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One again, John Boehner thinks he has his finger on the pulse of the American economy . . . and if paramedics were that far off finding a pulse, they'd be trying to check it by groping your right calf.

If only John D. Rockefeller had a little more
disposable income, we wouldn't be in this mess.
"The job creators are on strike", he's told us - because, obviously, the problem is that we've angered the Randian Supermen on high, and now they're taking their toys and going home. The fear that they may not continue to be taxed at the lowest rate in decades, and may instead start getting squeezed by the second-lowest, has them holing up with their vast hoards like Smaug the dragon, and they will no more rain down jobs upon us out of the goodness of their golden hearts.

That's moronic. Boehner and all the other self-declared "pro-business" conservatives are acting on an ideological fantasy that bears no relation to how business actually works - namely, that businesses are hell-bent to add to their payrolls, if only taxes were lowered and regulations rolled back. If they could pad their profits just a little, the "job creators" would be out there hiring right now.

Here's the truth: they don't want to hire you. And that's not just the economy, or tax policy, or profit margins, or the weird, Galtian "strike" that Boehner thinks the top 1% are taking now. It's not just your resume or that long stint of unemployment you've just had. They don't want to hire anybody. Ever.

Read on . . .

Say I decided to start a small business. Going with what I know, I decide to take the amateur wine-making I'm doing in a spare closet and try taking it commercial.

I need a commercial space. I need equipment to make the wine in bulk - 1000-liter stainless steel tanks, a six-spout bottle filler, filters and pumps, lab equipment. I need to learn, and then conform to, the stringent health and cleanliness requirements for businesses producing something human beings are going to consume. Then I need to find a good source of quality fruit that can supply the volume I need. I need to get good yeast lines, and set up what I need to care for the little buggers.

Press the fruit, stir the wine-must, manage fermentation, clean meticulously to keep within the regulations. I'm working 80-hour weeks, or more, trying to get my business off the ground. I'm living at the winery. I'm sleeping on the floor.

What I'm not doing is hiring someone else. Not yet. Assuming I started turning a profit, I'd upgrade my equipment first. I'd trade in that bottle filler and shell out the extra for an automated bottling line, to streamline my process and reduce my workload. If I'm selling faster than I can produce, I'll get an extra tank and ramp up production.

And then - if the workload became more than I could keep up with - I'd hire someone. Only then. Because until then, it's money I don't need to spend. So I don't - for as long as I can possibly avoid it. And at every step beyond that, every time the business grew, I'd put off the next hire for as long as I could. And the next one. My business would grow as fast as I could manage. My payroll would grow as slowly as I could manage. Because that's how businesses operate.

They don't want to hire you.

Employees are a cost, a necessary evil, like taxes or leases or equipment maintenance. Businesses are no more willing to hire extra employees than they are to buy extra office furniture. They only hire when they have to, when there's demand - when there are so many people, with so much money, coming through their doors that extra hands are the only way to keep up.

It's customers that want you employed. Customers want to buy stuff, and they want it delivered, and they want to be able to call someone at 2 a.m. when they can't figure out what the stupid instructions are telling them about how to make it work. They want someone to be right there at the counter when they walk up, someone refilling their water glass every time it gets half-empty at lunch, someone offering them spritzes of sample perfume as they stroll through the cosmetics department. They want enough bottles of Jaxpagan's Special Reserve Blueberry Wine on the shelves that there's still at least one sitting there when they stop by to pick one up on the way home.

It's those customers, clamoring at my door for more blueberry wine (it's really, really good blueberry wine), that will finally make me hire someone. And even then, I'll hire them as cheaply as I can, for as few hours as I can, and for as short a term as I can.

Job creators at work.
Know what every small business with five employees wants? To find a way to do the same job with four employees.

It's those customers again, coming back day after day, that make me realize I'll need extra hands on a permanent basis, even if I manage to streamline the work. It's that need that gets me doing the math on hiring and training new workers over and over, or just hiring permament workers. It's that pressure, applied across the whole commercial sector, that puts me in competition to hire the good workers, so I can get the most for my money. And it's that competition that makes me start pimping better benefits and/or working conditions to be more attractive as an employer.

