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Nick Hanauer
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What to do about that sluggish economy

Nick Hanauer. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The latest employment numbers basically stink, but don’t blame the shutdown, says business analyst Jill Schlesinger.

“The numbers for the shutdown will be reflected in the next report. So this is actually disheartening because it happened before the shutdown,” she says.

So what is to blame? How about the artificial advantages given to people like this man – who said when answering the question, how much money do you have, “Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.”

That’s Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, founder of many companies and a Capitalist heretic. He gave a TED talk which TED refuses to post on its website because it includes stuff like, “If it was true that lower taxes for the rich led to job creation, today we would be drowning in jobs.”

Like Warren Buffet, he says the rich need to be taxed more. But unlike Warren Buffet, he is also convinced that the minimum wage needs to be raised, ideally to $22 to match the increase in worker productivity. But he’ll settle for $15.

“If every worker made more, then every business would have more customers,” Hanauer says.

Which is why Hanauer helped to organized last summer’s fast food rallies for a $15 minimum wage. And why he’s using his money to create a vast, left-wing conspiracy to boost wages – on the theory that ultimately, it’s the only way people like him can get rich and stay rich.

“This is the craziest part, where you hear people squawk about raising the minimum wage – that it will destroy the economy,” Hanauer says. “As if poor people getting richer could be bad for business? That’s just nuts.”

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