Senator Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman in Conversation


– [Narrator] The following is a CUNY TV Special Presentation. (smooth jazz music) – Good evening and welcome
to the Graduate Center. My name is Chase Robinson,
and I’m the President of the Graduate Center,
and it is a great privilege to welcome you all to
this, the inaugural event of our 14/15 season of public programming. We could not be more
delighted to host tonight’s conversation, which features
two of the country’s most prominent advocates for the middle class. Senator Elizabeth Warren
and Professor Paul Krugman. (applause) Now, as some of you will
know, The Graduate Center is a graduate school of arts and sciences. It’s a center for applied
and theoretical research, and it is, as we’re seeing tonight, a platform for performance,
conversation, and public debate. As a community of students and scholars, committed to the unconventional idea that learning is a public good, we regularly offer public programs that feature eminent
thinkers, cultural leaders, and distinguished artists addressing some of today’s most pressing issues. And indeed, the economic
struggle of the American middle class is one such issue. Today, the middle class is buffeted from a multitude of directions. The minimum wage has
effectively stagnated. Easy, affordable access to health care, particular women’s health care, remains more aspiration than reality. Even student loans, once a ready tool for personal and economic advancement, have become tremendous burdens for many. These are just a few
of the urgent political and policy questions that we face. And tonight, we’re in the
company of three people who can help make sense of these problems, and help us begin moving
towards solutions. First, Elizabeth Warren was
elected to the US Senate from Massachusetts in 2012. A former professor of Harvard Law School. (applause) A former professor at Harvard Law School, Senator Warren served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset
Relief Program, TARP, and later established the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, under President Obama,
before running for office. A Fighting Chance, the
senator’s most recent book, was published in April. Paul Krugman is a Nobel
Prize-winning economist. (applause) New York Times columnist and blogger and author, most recently
of: End This Depression Now. He is professor of economics
and international affairs at Princeton, Princeton
University’s Woodrow Wilson School. And a distinguished scholar
here at The Graduate Center’s Luxembourg Income Study Center. You’ll indulge me as I
prove incapable of resisting the temptation to note
that Professor Krugman will be joining The Graduate
Center faculty in the fall. (applause) Finally, it is my pleasure to introduce the evening’s moderator,
The Graduate Center’s own Janet Gornick, professor
of political science. (applause) Professor of political
science and sociology, and director of The Graduate Center’s Luxembourg Income Study Center. For over 30 years, Janet has
been a leading researcher, an educator in the field
of American social policy, especially as it affects families. Her most recent book, co-edited
with Marcos Ianti, is: Income Inequality, Economic Disparities and the Middle Class
in Affluent Countries. Finally, as your programs note, funding for tonight’s event
is provided by the Lieter Family Fund, to which
we are deeply grateful. Please join me– (applause) Please do join me in welcoming
our distinguished speakers. (applause) – Thank you, and I wanna just
take a second, Senator Warren, to echo what Chase said
and to welcome you here to The Graduate Center of the
City University of New York, and what I think we have discerned
is your first visit here. – We think so; thank you. – And we hope, the first of many. And Professor Krugman, also, of course, I wanna welcome you here
for your inaugural event since you’ve joined us
here at The Graduate Center in July, and we are all very
delighted that you’ll be here for the long-term, and by
long-term, I and many of us interpret that to mean
the rest of your life. (laughter) That’s our hope. – Which we’re hoping is long. – [Krugman] Yes. – Why not? Over the next hour or so,
I’m gonna pose a series of questions to you, and
my hope is, of course, to give you ample time to answer them and to talk to one another, but of course, as you both know also,
I’m gonna push you along because there are several
topics that I know you both care about very deeply, including consumer
protection, student debt, women’s healthcare, the
instability of shift work, and low pay and I hope
that we’ll preserve airtime for each of these, so,
and just to close with a bit of logistics: if time permits, I’m gonna take one or two questions that have been submitted by the audience. So, to the audience,
please not that at about 10 past eight, staff will come
and collect your questions, and you can pass them down when you see that that process is underway. So, let’s get started. So, Senator Warren, many
of us came to know you from the work that you did to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And I think most people know, ah, it’s charged with watching
our for American consumers as they shop for financial
products and services. So this summer, the CFPB, your baby, just marked its third birthday. So what’s your verdict
on the first three years? What has the bureau
achieved and how do you hope to see it strengthened and
expanded in the future? – Ah, thank you! So, the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau is something that was
born of a terrible problem in this country, and
that was that some of the biggest financial
institutions had figured out that they could really make a lot of money by targeting hardworking families. Particularly those who
were just kinda struggling, stretching, right at the edges. And they basically figured
out they could make millions, shoot, push it into the
billions ultimately, over time, by cheating
people on mortgages, by cheating people on credit cards, by cheating people on payday loans, just keep the list going. And the problem was we had
a lot of consumer laws. We just didn’t have an agency
who would get out there and enforce them, so the
Office of the Controller of the Currency had some responsibility, and the Fed had some responsibility, and the FDIC had some
responsibility, and for everybody, it was kinda like somewhere on their list. The idea behind the agency
was to take all these laws, put them in one place, have one agency that would have both the
authority to do something and the responsibility to do something. And what was the something? To stop the cheating. To make sure that we
had some rules in place that would level the playing field and have some transparency in what these financial products are all about. This little consumer agency
has just been up and running, as you say, for three years now, and it has already returned
four billion dollars to American consumers who were cheated by big financial institutions. That’s pretty damn good. Pretty good. In addition to that, it’s out
there, it writes the rules, it monitors some of what
the banks are up to, but here’s the part
that’s really exciting: it’s created a web, an
online complaint hotline so that if you think you’ve
been tricked or cheated or squeezed or fooled or
trapped or whatever it was, you can go online, you
can also do it by phone, but you can go online and
you can file a complaint. You name what it is, and
what the bank’s done, and by golly, the
information goes directly, first to the agency and
then the agency puts a tracker on it, sends it over to the bank or the mortgage company or whatever it is, and tracks what happens. And here’s why this one is so important. People are actually, A, getting responses. That is, banks that are saying: you know, maybe we will
reverse that charge. Maybe this wasn’t quite right, because they’ve got the consumer agency standing here behind the consumer. But the second part is, it’s
all happening transparently. You can go online and track,
by financial institution, by kind of product, by
part of the country, where the complaints are coming from. And that starts to change
the whole credit market. It changes it in the sense that, you know, you could have been cheated
by a big financial institution and you could have been,
and you could have been, but we don’t have any
way to see each other, to tell each other and to
tell the rest of the world out there what’s happening and
what that institution is doing. What this new complaint
hotline does is that it makes visible which companies
are pulling what tricks, and whether or not they’re
doing more of it, less of it, changing their practices,
backing up when they get caught, and there’s at least some
evidence now that the companies are starting to change in response. And that gets me to the best part: this is ultimately about getting markets to work for real people. So that there’s transparency,
you don’t get fooled, there’s not tricks
buried in the fine print. That’s part of what the agency does, but it’s also so that we
get a much more transparent and virtuous feedback
loop about which companies are the companies that
are putting out an honest and fair product, and
which companies are not. So, you ask me how that
little agency has done in its first years? It’s out there getting its job done, and I just couldn’t be happier about it. I think it’s terrific; I do. (applause) – I think actually it’s very important, because one of the things we see here is that you can get
enormous progress without, it’s not actually always
as portrayed on the right, as this jack-booted, you know, agency, clamping down on freedom. It’s actually increasing
freedom because it makes people, now, I was actually thinking
of, since I’m spending more time in New York, you know, New York is a great place where
you get food stands, all these things; do I feel that the fact that New York has a pretty
vigilant health department, you can see, it closes things, do I think that reduces my freedom, my choice of restaurants? No, it actually means it
actually increases my freedom because I can be reasonably sure, not 100 percent, but reasonably sure that I’m not going to
contract food poisoning. So this is creating the
rules within which a market can flourish, and it’s a
really, really good thing. And it’s actually, it’s a wonderful, you know, we talked,
it’s a little bit more than the nudges that some
of the behavioral people– – [Warren] No, it’s more than that. – It’s more than that, but it’s
still a fairly light touch, in the sense that it’s
mostly about getting the information out there,
and it makes it work. It’s incredible that we
didn’t do this before, because what we do now,
whenever somebody says: oh, well, let markets work. You wanna say, you know: get real. What we knew, I was
rereading Ned Gramlick, who was saying that, you
know, all of the most complex financial products,
the things that people had trouble understanding, were being sold to the least sophisticated consumers. And so now we’re doing
something about that. It’s a great thing. – That’s right. – Okay, wonderful. What do you think, though, you
know, one of the complaints that we’ve heard from the right on this, we were just reading The
Heritage Foundation’s comments on the bureau,
not entirely favorable. – [Warren] I’m shocked. – The question they’re asking is: why don’t we trust people? Why the nanny state? Why don’t we trust people
to read the fine print? – You know, trust people to
read the 32 pages of legalese that is tacked on, and what is called, in the industry: mice-type? Because mice would go
blind trying to read it. Understand this: that is the point. The point was, this is how
the instruments were designed. Go back and look at credit cards. Oh, there was a time,
look at credit cards, look at the Bank of America credit card back in, credit card
agreement, back in 1980. It was about a page and a half long. You could see the terms, and by golly, you could read ’em, you could figure out did you want this one or
did you want that one. You could kind of see what the risks were. What happens over time to
these credit card agreements? Shortly before the consumer
agency was passed into law, the credit card agreements
had hit about 30 pages. And believe me, the
extra 28 and a half pages was not to help the consumer. And here was the key: there
was lots of stuff in there that was perfectly benign; it really was. There were plenty of sentences in there that didn’t hurt anybody. But it was like the foliage
that hid the muggers. So that, (laughter) you know, you wanna know how
I really feel about this? So that the idea was, you
just put the hooks in there that would get people, that
people didn’t understand, hey, wait a minute, this card is different from that card because,
if my income changes, they can change the interest rate. They can do a what was called then: a universal default
clause, all kinds of things And here was the bad part about this. It goes back to the key about markets. Once all of that greenery is out there, once all of that fine print is out there, the market no longer works. Being a good competitor, that is, you’re someone who’s willing
to do this on a straight up, you know, here’s the risk assessment, here’s the interest rate,
here are the penalty fees, you can see the whole
thing, and you’re competing against someone who’s
hidden a lot of tricks in the fine print, you
can’t out-compete them. Because the customer
can’t see the difference between them, so when
we talk about freedom, I think you’re exactly
right about this, Paul, what gives people freedom? What gives them freedom are
the basic rules that say: it’s gonna be transparent. And in this case,
transparent does not mean 30 pages of fine print. Transparent means it’s short
enough and written in English so that people can actually
read it and understand it. And that then people could lay
three credit card agreements on the table, or three
mortgages on the table, and say: oh, wait a minute,
that’s the one I want. That’s the one that’s the better product. Now the market starts to
work for the customer. – Yeah, two quick things. One is: it’s interesting
that the same people who say, you know,
people should be able to navigate these things, are
the ones who complain bitterly about how hard it is to
file your income taxes. Which is actually quite
