May 23, 2019

Elizabeth Warren, the Policy Wonk

“It was an off-the-cuff remark that turned into a catchphrase and a campaign T-shirt. Now, it’s a Time magazine cover: “I have a plan for that.” Elizabeth Warren’s reputation as the Democratic Party’s resident wonk is well earned. The Massachusetts senator was churning out ambitious policy proposals even before she became the first big-name challenger to enter the 2020 race. Since then, she’s rolled out one plan after another on issues big and small, from wiping out student debt to improving the living conditions of military families renting homes on U.S. bases. Her latest came just this week: a $100 billion plan to address the nation’s opioid crisis.

Warren isn’t the first presidential hopeful with a bounty of white papers, nor is she the only 2020 candidate who has made policy central to her pitch. Bernie Sanders paints in broad brushstrokes when he rails against the status quo, but the Vermont senator’s “Medicare for All” legislation lies at the heart of his campaign. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker tends to offer soaring rhetoric on the stump, but he rolled out a creative “baby bond” plan early to address the nation’s racial wealth gap and more recently proposed creating a national gun license program. Even California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, neither of whom have reputations as policy heavyweights, have gotten specific of late on issues like guns and climate change, respectively. There are plenty more policy ideas toward the bottom of the polls too. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has the most detailed climate plan of anyone running, and businessman Andrew Yang’s platform runs the gamut from universal basic income to getting rid of the penny.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."

"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."

"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."

"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."

"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."

"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."

"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."

"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."

"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."

"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."

"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."

"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."