Monday 11 May 2015

What is this 'wealth creators' stuff?

What is it with all this 'wealth-creators' stuff?
Who do they mean when they say, 'wealth-creators'
and what do these 'wealth-creators' do?
And what do they mean by wealth?
So the people who own those businesses, are they really 'wealth-creators'?
If, let's say, I had half a million quid and I decided to start a business making
wodgets, and these wodgets sold really well, would I really have 'created wealth'?
If it was just me who 'created wealth' what are all the people making and selling the wodgets for me doing? All the people in the offices doing all the paperwork?
Are they creating wealth, or just grateful that i'm 'giving them a job'?
I mean, if we were on a desert island, would they be hanging about, stark naked, not knowing what to do, until I came along and said, 'I've created some jobs for you to do?'
I don't think so.
Now, of course people come up with great ideas and they contribute to the national or world wealth. But surely they only become stuff we can use or enjoy when people make them.
And surely the way that these things get made
is really just a way for the people who own those businesses to make profits.
That is, after they've paid out for raw materials and rent, 'investment' and wages, they get income from sales. The aim of business is to make much more in sales than the total of what they've paid out. So, all the people working for wages, get much less pay for their work, than the owners of the business get in net profit (after they paid out in raw materials, rent, investment and wages).
This, society says, is 'fair enough'.
It means, of course, that the waged people in a business don't get back the full value of their combined work. The owners - many of whom may have done absolutely nothing - get a chunk of that value of the work. Some of the ones who do absolutely nothing are the 'shareholders'. They just may be people who wondered what to do with a stack of money they found themselves with. This too is 'fair enough' under the system.
Meanwhile, a great slew of people make 'wealth' by selling and servicing debt. They don't actually make or distribute anything. They just rely on people needing or wanting cash. So they lend money and get interest back on what they lend.
These too are in theory 'wealth creators'. But again, they don't actually 'create' anything. They just milk the people borrowing, many of whom are themselves trying to get profit from other people's work, through their business.

So, we live in a time where we are locked into thinking that a whole range of people who don't actually make or do anything fundamentally useful are worshipped. We are kidded into thinking that they are all immensely clever inventors like Dyson and his Dyson cleaner when in fact, loads of them are nothing of the sort. And even Dyson couldn't make his cleaners without thousands of people making them for him. He'd be stuck on his own at home looking at his fantastic drawings.

But we have lost the language for saying these things. We are stuck inside a language that speaks of 'wealth creators' as only meaning people who employ others. The rest of us should just be eternally grateful that such people are doing this for us. And be bewildered when it occasionally occurs to us that when it comes to the totting up at the end of the year, these 'wealth creators' get richer and richer and the other kind of 'wealth creator' (those who make the stuff or distribute or service it) are squeezed more and more.