easy for most people. And who complain bitterly about
the length of legislation, which is usually there for a reason. The other thing is, you
know, there’s a parallel in healthcare, although
there are, you know, the system that we now have
is not the system anyone would have designed from scratch. Nonetheless, it’s very
clear that by requiring, placing requirements on what
private insurers can do, what they can do in the individual market, we’ve created a much
more competitive market in healthcare that’s actually been, it’s been remarkable how
much better this is working than what we had before, and again, yeah, you need some rules so that people, people are not superhuman,
so that actually, human beings can make informed choices. Alright, traffic works better
when we have stoplights and speed limits, and then
people can get out and drive. – Socialist; you’re a socialist. – We’re coming to that,
we’re coming to that. (laughing) We’re coming to that. Okay, let me turn our attention
to something that, ah, I think may mean a lot to
many of us in this room. Senator, you’ve been a
very powerful advocate on issues related to
student debt, as we know. Many Americans have
learned from you, recently, that over 40 million
Americans hold student debt, totaling $1.3 trillion. I also learned from you,
which astonished me, $43 billion of that debt is
held by people over age 60. – [Warren] Think about that. – So of course, you’ve called
for widespread student loan refinancing and restructuring,
so my question for you is: what exactly is it,
exactly, that you hope to see achieved by the federal government, and also by private lenders? – So, let me start on the
point about student loans, since I have the privilege of being here at a great university. Let me stat by saying: this
is really personal for me. I grew up in a family with
a lot of ups and downs. And there was no money
for me to go to college. I got a scholarship,
then got married at 19, dropped out of school, oh boy,
are you smart when you’re 19. (laughing) I talk about this a lot in my book. But, but I had a chance
to go back to school, and I went to a commuter college
that cost $50 a semester. And that opened about a million
doors for a kid like me. So, I just wanna put
this in the big picture. That’s an America that’s
investing in the future. That’s the America I grew up in, and that’s the America I believe in. And if you wanna ask where
I wanna go with college, it’s I want every kid
to have that same kind of fighting chance to build a future. So, it has gotten so far off from that. The cost of college has
gone through the roof. And kids have been told,
much more so than when I was growing up, if you want
even a shot to make it in the middle class, you’ve
gotta have that college diploma. That’s the entry-level ticket
for having your chance. And yet, with the cost
of college going up, in effect, America has
said to these young people: you’re on your own. And if you’re smart enough to be born into a family that has money, okay. But if you’re not, that’s a real struggle and it means student loan
debt for so many millions of young people across this
country for so many families. So, the United States
government says to young people: we get it, we get it. We’re on your side, we’re gonna help you. We’re gonna lend you
the money so you can pay this escalating cost for college, and we’re gonna charge you for it. Okay, that’s fine. I get that you have to pay it back. Only the trick is: the price now, on the student loans, is enough to cover the interest on the loans,
so the value of the money, the bad debt losses, the
administrative costs, and still produce billions
of dollars in profits for the United States government. Just to give you one little slice of that, the loans from 2007 to
2012, just that slice, we happen to have the
data on that, the cohort, is on target to produce
$66 billion in profits for the United States government. Now, think about that. So we say to young people: go
out there, get an education. But the United States government is gonna make a profit on your backs. I think that is fundamentally wrong. So, we have a bill pending right now in the United States Senate,
and this one is urgent. We are gonna be voting on
this next week in the Senate, and what the bill proposes
is just to bring down the interest rate on student loans. 3.86 percent for undergraduate loans, a little higher for graduate
and for parent plus loans. It’s the interest rate that both Democrats and Republicans agreed to last year for the new loans going out. But they didn’t do anything
for the $1.3 trillion in outstanding loans. So, my view is you can
refinance your house, you can refinance your
business loan, you know, towns are out there
refinancing their loans. People should be able to
refinance their student loans and squeeze some of the profits out. Now, understand, yes. (applause) At 3.85 percent, 8-6 percent, the government still makes a profit. I would like the interest rate much lower. The government still makes a profit, but it’s just a much smaller profit. So, that’s the bill we’ve got pending, we’re gonna vote on it next week, but now, here’s the hook in it. The government has built
those anticipated profits into the budgets for the next 10 years. Think about that. So, in order to pass this
bill, we can’t just all say, I know, let’s lower the interest rate, we’ve gotta find an offset in the budget, or else we’ll raise the deficit. So, our proposed offset
in the budget is to say, tell you what, how about
if we ask millionaires and billionaires, people
who make more than an adjusted gross income
of one million dollars, or more, pay at least
the same interest rate that the median middle class family pays? (applause) If they paid that, we would
have more than enough money to reduce the interest
rate on student loans. So, as I see it, we really have a choice on the table, as a country. The question is: how are we
going to spend our resources? We can spend these billions
of dollars, as a country, to preserve tax loopholes
for billionaires, or we can spend pretty
much that same money to reduce the cost of student loans. For me, this is a pretty simple choice. You can either support the billionaires who’ve already made it, or we can support the students who are
trying to get started. My view is: we’ve gotta change the law. We’ve gotta support the students
and that’s what it’s about. (applause) That’s what I want. – I don’t have much to add except to say that this is just a piece of a– – [Warren] Oh, absolutely. – Of the whole, even with
this, we’re gonna still have a situation where education
is becoming increasingly inaccessible unless you
chose the right parents. And that’s a, yeah. But nothing much more to say than that. – So, Paul, do you think
though that the relief of student debt is enough
to act as a stimulus? – It’ll help. I mean, we have, you know,
it’s still a small number, in spite of everything,
compared to the mortgage debt, and our failure to do
anything real about relief for homeowners is one of
the great sins of our policy these past few years, but sure, I mean, in general, and I think, you know, I’ll take anything we can get. We’ve, the perfect,
even the halfway decent is the enemy of the somewhat better, in this environment, and so
you take whatever you can. And if this would help us a little bit, this in itself is not
gonna be a big enough jolt. We need lots and lots
of stuff, but it’s, ah, every little bit helps. – Although, I wanna be
careful about not calling it: a little bit. In the following sense:
the Fed, the Treasury, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have all pointed out that young people now are not buying homes, at the
rate that they should be. They’re not buying cars at
the rate we would expect. They’re not starting small businesses. You’re watching this cohort and they are linking this now to student loan debt. So you bring it down,
it won’t fix everything, but you bring that down
and it does put money back into the pockets
of people who aren’t, who are trying to make their lives work. – I’m a bit too much of an academic here, because I know that
there is some evidence, there is some, I mean, the
situation is complicated and we don’t really know. But you know, it’s a good thing to do. It certainly is in the right direction, and it’s, yeah, it’s definitely
what we oughta be doing. – [Warren] Okay, I’ll take that. – And let me just say that,
that the biggest problem for the young people
is, you know, is jobs. That’s the, but the student loan debt is just making it, is an
added stone on their back. – Senator Warren, what’s
the prospect for this bill? – Well, look, the prospect
if you don’t get out there and fight for it, is zero. So, my view on this is: we have to get out there and fight for it. A little over a year ago, I
proposed that we lend money to students to go to
college at the same rate that we lend money every day to large financial institutions to
finance their operations. And when I proposed that, I stood alone. But within a few weeks, by
the time we were fighting over whether to increase the interest rate on new students who were taking out loans, we moved that bill, and we
had drawn enough attention to how much the government
is making in profits off the backs of our students,
and we moved that bill. And again, you know, as
Paul rightly describes it, you’ll take everything you can. But here’s the difference: we voted on this student
loan bill, because we’ve been out there working it and talking about it. Like I said, it’s a little
higher interest rate than I wanted, but it made
other people more comfortable. So where are we? We have every single Democrat. We have both independents. And we have three Republicans
who voted to move it forward. Now, that leaves you with 42 Republicans who filibustered, and who blocked the bill from moving forward in the Senate. But, that’s only two votes short. It’s only two votes short and it raises the fundamental question
about every single policy issue that we’re gonna talk about. You’ve got billionaires on one side. People who want to keep
everything that they’ve already made it big and wanna hold
onto it, and we’ve got how we build opportunity for
the future on the other side. Billionaires versus students. This is the fight we have to have, and we have to be willing to
get out there and fight it. If we fight it, I truly
believe on this one, we win it. We will win this. We may not win it the first
time around, but we will win it. We cannot turn this country
over to those who believe that all of the benefits,
all of the rules, everything in the system has to be tilted toward those who’ve already made it big. We have got to have a country that levels the playing field indeed,
that tilts it towards those who are trying to build a future. That’s what it has to be. – Okay, what can I say after that. (laughing) – [Janet] No huge disagreement there. (applause) – Right. – Let me turn to another issue that I know concerns many of us, and
Senator, you’ve certainly spoken about recently: a
lot of Americans have been, this is women’s healthcare, the
issue of women’s healthcare, a lot of Americans have
been startled recently by the resurgence of assaults
on reproductive rights, especially on contraception. So here we are in 2014,
debating whether employers can deny women access to birth control. What’s your view on the
so-called Hobby Lobby Decision. The Supreme Court case,
I think our audience probably all knows what this is, and what are the prospects
for a legislative pushback on the Hobby Lobby Decision? – I am genuinely appalled
by the Hobby Lobby Decision. I believe that it is not
any employer’s business whether or not a woman has
access to birth control through her insurance policy. I just think that’s fundamentally wrong. (applause) In fact, let me tell you what the title of the legislative fix is. Mark Udall, from Colorado, who by the way is in a race right now to hold
onto his seat in the Senate and Patty Murray, in the Senate,
who’s been a great leader, have a bill, and the title of the bill is: Not My Employer’s Business. (laughter) And I like that title. But this is the reminder on Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby was not decided
as a constitutional matter. The court did not rule that
corporations have a, ah, constitutionally protected
religious rights. What they ruled is
another statute, called: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, with the lovely acronym “RFRA”, that this law permits, in this case, a closely-held corporation, the owners of a closely-held corporation, to say that they were only gonna
provide insurance policies that had restrictions on
women’s reproductive healthcare. Access to health care. What that means is we
can just change this. We can change it by statute. We can change it if we
can get enough Senators, and enough representatives
to change the law, president signs it into law,
and we have another law. To me, this is just like
the student loan bill. This is: what do you think
this country should look like? There are like these
half-dozen or so issues that we should keep talking about, I know we’re gonna work
through a lot of them, that really fundamentally
define who we see ourselves as, as a people, and what
kind of a country we’re trying to build going forward, and for me, I just gotta tell you, I cannot believe we are having this debate in 2014. That anyone thinks that it is okay to say we’re gonna put out
health insurance policies, but some employers are gonna say: I don’t want you to have
access to certain kinds of birth control, to a woman. I just think that’s deeply shocking. But, we got the power to fix it, and by golly, we better fix it. – Yes, I think two things. One is, I mean, it was an
outrageous decision by the court. Because it, ah, this is not, you know, we’re not saying that you, the employer, are doing something, we’re telling you you have to provide health insurance. So if we can do that, we can say: and it has to be the standardized package. It has to be what everyone
is required to, you know, you are, you are acting, in effect, as the agent of the body politick, here. So this is an insane thing. And of course, trying
to think that somehow, where exactly does the line
end between an individual and, you know, how closely
held does a corporation have to be, when it ceases to be a person? I would say, no corporation is a person. – [Warren] Yeah, I would go with that. – But no matter, no employer,
