A term used by Republicans to refer to rich people.

Back in the 1990s, Republican political strategist Frank Luntz began extensive use of focus groups composed of a broad cross-section of Americans to test out conservative political rhetoric. He was responsible for getting global warming renamed "climate change" and having proposed laws to roll back environmental regulations named the "Clean Skies" act and the "Healthy Forests" Act.

Luntz's latest gem is using "job creators" instead of "rich people." Over the past two years, not once have I ever heard a Republican elected official say that Obama wants to tax "the rich." He only ever wants to tax "job creators." Cheat sheets of Luntz's preferred, focus-grouped terms are passed around to everyone in the party. It turns out that most people actually wouldn't mind taxing "the rich," but they are not so sure about taxing a "job creator."

Imagine you have a jar used to hold M&Ms. A noble enough task, especially since your jar can hold a blend of M&Ms, plain, peanut, peanut butter, almond and maybe even some rare, tasty type of M&Ms we haven't even thought of yet. All the chocolaty, nutty goodness enclosed in a candy shell is inside this jar. And for such a task, you would need a very fancy jar. Not just an old tomato sauce jar cleaned out and repurposed for this task. This jar will be made of the purest glass, crystal even, and embossed into its body will be decorations showing the joy of M&Ms and the consumption thereof. The lid will have to be a perfect lid, easy to twist on an off, but sealing tight enough that our beloved bit-sized candies don't lose their flavor to the air. The lid would be brightly colored, perhaps with a fresco displaying the candies contained within. And when we twisted off that lid, the opening to our jar would be just the right size for our hand to reach in and get a handful of delicious candies.

But now we have created a problem: we have designed just a great jar for our M&Ms that we must now find candies worthy to fill it. But the problem is, all our candies will come up short. They might be a bit stale, a bit lumpy, with blurring and fading colors. Upon opening and examining package after package, we find the product in front of us inadequate to be placed in our jar. So our jar stands empty, while M&Ms pile up on the floor kind of like in the last scene of infinite jest.

Our perfect jar is the "job" and our M&Ms are the people who actually do the job. In case my ironic analogy has escaped you to this point. Because beyond the economic imperative of the rich (which doesn't make sense: the rich in America are so rich that devaluing workers gets them nothing, they don't need more money to complete their Exodia The Forbidden One deck) and the structural imperatives of the bourgeois (the endgame of the bourgeois is to not have an endgame), the point of the entire rhetoric of "job creators" is to value the abstraction more highly than the actuality. The person whose economic power and ability to organize things, to create the potentiality for a job, is much more important than the person who actually does the job. The actual employee, the person who is carrying boxes or pumping septic tanks or educating children (in order of least to most odious) is always merely a temporary stand-in, their work is always a poor replacement for what exists in the sparkling firmament of the idealized job. They should be grateful for the chance to "substitute" for this idealized employee.

So the problem with "job creators" is not that it has economic bleah blah bleah because 2013 and no one cares. The problem is that its just another way that our culture carries out the doctrines of nihilism, by letting people know that their real accomplishments will always be subsidiary to the idealized achievements expected by those whose organizational power defines society.

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