Two Facts

1. This Suzanna Andrews Vanity Fair profile of Elizabeth Warren is very informative, both about Warren and her journey to consumer advocate and about the systemic problems that underlie her advocacy and the Occupy Wall Street movement. I especially liked this part:
Warren was not always a critic. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Elizabeth Herring spent most of her early life performing all the good-girl Stations of the Cross. She won the Betty Crocker competitions, married for the first time at 19, had two children before she was 30, and was once a registered Republican...

It was in 1979 that Warren had her Damascene conversion—the experience that would lead her to become the nation's top authority on the economic pressures facing the American middle class, and trigger her passionate advocacy. In 1978, Congress had passed a law that made it easier for companies and individuals to declare bankruptcy. Warren decided to investigate the reasons why Americans were ending up in bankruptcy court. "I set out to prove they were all a bunch of cheaters," she said in a 2007 interview. "I was going to expose these people who were taking advantage of the rest of us." What she found, after conducting with two colleagues one of the most rigorous bankruptcy studies ever, shook her deeply. The vast majority of those in bankruptcy courts, she discovered, were from hardworking middle-class families, people who lost jobs or had "family breakups" or illnesses that wiped out their savings. "It changed my vision," she said.

From then on, Warren would focus her research on the economic forces bearing down on the American middle class.
2. This David Brooks New York Times garbage column is even more hilariously awful when read back-to-back with the above-linked piece. I especially "liked" this part:
If there is a core theme to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is that the virtuous 99 percent of society is being cheated by the richest and greediest 1 percent.

This is a theme that allows the people in the 99 percent to think very highly of themselves. All their problems are caused by the nefarious elite.
It's funny how much different things look from the ground, and from the top of an ivory tower, where one's imaginings about what it feels like to get one's hands dirty in the grassroots is no substitute for the actual feel of dirt under one's nails.

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