your role as employer and your role as an individual
is not the same thing. The other thing is, I think that this is, should not be astonished to
see this happening in 2014. Because it’s, the deep
roots of what’s going on in our political system are
much bigger and much scarier. You know, it has to be. Of course, you have to do the
political fight as you do, on individual issues, but
we are fighting something that is quite scary, something that, well, you know, back in the not that long ago, when Republicans were riding really high, when the movement of conservatism
was riding really high, Grover Norquist said: I
don’t want to roll back The New Deal, I want to roll
back the progressive movement. Right, the real goal
is to push us back to, not to, you know, to
1894, not even to 1924. So this is a, these are the stakes. This is really serious
stuff, and you fight it as a series of small
battles, but never forget just how big this thing is, really. – Well, you know, you
talk about it in terms of rolling back the progressive movement, and you’re exactly right. What Norquist wants to do. But this one really hits hard at women. In the same way that we
can’t get a bill passed on equal pay for equal work in 2014. I want you to think about this. Realize that women in, are at risk, in many jobs around the country, that if they ask how much
the guy down the hall, who’s doing exactly the same work, is getting paid for that work, that that’s grounds for getting fired. Just to ask. So the idea that we have
a government in which we’re supposed to be able
to participate equally, we have an economy in which we’re supposed to be able to participate equally, and yet, an active movement,
that there are Republicans who filibustered both
of these, or are willing to filibuster, we haven’t
gotten the other one up yet, Not My Employer’s Business,
but who are willing to filibuster, who are willing to stand up and take a public vote to say: nope, I wanna protect
the right of employers to fire women for asking
how much a guy is making. I wanna protect the right of
a closely-held corporation to make sure that they
can determine what kind of birth control a woman’s
going to have access to. This is one that’s about
the progressive movement that is also very much
about the women’s movement. And it’s something we’re
gonna fight back on. (applause) – Okay, ah, I’m gonna push this one also. Another question that
actually is, essentially, about, largely about working
women, although not entirely. This is on the question about protections for shift workers and
working time is a topic I will indulge myself
in saying I’ve worked on quite bit here, including
with some colleagues here at The Graduate Center. A lot of American workers, as you know, struggle with unpredictable
and uncontrollable work hours, and among other hardships,
workers often arrange childcare, and they travel to work
only to arrive at their job to learn that their
shift has been canceled, along with their earnings for that day. The New York Times, I might add, has done some very nice coverage on this recently. You, Senator Warren,
are now working towards legislation that would protect workers from these problematic
scheduling practices. Can you tell us what, tell
us about the legislation and what you hope and expect to achieve? So, I have co-sponsored a bill
along with Senator Harkin, we also have a companion
bill that we hope to move in the House of Representatives, and it’s just got some basic
fairness around scheduling. So, it starts with the
idea that someone who asks for accommodation in scheduling
can’t be fired for asking. A reminder of what the world looks like out there to a lot of people, that this is a necessary legal floor for them. Other parts of it include
people who are called in for hourly work who are in
retail and in food services, in maintenance, that if
they’re called in for work and then sent home, before
they get four hours of work, that they at least get paid
for four hours worth of work. Part of this, like I said, is
just trying to help people. Who are trying to put together
the basics to move forward in their lives, a little
bit more stability, a little bit more opportunity. Another part of it, to put
schedules out two weeks in advance and if they have to be changed, they can be changed, but if you
change them within 24 hours, you’ve gotta pay a little
more to the employee. It’s just a little acknowledgement that this costs people money, this costs people something
out of their lives, and just to try to get a
little bit of balance in it. So, that’s what we’re trying to do. And I have to say on this
one, this is one where the New York Times has really
done some terrific work on this, it’s reminding
everyone else who isn’t a shift worker, who isn’t an
hourly worker, who doesn’t live in this world, where you
just get told to show up, and when you show up, maybe
there’s gonna be work for you, and maybe there’s not, and
they just send you back home. Or they have you work for two hours, and then you’re off for three hours. Where are you gonna go for three hours? You can’t do anything with this time, and then you have to be back for the next, and then the hardest part about it, if you complain, if you ask
for something different, then you’re fired, because we’re
gonna take the next person. And so, it’s, again,
it’s just to try to build just a little leveling
in the playing field. – Yeah, so we talked a little bit before about the European comparison, which is something that comes up, because we know the United
States is the wild west in our labor markets, the
Europeans have a lot of stuff, and the tendency here has been to say: well, we can’t be like that, because that’s such a disaster there. And this is where it’s actually important to know some facts here. So, there was a time when European, and there still are
some European countries that are way over-regulated, but people, to a large extent, are living
in, they have an illusion about the way things are overseas, and an illusion about our own system. So here, we have a romantic
vision of our markets working, and have no idea that most
of us, upper middle class or above, have no idea of what it’s like for people in shift work,
people in hourly employment. The other thing is, we’re way out of date. It’s kind of amazing to me
that we have a kind of image of the way the rest of the world is, that it was this kind of
frozen 20 years in the past. I really, I’m actually
very angry at the Europeans for making such a mess of
their monetary affairs. Because it’s made everything
look bad, but it’s not, so, quick fact, ah, (laughter) so if we were looking
at prime-aged adults, people 25 to 54, we are
no longer in our prime, anyway, the– – Speak for yourself, buster. (laughter) – And we take America
and we take the country everyone loves to hate
and we know is a disaster because of their over-regulation: France. So, which country has a higher fraction of those prime-aged adults working? And the answer is, these days, it’s France by a large margin. Ours is, they’re not
having any trouble at all creating jobs in the prime working years. They have policies that
encourage a lot of people to retire early; we can talk
about whether that’s smart. They have a lot fewer
young people working, although some of that may be
obstacles getting to the work force, but part of it is
actually your earlier issue. It’s that there’s a lot more student aid, so there’s a lot fewer French students trying to work their way through college. So, you know, the notion that we know that having this extremely harsh, often brutal, and often cheating system in the labor market is what you have to do to create jobs, it’s just not true. Everybody believes it’s true, but we’re, it’s a propaganda thing. The reality is: yes, there is such a thing as over-regulation, but
there is such a thing as under-regulation, and
by God do we have it. – Indeed, and that’s the
argument, indeed, Paul, that we hear all the time,
that these regulations gum up, these are gumming up
the labor market in Europe. – Yeah, and we are not,
the American system of, basically, of you can do
anything you like to workers, is not actually working. (chuckling) We may have a delusion, but this is not, this is not the Clinton boom anymore. This is America in 2014
and it’s really not working at all for working Americans. – Senator, why is this such
a hard sell now, politically? There are two things we’re
supposed to really value in the United States: one is
families and the other is work. But we make it so difficult for people who have families to work. Do you think, do you feel
some movement in the Senate? Do you think there’s gonna be
some sympathy, for example, for this particular piece of legislation? – You know, it’s around
every piece, and by the way, it’s just kind of like I’ve
gotta put them out there, as well, minimum wage is also a huge part of this conversation. Or should be. No one should work full time
and still live in poverty. And yet, that’s what’s
happened with our minimum wage. (applause) Minimum wage workers have not had a raise in more than seven years,
and I just wanna make sure we all stay clear on how
these pieces tie together, about two out of three minimum
wage workers is a woman. These are women trying
to support themselves. This is, for me, very personal. When I was 12, my father
had a heart attack. It turned our family upside down. My mom was a stay-at-home mom. We lost the family station wagon, we were on the edge of losing our home, when she pulled on her best dress, blew her nose, put on her high heels and walked to the Sears
and got a minimum wage job. Because in those days, a minimum wage job would keep a family of three afloat. And that’s what it did for our family. Today, a minimum wage job will not keep a mama and a baby out of poverty. Full time minimum wage. So that’s part of it, part of it, and I just wanna add one more, is the fact that we don’t build the facilities for childcare around this country. If we want people to be able to work, then we need to be supporting,
not just family leave, but the opportunity to have a good place where you can leave a
child, to support that. So the way I see this
is that, it’s two parts, and I’ll try to do both of them quickly. The first one is you ask
what kind of resonance does this have in the Senate, do we have any chance of moving this, and
I’m gonna tell you something: you leave the Senate to its
own devices, it’s not moving. (scattered laughing) It’s gonna be people are
gonna move the Senate. It’s gonna be that women
are gonna move the Senate. It’s gonna be that low-wage workers are gonna move the Senate. It’s gonna be that people who are involved and people who care are going, students are gonna move the Senate. When enough people say, on
just a core set of issues, I wanna know how you voted. Did you vote to help my
family build a future. Did you vote to help build a better world for my children and my grandchildren? If you did, I’m with you. If not, you’re not with me. So why should I be with you? And if we make that division, believe me, that’s when the Senate will start to move. That’s how I see it. – Well, let me turn, I
wanna direct your attention to the issue of low pay, actually. So as, the Senator has jumped
the gun on my next question. We’ll forgive her that. – [Krugman] That’s fine; we’re good here. – Of course, exactly, because
of course these issues are very, they are interrelated. So we all know, in the last three years, there’s been this tremendous
increase in worldwide attention to inequality in earnings
and income and in wealth, and as we’ve all talked about
here at The Graduate Center, a lot of that attention has been directed to the top, the top
one percent and higher, which we understand, but I
wanna turn your attention to the bottom, the bottom of
the earnings distribution. And Paul, as you know,
in fact there were new, new data came out today that we looked at, the US, relative to other rich countries, has an enormous, large, an
enormous low-wage labor market. Using the OECD definition which
is two-thirds of the median, a quarter of American workers are low-pay, much higher than other countries. So my question is: do you
think that public policy should aim to reduce the
prevalence of low earners, and how? Through raising and
indexing the minimum wage, the earned income tax credit, strengthening collective agreements? Where, how do we move this? – Yeah, all of the above. And no, I mean, and
there’s actually a reason. We actually have, is it, this is kind of an interesting thing, I’m
sorry, more professorial stuff, but there’s a, there’s two things. One about the minimum wage. So, I don’t know, we need a word for the opposite of wishful thinking. Because what happens here
is there are a lot of people out there, in the public debate, who are determined to believe bad things in spite of overwhelming evidence that those bad things
don’t actually happen. So we have lots of very
good evidence that says that actually, raising the minimum wage does not cost a lot of jobs. Basically, the estimates
cluster around zero. We basically have pretty, as good, you know this is the
best researched theory I know in economics, and it basically says that raising the minimum
wage from the very low levels we have, you know, make
it $50 dollars an hour and I’ll believe that it destroys jobs, but raising it from where we
are now is not a job killer. It just makes poverty less. It makes people better off. People don’t wanna believe that. We also know that the
earned income tax credit is a very, very good
thing that does a lot. And there’s quite strong
evidence that they actually complement each other; that
the earned income tax credit on its own, a fair bit
of the benefits leak away to employers, rather than to workers. Minimum wage on its own, we, you know, it’s not perfect, it’s
not gonna get everybody. Put the two of them
together and you’re doing a very, very effective way of raising low, you know, raising the
incomes of low-wage workers. So we actually know how to do this, and it’s not even a lot of money. Because the thing about low-wage workers is they earn very low wages, and a relatively modest amount of money makes a big improvement to them. So we can do this, and there are obviously huge political obstacles, but
this is one of those things, it just does not have to be the way it is. We are, we have a working underclass in this country that’s
