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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a 2020 Presidential hopeful, speaks during the “We The People” Summit in Washington, D.C., on April 1, 2019.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a 2020 presidential hopeful, speaks during the “We The People” Summit in Washington, DC, on April 1, 2019.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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Elizabeth Warren’s plan to pass her plans

The 2020 candidate on how she’d get rid of the filibuster, curb political corruption, and persuade Americans that government can work for them.

Oligarchic capitalism? Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a plan for that. Opioid deaths? She’s got a plan for that, too. Same is true for high housing costs, offshoring, child care, breaking up big tech, curbing congressional corruption, indicting presidents, strengthening reproductive rights, forgiving student loans, providing debt relief to Puerto Rico, and fixing the love lives of some of her Twitter followers. Seriously.

But how’s Warren going to pass any of these plans? Which policy would she prioritize? What presidential powers would she leverage? What argument would she make to her fellow Senate Democrats to convince them to abolish the filibuster? What will she do if Mitch McConnell still leads the Senate? What about climate change?

I caught her on a campaign swing through California to ask about that meta-plan. The plan behind her plans. You can listen to our whole conversation by subscribing to The Ezra Klein Show wherever you get podcasts. A transcript, lightly edited for length and clarity, follows.

Ezra Klein

It is Day 1 of the Elizabeth Warren administration. What comes first?

Elizabeth Warren

I’ll do the things that I can do as president on my own. So Day 1, I will sign a moratorium. No more drilling, no more mining on federal lands or national parks. No offshore drilling. A secretary of education who’s been a public school teacher, somebody who believes in public education. A head of the EPA who is not a coal lobbyist. This is how I think of this. Look at the tools in the toolbox. Right? What are all the tools? What are the ones that a president can do — I love this word — by herself? And what are the ones you got to get Congress for? And then what’s the plan to get Congress on board for that?

Sen. Warren (D-MA) visits the Big River United Energy ethanol facility during a campaign stop in in Dyersville, Iowa, on June 10, 2019.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren visits the Big River United Energy ethanol facility during a campaign stop in in Dyersville, Iowa, on June 10, 2019.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Ezra Klein

But you have proposed a bunch of big legislative projects. Of them, what comes first?

Elizabeth Warren

The best place to start is with the corruption package. And the reason for that is that the rich and the powerful have been calling the shots in Washington forever and ever and ever it feels like. I mean many, many decades. They’re not going to just say, “Oh, well, okay. Now you need a wealth tax. Now you want to make these other investments.”

So part of it is to disrupt the influence of money in Washington. It’s to push back against the lobbying industry. It’s to say to all those congresspeople and their chiefs of staff, “Hey, this is your job, and you’re not going to have an opportunity to lobby afterward so don’t be looking over the horizon at your next job and adjusting your behavior accordingly.”

I want everybody in the game right now for the people, not for the folks with money, not for the billionaires, not for the giant corporations, and I think going straight up the middle on the corruption plan is the first one. Knock them back, and while they’re all scrambling, then start passing the rest of it.

Ezra Klein

Do you need to start with the filibuster before you can do any of those plans?

Elizabeth Warren

That depends on whether or not we have a majority on our side in the Senate, and it depends on what Mitch McConnell does.

Ezra Klein

But you know what Mitch McConnell will do.

Elizabeth Warren

Yeah. Okay. I always want to say he is the one who will determine that. But I will say this for sure: This business that Democrats play by one set of rules and Republicans play by a different set of rules — those days are over when I’m president. We’re not doing that anymore.

Ezra Klein

What is the difference in the rules?

Elizabeth Warren

Oh, come on. I watched Mitch McConnell when the Republicans were in the minority in the Senate and President Obama was in the White House, and the Democrats obviously were in the majority in the Senate. He used every rule, every trick, every blue slip to delay, to hold back, to keep anything from passing, and Democrats largely respected that and said, “Well those are the rules.”

Then, when it flips and the Republicans are in the majority, it all starts to look different. They steal a Supreme Court seat. Now the Republicans have Donald Trump as president and they’re in the majority in the Senate, and the rules are entirely different from where they were before. Watch what’s happening not just with the Supreme Court, but with judges up and down the line. Mitch McConnell has made it clear that there is no point of principle. For him, it is all about power.

