The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

CEO Honesty About Wanting High Unemployment

I really appreciate CEO developer Tim Gurney’s honesty here:

A lot of people are focusing on the idea that Gurney is a terrible person.

Which he is.

But there are two important facts he makes very clear here. The first is that most bosses like being able to push people around. Money is good, yes, but the real motivation is power and power over other people is what a lot of bosses get off on. Unless you inherited, you rarely get to the top without enjoying making other people do what you want: that’s most of the job of “leaders” and “managers” after all.

The good ones focus on motivating teams in positive ways, but the bad ones, well, they use fear and greed.

The second bit is the honesty about governments trying to increase unemployment. This is something a lot ofpeople won’t believe when a leftist or a Marxist tells them it, but perhaps when a CEO does, they will.

It should be emphasized that this isn’t an “always” situation: for most of the period from 1933-79 US government policy was intended to decrease unemployment. That sub-era of capitalism wanted high wages, in part because everyone’s workers are someone else’s customers. China’s big goal right now is to figure out how to increase wages across the economy, and thus escape the middle income trap. (They’re doing it wrong, because their economy came of age during a global neoliberal age, but they know it’s what they should do.)

But since 79 deliberate policy in most developed countries has been to keep unemployment high to crush wages. That’s how the current capitalism.

This is also a pure example of “job creator” ideology. “We the big bosses create the jobs. All the good things come from us. Without us people wouldn’t have jobs. They should be grateful and obedient and subservient because they are worth something only when being used by us.”

This is specific example of what’s common in almost all eras: the people who have the most power believe that means they are also the best people. “The GodKing makes the rains the flow and the sun rise. All bow to the GodKing.”

From the capitalists come all that is good, therefore government and ordinary people should revere and obey them and do what they say.

So I really do appreciate Tim Gurney’s honesty here: he’s saying the quiet part out loud. He’s not being a hypocrite, like most of his peers. This is who he is and they are. Good for him for being authentic and telling the truth.

This is a donor supported site, so if you value the writing, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Osama Bin Laden: The First Great Man Of The 21st Century


Ten Simple Facts About Covid (With Bonus Fact!)


  1. NR


    Didn’t the Fed chair say something about workers having too much leverage? I think it was a year or so ago, but I can’t find the quote now. Do you recall anything like that?

    And while I’m sure some of it is about power, driving up unemployment drives wages down, which is what the capitalists want.

  2. Chipper

    Possibly you’re referring to this? There’s a lot more in the article than what I quoted; I didn’t read the whole thing, but the specific thing you’re thinking of might be in there.

    The stuff in []’s was added by me, not by WSJ.

    No paywall.

    May 4, 2022

    So in principle, it seems as though, by moderating demand [ in the labor market ], we could see [ job ] vacancies come down, and as a result—and they could come down fairly significantly and I think put supply and demand at least closer together than they are, and that that would give us a chance to have lower—to get inflation—to get wages down and then get inflation down without having to slow the economy and have a recession and have unemployment rise materially.

  3. Z

    While our rulers’ Fed goes after the working class and places the full burden on them to pay the price for inflation via lower wages, increased unemployment, and higher interest rates on the credit card balances they too frequently have to run-up in order to survive, the Fed is also always there to support, via printing money, the financial institutions and structure of the markets that extract a higher and higher percentage of the working class’s wages for shelter, education, and medical costs.

    As I’ve often mentioned, our rulers are provided a drive-up window to the Fed to maintain their power over the working class while the working class is routed through our rulers’ rigged obstacle course of a Congress … led by the likes of Let Them Eat Shit Mitch, Sneaky Shnucky Chuckie Schumer (D-Wall Street), Speed Queen Nancy P, and F*ckhead Kevin McCarthy … to have any hope extinguished that they may have to have the system represent their interests in some way.

    And the kicker is this: the younger working class who are getting hit the most by this also have that debt, aka the money the Fed creates to support the financial institutions and structure of the markets that overcharge them whenever our rulers have systematically extracted so much that they have destabilized the entire financial system, largely placed on their ledger for them to eventually have to resolve in some manner. It’s both pay now and pay later for them.


  4. Willy

    Theoretically, true believers in the capitalist system understand the basics like the free market of labor and how disposable income enhances economies. But something bad clearly happens to people so entitled by family wealth they never have to struggle. It’s as if a part of their brain atrophies.

    One of the loudest Republicans I know is my once likeably sociable nephew. After a lifetime of having been given everything from a fully paid-for college education, his job, a daddy co-signed home loan for his junior McMansion, and even free babysitting services, he’s devolved into this greedy, corrupt, surly and stupid fat fuck who only cares about himself. And who regularly lies to his uncle.

    And no, I’d never tell him this in person. At least not yet. Or that he wouldn’t last a month out in the real world unprotected by mommy and daddy and their network of corrupt cronies.

    I’d say that Gurner isn’t a true capitalist, just somebody using the system for all it’s worth. But others might say he’s the end result of all capitalisms.

  5. NR


    Maybe that was it. I thought I remembered a quote that specifically talked about workers having leverage (maybe not in those exact words), but I could be misremembering or someone else may have said it.


