Almost a score of Democrats aspire to the White House in the presidential elections that the United States will celebrate in 2020, a race that, on the way to the primaries, is shaping progressive candidates in the wake of Bernie Sanders, who put the focus on economic policy .
“There is enthusiasm for candidates who take positions more liberal than before and in previous elections everything was more about the personality or foreign policy, but for the first time the Democrats have a real debate on economic policy,” said Efe Philip Klinkner, specialized professor in governments at the University of Hamilton.
Progressivism, driven by a greater leftist activism among the ranks of the party, according to this expert in electoral processes, is headed by Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, while other leading figures such as Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand keep distance and Beto O’Rourke is more moderate.
Another professor, Richard Born, political researcher at the University of Vassar, who sees the possibility that in the primaries, due to that “bias towards activists, someone like a Sanders or a Warren is nominated”, what would be a ” risk “before a democratic electorate more inclined to moderation.
Both experts distinguished three axes in the debate on economic proposals: the health system, the environment and the redistribution of wealth, with variations among candidates that position them within a progressive trend in which Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio has exerted some influence. Cortez
Sanders, self-proclaimed socialist democrat, is the most heeled left with a proposal of “Medicare for all” (medical coverage for all) that would nationalize the health system and eliminate private firms, according to Born, a “dangerous” idea with the that Warren “sympathizes” and others feel “pressure”.
“In US politics it is difficult to get something done, it would not be possible to achieve that,” says Klinkner about the transformation of this public program that now serves retirees, and that for less liberal candidates, such as Gillibrand, would go through “expanding” the Access age below 65 years.
Sanders considers climate change “the greatest threat on the planet” and clearly proposes to approve the Green New Deal proposed by Ocasio-Cortez by 2030, which for him means a transition from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, prohibiting “fracking” or eliminating Exports of coal, natural gas and oil.
Other candidates “take care to support him because he is very radical”, says Born, and they simply say “aspire” to this type of measures in this “everyone’s talk” but prefer more “realistic and feasible” options to neutralize carbon, as rates to the industry or a “cap and trade” scheme to reduce emissions.
REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH
Sanders proposes to legislate for the “99.8%” with a progressive tax on multimillion-dollar inheritances, as well as eliminate tax exemptions for the richest one percent.
It also seeks to reform Wall Street, from a rupture of “banks too big to fall”, through “democratize” the Federal Reserve, reform credit agencies and restrict speculation with a tax on financial transactions.
For its part, Warren raises a “tax to ultra-millionaires” that would affect the 75,000 richest families in the US: 2% per year to those who have between 50 and 1,000 million dollars, plus an additional 1% if they are “billionaires” “
It also seeks to give more power to workers and unions in corporations, trying to get employees to appoint 40% of the boards of directors, and apply “strong” measures to preserve competition in the market.
For their part, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, who presented their aspiration to the Democratic nomination this month, have been in favor of easing the tax burden of the middle class instead of increasing that of the rich.
COMPETITION AND EDUCATION
With many candidates still to define their ideas of economic policy, experts point to the popularity of the proposal to regulate competition and break big monopolies, something “that had not been talked about in a while,” acknowledges Klinkner, and what They bow Warren or Pete Buttigieg.
Warren went so far as to suggest that big technology companies such as Google “split”, while Buttigieg, who recently launched his candidacy, referred above to the “alarming” concentration of the market.
Making education more accessible is another of the proposals to which the majority of Democrats add, but the most “controversial” is that of Sanders, who proposes that the state pay for tuition in public universities -to which others refuse – and reduce the