Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Elizabeth Warren needs to be debunked

rated by 0 users
This post has 36 Replies | 4 Followers

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 186
Points 4,290
TANSTAAFL Posted: Thu, Sep 22 2011 8:02 AM

 

 

This is going around the facebook. My oh my what would we ever do without the great god government!

  • | Post Points: 95
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 645
Points 9,865
James replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 8:06 AM

I'd have used someone else's road if you'd just let them build it, lady.

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

Damn I saw that too.  It's amazing how fast this shit gets around.  I just had my first encounter with the "forgive student loans" petition too.  I guess all you have to do is say something pro-state and people just eat it up.  Someone on facebook just said:

"Yes. We need education to get jobs - so forgiving the student loans would help the economy. People could use the income they save to "pump" into the economy. I know it would be a huge burden off my shoulders and you bet I would be able to buy a car sooner, or a house, instead of being buried in debt for a degree I basically have to have to work in this country."

...right before she posted the Idiot Warren photo.

 

James:
I'd have used someone else's road if you'd just let them build it, lady.

I like that one.  Here's another:

This sounds really familiar. It reminds me of a story I heard about a guy who took a crowbar and broke another guy's leg. Then he handed the man a crutch and said "See. Without me, you wouldn't be able to walk. You owe me big time."

and

They pay it forward by giving people jobs.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 645
Points 9,865
James replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 10:23 AM

Also, let's ask Gibson Guitars about marauding bands coming to sieze everything at their factory...

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 186
Points 4,290
TANSTAAFL replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 10:30 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H585nogZWpQ&feature=related

 

That video demolishes her exact arguement. The best part is the statist in the video reaches the exact conclusion as the statist that brought the warren piece to my attention.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 767
Points 11,240
Hard Rain replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 3:21 PM

To Miss Warren: If I washed your car without your permission are you obligated to pay me? Your argument is that the dumb government dishes freebies and then tries to claim it is owed ex post facto. Shame. It's not my fault your government is a sucker.

"I don't believe in ghosts, sermons, or stories about money" - Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 208
Points 3,410

Ms. Warren is espousing a contradictory and dangerous philosophy. Firstly, that government is organized in order for people to accomplish common goals. Secondly, that government is owed something for doing those things. This also assumes that a "government" is some concrete entity that can be owed anything rather than being what it is, a group of self-interested individuals.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 8
Points 175
James C replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 6:35 PM

the moment i saw that posted on r/pics on Reddit, i knew it would fly around on Facebook. way too much groupthink going on, very little self-reflection.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 208
Points 3,410

I believe it to be an absolute caricature to say the other side's argument is that people "got rich on their own". That is, in fact, so untrue, i.e. a lie, that only true believers could possibly buy it.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,490
Wheylous replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 8:40 PM

"You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory"

The hell I didn't. What do you call the IRS? Seriously. (I propose Immoral Raider System)

A simple reply is that markets take the opportunities presented. If someone (government) is stealing my money (taxes) and then offering me goods, I'll damn right take them. Similarly, if government offers a business $1 million for free, they'll take it. It makes logical sense.

Warren makes the assumption that because someone offers you something, you are now indebted to them. For example, if I let Warren borrow my car and loan her a few grand here and there for 0 interest willingly, she suddenly owes me something and I may use force to acquire this thing.

Let me break it down into an timeline:

- There are no public roads in the "government public" sense. People live.

- Government says "hey, we'll tax you and make roads"

- Government makes roads and businesses use them

- Government: "YOU OWE US FOR THE ROADS"

Actual logical conclusion: No dammit, you should've left us our money in the first place. It's not like government is this benevolent being which furnishes us with its own savings along with a gentle reminder to help it when it's in trouble. No, government furnishes us with our own money and we praise it for it.

 

I am highly considering making a rebuttal in the same format as the original, countering it point by point.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

TANSTAAFL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H585nogZWpQ&feature=related

 

That video demolishes her exact arguement. The best part is the statist in the video reaches the exact conclusion as the statist that brought the warren piece to my attention.

I wish the chick in the video didn't imply that the only way to be protected is to protect yourself.  She even concedes that fire protection can be performed competitively and paid for voluntarily...but she claims "it is your responsibility to watch out for yourself and those around you if you see them being harmed."

