The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Show Me This ‘Social Contract’, Krugman

Posted on | September 23, 2011 | 28 Comments

by Smitty

Your latest piece of farce is titled ‘The Social Contract‘, and you quote Elizabeth Warren on the topic:

Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer who is now running for the United States Senate in Massachusetts, recently made some eloquent remarks to this effect that are, rightly, getting a lot of attention. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody,” she declared, pointing out that the rich can only get rich thanks to the “social contract” that provides a decent, functioning society in which they can prosper.
Which brings us back to those cries of “class warfare.”
Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. Ryan has called the deficit an “existential threat” to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy — who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation’s future — should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat.
Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else.

Here are a few ideas for follow-on columns:

  • Define this social contract. Codify it and put it before me on paper, so that I can decide if I feel like yielding any personal sovereignty to it, as I have the Constitution. In other words, no hand waving, Mr. Nobel weenie.
  • Define this “luck” that supports these “very lucky people“. As a luck skeptic, I’m queasy with that kind of argument.
  • Explain just what, if anything, private property still means in your “social contract” realm. While I am not materialistic, and cannot track envying the private property of others, I do enjoy being left alone. So, private property: can I have some?
  • What kind of vow of poverty will you undertake in your infinite concern for those not prospering? You yourself may personally be guilty for the failure to attain fortune of some person in Drain, Oregon. I should like to think that you’re going to shoulder your fair share of the burden while we sort out just how guilty you really are. Start with giving up everything; we’ll re-distribute a bit of wealth back your way as soon as we sort out some staffing challenges.

Workin’ hard, trying to keep the good Krugman full of good ideas for future work.


28 Responses to “Show Me This ‘Social Contract’, Krugman”

  1. Joe
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    The Social Contract that Krugman and Warren allude to is the U.S. Constitution.  It makes clear that power of government comes from the people.  And that individuals are entitled to their property and that the government cannot take that away without due process and (when it is for a public need) just compensation. 

    Then again, maybe Krugman and Warren are thinking of that boring movie The Social Network.  It is hard to guess what Krugman is thinking about other than he does not like Republicans and Conservatives. 

  2. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    Krugman: no man is an island; therefore, we must impose confiscatory tax rates.

  3. darleenclick
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    I saw Krugman’s headline but just couldn’t bring myself to read it. I’d like to keep my blood pressure in semi-normal territory today.

    Especially if we are going to get into Warren’s nasty “you don’t get rich on your own” rant.

    How is that claim any different then some toxic parent attempting to manipulate an adult child with claims of “I sacrificed years raising you, feeding you, clothing you! You OWE me whatever I demand of you!”

  4. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    Krugman? Thinking? YGBSM.

  5. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    THIS. I am not a child. And I found out quickly how that little chant can turn to howls of hatred if you dare have an independent thought.

  6. Mike F.
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    Talk about being stuck on stupid. Like so many, these folks can’t/won’t step back and try to understand how the whole “system” works. Communities don’t build infrastructure because they think roads look better than trees.  They want to attract business and do what it takes to make their community attractive.  In return the businesses, that accepts the invitation, provides jobs for the citizenry, which provides disposable income that goes to buying goods and services as well as taxes, both from individuals as well as corporate.  Each part of this system works toward their own benefit which just so happens to benefit the other.  Entrepreneurs get the return on investment they want and the community gets to survive and grow.  This idea that entrepreneurs owe a debt of gratitude to communities willing to have them is…well…being stuck on stupid.

  7. JeffS
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    To hell with this so-called ‘Social Contract’; show me your ‘brain‘, Krugman.

  8. Bonfire of the Idiocies
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    One side of the social contract is upheld.  The “rich” pay a majority of the taxes in this country.  The unspoken violation of this contract, as recognized in a recent Gallup poll, is that the majority thinks the federal government WASTES 51% of the money it takes from us. 

    We have the obligation to support the legimate funcitons of the government.  We do NOT have the obligation to support waste, fraud and abuse.  We do NOT have the obligation to support payoffs to Democrat cronies (Solyndra, the Stimulus, the GM bailout, etc) nor do we have the obligation to support useless make-work agencies (EPA, Dept of Education, Dept of Energy, etc.)  Warren and Krugman would like us to think all government money is spent efficiently (no $16 muffins!) on worthwhile enterprises that benefit society as a whole.  It is not, and these frauds KNOW it.

  9. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks “Organ Grinders Monkey” whenever Krugman’s mentioned.

  10. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

    The anarchic conditions Elizabeth Warren describes as being prevented in equal measure by all citizens, historically worked to the benefit of the wealthy, think “Feudal Lords” or “Cattle Barons”. In a society where security isn’t supplied by local government it’s the wealthy who are most able to provide that security. While this greatly inhibits “rising up the ladder” once a position of wealth and or status is attained those in a position to hire the “men at arms” are best positioned to stay on top and “stifle” competition. Further the line between protecting wealth and acquiring it becomes somewhat “subjective” under those conditions. While there is much less infrastructure under these condition what there is belongs to the wealthy who created it.

