this program are her "center of gravity," as it were. Push her left (or, to be fair, right) and, like a bobo doll , she will return to this upright position . So, to the text (all quotes from Warren from the transcript ). I'll start with two blunders, and then move on to more subtle material.

Warren Does Not Understand Uber's Business Model

Or, in strong form, Warren fell for Uber's propaganda.[1] Warren says:

Thank you to the New America Foundation for inviting me here today to talk about the gig economy You know, across the country, new companies are using the Internet to transform the way that Americans work, shop, socialize, vacation, look for love, talk to the doctor, get around, and track down ten foot feather boas, which is actually my latest search on Amazon .

These innovations have helped improve our lives in countless ways, reducing inefficiencies and leveraging network effects to help grow our economy. And this is real growth . The most famous example of this is probably the ride-sharing platforms in our cities. The taxi cab industry was riddled with monopolies, rents, inefficiencies. Cities limited the number of taxi licenses

Uber and Lyft, two ride-sharing platforms came onto the scene about five years ago, radically altered this model, enabling anyone with a smartphone and a car to deliver rides . The result was more rides, cheaper rides, and shorter wait times.

The ride-sharing story illustrates the promise of these new businesses. And the dangers. Uber and Lyft fought against local taxi cab rules that kept prices high and limited access to services .

And while their businesses provide workers with greater flexibility, companies like Lyft and Uber have often resisted efforts of those very same workers to try to access a greater share of the wealth that is generated from the work that they do. Their business model is, in part , dependent on extremely low wages for their drivers.

"In part" is doing rather a lot of work, there, even more than "the wealth that is generated," because NC readers know, Uber's business model is critically dependent on massive subsidies from investors, without which is would not exist as a firm. Hubert Horan (November 30, 2016):

Published financial data shows that Uber is losing more money than any startup in history and that its ability to capture customers and drivers from incumbent operators is entirely due to $2 billion in annual investor subsidies. The vast majority of media coverage presumes Uber is following the path of prominent digitally-based startups whose large initial losses transformed into strong profits within a few years.

This presumption is contradicted by Uber's actual financial results, which show no meaningful margin improvement through 2015 while the limited margin improvements achieved in 2016 can be entirely explained by Uber-imposed cutbacks to driver compensation. It is also contradicted by the fact that Uber lacks the major scale and network economies that allowed digitally-based startups to achieve rapid margin improvement.

As a private company, Uber is not required to publish financial statements, and financial statements disseminated privately are not required to be audited in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or satisfy the SEC's reporting standards for public companies.

The financial tables below are based on private financial statements that Uber shared with investors that were published in the financial press on three separate occasions. The first set included data for 2012, 2013 and the first half of 2014 The second set included tables of GAAP profit data for full year 2014 and the first half of 2015 ; the third set included summary EBITAR contribution data for the first half of 2016. .

[F]or the year ending September 2015, Uber had GAAP losses of $2 billion on revenue of $1.4 billion, a negative 143% profit margin. Thus Uber's current operations depend on $2 billion in subsidies, funded out of the $13 billion in cash its investors have provided.

Uber passengers were paying only 41% of the actual cost of their trips; Uber was using these massive subsidies to undercut the fares and provide more capacity than the competitors who had to cover 100% of their costs out of passenger fares.

Many other tech startups lost money as they pursued growth and market share, but losses of this magnitude are unprecedented; in its worst-ever four quarters, in 2000, Amazon had a negative 50% margin, losing $1.4 billion on $2.8 billion in revenue, and the company responded by firing more than 15 percent of its workforce. 2015 was Uber's fifth year of operations; at that point in its history Facebook was achieving 25% profit margins.

Now, in Warren's defense, it is true that she, on May 19, 2016, could not have had the benefit of Horan's post at Naked Capitalism, which was published only on November 30, 2016. However, I quoted Horan's post at length to show the dates: The data was out there; it wasn't a secret; it only needed a staffer with a some critical thinking skills and a mandate to do the research to come to the same conclusions Horan did, and Uber's lack of profitabilty, easily accessible, is a ginormous red flag for anybody who takes the idea that Uber "generates wealth" seriously. How is it that the wonkish Warren is recommending policy based on what can only be superfical research in the trade and technical press? Should not the professor have done the reading?[2]

Warren Does Not Understand How Federal Taxation Works

The second blunder. Warren says:

First, make sure that every worker pays into Social Security, as the law has always intended. Right now, it is a challenge for someone who doesn't have an employer that automatically deducts payroll taxes to pay into Social Security. This can affect both a worker's ability to qualify for disability insurance after a major [injury], and it can result in much lower retirement benefits. If Social Security is to be fully funded for generations to come, and if all workers are to have adequate benefits, then electronic, automatic, mandatory withholding of payroll taxes must apply to everyone , gig workers, 1099 workers, and hourly employees.

It is laudable that Warren wants to bring all workers in the retirement system. But as NC readers know, Federal taxes do not "pay for" Federal spending, and hence Warren's thinking that Social Security will be "fully funded" through "payroll taxes" is a nonsense (and also reinforces incredibly destructive neoliberal austerity policies). I will not tediously rehearse MMT's approach to taxation, but will simply quote a recent tweet from Warren Mosler:

me title=

And if Mosler isn't good enough, here's John Stuart Mill on currency issuers:

me title=

Again, is it too much to ask that a professor do the reading? After all, MMT gotten plenty of traction, even in 2016. The Sanders staff, for example, could have been helpful to her .

Warren Supports Medicare for All Only Nominally

Warren is indeed a co-sponsor of Sanders' ( inadequate ) S1804. But read the following passages, and you will see #MedicareForAll not where her passion lies:

As greater wealth is generated by new technology, how can we ensure that the workers who support the economy can actually share in the wealth?

(The idea that workers "support" "the" [whose?] "economy," instead of driving or being the economy, is interesting, but let that pass.)

Warren then proceeds to lay out a number of policies to answer that question. She says:

Well, I believe we start with one simple principle. All workers, no matter where they work, no matter how they work, no matter when they work, no matter who they work for, whether they pick tomatoes or build rocket ships, all workers should have some basic protections and be able to build some economic security for themselves and their families. No worker should fall through the cracks. And here are some ideas about how to rethink and strengthen the worker's bargain.

So, she's not just laying out policy for the gig economy (the occasion of the speech); she's laying out a social contract (the topic of the speech). Picking through the next sections, here is the material on health care:

We can start by strengthening our safety net so that it catches anyone who has fallen on hard times, whether they have a formal employer or not. And there are three much-needed changes right off the bat on this.

I hate the very concept of a "safety net." Why should life be like a tightrope walk? Who wants that, except crazypants neoliberal professors, mostly tenured? She then makes recommendations for three policies, and sums up:

These three, Social Security, catastrophic insurance, and earned leave, create a safety net for income.

Hello? Medical bankruptcy ?[3] She then moves on from the "safety net" for income to benefits, which is the aegis under which she places health care:

Now, the second area of change to make is on employee benefits, both for healthcare and retirement. To make them fully portable. They belong to the worker, no matter what company or platform generates the income, they should follow that worker wherever that worker goes. And the corollary to this is that workers without formal employers should have access to the same kinds of benefits that some employees already have.

I want to be clear here. The Affordable Care Act is a big step toward addressing this problem for healthcare. Providing access for workers who don't have employer-sponsored coverage and providing a long term structure for portability. We should improve on that structure, enhancing its portability, and reducing the managerial involvement of employers.

Remember, this is a Democratic audience, and what do we get? "Portability," "access", and reduced "managerial involvement." That's about as weak as tea can possibly get, and this is a liberal Democrat audience. ("The same kinds of benefits that some employees already have." Eeesh.) But wait, you say! This speech iis in 2016, and in 2018, Warren supports #MedicareForAll! For example, " Health care: Supports the "Medicare for All" bill led by Bernie Sanders " (PBS, January 17, 2019). But notice how equivocal that support is. Quoting PBS again, Warren "called that approach 'a goal worth fighting for.'" Rather equivocal! And folliowing the link to that quote, we find it's from a speech Warren gave to Families USA's Health Action 2018 Conference :

I endorsed Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All bill because it lays out a way to give every single person in this country a guarantee of high-quality health care. Everybody is covered. Nobody goes broke because of a medical bill. No more fighting with insurance companies. This is a goal worth fighting for, and I'm in this fight all the way.

There are other approaches as well I'm glad to see us put different ideas on the table.

So, we have a gesture toward #MedicareForAll. But then, Warren, instead of going into detail about how #MedicareForAll would work, immediately backtracks and emits a welter of detail about minor fixes improvements, on the order of "portability," "access," and reduced "managerial involvement." (Different details, but still details). Then she moves on to Massachusetts. Read this, and it's clear where Warren's heart is:

Massachusetts has the highest rate of health insurance coverage in the nation. We are the healthiest state in the nation[4].

That didn't just happen because we woke up one morning and discovered that insurance companies had just started offering great coverage at a price everyone could afford.

We demanded that insurance companies live up to their side of the bargain. Every insurer participating in our exchange is required to offer plans with standard, easy-to-compare benefits and low up-front costs for families. Last year, we had the second-lowest premiums in the ACA market of any state in the country. Massachusetts insurers pay out 92% of the dollars they bring in through premiums to cover costs for beneficiaries – not to line their own pockets.

The rules are tough in Massachusetts, but the insurance companies have shown up and done the hard work of covering families in a responsible way. We have more than double the number of insurers participating on our exchanges, compared to the average across the country. They show up, they serve the people of Massachusetts, and they still make plenty of money.

Look, we still have plenty of work to do, particularly when it comes to bring down health spending, but we're proud of the system we have built in Massachusetts, and I think it shows that good policies can have a real impact on the health and well-being of hard working people across the country.

Never mind that Warren can say, virtually in the same breath, that insurance companies "still make plenty of money" and "we have plenty of work to do to bring down health care spending." RomneyCare was the beta version of ObamaCare. We tried it, as a nation, starting in 2009, and here we are.[5] Is that's what Warren wants, fine, but why not simply advocate for it?

Warren Has No Coherent Theory of Change

Except, perhaps, one distinctly slanted toward insiders. " Work hard and play by the rules " is a Clintonite trope, but let's search on "rules" and see what we come up with. More from the transcript:

But it is policy, rules and regulations, that will determine whether workers have a meaningful opportunity to share in the wealth that is generated.

Here, workers are passive , acted upon by rules, and those who create them. But Warren contradicts herself: "Lyft and Uber have often resisted efforts of those very same workers." Here, workers are active. But if workers are active in the second context, they are also active in the first! Where does Warren think change comes from? The generosity of Uber and its investors? More:

Antitrust laws and newly-created public utilities addressed the new technological revolution's tendency toward concentration and monopoly, and kept our markets competitive. Rules to prevent cheating and fraud were added to make sure that bad actors in the marketplace couldn't get a leg up over folks who played by the rules.

Note the lack of agency in "were added." Warren erases the entire Populist Movement ! She also can't seem to get her head round the idea that workers didn't necessarily play by the existing ruies in order to create new ones. And:

Workers have a right to expect our government to work for them. To set the basic rules of the game. If this country is to have a strong middle class, then we need the policies that will make that possible. That's how shared prosperity has been built in the past, and that is our way forward now. Change won't be easy. But we don't get what we don't fight for. And I believe that America's workers are worth fighting for.

Now, on the one hand, this is great. I, too, believe that "America's workers are worth fighting for." What Warren seems to lack, at the visceral level, is the idea that workers should be (self-)empowered to do the fighting (as opposed to having the professional classes pick their fights for them). Here is Warren on unions:

Every worker should have the right to organize, period. Full-time, part-time, temp workers, gig workers, contract workers, you bet.

Very good. More:

Those who provide the labor should have the right to bargain as a group with whoever controls the terms of their work .

The idea that workers themselves should control the terms of their work seems to elude Warren. This erases, for example, co-ops. More:

Government is not the only advocate on behalf of workers.

"Not the only?" Like, there are lots of others? This seems a tendentious, not to say naive, view of the role of government. More:

It was workers [here we go], bargaining through their unions [and the qualification], who helped [helped?] introduce retirement benefits, sick pay, overtime, the weekend, and a long list of other benefits, for their members and for all workers across this country. Unions helped build America's middle class, and unions will help rebuild America's middle class.

