Government Spending

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

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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.

"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 is inefficient, 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.

Above all, Warren's comments underline that mainstream Democratic thinking in 2012, from the president down to his apologists, includes the following three prongs:

1) Successful people are insufficiently grateful to government, and should therefore be expected to give it more of their money.
2) Government spending helps the economy.
3) You can't do great things without government.

This happened

Think #3 is an exaggeration? Post-modernize this:

"Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive," [Vice President Joseph Biden] said. "In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States….No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years."

It might not be true, but it's what the Obama administration transparently believes, and (most importantly) acts on.

Two other White House quotes worth remembering. First up, President Obama, in February 2009:

"The only measure of my success as president when people look back five years from now or nine years from now is going to be did I get this economy fixed," Obama told CNN. "I'm going to be judged on did we pull ourselves out of recession."

And here's Joe Biden in September 2009, on the Recovery Act, "If it fails, I'm dead."

The United States has been mostly governed by Obama/Biden/Warren economics for 42 consistently disappointing months. If nothing else, I guess you have to give them credit for sticking to their principles.

NEXT: Steve Chapman on How Trade and Outsourcing Make Our Lives Better

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  1. When they want your money it is all about roads, cops, fireman. When they spend your money it is all about some crony on K Street.

  2. It was bullshit when she said it the first time.

    1. it is her, and Obama, arguing against a point that no one is making. I have not heard anyone say “I did all this by myself with no help whatsoever.” Lots of successful people will point to help from spouses, employees who went above and beyond, mentors, etc. Almost none, however, will point to govt and that is, of course, what frosts Fauxcahontas and The Obama.

      What sort of economic illiterate does it take to believe that roads and schools built themselves. Before it could undertake a project, govt has to first either take the money from someone who earned it or borrow it from an entity with enough to lend.

      1. Before it could undertake a project, govt has to first either take the money from someone who earned it or borrow it from an entity with enough to lend.

        Next you’re going to say that money the government uses to “stimulate” the economy must first be removed from the economy before it is put back into it!

        Rubbish!

        1. clearly, I must be re-educated.

          1. Oh, that will come, wareagle. There’s a boxcar with your name on it, just waiting to head for the camps.

        2. Money is printed by the government therefore it all belongs to the government anyway. They’re just reclaiming what is theirs.

          1. Only money has value. The things you exchange the money for are worthless.

            1. No wonder my last garage sale was such a bust, sarc… my stuff was worthless!

        3. Next you’re going to say that money the government uses to “stimulate” the economy must first be removed from the economy before it is put back into it!

          Of course not, the money is removed from greedy hoarders. And they benefit too!

      2. Capitalism is a cooperative venture, by its very nature. These jokers acting like their top-down technocracy is more cooperative is absolutely nuts. It’s about force–taking things by force, making people do things by force. Rather than force being the last refuge, it’s their first.

        We don’t need the government to fucking build bridges and roads. But it sure the hell needs us to do so.

        1. There is no cooperation without coercion.

          Tony said so.

          1. If there was no coercion, people would be running rampant killing each other and terrorizing the countryside.

            John said so.

            1. I’m not even advocating no government. Just 99% less, with more checks, limits, and a seriously free market.

              1. I think 10,000+ years of history is standing in the way of your vision.

                1. How about this, Pro?

                  We have that level of government, with the addition of instant prison time for politicians who engage in powermongering actions.

                  Hell, let’s do it right up front: The moment someone gets elected, they go straight to prison, and are “paroled” when they step down or are not re-elected.

                  I like that better, personally.

                  1. With tar and feathering?

                  2. I endorse the tricameral legislature: the lower house, the upper house, and the big house. The lower feeds into the upper, and the upper into the big. But the precocious among the lower house caste can, through effort and talent, skip right to the big house.

            2. If there was no coercion, people would be running rampant killing each other and terrorizing the countryside.

              John said so.

              His people failed us when it counted.

              The USAF, only hours away when minutes count.

              A sword to the gut is what honorable failures do.

  3. Elizabeth Warren, Again: “Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody.”

    Obama: Liz, please, stop helping me!

