entrepreneurship, exaggerated

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Salon published an excerpt from Andrew Sayer's Why We Can't Afford the Rich that leads with the question, "So why hasn't the spectacular shift in income and financial wealth to the rich over the last four decades led to unprecedented jobs growth?"

First of all, we need to ask what the rich and super-rich do with their spare money. They generally use it to try to get even more, through either real investment or financial 'investment.' In the latter case, whether by betting on market movements or buying income-yielding assets, or the many other ways unearned income can be extracted, their actions are unlikely to result in net job creation. [...] But even if the rich do fund real investment in productive businesses - in equipment, training, new infrastructures or whatever - this may or may not result in job creation.

The improper use of entrepreneur is mentioned as "another case of how words can mislead:"

Rentiers don't call themselves rentiers, and not many capitalists call themselves capitalists, but many of each like to call themselves 'entrepreneurs.' Upbeat terms like 'entrepreneur' and 'enterprise' can be stretched to cover things that don't deserve them.

Therefore, "we should be sceptical about the idea that the rich are entrepreneurs and thereby deserve their wealth." As for the supposition that "They'll just go to another country and take their money with them if we tax them too much, or otherwise restrict their power:"

This point is frequently wheeled out, as if the rich were major wealth creators, possessing rare powers, and therefore people whom we must do all we can to attract.

Of course, "the threats to leave are exaggerated:"

If it were the case that higher taxes caused wealth to flee we would expect to see an exodus of the wealthier citizens of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and France - the countries with the highest tax rates. A glance at the latest Forbes billionaires list reveals that of four Norwegians on the list all live in Norway, the two Danes live in Denmark, five of the nine Swedes live in Sweden, and eight of the ten French live in France.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 11, 2015 9:25 AM.

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