Elizabeth Warren’s ignorance is showing
The political class is loaded with people who have little to no understanding of how private enterprise works. Among them is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth warren, whose unhealthy fixation on Jeff Bezos has exposed just how alien the private sector is to her.
Warren took to Twitter to criticize Bezos (not by name, for once) and his trip into space, writing that “Billionaires who can afford to take a 10-minute joyride to outer space can afford to pay a #WealthTax here on Earth.”
Setting aside the notion of a wealth tax, which Warren and her allies believe is essential to helping pay for their spending programs, what about the idea that Bezos and others of great wealth contribute nothing to society?
It’s hardy a new notion – class and wealth envy are staples of political discourse. But as Liz Wolfe writes, Warren’s brand of envy exposes a rich vein of ignorance:
This is strange criticism to level at a person [Bezos] who has created a million jobs, has supplied cheap consumer goods to 150 million paying Prime customers (and more goods to the other 150 million who opt for slightly longer shipping times), and is attempting to put satellites in space that will enable high-speed internet access for people who live in far-flung parts of the globe.
Strange, yes. But it’s also right on brand for the populists in power. In their eyes, Amazon is the new Wal-Mart – the destroyer of Main Street, good jobs, community, and whatever other bogeymen happen to be in the headlines. Never mind the explosion of jobs and economic activity created. Unless those innovations serve the needs of government and/or a particular pol’s election effort, then those same efforts are evil…and the state must correct them.
Again, such attitudes are not new. But that doesn’t excuse them. Politicians who would punish success in the name of gauzy notions of fairness or equity would only succeed in destroying the whole lot.