"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pay It Forward

I'd like to give a thumbs-up this morning to a progressive who finally knows how to fight back hard against the ridiculous "class warfare" charges from the GOP. In one fell swoop, Elizabeth Warren, candidate for the US Senate from Massachusetts, delivered a powerful knock-out blow against this GOP nonsense.

"I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,'" Warren said. "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 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."

I've been in third world countries where armed guards stand outside banks and soldiers with machine guns guard the teller windows, because there is no viable police force funded by public dollars. The government is the police force and the people are so poor, the fear is that one of them might resort to robbing an unguarded teller. I've flown into these places with anticipation only to be met at the airport by men in boots with barrels pointed up and out. At me. That, for me, exemplifies the difference between a country that feeds on the poor and one that pays it forward.

If all politicians elected to serve the common good were more widely traveled, better read, and versed in history, maybe they wouldn't be so eager to gut the public sector.

If you were given a chance to vote for an Elizabeth Warren, would you? I don't want to live in a third world country. In a third world country, 99pct of the people are crackerjack poor and 1pct are wealthy. What are my chances of falling into the lucky 1? What about you?

9 comments:

Pet said...

It is a big true and it is beautifully said. We humans discovered long ago that it was in our own self-interest to pull together, as a sort of common insurance. Communities, towns, friendship even has got some of that. How could anyone exchange all that for the lonely pursuit of the "winner gets all" game? How could then we got frightened to admit the "weakness" that we didn't really like the game?
We certainly need to stand up, for our own good, we are being cheated with the fool game all along.
I'm so glad that you've posted this Post. We should all do more things like this, much more, and speak honest and clearly. Thanks.

Anthony Duce said...

This is a view that doesn’t get expressed enough... This message should be getting more play in the news…. Thank you

Yvonne Osborne said...

Pet,
Thanks for commenting. A lot of us don't really like the game. There's a lot to protest against but not many seem to have the energy or time to do it. But as I've heard said, if you think you're too small to make a difference, you've never been bitten by a mosquito.

Tony,
I agree and it's why I decided to post what I thought was an amazing quote from Elizabeth Warren. She nailed it in a few simple sentences. Thanks for commenting. I wish more people would read and do so...start conversations, branch out of our little bloggy nooks. Thank you again for doing that.

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

Thanks for posting that part of her speech...absolutely worthy of consideration, attention, pomp and circumstance!
Sherman Alexie posted on twitter, "Dear Young White Males, a belated welcome to the 99% club. Women and brown people have been members since, oh, forever."
I'd vote for him. 100%

Yvonne Osborne said...

Sarah,
Hi and thanks!!!
Thanks for the Twitter update from Sherman Alexie. Boy...ain't that the truth? I'll remember that next time some white male complains about the black/brown/white woman or minority getting the job, the promotion, the acclaim. I'll remember that 99% quote. And where did he come from???

Victoria Dixon said...

The problem with our system is, it works as long as both sides remain altruistic. Once one or both sides realize they can vote themselves pay raises, the gig is up. Good post. Saw you over at Cat's site today and thought I'd say hello.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Victoria,
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate the sentiment. Sometimes I feel like a clanging gong in the wilderness. I'm glad you came over from one of my other favorite places to say hi.

Searching for the Story said...

Can we run her for president?

Yvonne Osborne said...

Can we? The Koch Brothers and their cronies would put so much money against her, the common person (casual voter) would think she was Satan incarnate. But I bet she has the guts for it. It's strange to me, how so many people are convinced to vote against their own economic interest.