As Democratic candidates push hard for progressive social programs as the way to lift Americans up, Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., is tackling the "crisis" of "runaway capitalism" in an ironic way: By talking to the Silicon Valley billionaires in his district, The Washington Post reported.
Those billionaires are potentially going to fund his political future, after all, even if they are built by modern-day capitalism and the successes of big tech.
"For the first time in decades, capitalism's future is a subject of debate among presidential hopefuls and a source of growing angst for America’s business elite," the Post reported. "In places such as Silicon Valley, the slopes of Davos, Switzerland, and the halls of Harvard Business School, there is a sense that the kind of capitalism that once made America an economic envy is responsible for the growing inequality and anger that is tearing the country apart."
The push here for Khanna – a co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., presidential campaign – is the one now being preached at Harvard with its elective course "reimagining capitalism."
"What the trust surveys say is what I see: They are really worried about the direction in which the U.S. and the world is heading," Harvard economic professor Rebecca Henderson told the Post.
Henderson teaches the elective, which started with just 28 students seven years ago during the Obama administration and has grown to nearly 300 taking it this spring. The course attacks the structure of corporations and government as feeding the rich, she told the Post.
It is conceivably a way to steer the country, as many Harvard business students tend to be the next generation of Fortune 500 executive, per the Post.
"Realizing people hate your guts has some value," Silicon Valley billionaire Chris Larsen joked to the Post.
Khanna's problems might be bigger than those of a thriving U.S. economy: He has to serve a Sanders campaign that rejects billionaires while serving a district that grows them.
"We're probably not going to get a lot of support from the one percent and the large profitable corporations," Sen. Sanders said, per the Post. "That's OK. I don't need, and we don't want, their support."
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