Elizabeth Warren–Telling It Like It REALLY Is

I would be shocked if Hillary Clinton chose Elizabeth Warren for the VP slot. The Democrats have a good chance of regaining control of the Senate, and it would be foolhardy to give Republicans a “freebie” by choosing a Senator from a state with a Republican governor.

Besides, in the Senate, Senator Warren is stiffening the spines of her colleagues.

Warren has become a hero to many Americans (including this one) and one of the reasons for that, in my view, is her uncanny ability to explain complex realities in language that everyone can understand.

During her Senate campaign, her defense of taxation–really, a defense of the social contract–went viral, and is still being widely quoted; more recently, she did it again.

Warren is, of course, famous for her attacks on too-big-to-fail banks. But in her address yesterday, entitled “Reigniting Competition in the American Economy,” she extended her critique to the entire economy, noting that, as a result of three decades of weakened federal antitrust regulation, virtually every industrial sector today—from airlines to telecom to agriculture to retail to social media—is under the control of a handful of oligopolistic corporations. This widespread consolidation is “hiding in plain sight all across the American economy,” she said, and “threatens our markets, threatens our economy, and threatens our democracy.”

Antitrust is one of those legal theories that can make citizens’ eyes glaze over. But–as Teddy Roosevelt understood, and economists and businesspeople have come to recognize–vigorous enforcement of antitrust rules is essential to the proper operation of markets. Without such regulation, we do not have the healthy competition that a capitalist system requires; instead, we have corporatism and corruption.

As the Washington Monthly put it, in a post describing Warren’s speech,

As our readers know, economic consolidation is a subject the Washington Monthly has long been obsessed with—see here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, and here. In our current cover story, Barry Lynn (impresario of yesterday’s event) and Phil Longman argue that antitrust was the true legacy of the original American Populists and a vital, under-appreciated reason for the mass prosperity of mid-20th Century America. But this legacy, and the new Gilded Age economy that has resulted from its abandonment, is not a narrative most Americans have been told (one reason why even the “populist” candidates running president have shied away from it).

The Washington Monthly included the entire text of Warren’s speech. You should click through and read it. It’s not only a model of clarity; it’s a model of common sense.

Elizabeth Warren is the politician who really “tells it like it is.”


  1. Sheila,

    “Elizabeth Warren is the politician who really “tells it like it is.”

    There’s no way Hillary Clinton can beat Trump/Pence without immense help from all sectors of the PRO-DEMOCRACY CULTURE.

  2. I cannot envision this country electing a two-woman presidential/vice presidential option; there are many (including women) who will not vote for Hillary because she is female. They are, of course, unmindful of the fact that women’s capabilities and intelligence levels equals – and often surpasses – that of their male counterparts. Scan through our current Congress for examples. Elizabeth Warren is but one example; couldn’t her abilities be put to better use in another position? I can’t name one man who has her abilities to join Hillary but…we have to consider the odds we are working against and what will be the best option.

    We are fighting a Republican duality who feeds the multi-biased and religious mindset in this country; look at the individual and mass killings during the past month or so. If Kim Davis can retain control of her family owned and operated County Clerk’s office in Kentucky, with the help of state officials and one former presidential candidate, the Trump/Pence ticket will be difficult to keep out of OUR White House. That one county is a microcosm of the GOP state level control today. Those states comprise almost half of this nation (I think the last statistic I read listed 23 red states).

    We are in another Civil War; again State’s Rights are at the core and violence on our streets has escalated to unimaginable proportions and will continue to do so.

  3. The problem is that HRC still doesn’t fully comprehend that this is an “anti” election. The Donald consolidated the Evangelical & Tea Party factions who will now definitely show up because of Pence. Hillary still has to motivate Bernie’s base & get them to vote. Lizzie is the only one who can do this. Otherwise, it’s apathy & very possiblely defeat.

  4. One of the main reasons we don’t “hear about antitrust” is those responsible for telling us (free and independent press) has consolidated into MASS MEDIA, whereas, we now have 6 major companies controlling 85% of all media we watch, listen to and read.

    Elizabeth has been an anti-Wall Street champion which makes her endorsement of Hillary Clinton very puzzling. She lost a lot of support from progressives for not endorsing her fellow progressive senator, Bernie Sanders. It will be interesting to see what she was promised for selling out the progressive movement.

