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Obama and Warren cribbed “build it” narrative from progressive Berkeley Professor

Obama and Warren cribbed “build it” narrative from progressive Berkeley Professor

By now you have heard the Obama and Liz Warren speeches about how no one got rich on his or her own.  Listen to them again, it’s important to hear how they frame the issue almost identically:

This narrative is cribbed almost verbatim from the narrative of George Lakoff, a progressive linguistics activist and Professor at Berkeley.  Like Warren, Lakoff was one of the academics who helped frame how the Occupy Wall Street movement presented itself.  Lakoff’s writings and theories seek to transform progressive politics and he is a frequent speaker on how progressives can reframe the political debate.

Lakoff developed a linguistic narrative that progressives needed to counter conservatives by focusing on the role of government in enabling individual success, a narrative in which no person became successful on his or her own:

Nobody makes a dollar in this country in business without using the common wealth…. The idea that there’s a self-made man, that’s there’s a self-made millionaire is false, it is absolutely false, and that is the thing that Obama missed…. Without this you don’t have those roads, you don’t have that internet, you don’t have the banking system, etc.

Read how Lakoff framed the issue in a publication several years ago, then listen to the Obama and Warren speeches, they are not identical but very close substantively and linguistically (emphasis mine):

There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers  have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.

Last March a diarist at Daily Kos noted the similarity of Warren’s famous factory owner speech and Lakoff’s formulation:

This passage and the argument surrounding it sound extremely similar to something we’ve been hearing recently and for the first time in a long time (and this book came out in 2004)…

The “something” to which the Daily Kos diarist was referring was the very same video of Warren’s speech posted at the top of this post.

The approach of Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama is a cribbed narrative of the progressive movement which seeks to realign our individual-centered political dialogue around the individual’s indebtedness to the government.

(video added)

[This post originally incorrectly referred to Lakoff’s current job status and certain writings and has been updated]


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Holy cow Professor, you are one valuable blogger. How do you come up with this stuff?

vermontaigne | July 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Great stuff. It’s spelled Lakoff, though.

    “They wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.”

    So how does Lakoff square the circle when it comes to the “poor” ? They had access to all this taxpayer funded infrastructure and they failed miserably. Why shouldn’t they still pay ? … it would be an incentive for them to do better.

    punfundit in reply to vermontaigne. | July 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    “Rhymes with…”

Yep, Lakoff is the leftist guru.

I have to agree with PhillyGuy, this is an awesome catch.

DavidJackSmith | July 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm

In the vein of illustrating an absurd (or banal) observation by the method of Reductio ad absurdum…

There is no such thing as a self-made serial killer. Every murderer has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his killings. He did not make his killings alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got homicidal satisfaction on what other taxpayers had paid for:

In other words: Ted Bundy did not kill those women. Without the roads infrastructure, he could never have driven his VW Beetle along the highway to murder women. Ted Bundy did not kill those women.

The government killed those women.


    janitor in reply to DavidJackSmith. | July 26, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Brilliantissimo, David. A “like” wasn’t sufficient.

    And the whole cause-effect thing as well, involving chance, opportunity, etc. (“If you hadn’t found that injured dog by the side of the road when you were 14 and taken him to the vet, and then found out he was needing a summer helper and got a part time job, you wouldn’t later have had his recommendation that got you into vet school…”)

    What the collectivists so miss is that we do work together to create certain universal services for everyone, NOT to obligate some to contributing more, but to liberate all equally to apply their own efforts and ingenuity toward building their own success.

    You have the opportunity like everyone else to start your little business and get your goods to market, and you don’t have to own a fleet of ships or build a railroad to do it.

    Jaynie59 in reply to DavidJackSmith. | July 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Unfortunately, that philosophy has been a key progressive mainstay for a generation now. It’s what’s behind the whole moral equivalence movement. There is no right and wrong because nobody is responsible for their own actions. Society is to blame because of lack of “equality” and “fairness”.

DavidJackSmith | July 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I bet you another thing.

Lakoff is also the genius who posited the absurd notion that if ones supports the military you are supporting socialism.

That’s also a trope I’ve seen trotted out by limited leftists — usually just after they react hysterically to the notion that Obama is a socialist.

They love socialism so much, but seem ashamed to admit it.

Iirc I’ve previously posted that Lakoff’s latest book, The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, is reviewed by PJMedia columnist Zombie.

