If you believe 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision is a problem, read on.
Likability seems to be the new litmus test for whether any woman is qualified for political office. Regardless, Elizabeth Warren should be garnering your attention.
The Massachusetts senator is sure to be a Democratic leader in the 2020 presidential election. If she chooses to formerly step into the ring, she will likely have a good shot at winning the primary.
Elizabeth Warren has some very good ideas to shift power away from corporations and back to the people.
The media seems to be in a post-election stupor after the brouhaha of the emotionally-exhausting 2018 midterms. Warren’s exploration of a bid for the highest office has not received much in the way of major media coverage.
Elizabeth Warren in infinitely qualified. She is a former Harvard law professor, and a staunch advocate for consumer protections. The Senator possesses enough presence of mind, as well as polish to hold her own in contentious situations. The downside is that she comes across as exactly as I have described. She lacks an air of excitement, a sense of invigorating the public.
While she is knowledgeable and articulate, she may find difficulty in connecting with voters. Her 69 years is going to be a hurdle with younger voters. However, Independents may find her proposals appealing.
Let’s get away from the usual “in-depth” analysis of women — her choices in fashion or decorating tips — and look at her ambitious plan to save capitalism. It is this type of thinking that sets her apart from other politicians in DC.
Republican ideas seem firmly rooted in the failed policies of a bygone area, as evidenced by a recent piece by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who imagines an American Dream is nothing greater than to “[graduate] from high school and get a job, typically with a local manufacturer or one of the service industries associated with it, and earn enough to support a family.”
Like most of the GOP, he reminisces about opportunities his parents experienced more than 60 years ago as if that was economic policies we should strive to resurrect. He believes the return to this Elysian ideal is somehow relevant in today’s post-technological society. It is doubtful Rubio has considered any of the newer ideas for the structure of our economy and alleviating poverty and despair.
The GOP proposed solutions come from a similar place as Rubio’s anachronistic view of economic inequality. Conservatives often suggest the tired notion of retraining workers. They believe this will magically erase decades of wage stagnation. They never consider that America does not need nor can employ 65 million computer programmers.
It should be no surprise that Rubio votes in favor of the wealthy over 90% of the time.
How Warren is Different
When Warren looks back, she sees how the consequences of these same backward economic policies, those lauded by the likes of Rubio, has led to wealth inequality.
But in the 1980s a new idea quickly took hold: American corporations should focus only on maximizing returns to their shareholders. That had a seismic impact on the American economy. In the early 1980s, America’s biggest companies dedicated less than half of their profits to shareholders and reinvested the rest in the company. But over the last decade, big American companies have dedicated 93% of earnings to shareholders – redirecting trillions of dollars that could have gone to workers or long-term investments. The result is that booming corporate profits and rising worker productivity have not led to rising wages.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Accountable Capitalism Act
Elizabeth Warren’s plan has garnered support from academics in law, finance, and economics. Her proposal calls for representation of the interests of workers, consumers and the public in the decision-making process of America’s most powerful businesses entities — and those companies’ ability to shape public policy.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to grant the Department of Commerce with oversight of corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, deemed a “United States Corporation.” The charter requires the corporations to consider the interests of employees, customers, and the local community — as well as shareholders.
Workers would have a say in the board. With the power to elect 40% of the members, the employees would be assured that their interests are represented, protected and promoted. There is a successful program in Germany that serves as a model of the proposal.
Officers and directors could not sell company shares within five years of receiving them or within three years of a company stock buyback. Warren believes this will short circuit the financial incentive to focus exclusively on these returns.
A Challenge to Citizens United — Sort Of
Additionally, these corporations would be required to have the approval of 75% of the directors and shareholders before making any political expenditure to ensure any monies spent benefit stakeholders.
Government would have the power to revoke the charter if the organization is found to engage in illegal conduct.
Supporters believe that this proposal will tame these large corporations and make them more responsive to workers and the public.
What Lies Ahead
Her proposal to fix capitalism is worthy of consideration. The real question is whether Elizabeth Warren can energize a beleaguered electorate suffering from two years of the political equivalent of PTSD at the hands of Donald Trump and a GOP Congress dedicated to enriching billionaires.
That may be the greatest advantage for Elizabeth Warren and a 2020 presidential bid. It may also be her biggest challenge: To find a way to excite a demoralized public due to the very problem she is trying to fix.