“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 that the rest of us paid to educate… Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along” — Elizabeth Warren
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In this quote, Elizabeth Warren is arguing that no one achieves wealth and success entirely on their own without support from broader society. She acknowledges that business owners build factories and companies, but notes that they rely on public goods like roads, infrastructure, and an educated workforce paid for by taxpayers.
Warren’s view is that those who find economic success have a social obligation, as part of an “underlying social contract,” to give back through taxes and contributions in order to help educate future generations. Overall, she is making a philosophical case that individual wealth is built on a foundation provided by society, and with that comes responsibilities to support social programs and the common good.