Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh Hell Yes: The Power of the People Helps Elizabeth Warren's Message Go Viral...

...and is being reflected in the president's own words. This is very good stuff, indeed. In a previous post, I urged folks to pass along Elizabeth Warren's plain-speaking, common sense explanation about why the so-called "class warfare" argument of the right is just wrong. A lot of other folks did, too, apparently. In a new Washington Monthly piece, author Steve Benen explains:
"It’s a good thing that Elizabeth Warren video went viral; it’s starting to have an impact on the national discourse." 
Warren's wise words paraphrased by Obama. More please.
Apparently, in a speech the other day, Obama paraphrased Warren's wise words (now we just need the president to paraphrase her words on how we got into the debt crisis!). Here are the two speeches, side by side:
On how we succeed as a collective, not just as individuals:

“This is the Land of Opportunity. What’s great about this country is that any of these young people here, if they’ve got a good idea, if they go out there and they’re willing to work hard, they can start a business, they can create value, great products, great services. They can make millions, make billions. That’s great. That’s what America is all about. Anybody can make it if they try.

“But what’s also a quintessentially American idea is that those of us who’ve done well should pay our fair share to contribute to the upkeep of the nation that made our success possible because nobody did well on their own.

“A teacher somewhere helped to give you the skills to succeed. Firefighters and police officers are protecting your property. You’re moving your goods and products and services on roads that somebody built. That’s how we all do well together. We got here because somebody else invested in us, and we’ve got to make sure this generation of students can go to college on student aid or scholarships like I did. We’ve got to make sure that we keep investing in the kind of government research that helped to create the Internet, which countless private sector companies then used to create tens of millions of jobs.”

[click here for original video]


On class warfare and the social contract:

"I hear all this, ‘Well, you know this is class warfare, whatever...’ --No!
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you, but I wanna 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 pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

On responsibility for the debt crisis:

"We got into this hole...$1 trillion on tax cuts for the rich under George Bush. We got into this hole $2 trillion on two wars that we put on a credit card for our children and grandchildren to pay off. And we got into this hole $1 trillion on a medicare drug program that a) was not paid for and b) is 40% more expensive than it needs to be because it was giveaway to the drug companies. that’s just $4 trillion right there.

So, part of the way you fix this problem is don’t do those things."

[click here for original video]


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