Here, at least, Warren grants workers (partial) agency, but only through the institutional framework of unions . That distorts the history. Granted, "helped introduce" is doing a lot of work, and who they were "helping" isn't entirely clear, but the history is enormously complicated. (Here again, Warren needs to do the reading.) For example, the history of the weekend long predates unions . And "bargaining through their unions" isn't the half of it. Take, for example, the Haymarket Affair . From the Illinois Labor History Society:

To understand what happened at Haymarket, it is necessary to go back to the summer of 1884 when the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, the predecessor of the American Federation of Labor, called for May 1, 1886 to be the beginning of a nationwide movement for the eight-hour day. This wasn't a particularly radical idea since both Illinois workers and federal employees were supposed to have been covered by an eight-hour day law since 1867. The problem was that the federal government failed to enforce its own law, and in Illinois, employers forced workers to sign waivers of the law as condition of employment.

Fine, "rules." Which weren't being obeyed! More from the Illinois Labor History Society:

Monday, May 3, the peaceful scene turned violent when the Chicago police attacked and killed picketing workers at the McCormick Reaper Plant at Western and Blue Island Avenues. This attack by police provoked a protest meeting which was planned for Haymarket Square on the evening of Tuesday, May 4. Very few textbooks provide a thorough explanation of the events that led to Haymarket, nor do they mention that the pro-labor mayor of Chicago, Carter Harrison, gave permission for the meeting . Most speakers failed to appear . Instead of the expected 20,000 people, fewer than 2,500 attended . The Haymarket meeting was almost over and only about two hundred people remained when they were attacked by 176 policemen carrying Winchester repeater rifles. Fielden was speaking; even Lucy and Albert Parsons had left because it was beginning to rain. Then someone, unknown to this day, threw the first dynamite bomb ever used in peacetime history of the United States. The next day martial law was declared, not just in Chicago but throughout the nation. Anti-labor governments around the world used the Chicago incident to crush local union movements.

This is how workers "helped introduce" the eight-hour day.

Yes, America's workers are "worth fighting for." But they also fight for themselves , and are fought against! Warren's theory of change -- which seems to involve people of good will "at the table" -- cannot give an account of events like Haymarket or why, in the present day, it's Uber's drivers who are also the drivers of change, and not benevolent rulemakers. Warren's views on the social contract are in great contrast to Sanders' "Not me, us."

NOTES

[1] Warren is far stronger in areas where she has developed academic expertise than in areas where she has not.

[2] Google is Google, i.e., crapified, but if Warren has retracted or changed her views on Uber, I can't find it. She was receiving good press for this speech as late as August 2017 .

[3] Oddly, bankruptcy is where Warren made her academic bones. I'm frankly baffled at her lack of full-throated advocacy on this, especially before a friendly audience.

[4] Warren, by juxtaposition, suggests that Massachusetts' health insurance coverage causes it to be "the healthiest state in the nation." This post hoc fallacy ignores, for example, demographics and the social determinants of health .

[5] Warren focuses on health insurance, not health care. I'm nothing like an expert in the Massachusetts health insurance system. However, looking at this chart , I'm seeing all the usual techniques to deny access to care: Deductibles, co-pays, out-of-network costs, and (naturally) high-deductible plans. Health care should be free at the point of delivery. Why is that so hard to understand?


Burritonomics , January 20, 2019 at 5:16 pm

I quickly went over the (188 page!) report referenced in Warren's claim that "Massachusetts has the highest rate of health insurance coverage in the nation. We are the healthiest state in the nation". It should be noted I went in with the expressed purpose of finding something to be snarky about, and I found it.

One of the metrics under "core measures" of clinical care was Preventable Hospitalizations. As it states in the report itself: "Preventable hospitalizations reflect the efficiency of a population's use of primary care and the quality of the primary health care received Preventable hospitalizations are more common among people without health insurance and often occur because of failure to treat conditions early in an outpatient setting". Wow! With such bang up health insurance in MA, one would figure they would do great on this metric. Nope! MA ranks 37th in the country. Many more such examples can be found, I'm sure.

I have a real dislike of these "who's best" lists, regardless of topic. Rarely do they (the aggregated ratings) contain insight beyond that captured by the individual metrics.

lambert strether , January 20, 2019 at 5:24 pm

Massachusetts is #1 on mortality (though they have issues with opioids). They have median US age, so it's not the enormous Boston student population. So they're doing something right, I'm just not sold it's health insurance or, more to the point, health insurers. They do have more physicians (and psychiatrists) per capita.

Joe Well , January 20, 2019 at 8:52 pm

What is "mortality" in this case? I'm curious about this because people often casually say that US health outcomes are worse than in other countries by looking at life expectancy (which I guess is not the same as mortality), and that comparison is rarely done on a state by state basis in the US.

Massachusetts is roughly tied with the other top ten states in life expectancy, which are almost all "blue" states . Worldwide, life expectancy among highly developed countries is roughly similar, within a few years of each other . The US comes out towards the bottom (no. 31), but only by about 1-3 years.

Also amazed just now to see that Asian American and Latino life expectancy are so much higher than for white and black Americans. Does anyone know anything about that? I'm really stunned.

Usually, lower life expectancy for blacks is given as evidence of inequality, but the white-black gap (about 1-2 years) is tiny compared with the black-Latino and black-Asian gap, or for that matter, the white-Latino or white-Asian gap, which are more like 5-10 years. I'm really floored by that.

In general, looking at the numbers just now has shaken my assumptions about poor US life expectancy and also racial disparities and I'm wondering if I'm misinterpreting them.

Joe Well , January 20, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Wow, you learn something new every day.

Apparently there is something called the "Hispanic Health Paradox" that has been studied intensively for over 30 years . The biggest reason seems to be much lower rates of smoking. There also seems to be a filtering effect whereby healthier people migrate to the US. Anecdotally, I'd suggest much lower rates of alcohol and drug abuse, but the article doesn't mention that.

So, why Mass. has a relatively high life expectancy could in part be due to it having one of the earliest and most aggressive anti-smoking movements. I'm guessing historically high smoking rates (up to 50% of adults in the 1950s with huge second-hand exposure) could also account for poorer health outcomes today.

BoyDownTheLane , January 21, 2019 at 12:49 am

One of my favorite pictures (the one I have not yet taken) would have been an elevated shot of the intersection at Longwood and Brookline Avenues (379–385 Brookline Ave) at noon on a clear, sunny spring day to see the murmuration of medical staff running between appointments, lunch, rounds, etc.

The intersection is surrounded by arguably some of the finest medical institutions in the Western world (Beth Israel Deaconess, Dana-Farber, Brigham & Women's (where Atul Gawande, author of the book "Better" and the whole entire concept of positive deviance, once held court), Harvard Medical School itself with its etched-in-granite entrace to the Countway Library that reads "Ars Longa, Vita Brevis", and the Harvard School of Public Health.

The murmuration of white coats may be at that moment the greatest single concentrated density of medical excellence at one time. It is easy to scoff. I've been the recipient of bad medicine myself, but also far more high-quality, life-saving medicine. But the public health movement in Massachusetts has been around for a very long time and is supported by and engrained within governmental regulations, oversight and policy. Insurance plans covering most of the state ranked, typically and for years, #'s 1, 2, 3 and more. The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Systems report out results that are painstakingly gathered, audited to improve performance. It is fair to say that a major part of the intersection between computing and medicine was born and is overseen across the river in Cambridge. Organizations that collect or audit data for health plans and providers are screened, trained and certified by NCQA ( https://www.ncqa.org/about-ncqa/ ).

In addition, there are national, regional and state associations devoted to quality improvement and toi improvement of access. The National Association of Community Health Centers (those clinics funded Federally to serve the under-served for free or on a sliding scale) "works in conjunction with state and regional primary care associations, health center controlled networks and other public and private sector organizations to expand health care access to all in need." There are CHC's dotted everywhere around the country (albeit not enough of them), and there is a state association in almost every state. No one can ever be turned away from a CHC, especially for lack of ability to pay; the Federal government underwrites their care.

nothing but the truth , January 20, 2019 at 5:29 pm

govts can call force us to call toilet paper a pound, but i doubt they can make it worth a pound of sterling silver – if they pretend that they can produce any amount.

Brooklin Bridge , January 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm

Warren's emphasis on the economic market for health "care?" (insurance companies making plenty of money ) and particularly her whole rant on the superlatives of Massachusetts insurance care (that means, care for insurance companies) , increasingly neglects health and people care as the primary concern of medicine and the people who practice it.

As an average Joe, meaning not part of the medical world, I have come across a surprising number of doctors in both social circumstances as well as health issues of my own and of my extended family, where doctors have complained about the ever worsening constraints imposed on them by insurance companies. I know at least three doctors who retired early because of it and one of them talks about it being a significant problem in keeping highly qualified doctors in general practice. From ever more ridiculously short visits, to constant refusal to cover such and such a drug, to all manner of schemes to improve patients health by overseeing and controlling what the doctor does to finding ways to monitor what the patient does; what he or she takes as medicine and exactly when and how often – cutting the doctor out of the loop completely. Improve the patient experience my *ss. It's horrible and it all comes down to ever new ways to reduce coverage – to make more money.

Perhaps I'm being a little unjust, but Warren seems fine with this "system" where the gate keepers make, "plenty of money," as long as people are going in and out of doctors' offices in countable droves as if on run-away conveyer belts. I should at least allow that many of her superlative claims are accurate (or somewhat accurate) and that there is fairly wide coverage in this state but nevertheless stress that our excellent medical facilities in Boston proper are due to historical reasons and NOT to RomneyCare.

deplorado , January 20, 2019 at 5:59 pm

Thank you Lambert, for your cogent and discerning analysis as always. I've long ago disabused myself of the notion that E. Warren is more than "lipstick" on the usual "pig", but it was good to have written support for that thesis and I will save it for my reference.

What worries me more though is Sanders's bill and why he wouldn't go all the way? Would you do an analysis of that please – will really appreciate it.

Thanks!

Joe Well , January 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm

The vast majority of Massachusetts health plan providers are nonprofit HMOs so I'm baffled by the idea that they are making tons of money since legally they are not supposed to.

The most obvious difference between Mass and the rest of the country is precisely the preponderance of nonprofit health plans (it's not commonly called health insurance here) and nonprofit hospitals. The idea of for-profit health plans and hospitals freaks me out.

It's worth noting that Mass health coverage seems to have gotten worse in recent years, though I don't know how much of that is due to Obamacare. High deductibles, coinsurance, confusing in-network requirements combined with poor documentation and even poorer customer service to tell you what is in-network and what is not. I just got a surprise $370 bill for a provider that supposedly was out of network even though I had checked extensively that they were in-network. That is the first time that has ever happened to me in Mass. Not to mention the confusing and unnerving notices I got the last few months saying I was in danger of losing coverage. A great big ball of Weberian beaureaucratic stress.

bob , January 20, 2019 at 8:04 pm

Non-profit health insurance Company – https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2014/04/25/former-excellus-ceo-package-total-m/8155853/ The final retirement package for former Excellus BlueCross BlueShield CEO David Klein likely will exceed -- by millions -- the $12.9 million the company reported to the state in March. $29.8 Million in retirement. Non-profit for who? It's a complete misnomer and a huge problem in the discourse of healthcare. Hospitals are usually non-profits too. They non-profitly charge you $80,000 for a few stitches and some aspirin.

somecallmetim , January 20, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Health Care Economist / Professor Uwe Reinhardt used to comment that in the current system non-profit hospitals (The Sisters of Mercy, with a token nun on their board, in his telling) were subject to the same forces as for profit hospitals.

He also said Massachusetts has the only adult health care system, and the other states are all adolescents.

johnnygl , January 20, 2019 at 9:10 pm

We've got for-profit hospitals Cerberus took the caritas network. The hospitals dominate this state. The rest of us are just living here.

johnnygl , January 20, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Special thanks to the catholic church for selling such an important institution to a monster that guards the gates of the underworld.

I bet it was to cover the costs of child predator priests.

Joe Well , January 20, 2019 at 10:20 pm

Wow, I'd missed that (moved out of state, then came back). Thanks for the update. It looks like the Catholic Church (former owner of Caritas) has further enhanced its legacy in Massachusetts. However, I believe it is still true that the hospital market in Mass. is dominated by nonprofits (albeit greedy nonprofits).

And yes, hospitals and hospital chains (e.g., Partners Healthcare, which is nonprofit) pose huge challenges to managing healthcare costs in Mass. as the numerous Boston Globe investigative series attest, by using their market power to raises prices.

My concern is when the market becomes dominated by for-profit actors, the profit-seeking, which is already bad with nonprofits, becomes even worse, especially in an ultra-expensive market like Greater Boston.

Brooklin Bridge , January 20, 2019 at 6:16 pm

I should add (if my earlier comment get's posted), it's even more surprising how many doctor's seem just fine with all the negative changes being brought about by insurance companies' intrusive quest for control and I don't mean just the ones who say nothing.

That is, some doctors seem to enjoy the vestiges of the glow of community respect and honor that once went with being a doctor all while doing almost nothing other than sheep herding patients through the office in good file while staff (not the good doctor) attend to making the visit digital and storing it away in some cloud.

Tomonthebeach , January 20, 2019 at 7:07 pm

I agree with Warren Mosler that Elizabeth Warren's apparent ignorance of MMT, much less mastery of it, makes here a lame candidate in my book. She needs to get woke pretty quickly or settle for some cabinet appointment.

Anarcissie , January 20, 2019 at 10:10 pm

Is MMT now Scripture?

ChrisAtRU , January 20, 2019 at 10:22 pm

It's more important than 'scripture' it's how sovereign fiat money actually works .

Joe Well , January 20, 2019 at 10:57 pm

You don't even need MMT. When asked how the federal government can pay for something, people can just answer, "the same way we pay for military and intelligence spending." Any politician who won't say at least this is deeply suspicious.

David in Santa Cruz , January 20, 2019 at 7:40 pm

In The Unwinding , George Packer quotes Elizabeth Warren as describing her political views thusly:

"I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets"

I'm glad that she's out there, I'm glad that she's talking, and we need an open and transparent nomination process, but Bernie Sanders remains the only (potential) nominee who comes close to representing my views. Good piece.

emorej a hong kong , January 20, 2019 at 7:50 pm

The transcript could easily have been a speech by Hillary (and even delivered to Goldman Sachs if Hillary had had the foresight to realize that every speech would become known to everybody in the Internet age -- before Russiagate was leveraged into Social media banning of anti-establishment speech).

The speech's date (May 19 2016), was two days after Bernie won the Oregon primary by 14%, and two days before Hillary won the Washington state primary by 5%.

Synoia , January 20, 2019 at 8:07 pm

It was going to be BS directly after this:

New America (board chair emeritus Eric Schmidt

The Eric Schmidt who took Google down the primrose part of spying on everybody. Warren is centrist.

Synoia , January 20, 2019 at 8:11 pm

It was going to be BE after this phrase

New America (board chair emeritus Eric Schmidt,

The Eric Schmidt who took Google doen the path of spying on everybody. He has nothing to offer by centrist rhetoric. It would be very interesting in how much In-Q-Tel invested in Google.

flora , January 20, 2019 at 8:39 pm

Thanks for this post.
And thanks for the reminder that the 8 hour workday and the 40 hour workweek were not 'given' to workers, they were won by workers.

Matthew G. Saroff , January 20, 2019 at 9:48 pm

I made an a similar observation on my blog .

Compare these two quotes on Pharma looting.

Warren:

Giant companies may hate my Affordable Drug Manufacturing bill – but I don't work for them. The American people deserve competitive markets and fair prices. By fixing the broken generic drug market, we can bring the cost of prescriptions down.

Sanders:

If the pharmaceutical industry will not end its greed, which is literally killing Americans, then we will end it for them.

This is a not an insignificant difference

Mike Barry , January 20, 2019 at 10:30 pm

The best is the enemy of the good.

Yves Smith , January 20, 2019 at 11:17 pm

Tell me what about Warren not understanding how federal taxes work, which is fundamental to formulating sound fiscal policy and spending plans, not being serious about fixing our health care system, or praising the predatory gig economy, is "good".

RepubAnon , January 20, 2019 at 11:32 pm

On a side note: self-employed workers pay more out-of-pocket into Social Security than W-2 employees. W-2 employees only pay half the Social Security tax – employers pay the other half via a "payroll tax."

The self-employed pay both the employee's half of Social Security, and also pay a "Self-Employment tax" (the employer's half of Social Security). The logic is that if you are both employee and employer, you should pay both halves.

Yves Smith , January 21, 2019 at 12:58 am

This is thread jacking, plus an economist would point out that the employer clearly is paying a net wage that reflects his awareness that he is paying the employer side of the FICA taxes.

Ape , January 21, 2019 at 12:31 am

Or lesser of two evils? There really needs to be a good discussion again about reform versus structural change without Chait-like pretensions. The question isn't just whether we'll get there in time, but whether reform even out runs reaction. Once you take out patriotic myth, it's not obvious whethervthe good in the long term is even worth bothering with.

Glen , January 21, 2019 at 12:47 am

Warren 2020 campaign is DOA. If you want Trump for another four years go with Warren 2020. Bernie would have won.

The Rev Kev , January 20, 2019 at 11:01 pm

I can't help but think that if you are talking about the "Next Social Contract", them you should put something in there that if you have children going hungry then something has gone wrong with your society. Not being snarky here as I believe that a fundamental purpose of society is to protect those in need. An earlier society talked about 'women and children first' and they were not too far off the mark here.

She was invited to talk about the gig economy but in reading her speech I was under the impression that she wants the Federal government to underwrite the costs of workers for corporations to ensure that maybe these workers have food to eat while working for these very same corporations. I suspect that this is the thinking behind letting Amazon workers go for Federal assistance for the sheer basics of life while Amazon makes off like bandits.

No. The way to go is to enforce corporations like this pay a living wage and not to have them count on the country to make up the difference. If they start to protest, then start to talk about looking over their accounts for any discrepancies to make them back off. That's how they got Al Capone you know. Not for being a gangster but for not paying his taxes while doing so. And do the same for mobs like Uber and Lyft and all the other corporations.

BoyDownTheLane , January 21, 2019 at 12:16 am

" Elizabeth Warren is Hillary Clinton reborn, and they're both unlikable, because they're both inauthentic scolds who suffer from hall monitor syndrome. They spent their entire lives breaking every rule they could find while awkwardly fantasizing about running every tiny detail of everyone else's lives ."

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2019/01/why-no-one-likes-elizabeth-warren.html

Left in Wisconsin , January 21, 2019 at 12:38 am

Sigh. Nail hit squarely on head. The one thing I will say to Warren's credit is that she has learned in some specific ways that the world isn't invariably the pure meritocracy that is so instinctively part of her world view. That said, it seems clear there will always be plenty that she is simply not capable of seeing, so she will always say and support things that are just wrong. She will not be leading the revolution.

[Jan 17, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss

Notable quotes:
"... Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street. ..."
"... That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc. ..."
"... Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics. ..."
"... Sanders or Warren would mean a change from neoliberal war mongering of the Clinton/W model. If the Democrats offer up another Clintonite they will lose. They need to offer something positive to the 90% who have lost the last 40 years of class war. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick , 15 Jan 2019 09:44

The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

Canuckistan , 15 Jan 2019 09:30
Sanders or Warren would mean a change from neoliberal war mongering of the Clinton/W model. If the Democrats offer up another Clintonite they will lose. They need to offer something positive to the 90% who have lost the last 40 years of class war.

[Jan 17, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is demanding that Wells Fargo be kicked off college campuses, a market the bank has said is among its fastest-growing

Notable quotes:
"... The inquiry follows a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report said that Wells Fargo charged students the highest fees of 573 banks examined. ..."
"... "When granted the privilege of providing financial services to students through colleges, Wells Fargo used this access to charge struggling college students exorbitant fees," Warren said in a statement. "These high fees, which are an outlier within the industry, demonstrate conclusively that Wells Fargo does not belong on college campuses." ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren is demanding that Wells Fargo & Co. be kicked off college campuses, a market the bank has said is among its fastest-growing.

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts and likely presidential candidate said Thursday that she requested more information from Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan and from 31 colleges where the bank does business. The inquiry follows a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report said that Wells Fargo charged students the highest fees of 573 banks examined.

"When granted the privilege of providing financial services to students through colleges, Wells Fargo used this access to charge struggling college students exorbitant fees," Warren said in a statement. "These high fees, which are an outlier within the industry, demonstrate conclusively that Wells Fargo does not belong on college campuses."

Warren has been a vocal critic of Wells Fargo -- including repeatedly calling for Sloan's ouster -- since a series of consumer issues at the company erupted more than two years ago with a phony-accounts scandal.

Wells Fargo is "continually working to improve how we serve our customers," a bank spokesman said in an emailed statement Thursday. "Before and since the CFPB's review on this topic, we have been pursuing customer-friendly actions that support students," including waiving service fees on some checking accounts offered to them.

A reputation for overcharging students could further harm Wells Fargo's consumer-banking strategy. The San Francisco-based bank has identified college-age consumers as a growth opportunity, and John Rasmussen, head of personal lending, said last year that Wells Fargo may expand into the refinancing of federal student loans.

[Jan 14, 2019] Thoughts on Warren and Sanders How Much Change Is Needed in 2021 By Thomas Neuburger

Looks like Warren is a variation of the theme of Hillary Clinton: a ruthless female careerist, a closet Republican who is quote jingoistic in foreign policy.
On home front Warren is probably more hostile to financial oligarchy then Hillary Clinton, but like Hillary she can be bought.
Currently the US citizens are "... Prisoners of the American Dream ...": the evolution of neoliberalism in the USA (and most Western countries) undermined society because it treated land and labor as commodities. The impact of the neoliberalism on communities and families is disruptive and that generates a strong backlash against financial oligarchy.
Which started in full force in 2016 which led to election of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... By Thomas Neuburger Originally published at DownWithTryanny! ..."
"... I get the feeling that the Democrats are now more ruthless and heartless than the Republicans. ..."
"... In fact, I read the other day that Nixon had sought to introduce universal Medicare, and that the AFL-CIO, with Watergate in development, convinced Teddy Kennedy to back away from his long dream of moving similar legislation through Congress, so as not to give Nixon a victory. ..."
"... I'm feeling extra cynical today, if that can be believed, and am wondering if Warren is being encouraged to run, but not told that she is intended to be a spoiler to Sanders. ..."
"... Just because the Gang Of Two Mommies hope to exploit Warren as a counter-Sanders spoiler does not mean that she has to run that way or that Sanders has to take it that way. Sanders and Warren appeal to two some overlapping but still different sets of people. Their added-together voter-count could be bigger than either nominee-wannabe's voter count total on its own. ..."
"... With Warren wanting to be at the table with the elites, perhaps she took the advice of Larry Summers. In her memoir, "A Fighting Chance", she mentions a dinner conversation where she was told by him 'I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People -- powerful people -- listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don't criticize other insiders.' ..."
"... The elites will, and have been, doing anything to derail rebellion and block any electoral movement towards popular governance, even of the save-the-system New Deal style of politics. If co-opting fails, then media blackout, vote fraud and silencing follows. ..."
"... They took it all and plan to keep it at any cost. The immiseration of the American people, to paraphrase Madeleine Albright, is worth it. ..."
"... incumbent elections are always a referendum on the state of the economy, full stop. ..."
"... I also got that Organizing for Bernie email. And I unsubscribed. Bernie, I haven't forgotten about 2016. Especially the part about taking this fight all the way to the convention. ..."
"... The elite have used leverage thinking to gain control over the mass of humanity and the environment, but now that they reign supreme, they have run out of ideas as to social evolution. If put to the question- To what purpose are all human labor and effort to be directed? They seem to not have a clue, other than conjuring up ways to perpetuate the status quo- which is to protect elite interests at the expense of the weak and poor. ..."
"... I don't intend to be negative on Sanders and Warren, but American politics and life are so out of balance, at times it seems that being an outsider- or non-participant is the way to sanity. When politicians can blatantly lie their way into office, and the system allows them to survive and persist, the system is beyond fixing. ..."
"... 'Both are critics of the Democratic establishment. Both are foes of Wall Street. And both are substantive, policy-focused politicians.' Yes, and this will prevent either of them getting the nomination ..."
"... Sanders is going to get drowned out in 2020. He is too old and it shows. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on January 11, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. I know Warren is deemed to be progressive by American standards, but I recall clearly when I first say her speak at a Roosevelt Institute conference, Let Markets Be Markets, which was a title I found to be unhelpful, since it suggested that markets would exist in a state of nature and just needed to be left alone. In fact, markets depend on rules and enforcement mechanisms to operate regularly and well.

