Elizabeth Warren demonizing wealth creation in new ad

Presidential contender Senator Elizabeth Warren's campaign released a new ad this week that doubles down on her wealth tax proposal while also attacking the prominent businessmen who have gone public to say her plan would result in an economic disaster.  The wealth tax is a policy that many, including me, believe to be a very bad idea and there are plenty of articles and commentaries that pick apart this plan to show it would have negative economic consequenceswill bring in less money than being projectedwill cost more to enforce than being advertised, and it will not pay for any of the new programs she proposes because it can't even support the current programs on the ledger.  But rather than address these concerns, Warren has instead chosen to counter her critics with personal attacks.

Americans are enjoying the highest standard of living in human history.  The majority of the country lives in modern housing with modern appliances, TV, and air-conditioning.  Eighty-eight percent of households own a car.  Unemployment is the lowest it's been in fifty years, and wages are rising.  We are in a period of good times.

And yet, according to a few politicians, there is an inequality crisis that threatens everyone who has less wealth than someone else.  And their core base of supporters believes this, too.  If the majority of this country were living in shacks and picking through garbage for dinner, then I could understand these criticisms, but just about everyone is relatively pretty well off at the moment.

A significant portion of the population are ignorant when it comes to understanding economics and politicians are exploiting their lack of knowledge to whip up anger that they can then transfer into votes.  Warren's new ad targets four billionaire businessmen and lists their total net worth along with things they've done that she doesn't approve of, like being on Facebook's board and donating money to Republicans as reasons for why we shouldn't take these people seriously.  Leon Cooperman and Lloyd Blankfein understand finance and economics far better than Senator Warren, but they're easy to demonize because they can be considered part of Wall Street.  The other two billionaires are Peter Thiel and Joe Ricketts.

Peter Thiel and Joe Ricketts

Peter Theil was an original founder of PayPal, the company that planted the seeds for making commerce over the internet into what it is today.  Joe Ricketts is the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, a company that makes it possible for anyone with an internet connection to buy and sell stocks.  Both men are wealthy because they created businesses that created more wealth for our society, and they made the average American better off.

I don't have the exact data on this, but I am willing to speculate and even bet that just one of these people created more wealth and more jobs than Senator Warren has.

What Thiel and Ricketts Have Given Back

"When you make it big, pitch in two cents so everyone else gets a chance" is Warren's answer to the billionaires' concerns with her plan.  She is implying that criticism of her plan is motivated by personal greed and bad motivations rather than critical thinking, facts, and logic.  But what Warren either doesn't know or deliberately chooses to omit is that Thiel and Ricketts have actually been pitching in a lot more than two cents for decades through their philanthropy.

Since 2010, Thiel has run the Thiel Foundation, where he awards 20 people under the age of 23 with $100,000 each to drop out of college and create their own ventures.  He has personally given 180 people the chance to follow their dreams and add value to the world with his own wallet.  Ricketts established the Opportunity Education Foundation which underwrites the costs of training teachers and students in third world countries in Africa.


YouTube screen grab.

Thiel and Ricketts are both billionaires, and they can both call themselves self-made.  They came from middle-class families, saw potential opportunities, took them, and made the world better.  They both have chosen to give back to the world to help others.  But like most self-made successful people, they decided to give back on their own terms to causes and people they believed in rather than write a blank check to a power-hungry politician or government.

Presidential contender Senator Elizabeth Warren's campaign released a new ad this week that doubles down on her wealth tax proposal while also attacking the prominent businessmen who have gone public to say her plan would result in an economic disaster.  The wealth tax is a policy that many, including me, believe to be a very bad idea and there are plenty of articles and commentaries that pick apart this plan to show it would have negative economic consequenceswill bring in less money than being projectedwill cost more to enforce than being advertised, and it will not pay for any of the new programs she proposes because it can't even support the current programs on the ledger.  But rather than address these concerns, Warren has instead chosen to counter her critics with personal attacks.

Americans are enjoying the highest standard of living in human history.  The majority of the country lives in modern housing with modern appliances, TV, and air-conditioning.  Eighty-eight percent of households own a car.  Unemployment is the lowest it's been in fifty years, and wages are rising.  We are in a period of good times.

And yet, according to a few politicians, there is an inequality crisis that threatens everyone who has less wealth than someone else.  And their core base of supporters believes this, too.  If the majority of this country were living in shacks and picking through garbage for dinner, then I could understand these criticisms, but just about everyone is relatively pretty well off at the moment.

A significant portion of the population are ignorant when it comes to understanding economics and politicians are exploiting their lack of knowledge to whip up anger that they can then transfer into votes.  Warren's new ad targets four billionaire businessmen and lists their total net worth along with things they've done that she doesn't approve of, like being on Facebook's board and donating money to Republicans as reasons for why we shouldn't take these people seriously.  Leon Cooperman and Lloyd Blankfein understand finance and economics far better than Senator Warren, but they're easy to demonize because they can be considered part of Wall Street.  The other two billionaires are Peter Thiel and Joe Ricketts.

Peter Thiel and Joe Ricketts

Peter Theil was an original founder of PayPal, the company that planted the seeds for making commerce over the internet into what it is today.  Joe Ricketts is the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, a company that makes it possible for anyone with an internet connection to buy and sell stocks.  Both men are wealthy because they created businesses that created more wealth for our society, and they made the average American better off.

I don't have the exact data on this, but I am willing to speculate and even bet that just one of these people created more wealth and more jobs than Senator Warren has.

What Thiel and Ricketts Have Given Back

"When you make it big, pitch in two cents so everyone else gets a chance" is Warren's answer to the billionaires' concerns with her plan.  She is implying that criticism of her plan is motivated by personal greed and bad motivations rather than critical thinking, facts, and logic.  But what Warren either doesn't know or deliberately chooses to omit is that Thiel and Ricketts have actually been pitching in a lot more than two cents for decades through their philanthropy.

Since 2010, Thiel has run the Thiel Foundation, where he awards 20 people under the age of 23 with $100,000 each to drop out of college and create their own ventures.  He has personally given 180 people the chance to follow their dreams and add value to the world with his own wallet.  Ricketts established the Opportunity Education Foundation which underwrites the costs of training teachers and students in third world countries in Africa.


YouTube screen grab.

Thiel and Ricketts are both billionaires, and they can both call themselves self-made.  They came from middle-class families, saw potential opportunities, took them, and made the world better.  They both have chosen to give back to the world to help others.  But like most self-made successful people, they decided to give back on their own terms to causes and people they believed in rather than write a blank check to a power-hungry politician or government.