As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread from Lower Manhattan to Washington and other cities, the chattering classes keep complaining that the marchers lack a clear message and specific policy prescriptions. The message — and the solutions — should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention since the economy went into a recession that continues to sock the middle class while the rich have recovered and prospered. The problem is that no one in Washington has been listening.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
In a stunningly on-point editorial, the New York Times gets it:
William Galston of Brookings Institution and The New Republic on George Will's "misunderstanding" of Elizabeth Warren and modern liberalism:
"Baseball should be beyond the whims of the unwashed"George Will and I have something in common: We were both trained in the close reading of political texts. Will recently applied his interpretive skills to a statement by Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic senatorial nomination in Massachusetts. Here is what Warren said: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 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 [that] you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.After applying to Warren’s words William F. Buckley’s description of John Kenneth Galbraith—a pyromaniac in a field of straw men, refuting propositions no one asserts—Will moves to the gravamen of his argument: Warren’s vision entails a collectivist political agenda. He tartly and uncharitably described that agenda as follows: