As the country seems to drift further apart when discussing how to move forward and out of a severely long-term economic slump, the conversation seems to often come down to whether the wealthy (also known as “job creators”) will become spooked and pull back from investing or adding jobs if stimulus of the lower or middle classes is on the table.
It may seem to be a foregone conclusion that more certainty surrounding health care, working conditions and social safety will create a more robust economy, but billionaires like Steve Wynn are doing everything in their power to ensure business isn’t reined in more tightly following some of the catastrophic corporate policies of the past decade. Many feel the job market and the conditions afforded workers cannot possibly get any worse in the United States, but people like Wynn proclaim, loudly and often, that any concessions given the struggling middle class will be seen as a shot across the bow at the super-wealthy and the long-suffering working class will be punished accordingly.
Back in July, Wynn tried to rally fear against Obama and accused the notoriously business-friendly president of being a closet socialist. And although Wynn claims to have supported more Democrats than Republicans in the past, he has recently spoken out about the Occupy Wall Street movement, blaming “deficits” rather than big business as the cause of America’s deepening woes. If Wynn hadn’t yet made his veiled threats clear, recent statements made by the billionaire out and out say that he is deliberately withholding business deals out of fear it will create jobs and not sufficiently sanction upstart workers who may boldly support pro-middle class policies.
In a recent call, Wynn boasted:
“Across the street from me is an empty piece of property that’s 34 acres. It’s owned by two Israeli gents that are friends of mine that bought it at a very high price and are sort of in a difficult position now. They even owe money against said property.
They have come to me on a monthly basis to say, ‘Go ahead, Steve, you take it. Build something. Connect it to Wynn and Encore, your golf courses and convention facilities, and help us get out of this. We’re willing to take a very long-term approach and we’ll turn the property over to you even if we have to pay off the loan.'”
But, Wynn says, he won’t take them up on it because it could create jobs:
Well, that’s a very attractive offer, especially since they’re willing to pay us for management, design and supervision, as well as inviting us to invest. But I have to tell both of these men who are friends of mine: ‘Look, I can’t give you a reasonable projection of what this return on investment will be even if we spend $2 billion and create 10,000 direct jobs and another 30,000 indirect jobs for a total of 40,000 jobs.’
That’s how many jobs I could create if I broke ground on the Frontier property in the next six months or a year. And we would know how to do that. But I can’t tell the men who are willing to sacrifice any short-term benefit in exchange for a long-term opportunity because I cannot predict what health care costs are going to be, what regulatory load they’re going to heap on us, what new taxes or other burdens this insatiable governmental appetite for money from the citizens will take us to.
Do you think the attitude of people like Steve Wynn is part of the problem, or will a “freer” market help the average American? Do you think that businesses will “act right” without a gentle nudge from governmental regulations?