completely gratuitous, that an advanced country like
ours doesn’t have to have, and basically, no one else does. – So let’s talk about the
politics of this, okay? Americans wanna see us
raise the minimum wage. Look at any of the data on this. What is it, about 70 percent, that’s where most of these come in, say yeah, we should
raise the minimum wage. We should give minimum
wage workers a raise. So why doesn’t it happen? Well you know, let’s desegregate
the data for just a minute. Did you see the piece that
The Demos Group put together? Terrific think-tank. And what they did, we’ve got Demos here? Good, okay. Shout out to Demos for this,
because it’s so startling when you look at their charts. They say: you look at most Americans, you do the distribution, a
random sample of Americans, about 70 percent wanna
raise the minimum wage. But you look at rich people,
you look at the top end of the income spectrum, and it drops off, what is it, to about 40 percent? Yeah, they’re not very enthusiastic about raising the minimum wage. So, who does Congress listen to? Are they listening to all the people, or are they listening to
those who hire lobbyists, who hire lawyers, who
make lots of contributions to political campaigns,
who are they listening to? And the answer is:
they’re listening to those who can afford already,
who are organized already, who already have the resources
to hire those lobbyists, to make sure that they are well-protected. So, we have Congress right now
that has the built-in tilt. It’s the tilt in favor of
protecting those who’ve already made it, and
carrying out the wishes, whether they are based in fact or not, carrying out the wishes of
those who’ve already made it, rather than the wishes
of the country at large. I think that’s at the
heart of the problem, here. – It’s not just this issue. – Yeah, and it’s not; it
shows up over and over. – I was just looking
at the, this great work that Russel Sage actually
backed, on trying to figure out what does, what does the one percent want? And it turns out that the budget deficit, which most Americans really
don’t care about at all, is a priority, right up there. And guess what our policy
has been directed towards? – That’s right. – Senator Warren, let me ask a
question about politics also. It’s interesting that
a lot of the movement in this country on
increasing the minimum wage and establishing a living
wage is taking place at the state and local
level, for obvious reasons. What do you think about this? Does working at the state and local level strengthen or weaken the prospects for national-level policy development? – So I think it strengthens
it; I’m a supporter. And I’m a supporter for two reasons. One is because it gets
harder to argue with facts. Right? Nothing succeeds like showing
that it actually works. So when the minimum wage goes up, and we’ve got more people working, and we’ve got fewer people
who need food stamps, or need other forms of assistance, then we get these examples. The other thing it does, is it’s the reminder of empowering people. It, I get frustrated with
the United States Senate. I’m sure other people do, too. (laughing) Because it feels like
a hard thing to move. If you can move your
city, then move your city. If you can move your state,
then move your state. But the reality is, I
never wanna lose this: it’s not enough. I support it, I think it’s good. I like to see us move in that direction, but it does not let us off the hook. We need to raise the minimum
wage across this country. Not just in localities. (applause) – Just some history. The New Deal really started as
state and local initiatives. A lot of it was pioneered
actually in the city, and then the state, of New
York by Al Smith and FDR. Which is very, a very good precedent, but of course you needed
the national thing to make it really go the whole way. So this is, I mean, for our
hopes for a new New Deal, they, this is, I think some of us thought everything was gonna change
in 2008, and it didn’t. But this is how it happens. It happens piecemeal at
first, and then eventually it becomes a national consensus. – Your mouth to God’s ears. – Yes. – Okay. – Let me turn to a sort of big
think question, if I could. I want you both to think about markets, which we’ve talked about a little bit. And Paul, you sort of tipped
this question already, but I do have to begin by saying: your critics love to call
you socialists, both of you. Socialists. So, being a good researcher,
I decided to check this, and I Googled this morning:
Paul Krugman is a Socialist. And I got 95,000 hits. (laughter) And then I Googled: Elizabeth
Warren is a Socialist. And I got 170,000 hits. (laughter) – [Krugman] There we are. – So clearly, you’re
both pretty socialist-y. But in all seriousness,
I was listening to you, Senator Warren, recently
you were interviewed at the Kennedy Library by
AJ Dion, and I was so taken by this I wrote it down, you said: I love capitalism, I love markets. I think markets really are
terrific at what they do. And Paul, you are similarly quoted in an exchange with Ron Paul. I don’t know why you were having
an exchange with Ron Paul, but maybe you can tell us. (laughter) – Unfortunately, I do. – You said: I’m actually a
believer in the market economy. I’m a believer in capitalism. I want the market economy to
be left as free as it can be. So my question to both of you, Paul first, if you would, in all seriousness, and to borrow a phrase from Bob Cutner: what are the virtues and
the limits of markets? – Okay, so the wonderful
thing about markets is that they are, when
they’re working right, they’re a decentralized
way of getting stuff done. They rely on individual initiative. You can get a lot of stuff, you know, if you were, you really don’t
want, a government body, you don’t want a gusplan USA to, you know, get the fish and the vegetables in your neighborhood supermarket. That’s something that is
really, it does work very well. It exploits people’s self-interest. It allows them to make
their own decisions. All of which is great. Markets have been proved,
by a lot of experience, to be a really good way of
organizing lots of stuff. The thing is, the thing
that, where you need to hold, take a full stop and then
think about it for a second is, first, that’s not true for everything. There are lots of things
that markets won’t do well. Like providing roads,
like providing, actually, it turns out, healthcare
is one of those things where a free market, without
government intervention, does a very bad job. The other is, there’s
a very insidious thing which I think is the
fundamental dividing line between people like
Senator Warren and myself and people who call us socialists, is the market is a great thing, but it is not a source
of justice and morality. The income that somebody
happens to receive from the market, fine,
we’re okay with that. But that is not necessarily the final word on what that person is entitled to. People who, for whatever reason, aren’t able to make a lot
of money on the market are still, if they are
citizens of the United States, entitled to a decent life, you know? The market is, is a, I guess I would say I’m for markets, I’m for capitalism, but basically, because they
work well most of the time. Not because they are, not, you don’t wanna deify the markets. You don’t wanna say: this
is the way it has to be, and anything that isn’t is wrong. It’s just part of how
we make a good society, but there’s lots of other
things we need to do to make a good society,
and that’s the point. The United States is a democracy;
that’s what defines us. We’re not a free market, as a definition. We use free markets to make ourselves work as a democracy, but we’re
not about the markets, we’re about the democracy. – I agree. (applause) I agree. So I’ll pick up where Paul left that. And that is, we are a democracy, and so the hard question
is about the relationship between our government and our markets. That’s what this is all about. And as I see it, there are two key things that government is doing in markets. There’s some other pieces, but these are kind of the heart of it for me. One is: the rules. Just, you know, why we
have traffic lights, why we say you don’t get to sell medicine, you know, white pills
and call them aspirin if in fact, that’s not what it is. What are the set of rules? And they are rules that keep those marketplaces level and fair. Just enough that people can see them and can engage in the transactions. Enough so that some competitor who wants to get out there and
produce a good product, knows that that competitor is in a market that’s an honest market,
and if you produce a better product consumers will
be able to see the difference. It’s the set of rules, that
part is absolutely key. The second part is the part about making the investments together, that
none of us can make alone. Paul alluded to this
when he mentioned roads, but I’ll just make it the bigger point. It’s infrastructure. Markets have to have infrastructure. Everything. We have people, start a
business, that’s great. But you’re gonna need roads and bridges to get your goods to market,
you’re gonna need power to plug in, you’re gonna need water. You’re going to need police services. You’re gonna need the basic infrastructure so that this market can work. And infrastructure
won’t happen on its own. You can’t count on
somebody to build the road in front of her house, and
yeah, maybe her neighbors will do the same and somehow
we’ll have an international, or an interstate transportation system. It won’t work that way. That’s the role that government plays. Government comes in and says: we’re all gonna pitch a little in, so that we’ll be able to
build this infrastructure, and we go beyond it in the infrastructure. We say we’re all gonna pitch
something in on education. Why? Partly because we believe, as a people, that every kid oughta
get a chance out there. But partly because we say we think that if we have an educated workforce, we’re gonna have more
opportunities in this market. Be able to build more things. And raise the standard
of living for all of us. So we make those investments together. Third big area for me is research. Research: we invest in medical research and scientific research
and engineering research. To me, this is part of
what makes us extraordinary as a country, extraordinary as a people. We make this investment in research because we don’t know what’s
gonna be invented from it, but we believe that if we
build a big pipeline of ideas, that our children and our grandchildren will be able to make things out of that that we can’t even dream of. Those are the things we do together. Markets have wonderful
parts that are all about individuals who start
their own businesses, who come up with great ideas, who turn them into something wonderful. About people who get out
every day and work hard, but they are also about
the part we do together. And that’s the part that we
have left out of this argument. We can’t have markets that function, unless we have a
government that functions. That’s the heart of it. (applause) – I actually wanted to
just add, just because of where we are, both
CUNY and in the city, so here we are in New York City, and New York City, you
know, people living here is actually, it’s mostly
not that expensive, except housing, which is a big thing. Which is, you know,
60, 70 or in Manhattan, I guess, well over that, more expensive than the average for the country. So, why are people here? They’re here because of the
opportunities that are here. They’re here because of them, and where do those opportunities come from? They come from all the
other people who are here. They come from the interaction among them. They come from the incredible
infrastructure that, you know, despite some of the
ups and downs, the city has. And I find it incredible
somebody can actually have made the decision to
be in this crowded place, in this expensive place, because
of all those opportunities and then say: but all that
money is money I made. And you have no right; it’s all me. It’s all my individual stuff,
and how does the government think it has any right
to tax some of that away to pay for some of these things that make this place where I wanna be? This, this city, I mean
America as a whole, but this city is an
overwhelming demonstration of how we are more than
the sum of our parts, which is why we need more than markets. We need a government to
make those markets work. (applause) – We have gotten some
questions from the audience, all of which are really interesting, and it’s painful to choose,
but I’m gonna ask you this question and I’ll let
either of you jump in first. We’ve said almost nothing about
labor unions this evening. Do unions have a role to play anymore? – [Krugman] Yes, yes, yes. – Oh, God, yes. Unions built America’s middle class! (applause) And they built it in multiple ways. They built it partly by getting out there and fighting for better
working conditions, fighting for higher wages, fighting for the eight-hour workday. I saw a bumper sticker
the other day, you know, the, the weekend: brought
to you by the unions. (laughter) You know, so part of it is
that, and all of that spread. So the collective negotiation then spread to other workers, whether
they were unionized or not. But I wanna pitch in on the second part about why unions were important, and that is, unions also helped fight for things that were good for all workers. Whether they were unionized or not. They’re out there in the
fight on minimum wage. They were in the fight on
Medicare, to help us get it. They were in the Civil Rights Voting Act. They were part of those fights to say: the American people deserve a voice. They deserve a better country. The unions worked collectively
on behalf of the workers. The unions built America’s middle class and I truly do believe
they’re gonna be at least a big part of helping rebuild
America’s middle class. – In the state with the
highest rate of unionization, I might add, is where we sit today, so. – Although Massachusetts
is not far behind. – Yeah, and not too much to add, except that yes, I mean, I always think, whenever unions come up, I
always, I’m a Baby Boomer, I always think of Joni Mitchell. You don’t know what
you’ve got til it’s gone. A strong union movement, you know, it, unions, when they were strong,
could be sometimes annoying, but it turns out that they
