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‘Warped by runaway egos’: Paul Krugman scorches billionaires like Bloomberg who think America needs them to ‘save the day’

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Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering running for president as a Democrat; Tuesday, the billionaire former New York City mayor officially filed paperwork for the March 3 Democratic primary in Arkansas. Bloomberg believes that Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders are too left-of-center for 2020’s general election and that former Vice President Joe Biden, a centrist, is running a weak campaign. Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman isn’t the least bit enthusiastic about a Bloomberg presidential run, and he stresses in his November 11 column that the last thing the U.S. needs is a billionaire coming in to “save the day.”

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“Billionaires aren’t necessarily bad people, and most of them probably aren’t,” Krugman writes. “However, some are, and my unscientific sense is that billionaires are more likely than the rest of us to exhibit bad judgment warped by runaway egos — especially in the political sphere.”

Bloomberg, Krugman notes, isn’t the first billionaire who has been touted as a political savior for 2020: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz also considered a presidential run.

“When Howard Schultz — remember him? — ran that combination up the flagpole to see if anyone saluted, only about 4% of voters approved,” Krugman observes. “And early indications don’t show Bloomberg doing much better, even though as someone who successfully ran New York, he has a much better case to offer.”

Billionaires, Krugman stresses, don’t necessarily make wise decisions — and millions of American voters find the “bubble” they inhabit to be problematic.

“The billionaires in the bubble find themselves in an environment in which concerns about soaring inequality, about the extraordinary concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, finally seem to be getting political traction,” Krugman notes.

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Looking back on the 20th Century, Krugman cites 1980 as a turning point in the U.S. economy — and not one that was a change for the better.

“American economic history since World War II falls fairly neatly into two halves: a first era, ending roughly in 1980, during which progressive taxation, strong unions and social norms limited extreme wealth accumulation at the top — and the era of soaring inequality since them,” Krugman explains. “Did the new prosperity of plutocrats ‘trickle down’ to the nation as a whole?”

Krugman’s answer to his question is a definite “no.” 1980, of course, was the year in which Ronald Reagan was elected president, ushering in an era of trickle-door economics, major tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy and a weakening of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal and its sequel: President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

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With the rise of Warren and Sanders, Krugman asserts, one sees a growing appetite for a return to liberal/progressive economics — although he fears that their Medicare-for-all proposals might be too much too soon.

“I’m not saying that the U.S. public is necessarily ready for the likes of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders,” Krugman asserts. “I worry in particular about the politics of Medicare for All — not because of the cost, but because proposing the abolition of private insurance could unnerve tens of millions of middle-class voters.”

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But billionaires, Krugman quickly adds, are not necessarily well-equipped to run the country simply because they are billionaires.

“The idea that America is just waiting for a billionaire businessman to save the day by riding in on a white horse — or, actually, being driven over in a black limo — is just silly,” Krugman emphasizes. “It is, in fact, the kind of thing only a billionaire could believe.”


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2020 Election

Noted author accuses Jared Kushner of ‘planning last ditch try at disqualifying Biden ballots on election night’ with Barr’s blessing

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A prolific author and speaker who has been described as a "Religious Right Defector" has issued a warning about the 2020 election that's getting noticed.

Frank Schaeffer was raised by a noted conservative Christian theologian who was at the forefront of right wing Christian political activism in the 1970's. But now he is a liberal Democrat and a cable news guest frequently invited to speak on the tactics of the religious right.

This week he's speaking out about what he says is the White House's plan to ensure Trump remains in the Oval Office.

In short, Schaeffer says Jared Kushner is planning an end run around the election process, and will appeal to the Supreme Court, as George W. Bush did in the 2000 election, to ensure Trump is installed in office for another four years.

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2020 Election

Republicans have a fight on their hands: ‘Trump is losing and the Senate is leaning towards Democrats’

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell breathed a sigh of relief after controversial former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach lost his state's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.

The McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund had invested $2.1 million to boost Rep. Roger Marshall, who won the primary and will face off against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier, but the majority leader's intervention shows the challenge he faces in holding onto his own job, reported NPR.

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2020 Election

Biden, Trump scramble to replan nomination speeches

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The US election plunged deeper into unprecedented territory Wednesday when challenger Joe Biden announced he would accept his nomination virtually and President Donald Trump suggested breaking tradition by holding his own ceremony at the White House.

Citing coronavirus health risks, the Biden campaign said he would make his speech -- the high point of a candidate's race -- from his Delaware home where he has spent most of the last months.

He had planned to attend the August 17-20 Democratic convention in Milwaukee, which was already heavily scaled-down from the massive event typical before US elections.

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