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Who Really Creates The Jobs in America?

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Who Are The Job Creators

The term job creators is tossed around a lot, especially during election season. But who really creates the jobs in America? It’s not who you might think.

The big business branch of the Republican party love to talk about job creators. And by job creators, they mean the mega rich like the nefarious Koch brothers. When they talk about job creators, voters eat it up. Everyone needs a job, we need to elect people who will protect people who create jobs.

Trickle Down

This is Reagan era trickle down economics. That economic breaks given to businesses and the rich will eventually “trickle down” to the rest of us. What it really means is people like the Koch brothers buy politicians via campaign contributions to make sure their corporate welfare coffers stay full while their tax rates stay low.

How much the Koch’s paid in taxes isn’t publicly available. How much they took in corporate welfare is. Good Jobs First released a report in March of 2014 showing that is was $88 million dollars. I’d link you directly to the report but the site is mysteriously offline. Hmmm. If I go missing, avenge me.

I use the Koch brothers as an example because they are so completely shameless and in your face when it comes to how they operate. But there are plenty more out there just like them.

Trickle down economics is the 1% pissing on the rest of us.

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They Don’t Have To Create Jobs

Corporate profits reached $2.1 trillion in 2013. At the same time, fewer Americans are working than any time in the past three decades. Slowly, insidiously over time, corporations have learned that they can squeeze more productivity from fewer employees while keeping wages stagnant.

Hourly wages for a big portion of American workers have stagnated or declined since 1979. Before some of you were born.

So why would these magnanimous job creators create jobs when they can get blood from stones? They wouldn’t, they haven’t, and they don’t.

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What Are They Doing With All That Extra Money?

They aren’t sharing it with employees and they aren’t creating jobs so what are big corporations doing with their tax breaks and record profits?

Well, the CEO’s are giving themselves whacking great paychecks for one thing. The average CEO compensation in 2013 was $15.2 million. Between 1978-2013, CEO compensation rose 937% compared to a measly 10.2% for the typical worker.

They’re also buying up Capitol Hill like there’s a fire sale. In 2014, Super Pacs raised more than $696 million dollars and spent nearly $347 million. Writing big checks lets them write policy too. The bill to pass legislation that rolled back parts of the Dodd- Frank laws is almost word for word what Citibank lobbyists had written it to read. The Koch brothers plan to spend $889 million in the 2016 elections.

Because the 1% have more money than they can spend, a huge portion of their wealth, that according to trickle down, should be deluging the rest of us when they pump it back into the larger economy, is instead sitting in investment accounts.

The Job Creators Kill Jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8.8 million jobs were lost during the recession. And who was in large part responsible for the melt down? Big banks because they were no longer hampered by federal regulations.

How can that be? Job creators who are unencumbered by regulation and human decency are what Republicans tell us we need so we can all have jobs and get our lazy asses off welfare. Well, the Republicans are nothing if not optimistic so they rolled back regulations put in place after 2008 and are going to give it another go! The bankers look pretty sorry for having done that and Republicans think they deserve a second chance. To nuke the economy.

So Who Are The Job Creators?

According to Nick Hanauer, it’s middle class consumers. Hanauer is what most people would consider a one percenter. He is Chairman of a family owned manufacturing company in Seattle and was an early investor in Amazon. He’s a venture capitalist who has made hundreds of millions of dollars via smart investments.

He presented a Ted Talk in 2012 that was considered so controversial it was not released. Ted’s excuse was that the talk was “too political.” Odd considering that Ted have hosted and released talks other hot button political topics including atheism, climate change, and contraception.

In the talk which you can find here, Hanauer eviscerated politicians who continue to beat the dead horse that all the economy needs to be robust is for rich people and corporations to not be hamstrung by taxes and regulations.

Hanauer disagrees. He has started scores of businesses and hired hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what those businesses sell, they go out of business. If they go out of business, jobs are lost.

The middle class buy the cars and the houses. They buy things to fill those houses up and trees and flowers to plant in the yard and all the things that Home Depot sells. They line up early to shop on Black Friday. They take vacations and buy new clothes.

When you decimate the middle class, you decimate the economy and therefore the country that we all live in. And because between corporate greed and the politicians they have bought and paid for, the American middle class is tapped out. Any extra money they have to spend is going towards paying off the $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt that almost forty million of us have.

That’s why corporate overlords and the politicians that fellate them are trying to secretly push through stuff like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The American middle class screamed uncle so now they want to extend their practices over seas.

It’s So Simple!

This is the worst part for me. Fixing the economy IS NOT DIFFICULT! We don’t need all kinds of loop holes written into the tax code. We don’t need to write complicated legislation and then hide it on page 8,375,021 of a 8,375,028 page bill that had to pass otherwise the government would shut down.

Henry Ford figured this shit out one hundred years ago. He paid his workers enough that they could afford to buy his cars which had the nice side effect of keeping his company in business. That’s it! Pay people enough so they can buy whatever it is you’re selling. Hardly rocket surgery.

So the next time you hear some politician banging on about job creators, you’ll be able to translate.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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