Watch the news, read the newspaper, listen to the radio and there they are. The convenient lies tossed out so often, by so many, that we hardly notice them any more. Businesses are job creators. Most new jobs are created by small businesses. Reducing taxes on businesses will create more new jobs. These lies have have been told so often that they are seldom recognized for what they are. Liberal polititians and supposedly impartial news readers alike repeat them without a thought about what they're saying.
Begging businesses to create jobs, or throwing tax breaks at them is a fools errand and a colossal waste of time. Lets be clear - one thing, and only one thing, will create a job, and that thing is a steady supply of paying consumers. Reduced to its most basic level, job creation goes something like this...
An elderly lady has a problem with arthritis and can't mow her own lawn anymore. She calls the teenager next door and offers to pay him to cut it for her. The teenager accepts, cuts the grass and gets paid. Presto, one job created. Yeah, it's pretty short-term, and it doesn't pay much, but it's a start.
Take the above scenario and scale it up a little. Not long ago, an electrical contractor I know was complaining about business being slow. Then he started talking about how high his business taxes were and that they were killing his business. When I asked him how many people he would hire if his business taxes were reduced to zero, he responded "Business taxes are just too high."
That statement rings hollow, and totally ignores the question I posed. I know that in years past his business was far busier and he had more employees. It's obvoius that the health of his business is far more dependent on the number of customers he has than on his tax rate.
Scale up the lawn mowing scenario some more. Lots more. Oil companies and large banks are making record profits and are sitting on huge cash reserves. Many of these companies end up paying no income tax. If cutting taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals created jobs, the unemployment rate would be zero, and wages would be skyrocketing.
All business is a larger version of that basic lawn mowing transaction. Can anyone look at the deal between the elderly lady and the teenager and say with a straight face that the teenager created that job? Okay, Republicans can do it, but they'll do anything, short of telling the truth. In any economy, consumers paying for goods and services are the job creators. Jobs are created at businesses, but not by businesses
A large portion of the wealth formerly under the control of the lower and middle classes has been redistributed upward since Saint Ronald of Reagan first foisted the idea of 'trickle-down economics' on an unsuspecting country. Precious little has ever trickled down. Any increase in demand for goods and services will have to be funded by businesses and the wealthy, either through increased taxes or through dramaticaly increased wage rates. They have to be the ones to pay for it, they have all the money.
Once some wealth has been re-redistributed, downward this time, some overdue bills can be paid, people can stop worrying about how they will pay for their next meal or medical co-pay. Sooner or later people will start to feel more secure. Then they will start to spend more. Then the businesses will hire more people to meet higher demand. The cycle repeats and soon everybody is happy. Or at least a little less pissed off.
I realize that a dramtic increase in wages in this country is pure fantasy. That leaves tax policy and government spending to solve the unemployment problem. Everybody in this country, and every business, is a consumer of goods and services provided by our various govenments. For years, the wealthy and big businesses have been getting theirs at a discount while the 'lower' classes have been picking up the slack. It's time to make those with all of the money start to pay retail again.