Supporters listen as Sen. Warren (D-MA) speaks during a campaign event in Queens, New York on March 8, 2019.
Supporters listen as Sen. Warren (D-MA) speaks during a campaign event in Queens, New York on March 8, 2019.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ezra Klein

If you are lucky enough to have a majority, it’ll be 51, 52, on the outside 53 seats in the Senate. Then you get into the filibuster. You were the first senator to call for its abolition this time. Even your Democratic colleagues are not there. What argument would you make to them to get rid of it?

Elizabeth Warren

I think this is one of the reasons to run on plans because if I get elected on those plans, it gives me the capacity to turn around and say to my colleagues, “Hey that’s what I ran on, that’s what the majority of the American people voted for, that’s what they got out and fought for. So as the Democratic Party, that’s what we got to do.”

Ezra Klein

There’s an argument that you hear a lot lately that before anything else happens, the next president needs to focus on climate change because climate change has a ticking clock attached to it. What do you think of that?

Elizabeth Warren

I think there’s a lot of truth in that. That’s why I’ve said on the first day that I am sworn in, I’ll put a moratorium in place so that there will be no new drilling, no new mining on federal lands, no offshore drilling. That’s something within the capacity of the president of the United States. It’s a difference to make from Day 1. Remember, that’s pretty significant — putting all our federal lands, it’s nearly a quarter of our land mass, on the side of helping the climate instead of being a source of more carbon in the air.

Ezra Klein

Tell me about your theory of how power sequences. There’s long been a view that presidents have up to 100 days. Maybe they don’t even have that anymore, but in theory, you have this 100 days. You can do a lot then. But every single day you’re there, power drains out of the office. Controversy builds. People get tired. You get nearer to the next election.

Do you have a different theory? Do you think that there’s a way to sequence your agenda such that you’re building momentum as opposed to losing it? Or do you really have to say it’s going to be these one or two or three legislative fights, and that’s all the system can handle in a big way in the first term?

Elizabeth Warren

Here’s my theory: It starts now. That’s what true grassroots building is about. Green New Deal. More and more people are in that fight and say that matters to me. Medicare-for-all, that fight that matters to me. Student loan debt cancellation, 43 million Americans who would be affected by my proposal there. That matters to me. 12 million kids who could be affected by child care and universal pre-K for all our 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. That matters to me.

As those issues over the next year and a quarter get clearer, sharper, they’re issues worth fighting for, and issues where we truly have leadership on it, have people out there knocking doors over it. That’s where the legislative agenda starts. It starts a year and a half before the election. Then, the idea is to take that energy from the election and take it straight into Congress.

For example, I have got a plan to just attack this opioid crisis head-on. For far too long, we’ve been nibbling around the edges at it. Every year, you watch the number of opioid deaths, people who are addicted, keep going up. Every year the government spends a little more money, but the government is always behind the curve. Today in America — what is it, an estimated 193 people or so will die from an overdose?

It’s like a plane crash happening again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. And yet if a beloved friend of yours, your sister or your brother came to you and said, “Okay, I know I’ve got a problem.” They have a less than one in six chance of getting the medical treatment they need, not because we don’t know what to do but because right now it’s just not there. The facilities aren’t there. The help is not there.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) holds Francina Seedman-Stout, 8 months, after a teacher’s union town hall, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2019.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) holds Francina Seedman-Stout, 8 months, after a teachers union town hall, in Philadelphia on May 13, 2019.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

So what do we do? Last year, Elijah Cummings and I with the doctors, we talked with the health care professionals, the people who are patients and patient advocacy groups, lots of different groups, and got the outlines of a bill together. We introduced that last year. It got a lot of co-sponsors. This year, we had some improvements on that bill. We got more co-sponsors, and we laid out how we would pay for it. We introduced it again.

My hope is that they’ll run it over in the House all the way through the legislative process. Hold hearings on it. Get a vote on it because look at the position that puts us in come January 2021 if we have a democratic majority in the House and the Senate and we’ve already vetted these bills, we’ve already run them through the process, we’ve already talked about them out there in public with voters. Now we’ve got a chance to start making a real difference early.

You asked me about my theory about this. This is the importance of engaging everyone. The importance not just of talking to other senators and representatives but the importance of engaging people across this country. You start to win and you can keep winning. So first thing I want to do is I want to push back. I want this anti-corruption bill. But the second thing I want is that wealth tax.

