October 5, 2011

Warren isn’t the first person to talk about the inequity of wealth in this country. And she won’t be the last. She isn’t the first person to talk about community responsibility not just individual power. And she won’t be the last.

But she sure communicated well about these two issues: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – 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…

“Now look. 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.”

Why do so many not understand this? Why do conservatives, Tea Party people, Wall Street, corporations, some of the wealthiest….. Why do they deny the truths that Warren expresses so well?

The social contract is too weak in the U.S. Partially, I think, because the U.S. is plagued with the meritocracy myth. And that’s linked with conservative and patriarchal philosophy. That’s linked with privilege. Read some of Peggy McIntosh’s writings, for example.

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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