More and more the use of the phrase "job creator" has been bugging me.
Words are powerful. Even a tame sentence like "whatever you do, don't think of an elephant" will lead an observer to its antithesis. Stronger and more provocative words can evoke strong emotions, and emotions, not logic, drive behavior.
And who benefits more from manipulation of language than politicians? The language they use is obsessively rehearsed, pored over, and endlessly focus-grouped to have the desired effect... They use the words that have the greatest impact in swaying popular support towards the outcome they want voters to support.
One of the most manipulative of these phrases is "job creators". What's worse, it has no grounding it reality. Mother Jones does a great job laying out the argument against this kind of underhanded demagoguery
using insightful infographics.
The political wordsmiths would have you believe that the top 1% (not to mention the top 20%) are "job creators", but they can't explain why, with the lowest tax rates since the great depression, the amount of wealth they have been reaping haven't produced jobs aplenty.
The reality is that what drives the economy isn't what some small cabal of roughly 3 million people do with their inordinate wealth. It's what the other 300 million Americans do every day. You and I are the real job creators. We buy well over 90% of the products and services that drive the economy.
The top 20% may control all of the wealth, but the GDP, and hence all "job creating" is driven largely by ordinary people having disposable time and income to spend on goods and services provided by our friends and neighbors. If you want to see a job creator, think of where your last $10, $100 or $1000 payment went, and you can quickly see the biggest job creator is the one you see each morning in the mirror.
The next time you hear the words "job creator" and it feels like someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes-- maybe it's because they are.