Two cents on the one-tenth of one percent, the greatest fortunes in this country, $50 million and above, and for two cents we can provide universal child care, universal pre-K, raise the wages of all our child care workers and pre-K workers, universal technical school, two-year college, four-year college, and cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the people who’ve got it. We cancel student loan debt for 43 million Americans across this country.

The vision of what government can do and whose side government is on changes just like that.

Ezra Klein

So now I want to then go back to the president’s toolbox. Something that is different about you than a lot of the candidates is you’ve actually set up an executive branch agency. And then, as a senator, you’ve been more focused on the regulatory process than others in the body. What powers does a president have that people don’t realize a president can use?

Elizabeth Warren

First, just start with those agencies. You know, most of those agencies were built at a time when we believed in government, and we believed that by having these specialized agencies that would help make us safer and wealthier and help promote the common good. That was true whether you were talking about the Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Commerce or the Environmental Protection Agency. Those agencies still have a huge number of tools. There is an enormous ...

Ezra Klein

Give me an example of one tool that people don’t think of.

Elizabeth Warren

Let me think. Obviously, the Environmental Protection Agency, and people think of that one a lot. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the capacity because it has the expertise. It has the long-term people are there, longer than the term of a president. They develop expertise in an area, and so long as they stay focused on the mission and have a courageous director, there’s an enormous amount that these agencies can do.

So, first job of a president is you think about the head of every one of those agencies and you look for someone who has got the vision, who understands the job of the Food and Drug Administration is to be on the side of people who are trying to get a prescription filled and to make that work better.

It’s to get that generic drug market that’s 90 percent of all the drugs in America, or at least could be, to get that market up and working, and if it’s not, to start finding alternatives. What tools have you got in the FDA’s toolbox to make this happen? Someone who’s aggressive, somebody who’s ready to get in the fight — you get the right people at the tops of those agencies; personnel is policy here. The tools are already embedded in the agencies. It’s just going to take somebody to pick them up and use them.

Ezra Klein

You’re a capitalist at a time when democratic socialists have become popular. What is the difference between you and the democratic socialists? Where do you disagree?

Elizabeth Warren

All I can do is tell you what I believe in because I can’t tell you about anybody else.

Ezra Klein

Do you think you don’t disagree?

Elizabeth Warren

I don’t know, but let me tell you what I believe in. I believe in markets. I believe in the benefits that come from markets, that two people coming together, or two companies, or a company and a person coming together to exchange goods and services, yay! That’s how we build a lot of wealth in this country and a lot of innovation and create a lot of opportunity.

But markets without rules are theft. It’s absolutely crucial that if we’re going to have a market economy that works, that we’ve got to have a set of rules around it. Look back to the lead up to the crash in 2008. You and I have talked about this in the past. The big banks that looked around and said, “Whoa, we can make a lot of money on cheating people, tricking them on mortgages that nobody ever would understand.”

That first big round of subprime mortgages that went out, it didn’t go out to people trying to buy a home. The first years of those mortgages went to refinance people, particularly African Americans and Latinos, who had already bought homes. These were just tricking, scamming mortgages that got people to sign up for what they were told were lower monthly payments or what they told was a little cash up front to repair the roof, and that two years later ended up costing them their homes.

That industry, those bankers, once they had perfected their techniques on black and brown communities, they then went all over the nation and not only nearly brought our economy to its knees but nearly crashed the worldwide economy. Now that’s a market that isn’t working. That’s a market where you need regulation, and you need regulators who enforce those regulations.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at an organizing event in Glendale, California, on February 18, 2019.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at an organizing event in Glendale, California, on February 18, 2019.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Ezra Klein

What I understand to be the difference people have here is there is a view that the market has taken over too many spheres of American life. There are things in the market — ranging from, increasingly, education to private health insurance — that markets should not be part of. The other side of that debate is people who believe correctly structured competition would be good. So particularly in those two areas, health care and education, should there be markets?

Elizabeth Warren

I think that markets mostly don’t work in those areas. It’s not to say there aren’t pieces that you could make work, but no. Health care is something that is a basic human right, and we fight for basic human rights. Public education is public education because it’s not market-driven. Markets don’t work well here.

