Elizabeth Warren’s “Economic Patriotism” Plan

Unprecedented intrusion into America’s capitalist economy.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is touting unprecedented government intrusion into America’s capitalist economy under the deceptive presidential campaign slogan she calls “economic patriotism.” She is trying to co-opt President Trump’s message to working class Americans built around economic populism, in which she condemns U.S. companies that ship jobs abroad and politicians who have negotiated bad trade agreements. However, Senator Warren’s model for fixing the problems she has identified is centralized government planning for promoting selected industrial sectors, not a free, robust marketplace unencumbered by burdensome taxes and regulations. Indeed, she wants more taxes and regulations. She referred approvingly to China’s Made in China 2025 plan, as well as plans developed by Germany and Japan, “that identify long-term goals for domestic production and put real money behind achieving them.” To achieve her goal to transform the American capitalist economy into something approaching China's model, Senator Warren has proposed the creation of a new government department that “will be responsible for creating a National Jobs Strategy (NJS) every four years, just as countries like Germany and China produce regular strategic plans…it will establish clear goals for American jobs and American industry that will guide how the Department of Economic Development prioritizes its investments and direct its programs.”

Senator Warren is particularly intrigued with imposing the heavy hand of government on the energy sector. In her “Green Manufacturing Plan for America” she proposed creating a new National Institutes of Clean Energy and spending enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money on advancing the economy-wrecking Green New Deal.  The price tag she has in mind would be “$2 trillion over the next ten years in green research, manufacturing, and exporting,” to help “achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal.” Apparently, Senator Warren has forgotten about Solyndra, the solar company that went belly up after the Obama administration wasted hundreds of millions of dollars of federal dollars to keep it afloat. Obama’s misdirected green energy loan guarantee gravy train program was estimated as of November 2014 to cost taxpayers over $2.2 billion.

Senator Warren has embraced the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which would shift U.S. electricity generation in the direction of renewable energy sources instead of reliance on fossil fuels. She and her fellow New Green Deal boosters do not seem concerned that, in addition to the immediate negative consequences for the economy, such a shift will expose the nation’s electric grid to more cyber attacks. According to a report by the Manhattan Institute, “the rush to make U.S. grids greener and smarter also increases their cyberphysical attack surface.” It recommends slowing and even halting in some cases “smart- and green-grid transformation that increases the attack surface until adequate cybersecurity features are available and incorporated.” It also recommends allocating “grid budgets to increase funding for security, resilience, and reliability, and require cybersecurity metrics as part of pre-deployment requirements for green and efficiency programs.”

Senator Warren is all for the financial sector spending more money to strengthen its cyber defenses. If Senator Warren is so enamored with centralized government planning to run the nation’s energy sector, she should make certain that her push for promoting green energy sources for electric power generation does not jeopardize the nation’s cybersecurity.

Senator Warren wants to use the considerable leverage of federal government procurement for social engineering purposes. For example, she demands that “all companies that receive federal contracts” guarantee employees “at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.”

In trying to burnish her progressive credentials to the Democrat leftist base, Senator Warren has espoused reparations for black Americans economically affected by slavery. “We must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country that has had many consequences including undermining the ability of Black families to build wealth in America for generations,” she told Reuters. “Black families have had a much steeper hill to climb - and we need systemic, structural changes to address that.” Weren’t affirmative action and trillions of dollars spent on anti-poverty programs supposed to address such problems?

Reparations is an example of radical wealth redistribution policies favored by Senator Warren and other progressives. As David Horowitz asked rhetorically:

What rationale would require Vietnamese boat people, Russian refuseniks, Iranian refugees, and Armenian victims of the Turkish persecution, Jews, Mexicans Greeks, or Polish, Hungarian, Cambodian and Korean victims of Communism, to pay reparations to American blacks? How are the millions of refugees from tyranny and genocide who are now living in America going to receive these claims, moreover, except as demands for special treatment, an extravagant new handout that is only necessary because some blacks can't seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others -- many less privileged than themselves?

Elizabeth Warren denies that she is a socialist. However, as the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Senator Warren’s policies would radically transform America’s economy from one based on a free market model to one closer to China’s centralized government industrial planning model.

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