That kills it for me.  It's too easy to say "that's all just crazy talk".  We have enough of an uphill battle as it is.  We can't afford to be giving half-assed representations and explanations of libertarian philosophy and prescriptions.  It's a shame, but I can't send that video to anyone.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 186
Points 4,290
TANSTAAFL replied on Fri, Sep 23 2011 5:06 PM

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/tgif/elizabeth-warrens-non-sequitur/

 

This artile does an exellent job of debunking her crazy ideas.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

Awesome.  Thank you so much

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 645
Points 9,865
James replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 12:28 PM

Lol, found this on Reddit...

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135
John James replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 12:36 PM

Now what's something clever we can call that?  The Warren pic is from "The Other 98%" page on facebook.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 3
Points 45
chakra replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 2:43 PM

An edited version of Warren's speech:

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/WARRENRESPONSE.png

 

UPDATE: A reader sends this response:

    Group of friends of Stanford football post on a board called thebootleg.com On the current events board, we have debated the Warren comments. here was my response:

    “You built a factory out there? Good for you,”


 “Built a factory” is a summary for a lot of work. Put up equity, designed a business, took risk to buy land, get permits, pay property taxes and use taxes and permit fees. Then, bought a bunch of equipment and had it installed …and paid sales taxes. Hired some employees and paid them a bunch of money and paid payroll taxes on top of that. Bought a bunch of raw materials from companies that paid a bunch of salaries and a bunch of taxes. Building a factory is a huge private investment that pays the public a lot of taxes for the right to be built.

    “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.”


Between fuel taxes, license fees, tolls and various taxes on transportation related activities, the roads budget is smaller than the total tax take.

   " you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate"

 No, you did not educate them. You babysat them for 12 years. Then I hired them, taught them how to be responsible and show up for work, taught them how to communicate in clear sentences, taught them that there are rights and wrongs and (unlike with your schools) wrongs have consequences in the workplace. Then paid for extended education for my employees so they could continue to improve themselves and better add value to what we do around here.

    “You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.”


Funny, my factory has 24/7 security guards because the last time it was broken into, the police did not even bother to take a report, they just said “call your insurance company”. As for fire? The closest fire department is 10 miles away. My insurance company requires that I have a full wet sprinkler system to qualify for insurance because there is no local fire protection.

    “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.”


Well, that is not exactly true. When the AFL-CIO tried to unionize my workforce, they staged three days of noisy protests outside my factory. The police forces just stood around and watched as the protesters intimidated my workers, vandalized their cars and destroyed my property.

    You say “we” like the government and society are the same. They aren’t. My company and my community and you politicians are not “we”.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 194
Points 4,315
Mike replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 10:08 PM

she has it backwards - we need the businesses and the people they employee to pay the taxes to build the roads BEFORE they are used.

Be responsible, ease suffering; spay or neuter your pets.

We must get them to understand that government solutions are the problem!

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 194
Points 4,315
Mike replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 10:11 PM

more simply;

 

who pays the taxes that build the roads, schools etc..etc..

Be responsible, ease suffering; spay or neuter your pets.

We must get them to understand that government solutions are the problem!

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

That was really good chakra.  I would just add one more thing...

 

Wait...are you suggesting I didn't pay for any of that stuff? And what do you mean "the rest of us"? Last time I checked, the top´╗┐ 20% paid almost 70% of ALL federal taxes.

 

And it gets even better when you look at just income tax:

 

 

If anything it should be ME who's saying I paid for all the crap you use.  AND I gave you a job.

 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,490
Wheylous replied on Sun, Sep 25 2011 8:27 AM

Little do we know that exactly that is the argument for crony capitalism... >.>

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

I don't know what you're talking about.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,490
Wheylous replied on Sun, Sep 25 2011 9:40 AM

I was trying to make a joke about the poor needing to be taxed to give to the rich because the rich have paid for the roads, have given them jobs, made their products, etc.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,189
Points 22,990

This is why I made this thread, can we throw it all in there?:

 

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/26349.aspx

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

Post Neo-Left Libertarian Manifesto (PNL lib)
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 16
Points 470
tckb909 replied on Mon, Sep 26 2011 1:35 AM

Peter Schiff did a good job on his radio show when he addressed this. I was pretty surprised and happy, because he made a very anarcho-capitalist argument. 

