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Elizabeth Warren quotes Showing 1-30 of 87

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on 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... Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a 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.”
Elizabeth Warren
“We lose eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day. If a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, America would mobilize teams of doctors and public health officials. We would move heaven and earth until we found a way to protect our children. But not with gun violence.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“Balancing your money is the key to having enough.”
Elizabeth Warren Amelia Warren Tyagin
“When you have no real power, go public -- really public. The public is where the real power is.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“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.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“Today the game is rigged—rigged to work for those who have money and power. Big corporations hire armies of lobbyists to get billion-dollar loopholes into the tax system and persuade their friends in Congress to support laws that keep the playing field tilted in their favor. Meanwhile, hardworking families are told that they’ll just have to live with smaller dreams for their children.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“Starting in 1792 with George Washington, there were financial crises every ten to fifteen years. Panics, bank runs, credit freezes, crashes, depressions. People lost their farms, families were wiped out. This went on for more than a hundred years, until the Great Depression, when Oklahoma turned to dust. "We can do better than this." Americans said. "We don't need to go back to the boom-and-bust cycle." The Great Depression produced three regulations:
The FDIC-your bank deposits were safe.
Glass-Steagall-banks couldn't go crazy with your money.
The SEC-stock markets would be tightly controlled.
For fifty years, these rules kept America from having another financial crisis. Not one panic or meltdown or freeze. They gave Americans security and prosperity. Banking was dull. The country produced the greatest middle class the world had ever seen.”
Elizabeth Warren
“Everybody in this room knows the basic rule: if you don’t have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu.”
Elizabeth Warren
“The next time you drive into a Walmart parking lot, pause for a second to note that this Walmart—like the more than five thousand other Walmarts across the country—costs taxpayers about $1 million in direct subsidies to the employees who don’t earn enough money to pay for an apartment, buy food, or get even the most basic health care for their children. In total, Walmart benefits from more than $7 billion in subsidies each year from taxpayers like you. Those “low, low prices” are made possible by low, low wages—and by the taxes you pay to keep those workers alive on their low, low pay. As I said earlier, I don’t think that anyone who works full-time should live in poverty. I also don’t think that bazillion-dollar companies like Walmart ought to funnel profits to shareholders while paying such low wages that taxpayers must pick up the ticket for their employees’ food, shelter, and medical care. I listen to right-wing loudmouths sound off about what an outrage welfare is and I think, “Yeah, it stinks that Walmart has been sucking up so much government assistance for so long.” But somehow I suspect that these guys aren’t talking about Walmart the Welfare Queen. Walmart isn’t alone. Every year, employers like retailers and fast-food outlets pay wages that are so low that the rest of America ponies up a collective $153 billion to subsidize their workers. That’s $153 billion every year. Anyone want to guess what we could do with that mountain of money? We could make every public college tuition-free and pay for preschool for every child—and still have tens of billions left over. We could almost double the amount we spend on services for veterans, such as disability, long-term care, and ending homelessness. We could double all federal research and development—everything: medical, scientific, engineering, climate science, behavioral health, chemistry, brain mapping, drug addiction, even defense research. Or we could more than double federal spending on transportation and water infrastructure—roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, dams and levees, water treatment plants, safe new water pipes. Yeah, the point I’m making is blindingly obvious. America could do a lot with the money taxpayers spend to keep afloat people who are working full-time but whose employers don’t pay a living wage. Of course, giant corporations know they have a sweet deal—and they plan to keep it, thank you very much. They have deployed armies of lobbyists and lawyers to fight off any efforts to give workers a chance to organize or fight for a higher wage. Giant corporations have used their mouthpiece, the national Chamber of Commerce, to oppose any increase in the minimum wage, calling it a “distraction” and a “cynical effort” to increase union membership. Lobbyists grow rich making sure that people like Gina don’t get paid more. The”
Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
“I believe that it’s this optimism about the future that sets us apart as a people, this optimism that makes America an exceptional nation. We built this country by striking out on new adventures and propelling ourselves forward on a path we named progress. Along the way, we learned that when we invest in one another, when we build schools and roads and research labs, we build a better future—a better future for ourselves and our children and our grandchildren. Equality. Opportunity. The pursuit of happiness. An America that builds something better for the next kid and the kid after that and the kid after that. No one is asking for a handout. All we want is a country where everyone pays a fair share, a country where we build opportunities for all of us; a country where everyone plays by the same rules and everyone is held accountable. And we have begun to fight for it. I believe in us. I believe in what we can do together, in what we will do together. All we need is a fighting chance.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“For capitalism to work, we all need one another.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“This crisis didn’t have to happen. America had a boom-and-bust cycle from the 1790s to the 1930s, with a financial panic every ten to fifteen years. But we figured out how to fix it. Coming out of the Great Depression, the country put tough rules in place that gave us fifty years without a financial crisis. But in the 1980s, we started pulling the threads out of the regulatory fabric, and we found ourselves back in the boom-and-bust cycle. When this crisis is over, there will be a once-in-a-generation chance to rewrite the rules. What we set in place will determine whether our country continues down this path toward a boom-and-bust economy or whether we reestablish an economy with more stability that gives ordinary folks a chance at real prosperity.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“The bankers might not have said it in so many words, but gradually their strategy emerged: Target families who were already in a little trouble, lend them more money, get them entangled in high fees and astronomical interest rates, and then block the doors to the bankruptcy exit if they really got in over their heads.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“Getting straight with your money is as complicated as a trip to the grocery store:
You need a comparison shop, add and subtract, stick with a plan, and ask questions- nothing more.”
Elizabeth Warren
“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
“My grandmother had never been very political, and she sure didn't follow high finance. But decades later, she was still repeating her line that she knew two things about Franklin Roosevelt: He made it safe to put money in banks and---she always paused here and smiled---he did a lot of other good things.

