🇮🇱 Good Monday morning. The polls are open in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters his third election in 10 months with momentum — and with his corruption trial looming just two weeks after the vote. Go deeper.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The economy according to Bernie Sanders looks unlike anything any politician this close to the presidency has ever put forth before, Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin writes.
What it means: To understand the Bernie economy — his plans for free health care, college tuition and a government-guaranteed job for every American — it helps to view it through the lens of modern monetary theory, or MMT.
MMT argues that the way we have viewed government policy — that it's like a household with a fixed capacity for earning and spending — is wrong.
A Sanders adviser is Stephanie Kelton, an economics professor at Stony Brook University and MMT's best-known advocate. She told Axios:
The intrigue: Critics point out that Sanders' ideas for increasing government revenue — including heavy taxes on the wealthy, raising the corporate tax rate to 35%, and eliminating most corporate tax breaks and loopholes — will fall well short of paying for the new programs he proposes.
The bottom line: Bernie Sanders' economic agenda is not merely to "give people free stuff."
Bill Gates, who has devoted much of his life and fortune to global health, warns in The New England Journal of Medicine that the coronavirus "has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about":
I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise.
There are two reasons that Covid-19 is such a threat. First, it can kill healthy adults in addition to elderly people with existing health problems. ...
Second, Covid-19 is transmitted quite efficiently. The average infected person spreads the disease to two or three others — an exponential rate of increase. There is also strong evidence that it can be transmitted by people who are just mildly ill ... Covid-19 has already caused 10 times as many cases as SARS in a quarter of the time.
The big picture: Gates, always an optimist, writes that in addition to responding to this crisis, "we also need to make larger systemic changes so we can respond more efficiently and effectively when the next epidemic arrives."
⚡ The latest: In Paris, the Louvre is closed for a second day.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Don’t hold your breath for big climate policy changes — even if a Democrat wins the White House, Axios' Amy Harder writes in her weekly "Harder Line" energy column.
Between the lines: This pendulum dynamic is classic Washington. It’s inefficient and ingrains uncertainty for everyone involved, including corporate executives (who hate uncertainty), the environment itself and all of us affected by that environment
After Pete Buttigieg ended his campaign in South Bend, N.Y. Times columnist Frank Bruni — who put the mayor on the national map in 2016 ("The First Gay President?") — writes that "this young gay pioneer ... did the grown-up thing":
🔮 What's next: Buttigieg and Joe Biden have exchanged voicemails, amid speculation about a possible endorsement, Alexi McCammond reports.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
As regulators review a decade of tech industry acquisitions for signs of monopolistic behavior, the very size of the platforms could actually protect them, Axios tech editor Kyle Daly writes.
But regulators could use the courts or a settlement to get companies to put up assets or money to seed a new competitor.
With the headline "#WINNING," The New Yorker's Andrew Marantz writes in a deeply reported piece that Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is poised to beat Democrats at the online game for the second presidential election in a row:
"We've been working on this around the clock for three years," a senior official who works on the 2020 digital campaign told Marantz.
"The president is winning his war on American institutions," George Packer writes in the 21-page April cover story of The Atlantic:
When Donald Trump came into office, there was a sense that he would be outmatched by the vast government he had just inherited. ...
James Baker, the former general counsel of the FBI, and a target of Trump’s rage against the state, acknowledges that many government officials, not excluding himself, went into the administration convinced "that they are either smarter than the president, or that they can hold their own against the president, or that they can protect the institution against the president because they understand the rules and regulations and how it’s supposed to work, and that they will be able to defend the institution that they love or served in ... They’re fooling themselves. He’s light-years ahead of them."
The adults were too sophisticated to see Trump’s special political talents — his instinct for every adversary’s weakness, his fanatical devotion to himself, his knack for imposing his will, his sheer staying power.
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images
"Judge Judy," one of television's top-rated syndicated shows, will end after its 25th season next year, per The Hollywood Reporter.
It's not the end of Sheindlin's media empire, as she plans to launch "Judy Justice" — its format and home are still unclear — after her current show takes its bow.
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