The Embargoed Truth About Job Creation

This is an astonishing story I’ve been struggling to wrap my head around this morning as I wait for the coffee to drip.

“TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate ‘ideas worth spreading,’ says Wikipedia. In March, a venture capitalist from Seattle named Nick Hanauer gave a talk at TED on income inequality that clearly and succinctly destroyed all the BS talking points about the rich being “job creators.” Middle-class consumers are the real job creators, he said.

Most TED conference talks are published on the TED website for public viewing. But this one was embargoed for being too politically partisan. Over the past few hours several leftie bloggers and columnists such as Ezra Klein learned of this and gave TED a good smacking for being weenies. TED shot back that the charges against them are unfair; but they also admitted they embargoed the talk for being too politically partisan. So, yeah, they are weenies.

However, being weenies, they caved to pressure and released the talk. You must watch this:

The transcript is at National Journal.

And as you read or watch, remind yourself that this talk was considered too radical / controversial / partisan to be released to the public. And then email it to your wingnut uncle.

27 thoughts on “The Embargoed Truth About Job Creation

  1. “…but they also admitted they embargoed the talk for being too politically partisan.”

    For way too long, there’s been an open invitation on all of the TV News shows, radio talk and news shows, Editorial and Op-ed pages, for any person to come on and scream that you can’t raise taxes on the rich, because they create the jobs!
    That’s NOT too partisan.
    It’s common sense, and everyone agrees on it – like that the Earth is the center of the Solar System, and the Sun circles it, as does the entire universe.

    But little time or room has been given to people who’ve been trying to say that that’s bass-ackwards, and that the reality is the exact opposite.

    You have to search to find a TV news show that has an economist like Paul Krugman on, who says that it’s the middle class that creates jobs, and not the rich . And when you find one, it’s almost like ‘an event,’ since it’s so rare.

    And only a handful of people who agree with that are allowed regular space on Op-Ed pages.

    What wrong with this equation?
    For too long, people have been led to believe that if you take away some from those with too much, there won’t be any job creation.
    That 3 – 1 = 0 jobs.
    And so, the little people are the ones who need to pay.
    That 1 – .3 = 1+ jobs.
    Care to guess where that idea came from? The people with 3, or the people with 1?
    Well, in reality, 1 – .3 means 1, maybe even > than 2 jobs, if the money is properly, yes, there’s that frightening socialist word again: redistributed.

    The rich people don’t go out and build the roads and bridges that they use to accumulate wealth. Nor do they pay for upkeep and repair.
    And until they do, TAX THEM at an appropriate amount, depending on how much they make, and have.

    And it’s nice of Nick Hanauer to come out and say that.
    Somehow, I don’t think this will change the Koch brothers minds, so I don’t expect to hear the same thing from them.

    They’re too busy trying to make sure that Government – Taxes on the Rich – SS – Medicare – Medicaid = PROFIT FOR THEM!!!


    I’ve tried a couple of times to paste this chart into comments, but it never works. So just check out the article above that contains it. This is a chart that will probably never be seen on FAUX, though I’d love to see them Rickrolled onto it sometime!

    Every time facts come up, they get the same treatment as Al Gore’s movie title.

    The T in TED obviously does not stand for one certain inconvenient word. They really like happy talk and often post highly entertaining material that is politely inoffensive.

  3. I like how he mentions that he can’t even spend all the money he has. That to me is one of the most outrageous things in the whole debate over tax increases. Of course righties like to pretend we want to raise everyone’s taxes to 100%, but in reality the people who are calling for tax increases on the wealthy are talking about amounts that people like Nick Hanauer would never even know about if they didn’t talk to their accountants. It will make no difference to their material existence, since they’ll still be able to buy whatever they want.

    So yes, keeping wealthy people’s taxes too low really is a way to deprive everyone else of basic goods so that rich people can feel special. It’s a way of turning entrepreneurs into aristocrats.

  4. I believe Hanauer wrote an op-ed a few months ago that expressed these views, and IIRC it did get some play in the media.

  5. Before spreading the “controversy”, please read this:
    “Now, TED curator Chris Anderson is firing back, unleashing a 664-word torrent against the Seattle venture capitalist for intentionally sparking the controversy by sending emails about the decision not to run the talk to The National Journal. Anderson called the “story so misleading it would be funny… except it successfully launched an aggressive online campaign against us.”

    Hanauer hired a PR firm to inflame the supposed controversy.

    But at the same time, please do spread the video itself!

    • McD — I had already linked to TED’s statement about the scandal, which is what your link is about. If you read TED’s entire statement and not just the part quoted in the article, it boils down to “It’s outrageous that we are being accused of not publishing this video for being too partisan, but we felt we couldn’t post it on our website because it is too partisan.” Seriously.

  6. What, exactly, is partisan about this video? No where does he mention anything about the current political questions in this country (or any other). He simply states, flat-out, that the thesis that the rich are job creators is laughably false.

  7. Stralka,

    “It’s a way of turning entrepreneurs into aristocrats.”

