If you can stomach it, follow this link and watch the video. This is what passes for “brilliant” progressive thought. Have your eyes rolled out of their sockets yet?
Folks, what Warren is doing here is burning a straw man. I am unaware of any strain of mainstream conservative or libertarian thought that does not acknowledge that wealth depends upon the existence of stable, taxpayer-supported social institutions. To my knowledge, no prominent right-wing public figure has ever denied, full stop, the obligation to pay taxes to fund the necessary functions of the government.
No — the basis of the disagreement between right and left centers on the definition of the word “necessary.” In my experience, a leftist defines “necessary” as “something I like.” She never considers the possibility that she can get her desired public good via the private sector. A conservative, on the other hand, recognizes that the government doesn’t have to have its hands in every damned pot.
Notice, too, the unspoken assumption beneath Warren’s claim that the rich depend upon things that “we” paid for. What, are the rich not part of that “we”? Evidently, Warren lives in a world where the sky is green and the grass is blue. As the AP established yesterday, the rich are already paying into the system — and, with only a few exceptions, they are doing so at higher rates. And by the way, not only do the rich dutifully pay their taxes like responsible citizens, but they are also very generous with their money in other ways. Hasn’t Warren ever heard of the Carnegie Foundation? Or the Ford Foundation? Look up any major charitable organization and you’ll find rich backers.
Moreover, the vast majority of the rich became rich because they figured out how to sell a product or service that other people wanted. Do you like your iPod? Your laptop? Your flat screen television? You have those things because rich people invested in their development. And while they were at it, they created millions of jobs for middle class Americans. For their monumental contribution to our society, the rich deserve to be rewarded, not punished. Yet Warren and her ilk seek to confiscate more property from the rich as if the rest of us have an equal claim to it. We don’t. We may be the rich man’s employees. We may provide the goods and services that help the rich man in his labors. But we did not take on the financial risk of starting the rich man’s company, and we were not the ones with the intellectual wherewithal to take our physical and human resources and funnel them into something useful. The rich man is rich because of his organizational genius — and yes, the fruits of that genius do belong to him.