Today, @govinslee signed SB 5096, a tax on the extraordinary capital gains profits of a tiny handful of super-rich people like me, into law. So let’s talk about why rich people fight these taxes so hard—and why their arguments are completely bogus. #waleg
@GovInslee Washington's tax code is the most upside-down in the nation. The poorest households in this state pay up to six times as much in taxes as wealthy households like mine. This new law is a strong first step toward rebalancing our tax code.
@GovInslee You've probably heard the threats that jobs and wealthy people will leave Washington once SB 5096 becomes law. The business lobby always loves to roll out these scare tactics, but they don’t reflect how the economy works in the real world.
@GovInslee When we raised the minimum wage in Washington, they made the same threats. But instead of Washington’s economy collapsing, our economy boomed.
@GovInslee This law is expected to bring in $415 million per year that will be invested in early learning, child care and education. We rich people will still have more money than we know what to do with.
@GovInslee I promise you, a 7 percent tax on capital-gains profits exceeding $250,000 a year isn’t worth uprooting our lives and moving to Wyoming or South Dakota.
@GovInslee If taxes determined where people live and do business, places like New York and California would have horrible startup environments and Alaska and Tennessee would be hotbeds of tech investment.
@GovInslee In fact, it's the opposite. Wealth taxes fund investments in the good schools and world-class institutions that support a strong middle class. And that’s what attracts investors and workers—not tax breaks for a few rapacious venture capitalists.
@GovInslee To be clear, a couple of sociopaths might pick up and move. But the truth is most of us love living here, and we want to invest in this state.
@GovInslee This law will boost state spending, putting money in the pockets of ordinary working people, creating jobs and increasing wages. More demand means more investment and more jobs. That’s how the economy actually works.
@GovInslee Thanks to all the lawmakers, advocates, and ordinary Washingtonians who fought to pass SB 5096 into law. It will make Washington a better place to live for everyone—not just rich folks like me.

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More from @NickHanauer

28 Jan
Long rant: This @WSJ article bemoaning the decline of price theory is really worth highlighting. The economic theories and so called "laws of economics" that the WSJ consistently and religiously defends, are the source of their authority, power and privilege.
So called economic "theories" like "you get paid exactly what you are worth" and "markets are perfectly efficient" and "when wages rise, jobs fall" and "raising taxes on the rich kills jobs and growth" and "increasing justice decreases economic efficiency" and...
"Government intervention in markets always creates more harm than good" and "any regulation that constrains corporations kills growth and productivity", etc etc are effectively a protection racket for the rich. It is a set of internally consistent and mathematized conjectures...
Read 15 tweets
21 Jan
Long rant: So earlier today, I got into a spat over the $15 minimum wage with @JamesSurowiecki and @noamscheiber. Because this disagreement over whether there is a mechanical relationship between raising wages and less jobs is incredibly consequential, I wanted to say more.
First, I am personally acquainted with both these guys and so I can attest that they are both good folks and galactically smart. I wouldn't pick on them if I didn't think that. In fact, all the more reason to, because their opinions and voices are consequential.
Noam characterized my pushback as "toxic" and I feel bad for that. Vigorous disagreement over consequential issues seems important to me, particularly when those ideas represent conventional wisdom or orthodox and that orthodoxy may be harming lots of people.
Read 30 tweets
21 Jan
These are the voices of the Neoliberal left. They are absolutely convinced that there is fundamental risk in making poor people less poor. God forbid, rural people would actually be paid enough to thrive.
This is why Neoliberalism is so corrosive. To them, when the rich get richer, that’s an unalloyed good. Never a job killer. When the poor get richer, the economy will come tumbling down.
Notice they never bemoan the job killing effects of high wages for CEO’s or wall street types, where the job killing effects are so much more obvious. Imagine a more equal distribution of income and the vastly greater demand it would create.
Read 5 tweets
17 Jan
1/4 Most people, especially academic economists, think that the controversy over the minimum wage is a contest over facts. It's not. It's a contest over power, status, and wealth. It is just like the contest over racial and gender justice.
2/Those with wealth and power want to keep it, so saying that raising wages kills jobs is simply a polite way to say, we are rich and you are poor and we aim to keep it that way, and if you try to change things, we will harm you. An intimidation tactic, masquerading as economics
3/4 Neoliberal economic claims are a persuasive and internally consistent narrative designed to keep the rich rich and the poor poor. They are collectively, a protection racket for the rich. It's not by accident that the Wall Street Journal so opposes increases.
Read 4 tweets
28 Dec 20
If you are in my social circle, this is the truth I live every day. An unending litany of complainants about the state of society from the people who have benefitted the very most from its structure.
And not an iota of recognition that the main beneficiaries of the structure of the system may be in some way responsible for the pathologies and problems that system creates.
And not a smidgen of willingness to make any material trade offs in behavior, lifestyle or politics to make the systemic changes necessary to reduce the social, political and economic problems that now surround them.
Read 4 tweets
18 Oct 20
If you were wondering why it is so important for Democrats to shed Neoliberals from their leadership, @CassSunstein is exhibit A. In this nutty editorial, he actively argues that raising wages kills jobs- the core claim of trickle down economics and Neoliberalism.
In the absence of any empirical evidence, and in the direct service of economic elites and their enablers everywhere, he repeats the tropes of trickle-down, all in the tone of "seriousness" than always accompanies such nonsense.
The people at the Chamber of Commerce and the Heritage foundation must be wetting themselves over this. Nothing is as useful to the disinformation campaign against working people and a thriving and inclusive economy than emboldening a trickle-downer that wears a Democratic hat.
Read 8 tweets

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