“You built it at least in part, getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay to build.”
Elizabeth Warren is already dusting off her greatest hits. While speaking to supporters in New Hampshire on Monday, she launched into her old favorite sermon about how no one in America becomes wealthy on their own.
Chris Enloe of The Blaze provides a transcript:
Warren’s remarks came during a Labor Day stump speech in New Hampshire advocating her wealth tax proposal, which would impose an annual 2 percent tax on households with assets greater than $50 million and a 3 percent tax for households with more than $1 billion in assets.
“Some of these guys say, ‘I worked hard. I had a great idea. I worked late’ — oh yeah, unlike anybody else. But ‘I worked late or inherited wealth, and so this is mine,'” Warren mocked. “And the answer is yeah, you did. You did have a great idea and you did work hard.
“But here’s the deal,” she continued, “I guarantee you built it at least in part using workers all of us help pay to educate. Yeah. You built it at least in part, getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay to build. Yep. You built it at least in part, protected by police and firefighters all of us help pay their salaries.
“And we are glad to do it. These are the investments we make as Americans,” Warren went on to say. “But here’s the thing: When you make it big, I mean really big, I mean the top 1/10th of 1 percent big, pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance to make it in this country.”
Here’s the video:
Some have suggested that this is a reprise of Obama’s famous “you didn’t build that” remark. This actually goes back to something Warren has been saying for years:
Warren did not even come up with this line of thinking on her own. It was something she adapted from Berkeley professor George Lakoff.
Professor Jacobson wrote about this back in 2012:
Obama and Warren cribbed “build it” narrative from progressive Berkeley Professor
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.
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