Monday, October 03, 2011

Why is this so hard for some people to understand?

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on 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... Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a 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.” 
 Elizabeth Warren.

Amen.  And this is why gas taxes are a good idea, because all of us need the roads, even the rich.  And all of us need educated workers, unless companies can outsource American jobs to third world nations with lax labor and environmental regulation, and very cheap workers.* God knows the very wealthy don't have to rely on public schools to educate their children. Police forces and fire departments are vital to well-being: except when funds are gutted and those wealthy enough can pay for private security and when whether your house is saved depends upon whether you paid the local tax for fire coverage.

Don't get me wrong: I think Warren is right on the money, for now, at least. However, there are segments of this society who either insist that Warren is dead wrong or who would like to make her so. You just have to look at the dissection of the quote on some right-wing blogs to see that.

Social contract? What social contract?

That's only for the rest of us suckers.

*Educated workers are a good idea for another reason: it costs a lot less to educate someone than imprison them.

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