  5. It’s time for a “Third Force” in the U.S…..The Nazis were the “Third Force” in Germany between Capitalism and Socialism. The ETHICAL FORUM is the “Third Force” in America.

    There MUST be an answer to the TEA PARTY in order for Hillary Clinton to win. Pence has to be neutralized NOW, it’s our LAST CHANCE.

  6. Elizabeth Warren is an extremely valuable member of the Senate. As we all know, her ability to “tell it like it is” is why Wall Street dislikes her so much. She is a rare gem in Washington DC who is there to serve the U.S. citizens, which is in stark contrast to most of the members of Congress who are there only to serve themselves and gain as much power as possible.

  7. It has been years since there has been any effort on the part of our government to enforce anti-trust laws. Since the early 1950s our motto has been, “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” We now rely on the EU to bring anti-trust actions against our biggest players. This certainly hasn’t turned out very well for most of us. Think about that and de-regulation the next time you fly anywhere.

  8. Nancy,

    “Think about that and de-regulation the next time you fly.”

    Is there anyone old enough to remember when the Reagan Administration de-regulated the banking industry? Think about that one too when you evaluate the antics which have transpired in the banking industry and Wall Street since the Regan/Bush years.

  9. One of the many things that we used to know and got talked out of is that business hates competition and competition is the only thing that keeps it viable. The government must represent we the people in the ever ongoing war to force business to accept both competition among themselves and maintaining our support. Like government business serves at our pleasure not visa versa.

    Nobody says all of that better than Elizabeth Warren.

    Business will adapt to our environment. They will occupy every nook and cranny we allow. They will create as many jobs as they can. They don’t need government support. They need government regulation.

    They’re here not because we make it comfortable for them but because we both create and consume the products that they sell.

    There is one thing that is different now though. We’ve become one world. We can no longer regulate as a country, but have to form economic alliances with other countries in order to regulate what have become global businesses. If they no longer have borders than neither can we.

    We used to specialize in military alliances. Now we have to expand that notion into business regulatory alliances.

    The world recognizes better than we apparently do that the job of our President is global in nature. The world depends on our leadership. The world has a stake in our elections.

    This election is making global news but not of the positive kind.

  10. That was a great read Professor. Thanks for sharing. I’ve bookmarked it for future reference and sent the link to my husband, the brains in our marriage.

    I don’t want Sen Warren as VP either. She is much too valuable to give her a sideline job like that. Since she didn’t run for President, I’d like her to be part of Clinton’s cabinet or stay in the Senate where she can continue to lead the progressive cause. Clinton needs to pick someone that is ready to be President if, gawd forbid, something happen to her and lead this country where it needs to go. I don’t know who that person will be but picking Warren will not help our country recover from a Congress that is stalled to doing absolutely NOTHING. I really like the Senator and think she can be a powerful voice somewhere besides VP.

  11. JoAnn,

    “We are in another Civil War; again State’s Rights are at the core and violence on our streets has escalated to unimaginable proportions and will continue to do so.”

    99.9 % correct. However, for good luck, I would also throw in a touch of the Spanish Civil War in the late 30’s. Those on the side of the Republic against the Church were called “pre-mature Anti-Fascists.”

  12. JoAnn,

    I have a premonition that my training as a forward observer when I was an artillery officer, many years ago, is going to come in handy.

  13. Marv; the fact that the GOP has done everything in it’s power – short of shooting those supporting gun control reform themselves – shows their total disregard for human lives. Could this be the reason they are supporting Trump…but at the same time appearing to remove themselves from his hostile rants. They seem to overlook the fact that many of those killed were Republicans and possibly voters; armed and unarmed. And the fact that so many victims are children; children who could be indoctrinated into the GOP similar to Hitler’s Youth groups.

    Trump stated he chose Pence as his running mate to unite the Republican party…did he miss Pence’s negative national headlines or is it due to Pence’s negative national headlines regarding RFRA, the toughest anti-abortion law in the country and supporting religious schools with public education tax dollars via vouchers. Is a puzzlement!

