COMMENTARY | Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor and former Obama adviser, is running for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by Scott Brown. This is the seat occupied by Teddy Kennedy since the early 1960s.
Via Hot Air, Warren has provided a great, teachable moment, as befits a member of Harvard faculty, about why “we” (by which she means the government) can shake down the capitalist exploiters as much as we want.
The theory Warren expresses is this: People cannot build businesses without the public infrastructure created by the government. Factories and refineries are serviced by public roads. Businesses are staffed by people who are trained in public schools. Businesses are secured from outlaws by public police and military. Therefore, according to Warren, the capitalist exploiter (she doesn’t use those words, but one imagines she thinks them) has to cough up whatever the government deems appropriate for “the next kid who comes along.”
Leaving aside the fact that the factory owner already pays taxes for roads, schools, and police (as well as for the salaries of government regulators and tax collectors), Warren thoroughly misses the point.
There is a public good involved in having a vibrant, growing commercial sector that creates goods and services and employs people. That public good is harmed if the government tries to loot private businesses six ways from Sunday to not only pay for roads, schools, and cops, which most everyone supports, but for a lot of spending programs that are wasteful and harmful.
There is also something decidedly creepy about a person who aspires to public office who articulates the notion that the government is entitled to the product of a person’s labor. A mugger who stick a gun in one’s nose and says, “Your money or your life” is honest compared to Warren and the other champions of big government. The mugger is not pretending he is entitled to his ill-gotten gains aside from the fact that he has a gun. He does not pretend he is entitled to it because of some service rendered, over and above the cost of the service. He wants the money. He has a gun. That is all the victim needs to know.
One wonders if Warren’s wealth redistribution views will sell even in blue-state Massachusetts. One hopes not. We’ve had two and a half years of doing it her way and it has not been pretty.
Source: The left’s got a fever and the only prescription is Elizabeth Warren talking about tax hikes, Allahpundit, Hot Air, Sept. 22, 2011