American Business View

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School, Mitt Romney economic advisor and author of Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity, weighs in on inequality, taxation and the Citigroup shareholder vote.


Glenn Hubbard

Comments [22]

tom LI

Our financial woes are not all due to the income disparities. Its more the cost of goods. Why in an age where we make more stuff, grow more stuff and do so more efficiently - like never before in Human History - is the cost of goods constantly rising at alarming rates? Milk as expensive as gas. A Box of sugar-bomb cereal is nearly $5 and has less volume than 20 years ago!

Its truly the cost of goods that is the ruination of most peoples finances, and ability to advance themselves.

Apr. 19 2012 06:13 PM

Democrats are not geniuses, but I am always amazed at the language wizardry utilized by right wing and right leaning thinkers: Up becomes down, and down becomes sideways, and sideways becomes vague. It all sounds so good it has to be true! Alas, Hubbard is just another language juggler. Brian couldn't elicit a single substantive response for his questions.

The bottom line is that a Republican House and a deadlocked or Republican dominated Senate in the Fall will have NO interest at all in ameliorating the economic situation of the middle class. Their goal will be cutting debt regardless that is what the Ryan budget shows. Look at the actions of Republicans, don't get flamfloozed by the language and the words.

Republicans are philosophically in tune with benefiting global and corporate business and would also owe them their political life. In short,they would be a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate monied interests and secondarily of Conservative social interests that provide the legwork for getting out the vote. Adding the Presidency to an already right leaning government leaves most voters with no one with power to speak for them.

Over the past 25 years there has been little or no evidence that benefits given to big business have created jobs or supported workers in this country, yet people like Hubbard and the Republican Party continue to broadcast this notion, and incredibly, people continue to believe this bunk. But saying it again and again does not make it true. Global businesses locate where costs and taxes are lowest, and they now have the entire planet to choose from. So, it's a race to the bottom on taxes, with nations vying with each other for business. Many developed nations, ours included,haven't figured out a way to deal with this.

When Republicans had control of the Congress they helped to create this situation, and when they weren't in control they have done everything they could to block changing it.

Romney is the Zelig of our time and will become whatever his environment requires of him, so don't expect more from him than he gave his dog: a wash down and a ride in that "kennel" on the top of the car. His management "skill" is in unemotional cutting and eliminating for efficiency. Do that with government and you just get less -- not more efficient government. The Post Office is only the first department that the Republican Congress has manouevered into extinction. That's what they say they want to do: privatize as much of government as possible. "Private" doesn't mean cheaper and better.

Hubbard's ideas are like rearranging the chairs on the economic Titanic tax deck. Look for less from government AND more pain from taxes if you are middle class and fall for this Right wing mumbo jumbo in the Fall.

Apr. 19 2012 11:42 AM

An incensed Glenn Hubbard can be seen in Charles Ferguson’s 2011 Oscar-winning Documentary, Inside Job.

In their October 1, 2010 interview with the documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson, npr’s All Things Considered describes the film as, “ A Searing Look At Wall Street”.

Apr. 19 2012 11:27 AM
John A.

Hearing some hope (specifically anti-Trickle-down rhetoric) from the lead Republican - unbelievable. Will have to replay the segment and second-source Romney's clip to be sure. Not enough to earn the election from me, but big steps away from Norquist and Gingrich. Hope for 2016. They could still blow it and win 2012 and just go back the old (R) think. Too soon - keep growing.

Apr. 19 2012 11:01 AM

Brian, you've had people on your show before talking about the need to better educate the work force on the idea that it would enable them to get better jobs and earn more money. But how would that be the result? So you double the number of qualified applicants for that high-paying tech job for which there's already a lot of competition. Wouldn't that serve to drive down that job's pay by putting more bargaining power in the hands of employers? How would getting educated to lift yourself out of that low-paying job serve to eliminate that job? Wouldn't one of the many applicants you beat out for that better-paying job have to settle for the one you left vacant? Far from improving the state of the economy, wouldn't it effectively stay the same or, considering the indebtedness you probably had to incur in getting that education to help glut the pool of applicants for that better job, actually get worse? It's not the fault of American workers not being better educated that wages have fallen drastically behind inflation while the top percentiles have monopolized the economic growth that American workers have had a share in producing. Taxes are a red herring; job creation puts the cart before the horse. The issue is wages. Where's the demand for the goods and services that would be provided by these jobs we need to be created? The last 30 years of income redistribution has taken it from our pockets and left it to sit stagnant in the coffers of hoarders reticent to invest it because there's no demand in the market to justify it. Isn't this the elephant in the room?

Apr. 19 2012 10:51 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

"Everybody agrees that we need a more effective regulatory platform"? Who is "everybody"?
The Republicans lobbied for and implemented an extreme de-regulatory approach, which led to the 2008 collapse.
Similarly, they were taking NO action around the healthcare/insurance problem.
Let's please keep these clear.