    Whatever his reasons (is he able to reason?); win or lose we are going to see a continuation and escalation of violence in this country. Maybe I should start seeking friendships with those like yourself who are trained in the military. I am afraid, very afraid and my fear is justified with every news broadcast or headline I see.

  14. Consolidation or Mergers are sticky. I can recall my father and his friends discussing cars. Names like Packard, Studebaker, and DeSoto, were discussed. At various points we were left with the Big Three Auto Makers. There was also Big Steel, the Seven Sisters of the Oil Companies and three major networks (ABC, CBS , and NBC) and we had Ma Bell. It is interesting if you watch a movie from the 1960’s or 1970’s and see the names of the companies on the airplanes.

    Back when I went to College in the 1970’s my Economics Teachers said in effect that Capitalism was dead. We had oligopolies and as it was pointed out there were interlocking directorates in Corporate America. Directors and CEO’s of one company sat on the Boards of others. It was a club in effect.

    Presidents since at least Carter have approved of the Mega-Mergers. Various schemes made this possible among them Junk Bonds plus the Government’s willingness to serve Corporate interests. Golden Parachutes protected those at the top. Now we have the all to familiar scenario we read or hear in the Media of some corporation opening something, but they will receive some direct or indirect tax subsidy. The Government as controlled as a Corporate Puppet picks the winners and losers. Pete the Plumber will never get the sweet deal the Colts and Pacers receive.

    I would have loved to have voted for a Sanders-Warren or Warren-Sanders Ticket. Both Sanders and Warren have demonstrated a commitment to fight Wall Street.

    Here in Indiana the Establishment Corporate Democrat choice is Evan (Duck and Cover) Bayh and John (Cream-Puff) Gregg. Neither Bayh or Gregg have slightest inclination to emulate the reforms Warren and Sanders have advocated.

  15. One of the things that Elizabeth Warren does so well, as do the other Congressional liberals is to simply tell the truth; no hidden agenda.

    There’s no back story or ulterior motive.

    There’s no money to be made by being liberal.

    We’re sharply focused on the Presidential Election now which to me, with only one qualified candidate running, is a no brainer, when the key political issue is Congress. For one reason, as Congress goes so goes the Supreme Court at least in the short term.

    We need every voter who is not a blind Republican loyalist out on Election Day. Every one. The more one sided the election is the better our chance of survival
    not only as a country but given Republican science denial as a species.

    It’s that important.

  16. When Socrates spoke, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” I’m fairly certain he spoke about the self-examined life, not the examination of others’ lives including their supposed motives. Rather than examine our personal thought processes or engage in metacognition by reflecting on our own thinking, it evidently is easier to skip that hard work and jump immediately to assessing and to overthinking the motives of others.

    If overthinking burned calories, some would be in the final stages of starvation.

  17. I never thought Trump-Pence would get the RED flag even before the Convention delegates got there, but so far the War of the Sexes already was lost in both parties’ advertising agents in Indiana. Hillary’s male callers three times denied my right to answer for my absent male partner in the property he was soliciting door to door, TELLING ME he would call back . I then said , do not call back. When I worked phones twice for Democrats in Indiana lists, I would have marked that for a script change to equal rights to my phone bill. Instead he asked me if I was ‘the spouse or the mother.” Then this aggressive white man in big chested voice, did it again. The next time, a tired-sounding older voice did the script, but politely took the third do not call again cue not to ask me my rights to speech uncensored commercially. I checked with a 50 year retired LA reporter-editor and the WOMEN’s news there is not any better for the ‘first First Lady” to run in men’s shoes. Trump’s men did not call back or ask if I had equal rights to say that! Remember that Indiana Historians still have bring their OWN bicentennial books into alignment with the Sunwatches for two hundred years in the Mounds technologies. Kentuckians got theirs done in 1992 and Ohioans in 2003. Mike Pence’s Clerks had to take the calls for his marriage license refusals without any Pope press!

  18. Sheila, not everyone is ignoring the anti-trust laws of Sherman and Clayton and the old progressive Teddy. I write about them frequently in my blogs, and yes, it is true that their enforcement has been ignored for years, and for the same reason that the corporate world is taking (or has taken) over America, i.e., citizen apathy. I could get into how all this has caused monopoly pricing and an underperforming economy etc, but not in this forum. I recently blogged that our greatest fear should be the forces from within that are taking over our democracy rather than those without, who are rather playing a diversionary role at present. ISIS, bad as it is, does not constitute a threat to our democracy, whereas the corporate culture poses a clear and present danger to our democracy etc. etc. etc.