    1. No one gets rich on their own. Some people have to pretend to be Indians to do it.

      1. John makem heap good funny!

      2. Yeah, as a fake Indian, you’d think she’d be more bitter about a govt that stole “her” land and imprisoned “her” people…

        1. Funnily enough, most actual Indians hate the federal government and vote Republican thanks to Kennedy having some of the worst Indian policies of the 20th Century and Nixon being a big believer in tribal sovereignty. Nixon is actually quite liked among Indian communities.

  4. http://www.cnbc.com/id/48239619

    Meanwhile, another recession seems likely if not certain for the fall.

    1. At least the timing is good.

      1. Good? It will probably end up giving us 4 years of Mitt.

        1. Or Obama.

          1. Or Mitt.

            1. Wait, there’s a difference?

              1. Yes there’s a difference.

                Was there a difference between Mussolini and Pol Pot?

                I’ll take Mussolini any day.

        2. Think of it as giving us 4 years of not Barack and you should get it.

          1. No difference, except Mitt continuing Obama’s/Bush’s policies will be derided as Libertarianism Run Amok.

            1. No difference

              What nonsense.

              1. https://reason.com/blog/2012/07…..y#comments

                https://reason.com/archives/201…..ent-as-two

                Yep, complete nonsense. Totally different, not the same at all.

  5. “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.”

    Like I said the other day: There must be something deeply disturbed about the world-view of someone who would confuse “investing” with “Thugs taking from me to give it to their unionized buddies to build some road to nowhere.”

  6. The current crop of progressives have become like the Soviets of the 70’s. Desperately trying to frame language and use groupthink to shore up a system that is eroding they lurch from pronouncement to pronouncement, each more detached from reality than the previous one.

    That’s why these people should be mocked and ridiculed constantly. The Soviets couldn’t stamp out humor, and it was through jokes that people eventually stopped respecting the system.

    1. I agree. They cannot take humor and ridicule.

      1. And if they ever get their way, it will be illegal to use humor and ridicule against them.

        1. Notice how respectful of the office of the Presidency they all got when their guy won. The same people who spent 8 years yelling “regime change” and “chimpy McHitlerburton” and “our selected President” suddenly decided the office of the Presidency was above ridicule.

        2. Rufus T. Firefly:
          These are the laws of my administration

          No one’s allowed to smoke
          Or tell a dirty joke
          And whistling is forbidden

          Chorus:
          We’re not allowed to tell a dirty joke

          Hail, hail Freedonia

          1. and one more bit:

            I will not stand for anything that’s crooked or unfair
            I’m strictly on the upper knot, so everyone beware
            If any man’s caught taking graft, and I don’t get my share
            We stand’im up against the wall and pop!Goes the weasel

            Chorus:
            So everyone beware, you’re stricken or unfair
            ——-unless he gets his share

              1. Thanks for that, Humungus. Needed a laugh.

        3. How can their attempts to essentially outlaw anything that anyone deems offensive be construed as anything but an attempt to outlaw humor itself?

    2. Who will stand up and be our Yakov Smirnoff? Joe Rogan?

      1. Adam Carolla. Or maybe Nick DiPaolo.

    3. See also that great Sean Connery/Christian Slater film, “The Name of the Rose.” (I know it was a novel, too, but I can’t read the Italian original, and in the spirit of the book, I can’t trust the translation, so I content myself with the flickering pictures on the screen, and the chutzpah of filmmakers who made a medieval police procedural “buddy picture,” teaming Connery and Slater. Of course, they didn’t “build” this picture by themselves. Warren should be pleased…)

  7. Note here how all government spending is equated to roads, public education, and electrical power

    Note too that roads, education, and electrical power simply would not exist without government.

    This is evidenced by the fact that no private roads exist, no private schools exist, and no private electric suppliers exist. I can remember back before the Department of Education existed, and it was terrible. There were no schools. None at all. No one could read or write. Nobody.
    Thank goodness for president Carter, or nobody would ever have learned to read.

    1. it’s as though schools and roads built themselves. And govt looked across the plain and said that it was good. And from that building came businesses. It’s the religion of the state.

      1. 1 In the beginning Government created the roads and the schools.

        2 Now the land formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of Government was hovering over the waters.

        3 And Government said, “Let there be electricity,” and there was electricity.
        .
        .
        .

        1. And on the seventh day Obama looked at his creation and said “this is good”.

          1. And on the seventh day Obama looked at somebody else’s creation and said “You didn’t build that!”

          2. Needz moar ??? and Profit!

  8. “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.”

    Who’s this “we”, Kemosabe?

    1. Also, who the hell is this woman’s stylist? Claude Vorilhon?

    2. Someone should ask here is “we” included here Indian ancestors.

  9. Why would leftists “[want] them to create opportunity”? Ideally, they wouldn’t want private citizens to become prosperous – just the state.

    1. because without prosperous private citizens, the state would have no one to plunder.

      1. True. Leftists look at the private sector as a necessary evil whose only function is to provide funds for the perpetual-motion machine that is the state.

        But, if they could, they’d get rid of the private sector. Too much freedom, y’know.

        1. they’d get rid of the private sector.

          because it worked so well in every other place that tried it. Of course, our statists are so much smarter than anyone else’s. Warren is like an Aaron Sorkin character.

          1. Top. Men.

          2. “Warren is like an Aaron Sorkin character”

            Hey. Now that’s just mean.

  10. Just as frequently the small people succeed in spite of government as because of it. And the most glaring successes helped along by the state are those people who gamed the system, who lobbied regulators to fuck rivals out of competitiveness.

    But all these a-holes touting the glory of government have never worked in the private sector. They’ve all had their dicks firmly in the government pie in some way, all their adult lives.

    1. This. None of the jackasses have ever had to make a customer happy once in their life. Never have they been involved in a voluntary exchange of value for value.

  11. Barrack was carried all his life, thats why he thinks that’s how it works.

    1. the really funny thing is how the Obama dogwashers, realizing how monumentally stupid this meme is, are in contortions trying to parse and spin and restate what he said.

  12. No one gets rich on their own — customers are necessary.

    1. Exactly. Meeting your fellow humans’ wants and needs is a requirement for becoming rich unless you work in, for, or with the government.

    2. Next you’re going to say that their customers must be earned.

    3. No one gets rich on their own — customers are necessary.

      Not if you’re getting rich off of government.

      I doubt Obama ever had, let alone satisfied, a customer. Yet he’s rich.

  13. I understand from progressives that the TVA invented electricity. Although they bought much of the hydro-power from Alcoa. These dumb fucks really believe electricity comes from the government. We have truly lost.

  14. [“…]but they [entrepreneurs] moved their goods on roads the rest of us helped build,[…]

    Elizabeth Warren, the native American who woul conflate citizenry with Da State.

    Nothing outside the State, everything the State.

    The woman is a fascist, in the exact political-economical sense of the word.

    [“…] they hired employees the rest of us helped educate,[…]

    Fascinating admission, that the purpose of the Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem was to train workers.

    [“…] they plugged into a power grid the rest of us helped build,” she said.

    Yeah, that I do believe: She said that. Only government can braid wires; only government can build overload trip relays, insulators, power meters, low-arch safety disconnects, transformers…

    1. have you noticed how her brand of we/us never includes the businesses themselves? It’s as though they made no contribution at all toward the building of roads or schools, like they had tax-exempt status.

      1. If you witnessed someone undertaking something that’s far beyond your own capability, you might think that person just fell out of the sky too.

        1. So that’s why she relates to the indigenous community so much?

      2. Worse than that, wareagle – they look at businesses the way pimps do when they look at their whores.

        1. you keep talking that way and I won’t be alone in the boxcar headed for Obamawitz.

          1. Oh, I’m ready for that. I’m not going quietly.

            1. I should add, such a fate for America is just as likely under Team Red rule, though it will most likely come from bipartisan decree.

              1. conviction is guaranteed. The only difference is the charges either team would use.

              2. Lest Team BLUE statists appear “soft” on terra

      3. yeah, the money for all that public investment came from the government itself, so be grateful. now get back to working hard so you can repay the government’s investment in you (which was actually paid with your own money in the first place)

      4. have you noticed how her brand of we/us never includes the businesses themselves? It’s as though they made no contribution at all toward the building of roads or schools, like they had tax-exempt status.

        Yep,

        Businesses and the rich are free riding off of the poor.

        They got rich by literally stealing from the poor.
        / fauxcohantus

  15. You know who else built roads?

    1. The Romans?

      1. Besides roads, what have they ever done for us ?

        1. running water?

        2. The pointed arch?

    2. The Somalian highway department?

    3. Stalin, Mao, The German who shall not be named.

  16. You remember those colonies the British financed in America? You didn’t build THAT.

  17. I could potentially have at least SOME sympathy for the Warren/Obama argument, if only the democrats of today and the bums who run all the unions weren’t such a bunch of totally fucking corrupt thieves.

    As someone here at Reason accurately pointed out a couple of days ago, the amount of money that it cost to build the Golden Gate Bridge several decades ago adjusted for inflation today wouldn’t even get the environmental impact statement done, much less come close to getting the actual bridge built.

    1. I probably exaggerated that a little bit, but not much. It cost $2.5 billion to replace the Woodrow Wilson Bridge here in the Washington DC area, and that is an incredibly modest bridge compared to the Golden Gate.

      1. Your main point was dead on the money though. The critical difference is the people who running the show way back then when the country was being built truly wanted to get the job done the right way, whereas the scum running the show now is mostly interested in taking as much money from the Treasury as they can possibly get away with.

        They think that we’re all too stupid to know the kind of crap that goes on. They’re wrong.

        1. They think that we’re all too stupid to know the kind of crap that goes on. They’re wrong.

          They might be wrong about all of us. But that makes no matter of difference. They only need 50%+1 to be too stupid, and they’ll always be able to cover that spread.

          To paraphrase Lincoln “some of the people will be too stupid all of the time”

        2. Well at least we have the Federal Reserve to maintain the stability of the dollar. Otherwise, we’d have endless inflation.

          Oops.

  18. Even if she is 100% correct, she hasn’t made a justification of taxation above the levels required to do the things she suggests. Which can be funded with a fraction of the taxes currently being collected.

    I hope this commiehole doesn’t get elected.

    1. Or why business owners owe anything to the rest of society after those projects have been completed (assuming the owner was paying his taxes during that time). When I get a pizza delivered, I don’t owe the pizza place anything past the second I give them the money.

      1. No, but you owe the government for the roads they used to deliver the pizza! You didn’t build that!

      2. To get all philosophical about it for a moment, this whole issue is about what kind of society we live in. You and I want to live in what Henry James Sumner Maine called “a society of contract”: we choose to contract with each other, and any obligations we have towards each other come from these contracts. Warren and Obama and their kind believe in a “society of status” – you owe or are owed to not because of anything you specifically agreed to, but because of who you are: a producer, a consumer, young, old, healthy, sick, whatever. It suits fascists like Warren just fine because they can’t insert themselves into private contracts, but they can sure as hell lord it you because of status. The sad thing is, it used to be pretty much commonly agreed that contract was more advanced and enlightened than status…

        1. +1

    2. The thing is, if we were to call them out on that, they would immediately turn the discussion onto transfer payments. “Why, if we didn’t give Granny Maude all of yourour money, who would by your widgets?!?!?!?!?!”

  19. [Vice President Joseph Biden] said[:] “In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States….No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years.”

    Or ever. private Enterprise would not have indulged in that amount of graft by itself – for that, we indeed needed government!

    Warren is a fascist. Biden is simply a buffoon.

    1. That’s a little harsh, dude. Nobody in the Central Europe of the 1920s-1940s would have been caught dead wearing something as tacky as an all-white jump suit.

    2. I’m gonna need Biden to provide a citation that we were actually paying people $16k for every 40 miles of track.

      I could see them paying 100 per mile, but 400 per mile seems excessive, even by government standards.

    3. “Warren is a fascist. Biden is simply a buffoon.”

      Even fascists need their buffoons — Sergeant Schultz, zum beispiel.