Warren, who was the first speaker, gave a long preamble about how she loved markets and had long taught contract in law school. I don't recall her giving any reason as to why she loved markets, when you'd expect her to make a case, such as how they were good for people. Her speech struck me as defensive, as in she felt she had to say she was in favor of commerce so as not to be painted as a Commie if/when she called for reforms.

By contrast, Karl Polyani, in his classic book The Great Transformation, argued that the evolution of market economies undermined society because it treated land and labor as commodities. Pressured to slow the development economies were inevitable and Polyani suggested, desirable, because the impact of the development of the market society on communities and families was often so disruptive that the changes needed to be mitigated.

I didn't get any sense that Warren had those concerns, and I found that troubling. I didn't see how her profession of enthusiasm for markets connected with the concerns she has expressed for the welfare of American families.

By Thomas Neuburger Originally published at DownWithTryanny!

I've written before comparing Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as presidential candidates, but only preliminarily. (See " The Difference Between Sanders and Warren, or Can Regulated Capitalism Save the Country? ") But there's much more to say -- foreign policy, for example, is barely touched on there -- and also much is evolving in their positions, especially Warren's.

That earlier piece focused on the differences between these two candidates based on their economic ideologies. As I wrote then, "Though both would make the next administration, if either were elected, a progressive one by many definitions, the nature of the progressivism under each would be quite different."

In particular, I asked:

Can the current capitalist system be reformed and retained, or must it be partly nationalized -- taken over by government -- and reduced in size and capacity, for the country to be saved from its current economic enslavement to the "billionaire class"? In addition to questions of personal preference, Democratic primary voters will be asked to decide this question as well.

And the question applies quite broadly. The billionaire class also controls our response to climate change. Is it possible for a "free" market system -- a system in which billionaires and their corporations have control -- to transform the energy economy enough to mitigate the coming disaster, or must government wrest control of the energy economy in order to have even a hope of reducing the certain damage?

But there are other contrasts between these two as well, other differences, as Zaid Jilani, writing in Jacobin , points out. He begins where we began, with the ideological and philosophical differences:

Why the Differences Between Sanders and Warren Matter

Both are critics of the Democratic establishment. Both are foes of Wall Street. And both are substantive, policy-focused politicians. But that doesn't mean Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren share the same worldview.

Sanders tends to focus on "post-distribution" remedies, meaning he prefers to use the government's power to tax and spend to directly meet Americans' needs -- or replace the market altogether. His social-democratic ideas, like free college and single-payer health care, are now policies most Democrats have to tip their hat to at least for electoral reasons.

Warren wants to empower regulators and rejigger markets to shape "pre-distribution" income, before taxes. Less likely to push for big-ticket programs, she wants to re-regulate Wall Street and make life easier for consumers.

So far this is familiar ground.

Different Theories of Change

But as Jilani points out, there are differences in style and "theory of change" as well. ("Theory of change" usually encompasses how a given policy change is to be accomplished, as opposed to what that change should be.) Jilani again:

The two senators also have distinct theories of change. Sanders has long believed in bottom-up, movement-based politics. Since his days as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he has tried to energize citizens to take part in government. He generally distrusts elites and decision-making that does not include the public. Warren, on the other hand, generally accepts political reality and works to push elite decision-makers towards her point of view.

When I worked at PCCC ["the most influential outside PAC supporting Warren" says Jilani], I was once told that Warren decided to run for the Senate after witnessing the amount of power she had as an oversight chair for the bank bailouts. She believed that "being in the room" with decision-makers in the Obama administration was essential to creating change.

About this he concludes: "While Warren wants to be at the table with elites, arguing for progressive policies, Sanders wants to open the doors and let the public make the policy."

"Elizabeth is all about leverage"

These are significant differences, and his observation goes a long way to explaining this item from a long piece published in Politico Magazine in 2016, an article otherwise about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Discussing why Warren refused to endorse Sanders, Glenn Thrush wrote:

Luckily for Clinton, Warren resisted Sanders' entreaties, for months telling the senator and his staff she hadn't made up her mind about which candidate she would support. For all her credibility on the left, Warren is more interested in influencing the granular Washington decisions of policymaking and presidential personnel -- and in power politics. Warren's favored modus operandi: leveraging her outsider popularity to gain influence on the issues she cares about, namely income inequality and financial services reform.

"Elizabeth is all about leverage, and she used it," a top Warren ally told me. "The main thing, you know, is that she always thought Hillary was going to be the nominee, so that was where the leverage was."

Warren, several people in her orbit say, never really came close to endorsing the man many progressives consider to be her ideological soulmate.

For many grassroots supporters of Sanders, who were also strong Warren supporters prior to his entry into the race, these revelations -- "all about the leverage" and "never came close to endorsing" -- took the bloom off the Warren rose. For whatever reason, that bloom appears not to have returned, at least not completely.

Jilani's observation in no way diminishes Warren's credibility or core desirability as a candidate. If you care about achieving your goals through "leverage," joining the Sanders campaign, which may have looked to you like a kind of Children's Crusade, would seem foreign to your way of operating.

The Bottom Line -- Not Just Method, But Scope

While Jilani notes that many of Warren's past positions, for example, on charter schools and Medicare for All, have grown more progressive, she still doesn't seem to prioritize Medicare for All as strongly as Sanders does.

In 2012, Warren was explicitly opposed to Medicare for All (called "single payer" at the time). "Five years later -- after decades of advocacy by Sanders had helped popularize Medicare for All -- Warren [finally] decided to endorse the policy," writes Jilani. "But unlike consumer protections or financial regulation, establishing a single-payer health care system doesn't seem to be a top priority for Warren." He adds, "It's hardly a surprise that Warren didn't raise single-payer during her first two campaign events in Iowa and when asked about it by a Washington Post reporter, [she] suggested she didn't bring it up because no one else at the events raised it."

As noted above, if either were president, the odds that America will change for the better would vastly improve. But each would do that job in a different way. Each has a different philosophy of how government should work, and approach the process of change from different directions -- though I have to give Warren credit for picking public fights with fellow Democrats when others are much more timid.

But to these two differences -- philosophy and approach -- let me add a third, a difference in sweep. The scope of change envisioned and attempted by a Sanders presidency would likely be far greater than that attempted by Warren.

In these times, with a massive climate tsunami fast approaching and a Depression-style rebellion in full view, can America, in this Franklin Roosevelt moment , afford just a better manager of the current system, a better rearranger, and survive?

There's not much question that Warren would better fix the status quo, and be a better choice as president, than 95% of the other candidates on offer. But would a Warren presidency be enough to bring us through this crisis as safely as Washington, Lincoln and FDR once did?

For many true progressives, I think that's the question she'll be asked to answer, and she has about a year, or less, to answer it.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 1:22 am

Just spitballing here, but I think that Warren has more of a technocrat view of the process of governance than Sanders does. Warren seems to be an academic at heart.

Sanders has experience dealing with the public in all it's tatterdemalion glory. He was a City Mayor, about as close to the ground level in politics as one can get. Warren would make an excellent Department Head, a good member of the Cabinet. Sanders has a reputation of 'getting things done' in the Senate. This suggests that Sanders has the skills of persuasion and, importantly, coalition building, incorporating strategic concessions. These are a big part of the Art of Politics.

So, Sanders has the Art of Politics in his tool kit while Warren has the bureaucratic skills to work behind the scenes. They would make a good team, if Warren is to be trusted. And there is the stumbling block.

Carolinian , January 11, 2019 at 9:26 am

Sanders has a reputation of 'getting things done' in the Senate.

Really? I wonder how many voters had ever heard of Sanders before he ran for president.

Perhaps the real question is who has the greatest chance of building a movement which is the only way we will really "get things done" in the face of stiff opposition. Unfortunately–given Sanders' age and Warren's political ham handedness–the answer may be neither. But at least Sanders seems more willing to upset the apple carts than the go along to get along Warren. It's not about "persuasion" of elites, who just need to see reason. It's about power, and TPTB are afraid of the voters which is why there's such a tizzy over Trump.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Yes. Trump did to the Republican Party what Sanders should have done to the Democrat Party. I get the feeling that the Democrats are now more ruthless and heartless than the Republicans.

Also, when he was in the Senate, Sanders only had to worry about name recognition in his home state. The transition to the national stage is not instant. It takes time and Sanders seems to have learned that lesson. I'm wondering if even Sanders was blindsided by his own success in the Democrat primary process the last time around.

Mattski , January 12, 2019 at 11:23 pm

I dunno. Lots of us lefties had been following him for years.

Though I am in no way Pollyannaish about his prospects, I tend to see Sanders as our last, best hope. But I confess to being both baffled and a little bit outraged that all of those liberals who spent several years calling those of us whose policy differences–whose differences with her record–made Hillary Clinton unacceptable to us "anti-feminist" now won't even give Warren the time of day! Honestly?

A certain anti-intellectualism obviously informs this view. . . but for me it's also a mark of just what a carefully feminine (and faux feminist) persona Ms. Clinton carved out for herself along the way, and what a dreadfully long way that women still have to go–or worse, how much ground has been lost.

In fact, I read the other day that Nixon had sought to introduce universal Medicare, and that the AFL-CIO, with Watergate in development, convinced Teddy Kennedy to back away from his long dream of moving similar legislation through Congress, so as not to give Nixon a victory. Crass cynicism has long been in place, as the story demonstrates.

But with "liberals" and the Democratic establishment now telling us that things like universal healthcare are just too ambitious, and their minions parroting such thinking, we have a stark illustration of just how far right American liberalism has now drifted, further right–in certain aspects–than centrist Republicanism of the 1970s.

These aren't the 70s. And there is a great deal of political ferment at present. But such analysis does suggest that there is a great deal of space waiting to be (re)occupied on the left.

Lambert Strether , January 13, 2019 at 4:00 am

> there is a great deal of space waiting to be (re)occupied on the left.

Which liberal Democrats not only don't want to occupy, they don't even want to admit it exists.

Tomonthebeach , January 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

That is my take too. Warren has the technical savvy to rewire our regulatory systems, and she appreciates how they are interconnected (move one and others change). Having drafted a lot of policy myself, it is understanding and minimizing the unintended consequences of change that creates success. I do not see Bernie as a whiz at technocracy. Where Bernie shines is he nagging attention to the fact that politics is all about people and making life better for the majority – not just squillionaires – in fact, not even necessarily squillionaires. As Trump would remark; "They'll make adjustments."

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 3:08 pm

I'm feeling extra cynical today, if that can be believed, and am wondering if Warren is being encouraged to run, but not told that she is intended to be a spoiler to Sanders.

Out of the wreckage, expect the 'Two Mommies,' Hillary and Michelle to arise promising to heal all wounds and unite the Party. "Onward to Victory!" (We'll worry about the policy later, after we have slain the Dragon Trump.)

drumlin woodchuckles , January 11, 2019 at 7:07 pm

One hopes that Warren and Sanders both have people reading this blog regularly and reporting back with any possibly pertinent information and theory.

Just because the Gang Of Two Mommies hope to exploit Warren as a counter-Sanders spoiler does not mean that she has to run that way or that Sanders has to take it that way. Sanders and Warren appeal to two some overlapping but still different sets of people. Their added-together voter-count could be bigger than either nominee-wannabe's voter count total on its own.

The two seekers and their two groups of supporters might well choose to force-multiply eachother in order to frustrate the Two Mommies Conspiracy.