are, provided middle class jobs for a lot of people
and also, critically, are a counterweight, politically, to the power of organized money. And we have lost a lot with that decline and we need it back. – How can the decline of
unions be turned around? – Oh, it’s, you know, unions have declined in some places. They’ve declined to some extent,
in most advanced countries, but not to the extent that
they’ve declined here. It’s not some law. You say, well,
manufacturing doesn’t employ as many people as it used to. Who said that service
industries, you know, why isn’t Walmart unionized? There’s absolutely no
fundamental reason why that should not be a unionized firm. And think about how different this country would be if it were. There is really no law that says, it was in fact a concerted
political assault. You look at the sharp decline
in unions during the ’80s, and that was not, that didn’t
just happen out of thin air. That happened because there was
a campaign of union busting, much of it illegal, that
was enabled by the very intentioned blind eye that
the Reagan administration turned to it, so it’s
not, this is something that is not hard, except it’s
politically very difficult. But if you ask: what would it take to rebuild a strong union movement? If we wanted it, we could have it back. – I’m going to ask a
final question that came from the audience; I have a
feeling we could discuss this, you could discuss this,
until tomorrow morning, but I don’t think you will. The question is the following,
and it’s a statement and then a question: until
we fix campaign finance, Washington will remain
dysfunctional and polarized, gridlocked and out of
touch with the population. Is it true to say that
we must fix this first? – I don’t think. I, I mean, it’s important, but you know, you can do a lot, I mean, actually, I’m in a peculiar position here, because I actually look at the last, the last 10 years, and
I don’t feel terrible. I actually say, you know, we had a, an enormous improvement in health care, even though it’s not the
system we would have devised and it won’t get everybody, but it is an enormous achievement. We have a financial
reform that falls short on a number of respects,
but is in many ways an enormous achievement,
and it’s not the case that we can’t get anything done. By all means, we do need to
fix campaign finance reform, but if you think that
the American system is a total failure, in this
past, ah, I remember 2004. I remember the way the
country looked then, and I think this is, we’ve made, you know, we’ve done some incredibly
positive things. Despite having that
hill of money to climb. So, no, I mean it’s, it’s important but it’s not a (speaking
French), it’s not something that we have to have or nothing
else can be made better. – So, I’m not nearly
as cheerful as you are. (laughing) – That’s because you actually
have to deal with the beast every day, and I don’t.
– But that may be because I had to raise a lot of money
to get this Senate seat. – Right. (laughter) I know. – So I wanna do this in both directions. The first part is: money is
strangling our democracy. And it’s felt in a million different ways. It’s felt in big ways, when we
can’t raise the minimum wage, it’s felt in small ways,
through every regulatory agency in this country. The wind only blows one way, and that is to hear from those who have money, who need just one little
exception in the rule, who need just one little
complication in the, in the new agency
directive, always pushing. Money is always pushing in the direction of tilting the playing field. Of making it so that those
who’ve already made it have out-sized influence in
Washington and those who are out there just trying to
build something are always hanging on by their
fingernails end of this slide. So, to me, this is the heart. This is what threatens democracy. We can’t continue to run a country where a tiny fraction,
where the Koch brothers, get to determine who’s gonna
run on the Republican ticket. For the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and then go absolutely blast money on voters until they
persuade enough people that their candidate should
be the candidates that win. Democracy can survive for a while, but it cannot survive forever
under this kind of onslaught. The problem we’ve got is the
United States Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court that has famously brought us to the point of corporations being people that seem to have better rights
than our own people do. So, this is gonna be a really long haul. So this is gonna take me
to: what should we do? The first part is, even
given the United States Supreme Court, Citizens
United, all of the things that it has done, to open
up, to let billionaires have out-sized influence in
the political conversation, we still have the power,
under those Supreme Court decisions, to pass laws in Congress that require instant
and vigorous disclosure of whose money is being
spent, and who is behind that advertisement, who is coming in here and influencing you; that’s something that the United States Congress can do and it’s something the United
States Congress should do. And if you think it’s impossible, let me just point out to
you, we came within one vote, of getting that done back in 2011. I think I have the year right. The guy I beat for the
Senate was the one who voted to keep the filibuster
in place, so it failed. But, so that’s part of it. But the third part is this goes back, there’s a part I disagree
with in the sentence that was at the beginning, and that is: you’ve got to fix it first. You’ve got to fix campaign finance reform before you can fix Washington. Nope, you’ve gotta fix
them at the same time. You’ve gotta fix Washington. And the way we fix Washington is, yes, there’s concentrated money, there’s concentrated power, on one side. Yes, billionaires have
out-sized influence. But there’s a whole lot of the rest of us. A whole lot of the rest of the people. When we get organized, when
we make our voices heard, that’s when we push back
and that’s when Congress begins to move, and I just wanna sit here and remind everybody, before you say: whoa, which one of them’s the academic? This woman says: all we need to do is get everybody organized and
we can change the world. (laughter) – [Krugman] Right. – Hold on. I just wanna remind you where
we started this conversation. In 2009, I had an idea
for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and
I went around Washington and talked to a lot of
people, a lot of our friends, on our side, and they told me two things. They said: great idea! That could actually
make a real difference. That was number one, then
they said: don’t do it. (laughter) And the reason they said
don’t do it is they said: don’t even waste your breath. Don’t spend your time on this, because you cannot possibly win. The banks are gonna
fight financial reform, tooth and nail, but number
one on their hit list is gonna be the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau. Because it’s gonna cost them real money. It’s gonna force a
market that really works. And so, you know, I heard
this as: try harder! You know? (laughter) I read too many Nancy
Drew novels growing up. (laughter) Intrepid girl policy-maker. So. (laughter) So I just got out there
and kept fighting for it. And I could tell a very
long and involved story, in fact, I do talk about this in the book. The first conference call
on the new consumer agency, the first conference call,
there were two people on it. Which I think, legally, does not qualify as a conference call, but two became four and four became 10 and 10 became 100. Groups got involved. Groups for whom consumer
financial products were not their first issue. The AFL CIO, God bless them,
stepped up to the plate and said: we will be part of this effort. The steelworkers said:
we’ll be part of this. AARP said: we’re in. NAACP said: we are in. La Raza said: let us talk to folks. The banks spent more than
a million dollars a day for over a year lobbying
against financial reform, and particularly against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But we all know what happened at the end. At the end, enough people spoke. It was a time when we were
all paying enough attention. We pushed hard enough on Congress, and when we got a vote, out in public, we got enough votes to build a good, strong, tough Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau. We did it and we did it together. (applause) – [Krugman] I think that was my point. – And that, no, it’s not your point. (laughter) – [Krugman] We finally have an argument. – No, no, it is. It is and it isn’t. – Right. – The point is not: can
we keep getting through a consumer agency and can we struggle and get through the student loan bill, to cut the interest
rates on student loans? Voting on it next Wednesday. BankOnStudents.com. That’s my commercial for now. Go sign up, be part of this. Can we do these? Yeah, we can. It takes a superhuman effort to do these, but we can do them; we can do them. But the point is, we have
got to do financial reform. We have got to do campaign finance reform. We’ve got to get it done together. We’ve got to change Washington, but it’s gonna take all of us changing it. The folks for whom Washington
works do understand this. The rest of us talk about gridlock and isn’t it awful in Washington? There’s a whole group of people for whom, nope, it works pretty good. Not changing anything? Aces, you know? It’s working out. Agencies that, you know,
they come muddle along and put things to, that’s all working. If we really want
Washington to work for us, then we gotta reach out
and just make it happen. We’ve gotta be willing to fight for it. (applause) – [Krugman] I think anything
I say would be superfluous. – And did? – No, nothing, nothing. (laughter) – Let me start to bring
us, sadly, to a close, but I wanna ask each of you to take the opportunity to say
anything that might be on your mind to the great
City University of New York Graduate Center audience, and
to the livestream audience. Paul, I’m noting you’re
becoming alarmingly optimistic and cheerful; I like
to think that’s because you’ve been here at The Graduate Center. – Right. – [Janet] Any last thoughts? – Partly I think I’m
trying to do a little bit of a counterweight. I think there’s a lot
more doomsaying about the prospects for
achieving good stuff than, than there should be. You know, people look and say: oh, Obama’s low approval
rating, failed presidency. I think achieving health reform that progressives have been
seeking for 40-plus years is not a failed presidency. Achieving a major– (applause) You know, achieving the
CFPB, achieving these things. So this is saying that
there is positive stuff. Now, there’s huge problems obviously, and I’m, and then we start
thinking about environmental issues and I can become as
doomy and gloomy as anyone, but the point is, I think
this is why, really, really we agree that
we have actually seen, in these past few years,
a demonstration of how, despite a system that is
rigged against good stuff, nonetheless, good things can
happen if you try hard enough. And so, this, I don’t, I
think this is the last time we should be cynical for
the prospects for change. You should be appropriately cynical about how Washington works right now. You should be appropriately cynical, it’s not just campaign finance, right? If we had more time,
I’d like to talk about the revolving door, and
that gravitational pull of Wall Street, but nonetheless,
we’ve made, you know, I started, healthcare was my
crusade for quite a while. A lot of other people,
too, and some people said: oh, it’s not the plan we wanted. But my God, about 10 million people who were uninsured have
gained insurance this year. Probably a comparable number next year. My God, that’s a huge
improvement in the lives of a lot of my fellow citizens. So I, in that sense, I think we need to, we need to not rest on, you know, not beat ourselves and say
what a great job we did, but just say this, the,
good things can happen, and some good things have happened. Important ones. – [Janet] Senator? – And I think Paul is right. I think cynicism is cheap. And I’m, I’m not signing up for it. If you don’t like something, then what are you doing to fix it? For me, that’s what this
is all about, you know? (applause) And, my view is a lot of
folks see the problems. You know, much of this
is not rocket science. I mean, yeah, it’s a big and complicated, you know, there was a Nobel
Prize involved in this, with the economy and– – Not that part. (laughter) – Not for rocket science. – But we know some basic
things we need to do together. And we know these things that we need to, I mean, this is nuts. We, the United States
Congress couldn’t get a highway transportation bill passed. This was kind of like,
one of the routine things we did in government. So what we’ve gotta do
is we’ve gotta be willing to get out there and fight
for these core pieces. It seems to me that this is a moment where democracy is being tested. Does democracy devolve
over time into something that really is about
those at the very top? Those who can influence the law-makers? Those who can always make their voices heard in the elections? Or is it about the, the spark of what we do together? Is it about how we define ourselves, by the work we do individually,
to build for ourselves and our family, but also
the work we do together? To make this country a country that is full of opportunity again. A country that builds a real future for ourselves and our
kids and our grandkids. I believe we’re getting to
the 11th hour on this one. I mean, this is scary to me. And when I look at the kinds of problems we have to solve, the
environmental problems, the worldwide economic
problems that we face when we watch what’s
happening in the Middle East, and we watch what’s happening in Ukraine, there’s tough stuff
going on in this world. We need to be doing our
part here at home, together. We need to make this government
work to get back on track. So we’re building something
strong here at home, so that we really do
have a fighting chance to take on the hard problems
that are bearing down on us. I truly believe we are in great danger, but I also truly believe we can do this. We can do this. We just have to do this. – Thank you. (applause) Thank you, Professor Krugman, Senator. – Thank you.
– Thank you. Thank you, Paul. – Okay, good, great. (smooth jazz)

