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David Shove, Published August 28 2011

Berg doesn’t understand middle class creates jobs

What is a “job creator?” That was the question that caused the tensest moment in Rep. Rick Berg’s, R-N.D., recent town hall meeting. One thing is for sure: We all want to support the job creators. Some, like Berg, believe that means embracing, extending and enhancing the failed trickle-down economic policies of the past 30 years, which have led to the problems we face today.

This implies that if the wealthy pay less in taxes for our civilized society, they will hire someone to work for themselves or their company. Let’s be clear: People do not simply hire because they have money on hand. People create jobs when there is demand for their products or services.

Looking forward, I say we have to envision a new concept of what the term “job creator” means and understand that the real job creators are a growing, vibrant, secure middle class, which is what our parents and grandparents created post-World War II and allowed us to grow up in the strongest economy in the history of mankind.

Let’s take the congressman himself, for example. It has been documented that he is a multimillionaire, in part, because of Goldmark Properties. Does anyone really believe he, or his company, are hiring people because they have more money on hand due to the Bush tax cuts? Or do you think Goldmark hires people because of the demand for housing? Has Berg created any jobs in his household with the tax break he personally receives?

It is not the threat of a pending tax increase that is keeping this concept of job creators from hiring; it is the lack of demand and spending power from the middle class that prevents them from needing to hire.

Perhaps our sole representative in Congress should be talking less about taxes and regulation and more about the real problem: the weakening of the middle class.

Perhaps we should be asking him what he plans to do about our stagnant wages over the past 30 years coupled with the rise in prices for everything from food to gasoline.

Maybe we should ask Berg what he plans to do to strengthen the purchasing power of the true job creators: the middle class of America.