Sunday, April 12, 2015

The 1% are parasites

Debunking the lies about free enterprise, trickle-down, capitalism and celebrity entrepreneurs. See the Salon article. An edited excerpt:

"The rich don't generate jobs. Rising tides do not lift all boats. And they probably built that with government help."

"U.S. billionaire Nick Hanauer is refreshingly honest about this: ‘If it was true that lower taxes for the rich and more wealth for the wealthy led to job creation, today we would be drowning in jobs.’ So why hasn’t the spectacular shift in income and financial wealth to the rich over the last four decades led to unprecedented jobs growth? [...] as Nick Hanauer makes clear, hiring more workers ‘is a course of last resort for the capitalist.’ Extra workers may enable more output, but if firms can find other ways of expanding output that are cheaper, they will."

"[T]rickle down’ arguments are wrong. Yes, the rich employ a few servants and provide demand for accountants, tax advisors and luxury services, but far fewer jobs result from this than would be case if their income were redistributed back to ordinary people with a much higher propensity to consume. The best way to get money to cascade down from the rich to the rest is to tax them – or stop them extracting it in the first place! As Ann Pettifor argues, any trickle-down effect is dwarfed by the reverse ‘hoovering up’ effect of rent and interest in directing money to the wealthy."

"[I]t’s easy to swallow the usual media tales of heroic individuals doing it all themselves, or at least starting off on their own – the maverick-kids-in-garages stories. But research on innovation reveals a different picture of the involvement of multiple individuals, groups and agencies in which people interact and build on the achievements of others. If there appear to be ‘breakthroughs’ they are typically the final stage in long processes of learning that involved many people. As we’ll see in Part Two, so much of our wealth depends on those who have gone before us."

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