Following the release of Friday’s dismal unemployment report, CNBC’s Rick Santelli took a moment to address barriers to economic opportunity and the free market.
“(M)aybe the best news isn’t the unemployment rate going down,” he said during his Friday “Santelli Exchange” segment. “Maybe it’s the unemployment rate going up.”
He is of course referring to the decline in labor force participation being mainly responsible for the unemployment rate falling from 7 percent to 6.7 percent.
“(O)ne of the other barriers, of course, to get into the labor market is education,” he continued, adding “structural unemployment — don’t pay people to be structurally unemployed. That’s insulting. Let’s get them through the wall of employment.”
He added: “Now, another barrier to entry is, in my opinion, some of the stock market; the debate between Wall Street and Main Street. So on the Wall Street, side I see things like Tesla: $18 billion market cap. I look at Netflix: $20 billion market cap. I look at Twitter: $30 billion market cap. I think the king of them all, the king of the mountain, is has to be Facebook: $140 billion market cap.”
“One trader said, ‘Geez, with a market cap like that they can buy Greece and still have money left over and put a down payment on Portugal,” the CNBC analyst joked. “The feeling on Main Street is they can’t get jobs on Wall Street because of the high fliers.”
And that’s the crux of Santelli’s speech: That we have created a situation where Americans feel as if there are certain insurmountable obstacles holding them back. This much seems obvious by the number of people who have simply stopped looking for work.
You can see the speech here:
Further, he added, where there is opportunity in the big leagues, there are usually red tape barriers.
“The barrier to entry I worry — as much about for people to get into the labor market — is the barrier to entry to (something like) Facebook or Twitter,” he said. “Let’s say you have three brilliant programmers and you bring them in a room. You can emerge with the next Facebook or the next Netflix or next Twitter.”
“The barrier to entry is very low. And you need to be careful — because when the barrier entry is low your stock might go down!” he shouted, tearing down a brick wall backdrop.
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