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As I was watching John Boehner's brief statement about the deal to keep the government going by screwing the poor and elderly out of more of the things they need to survive, I was struck by one of his statements—that this budget will "help create a better environment for job creators in our country."

"Job creators" is, of course, Republican-speak for "the wealthy." They're not greedy people hoarding the nation's resources and wealth, they're job creators who we of course need to create our jobs!

In their rhetoric about education, Republicans like to harp on "accountability." Teachers need to be accountable for raising their students' standardized test scores (even if the students don't actually learn anything useful), or they should be fired. Schools need to be accountable for raising their students' standardized test scores (even if those tests don't actually measure learning), or they should be closed and replaced with for-profit charter schools. Accountability is presented as the most important thing for these crucial edifices of our society.

So, as I watched Boehner not talk about the families who would starve because their food stamps are being cut, or the children who wouldn't get the Head Start early childhood education that could help them thrive in school, but instead talk about the "job creators," I got to thinking:

Why aren't the "job creators" being held accountable?

If their true function in our society is to "create jobs," then shouldn't they face some kind of penalty when they fail to do what we're relying on them to do?

So here is my proposal: The Job Creation Accountability Act.

Economists consider "full employment" to be somewhere around 5-6%—where just about everyone who wants a job can find one. That would be how we would define the "job creators'" success. If the Department of Labor's U6 rate—which, unlike the U3 rate, also counts people who've given up looking for work and people who are underemployed—is 8% (we're being generous here, allowing for employment as a lagging economic indicator), then the "job creators" are doing well.

But here's the accountability: If the average U6 is above 8% for a given calendar year, the income tax rate for top earners (both wage earners and capital gains) is indexed to the unemployment rate. (We create a new tax bracket for those making more than $500,000, in order to not penalize high-earning working professionals like doctors and lawyers.) At 8% unemployment, let's put the tax rate for the highest bracket at 30%; let's give them a little tax cut from the current rate for keeping everyone employed.

For every 1% increase in U6 above 8%, the marginal tax rate on the top bracket increases by 4.5%. And the money from the unemployment-indexed taxes goes to a federal job creation program that employs people by building infrastructure projects we need, like maintaining our roads and bridges, building high-speed rail, and building smart electric grids.

Here's how it would break down:

U6 Unemployment Rate Tax rate for all income above $500k+
8% 30%
9% 34.5%
10% 39%
11% 43.5%
12% 48%
13% 52.5%
14% 57%
15% 61.5%
16% 66%
17% 70.5%
18% 75%
19% 79.5%
20% 84%
(The shaded percentage is where U6 is currently, according to this chart)

This would hold "job creators" accountable: If you're performing your function in our economy and creating jobs, your taxes will be low. If you're not performing your function, your taxes will be high so your wealth "creates jobs" in other ways.

I don't think this would be a hard sell to the American people, particularly if our Democrats actually started talking about the massive wealth inequality in our nation and pointing out to regular Americans that our country isn't broke—we're just letting the very few hang on to most of our nation's wealth, instead of ensuring that it benefits everyone.

So it's time for some accountability: If the reason we keep giving the wealthy tax cuts is in the hopes that someday they'll "create jobs" for everyone, then it's about time we demand that they keep up their end of the bargain—and hold them accountable if they don't.

Originally posted to JamesGG on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by A Perfect Conversation and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's ironic, isn't it, that (40+ / 0-)

    we had full employment almost the whole time the tax rates on the rich were very high, and a stagnant economy once they were slashed.

    And yet the GOP continues to push the fallacy that low tax rates create jobs.  Pure bunkum -- why people fall for their bullshit and continue to vote against their own self-interest, I will never understand.

    Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

    by Youffraita on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:31:41 AM PDT

    •  The thing we forget about the '50s/'60s.... (43+ / 0-)

      (...and likely the subject of another article...) that the high tax rates on the rich (as high as 90% in the '50s, lowered by Kennedy to 71% in the '60s, if I'm remembering correctly) were also coupled with some pretty serious tax shelters—in which investments in industries that the government wanted to promote (back then, auto and other manufacturing) could be deducted in whole or in part from one's taxes.

      It effectively told the rich: You're going to invest in America whether you like it or not. You can either profit from it by making the investment on your own, or you can not profit from it by paying it in taxes.