  20. Many of the things they tout – most roads and education – are done by “local governments”, not some far off bureaucratic capitol. Heck, it’s been that way for a long time. To conflate their dream of the all-powerful state by comparing it to local means is a strange argument, but I’ve seen plenty of my left friends buy into it.

    1. I think they’re so fucking stupid that they don’t realize that funding for roads and bridges are a fraction of 1% of total government spending and also actually think those are federal responsibilities.

  21. …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…

    OK, let’s say that’s true. What’s your fucking point?

    1. The point is “they” owe “the rest of us”

      1. Exactly. Hence my earlier post responding to ol’ “Scared of candy”.

      2. Last I checked I pay for my power and I pay gas taxes and I pay property taxes and sales taxes.

        So if I don’t get something for my dollar, I get kind of pissed.

    2. And you know what, Romney’s right about this. Those are services the rest of us paid for. There’s nothing special about people performing the job they’re fucking getting paid to do.

      Moreover, the real answer to Obama and Warren is that government can create jobs out the wazoo, but it cannot create wealth, which is the most important part of this whole thing. Without wealth creation, none of this government shits happens at all. It’d be nice if some leftist dimwit somewhere would acknowledge that fact, but I guess they’re incapable.

      1. The other thing is that it’s usually a private company and private citizens building whatever the government is funneling our money into. Civil society, not the government, is the foundation of everything we do.

        1. govt’s role is usually to get in the way, as in environmental impact studies, needs assessments, and the like. You don’t see a private company delaying its own work unless the reason is that a better approached has been figured out.

        2. Civil society, not the government, is the foundation of everything we do.

          Preach it, ProL. We should be shouting this from the rooftops. Our government is the outgrowth of civil society, not the other way around.

          1. Outgrowth? You mean like, a tumor?

            1. Exactly like a tumor. Some tumors are benign, some are malignant.

            2. Or a parasite, sucking our health and life out of us.

        3. Indeed. Commerce can exist without government. It can even exist where the government actively tries to stop it (albeit the commerce is much less effective).

          But government can’t exist without commerce.

      2. Romney? I said that before he did.

        1. True, but he put it out there in a speech, and actually made me believe he believes it. Which I still question.

  22. You remember those boats your ancestors came to America on? You didn’t build THAT.

    1. Yeah but coming from a mixture of Native, Irish (came over pre famine), Scotch, and Acadian blood most of my ancestors either didn’t come over on boats or weren’t exactly given a choice so I don’t feel too grateful for that.

  23. Warren missed her calling as a dominatrix. I have never seen her without that perfectly rehearsed, “this is going to hurt me more than you” look on her face.

    1. How do you know she’s not? I doubt she’d advertise that fact.

    2. Thank you, John. I was trying to put my finger on what is so annoying about her expression. Well done, sir.

    3. I thought that was just her smug bitch look. I didn’t realize there was more to it.

  24. What about this rash I have? Did I build that or did govt help me with it?

    1. Is that a proposed alt text for the Warren picture? If so, it is a winner.

  25. You know what Obama built — another fucking traffic jam in rush hour last night. This is at least 5 times somebody decided to move a 20+ car motorcade through town at 5:30.

    1. I am sure his NOVA supporters were happy to suffer for dear leader. The rest of you bastards are just bitter clinging tea baggers anyway.

  26. Well in their defense Education is one of the largest drivers of government spending. Not Federal Government true but when you look at total government spending across all levels we spend more on education than we do on Defense and nearly as much as we do on “health care”…

    http://www.usgovernmentspendin…..1n#usgs302

    Education = $940 Billion
    Transportation = $290 Billion
    Law Enforcement Fire Protection = $330 Billion

    Total on those 3 items = ~$1.56 Trillion in FY 2012 out of a total of $6.3 Trillion in Government spending.

    So it really is about 25% of the budget. Of course that assumes that all of that $1.56 trillion is actually going to teachers, Cops, and Roads and not buying off various cronies in those fields but hey these are politicians we are talking about.

    All that said, the REALLY scary part of that graph, one which never gets reported is that total government spending is $6.3 trillion dollars against a GDP of $15.6 Trillion meaning fully 40% of ever dollar of economic activity in this country is coming from government.

