Reason Podcast

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Run Your Business for You: Podcast

George Mason's Todd Zywicki says the senator and presidential hopeful has inherited the ideas of Louis Brandeis without learning the lessons of overregulation.

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"I am a capitalist," says Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. "I believe in markets."

She's got a funny way of showing her faith. Last week, she unveiled her plan to break up tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple. She's called for a "wealth tax" that would target households with over $50 million in assets and introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would force corporations with over $1 billion in annual revenue to get a national charter and give employees the right to vote in 40 percent of a company's board of directors. She was also the driving force behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an Obama-era agency that was widely assailed by free-market analysts as overly intrusive and unaccountable.

To get a sense of where Warren's ideas come from, I talked with Todd Zywicki, a longtime critic of Warren. Zywicki teaches law at George Mason University and is the former director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission. Zywicki says Warren is a direct ideological descendant of Louis Brandeis, the Progressive Era lawyer and Supreme Court justice who attacked what he called "the curse of bigness" in business and pushed for a massively regulated economy. Warren, says Zywicki, has thoroughly absorbed Brandeis's distrust of large firms, as well as his belief that "disinterested" bureaucrats can smooth out any and all issues with free markets. What she doesn't understand, he says, is that the regulatory agencies championed by Brandeis were routinely captured by the businesses they regulated or diverted by the idiosyncratic whims of commissioners, leading to the increasing ossification of the U.S. economy through much of the 20th century until deregulation took hold first during the Carter years and later under Ronald Reagan. More recently, notes Zywicki, the Dodd-Frank laws passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to limit the power of banks have actually increased concentration in the financial sector.

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  2. You left out an “i” in one of the words in the article’s title.

    1. the senator and presidential hopeful has inherited the ideas of Louis Brandeis without learning the lessons of overregulation

      They also misspelled “Benito Mussolini”.

  3. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, may be a “capitalist,” and she will let you operator your the way you want to as long as you take your marching orders from her or those like her that is in power at the time. You can do anything you want with your business until you do something that is not on the “allowed” list. Then you have just run headlong into a brick wall that will not give. When you run headlong into a brick wall it is you that will be hurt.

    1. Yes, the law has rules for operating a business just has it has rules for people. It’s called civilization.

      1. Uuuuh, so that means the government should be running your business for you and involving itself as a thieving middle man in all private transactions? Swing and miss, Tony.

      2. Tony’s idea of “civilization” is having a Queen like Hillary and all of us serfs do whatever she and her fellow Socialists want.

        Fuck that Tony. We kicked the British out of the 13 colonies for that type of power grab.

      3. So, if there is a law against sodomy, you will respect the law without complaint, Tony?

  4. Luckily, we won’t have to hear from Fauxcahontas much longer.

    If she happens to survive the Democrat public primary and the Democrat Presidential Primary, then Trump will defeat her in the General Election of 2020.

    Calling Trump the stupidest man alive and then losing to him in a general election tends to hit one’s Ego hard.

  5. She wants to run your business all right. But not for you, for others whom she has decided are more deserving.

  6. So, Fauxcahontas thinks she’s Albert Speer now?

    Fuck off, slaver.

    -jcr

  7. Are you sure she didn’t say “I’m a capitolist” ?

  8. Good evening, & welcome to Channel 6 News.
    We now go live to Elizabeth Warren being a bitch…..Ms. Warren?

  9. Senator Warren defends market capitalism more explicitly than any candidate I can remember, Republican or Democrat. The problem is that many people like Republicans and libertarians mistake corporations getting to do with whatever they want for market capitalism. The whole point is to maintain an environment of competition. She talks about it all the time. It’s for damn sure smarter than calling herself a socialist, and if you people weren’t such sad loser puppets for GOP-corporate interests, you’d listen and learn something about the very thing you worship so much.

    1. Environment of competition. Riiiight. Chopping the heads off of any corporation that dares to get too big really fosters competition. As does mandating government SJW stooges on corporate boards. And forced unwinding of corporate mergers — most of the smaller companies in the breakups she proposes will likely fail.

      You sir, are either a Goebbels-level lying big government shill or a straight-up, irredeemable idiot.

      (Speaking of “learn something”, you never do.)

    2. Environment of competition. Riiiight. Chopping the heads off of any corporation that dares to get too big really fosters competition. As does mandating government SJW stooges on corporate boards. And forced unwinding of corporate mergers — most of the smaller companies in the breakups she proposes will likely fail.

      You sir, are either a Goebbels-level lying big government shill or a straight-up, irredeemable idiot.

      (Speaking of “learn something”, you never do.)

    3. You are such an asshat.

    4. Are you high?

      1. Glue is a hell of a drug.

        -jcr

    5. No, Tony, what she advocates is letting people with no money invested in the company be 40% of those making decisions. Unfortunately, leftists like yourself are too stupid to realize that when you are spending other people’s money, the sky is the limit, at least up until it becomes Venezuela.

      1. You might want to read Richard Epstein’s discussion of her plan:

        https://www.hoover.org/research/elizabeth-war rens-surreptitious-socialism

        (sorry, you have to take out the space in war_rens)

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  12. OK guys, fess up. Who decided to back Warren in the Facebook vs Warren fight this week?

    Facebook and Instagram Outage Spreads to Users Across the Globe

    It’s odd, because that nice dealer at the medical marijuana facility in Brooklyn mentioned his Instagram account when my friend and I spoke to him yesterday.

  13. Christ, what a cunt.

  14. Great interview Nick! More!
    Good point that the complexity makes sense.

  15. Someone needs to tell clowns like Warren and AOC to shut the fuck up already.

    Enough is enough of their authoritarian craziness.

    They’re straight up socialists.

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