The libertarian conspiracy...
(Shall I work that phrase into every post from now on? Well, I'll try
...has spent millions of dollars making the public believe that rich people are "job creators." When Nick Hanauer
-- a billionaire venture capitalist, and thus presumably not a Jesus-hating Marxist -- offered up a challenge to that doctrine in his TED talk, he was censored. Reason given: His view was "too controversial."
Oh really? Here's a sample of what he said:
I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is a "circle of life" like feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. In this sense, an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me.
So when businesspeople take credit for creating jobs, it's a little like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. In fact, it's the other way around.
Anyone who's ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalists course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it. In this sense, calling ourselves job creators isn't just inaccurate, it's disingenuous.
For crying out loud. That's
I can recall a time when that sentiment would have been considered about as controversial as saying that water is wet. Back in the '70s, a politician might have said those exact same words from the podium at the Republican convention. Everyone in the audience would have thought: "Of course. In the end, it's all about the consumer. The customer is king."
Now, we live in an age when the average consumer is considered an impediment to the efficient running of the economy. On Wall Street, the bankers treat their customers the way grifters treat rubes -- or, better, the way muggers treat muggees.
The only thing holding back hiring is lack of demand. The problem is not
unions or regulations or unpredictability or sunspots or an imminent
attack from Loki and the Chitauri. The problem is the fact that Mr.
and Ms. Average don't have any long green in their wallets. The Libertarians want all workers to segue into the lumpenprole lifestyle, sleeping in old cars and feasting on cold hot dogs -- and then those same "conservative" geniuses cannot understand why the working class no longer purchases goods and services.
TED stands revealed as just another libertarian propaganda forum. Awful Ayn used to exist on the fringe; now, from beyond the grave, she sets the party line. Deviationists must be re-educated or sent to Lubianka. To paraphrase Dick Nixon, we're all Randroids now.