Stephanie Ruhle might be the only person on TV who consistently brings on guests to talk about how the average working person gets screwed economically. Yesterday she had on Scott Galloway, who's an author and a professor of marketing at NYU.
They were talking about the essential workers who do things like deliver food as the unsung heroes of the pandemic.
"Scott, go higher up the economic food chain and you actually have health care workers who are getting hours or -- excuse me, getting their pay cut who are working in hospital systems owned by private equity giants like KKR," she said.
"You've got health care professionals who are suffering. Yet those private equity giants who are supposed to be in a position where they take all sorts of risk -- and when you take big risk, you can get lots of upside but you risk facing great downside. And right now, the government is stepping in and curbing that downside. We're having capitalism on the way up, and self-imposed socialism on the way down," Ruhle said.
Galloway agreed. "It's the Hunger Games on the way up and on the way down, a lot of call signs by CEOs that we're in this world and a Hallmark Channel-like socialism," he said. "We need to decide if we're capitalists, meaning if you take incredible risk, there's incredible upside, but if you can use 96% to buy back stock, thereby inflating your compensation and the compensation of the CEO and the directors and no cash when a crisis hits, should you be, in fact, be allowed to fail?
"And what private equity and CEOs are trying to convince us of right right now. when your company declares chapter 11, a lot of times there isn't job loss. just a wipe out of equity. So all of a sudden, we're in this together. We need to decide if we're capitalist, meaning equity gets wiped out on the way down, or if we're socialist. But if we're going to be socialist, and a lot of people say that's a better alternative --five of the seven happiest nations have socialism. You want your universal pre-K and universal health, but let's not have capitalism on the way up and then when we hit a crisis, we have the worst type of socialism, we have cronyism.
"And that's the people with the most representation of Washington, most economic power, decide all of a sudden that we're in this together. and as soon as the markets start going back up, then everybody talks about capitalism and individualism."
'Why is the government listening to them?' Ruhle asked.
"We are seeing CEOs of gig economy companies urging the government to provide those Uber and Lyft drivers health care and government support. Yet those companies never paid into the system and made any of those people employees so they never paid a payroll tax. How could they ask this of the government?"
"That's the correct question. Amazon has over 100 full-time lobbyists in D.C., not lobbying for higher minimum wage but lobbying from absence in regulation. Let's talk about the companies with the most essential workers who pay them anywhere between $12 and $15 an hour. It's Amazon and Walmart. And it's no business that, today, today those stocks hit an all-time high."
He concluded by asking, "Do we want a ride-sharing economy where people are vulnerable, or do we want an old economy where there's a dignity in work and shareholders aren't going to reap as much of the profit? This requires structural, fundamental change."
More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body expected to be released Tuesday.