Covid-19 Will Mark the End of Affluence Politics (Wired)

The possibility of a global pandemic will reveal our inability to make and distribute the things people need—just in time for a presidential election.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump dismissed concerns about Covid-19. As he put it, the virus is “under control” in the US and the “whole situation will start working out.” But according to Politico, Trump is privately voicing worries that the impact of the virus will undermine his chances of reelection. His panicked actions of late—including preventing an American from being treated in Alabama, at the request of a fearful Senator Richard Shelby—confirm that this virus is a political event of the first magnitude. While few in Washington have internalized it, the coronavirus is the biggest story in the world and is soon going to smash into our electoral politics in unpredictable ways.

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The War within Corporate America (American Affairs)

A piece in American Affairs on the debate over political economy within the corporate and financial world.

In the 2020 election cycle, corporate America seems under attack from all directions. Elizabeth Warren and Mark Zuckerberg are in a war of words; Bernie Sanders has proposed codetermination, partial employee ownership, and other major corporate governance reforms; Joe Biden has called for insurance company executives to be jailed; and Donald Trump regularly attacks Jeff Bezos and big media corpo­rations. In one Democratic debate, multiple candidates endorsed stronger antitrust measures against a suite of industries, and Robert Bork—the conservative antitrust lawyer who redefined antitrust law to make the world more favorable for big business—came up twice as a whipping boy.

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The Market Won’t Fix our China Problem (The American Mind)

Replying to Marco Rubio’s “American Industrial Policy and the Rise of China” in The American Mind

Libertarianism is a bizarre and crumbling ideology that assumes power is absent from economic relationships. Two symbols of its fall are the rise of telecom maker Huawei, as well as the election of Donald Trump. Huawei reveals that being able to build real things matters more than financial markets, and Trump’s election revealed Americans didn’t like libertarianism and its technocratic and progressive analogues.