Elizabeth Warren wants to put CEOs in prison even when they have not committed a crime, and here is a kick in the face of half of what we stand for, although a matter of minute media concern. Reporters, of course, may get more interested if she decides they should be incarcerated for innocence.
Warren is not yet Joe Biden when it comes to polls, but when it comes to craziness she is Bernie Sanders. This thing about CEOs has to do with a company doing some wrong as a consequence of the deeds of other employees and the top guy therefore being held negligent, not as a civil but as a criminal matter. The thing is, you are the boss, but other executives lie to you, they hide stuff from you, workers connive for their own interests and what you are mainly guilty of is not catching and firing them early on.
Corporate CEOs can already be held criminally liable for some company misdeeds of the kind that could not possibly escape their attention, but this is different. Of course, lots of voters have felt for a long time that CEOs gave us the 2008 economic collapse and should already be imprisoned, and their electoral grins could benefit Warren. They may also cheer her idea that corporations making over $1 billion a year should be required to get a federal charter. She wants an agency to direct them and she socialistically wants to demand that workers elect 40% of the boards of directors. It is all part of “economic patriotism.”
Here we find her holding hands with unlikely comrades. She hates profits that give hugs to workers and consumers. She growls at international trade keeping prices down, doesn’t like outsourcing bringing in money then used to create better jobs. She loves political inanities eradicating liberty and strangling enterprise. She says the government must force corporations to do what is supposedly good for the country, which is what German fascists did. President Donald Trump’s similar “America First” policy has often put America last except when he gave us a tax reform hated by progressives as it let employment bloom.
To be sure, Warren, along with most of the other Democratic candidates, harbors other imaginative absurdities that could be converted into crucifying realities by a White House occupant. Not a few of the visions would contribute to impoverishing the wealthiest nation in the world, such as making some student loan debts part of a national debt or affording new opportunities for taxpayers.
Other Americans would like their debts erased, too, but were taught self-responsibility and would not get it that lack of prudence is awarded. A problem with the student loan program has been enabling the colleges to raise tuitions to their pocketbooks’ content, but here comes something new and worse: free colleges.
Warren longs for them while much of Europe is abandoning this idea that has produced damaging results. She also wants Medicare for All even though its costs would inevitably create a debt crisis while hundreds of thousands would have to give up insurance that’s just fine, thank you. Warren wants a federal child care program to address a serious problem in a dubious way, and she wants a wealth tax even though wealth taxes don’t do what they set out to do.
Finally, as part of the political juvenilia now required of Democrats, she is for the Green New Deal that would cost trillions we don’t have, leave a million or more people unemployed, eradicate fossil fuels, deindustrialize the economy, make all of us get rid of our cars for electrical pleasure, maybe leave room for a light bulb or two and do next to nothing in and of itself to make the climate quit changing.
Still, Warren’s among the best of the Democratic candidates.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at email@example.com.