What if the two groups of delegates together added up to enough to victorialize One of the Two if all the delegates voted for One of them? Suppose they all got together and pledged (and meant it) to study very carefully which of the Two got More delegate votes on the First Ballot? Suppose the Second Votegetter agreed to add their delegates's votes to the votes of the First votegetter, such that the First votegetter on the first ballot would get ALL the two groups of delegates's votes on the second ballot? Either Sanders or Warren would win, and the Winner would make the Other One herm's running mate.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 1:25 am

Oh bugger! Short form: Electability is first and foremost. This is a political race, not an academic debate.

taunger , January 11, 2019 at 7:04 am

We decide who is electable based on responses to debate terms. Electible is not some eternal quality a candidate is born with, it is a media trope to restrict the field to the corporate friendly candidates. Enough of that

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm

How many of those who actually vote in an election watch debates? Back in horse and buggy days, a debate was the premier way to reach the 'interested' parties in a district. Debates, and hand shaking, baby kissing and newspaper/handbill politics was the game before electronic media.

Then there is that indefinable quality known a "charisma." There, the 'art' part of politics comes into play. To get someone who is marginally cognizant of policies to vote for one, there must be some affinity between candidate and voter. To the extent that 'charisma' drives the political relationship, 'charisma' is that "eternal quality."

In that regard, 'charisma' is not a media trope, but a personal quality. Thus, villains like Hitler can succeed. If you read contemporary accounts of Hitler's political style, he was very popular and actually described as "charismatic." An American villain such as Bill Clinton likewise had charismatic qualities. From further back, an anti-Establishment outsider like Huey Long was successful through building an almost visceral connection to his electorate. He was killed.

So, don't be in too much of a hurry to dismiss 'alternate' methods of carrying out politics.

taunger , January 11, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Oh, I am not beholden to a techocratic, scoring policy points debate. But electability and charisma are very different. Bernie was not electable, but was charismatic for most; vice versa for Hillary ? Not sure, I think many found her charismatic, I couldn't stand her. "Electable" is a terrible, vague concept to be manipulated – at least charismatic provides some basis for definition. Thanks for the well thought out reply.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 2:36 pm

I'll agree that "electable" is vague and prone to multiple definitions. However, "electable" is almost the term of art used by the campaigns themselves. The more technical thinking campaigners can cut the electorate up into an infinitude of 'silos' and figure how to manipulate each. This strategy naturally falls into an infinite regression state and eventually exhausts itself. The concept of a "sterile" campaign philosophy comes into it's own in that case. People can usually recognize "inauthentic" political rhetoric, and react negatively to it. When the campaign splinters into multiple 'silo'd' sub-campaigns, the threat is that each mini-electorate will eventually spot the inauthenticity and bad faith argumentation of another, related strand of the campaign. They might fall for the ploy being employed against them, but notice a parallel 'silo' being deceived, due to a detachment inherent in not being the target audience for that other particular ploy. That way, the seeds of distrust against the entire campaign are planted. I find this to be the fatal flaw in identitarian politics.
Sorry for the rant.

cm , January 11, 2019 at 10:22 pm

Debates, and hand shaking, baby kissing and newspaper/handbill politics was the game before electronic media

You forgot one major element, whiskey. Andrew Jackson succeeded by handing out free whiskey to voters.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 11:43 pm

Well, he was from Tennessee. That whiskey was an early form of "walking around money." Vote Early and Vote Often! Jackson was the early exemplar of a populist president.

The Rev Kev , January 11, 2019 at 1:26 am

With Warren wanting to be at the table with the elites, perhaps she took the advice of Larry Summers. In her memoir, "A Fighting Chance", she mentions a dinner conversation where she was told by him 'I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People -- powerful people -- listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don't criticize other insiders.'

https://billmoyers.com/2014/09/05/i-had-been-warned/

Geo , January 11, 2019 at 2:56 am

That interview introduced me to Warren and made me a fan. And, reminds me how much I miss Bill Moyers. Glad he's enjoying some downtime in his later years but no one could do interviews like he did and nothing compares to the depth of his show for informing viewers.

Mucho , January 11, 2019 at 6:57 am

Funny: I remember reading the same Larry Summers story/quote in Varoufakis political memoir, 'Adults in the Room'. Larry sure seems to dine a lot.

rob , January 11, 2019 at 8:35 am

kudos to bill moyers, he did several stories that should STILL be seen by more people. Especially since they have come true.. but that interview was the first place I saw warren too. And she sounded good at the time Given the overreach of the credit card industry and all that. But now not so much.

cripes , January 11, 2019 at 1:29 am

The elites will, and have been, doing anything to derail rebellion and block any electoral movement towards popular governance, even of the save-the-system New Deal style of politics. If co-opting fails, then media blackout, vote fraud and silencing follows.

They took it all and plan to keep it at any cost. The immiseration of the American people, to paraphrase Madeleine Albright, is worth it.

Adam1 , January 11, 2019 at 7:56 am

"They took it all and plan to keep it at any cost."

Sadly this is true and they really don't understand what "any cost" means. Eventually the mobs always come and eventually the mobs are larger and more angry than any amount of money be spent to stave them off. As Mark Blyth said, the Hamptons are not a defensible position.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 12, 2019 at 1:42 am

But New Zealand is. And Paraguay is.

The Rev Kev , January 12, 2019 at 1:53 am

Below is the amount of loyalty that people in New Zealand would owe to elites fleeing from retribution in their own countries-

0%

Carey , January 11, 2019 at 9:06 pm

Agree. It's notable that one needs oh-so-complex complex (heh!) "theories of change" when proposing anything that has a hint of benefiting the many.
When it come to the few and already well-to-do, though, the answer is simple: keep shoveling the money this-a-way, always!

"you many proles need to work, so we few don't have to!"

#composttherich

KLG , January 11, 2019 at 8:20 am

Elizabeth Warren had no comment when asked if she voted for Ronald Reagan. She was still a registered Republican in 1996. Those are tall hurdles; maybe she can get over them. Yes, she makes some noise that is congenial to ears here, and perhaps in the country. But she is no more "electable" than Hillary Clinton, the most recent slam-dunk electable candidate for president. You can be one of the adults in the dining room so that you can be heard. Or you can be heard by figuratively, of course, burning down the decrepit house that is far beyond rehabilitation.

And that Cherokee thing? It won't go away, especially against the Current Occupant. I am sympathetic to why she did what she did regarding her tiny admixture of Cherokee DNA, and the subsequent hysterics from the leaders in Tahlequah were just that. But she responded to the biggest troll of all. Don't feed the trolls! Every white person in Oklahoma seems to claim a Cherokee "ancestor." This is true also in the broad swath of the Southern states all the way from Texas/Oklahoma to North Carolina. Funny thing, it is always a Cherokee, never a Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, or Seminole among the "Five Civilized Tribes." A Sequoyah thing, maybe?

Anyway, compared to Kamala Harris or Beto, Elizabeth Warren is FDR. So she's got that going for her. Which is nice. But it isn't enough. Not yet in her telling. Not for the predicament we are in. The "Left Wing of the Possible" had moved so far to the right in the past 40 years that is has no distinct meaning, certainly not what the late Michael Harrington had in mind from about 1978 through the 1984 election. I've recently re-read his chapter "The Lesser Evil? The Left, the Democrats and 1984" in Prisoners of the American Dream by Mike Davis (highly recommended). The current revival of the same play, different cast, will end the same way if it doesn't close. Now.

a different chris , January 11, 2019 at 9:28 am

>And that Cherokee thing? It won't go away, especially against the Current Occupant.

You respectfully have that exactly wrong. Not sure how it will play with the hand-wringers in the Democratic Party, but in the general against Trump?

1) Things are decent economically, Trump is going to win, it's just a torture skiv he can twist for fun.

2) Things are not going well, Trump is going to be told "shut up with the 4th grade name-calling and tell us how you are going to fix the economy compared to what she is proposing".

Trump played his card. He can't play it again 4 years later, again if he really needs some sort of hand to play, as it would emphasize that he's got nothing else.

Maybe Pence can use it, I dunno. But incumbent elections are always a referendum on the state of the economy, full stop.

Judith , January 11, 2019 at 8:29 am

From my mailbox, in case anyone is interested:

"Since 2016, our movement has changed what's possible in American politics. We've made Medicare for All a national issue, challenged conventional wisdom around combating climate change, and pressured corporations to start giving their employees the wages they deserve -- but there's more to be done and Sen. Bernie Sanders is just the person to do it.

I am excited to announce that this Saturday, January 12, Our Revolution, Organizing for Bernie, the Bernie Delegate Network, and the Progressive Democrats of America will be hosting hundreds of house parties around the country to talk about how we lay the foundation for a Bernie 2020 presidential run.

Will you join us at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET this Saturday? Sign up here to let us know you'll be there.

https://map.organizingforbernie.com/?source=ourrev190110

Grassroots organizing is the key to building an agenda for the working people of this country, not just the 1 percent. Thank you for joining this fight."

Arizona Slim , January 11, 2019 at 9:46 am

I also got that Organizing for Bernie email. And I unsubscribed. Bernie, I haven't forgotten about 2016. Especially the part about taking this fight all the way to the convention.

beth , January 11, 2019 at 11:04 am

My only comment is that it is better to vote for someone than not to have anyone that you are able to say is at least better than the other. Last time I didn't have anyone to vote for on that basis.

Perfection?

Norb , January 11, 2019 at 8:58 am

America needs bold leadership centered on the needs and interests of the people, the citizenry as a whole, not more elitist, leveraged thinking.

The elite have used leverage thinking to gain control over the mass of humanity and the environment, but now that they reign supreme, they have run out of ideas as to social evolution. If put to the question- To what purpose are all human labor and effort to be directed? They seem to not have a clue, other than conjuring up ways to perpetuate the status quo- which is to protect elite interests at the expense of the weak and poor.

People are looking for bold change and action, but place their faith in the wrong people. In better times, people like Warren and Sanders would be quietly working in the background ensuring that a bold vision of equality and justice are actually carried out. However, Sanders is old and Warren is not a bold visionary- she seems a careerist just like everyone else, though less ruthless and not blatantly imperialistic to her core. However, she is not for fundamental change and I would expect, once in power, she could be persuaded to moderate any attempts to make such changes a reality- or push them off into some distant future.

The problem lies in the relentless, narrow vision of capitalism itself. Who in public life can afford to say that openly- or believe it? Who takes the time and effort to say that life is not about having "better" things? The cynicism in American politics today makes it a meaningless process for those not making their living from it. Better to think up ways of making political statements and actions outside the official processes.

The enlightenment seems to have brought about false hopes for humanity. Instead of walking in the sunlight of reason, humanity still seems to be stumbling along in the dark. A new vision is needed.

A meaningful opposition must be based on a resistance to capitalism itself, a desire to restore the power of the state to act in the interests of the citizenry as a whole or majority, and to instill a sense of frugality and purpose in the citizenry- not a desire for endless consumption and distraction.

Fundamental change will always be mocked by those in power- or labeled as treason.

I don't intend to be negative on Sanders and Warren, but American politics and life are so out of balance, at times it seems that being an outsider- or non-participant is the way to sanity. When politicians can blatantly lie their way into office, and the system allows them to survive and persist, the system is beyond fixing.

Our future is of Capitalist Nations battling for market share. If the insanity of nuclear weapons does not kill us all first, meeting human needs by the capitalist system surely will- however slowly.

Capitalists will just redefine what it means to be a human being- as they always have and carry on. This cannot be allowed to happen. Corporate power must be curtailed.

A new vision is needed, and political leaders willing to articulate it.

Authoritarianism is in our future. How else can radical change occur and is that a bad thing? Slow death brought about by radical capitalism, or authoritarian rule to nationalize key industries in order to bring about social stability and fairness.

We are free to choose.

Adams , January 11, 2019 at 1:32 pm

@ Norb: Re: "A new vision is needed." Since Yves invoked Polanyi you could start there. Whatever is old is new again. And as she points out Polanyi's analysis is also an effective method for separating the gold nuggets from the lighter materials.

Jeremy Grimm , January 11, 2019 at 7:14 pm

Please elaborate. Your views here are very interesting but so shortly described I have too little respond to.

