The Elizabeth Warren Delusion

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The senator’s sit-down with Piketty reveals the shallowness of her populism

For National Review OnlinePatrick Brennan writes: How many rookie American politicians, seated in a colloquy with a French economist, can get repeated rounds of applause from the packed high-walled pews of Boston’s Old South Meeting House?

” if Warren’s student-loan proposal is meant to address this, she’s abandoning the pretense that it’s about inequality or access to education and instead is calling for a bizarre roundabout economic stimulus.”

At least one: Senator Elizabeth Warren. And she can do it while repeatedly referring to Thomas Piketty, the bestselling author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, professor at the Paris School of Economics, as “Tom.” He even seemed to like it.

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“This is the kind of policy that comes out of focus groups, not white papers.”

That’s the phenomenon that is Elizabeth Warren. She doesn’t have a massive or national following (the Boston event was full but not mobbed), and she isn’t the policy prodigy some supporters might hope, but she has some serious political talent.

On Saturday, Warren and Piketty participated in a discussion led by Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief of the Huffington Post, in part funded by Patriotic Millionaires, a group of wealthy Americans campaigning for higher taxes on themselves.

For over an hour, the economist and the former law professor talked about inequality, cronyism, and the glories of progressive taxation. Piketty’s recently released book, which contends that capitalist societies see ever increasing inequality because the returns on capital outstrip the growth rate of the economy as a whole, has a couple of dramatic proposals: top income-tax rates hitting 80 percent and a global tax on wealth.

Warren seemed sympathetic to implementing a wealth tax in the United States, after Piketty pointed out that the U.S. already has property taxes that don’t extend to financial assets or take into account financial liabilities. “I’m in,” she said, if existing property taxes could be replaced with a Piketty wealth tax in a revenue-neutral way…(read more)

National Review Online


One Comment on “The Elizabeth Warren Delusion”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet The senator’s sit-down with Piketty reveals the shallowness of her populism For National […]


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