John Hickenlooper, a former governor of Colorado, declared in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that he is “running to defend capitalism” and attacked lawmakers on all sides of the political spectrum for what he claimed are grave risks to the country’s ability to prosper economically.
The 2020 presidential hopeful aimed at his fellow Democratic primary rivals, some of whom have adopted what critics have dubbed socialist policies. But the conservatives who support deregulatory measures were also criticized by the former small company owner turned governor, who declared in his Journal op-ed that he was “trying to defend capitalism.”
While Hickenlooper attributed voters’ readiness to support politicians threatening to overthrow established capitalism to rising income disparity, he countered that both Democrats and Republicans were tackling the issue incorrectly. He made a strong defense of the economy, which has been largely criticized by Democrats running for office in 2020.
The author claimed that “capitalism is the only economic system that can maintain a strong middle class, an expanding economy, and innovative entrepreneurs driving global technological progress.” Nevertheless, capitalism “just isn’t working” for too many Americans.
In a crowded Democratic field that has swung sharply to the left, Hickenlooper is one of a small number of presidential contenders. Nevertheless, a lot of people on the campaign trail concur that capitalism is effective; it simply needs improvement. This is in contrast to many of his rivals who have called for the government to have a bigger role in society and tried to use populism as a campaign strategy.
Hickenlooper stated in his editorial that he saw severe defects in capitalism, problems he claimed, if elected president, he could remedy. Hickenlooper has frequently emphasized his experience as a businessman, which stems from the brewpub he helped create in the 1980s.
The government must make sure that labor is rewarded to revive capitalism, he claimed.
Hickenlooper listed many measures where he thought he could revitalize capitalism, including reforming the capital gains tax, enforcing antitrust laws more strictly, raising the minimum wage, extending “fair trade,” and increasing the minimum wage.
He opposed giving the government “entirely control” over health care, as some of his opponents have suggested through programs similar to Medicare for All, but he also argued for facilitating access to higher education and career training through a free community college program for those who need it.
“Whether capitalism thrives in America will be determined by the 2020 election. “Yes, I am a capitalist and a small-business owner,” he wrote. But American capitalism is in trouble right now. Before it’s too late, we must rectify it.
While Hickenlooper has recently embraced the moniker of capitalist, in the early stages of his campaign, he steadfastly refused to refer to himself as a capitalist during a conversation with MSNBC “Morning Joe” presenter Joe Scarborough. The former governor later clarified his pro-capitalist views in a lengthy online statement and compared being dubbed a capitalist to being called a “nerd” in high school to NBC late-night star Seth Myers.
He made a joke about how that might not be the first term he would choose, but it would be challenging to refute.
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