Thursday, July 19, 2012

Elizabeth Warren, Again: "Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody."

Always more palatable with a white jumpsuit.Media apologists might be trying to get all post-modernist about President Barack Obama's justifiably infamous "you didn't build that" rap, but not Obama's former employee, the current Democratic nominee for Teddy Kennedy's old Senate seat:

"I think the basic notion is right. Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody. People worked hard, they buil[t] a business, God bless, but they moved their goods on roads the rest of us helped build, they hired employees the rest of us helped educate, they plugged into a power grid the rest of us helped build," she said.

That is correct, but almost any intervention by the state into markets creates inefficiency. Entrepreneurs are alone responsible for their actions, just as is anyone else. Politicians that tout government intervention as the solution are setting us up for failure. 

"The rest of us made those investments because we wanted businesses to flourish, we wanted them to grow, we wanted them to create opportunity for all of us. That's what we do together. We get richer as a country when we make those investments." [...]

Warren called government investments "a good thing," charging that, "the Republican vision of the future is just to continue to make cuts and not to make those investments."

Note here how all government spending is equated to roads, public education, and electrical power, which–despite massive spending increases–account for a very small fraction of federal spending. You could (and should!) lop the federal budget in half without touching these line items.

Note, too, how increased government spending has not noticeably improved the very areas of service Warren names. K-12 results are flat over 40 years despite more than doubling per-pupil spending. The electricity grid isinefficient, wasteful, and expensive. The latest federal transportation bill continues squandering money without building or maintaining anything near highway capacity, and is best described as "pathetic." We are getting much less return on our "investment," while being asked to pony up more.

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