And that was my pitch to Congressman Frank. Start with something that people understand, something that solves a problem they can see. Do that, and then they'll have confidence in the work you do to fix the parts they can't see...

Start simple. Fix something people can see.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“The single best predictor that a family would go bankrupt was if they had a child.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“Otis, on the other hand, didn't miss home a bit. He had always hated the stairs in our house in Massachusetts. He was now five years old and very large for a golden retriever. I thought he was fat, but Bruce insisted he was just "big-boned". Either way, climbing the steep stairs at home was a challenge. Whenever Bruce and I went upstairs, Otis would sit near the bottom step, carefully calculating whether we would be on the second floor long enough to make it worthwhile to heave himself up the stairs. And on the way down the stairs, Otis was like a fully loaded eighteen-wheeler barreling down a steep hill. We just got out of his way.

But in the new Washington apartment building, Otis had an elevator. As far as he was concerned, life was sweet.”
Elizabeth Warren
“I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People—powerful people—listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders. I”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“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.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“By late 2008, one out of every five mortgage holders owed more than their homes were worth. The banks called in the loans, and the foreclosure notices piled up.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“The way I see it, no one in this country should work full-time and still live in poverty—period.”
Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
He didn't seem to understand yet was that I didn't really care about the ways of Washington.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“These families need you.” I said it quietly, and the silence stretched some more. I tried to steady my breathing. He paused again, then gave a deep sigh and said, “All right. I’ll do it. I’ll do what I can.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“The best available apples-to-apples comparison of inflation-adjusted earnings shows what the typical fully employed man earned back in the 1970s and what that same fully employed man earns today. The picture isn’t pretty. As the GDP has doubled and almost doubled again, as corporations have piled up record profits, as the country has gotten wealthier, and as the number of billionaires has exploded, the average man working full-time today earns about what the average man earned back in 1970. Nearly half a century has gone by, and the guy right in the middle of the pack is making about what his granddad did. The second punch that’s landed on families is expenses. If costs had stayed the same over the past few decades, families would be okay—or, at least, they would be in about the same position as they were thirty-five years ago. Not advancing but not falling behind, either. But that didn’t happen. Total costs are up, way up. True, families have cut back on some kinds of expenses. Today, the average family spends less on food (including eating out), less on clothing, less on appliances, and less on furniture than a comparable family did back in 1971. In other words, families have been pretty careful about their day-to-day spending, but it hasn’t saved them. The problem is that the other expenses—the big, fixed expenses—have shot through the roof and blown apart the family budget. Adjusted for inflation, families today spend more on transportation, more on housing, and more on health insurance. And for all those families with small children and no one at home during the day, the cost of childcare has doubled, doubled again, and doubled once more. Families have pinched pennies on groceries and clothing, but these big, recurring expenses have blown them right over a financial cliff.”
Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
“It’s a story about what’s worth fighting for, and how sometimes, even when we fight against very powerful opponents, we can win.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance
“The playing field isn't level, and the people at the top often don't notice that. Perspective matters—it matters. Because a multi-millionaire can say to himself, 'I give away money to the poor, and I've never shoved a poor person in line' (if rich people ever actually stand in lines)—'so I'm a good guy.' And therein lies the danger. The 'I'm a good guy' standard doesn't work. Sure, there are rich people who use their money for good causes that do nothing to advance their own financial interests. But when people with money use their money to get more money, they aren't evil, they're just acting rationally. And they're also acting rationally in the narrowest sense of that word when they use that money to buy favors from the government. But when they buy favors from the government, they are taking something that belongs to the rest of us. And when enough rich people or rich corporations buy enough favors, the whole economic and political system starts to tilt their way.

