Thursday, September 22, 2011

The wonderful Elizabeth Warren dissects the "class warfare" charge

Steve Benen provides a partial transcript of the video:

[Elizabeth] Warren, after explaining some of the reasons for the nation’s deep fiscal hole, pointed to a more sensible approach to economic policy in general. “I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,’” she said. “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.”


Josh said...

I love and support Warren, but I've seen something like eight Lefties post the photo with the transcribed speech excerpt since yesterday and am distraught that such a conservative soundbite has become a meme. "Keep a big hunk of it?" Capitalists build the factories? Heck, even the Libertarians of my acquaintance support public funding for cops and roads. Very little there that Steve Forbes disagrees with.

Nancy Jane Moore said...

Uh, Josh, nobody except maybe Bernie Sanders can successfully run for the Senate in this country on an anti-capitalism platform. If she's going to advocate regulation of banks (especially in favor of us ordinary folks) and taxing the rich, she's got to counter that with a nod in the direction of the real religion in this country (capitalism, not Christianity). You have noticed that the right wing keeps calling Obama a socialist, right?

And reminding people that no one gets rich on their own is a breath of fresh air in a country that idolizes the private sector.

robert wood said...

I think that at a basic level we need to shift popular consciousness on this question. None of these rich folks 'built' a factory. Workers built the factory. We've lost that basic notion. Labor is the producer of all value. I think that this implicit notion allowed for the popular demands on the state within the popular front and the new left. I don't think that this has to immediately take the form of an explicitly anti-capitalist politics, but we do need a pro worker politics (which must move towards the communist horizon.)

Timmi Duchamp said...

@robert wood: You've nailed it for me.