I don't remember everything he said, but he basically talked about how she has it all ass backwards. The only reason the government has roads, schools, police, etc is because they took  money away from the private sector. If it wern't for all of the wealth created in the private sector, the government would not be able to pay for roads or anything else. He also went on to say he would rather pay for his own private security, his own roads, and everything else.. He would be more than happy to opt out completely in return for paying zero taxes. I was surprised because Schiff usually makes minarchists arguments, but not this time.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 645
Points 9,865
James replied on Mon, Sep 26 2011 2:31 AM

In fairness, a principled minarchist argument holds that the state's appropriate role is that of a nightwatchman which complies with the non-aggression principle.  Not whatever it likes as long as it's relatively smaller than a government which isn't arbitrarily deemed not to be minarchistic.

In terms of providing this-that-and-the-other, minarchists should know well enough that the state can't do it.  Their problem is that they regard security, defense and arbitration as something special and fundamentally non-economic, somehow, that emanates naturally from government rather than scarce economic goods exploited, monopolised and taxed by government like any others.

I think the problem is that security, defense and arbitration have been provided by governments for such a long time - being fundamentally necessary to enforce its monopoly on anything - that they that can't get their head around it being done any other way.  It's funny how people draw a false dicotomy between necessarily public goods and others based first on their personal experience, then the personal experience of others that they've heard about, and only then do they consider applying a priori reasoning to the problem. :p   The only verifiable way of discerning truth is a last resort.

Nothing must ever be done for the first time, you see...

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,739
Points 60,635
Marko replied on Mon, Sep 26 2011 3:17 AM

What is the background of this person? Did she ever actually pay towards building roads, or is she a tax-feeder?

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 645
Points 9,865
James replied on Mon, Sep 26 2011 3:29 AM

She's a Wall Street/DC lawyer.  She personally oversaw the bailout of the banks.  Chaired the Congressional Oversight Committee that handled TARP.

She's much, much worse than just a tax-feeder. :p 

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

tckb909:
Peter Schiff did a good job on his radio show when he addressed this. I was pretty surprised and happy, because he made a very anarcho-capitalist argument.

Thanks for bringing that up!  I'm behind on the shows so I wouldn't have caught it for a while...

 

 

  • | Post Points: 30
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 6,885
Points 121,845
Clayton replied on Mon, Oct 3 2011 5:16 PM

Awesome response from Murphy, as always. It would have been nice if he had commented on the calculational aspect of this, as well. Part of the problem with the whole argument about whether taxes should be raised or lowered is that both sides (Democrats for higher taxes on "the rich" and Republicans for lower taxes for the rich) are engaging in price-setting. The argument is not over whether we should be price-setting but, rather, what the set price should be. The price of roads, utilities, fire departments, etc. is bundled into one gigantic, irrational cash-wad called "government expenditure" and then the political apparatus attempts to pay for this wad by borrowing, printing money and taxing.

But the coordinating component of prices has been removed from all of these government-monopolized lines of production and further scrambled through being bundled together. Both Republicans and Democrats are attempting to solve the problem of how many roads should be produced and how much money should be spent on maintaining them and how this should be paid for through hot air. The problem is that such verbal jousting is demonstrably irrational. The participants in the debate form lobbies and wage verbal battle with each other. The wealthy business class lobbies the "right-wing" to fight for ever greater government services to the industrial sector (roads, electric lines, etc.) and ever-lower taxes (hoping to burden the lower classes through government debt and inflation) while the parastic class lobbies the "left wing" for greater entitlements and higher taxes on the wealthy.

We are living in Bastiat's reductio ad absurdum situation of a democracy where "everbody plunders everbody" while those who eschew the political means for hard, honest work are punished the most severely. Then everybody wonders why we're in an economic depression. America has descended into economic, political and legal insanity. This is my country where I was born and I'm not in a situation where I can easily leave. I hope my fellow countrymen soon recover from the mass delusional spell that has been cast upon them.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

Clayton can I ask why you so rarely use paragraphs?  It makes your posts so difficult to read.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 6,885
Points 121,845
Clayton replied on Mon, Oct 3 2011 5:51 PM

@JJ: I start out thinking the post will be a two-liner... then it just grows... I'll remember to hit Enter a little more often.

