Sunday, February 10, 2013

Prescience of Senator Elizabeth Warren

The graph below says it all. It is a record over time of Google searches for the word "subprime" from 2004-2013. The y-axis is in % with 100 % representing largest number of searches. When the word "subprime" was hardly in anyone's lexicon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (not a Senator then) was shouting about it from the rooftops. I have not read her famous book "The Two Income Trap" (co-authored with Amelia Warren Tyagi, her daughter) but I have listened to interviews of her from 2004 when she was talking passionately about middle-class debt and subprime debt.

In this interview byDean Lawrence Velvel at the Massachusetts School of Law, Prof. Elizabeth Warren describes the debt- related problems of working class and middle class Americans. She was way ahead of the curve. In fact, much of what she said then should have been celebrated by Democrats and Republicans alike.

She has at least one quality I want every one of the politicians to have. She understands the issues. Much was made of the fact that she is a Harvard Professor - as if somehow that precluded her from understanding the issues that affects working class Americans. If you are not able to look past the crime of being a Professor in an Ivy League school, just read about her background. From the dust-bowl of Oklahoma to marriage and children at a fairly early age to putting herself through law school in New Jersey, she has seen more hardships, I'd say, than many of us. Even if all that I say (admittedly from her wikipedia page) is not true, her understanding of middle class woes stands out. Here are a few more links to videos/audios of her: (1) At UC Berkeley, (2) At JFK Presidential Library, (3) OnPoint with Tom Ashbrook, and (4) With Harry Kreisler at UC Berkeley (this interview is awesome - a lot of her childhood/family/educational background). Many, many more are available. I wish I had good enough time-management skills to make time to read her books but that will not happen any time soon.

I hope she goes on to have a stellar career as Senator fighting for the issues she has become famous for.

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