      I think we could do something similar today: substantially raise income taxes on the wealthy (according to my plan above) and then add deductions for investments in green energy, mass-transit infrastructure, etc. as long as those investments went to employ only (or mostly) American union workers at good wages.

      •  I own a small business (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You tax me at the 66% rate and I am shutting it down.
        We have spent the last 11 years building this business up. My husband works 12 to 16 hours per day and in his "spare" time he farms.
        We employ 6 people.
        They will lose their jobs if something like this tax rate were done. And plenty more small businesses would do the same.
        My husband isn't going to work those kind of hours so the government can take the majority of his earnings away.
        I will put my money where I damn well please! We just bought a tractor, that puts people in that industry to work.
        Forcing people to invest in certain industries or else the govt will take their money away is not the America I grew up in.

        A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The USA for an amount of "up to and including my life." - unknown

        by AJsMom on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 02:24:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not up on the vagaries of the tax code... (12+ / 0-)

          ...but the changes I'm talking about would affect the personal income tax rates—not taxes on businesses (which I think could probably be effectively changed in order to reward employing Americans, as it looks like you and your husband are doing).

          If your business is separately incorporated from your and       your husband's personal income, then this wouldn't affect your business at all; if it isn't, then I would think that a good accountant could set it up so that you'd be able to keep things going if these changes were to go into effect.

          Also please keep in mind that this is a broad outline of a legislative idea I had, not anything approaching a final legislative plan (as if I, who don't even have representation in Congress could ever enact such a plan); it can certainly be tweaked to do things like exclude farm income from family farmers and the like. I don't think there's a need to react in such a hostile manner to a proposal like this.

          Also, as a side note: if you're older than 25 (the tax shelters of the post-WWII era were finally eliminated in Reagan's 1986 tax reform, if I recall correctly)—and since you talk about you and your husband having built up your business for more than 11 years, I'm guessing you are—an America where investments in certain industries were tax deductible actually is the America you grew up in.

          •  I wasn't clear (0+ / 0-)

            an America where investments in certain industries were tax deductible actually is the America you grew up in
            So you are saying that if you didn't invest in those certain industries, that the govt took your money?
            That isn't true!
            You were free to invest in whatever, including tax free municiple bonds which are a tax shelter.

            A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The USA for an amount of "up to and including my life." - unknown

            by AJsMom on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:36:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I understand your worry (31+ / 0-)

          I am also a small business owner, but the reality is that in this and every reasonable revenue increasing proposal I have seen the tax is focused only on income above a certain threshold--in this case over $500,000.  For any business where business profit flows through to your personal taxes (like a partnership or most LLC's or an S-Corps) that means that you are making that much after having hired and paid for all your workers, invested in equipment, paid for advertising, etc.   As our accountant likes to say "If you are clearing that kind of money after pouring everything it makes sense to in to your business and taking every tax deferred retirement option you can get, just write the check and pop the champagne."

          What I like about this idea, is that if businesses are making money and the country is doing well economically with low unemployment, we say "good job" to the business community and keep taxes low.   But if business profits are sky high--like we have in some sectors today--but that is not translating in to the benefit we have been told we are going to get with low taxes (increased job creation) taxes on the excess profit go up and can be put to use taking up the excess capacity of the economy, which is a classic conservative economic argument about creating efficiency by putting money where it is needed.

        •  Entitlement mentality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As if you owe anyone a job because you built a successful business. Business owners will hire when they have to.

          We all want to help the less fortunate and it makes sense to ask the well-off to kick in a little extra, but confiscatory tax rates on successful businesses is not the way out. People forget that nearly all wealth in this country in some fashion is created by profit-seeking businesses.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 02:51:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would beg to differ (18+ / 0-)

            If we were being told that tax cuts are good simply because the government shouldn't tax us very much ( or some other reason) I would agree with you.  But when you claim your product will deliver a result--tax cuts for the wealthy will create jobs--and you don't deliver, than we can choose to not buy the product, or ask if a different product will do a better job of delivering the goods.  As long as there are loud claims that tax policies effect job creation, and the current policies seem to be performing dismally, then we have a certain obligation to ask is there a better option.  

