Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elizabeth Warren is great. I would only argue that her list is too short. How about this, you were healthy enough to pursue your wealth, in part, because of the government involvement in health care and disease prevention. The CDC comes to mind. Not enough? Your efforts were not hindered by unnecessary tragedy and disease afflicting your spouse and children. Again think CDC along with others that do things like provide safety standards for everything from the stove in your home to the luxurious and outsized SUV that takes your offspring to school and soccer practice. What about the bridges and tunnels travelled by that same SUV?  Who employs the engineers and other personnel that set standards for and inspect those bits of infrastructure? The list goes on and on.

The problem is that Ms. Warren's message will fall on two kinds of ears. The ears of certain types of successful  people and the ears of everyone else. In the ears of the former group, everything in their personal reality whispers to them, "you are wonderful and deserve every dime you acquire". (Think of a luxury SUV commercial and you'll hear some of the whispers.) Even rational words spoken by a calm qualified person are unlikely to penetrate such invisible but formidable armor. This argument, though important to realize, leads those of us endowed with the 'other ears' to infer that we could simply out vote such people with our superior numbers. The sticky bit of the problem is that many of our neighbors who share the more common ears quietly strive to hear the siren-whispers of those same voices.

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