Friday, July 18, 2014

Decoding Sen. Warren

A friend just flagged Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 11 Commandments for Progressivism she talked about at Netroots Nation this week. I include them verbatim as they are in the National Journal article, with a translation below. NB: I'm not translating what she wants to happen, or that she thinks will happen, but what the history and experience shows will likely happen.

- "We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we're willing to fight for it."
Translation: We need more onerous loopholes through which we can enable shady accounting practices to continue, including--but not exclusive to--regulations that will empower the largest firms to hire a squad of lawyers to navigate rules while crowding smaller, less dangerous firms out of the financial sector, centralizing power and money in the hands of the already strongest and most powerful firms.  And, I will pretend that this and so much else of my favored legislation doesn't actually favor corporations over small firms. [Have you noticed so many independent/small practice doctors joining conglomerates since ObamaCare started? Not coincidence. Same stuff is going on with financial institutions under Dodd-Frank]

- "We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth."
Translation: While we rely on statistical evidence showing that anthropogenic global warming is real, we will fully ignore any and all statistical and political evidence that the regulations we suggest, when implemented unilaterally within the United States, will not only have no positive effect on climate change, but may in fact drive polluters out of the country to less regulated regimes thereby increasing carbon and other pollutants into the global atmosphere. These regulations will also likely have negative effects on our economy and make energy consumption harder on the poor. Our embrace of evidence only goes so far.

- "We believe that the Internet shouldn't be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality."
Translation: I don't know how Internet infrastructure works. (Frankly, I'm not that familiar either, but I'll take the word of my friends in the comm's industry over talking heads who take corporate money to skew the market in their favor.)

- "We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage."
 Translation: We want to put 500,000 people out of work (according to the CBO), manyof whom will likely be unskilled minorities. Also, this will mitigate the draw to build businesses in red states (like Texas) with lower cost of living rather than blue, high cost of living states like the densely populated coastal areas.

- "We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them."
Translation: We would like to hasten the use of automated fast food dispensers, again, at the likely expense of unskilled minorities.

- "We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt."
Translation: We want to counter the high rising costs of higher education that have been subsidized by government loans that will match most tuition hikes with more subsidies. That should do it, right?

- "We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions."
Translation: I'm either willfully ignoring the costs or I don't understand the future costs of our entitlements. Any way you slice it, I want to have my cake and eat it too.

- "We believe—I can't believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work."
Translation: [Actually, I'm fine with this, in theory. I understand there are studies showing that when controlling for maternity leave and such, the M/F gap in wages disappears, but I haven't looked at the methodology and so won't plug them blindly. That said, perhaps she should call the White House first.]

- "We believe that equal means equal, and that's true in marriage, it's true in the workplace, it's true in all of America."
Translation: Egalitarianism rules! [Again, basically fine with this in the abstract, but there are limits.]

- "We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform."
Translation: "Reform" is a great way to advocate for change without ever having to say what you mean, or mean anything other than "I feel your pain."

- "And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!"
Translation: Although I'm a trained lawyer, I will pretend the many years of jurisprudence that has recognized corporate personhood just don't exist. Furthermore, I will pretend that this same idea of personhood is what enables the government to pursue the many rounds of criminal and civil litigation that I'm in favor of re: banks, Wall Street, and the like. Also, we need to curtail the First Amendment.

That's it, in a nutshell. I don't understand her popularity--it's mostly vague, hollow nonsense or, when she's being specific, onerous and with the costs best absorbed by the organizations she the expense of the people just trying to get by.

bellum medicamenti delenda est

1 comment:

dmarks said...

Some of it is OK. Some is BS. Some is destructive, like supporting the greedy oinking pigs that are fast food protesters... who want massive handouts from their employers without earning them.