There are whole areas where we can’t and shouldn’t try to use markets, but for buying and selling goods? Yeah. I think markets work if you have the right kinds of regulations in place. I think they give an opportunity for a lot of creativity and the creation of widespread wealth. When I say that, I don’t just mean for billionaires to become double, triple billionaires. If you’ve got the right set of rules in place, it means you’re creating the kind of growth that lets families, lets individuals, really build some security and some opportunity for themselves and their kids.

Ezra Klein

I get the sense that you think we’re in a period where you’ve got to save capitalism from the capitalists, that if you don’t actually have a change in overall government policy, you’re actually going to lose a generation of people from believing in the kinds of things you’re talking about. Philosophically, is that fair?

Elizabeth Warren

Well, it’s not only about believing. It’s about the reality. I just look at this now. What we’ve got in this country is not sustainable. We have an economy and a government that work better and better and better for a thinner and thinner and thinner slice at the top and worse and worse and worse for everyone else. That just can’t work forever.

Look at it this way. I was talking a minute ago about the two-cent wealth tax. My proposal is a tax on the 75,000 biggest fortunes in this country. If you’ve got more than $50 million, the 50 millionth and first dollar gets taxed at two cents. And then two cents on every dollar after that. Two cents. What could we do with two cents? Look at the opportunity it builds in childcare and early childhood education and technical school and college and freeing up people from huge debt burdens.

Sen. Warren (D-MA) addresses a rally against the Republican tax plan outside the U.S. Capitol on November 1, 2017.
Sen. Warren (D-MA) addresses a rally against the Republican tax plan outside the U.S. Capitol on November 1, 2017.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Think of it this way. The bottom 99 percent last year paid all-in on their taxes 7.2 percent of their total wealth. Top one percent? They paid 3.2 percent of their total wealth. The big fortunes, and here I’m just doing the top one-tenth of one percent, are so big now, and they are growing on their own — this is [Thomas] Piketty and [Emmanuel] Saez and others — they are growing on their own. They are now capital. You don’t have to work if you’ve got one of those big fortunes. Those things are managed by professional managers. They keep growing on their own. They keep accumulating more wealth so that just two cents would give us enough to reinvest and help to level that playing field again.

Ezra Klein

Let me try to take what I think ends up being the other side of the argument. In terms of values, I’m with you, but what seems to happen is two-fold.

It’s not that people wouldn’t like to see those fortunes taxed. It’s that you get caught up in two things. One is, well, the government is going to waste that money. We’re here in California. High-speed rail? Not going to happen. There are people who remember healthcare.gov. There is, on the one hand, a weaponized effort to make government seem bad at doing things, but also there are times when government is bad at doing things.

But then the other, more poisonous one, is people come up, like Donald Trump, and they say it’s fine when the government does things, but the problem is it’s going to take your money and do things for people who don’t look like you. It’s all getting eaten up by immigrants. And so you end up, it seems to be, with two blockages to that kind of argument. One is people’s mistrust of the government — some of it fair, some of it not as fair — but the other is a fight over who should benefit. How do you talk to those folks?

Elizabeth Warren

I got a plan for that.

Ezra Klein

Do you?

Elizabeth Warren

I do. Listen to what I was just talking about. It’s that I pair these things together. It’s the two-cent wealth tax and student loan debt cancellation for 43 million Americans.

Ezra Klein

When you were saying this earlier, you said you would go to the wealth tax second. You’re saying here that what you want to do is use dedicated taxes. You want to put the wealth tax and the student loan stuff in the same bill.

Elizabeth Warren

And this is how you pay for it. Yeah. This is how you pay for it. You’ve got all your pay-fors together. But notice how much you get from the wealth tax. The two-cent wealth tax is enough to do all those things I talked about, plus have $100 billion to put into opioids and still have nearly half a trillion dollars left over. It’s a staggering amount of money that it produces because there is such extraordinary concentrated wealth in this country. Getting that two cents opens up real opportunity for everybody else.

Here’s the thing. I think that most Americans would like to see us invest in all of our babies. Not everybody wants to reach in their pocket and pay for it right now, but if you said, “two-cent wealth tax, it’s all of our kids who are going to be able to participate in this,” I think that matters.

All of our kids who have gotten hit with this student loan debt, who don’t yet have giant incomes, they’re going to get some of that student loan debt forgiven. I think the values are right. I think they’re then with us on making this kind of change. And then I think this becomes transformative. It becomes the tangible example of government on your side.