And if the American people allow this to go on long enough, there will come a point when the rich and powerful will be using so much of their money to buy so much influence over our government, that it will unwind the whole premise of democracy.

Instead of one person, one vote—giving each of us a say in how this country is run—we will become an oligarchy, a nation in which the powerful few make sure that the government runs in order to serve their interests.”
Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
“In 2016, into this tangle of worry and anger, came a showman who made big promises. A man who swore he would drain the swamp, then surrounded himself with the lobbyists and billionaires who run the swamp and feed off government favors. A man who talked the talk of populism but offered the very worst of trickle-down economics. A man who said he knew how the corrupt system worked because he had worked it for himself many times. A man who vowed to make America great again and followed up with attacks on immigrants, minorities, and women. A man who was always on the hunt for his next big con.”
Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
“she feels lucky to have a job, but she is pretty blunt about what it is like to work at Walmart: she hates it. She’s worked at the local Walmart for nine years now, spending long hours on her feet waiting on customers and wrestling heavy merchandise around the store. But that’s not the part that galls her. Last year, management told the employees that they would get a significant raise. While driving to work or sorting laundry, Gina thought about how she could spend that extra money. Do some repairs around the house. Or set aside a few dollars in case of an emergency. Or help her sons, because “that’s what moms do.” And just before drifting off to sleep, she’d think about how she hadn’t had any new clothes in years. Maybe, just maybe. For weeks, she smiled at the notion. She thought about how Walmart was finally going to show some sign of respect for the work she and her coworkers did. She rolled the phrase over in her mind: “significant raise.” She imagined what that might mean. Maybe $2.00 more an hour? Or $2.50? That could add up to $80 a week, even $100. The thought was delicious. Then the day arrived when she received the letter informing her of the raise: 21 cents an hour. A whopping 21 cents. For a grand total of $1.68 a day, $8.40 a week. Gina described holding the letter and looking at it and feeling like it was “a spit in the face.” As she talked about the minuscule raise, her voice filled with anger. Anger, tinged with fear. Walmart could dump all over her, but she knew she would take it. She still needed this job. They could treat her like dirt, and she would still have to show up. And that’s exactly what they did. In 2015, Walmart made $14.69 billion in profits, and Walmart’s investors pocketed $10.4 billion from dividends and share repurchases—and Gina got 21 cents an hour more. This isn’t a story of shared sacrifice. It’s not a story about a company that is struggling to keep its doors open in tough times. This isn’t a small business that can’t afford generous raises. Just the opposite: this is a fabulously wealthy company making big bucks off the Ginas of the world. There are seven members of the Walton family, Walmart’s major shareholders, on the Forbes list of the country’s four hundred richest people, and together these seven Waltons have as much wealth as about 130 million other Americans. Seven people—not enough to fill the lineup of a softball team—and they have more money than 40 percent of our nation’s population put together. Walmart routinely squeezes its workers, not because it has to, but because it can. The idea that when the company does well, the employees do well, too, clearly doesn’t apply to giants like this one. Walmart is the largest employer in the country. More than a million and a half Americans are working to make this corporation among the most profitable in the world. Meanwhile, Gina points out that at her store, “almost all the young people are on food stamps.” And it’s not just her store. Across the country, Walmart pays such low wages that many of its employees rely on food stamps, rent assistance, Medicaid, and a mix of other government benefits, just to stay out of poverty. The”
Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
“Enforcement isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about whether government works and who it works for.”
Elizabeth Warren

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