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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Obama and the Trickle Sideways Economics Theory

Ronald Reagan had naive faith in the intelligence of the American people which allowed his particular view of economics to forever be derisively called "trickle down economics." Sure, if you're not top economic dog and you don't think deeply on a regular basis this theory sounds condescending. But so what? Get over it. You're not rich and it's not America's fault.

Reagan would have been better advised to message harder on the "rising tide lifts all boats" description, because indeed that's what it does.

The term "trickle-down economics" was originally used to describe the tax cuts and reforms put into law by Reagan and the Democrat congress he worked with. Reagan was able to work with the Dems back in the day because the Dems:
  1. were not the extreme ideologues they are today
  2. were not quite as ill-informed about how the world works as they are today
For thirty years the Left and the wienie-set amongst us has decried "trickle-down economics" as the foolish bluster of the rich right wing. And once again the lazy GOP allowed its theories to be demagogued relentlessly so that now any theory that doesn't depend on the government greasing the skids of the economy gets dismissed immediately.

Now we have a president who believes in a completely different economic theory: trickle-sideways economics. Trickle sideways is the economic theory of giving money to your friends and supporters so they will continue to befriend and support you, and if they spend some of that dough on the rest of us, well, all the better. The basic tenets of trickle-sideways economics are:
  • give union members jobs so they can go out and buy cheap Chinese crap to ensure the middle-man class stays solvent
  • give union members jobs so more money can be put in Democrat coffers, thus insuring more money for union jobs
  • insult and ignore the vast majority of Americans who don't work union jobs and offer no real reform of the tax and trade codes to give those Americans an actual chance to succeed
Under trickle sideways, teacher, police, firefighter and public sector unions make up the bulk of recipients of President Obama's stimulus and "jobs" plans. This puts smart people like me in the position of coming out against teachers and cops and firefighters. Coming out against giving more money to teachers and cops is like coming out in favor of cancer because not everybody dies from it. Only a real bad person would support cancer, and only a real bad person would be against throwing more money at teachers and cops, regardless of the folly of doing so.

Let the economic engine of the American people loose and the Federal, state and local governments will make enough money (even under the current horrible tax code) to buy Mercedes-Benz firetrucks and truffles for lunch for all of those little kids on the federal school lunch program.

We've allowed the members of the intelligentsia class to mock trickle down economics because they don't understand it, while we've let them shove trickle sideways economics down our throats because the theory is sympathetic to their cause.

Brilliant job America.

1 comment:

Marc said...

In the 80's the voting public could buy into trickle down theory because they could not foresee that they would be competing on equal ground against impoverished serfs and slumdogs living in harsh third world conditions or under totalitarian regimes.

Trickle sideways actually makes sense when you consider the effect of members of a growing middle class trading with one another. In the US wealth trickles sideways from top dollar CEOs to top dollar bankers and divorce lawyers. There is wealth trickling down, but it comes in the form of billionaires controlling armies of third world plebes building yachts and private jets for each other, which has helped grow a new middle class (ie mid-level managers) in China and India where it did not used to exist. Sadly, most of any dripping profits fall into tax sheltered offshore accounts and only occasionally trickles down to an American worker, much by luck more than by Reagan's original design.