Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren really worked up “progressives” with a rant about “fair taxation.”
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.”
As A. Barton Hinkle points out, no one suggests otherwise. But the real meat of her argument is worth studying . . . for a peculiar pathology in logic:
You built a factory out there? . . . 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.
Upon this rests her case for ramped-up progressive tax rates.
Apparently, according to Ms. Warren, successful businessfolk are takers only. But all along the way, businesses pay for the services they hire. Indeed, they pay for roads, too. Truckers, for instance, pay special weight-rate taxes and licenses for carrying heavy loads across roadways.
Her “argument” no more justifies government taxing truckers or factories more than a similar argument, mutatis mutandis, would allow the kid who mows your lawn to reach into your wallet when you aren’t looking.
The social contract doesn’t originate the way Warren specifies. Her logic establishes only that she’s not thinking clearly about obligations and lacks an appreciation for making a business succeed.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.