Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nobody got rich on their own - Elizabeth Warren clearly explains the social contract, shows why right wing rich coddlers have it all wrong

There's a chorus that's been making me sick, and Elizabeth Warren just speared the chorus with a clear thinking straight to the core issue description of the social contract.  The what?  The social contract was something I vaguely recall hearing about in History class way back in High School, but it's basically the bargain we make with each other as a society that keeps the society running.  Scroll down to the video below - or else read a bit of my ranting first.

BEGIN-RANT: The right wing chorus that's taken over has this irrational basis in individual freedom, individual responsibility, getting the government out of our affairs, etc.  But it's entirely hypocritical - because the same people who push for individual responsibility also pushed for the bank bailouts in late 2008.  If they were all hot for individual responsibility they should have just let the banks fail, that would have taught those bankers a thing or two.  And what about government intrusion into deciding who can and cannot marry?  Why should the government be controlling this, and say that marriage can only be between a man and a woman?  And what about the ability to choose to have an abortion?  Why should the government intrude into this, if government should be small and out of our individual lives?  The examples of hypocracy can go on and on .. and hypocracy exists in the Democratic party not just those close minded right wing blow hards in the Republican party.  BTW - hypocrisy and hypocracy are different but similar things.

Basically the thing going on is the public conversation is about coddling the rich - making sure the rich have all sorts of benefits, tax loopholes, ability to commit crimes and get off scotch free (witness the recent rape allegations against Domonique Strauss-Kahn that got dropped), etc etc etc ... A common bit of rhetoric is the "self made zillionaire" whose right to run their factory (or whatever) the way they want is sacrosanct, and the government should but out.

The truth is that we are not individualists.  One of the American memes is individualism, but it's really a figment of our collective imagination.  None of us can get along on our own.  Anything we do is done within a context created by all of us working together.

END-RANT: This is where you'd start reading again if you skipped my rant.  This is a transcript, and below that is the video.  The speaker, Elizabeth Warren, has spent the last couple years working to establish a consumer protection agency.  But due to Republican led coddling of the rich, she isn't being allowed to be considered to be the lead person of that agency she worked so hard to create.  They are afraid to give her that power, and someone else got the job instead.  As a result she is now a candidate for the Senate in Massachusetts.  After hearing her say this I'd almost want to move there so I could vote for her; but then I remember the stories about their winters and, well, there are braver people than me living in that state.
I hear all this, oh this is class warfare, 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 maurauding 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 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.