  19. Phyllis Holden,

    I read your post and honestly have no idea about what you wrote. I did bullet point what seemed to be the high points, the keywords, and phrases.

    *absent male partner
    *War of the Sexes
    *Hillary’s male callers
    *script change to equal rights to my phone bill
    *the spouse or the mother
    *aggressive white man in big chested voice
    *tired sounding older voice did the script
    *my rights to speech uncensored commercially
    *first First Lady to run in men’s shoes
    *Trumps’s men did not call back or ask if I had equal rights to say that
    *Remember that Indiana Historians still have bring their OWN bicentennial books into alignment with the Sunwatches for two hundred years in the Mounds technologies.
    *Mike Pence’s Clerks had to take the calls for his marriage license refusals without any Pope press!

  20. One piece of data about America which the upcoming election will hand us is how many people are so motivated to vote only “R” regardless of the harm to the country that they will spend the hour or hours to vote.

    I’m thinking between 30 – 40%.

  21. Thank you BSH, because I too did not understand any of the message Phyllis H was making.

  22. BSH; thank you for speaking out. This is not the first garbled message from Phyllis Holden, the first one or two I read over again thinking I had lost all powers of reading comprehension. Didn’t want to appear stupid in case she made sense on a level I didn’t understand. I do know that another commenter had the same questions. Thanks; you too, irvin

  23. While there are many histories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution here’s an easy to read one.


    What is informative is to consider the problems that Mao was having then and the solutions that he cooked up.

    While I would never claim a complete parallel between those times there and these times here, there are some lessons to be learned about the desperation of the GOP and what has evolved as their reaction to failure.

    It’s been an awful long time since the GOP was successful at anything. They, like Mao, would not ever consider changing their idealology despite the obvious failure of it so their solution has been to try to change our culture. Of course they have a huge technological advantage now over Mao then. He had to rely on the influence of millions of copies of the “Little Red Book of Mao’s Thoughts” and they have entertainment media streamed to our ubiquitous screens.

    Both Mao did and the GOP is doing their best to empower ignorance. Mao closed down public schools to free hoards of uneducated kids to form the Red Guard and drag down everyone with the ability and resources to question authorities. By that I mean those with expertise.

    Mao’s efforts enslaved the entire country for generations but kept him in power. The GOP hopes for the same. We have democracy to save us.

    The question is will we use it and our expertise to keep America great.

  24. BSH; Pete may be onto something, could the GOP have relied on fortune cookies to guide them to our current presidential nominee fiasco?

  25. JoAnn, personally I’m considering the candidate selection efficacy of a combo Mao fortune cookie/Sunwatch technology-augmented mound.

  26. BSH; but the GOP has one-track minds and combining any two possibilities obviously confuses them. Hence; the Trump & Pence duo. Come to think of it; that combination provides something for everyone on that side of the aisle.

  27. Why I think having a Native American on the ticket would be awesome and shatter another glass ceiling.

    We need to balance the ticket with someone who will oversee Wall Street to partner with someone who is on the payroll.

  28. There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

    “You moved your goods on the roads the rest of us paid for.”

    Excuse me, I paid my share.

    “You hired workers the rest of us educated.”

    I paid my fair share, too. I was even educated in a religious school system, so I paid for my education, in addition to contributing to yours.

    I may be inclined to hire catholic school kids, too.

    By my count, I have not only paid my fair share of police and fire protection, I am also paying for those who haven’t paid into the system.

    And what if I actually served in the military? Then I am well ahead of the game, especially compared to those who have been takers rather than givers.

    I had the Idea, I bought the factory, I hired the workers, I pay them handsomely and pay my taxes. I use the same roads as those that I went to school with and am now subsidizing.

    What is her point?

  29. William; if you don’t understand the meaning of the comments, you certainly wouldn’t understand the explanation. The comments ARE the explanation.

  30. Ditto, ALG and Marv. Sen. Warren is perfect and powerful right where she is. Besides, the good ol’ boy network would never go for two women running the show; however, two men seems to have been OK with the the ol’ boys for a mighty long time.

