I first encountered the ideas of Nick Hanauer when he injected himself into the “entrepreneurial language” of Mitt Romney. The reasoning in that language is, glibly put, “The wealthy risk-taker is the engine of economic prosperity for all. This talented prophet sees a human need and provides the spirit and diligence and resources to meet that need.”
Hanauer responded visibly and often with a direct rebuttal. It sounded like the following: Look, fellow 1%’ers, I am a billionaire, have a big yacht, and several successful entrepreneurial ventures. You know as well as I do that the primary generator of jobs is not us, but consumers. When consumers reject our inventories, we are just one more statistic in a huge pile of failed businesses. So stop blowing your own horn and start taking an interest in the living conditions of the rest of humanity for you see—-they are the ones who make or break us.
This rebuttal is very unusual and important. The idea of the entrepreneur as the key has some validity certainly. But for it to be the literal theme of the Republican convention is class-based ideology.
Here is Hanauer’s recent warning to his fellow zillionaires, as he calls them.