Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren is President Obama’s hand picked candidate to run against Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Based on some recent remarks of hers, she seems to think that it takes a village to have a great idea, risk everything to pursue it, and build a viable enterprise out of it.
“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever. No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.
“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Video at the link. Her disdain for the capitalists who risk all and succeed is palpable. Her view isn’t an isolated one in the Democratic party. It’s mainstream, and makes her a darling of folks like Washington Monthly’s Steven Benen:
The Washington Monthly’s Steven Benen, however, points to the video as an explanation as to “why Warren has a strong base of supporters who adore her.”
“If there are lingering concerns about whether Warren could be an effective speaker on the stump, I think those questions are being answered,” Benen writes. “If more Democrats were able to make the case for the underlying social contract as effectively, our discourse would be vastly less mind-numbing.”
Yeah. About that social contract. There is a good case to be made that the economic and regulatory environment can make or break a viable enterprise, but that’s not the case Warren makes by a long shot. It’s already a rock solid fact that the rich pay more than their “fair share” in taxes. The rich not only pay more than the rest of us for those roads and police, they pay more than their fair share for the regulators who waltz into businesses and order the owners to comply with whatever new harebrained regulations people like Warren have dreamed up. The rich pay more than their fair share for the IRS agents who presume guilt rather than innocence. And in many cases, when the entrepreneur built his factory, the government ordered him to build the roads to it. Warren takes none of these facts into account, and doesn’t regard the damaging impact that taxes and the regulatory state can and do have on free enterprise.
It’s not Warren’s place to say “good for you, now keep a big hunk” of your own money. That arrogance ought to be laughed out of polite society.
Warren’s remarks do constitute class warfare, along with more than a tinge of Marxism. That they reflect mainstream Democratic thinking, of the type that Steven Benen find praiseworthy, ought to worry everyone.
And yeah, Massachusetts will probably put Warren in the Senate.