            If you want to suggest that tax policy and job creation should not be linked (and there may be validity to that point--I don't know), that is a different story.

            •  You are comparing apples and oranges (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              In effect you are saying that if some POLITICIANS say tax cuts create jobs and then they don't...then BUSINESSES must pay the price.
              That is ridiculous.

              A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The USA for an amount of "up to and including my life." - unknown

              by AJsMom on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:34:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE. (9+ / 0-)

                Business. schmizzness. If "business" creates jobs, then "government" creates jobs. In fact, individuals "create" jobs. It is your everyday working joe who does the labor that allows the "business" to do anything, and it is your everyday working joe who buys things that allow the "business" to exist or make any money at all. The idea that "business creates jobs" is part of the GOP/Any Rand theology of the market that makes all of us slaves to the wealthy.

                •  Demand creates jobs. (5+ / 0-)

                  And demand requires consumers with disposable income.

                  "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

                  by ahumbleopinion on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:03:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, yes (4+ / 0-)

                    and this is why if income gets completely stopped up in one area to the detriment of others--as can happen in an economy that tilts toward concentration of wealth--it is possible to have growth with very little economic activity. As long as there are consumers elsewhere (other countries where a business operates) or the growth is in industries with high perceived values you can have growth of wages for a small sector with stagnation elsewhere. The luxury goods market is a good example.   There is very little difference in the labor and material required for a $20 tie and a $200 tie--the additional value is almost all perceived with little economic activity for anyone but the brand holder (ie the worker and the material supplier are not really making anything more).   The brand holder is also probably buying $1200 shoes, so many is moving but only across the top strata.  I'm not for redistribution of wealth, but when there is huge demand in some sectors (infrastructure building, education, etc) but money doesn't follow because it is buying $200 ties and can't be bothered with taxes, we have created an inefficient market that will drag the economy down.  Public demands are as real as the demand for $200 ties and if we ignore them we create inefficiency.

              •  Those politicians' claims (6+ / 0-)

                are why the tax rates on businesses have fallen so much in the past 3 decades. Businesses are currently reaping the benefits of the political lie that lower taxes create jobs. It is time to adjust that situation. Lower taxes are not creating jobs. Therefore we should return to the rates that were in existence before that lie began dictating our economic policy.

                Then you can make your arguments about what your tax rates should be based on whatever your conception of economic justice might be, but without reaping the windfall benefits you are currently reaping from a lie.

                "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

                by NWTerriD on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:23:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  34% of nothing (7+ / 0-)

          If (theoretically) tax rates go up to 66%, then you & your husband will (supposedly) close your business down.  Period.  BUT, if you do that, you will have 34% of nothing instead of 34% of your existing income.  

          A more rational decision, in the (highly unlikely) event that taxes go up to 66%, would be to sell the business if it is no longer worthwhile to put in all that time and effort. There probably is someone out there who would happy to make 34% of your current income from the business. From a societal point of view, that is not a bad income, even though it will not be easy for you & your husband.  (I know you told us to feel sorry for your husband because the poor guy has to work such long hours, but people who work that many hours do so because they love their work.)  Your husband can always go farm full time.  (In the pre-Reagan era, farming was a good tax shelter, by the way....)

        •  Depends how you define "small business" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          judyms9, buddabelly

          and i suspect you would have nothing to worry about.  There are closely held corporations worth millions which get "small business" treatment.    I assure you, they are not "Mom & Pop" operations.

          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

          by marykk on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:17:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh please (5+ / 0-)

          You own a "small business" but your PERSONAL TAKE HOME PAY is over 500K?

          Doesn't sound very small to me.

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:10:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A lie: (7+ / 0-)
          They will lose their jobs if something like this tax rate were done.

          The tax rate is on YOUR PERSONAL TAKE HOME.
          It has NOTHING to do with the business revenues.

          A higher PERSONAL tax rate provides incentive to grow the business, hire more people, because skimming off the excess as personal profit runs into the taxes.

          Higher personal taxes PRODUCE jobs, they don't destroy them.

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:14:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There was no competition in those (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        days....we had full employment because there was no other major industrial nation that survived WWII with its infrastructure completely intact (Canada not qualifying as "major")...and the US was also a creditor nation then, in a big way.