I don’t recommend giving Lakoff money by buying his book. However, the PJM review was well worth my time. After I read it, how today’s Left operates was more understandable.

    raven in reply to gs. | July 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks for the link. Zombie does a first-rate and comprehensive job of dismantling Lakoff and the entire Progressive Oz.

I assume this is the same Lakoff:,rymes with , Rush refers to. If so it explains why Lizzys also known as “The Hand.”

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People who have never created anything, never built anything and have sucked off the taxpayer dime their entire lives are always first to stand in line and demand “their fair share”. Lakoff included.

We have incompatible perspectives of reality.

Progressive Party Platform, 1912

In accordance with the needs of each generation the people must use their sovereign powers to establish and maintain equal opportunity and industrial justice, to secure which this Government was founded and without which no republic can endure.

A Government not based on principles but upon the wandering whims of each successive generation.

This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. Its resources, its business, its institutions and its laws should be utilized, maintained or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest.

An open platform for the abuse of authority by either a majority or a sufficiently empowered minority to conduct involuntary exploitation, denigrate individual dignity, and devalue human life. And yet, their (i.e. classical Progressives) positions were not entirely without merit. Perhaps there is a reconcilable position between our competing perspectives.

Well, at least they had “good intentions.” Through their principles they laid the foundation for progressive corruption. This explains their penchant for addressing symptoms rather than causes, acting on exceptions rather than principles. They promise people instant gratification without perceived consequences and thereby purchase their vote. With each succeeding generation, the corruption engendered is progressive and comprehensive.

    OcTEApi in reply to n.n. | July 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Detroit socialist explains the Soviet States of America

    In the forums around Detroit there are some raging socialists, some have said they work for the Detroit Water and Sewerage… complain about job losses, union rights and the whole mess is knee deep in corruption.

    yadda yadda Environmental Justice BS
    Detroit Water Agenda 2012

    They demand that their culture of corruption be saved from privatization while spewing the same garbage about Built on the backs of Detroiters.

    Whole giant sections of the Detroit water and sewage infrastructure that extends into the Metro-area suburbs has had to have been bailed-out and/or outright purchased by surrounding towns due to pure neglect.

    In the suburbs you’ll many times see a small old growth forest with a fence and rusty sign that says Property of Detroit Water and Sewerage.

    Detroit Water and Sewer sinkhole in Sterling Heights, Michigan

    Kwame Kilpatrick and his buddy Bobby Ferguson took us for $25+ million in promised but never performed work on that sinkhole.
    Bobby Ferguson’s newest lawyer defended mob boss John Gotti
    Detroit Free Press-Jul 2, 2012


      n.n in reply to OcTEApi. | July 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      This is interesting, but it is anecdotal evidence. It is monopolies of influence and power which promote corruption. This can happen in the private sector; but, by its nature, the public sector is predisposed to suffering corruption. Privatization, and supporting philosophies, including capitalism, while they assuredly have less potential for optimal efficiency, are made more efficient by competing interests. It is those competing interests in great numbers and with similar ability, which ensure a diffusion and mitigation of corruption. They do not guarantee it. So, we elect to establish a compromise between distributed and centralized authority, management, etc. All with individual dignity foremost in our minds.

      Life is an exercise in risk management.

        OcTEApi in reply to n.n. | July 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

        I would contend that its not mere anecdotal evidence.
        There are vast systemic bureaucracies built into urban and rural infrastructure planning, land use and development.
        Look into the Upper Rouge CSO Tunnel, Kwame Kilpatrics mother former Rep. Caroline Kilpatric bragged about bringing home the bacon for her district…
        100’s of millions of taxpayer loot was spent designing, engineering this massive project, and then only a few cursory projects were ever completed and the project was canceled.

        These fed, state and local government departments, boards and private consultants have based their whole existence and lives on the “Shovel Ready” plundering of taxpayer dollars.

        They’ve been devastated by the abuse and resulting rejection of earmarks… and now they’ve re-framed the issue as “you didn’t build that” that somehow taxpayer funding of these criminal enterprises are something we should feel indebted to government for.

        I know for a fact that they have the technology to make roads last for several decades, they simply won’t and keep costs inflated to preserve their own.

casualobserver | July 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm

To me it’s almost sinful – maybe criminal? – the way that so hard left types feel that the more you pay the more you owe. It is willful ignorance to make the statement that anything provided by “the common” requires you pay in even more. WE ALL PAID ALREADY. Do I owe my roofer even more than his bill – say a recreational boat or one year of higher education for his oldest born – simply because I paid him to fix my roof????

Lakoff, Warren and Obama can kiss my ass.

