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Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Middle Class’ Looks an Awful Lot Like Occupy’s ’99 Percent’

Posted on | January 8, 2013 | 11 Comments

Guest Post by Badger Pundit

Writing at National Review’s The Corner (h/t Instapundit) Patrick Brennan chides Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass.) for declining, in a recent televised interview, to explain her definition of “middle class.” Even when asked specifically, “what numbers are we talking about, in terms of income level,” Warren declined to get specific — except to disagree with the reporter’s statement (at 1:00 of the linked video) that surely someone making a million dollars a year is not in the “middle class.”

Perhaps Mr. Brennan should have done a little homework before criticizing the soon-to-be senior Senator from Massachusetts. Warren has been on record for more than a decade that the “middle class” extends all the way up to highly successful lawyers, doctors, and other professionals — even up to high-tech millionaires One must keep in mind that, as Warren herself confessed, she “created much of the intellectual foundation” for Occupy Wall Street. To her, “middle class” is just another term for “the 99 percent” — the base of support that Warren and her fellow occupiers rely on in their class war against the ultra-rich evil “1 percent.”

Don’t believe me — believe what Warren herself wrote in two books describing the problems of the “middle class”: 2000’s The Forgotten Middle Class (PDF excerpts here), and 2003’s The Two-Income Trap (PDF excerpts here).

On page 1 of her 2000 book, Warren and her two co-authors state that they have written the book about, and on behalf of: “Stolid middle-class people, such as ourselves” (emphasis added). Recall that in 2000, as in 2012 before she was elected to the Senate, Warren was part of a household earning easily $500,000 annually, and probably substantially above that. She and her husband, Bruce Mann, were both full-time Ivy League law school professors, and Warren made substantial sums consulting for corporations on the side, charging $675 an hour. So right off Warren alerts readers that her definition of “middle class” includes households comprising two lawyers each earning substantial six-figure salaries. For example, Warren’s salary alone (not counting the six-figure amounts she earned from other sources) for her last year of teaching at Harvard was $429,000,

But later on page 1 of her 2000 book, Warren makes clear that households such as hers are hardly at the top of the “middle class.” She speaks of the “many molders of opinion” for whom “the notion that the middle class could be in crisis is remote, even unrealistic. Their part of the middle class is thriving, and they point proudly to the growing ranks of young high-tech millionaires as signs of the success of the great American economic engine.” (Emphasis added) That high-tech millionaires are part of the “middle class,” as defined by Warren, is consistent with Warren’s statement to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell in January, 2012, that she does not regard herself as a “wealthy individual” — wealthy individuals (aka “the 1 percent,” though she did not use the term), are those who do not work for their money, but instead “have a lot of stock portfolios.”

Further confirmation that the “middle class” includes highly successful professionals such as Warren and her husband is found on page 6 of Warren’s 2000 book:

The middle class is, of course, a huge portion of the American population. . . . The debtors in our sample include accountants and computer engineers, doctors and dentists, clerks and executives, salesclerks and librarians, teachers and entrepreneurs. They are middle-class folks . . . .”

Finally, page 7 of Warren’s 2003 book further confirms the breadth of her definition of “middle class,” indicating it extends nearly all the way to the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, to include everyone who has gone to college, or owned a home, or “held a good job.” Using this expansive definition, Warren reports “more than 90 percent of those in bankruptcy” are “middle class.”

So to sum up, Senator Elizabeth Warren, the intellectual godmother of the Occupy movement, has long been on record that when she uses the term “middle class,” her rough meaning is “the 99 percent,” excluding only the dreaded “1 percent” — the ultra-rich evil Americans who don’t work for a living but instead sit around enjoying their stock portfolios and exploiting the hard-working “middle class.” What else is there for her to explain?

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11 Responses to “Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Middle Class’ Looks an Awful Lot Like Occupy’s ’99 Percent’”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    January 8th, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    So under her definition, a huge part of the middle class had taxes raised by the insistence of Obama in the fiscal cliff negotiations, never mind all the people that had their taxes go up thanks to ObamaCare.

  2. rosalie
    January 8th, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

    She’s just another commie (American Indian, of course) millionaire who lacks common sense and cannot relate to the people who elected her. If the people who voted her in were the only ones who had to put up with her, it would serve them right. But now we have to put up with her.

  3. Liberty At'Stake
    January 8th, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    And since there’s not nearly enough wealth in the possession of the 1% to put even a dent into the national debt … I want to see Fauxahontas’ SAT score for math.

  4. Rob Crawford
    January 8th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    This “math” you cite is a white, male, heteronormative construct unsuited to decision making in a multicultural society. If we’d just all unite in the juche spirit, we’d realize that.

  5. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 8th, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    Massachusetts is a sick and depraved place to elect someone like Elizabeth Warren. But then again, they had no problem electing Teddy again and again. So why am I surprised?

  6. Roxeanne de Luca
    January 8th, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    Pointing out the obvious: anyone who earns over $429,000 a year is in the top 1% of income earners. (Figures vary on where the 1% is, exactly, but the highest number I’ve seen is $381,000 a year, gross.)

  7. Quartermaster
    January 8th, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

    I’m surprised that you’re surprised.

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 8th, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

    I am surprised I am surprised. You just think they might wake up from their madness, but they will not. They are too far gone.

  9. DaveO
    January 8th, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    Just another deception by Warren in a life of deception. Her readers were not likely to be super rich folks – they are reading about money, how to make it, and where to spend it – but students, folks interested in the topic, and others who would assume a college professor makes less than six figures.
    Her chief acolytes in the Occupy movement learned well from her. They took up collections from fellow Occupiers, and then rented $1000 per night hotel rooms, and paid off their student loans.

  10. Quartermaster
    January 9th, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    It is tough to believe that people such as Liberty don’t understand such things. Also, you left out the “dead” before “white.” Such math is colonialist and not to be tolerated in polite, idiotic company.

  11. Bob Belvedere
    January 9th, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    Liz Warren is gross.