Apr. 19 2012 10:29 AM
Doreen from Sunnyside

Glenn said his way of helping the poor would be to educate and train for jobs . That is wonderful when the country has enough jobs for all but when approx 10% of people are unemployed dure to their not being enough jobs, no amount of training is going to create jobs for the trained. What will this economist and Romney do to stop jobs going overseas? Anthing? In fact does the Obama administration have any plan for that either? I work in IT and ALL the support calls I make (getting support from large IT providers) direct me to people in India and South America. Good for those people to get jobs - I have no problem with the people themselves but those jobs are not coming back to the US. So what will IT people here do? This is only one area (IT) - what about jobs that are gone and not coming back and it has nothing to do with the financial crisis... manufacturing etc. etc. Why is EVERYTHING made in China? Hopefully a topic for another show?

Apr. 19 2012 10:28 AM
Geoff from Yonkers

Mr. Hubbard sounds very reasonable, but a president Romney would be at the mercy of congress, the Tea party, Grover Norquist, etc., and this is not what they want.

Apr. 19 2012 10:25 AM
Wallace Little

Regarding Dodd-Frank, please ask Mr. Hubbard about his conflicts of interests as an advisor and consultant to Wall Street, which were exposed in the film "Inside Job", in which he was interviewed. He and other acamedicians, such as Lawrence Summers, tremendously linked to Wall Street.

Apr. 19 2012 10:25 AM
Xtina from E. Village

Broadening the base - code for shifting the burden to the middle and lower classes.

Apr. 19 2012 10:24 AM

Can Glenn Hubbard tell us when and where he heard Obama state that his plan is to be opposed to economic growth?

Apr. 19 2012 10:23 AM

Why not tax dividends and capital gains as ordinary income, and make dividends deductable from corporate income tax, and index capital gains to inflation? This would raise the income tax on the wealthy, and lower corporate income tax. I think the Republicans fail to recognize that their opposition to raising taxes on the rich makes them percieved as the party of the rich. This would allow high income earners to pay income tax at a similar rate to the rest of us, without significantly cutting their incentives to invest. I think a modest increase in taxes on people earning over 1 million per year would go a long way towards making the republicans look more fair minded.

Apr. 19 2012 10:22 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

How would Romney "be better for economic growth", specifically? What exactly is his across-the-board growth, anti-opportunity/income-inequality strategy? Can we get this spelled out during the campaign?

Apr. 19 2012 10:22 AM
rai from ny, ny

More claptrap from an advocate of the policies which created the current disaster, and more misplaced faith in the so-called "free market".
For starters, tax investment income the same way as "ordinary" income (wages, salaries, etc.). This would eliminate a lot of distortion in our economy and make things at least a little fairer.

Apr. 19 2012 10:20 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

Hubbard keeps saying "Governor Romney says..." But Romney will say ANYTHING. So anything somebody doesn't like today will be explained away tomorrow by showing us that we just misinterpreted what was said.

Apr. 19 2012 10:19 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

Old Leave It to Beaver episodes got you nostalgic for the placid and prosperous Eisenhower era? Hold on to your wallet. Here are the income tax rates from 1952. Wow! 92%!

Taxable income after deductions, 23 brackets consolidated to 13 to save space.Figures in today's dollars, adjusted for 8X inflation.

Tax % From $ To $
22.2 0 16,000
24.6 16,000 32,000
29 - 34 32,000 64,000
38 - 42 64,000 96,000
48 - 53 96,000 128,000
56 - 59 128,000 160,000
62 - 66 160,000 208,000
67 - 68 208,000 304,000
72 - 75 304,000 400,000
77 - 80 400,000 560,000
83 - 85 560,000 720,000
88 - 91 720,000 1,600,000
92.0 1,600,000

Apr. 19 2012 10:17 AM
Xtina from E. Village

What deductions would be eliminated for the rich? The only one Romney proposed was second home interest mortgage for the highest earners, a pittance.
Oh, and the deduction for local taxes - which would hit middle class, poor, and blue states disproportionately

Apr. 19 2012 10:14 AM

Glenn Hubbard was also an 'adviser' to the George W. Bush criminal regime, so what possible reason is there to take anything he says seriously? He's just another mouthpiece for the wealthiest.

Apr. 19 2012 10:11 AM
The Truth from Becky


Apr. 19 2012 10:11 AM

There is zero evidence that lower taxes for the wealthy create jobs.

Apr. 19 2012 10:11 AM

Kindly ask Hubbell how much money he collects from the top .1%, in the form of consulting and speaking fees, and invite him (as an economist) to speculate what effect we might reasonably predict this income would have on his views and his advocacy.

The man, after all, is a free-market economist. He shouldn't be offended in the slightest by applying the market laws he insists are axiomatic, to his own behavior.

Apr. 19 2012 09:48 AM
George N. Wells from Dover, NJ

Since inequality is on the topic list for today there is a point that I want to make: Yesterday the conflation of executive pay with pay for motion picture actors and sports professionals took the conversation in a strange direction.

Executive pay is from a corporation, a "public corporation," where people own the shares and therefore own the company. Yet, legislators and directors have made the rules such that the owners of the corporation have no say in executive salaries. What we are left with is a class of plutocrats that can, with minimal assistance from their friends on the board, set their own compensation.

Of course the language of the casino has taken over the stock market. Today the share of stock is not seen as a share of ownership; rather it is seen as a "bet" on the company.

The weird part is that the corporations want to claim the status of "Person" with all the rights guarnteed by The Constitution. Yet they don't behave like people.

Apr. 19 2012 05:42 AM

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