    In addition to paying the lions share of income taxes, businesses large and small also pay much more in other taxes and fees than any individual citizen. So as usual the left’s pretension to principle are based on the notion that all wealth belongs to the state not the person or collection of persons (a company) who earned or created it.

  11. The Social Compact « The Rio Norte Line
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    […] ****Updated and promoted – Stacy McCain has a related post.**** […]

  12. CalMark
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    Ya know, between Krugman’s NYT salary (I’m guessing low- to mid-6 figures) and Nobel Prize money, he should be doing quite well.

    Tell us, Paulie, whom did YOU exploit to earn your lucre?

  13. Mikey NTH
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

    In support of the social contract, Prof. Krugman should publish his bank account numbers and the routing numbers of his financial institutions.

    He’s been very lucky and is obligated under the social contract to share with the rest.  Ms. Warren also.

  14. JeffS
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    Don’t forget all PINs and passwords, Mikey!

  15. Tennwriter
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    In principle, he’s possibly somewhat right.  Calvin Coolidge talked about how without Law, Wall Street would be like the howling, dusty fallen walls of Babylon.

    That is, of no value.

    This is why its sometimes irritating to listen to the rich.

    But, the best solution is to go back to the Constitution.

  16. Guest
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    READ what Krugman had to say and the clear overwhelming evidence of the ever widening disparity in incomes and tax rates.  He agrees the rich are paying more taxes in terms of dollars, but he also points out that their income from all sources has skyrocketed while those of the middle class have been stagnant or declined.

    When cable companies are complaining that people are dropping their basic service because they can’t afford it, when literally hundreds of people are applying for a single job and going unemployed for a year or more, and when hedge fund managers getting $8 billion bonuses after maneuvers which have wiped out the savings of middle class retirement funds and then pay 15% tax on them, you might want to start thinking about the causes of the French Revolution.  Read your comments…..sounds a lot like mange le gateau.

  17. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    You’re looking for something that shut down and withered away years ago in the service of the State.

  18. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    Probably the best of the responses I’ve seen to Warren’s ill-considered rant:

  19. ThePaganTemple
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    You are wasting your time asking Krugman to show you a social contract. If he did, you wouldn’t be able to read it, nor would any normal person.

  20. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    You’re not thinking it through, honored Guest. What Warren and her cronies want is to selectively enforce the Tax Code against the unworthy, the ones they decide haven’t contributed enough. Do you really want to give more of that power to the Feds than they already have? As has already been stated many times here and elsewhere, even if we shot everyone who grossed  over $250K on their tax returns and confiscated all their money, we still wouldn’t have enough to pay for everything these “benefactors” want. So take your Frenchified class warfare excuses somewhere else.

  21. Joe
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

    Actually he is more like the monkeys at the zoo that masterbate all day.  But I am good with either analogy. 

  22. Joe
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

    Paul, is that you? 

  23. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

  24. Guest
    September 24th, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    He meant the Socialist Contract which has not (yet) been ratified by US

  25. Anonymous
    September 24th, 2011 @ 1:57 am

    I’ve read stats that contradict the assertion that the middle class earnings remained flat, lies, damned lies and statistics you know. No doubt the upper earners have done much better, so what. Only a moron or a Keynesian (but I repeat myself) could believe that the key to growth is more government spending. But to double the stupidity by raising taxes in a downturn would appall Keynes. The only thing worse than Keynesian economics is Keynesian economics done badly.

  26. Anonymous
    September 24th, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    And most of the economists.

  27. ThePaganTemple
    September 24th, 2011 @ 3:48 am

    So what exactly is the brilliant world class economist saying here that is any different from the vulture vomit regurgitated by any other Democrat Leftist Progressive apparatchik? Do they all deserve Nobel Prizes for this shit? What, because its Krugman it suddenly makes sense?

    If all these wealthy people have all this extra money, don’t you think they’d prefer to invest it in business expansion, and hire more employees, than they would to just sit on it, and maybe have to pay more taxes on it?

    The reason they aren’t investing more of it now in the economy isn’t because the economy sucks so much as it is that Obama and the Democrats have promised they’re going to go out of their way to make it suck even more. So why should they risk their money, or their companies monies, or that of their investors, on what is very likely a losing proposition? They know Obama and the Democrats are going to make things worse, so hell they’re better off playing craps with their money than they are messing with this bunch.

    Yeah buddy, Obama swears that if they invest their money and make bigger profits, he’s going to make them pay more taxes, and in the meantime he’s also going to regulate them more than ever before. And all they have to do is expand their businesses so Obama can regulate them more, and hire more people so they can make that extra money for the government to tax more of.

    What the fuck kind of incentive is that?

  28. DaveO
    September 24th, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    Elizabeth Warren, from Harvard, twists the concept of Ordoliberalism in order to play the class warfare card with her base, who can’t afford to even glance at Harvard.

    It’s a neat trick, and she will succeed, although I’m willing to bet Senator Brown gets called to active duty anyway in mid-2012.