  31. To William the only thing are dollars.

    He believes that dollars entitle.

    I think that we’re all in this together. Some are dealt good hands, some are dealt terrible ones and most mediocre.

    Because we’re in this together we share the risk like insurance. If you put more into the insurance fund than you take out give thanks. You’re extra fortunate. If you have to take out more than you put in, bless you bro, must have been some pretty bad breaks. Glad we lucky ones can help.

    See how that works William?

  32. Pete
    As someone who knows insurance, when we are fortunate, we are not required to pay more, which is what the Native American Senator is suggesting. In insurance, more times than not, we pay LESS when we are lucky or auccessful.

    Back ro Warren. All taxpayers pay for roads, schools, police and fire. There are many, many, many less fortunate who do not.

    Shouldn’t those who are less fortunate, who take advantage of free roads, schools, police and fire, be thankful and strive to turn that opportunity into success?

    Should those who use are successful be REQUIRED to pay more than what is deemed to be a fair share?

    Successful people come from all walks of life. We live in a society that allows for movement into different classes. (I will admit that those who start off well have a better chance of ending up well.)

    We all have an opportunity, or should. We will never all have an EQUAL opportunity, and that is okay. We all do not use the opportunities we have equally either, and that’s okay, too.

    People like you, watch to make sure we don’t discriminate against certain groups of people, and that is a good thing.

    But Warren is wrong to assert that successful people are only successful because OTHERS built the roads, paid for school, and kept us safe.

    You have a big heart, Pete, but that doesn’t mean that people who came from nothing, and became something, don’t have a point, too.

  33. I believe that Warren’s point is that we are all connected, more now than ever before. 200 years ago it may have been possible for an individual to survive in the wilderness solely on their own but those days are long gone.

    There’s hardly anything that I own that’s the product of only my two hands.

    I do my share of what I’m better at than average and completely rely on others to do the same.

    Our system of figuring out how many of the apples that you raise are a fair exchange for an hour of my engineering work is badly broken by people manipulating the so called system.

    For instance, if I call myself a bank I can literally manufacture money. From a million dollars in my vault I can create $10M in debt owed to me.

    Like or not we are a fully connected species such that no individual is anything alone.

  34. Marv; I can’t remember who it was (a Senator I think) who correctly identified as “voter suppression” the campaign rule denying delegates the right to debate not being allowed to change their earlier vote. This was inclusive in the committee’s reasoning that “party unity is more important than who the nominee is”. I translated this to mean they know Trump is an idiot but vote for him anyway, he SAYS he is a Republican. Trump stated his primary reason for selecting Pence was to “unite the party”; I won’t bother listing the reasons this is futile. I had to laugh yesterday afternoon when it was announced, in addition to the anti-Trump faction, a group of delegates also want the right to an alternative option for vice president.

    I have commented to people for months that the Republican National Convention would be an extended SNL episode; it began even funnier but quickly turned un-Constitutional and became totally boring at the actual convention opening last night. It was reported on MSNBC that Trump, with his egotistical self, planned to appear every night of the convention but they held him to only introducing his wife on the first night and returning on the last night. (At this point I heave a heavy sigh of relief!) He stated earlier it would be a “show biz” convention, not with the usual political headliners. Scott Baio is a long forgotten TV sitcom star; where are our aging “show biz” speakers? And…where are the Black people? I saw a total of eight, two of them were speakers, I specifically looked during the crowd scenes. Due to the law of averages, I’m sure there were more in that massive crowd…but only due to the law of averages, not due to Trump’s support of their issues.

    How has America come to this embarrassing and degrading situation regarding election of the next most powerful person in the world?

  35. Maybe Trump could persuade Elizabeth Warren to write an original speech for his current wife.

  36. Love it Jo!

    Dems have 700+ superdelegates! 15% of total.

    GOP superdelegates are 7% of the delegate total. GOP superdelegates must vote for the winner of the state they represent.

    Democrat superdelegates can be bought and sold. They can vote for whomever they wish.

    Now that is democracy by the people and for the people.

    I think the idea is ro keep people like Bernie from becoming the nominee.

    Actually we are a republic, a representative government.

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