Quick poll: who here has heard of trickle-down economics? Hopefully most of you. Now who here actually believes it works at all? Anyone who does, let me know, I have a fantastic bridge related investment for you.
For those of you who hypothetically haven’t heard of trickle-down economics, it’s pretty simple. Originally espoused by Ronald Reagan, it essentially says that if the tax rates are cut for the wealthy, they will prosper, and their spending will “trickle down” to everyone else and revitalize the economy. Helping the rich helps you!
Apart from decades and decades of data that prove that trickle-down doesn’t work at all, there are some other reasons you should consider.
First off: Rich people are not stupid. You don’t become rich by spending all of your money wildly. The wealthy know to save and reinvest their money. When you give the rich more money, THEY KEEP IT.
Secondly: There is a functional spending cap for any individual. An individual can only eat a certain amount of food. They can only drive a certain number of miles, wear a certain number of outfits, take a certain number of trips, etc. Even the most ostentatious spendthrifts among the wealthy can only reasonably purchase a certain amount of goods and services. I mean, they could buy three thousand Ford F150s, but why the hell would they? It doesn’t make any sense.
Thirdly: The wealthy are purchasing luxury goods, not regular goods. The luxury goods industry is tiny compared to other industries- they’re catering to the insanely wealthy super-rich, who make up a tiny portion of the population, so there are a relatively small number of manufacturers of luxury goods world-wide. There simply aren’t a lot of jobs there, but the money of the wealthy is going there, not to regular manufactures. How many of you harvest caviar or build yachts? Who here sells tropical islands to billionaires, or even mansions to millionaires? Maybe there’s a silent majority of the wealthy who wipe with Charmin, drink domestic beers, drive used cars, eat instant mac and cheese- but that kinda defeats the entire purpose of wealth. If you can find even a few people like that, I’ll be honestly shocked.
So let’s just run with the assumption that I’m correct about trickle-down economics from here. It being completely wrong, even it being a pretty apparent greed-inspired moneygrab by the wealthy- those things aren’t what make me angriest about trickle-down. The thing that makes me angriest? It’s that the whole idea revolves around us being asked to grub around in the dirt for the bits of fucking spare change that drizzle through the fingers of the wealthy. How can anyone seriously take being told to just hope that the rich will bless them with money, and to just accept that you’re being asked to support the government on their backs while the rich get away with paying even less taxes than anyone else?
Fun fact: the income tax for the rich used to be over 91%. Guess how much that altered their ability to live better than everyone else? If you guessed not very much, you’re spot on! Remember those maximum reasonable spending limits I talked about? Turns out that those aren’t really that high.
A similar argument goes for the estate tax and the capital gains tax- they simply don’t affect anyone but the wealthy to a significant degree. Abolishing them only really benefits the wealthy.
Why am I complaining about this right now? Because I’m still seeing people arguing for trickle-down economics, and this angry young liberal white male college dropout means to do something about it in the way of his people: Complaining about it in the hopes that someone notices, and possibly thinks I’m intelligent, and passionate about a cause.