By Carlos Alberto Montaner
Wall Street is trembling. Senator Elizabeth Warren leads the Democratic Party polls. Maybe Wall Street exaggerates. According to Quinnipiac University, Warren is already two points ahead of Joe Biden, vice president in Barack Obama’s administration, and so far the front runner. The same two points with which the Massachusetts senator would win the Iowa caucus.
The survey was conducted before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proceeded with her investigation about (and against) Donald Trump. That is an important fact. In the next survey the distance between Warren and Biden will be greater. American voters tend to punish nepotism.
Apparently, the U.S. president was trying to recruit the Ukrainian head of state to seek evidence of corruption against Hunter Biden, Joe’s son, an American lawyer who was named a director of a Ukrainian gas export company, despite having no idea of the business whatsoever. Joe, his father, remained as a person capable of illegitimately favoring his son.
If in a self-respected republic all people are equal before the law -- including Republican President Trump, as Mrs. Pelosi rightly pointed out -- the cap also fits the Democratic candidate Biden. Amazingly, without really anticipating it, Senator Elizabeth Warren has benefited from the conflict.
Wall Street operators, in short, are afraid of Senator Warren. They call her “socialist” and fear she would raise taxes. She swears that she will only do so with the richest 1% of taxpayers and shows the mathematics with which she supports her projects –– “Medicare for all”, free college for many students, more public housing, and preschool education paid for by the State, among many other things.
That is, Mrs. Warren is a social democrat in the full extent of the word. She wants to increase public spending. She was a Republican and a conservative, but not anymore. (Neither are Republicans who keep increasing public spending). She believes in the market, but, like Adam Smith, she thinks that we must be very aware of the entrepreneurs’ tendency towards abuse and monopoly. That’s why they must be regulated.
For starters, Senator Warren and her husband are part of the richest 1% of the nation. They are millionaires. She is a professor of law and an expert in trade matters, and her husband, Bruce H. Mann, is a professor at Harvard Law School. Together, they have about eight million dollars, but that number will probably increase significantly, as happened to the Clintons and the Obamas. They already earn a million and a half dollars a year and their notoriety will be reflected in the sale of their books and the prestige of the conferences.
On the other hand, Senator Warren is not part -- like Bernie Sanders or Bill de Blasio -- of the squad of “useful idiots” who supported Cuban or Nicaraguan Stalinism when the horror of those systems was already evident. (Sanders even spent his honeymoon in the USSR). Warren is a Methodist lady who, when she was young and had time, she gave free classes to low-income children every Sunday. She is a good woman.
It is a pity that at 70 years old she has not learned that “redistributionism” negatively affects the poorest, or that she does not notice that the increase in public spending in the perimeter of the State increases corruption and inefficiency, because people in the public sector usually work little and badly, since it does not hurt directly their pockets.
In any case, as the elections are between flesh and blood people, with their positive and their negative traits. If she is the Democratic candidate the voters will have to choose between a bad person, lacking empathy, but with some correct economic notions, and a good woman, very intelligent, but meticulously wrong in the economic field. Fortunately, if Elizabeth Warren were to govern, the complex mechanism of counterweights that exists in the country would not let her go too wrong. I hope.Carlos Alberto Montaner is a journalist and writer. Born in 1943 in Cuba and exiled, Montaner is known for his more than 25 books and thousands of articles. PODER magazine estimates that more than six million readers have access to his weekly columns throughout Latin America. He is also a political analyst for CNN en Espanol. In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named Montaner as one of the fifty most influential intellectuals in the Ibero-American world. His latest novel is A Time for Scoundrels. His latest essay is "The President: A Handbook for Voters and the Elected." His latest book is a review of Las raíces torcidas de América Latina (The Twisted Roots of Latin America), published by Planeta and available in Amazon, in printed or digital version.