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The Rich Are The Job Creators

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The Rich Are The Job Creators

Postby HC5CA » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:02 am

Everybody knows the rich are the job creators. For example, they create jobs for accountants who count their money. They create jobs for bankers who invest it. They create jobs for staff at non-profits who give some of it away to causes the rich choose. They create jobs for man servants, chauffeurs and maids. They create jobs for hotel staff in exotic locales. They create jobs for makers of luxury sailboats, jet planes and automobiles. They create jobs for the artists whose paintings grace the walls of their mansions. Sometimes, if they are entrepreneurs, which the overwhelming majority are not, they create jobs in start-up companies which later become bigger companies if people buy the goods & services the company offers. Where would we be without the job creators?

One rich man has dared to preach the message that it's the middle class who are the job creators. How does that work? Straightforwardly, the middle class creates the demand for goods & services provided by those who start businesses. His name is Nick Hanauer, and he believes taxes should be raised on the job creators rich so the government can continue to pay for programs which support the middle class.

Before I go on with this farce, I should state the obvious because if I don't, some commenter will. So here it is.

The rich are not the job creators, outside a relatively few entrepreneurs like Hanauer. The rich and those who serve them want you to believe they are job creators to thwart any effort to confiscate some of their money (e.g. raise their taxes). The statement "the rich are the job creators" is thus a form of self-serving propaganda promulgated by those hired by the rich to spread that message.

In standard neo-Keynesian economics, the middle class are indeed the "job creators" in the sense just described. There is nothing controversial about this view, except insofar as it runs afoul of the self-serving propaganda mentioned just above.

Months ago I watched Nick Hanauer deliver his uncontroversial message on the Daily Ticker (video below). I thought about using it at the time but didn't because there didn't seem to be anything new or interesting going on, outside the angle that a rich entrepreneur was saying his own taxes should be raised. In addition, taxing the rich has become a highly politicized issue, and as a result everyone who talks about it is completely confused, as we shall see. As I've repeatedly said, politics makes you stupid.

So why am I revisiting this issue today? Well, it seems that Nick Hanauer delivered his uncontroversial message at the March TED conference and "TED organizers chose not to share [the talk] online" according to Lauren Kelley of Alternet.

So it is disappointing, if not terribly surprising, to hear that TED organizers originally chose not to share online what sounds like an important talk on income inequality, after initially expressing enthusiasm for the talk. The National Journal had the story:

TED organizers invited a multimillionaire Seattle venture capitalist named Nick Hanauer – the first nonfamily investor in – to give a speech on March 1 at their TED University conference. Inequality was the topic – specifically, Hanauer’s contention that the middle class, and not wealthy innovators like himself, are America’s true “job creators”….

TED officials told Hanauer initially they were eager to distribute it. “I want to put this talk out into the world!” one of them wrote him in an e-mail in late April.

And here's a follow-up from the National Journal.

NJ's report Wednesday that a "TED talk" on widening income inequality was too controversial to be posted on has created a modest stir on the Internet. has launched a petition urging organizers to publish the speech by Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. News outlets have offered to film the talk and post it. Several political and business blogs have picked up the story.

We'll have much more to tell you very soon about Hanauer, his message, and the powerhouse research that supports his radical idea that the middle class is essential to economic growth.
In the meantime, here's a little more clarity on why TED curator Chris Anderson chose not to air Hanauer's talk.

[My note: The National Journal then published the full text of Chris Anderson's e-mail to Hanauer, which describes his rationale for not putting the video on the TED website.]

Did you catch that? The powerhouse research that supports [Hanauer's] radical idea that the middle class is essential to economic growth. The idea that the rich should be taxed to support the middle class used to be a radical idea—during the French Revolution. However, the French decided to simplify things. The late 18th century was a simpler time. Instead of taxing the rich, the French cut off their heads. Problem solved!

As to why TED organizer Chris Anderson will not put up Hanauer's talk on the TED website, the answer is quite simple. As intrepid Alternet reporter Lauren Kelley strongly implies but never quite gets around to saying, telling the wealthy elites who run and attend the TED conference that their taxes should be raised is not a message those elites want to hear. Read Chris Anderson's astonishingly abject e-mail if you want the details. For example, he says that taxing the rich is a political issue, but TED is not a political conference. Oh, my!

And that, ladies and gentleman, describes the level of sophistication of political discourse in the United States today. Let me give you the bottom line. The rich have us over a barrel. We are hosed. And only in these unfortunate but entirely predictable circumstances could a political debate as stupid as this one take place.

Here are both videos, first the Daily Ticker interview and then Hanauer's TED talk.

Link: ... ators.html


"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." :-)
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