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Can Elizabeth Warren's Big New Idea Save Capitalism (and America) From Itself?


Can Elizabeth Warren's Big New Idea Save Capitalism (and America) From Itself?

Will Bunch

If American corporations are people, my friend, then they have to be — in the immortal words of Barbra Streisand — the luckiest people in the world.


The narrative that capitalism and socialism must be at war with one another is poppycock. In all societies capitalism rides on the top of socialism. When overweight, capitalism crushes society. When bloated, socialism can impede innovation, which is not evil if based upon a fair profit (always a good place to start an argument). Hyper-financialized capitalism, what is the present system in the US, is severely overweight. It must be regulated and taxed back into a more right(not politically)-sized portion, largely by bringing what are now externalities (pollution, poverty, …) into the “economically” based decision-making process. $crew off Big Money, you are everyone’s worst enemy–even your own, as the article’s title suggests.


Who was it that said, “I’ll believe corporations are People when the first one is executed in Texas?”


While corporations often make outrageous profits they can also go bankrupt and out of business. Investors in corporations take a risk hoping things work out and they come out ahead. There are risks involved in investing in stocks and one can lose money as well as make money. The idea is to buy low and sell high but many people do the reverse. Investing in stocks is all about fear and greed. I think Warren’s idea are useful for starting a conversation. However, there are so many very important issues on the table at the moment that it will probably soon get lost. But hopefully some people will look over these ideas and pursue this further. When unions were much bigger and largely formed the base of the Democratic Part there was much more of a check on capitalism through the political system. But unions have shrunk in size and many union members now support the Republicans or are swing votes and the base of the Democratic Party is now formed of a collection of diverse groups such as African-Americans, Hispanics, environmentalists, upper middle class professionals, civil rights advocates, etc. Warren’s ideas will require political support. We will have to see whether or not it develops.


“I am a capitalist,” Warren told a CNBC interviewer. “I love what markets can do, I love what functioning economies can do. They are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity. But only fair markets, markets with rules.”

Warren’s ideas are neither big nor new. “Regulated markets” have always been in play in some form and have never worked in capitalist economies (except when they work for capitalists).

Part of the definition of capitalism requires the concentration of wealth in private hands. This comes from stealing the value of labor from workers and natural resources whenever and wherever they can.

Another part of capitalism requires that most investment decisions are made by private wealth holders which means they have dominant social power. It is really a form of financial feudalism.

Warren does not consider the many unequal power relationships involved in capitalism. It is common (almost universal) in the U.S. to view economics in a vacuum without power relationships. We simply do not understand (or even admit to) the reality of political-economy.

Warren is a brilliant woman, so I doubt that she does not understand. She is simply being disingenuous, offering up false “progressivism” in jockeying for 2020. She may very well succeed.


I sure hope you are wrong. What we saw surely was not a detailed writing and the full bill could be filled with loopholes or it could be filled with getting rid of Citizens United, detailed wage outlines, and other details that further keep corporations in line like requiring corporations to clean up their own messes and packaging problems.


‘It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.’



Oh thank goodness! Elizabeth Warren has swooped in to save capitalism! What a joke. Please tell me how the person who was personally picked out of Harvard, by the DNC, to run against a far more progressive candidate is doing ANYTHING except what’s in her own self interest. Tell me how the person who said to my face that “We’ll just have to see how it plays out and the protesters need to let the workers do their job” when I confronted her about a girl nearly getting her arm blown off by an militarily armed police in Standing Rock? Tell me how the “We’re taking on the banks” Elizabeth Warren completely turned her back on the Sanders campaign (which she supposedly aligned ideologically) and stumped for the most beatable candidate the DNC has ever pre-chosen? Bullshit.


Decline of labor unions was not a cause, but a consequence - of 40 years of job loss to computer automation and off-shoring. It is time to address the fundamental structural issue of automated manufacturing and services. Greatly enhanced federal wage supplements would be a meaningful policy shift - and it would take pressure off small businesses to increase wages on their own.

Warren Buffett advocates a “big-time” increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit. Let’s follow the guidance of one of America’s most astute businessmen.


The problem is, Dan, that the quote is so true for so much that you could spend a lifetime attaching it to all of the idiots.


So true.


Now Tim, she’s going to be running as “The First Woman Who Could Be US President and Is Not a Republican” (though she is). Hold your tongue, roll over like a good little boy, and keep the LOTE machine stumbling into its (taking too long) self-destruction.



not sure i read anything about making unionization easier… if that’s missing its huge oversight

the fact that the largest employer in the us walmart has been able to remain non union is deplorable

she should include the employee free choice act which obama campaigned on but then abandoned as soon as he was inducted into the special 1% club right after assuming the presidency

these are small steps in the right direction but not nearly enough in my humble opinion


I tried to just post, “No,” but I got a message saying that there was a five character minimum. A capitalist must be selling characters here.


“A campaign should be about ideas, and this measure is a bold and worthy one.”

Here is one that can save the world:


“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” - Louis D. Brandeis

And what does our capitalism system do? It makes “great wealth” for a tiny minority.


“Progressive” politicians are the most bold when they have no power. Note how the discussion of single-payer is back among liberals. The last time it was being seriously discussed was during George W. Bush’s presidency. But when Obama was elected and the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, it first was watered down to the doomed “Public Option” and then dropped altogether. And then of course when the Dems lost the midterms (because they didn’t deliver to their base), then they whined that the GOP was blocking any progressive legislation. It’s funny how rare elites need to update their playbook…


Have you read any Karl Marx? Of course you don’t need to read him, you could get a better idea than you have by reading Thomas Piketty. 'Cause you don’t have a clue about capitalism or socialism.


I think it’s worth being suspicious here.

Warren could write a strong economics bill and would probably like to do so, but she has also shown herself quite willing to waffle, This article is written closer to advertising than to analysis.