The Rich Do Not Create Jobs

Republicans are fond of saying that Democrats are promoting “job-killing” programs, or if you raise taxes on the rich, it will “kill jobs”.  Remember the clever slogan back in 2003 about never getting a job from a poor person?

Remember the promises that if you just cut the taxes on the rich, they will provide more and more jobs?

The exact opposite occurred — as predicted — and jobs simply started going away.  Away to China.  And India.   All that money the rich got to keep didn’t go back into investing in labor, equipment, and materials here in the US, it mostly went into the stock market.

You see, it used to be, that taxes were high enough that there was an incentive for companies to keep their money in the business, to reinvest, build up, and create new jobs.  To pull all of their money out of the business exposed them  to a tax liability, so while they were still able to live like kings they also kept the economy bustling along and everyone got to live the American Dream.

What is that American Dream?  Some people seem to equate it with being able to become filthy rich and never have to work another day in their lives.  But the real definition of the American Dream is to be able to live comfortably, working a job that you like, having a family and good friends.  Basically living a life with a certain security.  THAT is the American dream.  If you choose to do more with your life, then maybe if you apply yourself, you might get there. But there are no guarantees.

It is a fallacy to think that it is the rich who provide all of the jobs.  On the contrary.  It is you and I that provide the need for those jobs.  If we are unable to purchase that widget, then that widget is not going to be built.  If WE are making money to spend, then WE supply the demand for that widget.  If there is enough of a demand, then WE have created the job that will make sure we have that widget available to buy.

There is a reason why the tax rates used to be so high on the uber-rich in this country.  We didn’t want to create a class of people who were so damn rich that they literally owned everything.  A disparity between the rich and the poor isn’t a bad thing, until that disparity becomes so large that a mere 400 families completely eclipse the wealth of the other 300 million people combined.

Conservatives love to lean on the intent of the Founding Fathers on a lot of things, except when it comes to economics.  We started this country on the “trickle-up” economic model,  but in the 1980s that all got turned on its ear with the idea that if you give the rich more money it will “trickle down” to the masses.  Sorry, but it has NEVER worked that way.

The rich got that way mainly because of a “trickle up” economic model.  The more widgets manufactured and sold at the lower levels meant that the more the manufacturer earned.  The more he earned, the more he re-invested in the business and the more money he ended up making.  Trickle UP.

But in the 1980s the rich had their money and they wanted to make sure that nobody else could catch up to them.  So they closed the gates by turning the model upside down.  And for a while people bought the idea.  But then people started catching on.  Even some of the initial proponents have since come out to say that trickle up doesn’t work.

It is time to put a stop to this.  Raise the tax rates by creating the following rates:

Incomes from $501k – $1 million would be taxed at 50 percent.

$1 million – $5 million would be taxed at 70 percent

$5 million up would be taxed at 90 percent.

I would also impose a one-time tax of 50 percent on existing wealth over $100 million of net worth.

Estate tax would be treated as “income” and taxed accordingly, but I would exempt any estate less than $1 million.

I would also close all loopholes.

If a company does business in the US, it should be taxed in the US.  Additionally, if a company does business in the US, then all of the labor that went into that product or service is to be produced here in the US.  If that company wants to sell products outside the country, then it is free to locate portions of that company outside of the country.  But anything made outside of the country intended for sale inside of the country would be subject to a tariff equal to what the cost would have been to manufacture that product in the US.  Proceeds from those tariffs would be used to offset the cost of unemployment.