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

Please do.  I'm sorry to say I end up not reading much of many of your posts because of this.

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,922
Points 79,590

James:
[Elizabeth Warren is] a Wall Street/DC lawyer.  She personally oversaw the bailout of the banks.  Chaired the Congressional Oversight Committee that handled TARP.

She's much, much worse than just a tax-feeder. :p

Oh sweet Raptor Jesus.

Seriously, I think this is the best (rhetorical) counter for her: relentlessly point out that this woman personally and significantly contributed to the filthy rich getting richer and the rest of us getting poorer. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of the people pushing her quote around Facebook and elsewhere have no idea who she is.

Edit: In a nutshell - Elizabeth Warren is one of the 1%.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,922
Points 79,590
Autolykos replied on Tue, Oct 4 2011 10:46 AM

Now on to refuting her arguments.

Elizabeth Warren, High Priestess of TARP:
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...

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 [it] forward for the next kid who comes along.

There seem to be a few arguments bundled up into this. The one I'd like to touch on first is the so-called "public goods" argument. This is really an argument about externalities. The idea is that externalities are bad - typically the word used is "unfair". Things can then be made (more) fair by eliminating externalities. How can externalities be eliminated? By internalizing them. Who should internalize them? Those who benefitted from them - otherwise, more externalities are simply created.

This notion has its roots in the reciprocity principle. I do something nice for you, so you should do something nice for me in return. It doesn't have to be right now, but in the meantime, I'd like you to keep in mind what I did for you. Friends and relatives do favors for one another following this principle. There are often non-violent sanctions when someone fails or refuses to "return the favor".

However, when the favor isn't returned, has anything been actually taken from the person who expected the favor? No. There has been no cost or loss imposed on him. He was never guaranteed to receive a favor in return, regardless of how he felt about it. As far as I'm concerned, it's aggression if he then forces, tries to force, or even threatens to force, the other person to perform the favor.

Furthermore, I don't see how the recipient of a favor is a priori or prima facie obligated to return an "equivalent" favor at all. He may not have even wanted the favor to begin with. Now he nevertheless owes the other person something? To me, an obligation involves, at the very least, a prior agreement. Even then, however, if no ownership of property has been exchanged one way or the other, no one has actually lost anything if one party to the agreement fails or refuses to carry out his side of it.

I know that people are typically disappointed or worse when reality fails to meet their expectations. People certainly don't think it's fair when others refuse to "keep their word". But as my dad always said, life isn't fair. In trying to impose fairness for oneself by force, a person can make things less fair for others and ultimately less fair for himself as well.

What does this have to do with the government? The government ostensibly provides services for people. These services come at a cost. They also convey benefits. The distributions of costs and benefits are never guaranteed to be equal, and typically they aren't. Regardless, many (if not most) government services are supposed to be equally available to everyone to take advantage of, if they so choose. If some people end up reaping much more than they've sown, so be it.

This is all well and good for those people. But it all too often ends up being a bitter pill to swallow for those who feel like they've paid in more than they've gotten out. It makes a certain amount of sense, after all - people don't like to feel like they've been taken advantage of. So this is why we see calls for those who appear to have disproportionately benefitted to "pay their fair share".

The thing is, we can't have our cake and eat it too. Either these services are publicly available - i.e. available to all, equally - or they aren't. If they're publicly available, it makes sense for everyone to pay the same amount for them. Otherwise, those who actually make use of them should pay for them.

Ironically, the logical conclusion of advocating "paying one's fair share" is the privatization of government services. Under privatization, those who would stand to benefit the most from services would pay the most for them. Hence everyone would "pay his fair share". This is all well and good, until someone demands more of a service than he's able or willing to pay for. As noted above, there are no real solutions here - only different trade-offs. No matter which way the cake is cut, scarcity will ultimately rear its ugly, unfair head.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

Just came across this and felt it was worthy of a bump.  Obviously it belongs in this thread, but it also provides concise (and quite good) exposé, if you will, on the illogical nature of the minarchist position, and it's complete lack of difference from any other statist persuasion...

Why should the government be limited?

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135
John James replied on Thu, Aug 16 2012 11:54 PM

Can't believe I didn't see this when it happened, but here's another that's worthy of bumping this thread:

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (37 items) | RSS