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View Full Version : Elizabeth Warren shares some wisdom



David G
07-03-2016, 12:16 PM
http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/elizabeth-warrens-kick-ass-speech-tells-it-it-what-should-hillary-do



Thank you, thank you. As Barry mentioned, before I was a Senator, I was a law professor. What he didn’t say is that I taught contracts, secured transactions, and bankruptcy – all courses related to the functioning of competitive markets. I love markets! Strong, healthy markets are the key to a strong, healthy America.

That’s the reason I am here today. Because anyone who loves markets knows that for markets to work, there has to be competition. But today, in America, competition is dying. Consolidation and concentration are on the rise in sector after sector. Concentration threatens our markets, threatens our economy, and threatens our democracy.

Evidence of the problem is everywhere. Just look at banking. For years, banks have been in a feeding frenzy, swallowing up smaller competitors to become more powerful and, eventually, too big to fail (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/01/bank-merger-history). The combination of their size, their risky practices, and the hands-off policies of their regulators created a perfect storm, resulting in the worst financial crisis in 80 years. We know that excessive size and interconnectedness promotes risky behavior that can take down our economy – and yet, today, eight years after that financial crisis, three out of the four biggest banks in America are even bigger (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/12/bernie-sanders-is-right-the-biggest-banks-in-america-have-gotten-bigger/) than they were before the crisis and two months ago five were designated (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/business/dealbook/living-wills-of-5-banks-fail-to-pass-muster.html?_r=1) by both the Fed and the FDIC as “too big to fail.”

The concentration problem—and particularly the idea of “too big to fail” in the financial sector—gets a lot of attention. But the problem isn’t unique to the financial sector. It’s hiding in plain sight all across the American economy.

In the last decade, the number of major U.S. airlines has dropped from nine to four. (http://www.denverpost.com/2015/07/17/airline-consolidation-has-created-airport-monopolies-increased-fares/) The four that are left standing—American, Delta, United, and Southwest—control over 80% (http://www.wsj.com/articles/airline-consolidation-hits-smaller-cities-hardest-1441912457#%3AM1ZMKtAVWk5eBA) of all domestic airline seats in the country. And man, are they are hitting the jackpot now. Last year those four big airlines raked in a record $22 billion in profits (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/07/business/energy-environment/airlines-reap-record-profits-and-passengers-get-peanuts.html?_r=0).. Eighteen billion alone came from fees for baggage and legroom and pay toilets. Ok, the last one was a joke, but what have passengers received in return for their higher costs? Fewer flights (http://www.wsj.com/articles/airline-consolidation-hits-smaller-cities-hardest-1441912457#%3AM1ZMKtAVWk5eBA) and worse service (http://time.com/money/4178759/airline-fees-billions/). Airline complaints rose 30 percent (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-complaints-against-airlines-in-2015-20160218-story.html) just from 2014 to 2015.

The list goes on. A handful of health insurance giants—including Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, and Cigna—control over 83 percent (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-23/health-insurer-deals-face-market-review-that-felled-past-tie-ups) of the country’s health insurance market.

Three drug stores—CVS, Walgreen’s, and Rite Aid—control 99% of the drug stores (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/10/27/walgreens-rite-aid/74684642/) in the country.

Four companies control nearly 85% of the U.S. beef market, and three produce almost half (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2014/03/meat_racket_excerpt_how_tyson_keeps_chicken_prices _high.html) of all chicken.

Some people argue that concentration can be good (http://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-thiel-competition-is-for-losers-1410535536) because big profits encourage competitors to get into the game. This is the perfect stand-on-your-head-and-the-world-looks-great argument. It says that there’s no competition today, but maybe there will someday (http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/2009/11/v32n4-3.pdf) be competition. The truth is pretty basic—markets need competition now. So I want to talk about five reasons to be concerned about the decline of competition.

Ian McColgin
07-03-2016, 12:35 PM
Today's righties are against fair markets, against competition, and against honorable transactions. Most of them, however, are like the majority of poor Southern whites who did not own any slaves but who were hornswoggled into dying to defend the peculiar institution by their wealthy cavalier leaders. So today most righties believe the incredible lies of the oligarchs who keep them economically and socially oppressed.

Perhaps Senator Warren will reach them yet.

Gerarddm
07-03-2016, 01:08 PM
Perhaps Senator Warren will reach them yet.

Hah. You know nothing, Jon Snow. I think they are unreachable.

Ian McColgin
07-03-2016, 01:28 PM
No one's unreachable. Just, as yet, unreached.

Tom Hunter
07-03-2016, 03:55 PM
Ian, how many "righties" do you know? Have you asked any of us if we are in favor of this kind of consolidation?

I hang out with a bunch of guys who vote right, and there is universal agreement this is a problem.

I don't think its a problem for the leadership of the Republican Party, they seem to love it, but I don't see them really being on the right any more, they are more the faction of crony capitalism and monopoly.

Ian McColgin
07-03-2016, 04:18 PM
Tom, you say "this is a problem" but grammatically the "this" refers to the whole first clause, "I hang out with a bunch of guys who vote right, . . . " leaving one torn as to whether the problem upon which they agree is that you hang out with them or that they vote right. Or perhaps something else about which someone has "universal agreement".

In the 1850s-1860s there was broad agreement among poor southern whites to die in their thousands for a very few slave owners. Agreement does not make them right.

