Consumers are the real creators of wealth and jobs

I came across this video a while ago, but was reminded of it recently when watching some awful right-winger from the Tax Payers Alliance or some other lobbyist for the top 1% going on about how we mustn’t over-tax the wealth creators. The video is of a 5 minute TED talk on inequality given by millionaire tech investor Nick Hanauer in March 2012. This talk was spiked by TED for being too ‘partisan’, but it’s a brilliant counterpoint to the spin we hear from the Government and others most days about wealth creators.

Here’s an extract from the talk:

“I have started or helped start, dozens of businesses and initially hired lots of people. But if no one could have afforded to buy what we had to sell, my businesses would all have failed and all those jobs would have evaporated.

That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is a “circle of life” like feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. In this sense, an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me.

So when business people take credit for creating jobs, it’s a little like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. In fact, it’s the other way around.

Anyone who’s ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalist’s course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it. In this sense, calling ourselves job creators isn’t just inaccurate, it’s disingenuous.”


One thought on “Consumers are the real creators of wealth and jobs

  1. Henry Ford got there first… as you doubtless know! He justified paying his workers good wages so that they could buy the Ford cars that they made. Great video clip … confounding the Deficit Hawks.

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