This anti-free enterprise attitude, epitomized by Elizabeth Warren, the liberal Harvard professor who has made it the calling card of her Senate campaign against me, is that every achievement in life is a collective effort. If you started a business and it has any success, “you didn’t build that” — government gets the credit, too. Small-business owners might remember it a little differently, given that most of them worked long hours, risked their savings, took on personal debt and gave up their weekends and vacations to become successful.
Warren is particularly worked up over this theme. She’s given to rebuking any business owner who dares to believe that he or she made it on their own. Who succeeds on their own? “Nobody,” Warren says, in an angry tone. After all, she says, every business owner benefits from government investment in the schools, roads and police and fire protection that “the rest of us paid for.”
It’s a phony argument, every way you look at it. For one thing, business owners obviously pay for those services, too. So where does anyone get off dismissing business owners as a bunch of freeloaders — as if only “the rest of us” pay the taxes that support public services?