55 comments on “Senator Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman in Conversation”

  1. Neale Adams says:

    Elizabeth Warren is more dynamic and inspirational than I've realized.

  2. Tim Leonard says:

    President Warren and Secretary of Treasury Krugman 2016!

  3. gchernya says:

    USA is not going to be another France. For what it worth, if you ask me, USA quickly turning into another version of Soviet Union, only with more people driven mad by idleness and broken lives.

  4. godlessmath says:

    The only thing I disagree with Senator Warren is when she says we have to choose between helping students (or the lower and middle classes) and helping the very rich. In fact, the policies she advocates will help the rich as well in the long-run, by creating a vibrant society full of healthy and highly educated workers. This is the ironic part of Republican scorched-earth policies, the end-game of their policies will hurt the rich as well.

  5. mellowman1001 says:

    Warren's ideas on consumer protection and careful good regulation on gotcha capitalism are good, common-sense ideas but other than that, she's such a statist and so blind to the failings of big, federal, totalitarian government that I think anyone with a solid understanding of the problems that the US faces would have a hard time backing her beyond that narrow scope. Certainly, her analysis of problems in higher education, equal pay for equal work and the minimum wage, strike me as being very superficial. For example, seems to me that the effect of raising the minimum wage is completely different depending on whether you're Walmart, a small restaurant, or an automotive parts manufacturer.

  6. mellowman1001 says:

    I find their visions about the role of government vs markets are laudable, lofty goals but are at such odds with not only reality, but also the specifics and consequences of the policies they espouse that I can't have much respect for either of them. Take for example their opinions on unions – they paint this glorious vision of what unions could be and the good things they've achieved in the past but they're so utterly blind, they completely ignore how poisonous, corrupt and frankly, evil, unions have actually been and are. It's like making an impassioned call for the positive benefits of collective action towards a common goal that'll benefit the country… in Nazi Germany. Ironically, I'd say the best examples of what unions could be are in Germany – where the leaders and members are intelligent, educated, collaborative, savvy of the issues, understanding the perspective of the company with respect to cost, profitability, risk etc. The worst examples of what unions can be were, and are, in the US and UK – greedy, malevolent, antagonistic, self-interested to the exclusion of all others in society, ignorant and so on. Want to know why the US has such a screwed up, failing education system? Lots of factors but #1 variable : the toxic teachers' unions. #2 variable – big government, with great power concentrated in the hands of a few, making top-down laws applying to all the states, stifling local responsiveness, variation ergo improvement and innovation.

  7. wb6iaq1 says:

    There shouldn't be any student loans, It's a huge drag on our economy.  Forgive the loans and create civil service jobs.  Our tax's will go down, and small biz will blossom like never before.  It will put the equivalent of 2 trillion into the bottom end of our economy.  that's $2,000,000,000,000.00 into the bottom end of our economy WIN WIN WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. SuperTruthful says:

    A informed electorate combats all the money in the world. citizens need to educate themselves.

  9. Rob says:

    These two  people are really clowns who belong in a real circus not just the political circus they play for.  They are both so two faced in their policies when compared with their own personal financial ambitions and  hide the fact.  Politics is their game since they have nothing other to offer.   Warren isa multi millionaire and pretends to be for the middle class which her policies are effectively going to hurt.  She is a person who cheated by lieing about her origins to obtain benefit.  Ask her about her own transparency – it is not a reality at all.  She will refuse to disclose. 

    Krugman is just a clown who is pushing the production of a billion dolar coin to solve people's lack of wealth in the crippled
     economy.   His policies are so infantile they are laughable.  Just as is his economic track record. Appalling !! 

  10. Paul Warren says:

    YOU'VE CHOSEN HIGH IDEALS & DARING GOALS .
    PERHAPS SOME CHALLENGING & OPPOSING VIEWS WANTED TOBE HEARD BEFORE WHERE THEY READ & RESEARCHED ISSUES …. pww

  11. TheGrasspond says:

    Warren is absolutely clueless when she talks about macro-economics.  Krugman handles her with kid gloves when she reveals her ignorance in that space.  I don't agree with many of Krugman's positions but he is an outstanding economist and worthy opponent. 

    This university should be re-named the Far Left Graduate Center.  The guy in the beginning is hilarious and looks like a character out of a Dr Seuss cartoon.

  12. Paul Warren says:

    Understandably i am very much for your programs .

  13. Paul Warren says:

    SOME OF THESE OTHER COMMENTS , WHICH ARE NOT MEAN , HAVE A LOT OF INSIGHT & MERIT . (RICH VS POOR  , BLACK VS WHITE , CREATING CLASSES  , BILLIONAIRES TO BLAME , STRAYING FROM SPECIFIC DEDUCTIVE LAW INSTEAD OF GENERALIZATIONS ETC/ ETC.)
    ELIZABETH WARREN'S GOAL MAY BE AN ATTEMPT TO RALLY A BASE OF LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS VS THE EDUCATION FOUNDATION  WHERE BILLIONAIRES HAVE CONTRIBUTED…..
    WHAT THE REAL PROBLEM IS , AS USUAL , IS NO LAW WHERE IT IS  REALLY NEEDED , (MAYBE SOME LAW WHERE OTHER PROBLEMS SEEM TO CROP UP , & ONLY PROMISES OF LAW TO COME , IF YOU WAIT FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY .
    THIS IS TYPICAL OF THEIR PARTY…..
    THESE PEOPLE WHO RUN FOR OFFICE ARE DEDICATED , SERVE THEIR COUNTRY , YET ,  BILLIONAIRES , MOST OF THEM , ARE NOT CONSPIRING TO TORTURE ME TO DEATH .
    SPECIFIC FRAUD SITUATIONS & HATE CRIME CONSPIRACIES , NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON SPECIFICALLY .
    IF THESE SPECIFIC LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS DO GET TUITION RELIEF "VS THE BILLIONAIRES" , WHAT EXACTLY DD "WE" WIN ?????   PWW

  14. Paul Warren says:

    THOSE OF YOU WHO RUN FOR PRESIDENT DON'T REALIZE THAT THE PEOPLE ARE NOT WORTH YOUR HIGH IDEALS , IN THIS INSTANCE BECAUSE THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MIRED INTO THE WORST CRIMNAL CONSPIRACY FOR GENERATIONS NOW .
    I HAVE ZERO NEED FOR WHAT SHOULD HAVE WOULD HAVE COULD HAVE BEEN DONE , OR , BY THE IDIOT PEOPLE , WHO DID WHAT .
    THERE IS ALSO ZERO NEED TO HEAR "YOU HAVE GROUND FOR LAW , WELCOME TO COURT" .
    THE LARGEST CLASS ACTION TO AN INDIVIDUAL NEEDS TO FORGED OUT , IN MY CASE , NOTHING ELSE , NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING .
    A LAW , COURAGEOUS ENOUGH TO DIRECTLY CONFRONT ME & PROCEED IMMEDIATELY TO FORGE OUT A SETTLEMENT–FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET , IS THE ONLY SOLUTION .
    WHO WOULD EVER WANT JUSTICE FOR A NATION OF PEOPLES WHO DO NOT WANT TO CARE ABOUT ANY OF IT'S INDIVIDUALS WHO MERIT JUSTICE MORE THAN ANYONE ?????
    THIS IS TREATING YOU RESPECTFUL , INFORMING YOU OF ONE OF THE WORST PROBLEMS , WHICH I AM SURE YOU ARE BECOMING MORE & MORE AWARE OF EVERY DAY .
                            SINCERELY , PWW

  15. Paul Warren says:

    NO ONE , NO ONE SHO0ULD HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR OF SICK , STI9NGY "LEADERSHIP" !
    WEAK CLIENTAL , GRABBING ANY STREET THIEF WHO COMES ALONG , BLAME ME FOR THEIR DAMAGES , & THEN WHEN THEIR BACK UP A LITTLE , EXPECT ME TO HELP THEM GET RID OF THEIR RIFF RAFF AFTER I PAY ????!!!!
    6 ITEMS OF THEFT , GRAFT , DAMAGE , & I HAVE HAD TO CALL THE LAW IN 3 OR MORE TIMES , BECAUSE OF HARASSMENT !
    I AM A SENIOR NOW , I HAVE NO WHERE TO GO , I AM NOT LEAVING OR BEING DRIVEN OFF BY SICK , LOWER CLASS , PENITENTIARY , PEOPLE AGAIN .I HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO…..     PWW
    PS I AM SICK OF BLACKMAIL & RACIAL PROBLEMS BEING PUSHED TO ME !!

