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Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 7:01 pm

Most productive being demonized

To the Editor:
Let us assume that Elizabeth Warren (Massa-chusetts Senate candidate and a Democrat who favors progressive economic policies) is right — that “nobody in this country got rich on his own. Nobody.”
Let’s also assume she is correct in her assertion that the “rich” individual “… 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 the 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…” (Is she assuming that this “rich” individual and his family shirked paying taxes all along his/her educational journey and career path and thus is not part of the “rest of us” ?) Now this “rich” individual who risked his own capital and that of his investors has a factory “… and it turned into something terrific or a great idea.”
How noble that Ms. Warren states said risk-takers might “keep a big chunk of it.”
I have a problem with her reference to the “underlying social contract.” The part Ms. Warren claims the “rich” must “… take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” (I am assuming she is making reference to higher taxes on the “rich” being bantered about.)
Is there another side to this coin? Isn’t there a part of the “underlying social contract” obligating each individual to be self-sufficient and not rely on public assistance to get by? Under this underlying social contract, would a student not be obligated to apply himself in school as the rest of us are paying to educate him? Wouldn’t parents have an obligation to support their own children and make sure they attend school and/or learn a trade? Wouldn’t an individual have an obligation under said social contract to be drug-free and prepare him/herself for a career or trade and actually go to work? Are there other non-monetary ways to “pay forward” to the next generation, such as setting good examples and having expectations of youngsters to act right, have respect and learn independence?
Where in the “underlying social contract” is the provision for “free” cell phones? Health insurance? Never-ending unemployment benefits?
Our current administration states it is “just math” and not social warfare. What? Why are the most productive being demonized?
There is nothing wrong with programs that benefit those who truly cannot help themselves. However, entitlement programs have run totally amok.
Is there a clause in our “underlying social contract” that spells out the difference between a safety net and a hammock?
Sharon Long
Union City

Published in The Messenger 10.5.11

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