This is a post written by Avishai Shuter, and up-and-coming zoologist who lives in his parents house while trying to get a job with the Bronx Zoo.
I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about the class-warfare initiated by your friendly neighborhood super billionaire, Warren Buffett. Buffet has called on the government to start taxing him and his mega-rich friends a bit more in an attempt to make some sort of dent in the national deficit, which as you all know has reached see how much we could get for the Statue of Liberty in a yard sale levels.
The Republican Issue and Response
The issue, Republicans (aka FOX News) claim, is that if we start increasing taxes on millionaires of the country, we are in actuality taking money out of the pockets of job creators. Conservatives are apparently of the position that if the rich are taxed by even a fraction more, they will cease to create jobs for all the peasants depending on them for sustenance.
Wait, what? Warren Buffett even addressed this in his open letter. I’ve heard TV personalities argue this point by saying that the job creators, in actuality, often downsize in an attempt to increase profits. But this line of thought skips over a fairly obvious problem with the Legend of the Job Creators (movie rights still for sale).
The Rich Don’t Create Jobs
If you work for Apple, it doesn’t matter how much money Steve Jobs has. Your salary isn’t coming out of his pocket. The mega-rich often make their money by being in charge of companies (as well as personal investing of the money they’ve made), while the opposite is much more unusual. They’re on the company payroll as much as anyone else.
Now, I’m not denying that the mega-rich create some jobs (I’m sure Bill Gates has a small army of cleaning ladies sweeping his massive house. Hell, he could probably pay the US Army to do it), but I would be very interested to see what percentage of Americans are directly employed by these millionaires and multi-millionaires. My guess is not really enough to qualify them as Job Creators. For that matter, how many jobs does one have to create in order earn that title? How many families employ full-time housekeepers or gardeners?
Are they job creators? Do they qualify for massive tax breaks?
Additionally, as many have pointed out recently, the wealth of the top 1% of the country roughly equals the wealth of the bottom 50%. Now, while the net worth of the two groups may be the same, their effects on the economy are staggeringly different.
This is another obvious, though overlooked, fact. The larger group of people is going to have a larger affect on the economy as a whole (and subsequently on jobs) than the small, very wealthy, group. McDonald’s doesn’t make money because rich people buy their food, they make money because a lot of people buy their food.
The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t live and work within an economic system based on serving the rich. It’s OK for people to become very wealthy, and they shouldn’t suffer for it (although compared to the disappearing middle class, I can hardly call increased taxes on billionaires suffering).
But our economic system doesn’t, and shouldn’t, revolve around millionaires and billionaires. I’m not quite sure why conservatives are so adamant about turning less wealthy Americans into serfs, and I don’t see the reason for it. The top 2% aren’t separate from the economy, they’re part of it as much as anyone else.