  16. Paul Warren says:

    I FEEL LIKE WILLIAM & HARRY ABOUT MARRYING , & RAISING CHILDREN .
    I JUST NEED TO FIND A SWEDISH OR GERMAN GIRL , ATTRACTIVE TO ME , WHO IS FLUENT IN AT LEAST 3 OF THE 4 LANGUAGES I USE .  PWW

  17. Paul Warren says:

    How come I am dragged through the worst slow goad torture for 45 years ?????
    Warren Buffet talks democrat most of his life yet his father was a republican , (wealthy old family) , and he named his son & grandson republican names ??
    Howard-Taft & Pete-Forbes……..
    Is the democratic party planned to fail someday ??
    There is a great deal of difference between "whine" & firm challenge .

  18. Paul Warren says:

    How come there is nothing but mocking , jeering , & sneering at the Kochs brothers & Bohner by the democratic party when my late brother died , depressed & alone , looking at porn , & I have been taken by porn's dishonest lure & luker from time to time .
    What is at all funny about the ignorant smirking & laughing at tortured , isolated , dying victims ?????               PWW

  19. Paul Warren says:

    You talk of billionaires & millionaires getting tax breaks & favors .
    A teacher who went to church 1 time on Easter & gave six dollars–six dollars one time in their life—-would amount to milllions , even billions , if the wealthy were to give this proportion one time for just settlement for me !!!!!
    It is not just Bill Gates & Warren Buffet—-I walk around Wal Mart & Meijer stores every day with idiot wire tapping screaming MF at me every step of the way .
    Waltons are the wealthiest family  in our galaxy * Meijers are the wealthiest family in my state .
    Absolute minimal justice for me would cost these people about what a cheap hamburger would cost most of us !    PWW

  20. OakhillSailor says:

    I hope Elizabeth Warren never changes. President Warren sounds nice to me.

  21. Paul Warren says:

    I TRIED TO WRITE WARREN BUFFET UNDER HIS "ANGRY & DEMONIZING " COMMENTS ABOUT YOU BUT THERE WAS NO SPACE PROVIDED FOR COMMENT .
    I TRIED TO EXPLAIN THAT YOU REALIZED THAT HE & OTHER BILLIONAIRES& MILLIONAIRES BUILT ENTERPRISES THAT HAVE VASTLY HELPED OUR NATION , THEY ARE BETTER ALTERNATIVE THAN OTHERS WHO COULD BE REALLY MEAN & DICTATORIAL WITH SUCH RESOURCES.
    ALSO THAT YOU REALIZED THAT MOST OF THE WEALTHY PLAN FOR INTERGENERATIONAL INVESTMENTS FOR THEIR CHILDREN , GRANDCHILDREN ETC ETC EACH GENERATION SUCCEEDING & THAT MANY OF THE MONEY CLASSES PUT 89% OF THEIR WEALTH BACK INTO THE BUSINESS .
    YOU CHALLENGE THE WEALTHY BECAUSE YOU REALIZE THAT IT IS SO PATHETIC THAT OTHER THAN THEM NO ONE ELSE CAN OR WILL GIVE A DAMN IN ANY MEASURE , ABOUT PEOPLE , LIKE MYSELF & MANY OTHERS , IN NEED OF REAL JUSTICE .
    PATHETIC  THAT , IN SPITE OF ALL THE WORK & INVOLVEMENT THAT THE WEALTHY ARE OCCUPIED WITH , IT MAY BE THAT THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO MIGHT HELP SOME OF THE REST OF US WHO ARE WORTH BEING PRIORITIZED .
    THIS IS AT LEAST SOME OF WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY?–I HOPE….
                                              pww
         p.s. I ALSO HOPE I CAN CHOOSE WHO I WANT & IT WILL TURN OUT WORTHWHILE WITH CHILDREN , GRANDCHILDREN & SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS MYSELF ….
    TIME IS DRAWING NIGH & CONCERN FOR REAL JUSTICE IS JUST NOT ACCURATELY APPLIED….& I WILL  JUST HAVE TO HOPE , PRAY , A LITTLE , & BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE SOME TINY MEASURE OF JUSTICE….

  22. Paul Warren says:

    IT ALMOST LOOKS LIKE OPPORTUNITY WITH SOME APPEARING  IN EUROPE WITH THEIR DAUGHTERS , BUT I SHOULD LOOK FOR SCANDINAVIA WHERE IT IS COOLER—SEE WONDERFUL PROGRAMS ON NORWAY……

  23. Paul Warren says:

    FIND THE RIGHT FAMILY IN SWEDEN , ON THEIR WAY TO NORWAY , MARRY THERE , STOP BY ON THE WAY TO PICK UP THE GRADUATE DEGREE-S , & FINALLY BE ABLE TO LEAVE THIS ROTTEN , BORING  , LOW CLASS , INFERIORITY COMPLEX THAT IS TAKING OVER AMERICA IN MASSIVE PROPORTIONS…..

  24. Paul Warren says:

    the movie-"just like heaven" is a compelling inspirational account of SAN FRANCISCO'S SLEEPING BEAUTY .
    REESE WITHERSPOON plays ELIZABETH , a girl on life support who , in the end , wakes up to her prince charming .
    NEVER SAY DIE !

  25. Paul Warren says:

    THE PHOTOS ON PLUTO–9 YEARS THE SPACE SHIP MADE IT TO PLUTO GOING 136 ,000 MILES / HOUR–AT  THIS RATE ONLY 9 HOURS TO THE MOON !!!!!
    MAJOR MAJOR MIRACLE THAT AT THAT SPEED SOME METEOR SHOWER OR ROCK STORM DID NOT TEAR THE CRAFT APART ……
    WHAT EVER THEY BUILT THE SHIP OUT OF MUST BE IN LIMITED SUPPLY , OR WE WOULD NEVER HAVE ANY DEATHS , EVEN ANY INJURIES FROM CAR ACCIDENTS .
    TRAVELING AT 136.000 MILES/ HOUR IT SEEMS THAT EVEN 1 KERNAL OF SAND FROM LAKE MICHIGAN OVER HERE WOULD SMASH A VEHICLE TO SMITHERINES !!!!!
    SOON IT WILL TAKE LESS TIME TO FLY TO THE MOON THAN TO DRIVE TO FLORIDA !!!! PWW

  26. Paul Warren says:

    stereotype city
    SOMEWHERE THIS AFTERNOON I THOUGHT I HEARD A VOICE SAY "IF YOU MARRY A SWEDE , YOU COULD HAVE A PhD AS PART OF THE PACKAGE ….
    MOST HUMBLY PUT—-I SEE RUSSIAN DATING SERVICES WITH HUNDREDS OF GIRLS TO CHOOSE FROM–HOW COME I HAVE NEVER , IN 50 YEARS , SEEN THIS KIND OF DATING BLOG ON SWEDEN ?????????
    GET REAL !!!!! 37 YEARS STUDYING FRENCH , GERMAN , & SWEDISH I WILL NEVER MARRY ANYONE ELSE !!!!!!!!!!
    THERE HAS NEVER EVER BEEN WORSE STEREOTYPIC HATE CRIME VS ANYONE AS TOWARDS ME FRO TRYING A SWEDISH BLONDE-BLUE-EYED , OR A SIMILAR GERMAN OR SWISS GIRL–NEVER 1 CHANCE TO GET NEAR ANY OF THEM , JUST TONS OF DARK SKIN–MOST POLITELY PUT–NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER !!!!!!!!!!            pww    the same never ever ever to the damn porn

  27. Paul Warren says:

    U,S, "EDUCATION STANDARDS "–I GET A B.S. IN EDUCATION , BILL COSBY GETS A PhD !

  28. Paul Warren says:

    IN A MOMENT OF PASSION ONE DOES NOT MEAN TO GO TOO FAR & WRITE SOME THINGS NOT WISHED TO BE ADVANCED ANY FURTHER .
    THERE SHOULD BE JUSTICE , ON THE ONE HAND FOR THE AGING WHO WANT STABILITY & ON THE OTHER HAND WHERE SOME WERE TAKEN IN TOO YOUNG , BY AN INDUSTRY WHICH I DO NOT REALLY WISH TO BE WITH !!!!
                                                                                        PWW

  29. Paul Warren says:

    I DO ADMIT I NEED HELP WITH THE LAW , & THAT I KNOW OF NOBODY ELSE WHO CAN , OR WILL HELP .

  30. tfunknationtown says:

    This is a worthless propaganda piece with Krugman here as a yes man.

  31. rcdny says:

    central planning idiots.