    1. And boy, aren’t we getting a whole lot for our education dollars. Wow.

      1. Wat r u talkin about I haz a smartz

      2. Yep, at any given moment there are around 50 million “school aged kids” (4 – 24) in the US. That comes out to government spending on average around $18,800 per kid for education.

        While it is true that a small portion of that money is spend for education of adults it is also true that not all kids go to government provided schools (about 10% are either home schooled or go to private schools) and nowhere near all 18 – 24 year olds are in college so in all likelyhood the actual number per studend is significantly higher.

        The fact that we cannot adequately educate our kids for close to $20,000 a year is very much an indicator of just how sick our education system is.

        1. Jesus. For 19K a year I can send a kid to the best private school in town and have money left over.

  27. You remember that trail 4,000 members of a certain native American tribe died on while relocating? You didn’t build THAT.

  28. Aagh! That Elizabeth Warren quote makes my head explode.

    As if her faulty reasoning and vicious presumption weren’t bad enough, she inserts that gratuitous, highly irritating “God Bless”.

    1. She really meant “Government Bless”.

      1. Well, to her “God” is just the most top of Top. Men.

  29. Hah, double down on this reasoning. It reallllly resonates with people.

  30. I love it when affirmative action recipients and people who’ve spent their entire lives in institutions that don’t pay taxes like Warren and Obama, discourse on whether business owners earned what they have or have paid their fair share.

    1. Careful. If you disparage affirmative action, you are a racist.

      /leftist logic

  31. Brave the terror that is balloon-juice

    To recap, A) Healy is attacking the President’s supposition that he’s had issues being taken out of context and getting his message across by providing a perfect example of taking the President’s message out of context, with our wonderful media regularly inventing such faux controversies out of whole cloth, and B) there’s little greater self-parody than writing lazy nonsense like this for an outfit called “Reason”. The context of that speech was of course that the President was referring to businesses not building those terribly soshulist public goods: roads, bridges, infrastructure, education, the internet, all anathema to the Reasonoids and their glibertarian ilk.

    Drink bitches

    1. I think “glibertarian” gets a double-whammy drink.

      They really haven’t gone far with the whole “actually responding to criticisms thing”, have they? The standard M.O. is a) dismiss offhand as propaganda spewed by a corrupted ‘enemy’, and b) justify everything through vague allusion to ‘public goods’, ignoring that these things are not even the main topic of debate.

      1. It’s good to read the articles and comments over there from time to time. It makes it easier to spot when commenters from there (or, sometimes, sent from there) are trolling here. Which is often.

      2. Turn it back on the “gliberals”.

    2. it’s bang your head against the wall stuff. Even regurgitating POTUS’ words: Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. ignores the easiest of questions to ask: who helped create, who invested, and where did who get the money?

      Then again, this is a brave soul who can’t even put his own name on a post.

    3. I don’t know if the drinking rules apply to posts outside of H*squirrels*R. Can we get a ruling?

      1. I think if they reference Reason and/or HampersandR directly, it counts. And glibertarian is definitely a drink, and two if you’re an Axis member.

      2. Why do you hate drinking?

    4. And when he says “businesses not building” what he means is “businesses or their employees paying taxes so the government can skim off the top and then pay a business to build those goods.”

  32. There’s a fair number of people I know that are getting sick of this collectivist bullshit. I just don’t see Romney taking the fight to Obama, calling him on his bullshit, and ridiculing him. Mitt just doesn’t have the killer instinct.

  33. People worked hard, they buil[t] a business, God bless, but they moved their goods on roads …

    ROADZ@!!!!!!!!

    THE ULTIMATE LIBERTARIAN TAKEDOWN!!! THEY MADES THE ROADS, BITCHES!! TAKE YOUR DECONSTRUCTING THE HUMAN GENOME AND SHOVE IT!! THE ROADZ MAKE ALL POSSIBLE!! THATS WHY ME NEEDS MOAR MONEY!!! GIMME GIMME!!

  34. They don’t get it.

    They are still living in mercantilist thinking, that people can only get wealthy by making other people poorer.

    No one who gets rich by building a successful business can do so without making other people wealthier as well.