Eureka Springs , January 11, 2019 at 9:01 am

If and when it comes to the time for pollsters and the press to throw out the "strong leader" card, Sanders will win it hands-down over Warren. Warren will be embraced much more by the centrist rich owners of the party. The question remains will Sanders actually lead this time around. I still think he should have put those owners/thieves through a wood-chipper throughout the primary and especially for all the world to see at the convention .

But hey I am not now nor am I ever likely to vote for that criminally anti-democratic party ever again. You don't join a mafia in order to reform it.

Jeremy Grimm , January 11, 2019 at 7:17 pm

This time I think Sanders might put the owners/thieves "through a wood-chipper throughout the primary" because this is his last chance. He doesn't have to play 'nice' to stay in the party for another run.

rob , January 11, 2019 at 9:07 am

Who cares what warren says,on the road to the campign. Words are cheap. When I first saw her on bill moyers, I liked that she sounded good as a voice of opposition to credit card company policies, albeit in a news interview, while still at harvard,i believe. Then I have liked that at least she comes off as a voice above the low hum of republican low lifes in congress. more of an adult in the room ,so to speak. I don't really fault her for "not doing anything" in congress yet.. after all it is a body, and as such lone voices have little sway so that is a net neutral.

But, If she can't get behind single payer. And in my mind, simplistic single payer that says healthcare should not be a for profit owned institution, of any ones. Everyone who works for, be they doctors, nurses, or janitors, ought to be paid..

The inventors and manufacturers, ought to be fairly compensated. The physical assets, hospitals, factories, distribution, ought to be more a federal "in-house" operation like the post office.. to keep it honest, and less expensive.

For all the money they can save, they can afford to keep everything in top notch, clean and current condition better than some places today. Her stance on single payer is a non starter to me.

If her views on the approach to gov't as being "for the people" is the same as her view of healthcare, meaning for the corporation than forget it.

After all, When Obama wrote his article in foreign affairs in 2006 or 2007, when he was putting his hat in the ring, that is exactly who he said he was, and it was exactly what he did he said he was for the system as it was, and he was. He never claimed he was a "radical" and he didn't stand for "change".

He was looking for a job. And if warren is the same. Looking for a job, and a believer in the way things are . Then nevermind. I say she needs to show some real progressive inclination not just campaign rhetoric.

nycTerrierist , January 11, 2019 at 11:46 am

"I say she needs to show some real progressive inclination not just campaign rhetoric." She's already shown us who she is. See above re: Larry Summers' insiders' rules.

rob , January 12, 2019 at 7:13 am

I do agree. Warren at this point for me is a non-starter. If she was the democratic party "choice", I would feel very comfortable voting for the green party again. A vote for the green party may mean there is no chance your candidate is going to win, but my soul is satisfied I made a choice I actually like. Good enough for me.

If bernie gets the nomination, that is the only one talked about who might sway me as a candidate to the left wing of the bird I so despise. Now If they put someone like ocasio cortez on the ticket . then wowie! I can't imagine anyone doing a worse job , professionally speaking than trump, so considering her obvious authenticity, I would vote for her in a heartbeat. I would take my chances with youthful over exuberance,and in-experience.. and go for someone who has the INCLINATION to do the right thing. In fact I would rather vote for ocasio cortez then bernie. Berni should be her VP, to add the wisdom of age and to keep her on the tracks. and advise her of the duplicity and treachery she would face.

Bernie's weakness after all is that he is from Vermont. A politician from vermont CAN be on the progressive side, in rhetoric, and know nothing will come of it, and be re-elected . but before now, he hasn't really had to DO anything. And his stance on Israel, is a bit too chummy IMO.

I would be curious how he voted on the senates first bill of the year, in that no one is allowed to criticize the isreali gov't and boycott a product . What a perfect way for a despicable body to start off a new year. Someone ought to tell them what country they are supposed to be representing. We have a whitehouse lobbying for russia, and a senate lobbying for isreal . WTF! And americans are supposed to be okay with a gov't shut down, and if americans aren't getting paid so what.

UserFriendly , January 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm

She isn't eligible. Too young.

The Rev Kev , January 12, 2019 at 6:08 pm

You're right. She's only 29 years old and I read that the US Constitution states that you have to be a minimum of 35 years of age to be President. So 2024 at a minimum. This talk is kinda like when years ago that some people said that Arnold Schwarzenegger should run for President, forgetting that to be President that you have to be actually born in the US.

Jeff W , January 11, 2019 at 5:12 pm

I liked that she sounded good as a voice of opposition to credit card company policies

Perhaps unfairly, the first thing I think of when I think of Elizabeth Warren is her appearance on PBS FRONTLINE's 2004 "Secret History of the Credit Card" where she says:

What I'd ask [the credit card companies] to do is just reprogram their computers to put two little lines on every credit card statement, one that says if you make the minimum monthly payment, this is how long it will take you to pay off, and if you make the minimum monthly payment, this is how much interest you'll pay over time. They could go a long way towards educating a lot of consumers that way

Of course, there's nothing wrong with and everything laudable about that type of fix -- in any sort of political system not bought and sold by the financial industry, that sort of thing would be obvious. But, it seems like, in Warren's world, if we just make the system a bit fairer , if the parties contracting -- and all we have are "transactional actors," people contracting or being consumers -- if they just have clearer, more readily-understood terms -- she taught contract law at Harvard, after all -- well, that's sufficient and maybe the best we can do or all we should do.

I think it's perfectly valid to view Warren as a defender of the status quo, lover of markets, and all that, as this post says, but I feel like, ultimately, something else is going on here. Her response regarding her claimed Cherokee heritage -- a DNA test -- in the interests of "transparency" and "put[ting] it out there" typifies the problem. In Elizabeth Warren's wonkish, Lisa Simpson world, the problem isn't that Trump and the right-wing wing are bullying her into responding, the problem is that the information isn't out there on the table. If the kid in the neighborhood taunts you, saying "My dad is stronger than your dad," the Elizabeth Warren solution is to get them both to submit to strength tests. It misconstrues the issue -- she doesn't get the underlying power dynamic.

For Warren, the problem isn't a private, for-profit health insurance industry -- she "loves" markets, after all -- it's holding them accountable and strengthening consumer protections. (And, more broadly, holding capitalism accountable .) It's not just that she's "capitalist to the bone," it's that she seems pretty oblivious to both the underlying power relations -- imagine FDR saying he wanted to hold the "economic royalists" "accountable" (what he said was "I should like to have it said that these forces [of selfishness and of lust] met their master") -- and, more specifically, to the idea that some things, such as health care, are best not left to an for-profit private sector, even one that is "accountable." That's not an issue of capitalism and the status quo per se any more than Warren's response regarding her background is about DNA tests -- it's that her take on systems is wrong. (Hillary Clinton's "never, ever" statement on single payer was more of a systemic take, in its own cynical way, than Warren's opposition.) Warren might be all about "leverage," according to one of her allies, but, in her talk of transparency and fairness and accountability, she picks the points of weakest leverage in the system and doesn't even seem to realize she's doing so.

chuck roast , January 11, 2019 at 9:36 am

It is clear to me that Bernie has always viewed us as "citizens" while Warren appears to take the view that we are all "consumers".

simjam , January 11, 2019 at 9:52 am

Yes, everybody has an opinion. However, no one is listening. We have a long way to go.

Jim A. , January 11, 2019 at 10:13 am

At some level, I think that the question is whether we want to save capitalism (from itself) or replace it. I don't think that assuming that the current extreme free-markets uber alles version of capitalism is the only or even inevitable form by ignoring the post war period when capitalism worked reasonably well for the middle class is particularly useful. It is the mirror image to those that regard any form of socialism as the first step of an inevitable slide to Venezuelan/Zimbabwean authoritarian market collapse and ignoring the Nordic countries which seem to manage a high level of government intervention pretty well thank-you-very-much. Neither system works very well when taken to extremes.

To a real extant, I just think that it is easier to move from where we are now to reasonably well functioning system like that we had in the 60s than to a Nordic-style economy.

Bill Carson , January 11, 2019 at 10:41 am

The differences between these two candidates is substantial and important. If Sanders supporters can't articulate why Warren's stances are unacceptable, then it will be that much easier for the Hillary/Warren/Establishment wing of the DNC to paint us as misogynists.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 2:57 pm

The DNC is already "painting" the Sanders 'wing' of American politics as misogynist. It doesn't matter whether it is true or not. The "Big Lie" method is being used. That method has no relation to objective reality, by design. So, don't defend against the Big Lies' specific items. Attack the 'Big Lie' itself and it's enablers head on.

For instance, when a Hillbot attacks you because "one of Bernies staffers watches porn," don't whine about "people are all over the place and the bad apples will be thrown out of our barrel." Instead, tell them that you'd rather have one of your staffers watching porn than having the candidates husband raping underage girls on the "Lolita Express." This level of savagery is needed. The Dem apparatchiks have already self selected for "True Believers," who will stop at nothing to get their way. They must be expunged igneously.

"If Sanders supporters can't articulate why Warren's stances are unacceptable .." That just means that Sanders supporters haven't done their homework sufficiently. The Sanders campaign needs to put out a source of quick replies to anti-Sanders attacks. A Political F.A.Q.s sidebar on the campaign website as it were.

"Politics ain't bean-bag." – Mr. Dooley

PKMKII , January 11, 2019 at 11:22 am

The one quibble I would have with this analysis is the idea that Sanders is inherently more "sweeping" than Warren in policy changes. Despite his label, the actual policy positions that Sanders pushes are more SocDem than DemSoc. Don't get me wrong, the expanded welfare state he proposes would be a vast improvement, but that's standard issue nordic-style sandbox capitalism; it doesn't touch on the "worker control of the means of production" part that makes up the socialist part of Democratic Socialism.

Warren's plan, while the optics are "save capitalism," ironically does more in that regard by giving workers in large corporations co-determination and some effective veto powers on board decisions. I'm not saying the policy is socialism, but it would cause just as much disruption to the political economy as the Sanders agenda.

jrs , January 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Yea she might actually be in some ways more radical.

Although I rather doubt either of them are the revolutionaries the writer seems to be looking for. AOC maybe? We don't have very much experience to go by there though, so it's really too soon to say.

Jon Dhoe , January 11, 2019 at 11:53 am

How often have we heard about working from the inside? How often do you have to do it before realizing it will not work with these overwhelmingly entrenched powers? Moreover, how much more leverage would a Sanders/Warren (or vice versa) ticket have? Far, far more than a Senator Warren who is lukewarm on issue vital to the people?

doug , January 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm

'Both are critics of the Democratic establishment. Both are foes of Wall Street. And both are substantive, policy-focused politicians.' Yes, and this will prevent either of them getting the nomination

Bob Simmons , January 11, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Blame the voters. Most are neo-liberals. It was many a neo-liberal who didn't like Hillary Clinton and wouldn't vote for her. But a Biden? Sure, he is old, but they like him. Hillary lost 400,000 votes from Ohio just from James Comey's hatch act violations. Now think about that for a sec.

Elections are popularity contest. Always have been. Its about dopamine release.

Tony Wright , January 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Most national economies, including that of the US, are held together by mountains of debt, variously estimated at figures well over $US 125 trillion. Thanks to a decade of ridiculously low interest rates, so are many large companies. Sooner or later some black swan or other will cause one of these financial houses of cards to topple, and the leverage and interconnectedness of modern finance, together with the massive proliferation of more and new derivative markets will cause a massive cascading financial crash, worldwide.

This is notwithstanding the remarkable levels of creativity displayed by financial and political institutions like the US Fed, the EU and the IMF to kick the proverbial debt cans down the road still further.

Then and only then will the majority of us working stiffs (i.e. Those other than the top one percent) realise that the hyper capitalism that we have arrived at over the last decade or so simply does not work for most people.

Then and only then will we see real and meaningful economic, political and necessary environmental policy change. The sooner the better.
In the mean time the old Roman recipe of "Feed them Bread and Circuses" will continue , to the ever increasing detriment of the planet.