  6. Mel

    “Leverage:” has a few meanings. We can take it to mean influence, or the ability to apply physical or moral force.
    In finance it technically means, more or less, “debt”. It refers to the ability to borrow a multiple of your current resources and swing more weight in the market.
    So it could have meant that workers are stretched too far in debt. If we find the quote and the context …

  7. StewartM

    What Tim Gurney is actually doing/saying is exposing the Austrian economics lie that there is some “economic reality” separate and independent from political structure and human morality. Just like the piece praising/defending Ebeneezer Scrooge from the von Mises webpage I cited earlier, Tim Cratchet didn’t “deserve” (not the moralism injected!) higher pay because other Scrooges didn’t offer it to him. Likewise, workers don’t “deserve” anything better unless it pleases the bosses.

    Less arrogance in the employment market? Why not less arrogance among investors? Why not ‘discipline’ enforced on CEOs and private equity firms rather on workers? This is also the moralism of neoclassical and Austrian economics masquerading as economic fact. Whereas low worker pay is just a ‘fact of the market’, higher worker pay and low investment returns become some ‘pressing problem which by god require action!

  8. somecomputerguy

    Ah yes, the era economists know as “the great compression”, a mysterious period, where for some reason, wages, for lack of a better word, “equalized,” and equally mysteriously, tracked increases in productivity, such that we had something known as rising real wages.

    Why would economists, even nominally well intentioned ones, talk about that era, that way?

    Why did Paul Krugman practically stroke-out when another economist talked about WWII price controls?

    It couldn’t be because this was an era where first, economists had virtually no say in public policy (see “The Economists Hour”; everyone knew what economists would advise; “let markets decide, i.e. do nothing”), and second, government-dictated wage and price controls in one form or an other were used by government to direct virtually every part of the economy? A 98% marginal rate that caps income at $1.6m is a wage control. A interstate trucking commission that regulates entry and rates is a price control.

    I am still trying to get an understanding of how radical and different the New Deal was from today.

  9. Z

    This lady is good at explaining how hedge funds are colluding to inflate prices on services such as housing repairs.

    This is the piranha-infested cesspool that U.S.ers have to constantly navigate through with companies colluding, often through the use of a common software, to systematically extract as much as they can from them for a product or service. And it’s all kinds of different businesses picking at us from all sorts of directions.

    Unfortunately for the working class though … and very fortuitous to our rulers …. this happens to be the type of inflation that the Fed is completely disinterested in and blissfully uninterested in its role in it. They only furrow their brow at the wages of the working class.


  10. mago

    I remember the arrogant greedy dicks who figured out how to shape and game the system back in the 80’s.

    Knew a few of them.
    Kinda sorta knew where they were coming from.
    Familiar with mendacity, greed and avarice I wasn’t surprised.

    Too bad their actions are destructive to self, others and the world at large.

    Toxicity abounds. Let’s pray it doesn’t explode as a mushroom cloud.

  11. GrimJim

    Truly, Capitalism has never been anything more than the Divine Right of Kings in sheep’s clothing, with the Invisible Hand playing the part of Jehovah/Jesus/Allah.

    Now, in the Post-Capitalist Financialized era, the emperor has been shown to have no clothes.

  12. anon y'mouse

    this desperate attitude is also why the employers prefer immigrants.

    people who will bust ass and won’t complain, and won’t insist on any rights (because they have none) are always preferred.

    the idea that the better off deserve the near worship and service of the lower classes is how this country was formed, from before it was a country. it was why slavery was engaged in. it was why Jim Crow went on and on (and still goes on), and it is why we have essentially an open border policy with some agents arresting and caging a few people to pretend otherwise.

    as far as i can tell, all of the politicians are in on this scheme and their answer to the border thing is to simply enlarge legal immigration.

    never mind that we do not have enough housing or decent jobs for people presently here. we need more, because we want to “heighten the contradictions” of the lower classes exclusively.

    this while the rich are supposedly cashing in on the raised interest rates encouraged by the fed, by switching around their investments. and while most people still have not had cost of living increases that kept up with the past 10-15 years, much less the past 3.

    i know our income in this house has been down all year. in an industry that is absolutely essential to nearly everything in this economy. why? the owners kept crying about “not enough employees” and engaged too much in training (and other scams), plus a badly run business went under, suddenly disemploying thousands.

  13. Creigh Gordon

    Janet Yellen said much the same thing. The basis of monetary policy is a buffer stock of unemployed people. The idea is that increasing rates increase the stock of unemployed and decrease demand, and vice versa. That said, interest rate manipulation is a blunt instrument at best, and rate increases might even be counterproductive as businesses add interest costs into their pricing.

  14. Trinity

    So, one of the bad guys is complaining because he’s not making as much money, and how dare the unwashed make any demands!

    Too funny, really. What goes up, must come down, what goes around, comes around. The one constant, the only true constant, is change.

    As Mago said, toxicity is everywhere these days. I like to imagine just how toxic their environment is. It’s probably pretty bad.

    I, for one, enjoy the show they keep putting on. It’s laugh at them, or cry about them and what they do, so I choose to laugh.

    And he’s now issued an apology. Wonder who made him do that? And it’s no surprise that not only do they inadvertently reveal their true selves often, but also how detached from reality they are, and how they are completely self absorbed.

    Seriously, one could almost (but in reality, never) pity them. Like the wannabe Congress woman selling sex acts with her husband over the internet to pay for her campaign. That is incredibly funny, and also sad, really. Very sad, but very funny. It’s a long, long, long way to the bottom but she’s almost there.

    One wonders just how much more debased (debauched, perverted) they can become. I guess we will find out, and we’ve got front row seats.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén