Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elizabeth Warren's newfound internet stardom is simple. She was able to articulate -- in a few words -- what the Democratic Party has been unable to communicate for years.

Why You Should Listen to Warren, Not Buffett

By John DeFeo

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Elizabeth Warren is already making waves in her pursuit of a Massachusetts Senate seat. As of Thursday morning, Warren -- a Harvard Law School professor and staunch defender of consumer protections -- is the most searched person on Google.

Elizabeth Warren

The reason for Warren's newfound Internet stardom is simple. She was able to articulate -- in a few words -- what the Democratic Party has been unable to communicate for years:

"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."
Whether or not you agree with Warren, she is worth listening to. And in the case of her statement above, the spectacular failures of the Russian economic and political system strongly support her case. Russia has a far-lower corporate tax rate than the U.S., yet The Economist writes:
"...[Russian] corruption crushes the prospects of active and talented people...Investing in innovation and raising productivity makes little sense when your well-connected competitor can hire the tax police and prosecution service to force you out of business.
Parents send their children abroad not to learn to run their businesses more efficiently, but so they never have to come back...They are looking for things they cannot buy: recognition of achievements, protection of property rights, physical safety, a functioning health service, a proper education for their children.
They want to live a life which does not involve paying bribes, or losing one's business for political reasons, or being jailed at the whim of a corrupt bureaucrat."
Alas, the U.S. is mired in a myopic debate over taxation, with Warren Buffett -- a politically connected billionaire with questionable ethics -- serving as a poster boy for the Democratic Party and a class-warfare invoking hypocrite in the eyes of Republicans.
Ultimately, the American political debate would be better served by understanding how an effective social system allows capitalism to exist, grow and flourish.
We should be talking about how our tax dollars are being invested -- for the sake of our capitalistic system and the future of our country.
-- Written by John DeFeo in New York City

Why You Should Listen to Warren, Not Buffett - TheStreet

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