“Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit.”
January 27, 2012
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“Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit1.” I don’t really think there is any disagreement with the preceding statement. You might think the 99% would agree only out of selflessness, however this statement was made by someone in the top %0.1. I really don’t understand why every single person in the U.S., that gets their income and wealth from middle-class spending, isn’t clamoring for political change that will make the middle class stronger. On that:
- Attacking the budget deficit in the middle of a financial crisis/recession isn’t the right time, yet it seems like all of congress is obsessed with the idea. Obama has bowed to the pressure and included lots of spending cuts in his forthcoming budget (we don’t know exactly how much and it’s due in a week or so).
- Giving or maintaining tax cuts to the top 1% doesn’t do anything to help the middle class. Cutting taxes on the 99% would give them more disposable income to spend on products that help drive the economy.
- Moving manufacturing jobs overseas is shrinking the middle class.
If you are a rich person, your best chance to stay rich is if the middle class in America is strong. Right now it’s anything but strong.
I actually believe the top 1% think more like the author of the linked article than the cacophony of right-wing idiots that have been pushing for policies that are killing the middle class.
We need a strong and expanded middle class!
- Large corporations are enjoying record profits, so it would seem that a robust middle class isn’t required for them to turn a nice profit. This is true. Apple, for example, just announced record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion. There are enough consumers of Apple’s products to keep them very healthy, indeed. However, just walk through the downtown of any major city in America. In the San Francisco Bay Area, empty store fronts are common. I probably pass 15-20 empty store fronts on the way to work, and that’s only 2 miles from my home. In the 90’s, these store fronts were all populated with small businesses supporting their owners and employees. The current state of healthy, large businesses is misleading. There have been a huge number of corporate mergers over the last 10 years. This indicates that healthy competition wasn’t enough to keep all these companies moving forward. There used to be 10 big accounting firms, affectionately called the “Big 10.” That gave way to the “Big 8” and then the “Big 5” and then finally the “Big 4.” Banks, airlines and other large businesses have combined to reduce competition and increase prices. The average cell phone contract in the U.S. is much higher than in Europe, for example, where there is true competition among the service providers. Thankfully, the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile was stopped, or there would have become only 3 wireless providers in the US (Verizon, AT&T and Sprint).