TED conference: Nick Hanauer – Who are the job creators?


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Back in March at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference in Long Beach, California, Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist and one of the founding investors of Amazon.com, gave a talk that cast quite a bit of doubt on Willard "Mittens" Romney's foundational argument for his campaign — his claim that as a super-rich vulture capitalist he was a "job creator." (Today Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler weighs in with a definitive piece that does a total demolition job on Romney’s entire argument).

Mittens is a true believer in the GOP religion of faith based supply-side "trickle down" economics, and has a Randian view of free market capitalism. In his talk, Nick Hanauer says supply-side "trickle down" economics "is dead wrong" and is damaging our society.

Nick Hanauer believes in textbook Economics 101 — consumer demand is what grows the economy and creates jobs. This is bottom-up, not "trickle down." As President John Kennedy once said, "a rising tide lifts all boats," meaning that improving the economic conditions for those at the bottom will also benefit those at the top. As President Kennedy also said, "For of those to whom much is given, much is required," paraphrasing the Book of Luke 12:48.

There was a bit of a controversy yesterday over whether the owners of the TED Conference series of lectures had censured this talk on "Who are the job creators?" because it was "too political" and the TED Conference wants to avoid any political controversy. Ezra Klein writes in Nick Hanauer’s TED talk on taxes:

Chris Anderson, head honcho at TED, has responded to Nick Hanauer’s claims that his TED talk was censored. TED, Anderson says, tries “to steer clear of talks that are bound to descend into the same dismal partisan head-butting people” and that Hanauer “framed the issue in a way that was explicitly partisan.” The upshot, though, is that he’s letting viewers decide for themselves.

To my ears, Hanauer framed the issue in a way that was explicitly nonpartisan. The only mention of either party comes at the beginning: “If taxes on the rich go up, job creation will go down,” Hanauer says. “This idea is an article of faith for Republicans, is seldom challenged by Democrats, and has indeed shaped much of the economic landscape. But sometimes the ideas we’re certain are true are dead wrong.”

Video below the fold.

Nick Hanauer gave an exclusive interview to Lawrence O'Donnell on The Last Word on Thursday in which he expanded upon his comments. "This 'trickle-down' orthodoxy is a complete and bogus lie." "Calling ourselves 'job creators' isn't just inaccurate, it is disingenuous."

Hanauer argues that the GOP religion of faith based supply-side "trickle down" economics has led to the "deification" of the super-rich capitalist, that for the "masters of the universe" of Wall Street it is a short leap from seeing themselves as "job creator" to being "The Creator." A recent study argues that One Out Of Every Ten Wall Street Employees Is A Psychopath, Say Researchers.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Nick Hanauer is the author of a new book, The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government:

Authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today–generate these simple but revolutionary ideas:

True self interest is mutual interest. (Society, it turns out, is an ecosystem that is healthiest when we take care of the whole.)

Society becomes how we behave. (The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.)

We’re all better off when we’re all better off. (The economy is not an efficient machine. It’s an effective garden that need tending. Adjust the definition of wealth to society creating solutions for all.)

Government should be about the big what and the little how. (Government should establish the ideas and the goals, and then let the people find the solutions of how to make it happen.)

Freedom is responsibility. (True freedom is not about living some variant of libertarianism but rather an active cooperation a part of a big whole society; freedom costs a little freedom.)

Add it to your summer reading list.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.