In 2011 we have seen the rise of three new euphemisms into the political lexicon.
The first is “Job Creators.” It is the Conservative/GOP term for very wealthy people. It is used in their lame ass attempt to convince those of us who are not very wealthy that that these people are noble creatures who want nothing more than to be freed of the chains of taxation and regulation so that they can create jobs for the rest of us … so that we lowly workers can pay our underwater mortgages, buy their shiny trinkets and generally eek out a living. The problem with this is twofold.
One is that the whole premise is demonstrable bullshit. Taxes are at their lowest levels since before the Great Depression (no this does not include payroll taxes, but those make nary a dent in a Job Creator’s wallet). This fallacy is evidenced in the fact that the top one percent have seen their incomes and wealth rise dramatically in the last thirty years, even during the Great Recession, and that corporations are currently back to record profits overall and are sitting on historic amounts of cash. Companies are collectively sitting on more than 1.2 trillion in cash (1). That is approximately 9% of the GDP. So why aren’t they out hiring? Maybe it is the regulations? Nope not that. The level of regulation has not increased appreciably under the Obama administration (2) (3). Well, what then is it preventing these Job Creators from hiring? Oh Yeah! it is the fact that the rest of us are either broke or unemployed, hence we are not buying stuff, hence companies are not hiring. A company is not simply going to hire employees for the sake of hiring. They are going to hire when people buy more shit, such that they need more employees to make more shit to meet people’s increasing demand for shit. Real simple, Econ 101. You could lower the taxes on the top 1% and companies to zero and it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference to anyone except Tiffany’s, Bentley, Gulfstream and the like.
The other problem with this is the narrative that conservatives and the GOP have set up. If you look at the underlying premise, it is that we, “the 99%”, are lazy peons who should lie before the Job Creators, grateful for the scraps from their table. “We” are completely devalued as being contributors in the society since we are not wealthy, and are reduced to wards of the state and of capitalism itself. It should piss each and every one of you off every time a politician blathers on about helping Job Creators, for they are telling you that you are dirt, and not worth direct consideration.
As a counter to “Job Creator”, a few months ago the terms “The 1%” and “The 99%” rose out of the fledgling Occupy Wall Street protests. These monikers gave a simple way in which to express the terms of the economic divide and class warfare that has been growing quietly in this country for three decades. Now there was an opposing view. Now “the 1%” were no longer noble Job Creators, but simply the uber wealthy that had rigged the system for their own advancement at the expense of the rest of us, “the 99%”. I think the effectiveness of these two terms and their quick adoption into the political lexicon is the fact they are divisive. It is laid out as an us versus them situation, which frankly it is. The narrative here is that “the 99%” find themselves in their current lot, in the worst economy since the Great Depression NOT because “the 1%” were crippled by taxation and regulation, not because they are lazy,but because the Job Creators rigged the system and drove the entire economy off of a cliff in order to enrich themselves; and that “the 99%” are worthy, caring, hardworking people who deserve to be treated decently and fairly by the government and the Job Creators
We will see over the next year which of these narratives wins the day. Personally I hope it is the later.