    I disagree mostly with this. Very few of the rich got there from being entrepreneurs and most of those that did are humble about their “riches”. Many entrepreneurs are quite honest about the part that serendipity played in becoming rich and would shy away from any aristocratic trappings.

  8. This is a lot like what I was saying just a couple weeks ago in a conversation– the reality is that a true working economy trickles UP, not down. TRICKLE UP ECONOMICS!

  9. IntelVet–You’re right, of course. I should have said it’s a way to turn entrepreneurs’ descendants into aristocrats. People who actually work for their money, however much they wind up with, tend to realize that they couldn’t have done it by themselves.

    I believe the original intention of the inheritance tax was to discourage hereditary privilege. So the conservatives who stigmatize it as a “death tax” are being objectively pro-aristocracy.

  10. They’ve been selling us “Trickle Down Economic” BS for over 30 years, and almost 30 years ago, even David Stockman admitted it was BS.
    And still, they pitch it!

    And the authoritarian morons swallow it down like it was candy-flavored moonshine, while the Conservative powers-that-be and their bought and paid for politicians keep working people from realizing and acting on this BS, by constantly sticking wedge issues forward to distract the voters.
    Divide and conquer works.

    We’ve NEVER seen a feckin’ NICKLE trickle down.

    They need to stop pitching “Trickle Down Economics,” and go back to a more fair tax structure, before the first things that actually DO start to trickle down, is their heads off of guillotines into the waiting wicker baskets!

  11. Money doesn’t trickle down; it gets sucked up. I therefore propose the phrase ‘suck-up economics’. It is associated with other suck-ups.

  12. Intelvet,
    I LOVE the “serendipity” ( dumb luck ).
    Being at the right place at the right time with the right idea surely trumps a high IQ.

  13. I wasn’t able to watch it – probably too many people hitting the server (a good thing) – but I did read the transcript. Hanauer (and TED, finally) did us all a favor by explaining reality so simply, providing us with the clearest rebuttals to even the most addled wingnut. There’s just something about hearing the truth that makes my heart sing.

    If an outfit like TED can be pressured to keep the lid on something like this, what else is being hid from the public? There is little else left in the public discourse of this country but propaganda; only comedians like Jon Stewart, and a handful of journalists and bloggers operating at the margins are able to get at anything resembling the truths of what is happening in this country.

  14. Very seldom does a presentation boggle the mind.

    But my mind is so boggled, I’m not sure how to unboggle it.

  15. What, exactly, is partisan about this video? No where does he mention anything about the current political questions in this country (or any other). He simply states, flat-out, that the thesis that the rich are job creators is laughably false.

    I think he starts off mentioning the Republicans point of view on taxes. And I think that’s what made people decide that it was too partisan.

    But it shouldn’t be.

    Remember: Bush cut taxes for ten years – a specific length of time. Why? We had a surplus. (And remember the lie he told? That of the (4 dollars) in surplus, he wanted to give back (1 dollar) in tax cuts? (Not sure of the specifics – but he was constantly carrying around dollar bills to use as a prop.)

    Well, now taxes are lower than they used to be. And what are the Republicans doing now? They’re talking about cutting taxes *even more* – lowering rates, and making up for it by closing loopholes. What loopholes? You know, the *loopholes*.

    Well, folks, it’s not partisan to point out that the Republicans played a game, give tax cuts to drain a surplus, and are now trying to cut taxes even further, and saying that, you know, that really isn’t rational. And it’s not. It’s also not fiscally conservative. Yes, fiscal conservatives want taxes as low as is reasonable… but no lower. And right now, they’re lower than is reasonable.

    And… um… I’m ranting, aren’t I?


    I heard that they called it “partisan” because of the bit about how Republicans are pushing a particular tax policy.

  16. Occam’s razor.
    I’ve seen some really cool stuff at TED.
    Sad to hear they censored Hanauer.

  17. Off topic; further proof AZ is overrun with a$$holes:
    “Secretary of State Ken Bennett now says he’s not convinced Barack Obama was really born in the United States and so he is threatening to keep the president off the ballot in November.” I personally don’t believe Mittens has a stable of child-brides hidden somewhere in Utah, but I think it would be only fair to do an investigation before putting HIM on the ballot.

  18. Tom b,
    I’m starting to feel sorry for FL and SC.
    AZ has passed them to the Crazy Highway like they were standing still.
    I’d say that maybe there’s something in the water – but there ain’t to water there.

    I want to see the birth certificates for every Republican.
    Not to make sure that they were really born in America – but to make sure the were born on this feckin’ planet.

  19. Welfare for ailing rich and corporate persons, and socialized loss underwritten by tax dollars for them, are a-ok!

    But, if you were never rich, or a corporate person, you’re on your own!

    And as a Yankee fan and a Liberal, I couldn’t be happier!!!
    There’s a word for what it, but I can’t quite remember is. “S-c-h…” somethin, and it doesn’t finish with “…illing.

    Oh, it’ll come to me.

  20. Off-topic: The Kentucky Derby winner just won the Preakness. They will go into New York for the Belmont with a chance to win the Triple Crown on June 9. Co-oo-ol

Comments are closed.