We have a small business, which mr. creeper started fifty years ago. The government was nowhere in sight when he was getting it off the ground but boy, did they show up later. That “help” the socialists refer to comes in the form of a non-stop deluge of regulations, taxes and prohibitions. You wake up every morning with the cold, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that you must have broken at least one of the million laws that apply to you. You go to bed at night wondering how you’re going to pay the bills. You pour your blood, sweat, tears and savings into keeping the business going and all the while you know that one government employee could put you out of business forever.

But evidently mr. creeper “didn’t build that”. Maybe it was Lizzie or Barry or George working those eighteen-hour days and plowing every penny back into the business. I wish whoever it was would come forward so we could thank them.

alan markus | July 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

This “built it” narrative will be around right up to the election. For Obama, it must be a real “floater” – a turd that won’t go away no matter how many times he flushes.

I sensed that this was another one of those “Joe the Plumber” moments. What is different this time though, is that there is no “Joe” to mock by looking at his court records or his plumbing license. So far, it has come back to Elizabeth Warren (a truth-challenged Democrat) and now our Professor has pointed out the connection to a progressive Professor and Occupy Wall Street.

This is pure gold! Hope things like this will make Obama clench his sphincter real tight lest he drop another “floater”.

Like a commenter said earlier today, all Romney has to do is sit back and take advantage of the forced errors made by the other side.

“A progressive Berkeley professor” is redundant.

It is true that the community, through their taxes, does provide the infrastructure that many businesses use to distribute their products. However, the original tax payer gets that back when the cost of the product they purchase is reduced because the producer does not have to build into the product price the cost of building a private road from the factory to the point of purchase.

When the government adds taxes and regulations to the product those costs are passed on to the final consumer as a hidden tax.

LukeHandCool | July 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Thank goodness Jobs and Wozniak had that road (the road the rest of us paid for) from Steve Jobs’ front door to his garage. Otherwise, Apple wouldn’t exist today.

Thanks, government!

    jdkchem in reply to LukeHandCool. | July 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Lakoff and jobs should never be used in the same sentence.

    The Left’s purported perspective of reality places the forest before the trees. As it denigrates individual dignity, it relies on involuntary exploitation to extort compliance. It is theoretically a viable outlook; but, people have a way of reasserting their individual dignity despite artificial controls.

    Their philosophy, by design, results in the consolidation of wealth and power in minority hands. It is the marginalization and even evisceration of competing interests which predisposes their regimes to suffer corruption. Their promises of instant gratification (i.e. physical, material, ego) without perceived consequences only serves to accelerate a comprehensive corruption of individuals and society.

    That said, while American conservatism defers to the tree (i.e. individual dignity), it also recognizes that servicing the forest (e.g. general Welfare) is ultimately in the individual’s best interests. Still, the path by which we travel to the final destination matters and our perspective of reality also matters. While one path has a predisposition, the other has its forks, branches, etc. Recognizing and respecting individual dignity is clearly suboptimal, but it is the preferred perspective by all but a minority of actors.

Interesting, I forwarded a link about a month ago that had our liberal progressive moonbat former MI Governor Granholm and Lakoff on Current TV… discussing how to use linguistics to change the tone of debate on Obamacare in the favor of Democrats.

Well anyway, remember that the core issue here is Obama trying to justify his WTF? taxpayer investment, Marxist green job creating Keynesian farce.

You’ve just got to throw in the caustic liberal buzzwords like sustainable green building practices and strategies, urban renewal and development, climate change, our common future… yadda yadda liberal utopia pooey

The think that if they control the language —the lingustisc— then they control the narrative.

And that’s true, to a point. But that’s all you got, then you’re running on vapors.

That said, controlling the narrative can be very effective. We’ve seen candidacies implode and never recover, both sides, because the narrative got them. While the Republicans have enjoyed success on account of it (Nixon ’72, Reagan, ’80, Bush, ’88, to name three) it’s the left who employs it as a strategy, and have for a long time. Orwell territory.

radiofreeca | July 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I love the delicious irony that Obama and company didn’t build the meme themselves of “you didn’t build it”. They stole the idea (without giving credit) that people don’t do anything themselves…

I wonder how the Bezerkley prof feels about it – honored that his students really DID learn his idea, or ripped off?

Obama believes in and promotes the George Lakoff version of the world. Lakoff is the left’s evil twin version of Frank Luntz.

Both are linguists.

