PEEK

How to Achieve Real, Populist Reform

Lock our lawmakers in a room with the brilliant Dr. Elizabeth Warren until they start enacting policy that helps working people.

This is a must read profile of Dr Elizabeth Warren, a genuine great American populist reformer (who happens to teach at Harvard -- I know, shocking.)

In Elizabeth Warren’s world, credit card contracts would be so simple a teenager could read and understand them in four minutes. Loans would be as easy to compare as toasters, and online credit scores would be free.

“We need a new model: If you can’t explain it, you can’t sell it,” said Warren, 60, a Harvard University law professor who is head of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in an interview.

The 1966 high school debate champion of Oklahoma may get what she wants. The House of Representatives will vote in December on her idea. She suggested a Financial Product Safety Commission in a 2007 article in the magazine Democracy. President Barack Obama proposed it to Congress in June as the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

I urge you to read the whole thing. Her mind is so lively and so finely tuned to the real economic environment that I wish I could lock every Democrat in Washington in a room with her for as long as it takes to get them to hear what she is saying and learn how to think along these lines. She's one of the very few who articulates the kind of reform populism that makes sense to average citizens and which might keep the know-nothing Palinite freakshow from looking good to increasingly desperate, working people in this country.

Update: Here's some neat post partisan populism: The Ron Paul, Alan Grayson bill to audit the fed just passed through the committee. Baby steps, folks.

Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo.
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