‘The underlying social contract’

This clip of Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail in Massachusetts is making the rounds today, and for good reason. First-time candidates don’t usually articulate a progressive economic message quite this well. (via Thers)

For those who can’t watch clips online, Warren, after explaining some of the reasons for the nation’s deep fiscal hole, pointed to a more sensible approach to economic policy in general. “I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,'” she said. “No. 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, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

“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.”

I mention this for a few reasons. First, for those wondering why Warren has a strong base of supporters who adore her, this clip offers a big hint. Second, if there are lingering concerns about whether Warren could be an effective speaker on the stump, I think those questions are being answered.

And third, if more Democrats were able to make the case for the underlying social contract as effectively, our discourse would be vastly less mind-numbing.