Elizabeth Warren's widely discussed comments on how nobody gets rich by themselves, and thus those who do get rich must give back as part of the social contract, has gone so viral that now President Obama is starting to echo it.
Here is a passage from President Obama's remarks on the American Jobs Act yesterday in Colorado:
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 -- (applause) -- because nobody -- nobody did well on their own. A teacher somewhere helped to give you the skills to succeed. (Applause.)
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.
It's great to hear President Obama talking like this. The similarity with Warren's comments is unmistakable:
I hear all this, you know, “Well, this is class warfare, this is 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 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.
Having the President of the United States echo her remarks goes down as yet another remarkable achievement for Elizabeth Warren in what has become perhaps the most auspicious start to a U.S. Senate campaign in history.
Please, sign the Daily Kos and CREDO Action petition thanking Elizabeth Warren for her rousing words. As evidenced by President Obama's remarks, supporting Democrats when they speak the truth can change the national political dialogue.