Sen. Warren (D-MA) during an election night rally celebrating her win in Boston on November 7, 2018.
Sen. Warren (D-MA) during an election night rally celebrating her win in Boston on November 7, 2018.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Ezra Klein

What is your narrative of why we don’t have that already? In the polling, the popularity of these ideas has been clear for a long time. Barack Obama proposed universal pre-K, and he was backing that with different kinds of taxes on the wealthy. The [Warren] Buffett tax was a very popular idea, but it didn’t pass. So what has been the blockage that you would lift?

Elizabeth Warren

Washington works for the wealthy and the well-connected.

Ezra Klein

And it’s the corruption bill that would change that?

Elizabeth Warren

It totally is corruption. The corruption bill starts to knock it back, but you’ve got to get out there and beat this drum every day. It’s going to take a lot of popular support and a lot of demand. And you’ve got to be willing to fight that fight. You can’t just sit back and say, “Well I showed you it made sense.” You really have got to be willing to wade into that fight.

But I believe this is a moment when people are ready for that. I think that there are so many people who look around and say this just isn’t working. That’s true not just for Democrats. It’s true for Republicans. That’s why the wealth tax enjoys huge popularity not just among Democrats, not just among independents, but a majority of Republicans support it.

That’s why cancelation of student loan debt — remember it’s not just Democrats who are getting crushed by that student loan debt, it’s Republicans too. It’s a reminder that government can work for all of us, that there’s not just one cookie on the table left, and if he grabs it, you don’t get it. That’s the politics of division. That’s the politics that Trump has played all along and that Republicans have played over and over and over.

But yes, this is about corruption. Look, I’ll give you the best proof point on that. How could it be that after years and years when you never could get the Buffett tax through, the Republicans could just turn around, go behind closed doors, lock the doors? The only people they let in — I always thought this was great — the House and the Senate were the Republican members, the lobbyists, and a handful of donors ...

Ezra Klein

You’re talking about the tax bill negotiation.

Elizabeth Warren

The tax bill. I’m sorry, I should have made that clear. They wrote a tax bill then that gave away a trillion-and-a-half dollars. They made up a bunch of things that they said this tax bill was going to do. I hope you saw the report that just came out recently from the government that said none of that stuff happened. No, it did not stimulate the economy. No, it did not stimulate more investment. No, the benefits did not trickle down.

Ezra Klein

Brought the stock buybacks up.

Elizabeth Warren

Stock buybacks went through the roof, so if you were an executive or a big shareholder, you did great with that tax giveaway. It was a tax scam. Yet, man, they just stood there and passed it. Every single Republican voted for that thing in the House and in the Senate. They just crammed the thing through. They had the energy. They did it, and they did it for whom? They were pretty open about it. They did it for their donors.

Ezra Klein

How different would it be for Democrats — or in this case for you — to run against Donald Trump in 2020 after he has passed all this agenda, the Republican agenda, versus in 2016, when he was claimed to be a populist running to reform the Republican Party. In polls, people thought Donald Trump was quite moderate in 2016. It seems running actually having a record now is going to snap what he is into place in a way that makes his reelection campaign very different.

Elizabeth Warren

He’s now got a record. Over and over, you can say he gave away a trillion-and-a-half dollars that just all went to the rich guys. The tariffs are killing you. It’s the ability now to come back and just say here are the facts. Here’s what happens and just hold him to it.

Now I don’t want to kid myself about it. He is a master at distraction and will want to talk about something else. I think part of this will be talking about what he’s done, but I think the much more central part will be, as Democrats, are we just going to be not-Trump? In which case, we ignore the fact something was broken in this country to elect a guy like Trump. Or are we going to be the party that says we get what’s wrong, we have a plan to fix it, and we’re going to build a grassroots movement to make that happen?

Ezra Klein

We’ve only got so much time left, so I want to do a bit of a policy lightning round here. Quick policy questions, quick policy answers. You have a pretty interesting housing plan. You say that in order to come in for the grants in that plan, states and localities will have to change their land-use laws. What kind of changes are you imagining? What should be different?

