Sorry fellow Progressives, Liberals & Democrats. The sad truth is, Job Creation is a corporate shell game unwittingly adopted by many of us, designed to perpetuate the Conservative Nanny State. Job creation sounds really nice, is politically expedient, but unfortunately is just another iteration of the thoroughly debunked “trickle down” economic theory. Feel like you’re getting pissed on? That’s trickle down economics happening to you.
But here’s how the argument goes:
1. Lower taxes on people with gobs of money.
2. They will suddenly burst into a fever pitch of hiring many many workers to make or do new stuff.
3. Those new workers will pay new taxes.
4. Which will pay for the revenue gap created by lowering taxes on people with gobs of money.
This is trickle down, voodoo, supply side economics at its worst. It has never ever worked! Ever! And the best example is the Bush tax cuts. Between 2001 & 2007 (the Bush years, remember?) the top 400 income recipients saw their after tax income skyrocket 476%. During the same period, median family income soared, well . . . zero %. The economy shed millions of jobs & trillions of dollars in wealth. What happened?
1. The people (which includes multi-national corporations, according to our “Supreme” court) with gobs of money kept almost five times as much of it, sheltering it in offshore accounts, trusts & other tax-avoidance schemes. They are no happier than before. (The corporations, of course, feel absolutely nothing even though they are people.)
2. Rather than creating jobs, they squeezed down existing wages & benefits using the threat of unemployment as leverage.
3. People who actually work for a living saw their real income shrink or stay flat, or
4. They lost their jobs, their asses & their homes. They are much less happy than before.
5. Thereby decreasing demand for goods, stifling economic growth & decreasing tax receipts.
6. Go to #1.
Henry Ford recognized that production- or supply -does not create demand, or jobs. Purchasing power creates demand, which increases prices, production and economic growth. So he paid his employees much higher wages than his competitors because he wanted his employees to be able to afford his cars! You know the rest of the story.
Here’s the key issue: do we want a country that rewards hard work, intelligence, creativity and teamwork? Or do we want a country, like we have now, that rewards being rewarded? Seriously. The argument against taxing the wealthy is that it would be “punishing success”. Oh spare me. Inheriting $50 mil. is “success”? Cashing in $100 mil. in stock options is “success”? Does anyone really believe Mitt Romney “earned” $20.9 mil. last year? What value did he create in return? Would he have “worked” any less hard for $10 mil.? In truth, virtually all of the $20.9 mil. was passive income that would have come in even if both he and his wife had been in comas. That’s how valuable they were in the marketplace of labor. What we are really rewarding is narcissism, plain and simple.
The rich in character, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, recognize that their massive wealth would have been impossible without public resources. They recognize their obligation to the system which enabled their vast wealth. Too bad this enlightened view isn’t more contagious.