09-28-2011, 08:32 AM
Elizabeth Warren’s ‘ Social Contract’ an Ideologic
| Elizabeth Warren’s ‘ Social Contract’ an Ideological Fantasy |
Warren and other politicians should not be able to dictate what "hunk" of the earnings of others they forcibly seize.
To hear Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren tell it, successful business owners get rich off the efforts of taxpayers and contribute nothing in return until they pay a hefty tax bill themselves. Warren gets the story exactly backwards.
Productive business leaders create the wealth that enables us to thrive, seek employment, and on the side pay for governmental services. Such producers typically work long hours, often for years with little pay, risking their own time and money to bring their vision to life. They turn metals, gases, plants, and other natural resources into valuable commodities, and they direct others’ labor to more prosperous ends, expanding our quality of life.
Some say business leaders should “give something back.” But those operating on a free market never took anything from anybody, except in voluntary and mutually beneficial trade. Instead, they produce the goods and services — the computers and cell phones, the health care, the books and movies, the automobiles, the plumbing pipes — than enrich and extend our lives.
True, some pretenders in businesses shamefully use the political process to loot the taxpayers through “bailouts” and corporate welfare, and they seek to forcibly impair their competitors. But such actions should be stopped, not used as an excuse to vilify the true producers who oppose such political interference on principle.
Warren presumes that politicians and bureaucrats in Washington can spend the wealth created by business leaders better than they can manage themselves. The failure of government-backed Solyndra illustrates some of the problems with that thinking. The wealthy don’t just light fires with their extra cash; they invest it in their own business or the ventures of others, spend it with other firms, or voluntarily finance the charities of their choice. The notion that the likes of Nancy Pelosi can spend the money of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos better than Bezos can is laughable on its face. |
Warren contends “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.” In a sense she’s right: people get rich by providing enormously valuable goods and services to others who willingly pay for them. Warren and other politicians should not be able to dictate what “hunk” of the earnings of others they forcibly seize. Any social contract consistent with justice recognizes that legitimate government does not loot “the rich” (or anyone else) but instead protects people’s rights, including their rights to their earnings.
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