BLOG VIEW: It appears that the viral video universe has run out of misfit singers and clumsy fat boys to hold up for adoration. The latest superstar of this online environment is someone who is more than a little familiar to the real estate finance industry: Elizabeth Warren.
After the Obama administration decided that it did not want her as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Warren took the basket of lemons handed to her by Washington and began making political lemonade. With very little prompting, she has launched into a full-throttle campaign for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Scott Brown – ironically, the Republican legislator who bolted from his party's ranks to support the Dodd-Frank Act and, in turn, the creation of the CFPB.
As part of Warren's new political campaign, she is seen jumping on the proverbial bandwagon on how to pay for the president's proposed job program. Calling up thick globs of agitprop that have not been publicly aired since Norman Thomas' Socialist Party political rallies, Warren angrily told her followers, ‘There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own – nobody.’ She then launched into a harangue against an imaginary entrepreneur and his seeming indifference to his country.
‘You built a factory out there?’ she asked the imaginary entrepreneur. ‘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 and hire someone to protect against this because of the work the rest of us did.
‘Now look,’ she continued. ‘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 forward for the next kid who comes along.’
To borrow an acronym from the digital generation: ROFLMAO! In what century is this woman living?
The imaginary entrepreneur who built a factory is not taking a cue from Scrooge McDuck and spending his afternoons diving into a huge vault of money. Rather, this business leader is paying out a very large percentage of his or her ‘big hunk’ in federal and state taxes (and in some areas, rather hefty municipal taxes). More of that ‘big hunk’ is being passed along to cover healthcare costs – a significant sum that continues to balloon, despite the much-ballyhooed ‘reform’ engineered by the Obama administration. And if the factory owner is moving his or her goods on the public roads, more of that ‘big hunk’ is going into paying highway tolls and rising costs of diesel fuel.
There is an excellent chance that the imaginary entrepreneur is probably relying on lines of credit to keep the factory open – a situation that is exacerbated by a stagnant national economy that has probably fallen back into a recession (though no one in Washington has the guts to admit it). That is, of course, if the imaginary entrepreneur can find a bank to lend money – more than 70 banks have already failed this year, on top of the nearly 300 banks that have been closed since 2009.
And before there are any more Warren spiels about greedy business owners pocketing everything they make, I will throw out three words that Warren obviously never heard before: corporate social responsibility. Through the generosity of the private sector, billions of dollars and countless hours of volunteer input have been channeled into supporting social, educational, medical research, small business, cultural and housing endeavors – programs and projects that should have been funded by a federal government that is too busy wasting taxpayer money in never-ending military occupations of foreign countries, bolstering up bankrupt government-sponsored enterprises and doling out hefty giveaways to political cronies under the guise of expanding ‘green job’ opportunities.
As someone who received a $350,000 annual salary from Harvard University, Warren seems poorly educated when it comes to understanding how the private sector operates. If her nonsensical rant is any indication, Warren is not ready to be entrusted with the keys to government.
– Phil Hall, editor, Secondary Marketing Executive
(Please address all comments regarding this opinion column to email@example.com.)