        While I agree that a more progressive tax structure is no impediment to jobs (though the one in the diary is not workable), comparing now to the 1960s is very much apples to oranges.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 02:33:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wasn't doing an apples-to-apples comparison... (7+ / 0-)

          ...and I'd be the first to acknowledge that if we were to bring back a structure of legal tax shelters like we had back in the 1950s-60s, there would need to be some major tweaks—not only because of the lack of international competition, but also because of globalized communication infrastructures and the like.

          But I think the broad idea—in which there's a basic legal, economic, and cultural understanding that the wealthy and the business community have a responsibility to invest in the country's future and the country's workforce—is a principle we can accept and espouse as progressives that can appeal to Americans across the board.

      •  A definite yes on tax shelters (0+ / 0-)

        If you're too lame to show up at a ribbon cutting, yer money probably isn't helping America.

  •  Jobs (13+ / 0-)

    America needs a policy to force the rich to return their hoards to the spending stream and so I like your idea, although I think you are awfully generous. The corporate media is partly responsible because none of them would consider publishing a piece like yours.

    One of their biggest annoyances comes when they treat jobs as a generic entity because many of the new jobs like last months were at restaurants, accommodations, gambling and recreation all with low pay.

    •  That's why I use U6. (15+ / 0-)
      One of their biggest annoyances comes when they treat jobs as a generic entity because many of the new jobs like last months were at restaurants, accommodations, gambling and recreation all with low pay.

      U6 includes the underemployed—those with part-time work who want to go full-time but can't. I think we could envision a similar index to differentiate between low-pay, low-job-security jobs with no benefits and the living-wage jobs with benefits we all deserve.

      And I'm generous because I think we need a carrot for the rich here too... if they do create jobs, their taxes are lower than they are now. Additionally, when we have higher employment overall, revenue also goes up... whatever we'd lose from taxing the rich at a lower rate, we'd gain back from having more middle-class families earning middle-class wages and paying middle-class taxes.

      In other words, in this scenario, when the "job creators" are creating jobs, everyone wins—the workers, the middle class, the wealthy, and the government. But when the "job creators" aren't creating jobs, as is the case right now, it is they—not everyone else—who bear the responsibility for their failure to fulfill their function in our economy.

      •  Full time employment at minimum wage (5+ / 0-)

        will not support me, much less a family.  Bare employment numbers are probably not enough given the rules lawyering attitude we've seen from the plutocrats.  Better wage protection is a must.  Otherwise, eventually your proposition translates to corporations hiring swaths of people at minimum wage to keep employment numbers up, because it's cheaper than paying the taxes on the billions they're making from those same workers time and effort.  The system needs to include some sort of sturdy and representative quality of life index.

        "Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground." - Fredrick Douglass

        by Strange New World on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 02:58:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Job creators"? (17+ / 0-)

    Yeah, I guess they are creating LOTS of jobs. Trouble is, they're all in India or China, or somewhere. Just not here. :(

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 01:08:07 PM PDT

    •  Yep. It's time for responsibility and patriotism. (16+ / 0-)

      It's time to return to expecting American business to put country before profits, hiring good American workers to put in a good day's work for a good day's pay.

      It's time for a broader sense of the responsibility of business—to add to a business's fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders the notion that all American businesses are responsible for the long-term financial health and well-being of America, by hiring Americans to build the middle class.

      These aren't left-wing values, these are American values—hard work, responsibility, patriotism, fairness. Why aren't we demanding that these also be the values put on display by American business for the world to see?

    •  Only 0.5% of US Direct Investment is in India (0+ / 0-)

      Dirt poor people anywhere on the planet should not have to remain dirt poor forever.

      by iceweasel on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:32:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't mean to seem like I was picking on India (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NWTerriD, iceweasel

        I should have said foreign investment in general. I do know that a lot of jobs have been sent there, however.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:39:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  qwerty (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks for your response.

          "I do know that a lot of jobs have been sent there, however."

          That's what people keep saying over and over, but it isn't an accurate or well-considered perspective (and amounts to highly unfair scapegoating of India, which is still a very poor country with one of the lowest per-capita GDPs in the world), as the US exports a ton of things to India and those exports help create and support a significant number of American jobs.