Susan the Other , January 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Can't change the system from the inside except by radical mutation or extinction. Which looks to be our course. Liz is just another elite sell-out. Would she be able to articulate what the country wants (medicare for all, free education, etc) if it weren't for Bernie? No, she would not. She's a coward. Her pronouncements are as vacuous but emphatic as Theresa May's. "Leverage" is her euphemism – she just wants to find cover and suck up. What exactly does she mean by "regulate markets to shape pre-distribution income before taxes"? For god's sake, this is stuff we should have looked at 50 years ago, now it's too late. She wants to "be in the room" – I'm pretty sure that would be a circular love-fest as usual. Liz is busy fogging up the mirror. She can't hold a candle to Bernie.

Bob Simmons , January 11, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Sanders is going to get drowned out in 2020. He is too old and it shows. He got lucky in 2016 when Biden's son died making Hillary the consensus favorite with her large "ethics issues". If Biden's son hadn't died, he would have been the nominee. Instead he could blather on and be the "protest vote".

There may be 30 candidates this cycle. It will be crazy. He is going to feel the Bern all right.

Bob Simmons , January 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Maybe, but his age won't help. He is old, very old. He is older than Biden. I think he also comes off as a carpetbagger to neo-libs where Warren or O'Neoliberal is more frank.

It is just like most who whine about "cultural marxism" don't get marxists also don't support cultural marxism .because it isn't marxist. It is nothing more than a gimmick sold by "contards" to stimulate the dopamine receptors of their flock.

Heliopause , January 11, 2019 at 4:12 pm

I don't know, I'm more inclined to keep it simple and call Warren a standard-issue liberal whose brand is Wall Street regulation. Jay Inslee's brand will be climate change, Biden's will be the Golden Age of Obama and his folksiness, and so on. Sanders, on the other hand, is fundamentally not a liberal as we usually understand it, though he has compromised with liberals in a great many ways for practical reasons.

Jeremy Grimm , January 11, 2019 at 8:38 pm

I liked Warren when she first popped into the picture but I have real trouble thinking of her as a candidate for President. Warren seems far far too willing to focus on details, rhetoric, and then move on to some new 'hot-rock'. She impresses me as most like Obama. Speaking the 'right' words, but small in her concerns, and solutions, and smaller in impact beyond the 'right' words.

I remain firmly in the Bernie Sanders camp -- barring the entry of some truly radical dark horse. I am concerned about his age. I might be less concerned if he could give a hint about who he favors as his Vice-President -- maybe he has but I'm just not aware(?). Even so, completely discounting his age, Bernie is not my ideal candidate. I think he is radical only by comparison with everyone else who might have a chance to become POTUS.

Without radical reform of our Society and its economic system I fear we approach threat of a time of "luan" as tao99 described such times in Chinese history in a comment to today's post on China [tao99. January 11, 2019 at 7:29 am]: " in China the biggest fear amongst the government and the people is "luan" (translated basically meaning chaos). Collective memories are there of the points in the not so distant past where starvation and chaos did reign – and this puts some additional urgency in trying not to go over the cliff." How many coincident 'unfortunate' events would it take to make -- food and water -- life-and-death concerns for those living in some of our great cities?

What if the power went out but there was no replacement transformer and no one coming to install it?

Michael C. , January 12, 2019 at 9:08 am

Sanders is the wrench in the system, Warren the oil.

I was aware of Sanders well before seeing him about ten years ago giving an impassioned speech at a single-payer event and lobby day in D.C. put on by Progressives, the California Nurses Association (now NNU) and other groups. Unfortunately, but the nature of policy and those outside the pale of the mainstream media and centrist politics is the hinterlands. They do not get the platform or visibility. We might also ask who ever heard of HR 676 (the better single-payer bill when compared to Sanders') and John Conyers back then, who had been the sponsor of a single payer bill (until his reason problems), but the number of those endorsing it has grown in recent years, much due to the work of single payer groups and people like Sanders who have raised the profile of it. And now the Progressive Caucus (though now filled with some faux progressives who need to co-opt the brand) was then and is even much more so now the largest caucus in the House. Sanders had a lot to do with raising the profile of single payer, and many other issues that got little attention, and his penchant for movement building sits well with a populace that is disillusioned by both political parties and the years of neoliberalism that have made their prosperity suffer.

Sanders keeps plugging away, year after year, and his expanding base are more politically conscious of the need for systemic change. Regardless of his shortcomings and the already many attacks by the corporate Dems and their surrogates and the mainstream media Jake Tapper types, he is the only candidate that will enthuse voters, if or course the establishment mud slinging does not bring him down once again along with centrist Dem machinations.

His continual emphasis on policy is key for me, particularly since he works to avoid the cult of personality that others rely on, such as Beto O'Rourke. The manner in which Warren handled the whole "Pocahontas" debacle showed a real weakness on her part to navigate the political world, even if she is good at navigating well in power centers. At times her speeches appear to self-serving and lack the genuineness of a Sanders speech, and he after all has remained fairly consistent over decades.

When he runs, which I think he will, it would behoove anyone desiring throwing a wrench into the works to do all they can to get him elected. I say that as one who eschews any cultist belief in him.

Jeremy Grimm , January 12, 2019 at 2:15 pm

I like your quip: "Sanders is the wrench in the system, Warren the oil." It is most fitting.

[Jan 12, 2019] Warren is a serious intellectual turned influential politician. Her scholarly work on bankruptcy and its relationship to rising inequality made her a major player in policy debate long before she entered politics herself

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , January 07, 2019 at 04:23 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/07/opinion/elizabeth-warren-policy.html

January 7, 2019

Elizabeth Warren and Her Party of Ideas She's what a serious policy intellectual looks like in 2019. By Paul Krugman

Almost 40 years have passed since Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- a serious intellectual turned influential politician ­ -- made waves by declaring, "Of a sudden, Republicans have become a party of ideas." He didn't say that they were good ideas; but the G.O.P. seemed to him to be open to new thinking in a way Democrats weren't.

But that was a long time ago. Today's G.O.P. is a party of closed minds, hostile to expertise, aggressively uninterested in evidence, whose idea of a policy argument involves loudly repeating the same old debunked doctrines. Paul Ryan's "innovative" proposals of 2011 (cut taxes and privatize Medicare) were almost indistinguishable from those of Newt Gingrich in 1995.

Meanwhile, Democrats have experienced an intellectual renaissance. They have emerged from their 1990s cringe; they're no longer afraid to challenge conservative pieties; and there's a lot of serious, well-informed intraparty debate about issues from health care to climate change.

You don't have to agree with any of the various Medicare for All plans, or proposals for a Green New Deal, to recognize that these are important ideas receiving serious discussion.

The question is whether our media environment can handle a real party of ideas. Can news organizations tell the difference between genuine policy wonks and poseurs like Ryan? Are they even willing to discuss policy rather than snark about candidates' supposed personality flaws?

Which brings me to the case of Elizabeth Warren, who is probably today's closest equivalent to Moynihan in his prime.

Like Moynihan, she's a serious intellectual turned influential politician. Her scholarly work on bankruptcy and its relationship to rising inequality made her a major player in policy debate long before she entered politics herself. Like many others, I found one of her key insights -- that rising bankruptcy rates weren't caused by profligate consumerism, that they largely reflected the desperate attempts of middle-class families to buy homes in good school districts -- revelatory.

She has also proved herself able to translate scholarly insights into practical policy. Full disclosure: I was skeptical about her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I didn't think it was a bad idea, but I had doubts about how much difference a federal agency tasked with policing financial fraud would make. But I was wrong: Deceptive financial practices aimed at poorly informed consumers do a lot of harm, and until President Trump sabotaged it, the bureau was by all accounts having a hugely salutary effect on families' finances.

And Warren's continuing to throw out unorthodox policy ideas, like her proposal that the federal government be allowed to get into the business of producing some generic drugs. This is the sort of thing that brings howls of derision from the right, but that actual policy experts consider a valuable contribution to the discussion.

Is there anyone like Warren on the other side of the aisle? No. Not only aren't there any G.O.P. politicians with comparable intellectual heft, there aren't even halfway competent intellectuals with any influence in the party. The G.O.P. doesn't want people who think hard and look at evidence; it wants people like, say, the "economist" Stephen Moore, who slavishly reaffirm the party's dogma, even if they can't get basic facts straight.

Does all of this mean that Warren should be president? Certainly not -- a lot of things determine whether someone will succeed in that job, and intellectual gravitas is neither necessary nor sufficient. But Warren's achievements as a scholar/policymaker are central to her political identity, and clearly should be front and center in any reporting about her presidential bid.

But, of course, they aren't. What I'm seeing are stories about whether she handled questions about her Native American heritage well, or whether she's "likable."

This kind of journalism is destructively lazy, and also has a terrible track record. I'm old enough to remember the near-universal portrayal of George W. Bush as a bluff, honest guy, despite the obvious lies underlying his policy proposals; then he took us to war on false pretenses.

Moreover, trivia-based reporting is, in practice, deeply biased -- not in a conventional partisan sense, but in its implicit assumption that a politician can't be serious unless he (and I mean he) is a conservative, or at most centrist, white male. That kind of bias, if it persists, will be a big problem for a Democratic Party that has never been more serious about policy, but has also never been more progressive and more diverse.

This bias needs to be called out -- and I'm not just talking about Warren. Consider the contrast between the unearned adulation Ryan received and how long it took conventional wisdom to recognize that Nancy Pelosi was the most effective House speaker of modern times.

Again, I'm not arguing that Warren should necessarily become president. But she is what a serious policy intellectual looks and sounds like in 2019. And if our media can't recognize that, we're in big trouble.

ilsm -> anne... , January 07, 2019 at 05:05 PM
Warren seems to be with Trump in getting out of the Quagmire of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan if her recent time on Rachel Maddow is real.

That would put her opposed to the corporate war party's democrat aisle.

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/warren-endless-war-in-syria-afghanistan-is-not-working-1418445891818

EMike, I link Rachel Maddow!!!

Christopher H. said in reply to ilsm... , January 07, 2019 at 06:58 PM
EMike and Kurt will say Warren is funded by the Russians.
ilsm -> Christopher H.... , January 08, 2019 at 02:56 PM
Warren's point is: "the generals, 'adults' to the neocons and media, have to express in clear terms what is 'winning', how we the unwashed know it is winning and what cost and time to 'win'.

No more deferring to neocon pundits and appeal to generals' authority for insanities like Syria and Libya!

Sort of like what the TDS'ers are saying about the border wall only for the immense pentagon waste machine.

Skeptical about the war mongers, Warren may not be an adult any more........

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , January 08, 2019 at 05:15 AM
There *are* reasons why Afghanistan is known
as The Graveyard of Empires, dontchaknow.

The Empire Stopper https://nyti.ms/2wezyKd
NYT - Rod Nordland - Aug. 29, 2017

... Afghanistan has long been called the "graveyard of empires" -- for so long that it is unclear who coined that disputable term.

In truth, no great empires perished solely because of Afghanistan. Perhaps a better way to put it is that Afghanistan is the battleground of empires. Even without easily accessible resources, the country has still been blessed -- or cursed, more likely -- with a geopolitical position that has repeatedly put it in someone or other's way. ...

Christopher H. said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 09:24 AM
Trump was sort of correct. The Soviets' Afghanistan invasion was a lot like the U.S.'s Vietnam War.

The U.S.S.R. was going broke anyway b/c of Communism, but Afghanistan really accelerated their financial ruin.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Christopher H.... , January 09, 2019 at 09:00 AM
Were they really "going broke"? They could print unlimited amounts of money.

Or was it that no one was bothering to work?

Or was it that the oligarchs realized they could get richer if they could fire people rather than under a system where they had to employ everyone?

I had a co-worker that grew up in the Soviet Union. From his point of view, one day you had a guaranteed job and the pay was going to be low no matter how hard you worked, so no one actually worked much. The next day you could be fired if you didn't work. So people actually started to work. Output increased, their pay didn't go up, but the oligarchs were able to get a lot richer.

Christopher H. said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 09, 2019 at 09:28 AM
"Were they really "going broke"? They could print unlimited amounts of money."

Sounds like you're being argumentative.

