The Social Contract….

Getting a little political here. My friend Ari posted this quote on his Facebook page. It’s by former Obama nominee Elizabeth Warren:

‎”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… 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.”–Elizabeth Warren

I think this reflects my opinion of those Libertarian candidates who want government to do nothing but roads. They seem to think that if government got out of the social structure, we would be more competitive. I agree. If government let companies operate according to their own financial interests, they would be incredibly more successful.

BUT those not affiliated with those companies or without the money to provide a cushion to the market forces would be in dire straits. And those with nothing to lose have no interest in maintaining the status quo. Think of the French Revolution. The upper classes exercised enormous free will. The lower classes were subject to rotten food, bad harvests, and little protection. They had no interest in the state.

If we had no FDA, we would have no body monitoring the food supply. Contaminated food would reach consumers and would kill many more people than it does today while we try and figure out where it came from and how to get word out about the danger.

At this point Libertarians would start backtracking and start saying “Well we’d keep the FDA food monitors….” OR they’d say it’s natural selection and if people don’t survive they weren’t meant to. One side makes them hypocrites, and the other makes them cruel beyond the boundaries of human intolerance. Society would not allow children to die because of rotten food. We had that crisis when The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was published.

When Republicans say they want everyone to pay something, they are not taking into account the sales tax we pay on items every day in the store, or when we apply for a drivers license or register our car or pay a toll on a road way. The lower wages the working poor make in order to keep our economy competitive. We need to compensate them in some way to maintain that system. Switzerland is a great country but no one is opening a factory there and many of the low income jobs are held by foreigners.

Enough politics for this morning. I need to get back to work so I don’t become the working poor.


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