I don't do any of that of my own free will. I don't do it just because I'm nice. I sure as hell don't do it just because I'm raking in more money and I can afford to - what's the point of making more money just to spend it on business stuff? That's not getting me my private zoo - and ye gods, do you have any idea what Lea Michele charges to pop out of a birthday cake?

Which gets to the point - we're now some thirty years into the delusional lunacy of supply-side economics, and there's still a whole end of the political spectrum that doesn't understand this simple truth: when rich people have more money, they spend it on themselves.

They buy big homes, yachts, solid-gold plumbing fixtures, genetically modified micro-giraffes. They play high-stakes poker. They play hedge funds and derivatives - which, honestly, is just as much about rich guys gambling among themselves for thrills as high stakes poker. And for that matter, high stakes poker has about as much to do with investment as hedge funds and derivatives.

And in all that, the only jobs that get created are for the people that serve drinks at the poker table, maintain the homes and yachts, work in precious-metal plumbing, and clean up after the micro-giraffe. In other words, the only jobs they actually create - or want to create -  they create by being the customer.

Which would be awesome, if we could get the top 1% to roam the highways and biways of the land, criss-crossing the country week after week and running into every mom-and-pop they see to buy something. Then there could be an uptick in demand, and all those businesses might actually find the need to add to their payrolls ("Jeb, hire a stockboy - the Merry Banksters are supposed to swing through again next week").

But they don't. And they won't. Because however extravagantly they try to live, most of the hoard will ultimately stay tucked under Smaug's love handles. Even Paris Hilton couldn't shop constantly enough to keep all her money in circulation.

Supply-siders will never accept this. Either they really believe in their job-creation mythology, or they just want to win the favor of the super-rich for their own benefit. Maybe they want that micro-giraffe gig after it's all over. I don't know.

But we know what works - a strong middle class, millions of people with enough economic stability, confidence in the social safety net and disposable income to crowd into stores and buy stuff. Customers. We need to fight for the policies that build them up, protect them and pave their way.

Because they want to hire you.

Originally posted to Dark Armadillos of the Soul on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles.

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Comment Preferences

  •  T&R (10+ / 0-)

    Very true. The economy is driven by demand. The Government needs to either hire people WPA-style or pay someone else to hire people. Then all those people who were hired will spend their goddamned money on stuff, creating demand. We figured this out eighty years ago or so but apparently in the meantime have all had a massive attack of teh STOOPID.

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:51:55 PM PDT

  •  Jobs are created when there (9+ / 0-)

    is widespread demand for goods and services. By sending jobs overseas and slashing wages and benefits at home, the upper class has weakened demand and stolen jobs. The only thing they do with their money is invest it in things like commodities, driving up prices for food and energy, thus stealing even more money from working people.

    Boehner's "job creators" are more like vampires, sucking out the lifeblood of the economy and leaving nothing behind but a decaying shell of a society.

    If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

    by beltane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:53:51 PM PDT

  •  As a side note, successful capitalists are very (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, Lorinda Pike, sockpuppet

    fond of buying one thing, regardless of the price. They just love to pay for and own right wing politicians because that's one purchase that always pays big dividends.

    Until, of course, those politicians actually do destroy the middle class and then, and only then, finally put even themselves out of business.

    Because why do the most successful capitalists need to own our government after they've destroyed our economy? There's always someplace else to make money until they've finally decimated the whole planet (I mean, isn't that really what the whole "BRIC" concept is all about?)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 03:05:15 PM PDT

  •  Classic example of "job creator": Paris Hilton (6+ / 0-)

    How many jobs has SHE created? Yes, I know she licenses her name to a couple of businesses (30 boutiques worldwide) and a fragrance line--but most of her money is simply inherited. If she weren't "Paris Hilton" she wouldn't have those boutiques or that fragrance. She's be another tall, skinny bleached blonde who is  pretty enough but not a drop-dead beauty--and she'd be trying to make it in modeling or acting or music and supporting herself by waiting tables. Eventually she'd either end up going back to school to get a degree and a real job--because, let's face it, Paris really isn't any good at  anything but getting arrested and selling her name--and joining the world the rest of us live in.

