OK, let’s drop this silly idea that only the wealthy are job creators. What does create jobs? Demand. Every time you purchase a pair of jeans or a new car, you are a job creator.

OK, let’s drop this silly idea that only the wealthy are job creators –– right now.


Businesses hire people when they require employees to meet the demands of their business. They drop people when they do not have enough business to require their services.


Businesses do not hire people because the tax code is a certain way or because the labor market is a certain way or because a certain party is in power.


I was always skeptical of claims that say, for example, a fast-food restaurant would fire workers if they had to pay them higher wages. When I was a young student, I worked at plenty of those jobs, and it was plain to see that they never had even one more person on the clock than was absolutely required to keep the place going.


I never met a restaurant manager whose thought processes went anywhere along the lines of, “Well, I really could get by with six kids on this shift, but seeing as how the minimum wage hasn’t been increased in years, I’m gonna go ahead and schedule eight of them. Just to help them out a bit.”


What does create jobs? Demand. Every time you purchase a pair of jeans or a new car, you are a job creator. Of course, every time you decide to get a little more wear out of your old jeans or a few more miles out of that old beater you drive, you are not benefiting anyone economically — except, of course, yourself.


What we have going on right now is a whole lot of people not creating jobs. Maybe their back-to-school shopping this year consisted of Goodwill, hand-me-downs and perhaps one or two new outfits, rather than the multiple new outfits they would have purchased if times were better.


When a large number of people cannot afford to spend money, businesses don’t need large work forces to meet the lackluster demand. Worse, when a large number of people are unemployed, they aren’t paying any income tax, and they aren’t paying a whole lot of sales tax.


Get people back to work, and they’ll create plenty of jobs. People who have been unemployed for a period of time have pent-up demand for all sorts of things. They’ve put off purchasing household goods, clothing, a better car –– you name it. They need stuff, and as soon as their income is flowing again, you can bet they’ll go shopping. Thus, they will raise demand. Thus, they will create jobs.


Incidentally, they’ll be paying income and sales taxes again, too. What will it take to get this virtuous cycle going, instead of the vicious cycle of job cuts and sluggish consumer demand we have going now?


Well, we just don’t know, do we? Economics is by no means an exact science, and experts disagree. However, I think we can agree that our current approach — both parties bickering with each other — doesn’t seem to be effective.


If the Republicans don’t like Pres. Barack Obama’s bill, then let’s hear what they’ve got. And don’t just say you’re going to stimulate the economy by cutting taxes on the wealthy. None of us are stupid enough to believe that, especially since we’ve already done it, and look where we are today.


That well-known commie pinko Warren Buffett seems to think the rich should not, in fact, pay a lower percent of their income than middle class people, and he seems to know a thing or two about money. Maybe we should listen to him.


Get people back to work using any means necessary, and the rest of our economic woes will just about take care of itself. Let unemployment remain high, though, and we’re truly doomed.


For now, until we can see that our elected representatives are capable of doing the right thing to get this country back on track, a lot of us will keep wearing our old jeans and driving our old cars.


Editor Michelle Teheux may be reached at mteheux@pekintimes.com. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Pekin Daily Times.