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Talking Sense — The Myth of “Job Creators,” and Why Taxing the Rich Helps Everyone, Including the Rich

In the talk below, Nick Hanauer — an entrepreneur who was one of the first investors in Amazon.com, and who helped launched gear.com and Avenue A Media — discusses some modern myths of economics, including recently debunked austerity theories, the pseudo-religious phrase “job creators,” and why taxation not only is more fair but also creates dynamics that benefit everyone. It’s one of the most sensible talks on these topics I’ve yet heard.

This talk has been called “banned” by some who have noted it’s not featured on the TED Talks site. It is odd that it’s not posted there. Is it censorship? This certainly has raised interest in finding the talk elsewhere.

Happy Friday!

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About Kent Anderson

I am the Publisher at AAAS/Science. Previously, I have worked as CEO/Publisher of the STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Discussion

9 thoughts on “Talking Sense — The Myth of “Job Creators,” and Why Taxing the Rich Helps Everyone, Including the Rich

  1. As a business owner, I concur: absolutely true!

    Posted by bcohen99 | May 17, 2013, 7:43 am
  2. The implications of this for scholarly publishing are indeed profound.

    Posted by Nathan Whilk | May 17, 2013, 9:50 am
  3. There are those who debase evolution, plate tectonics, various aspects of physics and chemistry. All in the name of ideology. Also, there are deniers of economic reality. Though the talk may be correct, to those who are ideologues it makes no difference.

    Posted by Harvey Kane | May 17, 2013, 10:22 am
  4. This is smarmy self-agrandizing nonsense. Do the math; if AWI is around 50K, and the far left end of the curve is 0, then twice AWI is 100K….3 times AWI is 150K…. 4 times AWI is 200K….and the area under the curve is fast approaching the x-axis, as it must, if AWI is 50K and it is bounded by 0 at the far end. The rich are -already- paying the lions share of taxation on a % basis, in spite of this. You could raise the rate on fringe millionaires to 100%, and still not feed the beast, because in a nation where AWI is around $50K, that is where the taxable money is. That is why we have a regressive payroll tax which isn’t going anywhere but up.

    His same post hoc ergo proctor hoc argument can be applied to government spending; JFK’s America — a nation of 180 million people — funded a $100B in federal spending at the peak of the Cold War. TOday, a nation of 330million — not even x2 — is funding $3800B/yr in federal spending. Inflation only accounts for a factor of x7.5, so JFK’s $100B adjusts to -maybe- $1500B/yr today, and we are at $3800B/yr. It was JFK’s economies that roared, not ours. If there was anything to the myth of ‘federal stimulus’ then AMerica woould be twitching like Al Pacino in Scarface. Instead, America is floating face down like AL Pacino in the last scene of Scarface.

    We’ve run the experiment on ‘federal stimulus’ now for five years, the report card is in, and it is a massive FAIL.

    Posted by Frediano | May 17, 2013, 9:48 pm
    • A classy set of nonsense statements. Yes, 1x 50 is 50, 2x 50 is 100, 3x 50 is 150. Thanks for that. The rich are paying the lion’s share on a percentage basis because a) they are rich, so taxing them is taxing more money, and b) the progressive taxation approach accepts that the rich benefit more from the social safety net of police, firemen, and clean water, so they should pay a greater rate for these things. The rich are not superior, they just have more money to tax and make more money because we all pay for a safe society. Restoring a normal (but still lower than historical norms) progressive tax rate on high earners in the 1990s generated federal budget surpluses.

      The rest of your argument is pretentious sophistry and pure ideology.

      Posted by Kent Anderson | May 18, 2013, 3:12 pm
    • The stimulus was too little. Remember Clinton? Things were pretty good then and the deficit was going to a surplus and then along came Bush Tall talking wrong walking Bush. It is your money Bush who went to war on a credit card. Cut taxes for the wealthiest among us and we went into the toilet.

      Your argument is at best specious!

      It does not hold up to the historical record.

      Posted by Harvey Kane | May 18, 2013, 10:11 pm
      • Do you remember Clinton? He campaigned on three ‘must haves:’ 1] Stimulus Plan 2] BTU Tax 3] Nationalized Health Care. He passed -none- of them. What he -did- reasonably do is what we call the calamity of ‘sequestration’ today — he leveled off the Reagan defense buildup after the collapse of the Cold War and the end of the SOviet Union(and its failed Command and Control/centrally planned ‘The Economy’ running.’) He cut the scheduled increase in federal spending by leveling off the defense budget(as he should have in the wake of the Cold War.) Yet, he also over-reached in 93/94, and in Nov 94 got spanked for it. Then he gave the “Erah of Big Guvmint is Ovah” speech in January 1995, and the federal governemnt entered six years of harmless perseveration on the stains on chubber’s blue dress. A -relieved- nation — relieved that Clinton’s lurch left failed — breathed a sigh of relief, and its economies (sorry, Carville, but it’s ‘the economies’ not ‘the economy’ you cajan political hack idiot)grew.

        Yes, I remember Clinton– and unlike CLinton, Bush/Obama got their ‘stimulus plan’, nationalized health care, and even restored the purely symbolic 3.6% surcharge on income over 250,000/yr — that which Dr. Laura D’Andrea Tyson clearly identified in her talk at UCal/Berkley in Nov 1997 as not being anywhere near close enough to explain the surge of revenues into the treasury. But then, she’d know.

        So, yes, I remember Clinton. The question is, do any of you?

        What none of us realized when he said that ‘The Erah of Big Guvmint is Ovah’ is that Bush/Obama would be ushering in the Erah of Really Huge Government…’

        How has that been working out for the nation? We at the bottom of every hill yet?

        Posted by Frediano | May 19, 2013, 1:22 pm
  5. Bottom of the hill! We seem to be on the upswing. Of course, one can cut taxes on the wealthy some more and send us back down the hill. One can cut spending and we can see how well that worked for Europe and Japan. Or we can raise revenues. That is called a tax increase. The question is upon whom should we raise taxes. The middle class or the poor. Lets hit the poor they have little voice. Lets hit the middle class after all they spend to survive. Or we can raise taxes on the wealthy. They do after all invest off shore – just how much does Mitt have in the Bahamas or where ever? But, if we do increase their taxes they will flee the country! Where will they go and do they want to go?

    There seems to be no talk of leaving. Why Rush threatened to go but unfortunately he did not!

    Just think about 4% growth over some 5 years and the deficit is gone.

    Lets tax the wealthiest among us. In fact, many of the wealthiest have said do it. With the additional money we can rebuild our infrastructure, spurn on R&D and educate our young.

    Posted by Harvey Kane | May 19, 2013, 10:46 pm
  6. Instead of taxing, how about a more rationale approach whilst removing the middle man and all arguments about the size of government: the CEOs, etc paying themselves less and paying their workforce more. The same pot can be left for the shareholders but the wage pot is better distributed, the middle class has more to spend and, if the rich after all have limits on what they can buyas claimed in this video there is no rational argument for themselves paying themselves more.

    Other than greed, vanity and selfoishness that is.

    Posted by martin | May 21, 2013, 8:12 am

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