Nick Hanauer (TED Talk) – Job Creation

by gradycarter

How could one not love TED? It really is a wonderful step in the right direction towards organic, and diverse conversations. Nick Hanauer does a great job, in my opinion, of explaining something that I think a lot of people would agree with, but they are so often afraid to engage with all of the rage centered around politics. Nick is a multimillionaire, mostly from investment in technology, and Nick believes that wealthy people like him are not paying their fair share of taxes, and that he is not by any means alone among his wealthy friends.

It seems that a lot of people who try to avoid politics don’t understand much about how wealthy people pay a lesser rate in taxes (capital gains) and that is understandable, because the jargon and misconstrued information seems to almost intentionally confuse people. Well regardless, having a conversation about societal fairness is hardly new, and absolutely not going anywhere. And since this is a conversation that isn’t going anywhere I think that listening to someone like Nick talk about this side of things (explaining that job creation is part of a cycle, and not a gift from him and other wealthy people) seems to be lacking in the discussion, and I’m glad to hear him make a case for one side claiming intent of fairness. The opposing philosophy (a more libertarian view) could take on many different forms, and the most extreme might be that of someone like Ayn Rand, or maybe Milton Friedman would be a better example. Now Nick is not an extremist, and that should very importantly be noted, and maybe a more current comparison to Nick would be someone like Grover Norquist, as he is articulate of the libertarian ideal of non-collectivism (although I think Grover is a bit more partisan). I think that hearing these conversations can create a “pong” like effect in someone’s mind, where they will bounce back and forth, and finally end up resting where they find themselves believing in fairness.

Ok, I’ve talked enough, and you should watch this video. Feel free to tell me if you hate it, I would genuinely love to know why. Under the video I’m posting some pictures of charts from his talk incase you’d like to have a second look.

Please feel free to comment. Also, I’m going to put some of my favorite quotes from this talk under the video.


When the biggest tax exemptions, and the lowest tax rates benefit the richest all in the name of job creation all that happens is that the rich get richer…

Since 1980 the share of income for the top 1% of Americans has more than tripled, while our effective tax rates have gone down by 50%… If it was true that lower taxes for the rich and more wealth for the wealthy lead to job creation today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet, unemployment and underemployment is at record highs.

We’ve had it backwards for the last 30 years – rich people like me don’t create jobs, jobs are a consequence of an ecosystemic feedback loop between customers and businesses. And when the middle class thrives businesses grow and higher, and owners profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is such a fantastic deal for the middle class and the rich.

Viva La Vida