You Take the Good, You Take the Bad: Trickle-Down Economics
It isn’t a fiscal policy: Trickle-down economics is a fact of life.
“Why is trickle-down economics still with us?” lamented Robert Reich for The Guardian last week: “This gonzo economic theory continues to live on, notwithstanding its repeated failures.”
Under “failures”, see “inflation and the worsening economy,” which is not, Reich argues, the fault of the Democratic Party but of that bad old Reaganesque fiscal policy.
Reich is right about one thing: The wealth gap is embarrassing. The haves have more than ever; the have-nots are getting more desperate by the day.
It’s even worse now than it was only two years ago. The world’s 10 wealthiest people doubled their wealth during COVID19, according to Oxfam. Since no mainstream media outlets seem eager to corroborate the assertion, we’ll all have to trust Oxfam.
But the wealth gap between the wealthiest members of a society and the most impoverished has been with humanity since the beginning.
There have always been tyrants, robber barons, organized crime, and other unscrupulous elements willing to exploit others to achieve their ends.
The exploitative dark side of human nature- and by extension, human systems like capitalism or communism- are the reasons we have things like child labor laws. We have those laws, to our shame, because we need them.
That the modern day wealth gap has grown beyond all comprehension isn’t the fault of capitalism, and it isn’t a malfunction of trickle-down economics.
Trickle-down economics has worked magnificently, just as it always has, just as it was designed to do as a vital tool for human advancement and social development.
Things which once were so astronomically expensive as to be out of reach for the vast majority of the world’s population have become basic standards of living most people in wealthy nations don’t even think about.
Indoor plumbing, electricity, the internal combustion engine, the Pentium Processor: These advancements were neither cheap nor easy to pioneer.
The costs of building the first- or the first dozen attempts, considering it was highly…