Lakoff takes what you know is bad – like high taxes, and figures out how to use the language to convince you that you should be happy to pay more and more and more – by, God, you’re ‘investing.’ He’s the left’s guru.

Luntz does the opposite – he takes what you already know to be true – this country was built on escaping high taxes, and individuals are the backbone of the entire system – and he tries to give you the words to articulate what you know and believe.

Lakoff’s wordsmithing is the epitome of pissing on your leg and convincing you it is raining, and not only that, you should prefer the rain to sunshine because sunshine is, in his world view, toxic.

I choose Luntz. Happy. Honest. Conservative. Realistic.

It’s not his fault. The teleprompter was on vacation, so he accidentally said what he meant.

Midwest Rhino | July 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

“They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.

Well, there are so many fallacies here, where to begin …

Most of the previous taxes came decades ago from other successful workers that did “pay it forward”. Actually, we have always paid as we go. But the current crop of successful people are still paying the bulk of taxes to maintain and build infrastructure.

Which taxpayers are owed exactly? Corporate taxes are the highest in the world here. After the corporation gets taxed, the owners get taxed on distributions and realized capital gains. Sole proprietors pay at a high personal rate. And the trucks pay fuel taxes and other fees to fund highways. It’s not like transport is free.

Of course if we weren’t forced to pay double the price because of the union monopoly on construction bidding, we wouldn’t be going so far in debt. Don’t the entitled unions owe a great deal to the taxpayers, for their lucrative monopolies?

Most workers are paying little in income taxes and FICA. What about all the retired people that are getting more back than they ever paid in to FICA? Those seem to be the taxpayers Warren thinks paid for all the roads. But they used the roads, and are mostly getting more back in retirement than they ever paid in, and those roads served them very well.

The money these “rich people” get is just paper, until they put it to work. It takes very special people to start their own business that produces, but the current punishment of success makes it too difficult. If Obama wasn’t so busy destroying capitalism, those rich people would be buying yachts and more houses and various businesses. That means jobs and a revived economy.

But that is not the fascist/progressive desire, so people are looking to move out, or find a way to hide their assets from an out of control government that scolds them for possessing too much, and threatens to kneecap their business if they don’t go union.

Isn’t that putz Chomsky a linguistics professor? What’s with these guys?

    Sanddog in reply to punfundit. | July 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    They are the progressive Gods.

    There is a segment of our population that loves blaming their failure on the success of others. Con-men and grifters admire them as well and employ their tactics regularly out of their offices in Washington DC.

Excellent work professor Jacobson. Sorta reminds me of when Biden copied the speech of some English MP and he ended up dropping out because of it.

Kerrvillian | July 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Once a plagiarist always Elizabeth Warren.

I breezed through the comments pretty fast so I’m not sure if anyone else noticed this Lakoff is the same one who recently released “The Little Blue Book”. He fancies himself some sort of superior strategist. Rather than providing his readers with refutations of conservative positions he merely suggests not even having a debate. Real grown up vision there, Georgie.

    Undoubtedly because his primary strategy is to control, to FRAME the debate – and he has lost control of that now that the whole damn thing is out of control and all the lovely flowery Orwellian phrases aren’t able to hide it any more.

    I detest Lakoff – and I don’t recommend anyone waste a buck fifty on the worthless hate-Republicans and father figures rant. But he’s been controlling the debate for far too long.

    Obama is the activist in chief, and he is steeped in these beliefs. There is nothing good in them.

So here’s the question: Is George Lakoff on the Obama campaign payroll?

BannedbytheGuardian | July 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm

The rather old looking kids from Beverly Hills 90120 went to Berkley. Its about 20 years now so they should be on faculty.

Professor… This is great stuff but I wish that there was a way to get the MSM to do some coverage. Fat chance of that happening!

Even so, your efforts to expose a phony are well appreciated by most of us. I’d even go so far to say that most of the readers here are at least a few notches above the level of the typical voter.

As Joe Friday used to say… “Just the facts Ma’am.”

Interesting man, George Lakoff, but in his book, “Don’t Think of an Elephant, Know Your Values,” he exposes BarryO’s weakness:

When I teach the study of of framing at Berkley, in Cognitive Science 101, the first thing I do is I give my students an exercise. The exercise is: Don’t think of an Elephant! Whatever you do, do not think of an elephant. I have never found a student who is able to do this. Every word like elephant evokes a frame, which can be an image or other kinds of knowledge; Elephants are large, have floppy ears an a trunk, are associated with circuses, and so on. The word is defined relative to that frame. When we negate a frame, we evoke the frame.

Richard Nixon found that out the hard way. While under pressure to resign during the Watergate scandal, Nixon addressed the nation on TV: He stood before the nation and said, “I am not a crook.” And everybody thought about him as a crook.

With the pressure cooker heating up going into the political party conventions, Obama responses and ad libs are becoming like the Joe the Plumber exchange in 2008.

Obama said, “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Our narcissist-in-chief cannot loosen himself from his Marxist background for long enough to lie effectively, so we need to simply keep pushing him to defend his big government policies. He can no longer ignore this elephant in the room. As our previous Democratic president would often exclaim: “It’s the economy, Stupid!” or better yet: “Whose wealth are we redistributing?”

Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than man is capable of pulling himself up by his own bootstraps. 
– Vladimir Lenin

    gasper in reply to amy. | July 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    So who’s more greedy: the person who wants to keep the money he/she earns, or the person who wants part of that money, that they did not earn?

Newsflash: there is no single source for this crap for either Obama or Warren, not unless you count Marx. Everything that is horrible in academia is rooted, firmly and blithely, in Marx. (I’m writing a post about this so won’t go nuts here, but—heh, always as but, huh?). Trying to root Obama’s and/or Warren’s communist ideology in any one thing is just silly (and it is communist, no one who has ever supported or believed in socialism has ever EVER seen it as anything but as a path to communism–see Lenin, Stalin, et al.).

Look, it’s not popular to say this, but you’re (Professor Jacobson) an academic, you see and hear this crap all the time. It’s classic divide and conquer (intellectual for now but we see the violence in the occupods). It’s all the same thing: everyone’s the same, everyone deserves the same, it’s all about “fair shares” and being oppressed and getting what you “deserve.” If they can shuffle you off into some group, they will, all the better to control your rage (to be tapped into later, should that revolutionary need arise). If there isn’t a group, they’ll just make one! How convenient! We have every ‘ism’ under the sun, all designed, clearly, to keep everyone feeling oppressed and vaguely angry. Yay, go, Team Marx, go! This is total crap, buying into it in any way is just suicide. These ideas are replete in our culture and society, there is no single source for either 0 or Warren.

They both think they are special. They both see no need to play by actual rules. They both are base, reprehensible users. There’s no one teacher to blame for that crap; it’s the entire “multicultural” culture (designed, successfully, to subdue and erase dominant cultures). Marx is the root of it all, but even he wasn’t as evil as Obama. Marx, at least, came to see the flaws in his thinking.

[…] developed by Alinsky and others…last night after I got home from Barcelona, I read this post by Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection (a very fine blog) regarding how the method of communication dovetails perfectly with […]

TrooperJohnSmith | July 26, 2012 at 1:49 am

So, by these principles, the next time there are potholes in the roads, a bridge is in need of repair, a street needs to be widened or the schools suck, then we need to hold the government immediately and completely accountable. Then, if my business fails, I will blame the poor infrastructure and shift some of my liabilities to the government.

Hey, Prez. I think I just found your shovel-ready jobs.

This is hilarious. Lakoff is the messaging expert who proposed to hand off to the Democrats just the set of memes that would enable them to win elections. Good work, professor!

And good work Prof. Jacobson for hitting on this irony.

This turd has been spewing Noam Chomsky venom for decades.

Of course the Leftists admire and follow him.

Todd on WRKO in Boston is talking about this article right now!

    punfundit in reply to jimzinsocal. | July 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

    “If you repeat language long enough, every time you hear the words the ideas get stronger. And when the ideas get stronger they stay in your brain.” – George Lakoff, Commonwealth Club of California, 2009

    “But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925 (often misattributed to Joe Goebbels)

    Now of course Lakoff… rhymes with… was besmirching efforts to demolish ObamaCare. But he fails to mention other words which take hold, like “Hope and Change” and “You didn’t build that.”

TrooperJohnSmith | July 26, 2012 at 8:28 am

I think I’m developing a weird, rare form of tinnitus. Whenever I hear Prez-O-Bama speak, the Internationale seems to be playing at the same time.

Is that normal?

jimzinsocal | July 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

^^When I listened to that video I was thinking how the guy has twisted linguistics to how to propagandize voters. The notion of attaching a moral rule with Obamacare etc made me think of WW 2 History.

[…] at the Legal Insurrection blog, William A. Jacobson makes a plausible case that the Barack Obama/Elizabeth Warren line of argument […]

An excerpt from a post I did yesterday…

We can debate whether the creation of any infrastructure was a plan for the future or a solution to a more immediate need.

What is not open to debate, I believe, is that the bill for infrastructure improvements has been predominately foot by those of means. The successful ones.

The money for PUBLIC always comes from PRIVATE. It is today’s success in the PRIVATE that pays for tomorrow’s PUBLIC.

If there is any paying-back to be done, it is hardly the producers.

[…] The privatesector is doing fine. We tried our plan and it worked. You didn’t build that. Not gaffes, but messaging! HT: LI […]

Heh. He really didn’t build that.

You know what REALLY pisses me off about this debate ? Where the hell do they think government revenue comes from to pay for police, fire, roads, and bridges ?

Business comes FIRST. Without a business that sells a product, that makes a profit, there is nobody to tax to PAY for all the things progressives think makes the government so great.

Its NOT a chicken or the egg question. Without private markets, there is no government to begin with.

These people are morons.

Shorter version of Lackoff/Warren/Obama

Thiere is no such thing as property or transactions based on exchange of values.

[…] Legal Insurrection yesterday, as one does, I saw the name Lakoff pop up in reference to the Elizabeth Warren/Barack Obama speeches on ALL YOUR MONEY ARE BELONG TO THE GOVERNMENT, because, you know, you don't deserve it. You […]

Henry Hawkins | July 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

“From each according to his beans, to each according to his greeds.”

Komrade Henry I

Rush is hitting on the Lakoff… rhymes with… connection.

[…] – Progressives Of A Feather Steal Together – via […]

I shared this info w/ a friend and they responded:

“He didn’t invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?”


“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it’s his? Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.”

She said, puzzled, “But the iron ore and all those other things were there all the time. Why didn’t anybody else make that Metal, but Mr. Rearden did?”

– Atlas Shrugged, P1C9

Published 1957

so if we all use the same roads and system, why are some still more successful than others? I guess you have to understand Liberal logic to make that connection, huh?

Ideas are powerful things. But agitprop is malignant. And this type of agitprop is spread like a noxious weed in our universities, but it germinates behind the desks and in the lecture halls of neo-bolshevik professors and encouraged by complicit Deans.

[…] William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. By now you have heard the Obama and Liz Warren speeches about how no one got rich on his or her […]

Professor, I thought the Zombie essay you linked to is very good. Basically, Lakoff is only going to get his followers in trouble.

Henry Hawkins | July 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm

All the more reason to let these morons speak their minds at will. Let ’em reveal themselves with heedless talk. See how often they totally miscalculate how their words will be received. Their own words are better for us than any ads or speeches our side can muster.

    punfundit in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    There is a belief in leftist circles that the world tends to lean toward the left. They assume their ideas will be readily accepted by the public. Thus, they are unpleasantly surprised when things don’t work out as planned.

    Then they get mad.

    Cue laughter.

[…] I was incorrect in my assumption. Turns out that there is another source for this foul dejecta. And whats funnier in my mind, is the linkage to the OWS and other O* […]

[…] They Already Owned (Collectively, Of Course) Posted on July 26, 2012 5:30 pm by Bill Quick » Obama and Warren cribbed “build it” narrative from progressive Berkeley Professo… Lakoff developed a linguistic narrative that progressives needed to counter conservatives by […]

[…] the blog points out, both Warren’s and Obama’s phraseology appears to be cribbed directly from statement’s […]

Late news – this post, and Prof. William Jacobson were credited and discussed in some detail yesterday on “Communication Specialist” Lakoff piece!!

Kudos!………reminded me how is coming?

Why I’m asking is that I’ve heard that the Obama Administration hands out the book “Animal Spirits” to new [political] employees.

[…] to be a scientifically based rhetorical handbook for leftists, and yesterday (as Meep pointed out) Professor Jacobson wrote about how it's tactics and wording had been programmatically appropriat… by both notorious liar Elizabeth Warren and notorious liar Barack Obama, and was behind the […]

[…] the blog points out, both Warren’s and Obama’s phraseology appears to be cribbed directly from statement’s […]

[…] [or idea or turn of phrase], you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Now Professor Jacobson has revealed that both Warren and Obama stole borrowed their “you didn’t build that” argument, […]

[…] rich on their own” speech to a Berkeley linguistics professor and progressive activist named George Lakoff… This narrative is cribbed almost verbatim from the narrative of George Lakoff, a progressive […]

[…] Obama and Warren cribbed “build it” narrative from progressive Berkeley Professor […]