Elizabeth Warren

I think this is one of those where it’s time to start looking at best practices and to put some incentive on the table. Regional planning is way, way, way overdue. Every little town that has to consider its budget right up to its border, but when you think about housing — housing now has much more in the way of regional effects. So one of the features in the plan is to say that the federal government can be a good partner. We can’t come in and tell you how it should be done. It shouldn’t be done the same way in Ames, Iowa, that it should be in Manhattan. San Francisco does not look like Jacksonville. These places are different from each other. Small towns are different from big cities.

But come up with a plan, and here’s the way to measure the plan. Does it help reduce the cost of housing going forward so that the calculation for private investment or private investment with a small supplement from the government is likely to produce more housing in this region?

Sen. Warren (D-MA) speaks during a campaign event in Queens, New York City, on March 8, 2019.
Sen. Warren (D-MA) speaks during a campaign event in Queens, New York City, on March 8, 2019.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ezra Klein

Ranked-choice voting.

Elizabeth Warren

You know this is one of those things I had thought, “No, I don’t think so. I don’t think I understand this well enough.” Yet I’ve started reading more of the data, working through more of the examples, and there’s a lot to be said for it. Engaging more people, and saying, “Okay, talk about your first choice and your second choice.” That that might help us as a country get more people both running for office and engaged in those political campaigns.

I just want to say a little piece off to the side on this. I think democracy is at risk in this country, and I think it’s—

Ezra Klein

Well, we’re not much of a democracy.

Elizabeth Warren

Well, it’s been under attack though for decades now that voting has been under attack. We now have a major political party in the United States, the Republicans, whose plan to stay in power is keep a whole bunch of American citizens from voting. I mean think about that. That’s what voter suppression is about. That’s what the gerrymandering is about. We now have the attacks on democracy, on an independent judiciary, the attacks on a free press, but the part that gives me so much hope is how much democracy itself is reinventing. People now hook up by email. They hook up by text. They come together, people who hadn’t known each other before.

Ezra Klein

To me, this is a bigger deal than people want to admit. Right now, the White House is controlled by the candidate who lost the popular vote. Democrats have won more votes in the Senate over the past three Senate cycles than the Republicans, but they’re in the minority. Democrats have the House, but because of the Senate and the White House, they have a big deficit in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court keeps making decisions that make it easier for Republicans to win more elections. We’re pretty far from a democracy. This is a thing that people do not want to admit about America, but we’re not a democratic republic. We’re not a democracy. We’re just something else.

Elizabeth Warren

And it’s all still sliding the wrong direction. The voter suppression laws keep accelerating. The efforts to gerrymander with precision keep moving stronger. Mitch McConnell announcing that having stolen a Supreme Court seat from a Democratic president — he certainly wouldn’t apply that same rule now that he’s got a Republican president. That’s why I think of what I’m doing in this election is very much about spending time at the grassroots. I don’t spend time off with billionaires and heads of corporations.

Ezra Klein

Universal basic income.

Elizabeth Warren

I think there’s so much more that we should do before we get there. There’s so much more we should do. Start with the wealth tax. Come on. Start with universal child care and education and investment in education from zero on through college. Let’s see what that starts to do. Do the student loan debt forgiveness and that’ll start to close the black and white wealth gap. Use my housing plan and attack redlining straight on. Help close the differences between the poorest in this country and the middle class. Give people more opportunities. Let’s get everybody on board and try that.

Ezra Klein

I know you’ve got to leave, but the last question we always ask is what are three books that have changed the way you think that you would recommend to the audience?

Elizabeth Warren

Oh wow. My god. Right now, it feels like The Little Engine That Could.

Ezra Klein

As a new father, not a bad recommendation.

Elizabeth Warren

That’s right. I actually thought Piketty’s book on capitalism.

Ezra Klein

Capital in the Twenty-First Century?

Elizabeth Warren

Yeah, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Ezra Klein

Some light bedtime reading.

Elizabeth Warren

It’s a terrific book in making you think about the difference between income and wealth. and how high income is one thing, but building these citadels of wealth, that’s something else. Matthew Desmond’s Evicted and [Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer’s] $2.00 a Day, reading those books about the importance of housing to economic stability in America but also what it means to live on the fringe economically — what that struggle looks like and to think about, in those circumstances, what does equality of opportunity mean? They’re powerful books.

Sen. Warren (D-MA), looks down on her event crowd before announcing her official bid for President on February 9, 2019 in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Warren looks down on her event crowd before announcing her official bid for president on February 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images
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