  32. Paul Warren says:

    I want nothing to do with the PEOPLE'S fantasy .
    I do not want people's teen-age daughters , 9r "grown-up" daughters in this country .
    IT'S GREAT WHERE YOU DID NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT .
    ALL OF THESE CHEATED PEOPLES , EVENTUALLY , 99 % OF THEM WILL BE DEAD BEFORE YOU CAN REACH THEM–EVENTUALLY .
    THIS IS THE WAY THE AMERICAS ARE HEADED .
    YOU , PAUL KRUGMAN , MYSELF , ARE CHEATED , NEAR $100 BILLION FROM THIS COUNTRY IF YOU TWO WERE TO REPRSENT ME…….
    I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT PAUL MCARTNEY & THE ROYALS REALLY WANT TO STAY IN THIS COUNTRY…..
    THE PEOPLE ARE A NIGHTMARE !!!!!!!!!!
    THE "LAW" IS TOO WEAK FOR ANYTHING BUT FEEDING PEANUTS TO CHIPMUNKS !!!!!!!!!!!              PWW
    PS  AT 19 YOU WERE NOT A BIKINI JUNKIE !!!!!!!!!!

  33. Paul Warren says:

    I VOWED TO ONLY GET ENGAGED AND MARRIED TO A SCANDINAVIAN , GERMAN , SWISS , OR AUSTRIAN GIRL FLUENT IN ENGLISH GERMAN FRENCH OR SWEDISH , ENGLISH ,& EITHER FRENCH OR GERMAN AS WELL AS A FAIRLY GOOD COMPREHENSION OF NORWEGIAN .
     A DIETICIAN , LINGUIST , WHO IS PATIENT & UNDERSTANDS MY FINAL REQUESTS IS THE GIRL I AM LOOKING FOR .
    A GIRL CAN HAVE THE SAY ON RELIGION , WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE EDUCATED , IF WE CAN'T AFFORD A PRIVATE TUTOR & HOW THE CHILDREN ARE BROUGHT UP ;
    I WILL FOREVER BELIEVE !.

  34. Paul Warren says:

    IT IS NOT AS IF I AM TOO STUPID TO PUT MY TOYS AWAY , OR WANT TO REMAIN UNDERWATER TO THIS KIND OF "CROWD!!!!!"
    NO SETTLEMENT–NOTHING ELSE .
    I CAN CHANGE MY SHORTS , EVERY SO OFTEN , & WITH AS MUCH STRESS AS MOUTH SPHERE CAUSES ME FOR THAT ALONE , I'M WORTH GRAD.DEGREES………

  35. Paul Warren says:

    LIKE I AM SAYING TO COUSIN NANCY–I NEED YOUR HELP !
    I WOULD NOT DREAM OF YOU HELPING WITHOUT PROFITING IN THE BARGAIN–THAT IS ONLY RIGHT .
    PWW

  36. Paul Warren says:

    BERNIE MADDEN SAYS THAT DENMARK & GERMANY DO NOT CHARGE FOR TUITION .
    HMMN ., NOW PERHAPS I CAN NEGOTIATE , WITH YOU GUYS , THRU CUNY NY
    TO EARN A MASTERS DEGREE ON LINE ,  WITHOUT PAYING TUITION ?
    MAYBE CUNY HAS AN INTERNATIONAL CONNECTION WITH GERMANY & DENMARK SO THIS CAN BE DONE ? HA HA HA HA HA    PWW

  37. Paul Warren says:

    INSTEAD OF HOW MANY BILLIONAIRES DO WE GO AFTER–WHAT HAPPENED TO WHEN WE ALL WANTED TO BE BILLY GRAHAM , CLAYTON MOORE , JOHN WOODEN , & JIMMY CARTER?  PWW

  38. Paul Warren says:

    PEOPLE CALL YOU GENIUS–THEY TRY TO GET YOU UP FOR COMMUNICATIONS WITH THOSE IN THE MIDST OF GREAT STRUGGLES .
    2  WAY COMMUNICATIONS CAN MEAN SO MUCH MORE THAN FOOD STAMPS .
    COUSIN NANCY IS BRAVE–CHRIS BREG IS BRAVE–THOSE WHO 2 WAY COMMUNICATE WITH ME .  PWW

  39. Paul Warren says:

    IT IS TERRIBLY DRY HERE , –TOO DRY .
    SOMEBODY CARED WHERE THE ARTICLE ON WARREN HARDING & NAN CAME OUT .
    ARE YOU RUNNING OR IS THERE A SETTLEMENT ?"???? HILLARY SEEMS NEVER THERE FOR ME…….
    BERNIE SEEMS WEARY , AT TIMES…I THINK HE & CHOMSKY & PAUL HERE DREAM OF NORTHERN EUROPE ,LIKE I DO .
    "ANYTHING I SAY" IS NOW BILL STAR'S SAY—-LIKE MY LEGAL RIGHTS ALL OF MY LIFE .
    MY BROTHER HAD 3 CLASS ACTIONS BEFORE HE WAS 18 THAT WERE NEVER ADDRESSED .
    NO WONDER HE DIED , ALONE & DEPRESSED WITH PORN MAGAZINES IN HIS DINGY APARTMENT .
    YOU GET DEGRADED WHEN JUSTICE HAS BEEN DENIED FOR SO MANY DECADES . A PERSON IS NOT AT ALL EVIL , JUST TERRIBLY NEGLECTED .
    HISTORY WILL NOT REPEAT ITSELF .
    I WILL STRUGGLE THROUGH MY LIFE AS FAR AS I CAN .  PWW

  40. Paul Warren says:

    WISH ELIZABETH WARREN WERE REPRESENTING ME .
    NO ONE HAS BETTER INSIGHT .
    EXCEPT COUSIN NAN—PWW

  41. Paul Warren says:

    PERHAPS A MULTI-LINGUAL SWEDE OR NORTHERN GERMAN GIRL WOULD RATHER SHARE A LIFE WITH ME IN NEW ENGLAND ACADEMIA SOCIETY ….
    A DUE CITIZENSHIP PRESENTS LESS DIFFICULTIES CONCERNING TAX LAWS…. PWW

  42. Paul Warren says:

    canada's Rankin Family–GILLIS MOUNTIAN & WE RISE AGAIN
    LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC !

  43. Paul Warren says:

    CAROLINE WOZNIACKI–8 LANGUAGES!!!!
    THIS IS GENIUS ALSO WHERE SHE DEVOTES SO MUCH TIME TO TENNIS & COULD PLAY PIANO BESIDES…..WOW!!!!
    HAIL GRADUATE SCHOOL 1 PWW

  44. YouTubeExplorer says:

    The Republican Party is no longer a functioning political party. If they don't come back to the land of sanity I think the party will die.

  45. YouTubeExplorer says:

    Wonderful conversation! Thanks for putting this together.

  46. Paul Warren says:

    I SUSPECT THAT WARREN BUFFET GOT YOU THRU–1 BECAUSE OF YOUR IDEALS & 2 BECAUSE HIS SILENT ADMISSION IS THAT I AM THE ONLY WORTHWHILE LAWSUIT NEEDED TO BE WON .
    PAUL WAS BORN INTO IT , BUT AT ONE TIME , STRUGGLING TO BE MIDDLE CLASS WAS VERY HARD FOR ELIZABETH & MYSELF .
    AREN'T WE ALL UPPER MIDDLE CLASS , EXCEPT YOU TWO ARE UPPER CLASS AS WELL ?
    AS YOU GET A WHIFF OF THE MASSES , I HOPE THAT YOU REALIZE THAT MY CASE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THESE WIDGET GOALS FOR "THE PEOPLE" .
    WITH A SETTLEMENT , I CAN GIVE YOU AN UNDERSTANDING , LISTENING EAR & SOMETIMES WORTHWHILE RE-INFORCEMENT .
    LOOK AT OTHER COMMENTS ON YOUR SCREEN & YOU WILL FIND MAYBE 3-4 OTHERS WHO ARE EVEN SANE…..PWW PS LEADERS-PROFESSORS , SENATORS , PRESIDENTS NEED STRONG SUPPORTIVE REINFORCEMENT NOW MORE THAN EVER .

  47. Paul Warren says:

    INSTEAD OF ALL THE BILLIONAIRES , TRY GOING AT THE OLDER PORN CZARS & DRUG CARTELS ????
    THERE'S BILLIONS THERE , SOME OF WHICH , WILL HELP YOUR FAMILY .
    I WANNA KNOW WHY NOT PURSUE THIS ?????

  48. Paul Warren says:

    IN BERNIE SANDER'S " THE SPEECH" HE ADVOCATES PAYING EVERY ONE $250.00.
    "IF WE ARE NOT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY , WHAT DO YOU OWE US " ?
    WELL THEN , WHY DON.T YOU OFFER ONLY THOSE OF US WHO VOTE FOR YOU $350.00 EVERY FOUR YEARS FOR THOSE OF US WHO VOTE FOR YOU , INSTEAD OF EVERY ONE ?
    WAIT UNTIL JUST BEFORE THE ELECTION BEFORE YOU MAKE THIS PLEDGE SO YOU WIN BY A NARROW MARGIN SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY AS MANY PEOPLE OR DRAIN THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM -TOO MUCH .
    THIS IS THE REAL POWER OF THE VOTER . pww

  49. Paul Warren says:

    SOMEONE HINTED THAT I HAVE A PhD WAITING AHEAD .
    PROVIDING I FIND THE MULTI-LINGUAL GIRL I WANT TO MARRY , I WILL BE WORTH THE PhD , (SEE BELOW) . PWW

  50. Paul Warren says:

    "we are more than the sum of our parts……"
    ONE MUST LAST LONGER WITH A PHILOSOPHY LIKE THIS .

  51. Some Guy says:

    A fraud telling me how to commit fraud.

  52. Brian McMahon says:

    The video demonstrates how far the intellectual stock of the CUNY system has fallen. Chase Robinson reads off a long list of left wing political positions in this introduction. I wonder if he would ever invite Thomas Sowell to discuss these issues.

  53. Paul Warren says:

    THIS ISSUE IS NOT JUST THE LESSER OF 2 EVILS , IT IS ABOUT NOT ALLOWING THE WORST OF THE 2 TO REAPPEAR , IN THE EVENT THAT THE LESSER OF THE 2 EVILS IS ELECTED & THEN IMPEACHED !!!!
    WITH THE LESSER OF THE 2 EVILS , IT MAY BE THAT THIS SITUATION MIGHT REACH SOLUTION…..LOVE THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE TO SEEK SOLUTION . PWW

  54. Paul Warren says:

    WE ALL REALIZE THAT THE TRUMP WILL NEVER HAVE WHAT THE WALTONS , GATES , BUFFETS, PEOPLE LIKE STEVE BALLMER , PAUL ALLEN , -& GEORGE SOROS HAVE .
    THESE PEOPLE MUST HAVE MANY MORE BRAINS THAN A BLACKMAILING PEE WIT …..
    SO—–BRING ON HILLARY !!!!! PWW

  55. Marry Christmas says:

    The biggest problem with young people is : COFFEE. That's where their money disappear.

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