Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist from Seattle and billionaire many times over has just written an editorial on Bloomberg that sums up the consumer-driven economy from the point of view of the 1%:
“That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.”
It is the same with the Hollywood system and our infatuation with star power. The box office rules, as CUSTOMERS choose what movie to watch and spend their own money. The result is the creation of “hits” and “movie stars”, but these are impossible to predict in advance and quickly fall out of favor if people become turned off by a bad performance or a rip-off sequel. And the money we channel to the rich and famous never gets circulated back to us from the top with the same economic drive to our economy if it remained in our pockets to spend.
Again, from Hanauer’s editorial:
“The annual earnings of people like me are hundreds, if not thousands, of times greater than those of the average American, but we don’t buy hundreds or thousands of times more stuff. My family owns three cars, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. Like everyone else, I go out to eat with friends and family only occasionally.”
So the great concentration of wealth in the top 1% is a sad fact of life today, but the more we lose to them the less we have to spend on their enterprises and Wall Street’s collective “Giant Vampire Squid” clamped onto the face of consumer America.
Consider the power you have when you but a ticket to watch a movie. You are the real star-maker and thus, choose wisely.