Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming | Nick Hanauer



Nick Hanauer is a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — and he has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our …

29 Comments

  1. Overall, I agree with his argument. For me, the rub and primary difference what Henry Ford did and what Mr. Hanauer is proposing is that Ford increased he pay of his workers with his own money and at his own risk – if paying higher wages tanked the company, only Ford and his investors lost, along with his employees. Hanauer is suggesting that the government force a minimum wage on companies, regardless of the performance of each employees. The risk falls on those business owners who are required to pay more for the same output. When customers decide the value of a product is not worth the cost, they will either find the product elsewhere (Amazon?) or not buy it at all. I'm all for people increasing their value to their employer and being compensated for it. I'm not in favor of bureaucrats deciding how much employers must pay their workers. Greece did this, look how that's turned out. Henry Ford was either a generous guy or exercised enlightened self interest. In either cast, he took the risk himself. I don't know what Mr. Hanauer does with his money. I trust he is exceedingly generous, exercising the same generosity and foresight as Ford with the same outcome for his employees. I do grow weary with people, regardless of their status or income, who preach that the only way to fairness is for the government to take money from same and give it to others. Maybe Mr. Hanauer and his friends can underwrite the cost and risk/reward of the programs he advocates for, rather than expect business owners and tax payers to do so. That would be a gesture more closely aligned with what Mr. Ford did.

  2. Why don't you come to Portland ME and see how many resturants have gone out of business in less than 3 years at a 15 dollar minimum.. all the other chain resturants are automating and there are no longer even burger flippers at the McDonald's. I dare you to go and talk to the family businesses that were there for generations had to go out of business because they couldn't afford the wage increase. I DARE you to come to MAINE and look those people in the eye and tell them how much good it did to lose 50 good jobs and leave their freinds and family out in the cold because they just couldn't afford it anymore.

  3. The only thing Nick is getting wrong is the angry crowd will have much more than just pitch forks when the uprising comes.
    Gated communities,armored cars,and armed guards will be of little protection as an IED could be anywhere along the road or a bullet from a sniper could come out of nowhere the moment they're out in the open.

  4. The problem is, Americans are split between being to complacent, content, and too lazy to pick up pitchforks, and Americans have been brainwashed to believe that they too can do it lol “The American Dream”.

  5. Every American citizen will receive a UBI of $50k annually — or we will cut off the penis of EVERY United States politician connected to Eglin AFB, Ft. Benning, and the Reagan Bush Clinton Obama Trump families. You outsourced everything to China and elsewhere and ignored your countrymen and neighbors. When you look in the mirror each morning — that's your own death staring you down in the face. You attacked the wrong damned person Barack Obama (Barry Cetero.) I'd get on a plane and leave America while you still have a chance.

  6. Aha! There are realists aiming logic, evidence and win-win strategies at our stricken society's structural problems. Maybe a brighter future exists in US prospects. This guy and his friends might actually espouse and activate systemic changes that offer solutions to a leaders of lemmings trend that stifles us more with each passing day.
    Kudos to a reasoning far reaching man of clarity with ample good judgement.

  7. All of you ranting about how the min wage should be $20, $30, or $100 an hour have never created a job. You have never put your life savings up at risk by owning a hardware store, a restaurant, never done anything but sit on your behinds and vilify the people who do take risks that create the jobs that power this country. A business has expenses. Wages are often the largest expense – and they happen hour after hour and never stop. The employee has to put more money in the owner's till than he costs for each of those hours or he will be unemployed. When mob rule forces the employer to pay more than what the employee returns to the business, either the job goes away (automation) or the business goes away (and Amazon, Walmart, etc. fill the hole left) I have spent a half century running my own businesses. No, I am not rich like him (shrug) I am well off by any average measure. I do know that much of what he said is wrong. I know that by having survived in business for more than a half century without being lucky, without having a windfall. Yes, the ignorant masses can rise up and destroy the corporations/businesses that provide the jobs believing all the money will then accrue to them not the owners – and you then have Iraq or Iran. You have Cuba or Venezuela. You have Russia. Notice that you throw off the yoke of capitalism for the yoke of a dictator.

  8. Putting lipstick on a pig.

    Lets say you get your wish and making Capitalism nicer, the middle class booms and people are overall happy.

    Fast forward 50 years and you are right back where you are today.

    You also do not solve the underlying issues with Capitalism which is its overall inefficiency, for example:

    Lets build cars in China and ship them halfway around the globe.
    Lets destroy and pollute the environment, then pay a fine and not fix it.
    Lets make and consume as much and as fast as we possibly can so that future generations have no resources left at all.

    These are all serious issues with Capitalism and no Capitalist can explain a solution to these issues.

    That is why we need a new economy (no, not Socialism), one based on Science and technology and the resources of the planet instead of one based on "greed is good".

    Introduction to a Resource Based Economy

    https://youtu.be/_EkMjTnWk14

    Resource Based Economy vs. Today's Monetary System

    https://youtu.be/-gxnbN7n7hY

  9. The middle class has been suppressed by … wait for it … our federal government. Mr. Hanauer has many good points, but our problems are rooted in government, specially the federal government, but really government at all levels. Our focus should not be trying to fix inequality but to expand freedom. The concern is not fairness … because that means someone has to determine what's fair (as in a central government). We should be expanding freedom across the board. A simple example is the lemonade stand and how difficult starting this business is in many places. Why? Regulation and red tape and a myriad of rules. We need to protect people of course, and prevent damage to party C as a result of a transaction between party A and party B … and that's why we have some regulation and why we have a court system. If everyone were free to pursue their separate interests, without the panoply and layer so government regulation, and we let each individual decide their own fate (on a level playing field), we would unleash economic growth across the spectrum. Of course politics has another major problem, and that's the money and lobbying. Again these things are suppressing freedom in a very real sense.

  10. It is not the regular business people , it is the industrial elites that moved the jobs that pay a living wage , to china or some asiatic country for its low wages.
    It is soros, rockefeller, heyer,rothchild.!!!!!!!!

  11. I've always felt the wealthy have a vested interest in seeing that the less fortunate do well. I'm am not saying they should be required to but that again, it would be in their best interest that everyone does well.
    While I did feel that a reduction of corporate taxes was important (so that we can better compete in the world), I felt strongly that the tax cut instituted was far too much and wasteful. Yes, it created jobs and that's good but it could have created way more jobs and the country could have been much stronger. Why am I saying this?
    Folks, 60 to 65% of the tax cuts went to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks or dividend increases. While that might help stimulate the economy, it will do so only marginally. In other words, that 60 to 65%, roughly 1 Trillion, was a huge misappropriation of money. In other words, instead of buying a larger cherry bomb for 5¢, we bought a little firecracker for $1. Very few CEOs had anything more in mind than returning wealth to shareholders. Yes, some went to creating jobs but even more went to modernizing factories that guess what; kills jobs. That 1 Trillion could have gone to infrastructure, creating more jobs and doing something this country better get doing soon. Instead, we will have to borrow yet another trillion to get that job done.

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