          India and the US have a fairly small (about 1.5% US exports in goods and services go to India and about 1.5% of US imports in goods and services come from India) and relatively balanced trade exchange in goods and services.

          Here is a chart of US' trade since 1999 that I had made a few months ago (needs to be updated with the full 2010 data that is now available):


          Please feel free to explore these data sources for yourself:
          -- BEA's trade data
          -- 2010 goods trade

          Dirt poor people anywhere on the planet should not have to remain dirt poor forever.

          by iceweasel on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:07:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I really like this idea, or something like it (8+ / 0-)

    Cool diary.

    "What is essential is invisible to the eye."

    by greywolfe359 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 01:10:23 PM PDT

    •  Thanks :-) Tell your friends. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, kdub, PZinOR, buddabelly, GammaRae

      I'd like to think (perhaps too optimistically) that this is something that honest conservatives (and I know they're out there) could get behind.

      If they truly believe that the wealthy are "job creators," then they should have no problem demanding that the "job creators" put their money where their mouth is.

      •  The people who own our politicians (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        forbodyandmind, GammaRae

        do not demand lower taxes because they believe it will create jobs. They demand lower taxes because they want more money. If "honest Republican" politicians agree to raise taxes, their corporate masters will simply replace them with someone more compliant.

        "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

        by NWTerriD on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:33:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Accountability is for suckers... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Josiah Bartlett, demnomore

    ...and Democrats.  But my republican't friends would say I'm being redundant...

    •  No, accountability is for people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ken in MN

      who don't own the system that demands the accountability.

      The corporate overlords own the system; therefore they will never be subjected to accountability requirements. They impose accountability requirements on us teachers -- and then refuse to provide us with the resources we need to meet those requirements -- so they will have an excuse to fire us and turn our schools into profit-making centers for themselves.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:35:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good thinking (24+ / 0-)

    Reward performance rather than wishes and good intentions.  

    On a related note--bear with the side stream a moment.  I am one of those proverbial small business owners.  We create a lot of jobs, considering how small we are.  Most of our jobs are created by funneling work to other owner/operators who we understand are our equals, even if we are the umbrella under which all the work is done.  (We are in construction and something must be working because last year was our best year yet--and all of our subs ended with bonuses). All of us make pretty good money--comfortably in the 80th-85th percentile--but none of us are raking it in like the big corporate guys.  Occasionally we get someone who complains that they can't make it  under the same circumstances as the rest of is have been doing just fine in.  They typically complain that we are squeezing too hard or that they are too regulated or too overtaxed.  Invariably when we try to solve the problem, it is attributable to 1.) low worker productivity due to bad planning or poor oversight; 2.) a fundamental lack of understanding of how their "numbers" really work (it's shocking how many people blame regulation and taxes when they really just don't understand their books); or 3.) they have an unrealistic expectation of what they "should" be making.

    The point is that we, and our subs, create a lot of lucrative employment and we don't need bucketloads of excess low-tax profit to do it.  We need customers, economic activity, a realistic sense of what is enough, a good handle on the technical and financial realities of our business, and a willingness to work together to make sure we all stay afloat.

    Low tax rates produce none of these things.

    I am sick of being lectured by folks on the right who seem to lack a fundamental understanding of business (Gingrich, Palin, Bachmann, Pawlenty) have declared bankruptcy over and over (Trump), or made money by stabbing their fellow Americans in the back (Romney).

  •  novel idea (12+ / 0-)

    nice linkage:   U6 == Tax Rates

    could even work if it ever got off the ground.

    I've just like to see an Accountability Stat for each Corporate Tax evaders:

    Number Jobs created at Home / Number Jobs created Overseas

    Now that would be ONE interesting metric,

    call it the U.S. Jobs Destruction Ratio, perhaps.

    Thanks JamesGG for the "creative" post

    Got Time?
    Take ten, to find something else informative and fun to read. Thx.

    by jamess on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 01:46:00 PM PDT

  •  Oooh. I love this idea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG, antirove

    Let's see them put their money where their mouths are.

    Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we will!

    by Sister Havana on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 01:57:32 PM PDT

  •  I love the notion... (6+ / 0-)

    ...and I'm glad you've picked up on what Republicans are really talking about when they refer to "job creators." Having said that, if Republicans were really THAT serious about reducing our debt, they'd roll back the Bush tax cuts for the richest 1 percent to the rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president. Without calling for that, Republicans have no right to continue to spreading the lie that their party is for financial responsibilities

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." -Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by alaprst on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 02:00:13 PM PDT

  •  Rich people do NOT create jobs (16+ / 0-)

    This is easy to prove: America is the richest nation in the world and we have 16% effective unemployment.

    No, the reality is that CUSTOMERS create jobs and, as Henry Ford understood, if you don't pay your workers enough to buy the cars they make, you don't sell many cars.

    Every economy needs three things to succeed: Entrepreneurs, workers and customers. In a healthy economy, all three work TOGETHER to create prosperity for all. In a SICK economy, the playing field is tilted toward only ONE of the essential groups.

    In the old Soviet Union, the economy was tilted toward a fantasy vision of "the worker" and, even though the communist apparatchicks exploited this fallacy for their own ends, much as America's elite capitalists do today, the inability to innovate, to try new things and even fail, without the blessings of the all-powerful state caused the economy to fail utterly.

    In America today, a fantasy version of "capitalism" and the "entrepreneur" is hamstringing our economy. By pretending that what our glorious corporate leaders do is anything like actual capitalism, and because they are allowed to be "too big to fail" and can only "fail upward," they have repeatedly stabbed America in the back, stealing their prosperity, not earning it.

    Until America once again embraces strong unions and free workers, and begins to use its prosperity to reward workers, as well as entrepreneurs, and thus provide our nation with the prosperous customers it need to drive the economy,  we will continue to sputter and die as a nation.

    •  Well said, Captain. Another truly sad byproduct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of the radical and growing income inequality is that at some point it tamps down the drive for the top.  That is to say that if the gradations of prosperity are removed, the folks at the bottom see no ladder upward and doubt there can be any giant leap for them, so why bother.  They accept that the best they can be is perhaps the top of the bottom.  Sports and rock stardom seem to be the only way to launch to the top.

    •  Please (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      turn this awesome comment into a diary.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:43:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  JamesGG, you should have Immelt's job. (8+ / 0-)

    Your diary and canoedog's comment are 2 of the best things I've ever read on here.

    I wish there was some way to put you two out on the road doing an educational tour for the electorate.

    •  GE, taxes, and loopholes (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, zett, organicus, demnomore

      Seems there should be an alternative minimum tax for large corporations too.  Besides GE, I think Google also paid very little in U.S. taxes last year.  I'm just surprised more people aren't outraged at this kind of tax dodging.

      On another note, my state allows individuals a lifetime deduction of up to $200k for contributing to a child's college savings plan.  For most of us, those contributions, if you can afford it, are a few thousand dollars spread out over several years and it's doubtful we ever hit the maximum.  However, I know a high income individual who 'invested' the maximum $200k in a lump sum one day, took it out the next week for his son/daughter's college expenses,  then legally claimed the deduction on his taxes.  Currently there's no time limit on how long the 'savings' has to stay there, but clearly the intent was for families to save for college over a period of time.  The wealthy have so many options to avoid paying taxes or to abuse the system, putting the burden on the rest of us.  In this case, more subsidies for the wealthy.

  •  Ah, hell (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kdub, NWTerriD, Rebecca, demnomore

    why not just recommend progressive taxation?

    There is no doubt in the real world that low taxes for rich people has the effect of lowering employment, and high taxes leads to job creation.

    Just because someone owns a company does not make that person a "job creator."  Many company owners inherited firms from entrepreneurs who built them (and actually created jobs) so there must be incentives for those people to continue to invest in human capital. Letting them take the money and run is the worst possible incentive for hiring, training, developing new products and markets anyone can think of.

    People who own companies are "profit creators" and if creating that profit means firing workers or off-shoring production or breaking up a company and selling the pieces, they won't hesitate.