    And what does Paris spend her money on? Designer clothes, when she can't get  comped for the red carpet (and she's been showing up there less and less often lately). Jewelry.   Luxury cars.  Bug houses she doesn't need.  Cocaine and booze.  Lawyers to get her out of jail when she is caught DUI or with cocaine in her purse. Publicists and assistants and servants.

    What she isn't  doing is really contributing to the economy. Warren Buffett, she isn't. I suspect that her perfume will e manufactured out of the U.S. along with her clothing line to full those thirty boutiques.  

    SO the next time someone talks about job creators--those rich folks who keep the country humming-- remember two words: Paris Hilton.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 03:06:39 PM PDT

  •  Regardless of what Boehner says... (5+ / 0-)

    ...I think most Americans inherently know what creates jobs: demand, not tax cuts or tax increases.

    You've laid out the business case for that quite well.

    Tea Party manifesto: We're resigned to our collective fate because we don't want no stinkin' collective future with the likes of you

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 03:06:47 PM PDT

  •  For that matter... (5+ / 0-)

    WTF is up with this stupid "Rich people give you jobs" meme? No, actually, a rich person never gave me a job, I only ever got a job because some middle-class middle manager decided to hire me instead of the other guy; everyone involved in the entire process was as middle class as I was. You would think from the way the right wing talks that employment happens when the Lord of the Fucking Manor yells "Fetch me another serf, this one's broken!"

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 03:36:34 PM PDT

  •  A collective amnesia seems to have plagued us (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, Lorinda Pike, sockpuppet, oortdust

    for almost three generations. Business 101 clearly explains the life cycle of every business, and every Big Business is in the decline phase. They are making all the widgets called for and the only way left to increase profits is to shed jobs.

    It is small business that drives employment and the economy, always has been, and it is small business that this and every previous administration since the 80's has stifled and/or killed to extend profitability for their Big Bribes and those huge bundles of cash.

    Direct low/no interest loans to small businesses and start-ups will jump start this economy and thereby stimulate demand.

    Every good government program in this arena, school loans, the SBA, alternative energy, mass transit, etc., was turned into another corporate welfare program and those welfare recipients invariably fail to do the job.

    Push the banks off the welfare merry-go-round and get this nation back to work.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:10:36 PM PDT

  •  Outstanding explanation of how demand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lorinda Pike, sockpuppet, oortdust

    creates jobs and how hoarders/rich people/'job creators' can not create enough demand for goods and services if they alone make those spend decisions.

    Tax the hell out of them now!

  •  Recc'ed for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the directTV commercial and Hobbit reference within three sentences.

    I was once a treehouse, I lived in a cake, but I never saw the way the orange slayed the rake... The Llama Song.

    by farmerchuck on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 04:38:41 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely correct - and underlines the fact (0+ / 0-)

    that the vast majority of jobs are created by very small businesses adding one or two employees so that they can increase production or allow the business owner to focus on growing the business.  And the very large companies grow by buying or merging with other companies, invariably shrinking the number of employees in the process.  Corporations don't deserve tax cuts for this, only the small business owner does.

    A rising tide lifts all yachts. But rowboats get swamped.

    by oddmike on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 01:17:50 PM PDT

  •  Great Diary (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry I missed it yesterday :*.  

    Richard Cranium linked to this diary today in!


    Letting Republicans run the government is like putting Atheists in charge of a church. They don't believe in it, don't care if it works - and they take no responsibility for the results.

    by orangecurtainlib on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:01:07 PM PDT

  •  We are the job creators (0+ / 0-)

    We, the working class are the job creators,
    when Republicans talk about  'job creators' they are refering to corporations who exploit labor or the parasitic financial sector.

    please sign this petition to reform the lobby system in the U.S. and get money out of politics  

    only takes a minute of your time

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