Classic Who: Rich Guy on How Middle Class Stalwarts Are Job Creators

Job Creators
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Donald Trump is a self-proclaimed billionaire real estate mogul turned reality television star, who just happens to be the president of the United States. On Celebrity Apprentice, he did the hiring and firing. People believe that he is rich. Therefore, as he loved to repeat on the campaign trail, he was God’s gift for job creation. For all his chaffing against the GOP establishment, he is the living embodiment of the Republicans’ core mantra: the rich are the job creators; so don’t tax us. Unleashing the rich will be good for everyone. Trust us.

Unfortunately, this economic theory has a track record that can be easily consulted. For nearly the past 50 years in America, the rich have been getting richer and the poor poorer, while the middle class is being slowly shuffled out of existence. In the quest for higher profits, US corporations and their CEO figureheads have been working for their shareholders, who expect gains. Whether those gains are at the expense of the workers of those corporations, or whether they are bad for the environment, is not part of the equation.

But it’s not just the corporations to blame. Post-2008, Republican politicians are still holding fast to a bygone Chicago-school economic theorem which finds the rich at the center of a deregulated, laissez-faire economic solar system, with the masses in locked orbit. A paradigm shift is still struggling to take hold. But the fault lines in a post-Soviet world economic order are showing.

In the 2016 US presidential election, and ongoing elections worldwide, it has become evident that the masses are fed up, angry, and are desperately looking for the answer to their economic woes. Nothing else explains how a reality TV star could become the president, and a self-proclaimed socialist could almost clinch the Democratic nomination. Similar patterns are playing out worldwide.

The irony is that these policies are harmful to the elite themselves. If disorder reigns and the masses can’t afford to buy their products while trying to survive on $7.25 an hour, it hurts their bottom line. But don’t be mistaken, some of the wealthiest Americans have themselves been raising red flags. Here’s just one recent example.

Nick Hanauer makes thousands of times what most Americans make. But he isn’t eager to hire people. And his family only owns a few cars, a normal wardrobe, and eats out occasionally, like everybody else. Thus, he doesn’t spend a lot. So please explain how taxing him lightly creates a benefit for the rest of us?

Click on the screen below to watch this talk.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from men in top hats (Photos of the Past / Flickr).

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3 responses to “Classic Who: Rich Guy on How Middle Class Stalwarts Are Job Creators”

  1. alanstorm says:

    Lovely article – full of the author’s opinions, with citations exclusively from other lefties who share those opinions.

    Gotta love the graph at the top, too – has anyone ever told the author that correlation isn’t causation?

    This is my favorite part: “Nick Hanauer makes thousands of times what most Americans make. But he isn’t eager to hire people. And his family only owns a few cars, a normal wardrobe, and eats out occasionally, like everybody else. Thus, he doesn’t spend a lot. So please explain how taxing him lightly createsa benefit for the rest of us?”

    Taxing him lightly probably doesn’t create much of a benefit. However, unless you are prepared to argue that every wealthy person is exactly like him, you are punching a strawman.

    Keep trying. The fact remains that taxing the wealthy at a higher rate is simply using the bank robber’s rationale – “That’s where the money is.” – and is equally immoral. The fact also remains that poor people don’t do ANY hiring, and starting, enlarging or maintaining a company costs money. The idea that government can spend it better richly deserves a place on the trash heap with Santa Claus and the Easter bunny.

    • Thoughtopsy says:

      Sure buddy.
      And people who have more expensive cars being required to pay more for car insurance is the Insurance Companies using the bank robber’s rationale and “going where the money is”… moron.
      You obviously have not considered the “fair use” idea that those who use a greater amount of the things provided by the government/public good to earn their larger incomes should pay markedly more?
      It’s odd you’re that stupid given the Republicans generally love “user pays” concepts.

      – John lives at home and makes wood carvings to sell. He makes 10K a year. He uses a couple of roads, and some limited infrastructure and the postal service.

      – Allan runs a giant national corporation selling widgets. He makes 4 billion a year. His trucks use almost every highway and bridge in America. His R&D relies on previous work done by government scientists. 80% of it’s workforce is educated in public schools. Some get government grants. Others receive healthcare through government subsidies. Others through employee-subsidized insurance paid for by the government. His company relies on multiple forms of infrastructure paid for by the government.

      John could probably get by with less “help” from the government.
      Allen’s company would die immediately if it didn’t have the multiple benfits of all of the things underlying it’s ability to do business.

      Get it yet? These “taxpayers” are not the same. And YES. Someone making 4 billion, who is utterly reliant on the environment, infrastructure, education, law enforcement and everything else provided by a first world democracy should pay progressively more the more of those common good services and resources they need.

      As for the rest of your drivel…
      Ensuring it’s harder for the poor to:
      – become educated for those jobs you allude to…
      – start a company that employs other people…
      – survive long enough to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs…
      …by stripping funding from programs that support those things will absolutely keep that part of the population poor… whether they want to be or not.

      How clever is it when you’re arguing for the “Captain’s of Ego” to create 20,000 more (illusory) jobs, if the people who need them aren’t educated enough to work in them????

      Conversely, giving those funds to the already wealthy to supposedly “trickle down” in the form of jobs and economic growth actually results in stockpiling of cash to purchase the competition and create monopolies to boost profits by gouging the consumer/customer, and/or buybacks of companies own shares to boost stock prices and thereby CEO compensation packages.

      All this research on what wealthy people and corporations do with lower taxes is freely available. As are numerous graphs on the effect of both higher and lower taxation on economic growth over history. These figures ARE NOT KEPT SECRET, pinhead.

      I agree that correlation indeed does not imply causation… however when the economy grows under pretty much every tax increase… and that growth rate reduces whenever taxes are lowered… you begin to look like you’re scrabbling around for evidence to support ideology…

      How about a counter example:
      Tell me how brilliantly Kansas is going under your theory of lowering taxes to stimulate jobs and the economy…
      I bet it’s going great, right?

      What about Louisiana…?
      Where Jindal implemented about half of Brownback’s agenda?
      Bet that state is also in massive growth due to all the super stimulating tax cuts… right?

      Here correlation IS causation.
      Your ideas are stupid and wrong.
      The “Laboratories of Democracy” have spoken.

  2. George W Obama says:

    If tax cuts for the wealthy created jobs we would all have 3 jobs each…. oh wait.. we do. The jobs created by trickle down economics don’t pay anything so you have to work 3 just to scrape by.

  3. VoxFox says:

    Nick Hanauer is a rare guy: an honest millionaire who tells the Truth that most
    rich people know but are too ashamed (or afraid) to talk about.
    We now have had over 35 years of Bogus Chicago-School economic nonsense
    and the data now shows they were completely wrong. Friedman was an Evil Dwarf.
    Only ideological reactionaries can prefer their ‘freedom’ (market) theories and ignore real data.
    Is it too much to hope that academic economists admit they were WRONG and start teaching
    real-world economics? (OR, will they just keep supporting the Status Quo??).