Plans for a worker-led economy straddle America’s political divides

Rana Foroohar in the FT:

Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan has never been about effecting any real change at home. It’s always been about punishing adversaries — even allies — via tariffs, both real and threatened. While Mr Trump’s ability to disrupt the status quo is singular, he has no idea how to create a sustainable, long-term growth model for the US. But a spate of Democratic 2020 candidates, and even some Republicans, have. They want to Make America Great Again too, via radical shifts in economic thinking that represent a 21st century industrial policy for the US.

Most notable among them is Elizabeth Warren, who last week announced her “plan for economic patriotism”. That phrase, along with her assertion that “the giant ‘American’ corporations who control our economy . . . have no loyalty or allegiance to America”, sounds like something that could come out of the president’s hawkish economic adviser Peter Navarro’s mouth. This is a calculated move — Democrats need to win back the red states hit hardest by globalisation.

But unlike the Trump camp, Ms Warren has a theory for how to create sustainable growth. She points out — correctly — that despite the pushback around state planning, which most Americans view as suspiciously “socialist”, it’s a myth that our government doesn’t make economic choices — they’ve simply made the wrong ones, choosing to support a debt-driven, two-speed economy rather than one that prioritises income and industry.

More here.