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:09:47 PM PDT

  •  Job creators my ass. They benefit hugely and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    get rich by being able to do business in this country.  We don't owe them any tax breaks.  None !  We don't owe them shit !!
    For the most part they are greedy pilferers and plunderers continually corrupting our government with bribes.   The GOP are depraved disillusioned idiots. You know what I would tell a corporation that ships it's jobs overseas; hey buddy the tax on your products just went up in this country.  And the tax will go up in proportion that you are an ex-US entity.  If you don't like it, don't sell your products here; good riddance and good luck.  Go exploit some other country and bribe its politicians. And by the way, you can tell your corporate friends the same thing goes for them.  And I would tell the Oil companies also, that if you foul our waters and damage our environment you will pay for every cent of damage we find, no matter how long after the accident the damage is discovered. There are no settlements with bullshit estimates of damage and no statute of limitations on time or amount of damages you are responsible for.  You destroy our environment and you will be fucked, big time !
    As for the miserable banks, who produce NOTHING, except line their own pockets at the expense of others and their victims I would tell them this.  You can pay your executives whatever you like.  But there will be no more megabanks that have to get bailed out or are too big to fail.  And if you get caught doing any bullshit fraudulent credit default  swaps or we find any phony credit ratings on your bullshit financial products, or if you get caught unfairly screwing homeowners with fraudulent mortgage practices,  there will be no fines.  Instead the guilty parties will have their ass thrown into jail next to Bernie Madoff, for a long, long time.  

  •  Technically he's not lying (7+ / 0-)
    I was struck by one of his statements—that this budget will "help create a better environment for job creators in our country."

    I was struck by this statement too, like with a 2x4 to the side of the head. Especially when you translate as you have 'job creators' to 'the wealthy', sure, it DOES create a better environment for them. It doesn't actually create jobs, but yes indeed, it does create a better environment for them.  And thank God for that, even if granny has to starve so that they can have a 'better environment'.

    "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:27:46 PM PDT

  •  And rescind all tax incentives when they ship (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, forbodyandmind, demnomore

    jobs overseas. If they give away American jobs, then access to the American market should be more expensive.

    Good idea and well done using their memes. This should get passed around to our congress critters to get them being proactive instead of stuck being reactive the way they have been, allowing the wingnuts to control the conversation.

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

    by FarWestGirl on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 04:19:01 PM PDT

  •  The problem I have with diaries like this is ... (11+ / 0-)

    ... they are so intelligent, obvious and full of common sense that it is painful to read them.

    The pain comes from knowing full well that, for the most part, our elected "representatives" are not only NOT reading these diaries and giving some time to all the brilliant writers and ideas present here ...

    ... they actually have contempt for us, and patronisingly feel that "we just don't understand the realities involved."

    And then, in completely predictable fashion, they can always be counted on to do the opposite, doing the dumbest possible thing in any given situation.  (We're in a recession?  Suddenly worry about the deficit!!!  Wall Street banks destroyed the economy with their greed?  Give them even more money and power!  Health insurance companies and costs are crippling our economy?  Give them a large hand in solving the problem!  The war strategy in Afghanistan is obviously not working?  Do it even more until it starts working!  And so on ...)

  •  It's something I tell you. A real (0+ / 0-)

    war of ideology being forced on 'the people'. Hmm! Is that how it works?  That's why these guys can't be let to get too comfortable in office.

    God is good. If it isn't good. It isn't God.

    by publicv on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:05:13 PM PDT

  •  "Tax Shelter" used to mean investment in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TimothyHorrigan, GammaRae

    real economy. As long as it meant long-term GDP growth, you could fund as many Chakra Centers as your accountant could devise.

    Perhaps we could offer those poor, poor bankers—oppressed as they are by public school teachers—some 'tax shelters.'

    As Dr. Krugman keeps trying to pointing out, employment is not a zero-sum game.

  •  Wages are a key piece, as some have noted (0+ / 0-)

    Employees are also known as consumers, and since we've moved from a manufacturing/exports economy to one based on consumer spending, it seems rather obvious what the ultimate effect will be of keeping workers' wages at subsistence levels. Cheap crap from China seems to have replaced religion as the 'opiate of the masses.' Not TOO many are starving in this as long as we the people have bread and circuses, so to speak, the empire thinks it is secure. Some of us, however, remember some other things about We, the People, and would like to restore government of, by, and for, US.

    My body may be a slave to capitalism, but my brain will never be.

    by GammaRae on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 09:17:44 PM PDT

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