The U.S.S.R. couldn't afford the invasion of Afghanistan. It cost a lot so it reduced their ability to spend on other priorities, like aid to allied states. The Warsaw PACT countries began to fall away and then it snowballed.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Christopher H.... , January 10, 2019 at 07:01 AM
"Sounds like you're being argumentative."

Not at all....

Wait. Yes, exactly...

If by "argument" we mean using logical statements to support a conclusion, then YES, I'm being argumentative. Not if you mean, disagreeing just to be a jerk.

On an economics site, even if no where else, we have to view the economy from two sides... supply and demand.

Work produces supply and money supplies demand.

Was the USSR's problem on the supply side or the money side? Saying "went bankrupt" implies the problem was on the money side.

My view of state socialism, or any system where you can't be fired, is that it creates supply side problems. If you can't be fired, there is no motivation to work hard.

I think it a HIGHLY important distinction, and one that we must use to keep progressive liberalism on the right track. (or is it tack?)

Margaret Thatcher's quote "The problem with socialism is that you run out of other peoples' money to spend." is ignorant on its face. As soon as government spends the money, it is someone else's again, ready to be taxed away again.

This "The USSR went bankrupt" reinforces the false view of socialism's flaws.

This feeds into the "We can't afford it" bulldung when we try to talk about things like Medicare for All.

Did the USSR collapse because they ran out of other peoples' money (went bankrupt)? OR, was production really low because people couldn't be fired, so didn't bother to work hard? Did the oligarchs decided to end socialism and move to capitalism, so that they could fire people, to motivate them to work harder, to increase production?

It is HUGELY important distinction for creating a successful progressive economy.

Pro-union? I'm all for it if it is about getting a bigger share of revenue for the workers via collective bargaining. BUT, does that include making it hard to impossible to fire terrible workers? If so, does that hurt total production? If so, then it has the same fatal flaw of state socialism.

Guaranteed Job: An idea that if you don't have a private sector job, you show up at a government employment office, do whatever work is assigned, and get a check. However, since you can't be fired from the guaranteed job, there is absolutely no motivation to actually do the assigned work. Then, there becomes no motivation to get a private sector job where you actually do have to work.

Universal Basic Income: Until we reach the level of automation seen in Wall-E, stuff is still going to need to be done, by someone. UBI makes people not want to do it.

+++++
On the flip side...

For Medicare for All, it is work that is already being done. All we're talking about is if we hand the money to the government to manage the risk-pooling, or we hand the money over to for-profit insurance companies.

The "how can we afford it?" argument is based on the idea that the USSR went bankrupt from spending too much of "other peoples' money".

However, if properly viewed as a labor issue, then "How can we afford it?" becomes obvious. We just use some of the money people are already spending on healthcare.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to anne... , January 08, 2019 at 04:35 PM
I'm a Warren fan, but so far, she's being too establishment for my likes.

Bold plans... like generic prescription drugs... that are less than 3% of healthcare spending.

Going to take a LOT more than that!

Mr. Bill -> anne... , January 09, 2019 at 05:52 PM
Any apparent agreement between Liz Warren and Trump can be chalked up to coincidence. Liz Warren's opposition to the US always-war is a feature, not a bug.

The MIC is an unregulated pox on American history.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Mr. Bill... , January 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM
Always war is a result of humanity.

War did not end when the USA was isolationist.

War would not end if the USA slashed defense spending. All that would change is that other countries would colonize the USA instead of the USA colonizing other countries.

You can chose to be the predator, or you can chose to be the prey, but you can't chose to not participate.

[Jan 11, 2019] Thoughts on Warren and Sanders How Much Change Is Needed in 2021 naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Thomas Neuburger Originally published at DownWithTryanny! ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thoughts on Warren and Sanders: How Much Change Is Needed in 2021? Posted on January 11, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. I know Warren is deemed to be progressive by American standards, but I recall clearly when I first say her speak at a Roosevelt Institute conference, Let Markets Be Markets, which was a title I found to be unhelpful, since it suggested that markets would exist in a state of nature and just needed to be left alone. In fact, markets depend on rules and enforcement mechanisms to operate regularly and well.

Warren, who was the first speaker, gave a long preamble about how she loved markets and had long taught contract in law school. I don't recall her giving any reason as to why she loved markets, when you'd expect her to make a case, such as how they were good for people. Her speech struck me as defensive, as in she felt she had to say she was in favor of commerce so as not to be painted as a Commie if/when she called for reforms.

By contrast, Karl Polyani, in his classic book The Great Transformation, argued that the evolution of market economies undermined society because it treated land and labor as commodities. Pressured to slow the development economies were inevitable and Polyani suggested, desirable, because the impact of the development of the market society on communities and families was often so disruptive that the changes needed to be mitigated.

I didn't get any sense that Warren had those concerns, and I found that troubling. I didn't see how her profession of enthusiasm for markets connected with the concerns she has expressed for the welfare of American families.

By Thomas Neuburger Originally published at DownWithTryanny!

I've written before comparing Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as presidential candidates, but only preliminarily. (See " The Difference Between Sanders and Warren, or Can Regulated Capitalism Save the Country? ") But there's much more to say -- foreign policy, for example, is barely touched on there -- and also much is evolving in their positions, especially Warren's.

That earlier piece focused on the differences between these two candidates based on their economic ideologies. As I wrote then, "Though both would make the next administration, if either were elected, a progressive one by many definitions, the nature of the progressivism under each would be quite different."

In particular, I asked:

Can the current capitalist system be reformed and retained, or must it be partly nationalized -- taken over by government -- and reduced in size and capacity, for the country to be saved from its current economic enslavement to the "billionaire class"? In addition to questions of personal preference, Democratic primary voters will be asked to decide this question as well.

And the question applies quite broadly. The billionaire class also controls our response to climate change. Is it possible for a "free" market system -- a system in which billionaires and their corporations have control -- to transform the energy economy enough to mitigate the coming disaster, or must government wrest control of the energy economy in order to have even a hope of reducing the certain damage?

But there are other contrasts between these two as well, other differences, as Zaid Jilani, writing in Jacobin , points out. He begins where we began, with the ideological and philosophical differences:

Why the Differences Between Sanders and Warren Matter

Both are critics of the Democratic establishment. Both are foes of Wall Street. And both are substantive, policy-focused politicians. But that doesn't mean Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren share the same worldview.

Sanders tends to focus on "post-distribution" remedies, meaning he prefers to use the government's power to tax and spend to directly meet Americans' needs -- or replace the market altogether. His social-democratic ideas, like free college and single-payer health care, are now policies most Democrats have to tip their hat to at least for electoral reasons. Warren wants to empower regulators and rejigger markets to shape "pre-distribution" income, before taxes. Less likely to push for big-ticket programs, she wants to re-regulate Wall Street and make life easier for consumers.

So far this is familiar ground.

Different Theories of Change

But as Jilani points out, there are differences in style and "theory of change" as well. ("Theory of change" usually encompasses how a given policy change is to be accomplished, as opposed to what that change should be.) Jilani again:

The two senators also have distinct theories of change. Sanders has long believed in bottom-up , movement-based politics. Since his days as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he has tried to energize citizens to take part in government. He generally distrusts elites and decision-making that does not include the public. Warren, on the other hand, generally accepts political reality and works to push elite decision-makers towards her point of view.

When I worked at PCCC ["the most influential outside PAC supporting Warren" says Jilani], I was once told that Warren decided to run for the Senate after witnessing the amount of power she had as an oversight chair for the bank bailouts. She believed that "being in the room" with decision-makers in the Obama administration was essential to creating change.

About this he concludes: "While Warren wants to be at the table with elites, arguing for progressive policies, Sanders wants to open the doors and let the public make the policy."

"Elizabeth is all about leverage"

These are significant differences, and his observation goes a long way to explaining this item from a long piece published in Politico Magazine in 2016, an article otherwise about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Discussing why Warren refused to endorse Sanders, Glenn Thrush wrote:

Luckily for Clinton, Warren resisted Sanders' entreaties, for months telling the senator and his staff she hadn't made up her mind about which candidate she would support. For all her credibility on the left, Warren is more interested in influencing the granular Washington decisions of policymaking and presidential personnel -- and in power politics. Warren's favored modus operandi: leveraging her outsider popularity to gain influence on the issues she cares about, namely income inequality and financial services reform.

"Elizabeth is all about leverage, and she used it," a top Warren ally told me. "The main thing, you know, is that she always thought Hillary was going to be the nominee, so that was where the leverage was."

Warren, several people in her orbit say, never really came close to endorsing the man many progressives consider to be her ideological soulmate.

For many grassroots supporters of Sanders, who were also strong Warren supporters prior to his entry into the race, these revelations -- "all about the leverage" and "never came close to endorsing" -- took the bloom off the Warren rose. For whatever reason, that bloom appears not to have returned, at least not completely.

Jilani's observation in no way diminishes Warren's credibility or core desirability as a candidate. If you care about achieving your goals through "leverage," joining the Sanders campaign, which may have looked to you like a kind of Children's Crusade, would seem foreign to your way of operating.

The Bottom Line -- Not Just Method, But Scope

While Jilani notes that many of Warren's past positions, for example, on charter schools and Medicare for All, have grown more progressive, she still doesn't seem to prioritize Medicare for All as strongly as Sanders does.

In 2012, Warren was explicitly opposed to Medicare for All (called "single payer" at the time). "Five years later -- after decades of advocacy by Sanders had helped popularize Medicare for All -- Warren [finally] decided to endorse the policy," writes Jilani. "But unlike consumer protections or financial regulation, establishing a single-payer health care system doesn't seem to be a top priority for Warren." He adds, "It's hardly a surprise that Warren didn't raise single-payer during her first two campaign events in Iowa and when asked about it by a Washington Post reporter, [she] suggested she didn't bring it up because no one else at the events raised it."

As noted above, if either were president, the odds that America will change for the better would vastly improve. But each would do that job in a different way. Each has a different philosophy of how government should work, and approach the process of change from different directions -- though I have to give Warren credit for picking public fights with fellow Democrats when others are much more timid.

But to these two differences -- philosophy and approach -- let me add a third, a difference in sweep. The scope of change envisioned and attempted by a Sanders presidency would likely be far greater than that attempted by Warren.

In these times, with a massive climate tsunami fast approaching and a Depression-style rebellion in full view, can America, in this Franklin Roosevelt moment , afford just a better manager of the current system, a better rearranger, and survive?

There's not much question that Warren would better fix the status quo, and be a better choice as president, than 95% of the other candidates on offer. But would a Warren presidency be enough to bring us through this crisis as safely as Washington, Lincoln and FDR once did?

For many true progressives, I think that's the question she'll be asked to answer, and she has about a year, or less, to answer it.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 1:22 am

Just spitballing here, but I think that Warren has more of a technocrat view of the process of governance than Sanders does. Warren seems to be an academic at heart. Sanders has experience dealing with the public in all it's tatterdemalion glory. He was a City Mayor, about as close to the ground level in politics as one can get. Warren would make an excellent Department Head, a good member of the Cabinet. Sanders has a reputation of 'getting things done' in the Senate. This suggests that Sanders has the skills of persuasion and, importantly, coalition building, incorporating strategic concessions. These are a big part of the Art of Politics.
So, Sanders has the Art of Politics in his tool kit while Warren has the bureaucratic skills to work behind the scenes. They would make a good team, if Warren is to be trusted. And there is the stumbling block.

ambrit , January 11, 2019 at 1:25 am

Oh bugger!
Short form: Electability is first and foremost.
This is a political race, not an academic debate.

The Rev Kev , January 11, 2019 at 1:26 am

With Warren wanting to be at the table with the elites, perhaps she took the advice of Larry Summers. In her memoir, "A Fighting Chance", she mentions a dinner conversation where she was told by him 'I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People -- powerful people -- listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don't criticize other insiders.'

https://billmoyers.com/2014/09/05/i-had-been-warned/

cripes , January 11, 2019 at 1:29 am

The elites will, and have been, doing anything to derail rebellion and block any electoral movement towards popular governance, even of the save-the-system New Deal style of politics. If co-opting fails, then media blackout, vote fraud and silencing follows.

They took it all and plan to keep it at any cost.

The immiseration of the American people, to paraphrase Madeleine Albright, is worth it.

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