I have about a half dozen hard right friends and numerous hard right cousins and they are very like the righties on this Forum, fact free. Their sense of having been personally betrayed by liberalism is nearly insurmountable.

I am reminded of people's reaction to the proof for the Pythagorean Theory - so many regard it as a trick, a bit of logic chopping coercion, and not to be believed.

It does not help to force their noses into actual facts.

Nor does it help as a persuasive tool to start or even include a snotty remark like my opening paragraph. That's for the choir and personal satisfaction but is insultingly non-productive. But just as righties have a hard time passing up a chance to say "Liberturd" or "Crooked Hillary", so we liberals have out utterly useless temptations.

CWSmith
07-03-2016, 04:44 PM
You GO, girl!

She is the real deal. She should be our first woman President and I would vote for her happily (as opposed to holding my nose as I expect to do in November).

CWSmith
07-03-2016, 05:13 PM
I would absolutely LOVE to see her with two terms and a willing Congress!

FANTASTIC!

You mean you would actually like to see the American public think when they vote? I do wish. . . .

Daniel Noyes
07-03-2016, 05:20 PM
Today's righties are against fair markets, against competition, and against honorable transactions. Most of them, however, are like the majority of poor Southern whites who did not own any slaves but who were hornswoggled into dying to defend the peculiar institution by their wealthy cavalier leaders. So today most righties believe the incredible lies of the oligarchs who keep them economically and socially oppressed.

Perhaps Senator Warren will reach them yet.

"defend the peculiar institution by their wealthy cavalier leaders. So today most righties believe the incredible lies of the oligarchs who keep them economically and socially oppressed."

the Clintons... the Democrats are part and parcel... bought and sold by the group above. to believe anything else is absolute Naivete.


It has nothing to do with political parties it has to do with the Establishment Politicians of Both Parties, lining their pockets at the peoples expense.

Ian McColgin
07-03-2016, 05:35 PM
There's a lot that's wrong with President Clinton's record and the extent to which Secretary Clinton shares it. Some things, like the Clinton era prison "reform" she appears to realize was wrong. Having made some mistakes in matters of justice law reform, I know that the only thing worse than being wrong is not doing something about it. And I don't see Clinton realizing how wrong the President Clinton era welfare "reform" really was. I recognize that the vote Clinton took in the senate was not an authorization for war as opposed to nothing but I don't know if she'd have voted against war in a simple up or down vote. And I really don't like her warlike sense of foreign policy. So there's a lot to disagree with and some of it quite profound.

Here's the deal. As a democratic (small d, not party D) liberal I can work with the Democrats, even right wing Democrats like Clinton. Work with and work on. Make a coalition where we give some an we get some, they give some and get some. Democratic self-governance is not about getting your own way. It's about reasoning together and at times compromising.

I've been here before. I did all I could to get a good person nominated in '68 including some bruises and dings in Chicago. And in November I did not waste my vote on some third party loser. Same now. If the Democrats nominate Clinton as appears overwhelmingly likely, I'll be voting for her and I'll continue my life's work of promoting democratic self-governance anywhere I can.

In short, only non-compromising ideologues fancy that theirs is the only way. Only people profoundly against freedom and democracy think that they must have their way, their party's way, on all issues.

Chris Smith porter maine
07-03-2016, 06:02 PM
I think Citizens United, and the conservative judges appointed by the right, and the refusal of the republicans to allow vote on Merit Garland pretty much killed any republican credibility on breaking up the big banks or corporations. Some here seem to think there is a new breed of republican, that disparages the control of corporate America but they vote for those who do not, and maintain the status, the Tea Party is about total freedom and freedom without regulation gets you monopolies. Harrison, a republican I admire, helped brake up Standard Oil, as a republican since 1980, I want to see my politicians working for the regular folks, I find few choices in my party now. Susan Collins is a bright spot and is one reason I stay.

delecta
07-03-2016, 06:08 PM
"In short, only non-compromising ideologues fancy that theirs is the only way"

Pretty much sums up the swamp.

Durnik
07-03-2016, 06:13 PM
She is the real deal. She should be our first woman President and I would vote for her happily (as opposed to holding my nose as I expect to do in November).

Yep.

bobby

SMARTINSEN
07-03-2016, 07:25 PM
She should be our first woman President .

Evidently, Senator Warren does not agree, so you are just dreaming. You have to go into the voting booth with the candidate that you have rather than the candidate you wish you had, and there will be a stark choice November.

Sec. Clinton may be seen as flawed in some or even many ways, but I trust her to make the right decision in regards to the Supreme Court, where where there may be two, three or even more vacancies over the course of the next four years. It is through that institution that the course will be charted on our social contract, and perhaps for the next generation, and I hope that they can begin to make some headway on the problems that have vexed us since Dred Scott.

in this election, it is the Supreme Court, stupid. Perhaps Elizabeth would look good in a black robe.

CWSmith
07-03-2016, 07:26 PM
Evidently, Senator Warren does not agree, so you are just dreaming.

Tell me something I don't know.

Tom Hunter
07-05-2016, 07:22 PM
Ian (and anyone else on this thread nearby) if you are wandering near Marblehead it would be good to argue politics while working our way to the bottom of a bottle of good whisky.

I agree on the tribalism and closing of the mind, it's kind of horrible.