In last week’s episode of “Fireside Chats” on Bloggingheads, Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt chatted with Eric Liu, co-author of the new book The Gardens of Democracy. In the clip below, the two discuss the tired meme of the job creators and that “the economy should revolve around a tiny number of rich people,” as Eric puts it. That’s not why people go into business, Mark points out, paraphrasing a lapsed job creator. “If they’re successful they may create jobs, but that’s not what they’re setting out to do,” he says.
Even after the lessons of the Great Recession, Eric points out, we still seem to believe that “it is from [rich people] that wealth and jobs and employment and prosperity spring,” so we have to do what it takes to protect them. In reality, job creators should realize “we succeed because theere’s demand for our products” from the middle class, Mark says. Yet they both agree that this trope is alive and well.
How do we get past it? “We have to think about a way of working beyond anger,” Mark says. “I think anger burns out.” If we can get to a calmer place, we can “bring it back to solutions.”
Watch the full video below, in which they discuss the complex system that is our economy, the dangers of inequality, and how to reinvigorate citizenship: