Though nobody who self-identifies as some flavor of ‘socialist’ will win the White House in my lifetime (pay attention, Bernie Sanders), the fact remains that American workers never had it so good as when the unions were strong and a large proportion of the economy was guided by what might be termed ‘industrial socialism.’ The workers didn’t own the auto companies — but they had an important voice in the operation of the companies and had to be treated with decency and equity if the company wanted to build cars. The decline of manufacturing was accompanied by the decline of unions, and with that came the decline of the middle class and the growth of wealth inequality. Since most politicians are amoral and follow the money, labor has had little genuine support in Washington.
In fact, a lot of the old blue collar voting bloc that supported the unions have bought into the Republicans’ politics of malice and now support the very party that has driven them over a cliff and whored itself to the Koch brothers. What is the matter with Kansas, anyway?
All of which is why it’s good news that Elizabeth Warren has entered the 2020 race for the Presidency. Though much of the (steadily declining) middle-class will sneer at her as an out-of-touch Harvard elite, the reality is that she is the candidate that big money hates most because she is the middle-class over-achiever who has the interests of the middle-class at heart.
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.
Warren doesn’t apologize for her part in setting-up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Warren is an attractive candidate, strong on domestic policy but light on foreign policy. She is well-positioned to tap plenty of foreign policy talent, though, and is not crazy — a strong plus these days.
A lot of money is going to be spent defaming Warren over the next couple of years and, in a country where a lot of idiots fell for the bizarre slur that Hilary Clinton was operating a child-sex ring in a Washington, D.C.-area pizzeria, it will probably be money well-, if grievously-, spent. Till then, any sane reckoning of her abilities and her sympathies ought to put her at the front of the pack.