    1. So which presidential challenger is going to explain that to the american people ?

      1. Well, if Romney should die of a terminal meteor strike or some similar fatal event, I think Ron Paul would do the job.

  35. Why does she ignore the fact that any business person has already paid taxes to PAY for all those things? I keep thinking these sorts of people live under a weird dome (maybe one of Stephen King’s) that has blind to reality gas pumped into it. So damnably frustrating!

    1. Because it’s politically convenient?

  36. 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.

    And the rest of us have the same opportunity to build a business that makes use of those public goods, or would if not for the increasingly heavy boot on our necks. Equality of opportunity does not guarantee equality of outcome.

  37. Naturally, the ultimate argument against Warren is the fact that no matter what the state builds or provides, if I don’t show up no business gets built.

    That means that me showing up is 100% responsible for the presence of the business.

    But leave all that to one side for a moment. Even if what Warren is saying is true, it still would not follow that the rich should pay more in taxes. Because the state would be providing security and opportunity equally to all, so everyone would still owe the state an equal amount.

    Saying that rich people owe more for services provided by the state because they actually take advantage of them is like saying that black people should pay more in taxes because they need the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and I don’t. It’s like saying women should pay more in taxes because the feds have to protect their right to abortion, and I need no such protection. If I proposed either of those things, people would quite rightly denounce me, and say that the protection of the rights of the citizen is an indivisible atom, and that the state provides the same generalized rights protection to everyone equally, and while differing circumstances may superficially require different citizens to be protected in different ways, that has nothing to do with how much “value” you’re getting or how much tax you should pay.

  38. The whole meme of “we built the roadz therefore we own your asses” represents the one area where Obama et al are actually becoming more transparent. At this rate we might get a “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” from somebody (Biden at least) before election day even gets here.

  39. The government apologists are quick to point to the roads, rails, utilities and courts that businesses use, and claim that business couldn’t exist without them. They never consider that all of those infrastructure elements could have been built by private investors, and could well have turned out to be safer, more efficient, and more customer friendly.

    If no one in the private sector is building, say, a high speed rail link between Madera and Bakersfield, that doesn’t mean a government investment is necessary — it means the project is an economic loser, and if you go ahead and build it anyway, you’re wasting money that could have been spent on more economically beneficial projects.

    To paraphrase L. Neil Smith, just because no one is asking you to sing, it doesn’t mean there’s a market failure in the entertainment industry.

    1. Yeah, right, next you’re going to claim that a private company can get a rocket into space cheaper than NASA.

    2. “If no one in the private sector is building, say, a high speed rail link between Madera and Bakersfield, that doesn’t mean a government investment is necessary — it means the project is an economic loser, and if you go ahead and build it anyway, you’re wasting money that could have been spent on more economically beneficial projects.

      This is not necessarily true. It could be that such a rail line is a net economic winner however no individual company/organization considers it enough of a priority to devote resources to getting it done.

      The problem with government doing it however is that there really is no way to know if it is on net economically benefit because government does not respond to price signals so just like a blind squirrel finding a nut (or mangling your post) government can and does occasionally provide something that is a net economic benefit however it is completely random when it happens.

  40. In any case, everything fit for consumption, including roads, is paid for by those that labor to create value; this excludes politicians and bureaucrats.

    All political management of infrastructure creation is to make it even more expensive.

    1. Oops…All political management of infrastructure creation does is make it even more expensive.

  41. Perhaps a good retort to this bullshit good -government schtick is = “I heartily agree; and if government would only limit itself to those things that enable entrepreneurialism and prosperity,we wouldn’t be in the fiscal toilet we’re in. But instead, government has enlarged its mandate far beyond that ennabling role, and through its meddling and. intervention in all areas of life, has made many of the most basic of societal institutions into bloated, ineffective burdens on taxpayers. ”

  42. Both Obama and Warren spit on the American dream of working hard and being successful?

    Doesn’t surprise me at all.

    That’s one of the reasons why Progressives are America’s most horrible people.

  43. You didn’t have that baby by yourself. The doctor helped as well as the nurses.What about the road someone built to get you to the hospital in a car other helped build.

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