I’m #stillsanders, But This Is Why I Like Elizabeth Warren

Wall Street has no love for Warren.

I love Bernie Sanders. I mean, I like him a lot, and he speaks to my heart with his public policy proposals. And I like Warren, too. I’m not worried if Sanders wins the nomination or not. He doesn’t have to win the nomination to win, he only needs to enlarge the scope of debate, which he has. Warren is doing that, too. And that’s why I like both of them.

Yes, I know some of you are going to tell me that Warren is no progressive. Maybe that’s true. But she’s well aware of how the rules of the economy are rigged and she’s done a very good job of explaining just how rigged they are through her books and policy proposals. And she’s proposed legislation to deal with it. Here’s an example: the Stop Wall Street Looting Act. From her press release:

"For far too long, Washington has looked the other way while private equity firms take over companies, load them with debt, strip them of their wealth, and walk away scot-free -leaving workers, consumers, and whole communities to pick up the pieces, “ said Senator Warren. “Our bill ends these abusive practices by putting private investment funds on the hook for the decisions made by the companies they control, ending looting, empowering workers and investors, and safeguarding the markets from risky corporate debt.”

If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so hard to get a decent raise in a “The Trump economy”, this is one reason. Private equity firms are buying businesses, shaking them down, firing workers and walking away with money, even when the businesses they buy go bankrupt. The Stop Wall Street Looting Act, if enacted, would make fundamental reforms to the private equity industry by requiring private equity investors to put some real skin in the game.

And people are taking notice of Warren’s work. Eileen Applebaum is a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and an expert in private equity and labor relations. She wrote a long and public letter to Elizabeth Warren extolling the virtues of Warren’s proposed legislation. As I read that letter, I kept thinking of Mitt Romney, a star in the private equity industry, a man who has made a handsome living off of buying companies and shaking them down for money. Here is what Applebaum has to say about Warren’s bill:

Companies owned by private funds touch millions of workers, tenants, students, borrowers, consumers, and families all across the country — and their reach is growing. In their quest to make money, many private equity firms have employed exploitive practices that not only hobble their portfolio companies, but also hurt the people who rely on them. The Stop Wall Street Looting Act will, for the first time, create sensible rules for the private equity industry that will allow productive investment to continue while halting the kinds of abusive practices that wipe out jobs and cripple strong companies.

Applebaum is very much aware of the damage done by wealthy investors with short-sighted quarterly profits thinking. She knows that we could do better, and has highlighted the structural changes that need to be made to preserve what works in our economy.

I like Warren’s attitude and how she says, “I have a plan for that.” She really does have a plan for that. One look at her campaign website will tell you what she has in mind:

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We need structural reforms to make the economy work for everyone. We need structural reforms to undo the rigged rules that make the economy work better for the top 1% than the rest of us. If the jobs that we lost aren’t coming back because it’s “structural” then we need to be looking at the structures in place that prevent the jobs we need from either coming back or from being created. Warren is doing just that.

Now there are some I know who will tell me that Warren was a Republican once. Well, Trump was a Democrat once, too. Warren is not perfect. Neither is Sanders. Yet I prefer both of them far above Joe Biden. And we know how well Biden’s been doing in his polling. He’s been losing 3% every month for the last few months, and Warren is usurping Biden in some polls. Take a look at the latest polling averages from Real Clear Politics:

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With exception to the Red State of South Carolina, that ten-point lead that Biden once had has been eviscerated. And take note of the betting odds there in the bottom-right corner. Warren is looking very strong if you’re a betting man.

And when we look at the combined polling of Sanders and Warren together, we see that they both outpoll Biden nearly 2:1. Sometimes I wonder why Biden even bothered to run. Oh, yeah. I remember now. From Bloomberg:

“Truth of the matter is, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done,” Biden said. “We can disagree in the margins. But the truth of the matter is, it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change,” he said.

“Nothing would fundamentally change”, he said to a room full of 100 wealthy donors. Warren is not talking about punishing anyone. She’s talking about changing the rules so that they make sense, rules that make the wealthy accountable for their decisions, just like with private equity.

I don’t have a problem with people working hard to accumulate wealth. I do have a problem with people using their money to influence politics in such a way that they can buy the laws that protect their interests at the expense of everyone else. That’s the problem I’ve seen with the economy going all the way back to the Reagan Revolution. And that’s about the same time that rigging the rules really started to come into fashion.

We’re all in this together. It’s not, “I got mine, good luck getting your’s bub.” And that’s the attitude that I see from Wall Street. If Wall Street is worried about killing the golden goose, they need to stop looking in the mirror and start looking at the rest of us. We’re the golden goose, and Warren knows this. That’s why I like her, too.

Write on.

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