Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Rest of Us

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.
You got a job out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you got to work on the roads the rest of us paid for; you were hired by employers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe at your work place 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 home, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
Now look, you got a job and worked your way up, or came up with a successful 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.
Never forget: you owe the rest of us.
The first sentence is hers. Elizabeth Warren, running for the Senate in Massachusetts, didn't add the last sentence, nor did she level her threats at the middle class worker. Rather, she targeted her comments to the factory owners, reminding them that their success depended on the work of others: specifically, enumerating functions paid for with government funds (i.e. taxes) as work done by “the rest of us.” I’d classify her words as a threat to those factory owners as she calls protection from marauding bands seizing their goods at their factories as work “the rest of us did.”  (I find this bit particularly wince-worthy when I think of the recent raids perpetrated by government agencies on Gibson Guitar and on raw milk sellers.)
Why is this would-be leader held in such high regard by some? Is it her middle-class-made-good background? Apparently, only those in the middle class who end up being able to go into academia are held in regard by Warren and her ilk.  She is able to capitalize on the idea that those who, God bless, built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea somehow owe more to the rest of us than those who earn their money indoctrinating our youth with the idea that some individuals must be sacrificed for the good of the rest of us. She conflates extralegal functions of the governments (e.g. roads and schools) with the legitimate functions of government (i.e. police) and paints the factory owners as exploiters of a system paid for by the workers. She exudes confidence in her idea that forced altruism (you are your brother’s keeper) is the duty of government while effortlessly collecting the praise sprung from upper middle-class guilt along her route.
She is a condescending elitist. Despite the fact that she must have worked diligently to obtain her positions, she not only dismisses the nature of earning one’s living, she further indicts those who own more private property than the rest of us. She ignores the facts that not only do factory owners also pay taxes, but further, that factories actually contribute to the rest of us. More ominously, it appears that she not only does not understand the actual documents used in the founding of this nation, but further, espouses a mystical, congenital contract.
In this country, it is not supposed to matter if you are rich or poor; you should be treated the same under the law. When our politicians call for special treatment, or mistreatment as the case may be, of any particular group, they are claiming the right to pick winners and losers as they violate all of our individual rights – the protection of which is the only proper role of government.
Yes. This class warfare is Elizabeth Warren’s philosophical foundation.
I urge all voters to follow the principles supported by our politicians to their logical conclusion. 

Ms. Warren’s actual words: September 2011:
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.

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