Saturday, September 6, 2014

Meet Elizabeth Warren Along With Paul Krugman

This link is to a video that features Elizabeth Warren on how to fix Washington.  Paul Krugman was part of the discussion but it essentially gave Warren an opportunity to tell a story that Krugman basically supports.  The focus of the discussion is about how to make government work for most Americans.  Everyone understands that a small segment of the public has the means to hire lobbyists who write the rules of the game (AKA legislation).  We also know that nobody can run for high political office without raising sufficient funds to run a political campaign.  That limits who can run for office in a serious way.  The voting takes place with dollars before any votes are cast.  Despite all of the obstacles that limit real democracy in America, Elizabeth Warren provides some good examples of bills that have been passed, and bills that are under consideration, that have overcome the efforts of lobbyists to defeat them.  Sometimes the greater public, which is less involved in the political process than concentrated interests,  is able to influence the rules that determine how the game is played.

Warren demonstrates why she has been an unusually effective Senator who works on behalf of the greater public.  She believes strongly in making government represent the interests of ordinary Americans and she us undaunted by the obstacles.  The basic problem is to get the general public more informed about the issues and more involved in the political process.  Cynicism is the enemy that must be overcome.  In addition to her zeal, Warren is very smart and knowledgeable. If there were more people like Warren in Washington we would all be better off. 

The general way in which the far-right works to discredit politicians like Warren and economists like Krugman is label them as socialists.  Warren and Krugman support the market economy.  They argue, however, that the market operates under rules which often prevent the market from working.  For example, consumers cannot make good choices without the ability to evaluate one product against another product.  If you read your credit card agreement (most are over 20 pages), or your cell phone agreement, and compare them against competitive offerings, you will find that it is very difficult to compare one product against another.  Markets don't work under the condition of imperfect information.  Markets are also unable to provide public goods that are essential in the operation of the market economy.  Market fundamentalists should support much of the work that Warren has done to help consumers make more informed decisions.  Unfortunately, many do not really want markets to work.  They make libertarian arguments against government rules that would enable consumers to make more informed decisions.  Government regulations and rules are the enemy when they help ordinary people.  They are only good when they permit the powerful to take advantage of the weak.

No comments:

Post a Comment