Many people believe that this term was coined by President Ronald Reagan. Actually the term has been attributed to humorist Will Rogers, who said during the Great Depression that “money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. What this term means is that, in United States politics, the idea that tax breaks or other economic benefits provided to businesses and upper income levels will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole. Today, “trickle-down economics” is most closely identified with the economic policies known as “Reaganomics” or laissez-faire. David Stockman, who as Reagan’s budget director championed these cuts at first but then became skeptical of them, told journalist William Greider that the “supply-side economics” is the trickle-down idea: “It’s kind of hard to sell ‘trickle down,’ so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really ‘trickle down.’ Supply-side is ‘trickle-down’ theory.” (This above is taken from the online Encyclopedia Wikipedia which may or may not be accurate but for this blog seemed to explain it simply and well).
Now, why did I choose this as my latest blog topic you may ask. Good question. See I am a Salesman and have been for over 24 years. What I sell hardware. Items used for building structures, repairing things, and the like. But that’s not important at this moment. As a Salesman I spend a lot of time on the roads in the New York Metropolitan area. Over the years I have seen many changes within my Territory. Where there used to be thriving factories, producing all kinds of products needed right here in the U.S.of A. I now see empty buildings falling down. My industrial clients are trying to reinvent themselves to sell products to the remaining industry an now to homeowners. The hope is to get a little from each side of the market. When I began they used to say, “Our business is pretty recession proof. In good times we sell to the Contractors and in bad times we sell to the Homeowners (or Do it yourselfers).” That hasn’t held true since this Depression began late in the G.W. Bush Administration. People were losing jobs in the thousands, and those that were still working were holding onto their money because they did not know if they would have a job down the road. Depression? What Depression? The Government called it a Recession. Well I beg to differ. I think that the people that we elected to Office were afraid to call a spade a spade.
Actually, my industry saw the writing on the wall before the bottom fell out in that fateful October seven years ago. Back in early summer, Contractors were running out of jobs on the books and Lumber Yards were grinding to a halt. Hardware Stores were asking me where the people were. It just took time to hit the papers and then when the car companies and banks hit the skids it became official.
All of a sudden ‘To big to fail’ became the cry of Government. Well let me remind you that we are a Democratic Republic built on Capitalist ideals and nowhere does it say businesses are too big to fail. In fact if the Federal Government had money to dish out, in my opinion, they should have given and equal amount of that money to anyone that filed an IRS 1040 form. Whether we used it to pay off credit cards, buy cars, homes, furniture, took vacations, go out to dinner, etc. That money would have made it back into the economy and boosted it up better than bailing out Banks that are still holding on to the money. Car Companies that build cars that are recalled in the millions. Enough of that for now.
So anyway, back to ‘Trickle Down Economics’. I drive around seeing crumbling factories, I wrote that already didn’t I? I also see more and more strip malls going up, most sit half empty. Fast food chains, dollar stores, Department Stores, and the retail list goes on and on and on. Yes these establishments create jobs. Why every time a Home Depot or Lowe’s or Walmart go to a Planning board in a town they tout how many people they will be putting to work. Most of these people, I believe, make close to minimum wage. Most of these people are given hours that don’t require their employer to offer a Health Insurance Plan or Retirement Plan. But yes, in their defense, they did create jobs as promised.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (this is just part of a 39 page report) “The civilian labor force dropped by 806,000 in April, following an increase of 503,000 in March. The
labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent in April. The participation rate has shown no clear trend in recent months and currently is the same as it was this past October. The employment-population ratio showed no change over the month (58.9 percent) and has changed little over the year.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 7.5 million in April. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time
work.” [Yes I took Statistics in College and know how numbers can and are manipulated. But this is from the Government and you would think that the Administration would play with this a bit in a different direction.]
So we have people working because we are indeed creating jobs. They are earning minimum wage. Have little or no health coverage. And cannot afford to even have the bare necessities in life. They cannot even afford to buy products that they sell in the stores that they work in. [I heard a piece on the radio the other day about a family, both parents working part time because that is all that they can get, that alternate days that they eat so that their children may eat everyday].
Trickle Down Economics indeed. Until we bring manufacturing back to the States, increase import tariffs, and pay people a decent wage for a decent days work. Then Trickle Down Economics will only work for the Banks and people on Wall Street, who do nothing to really boost the economy. Make believe money churning out more make believe money. It only exists on paper.
Lest we forget that our Nation was founded, and the Colonies were populated because of Economics in Europe (We are here because our fertile ground could produce things needed in Europe to fuel their economy). Our Revolutionary war was really over Economics and the imbalance of money for work and products produced. It appears that we are just repeating what our Forefathers in Europe were doing hundreds of years ago and have learned nothing.
Democrat, Republican, Tea Party it all means nothing. They are all really the same. Another report that I heard was that the overall approval rate for Congress is only 6%. But as history shows, we keep voting the same people in over and over and over again. Until we get them OUT and there is a true turn over we will still muddle along in the mess that we are in.
Ok, I probably should have put this at the beginning but then you would not have read this to the end. I do not claim to have all of the answers. I don’t even balance the checkbook in my house because I screw it up by not putting everything in the register. My wife keeps it all straight. I am just calling it as I see it in my small slice of the world.
To quote one of my favorite movies, Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!!!”
Trickle Down Economics my ass.
Now lets see how many of you will come back with your own opinions. I welcome all. Whether you agree, disagree, or think I touched only the tip of the iceberg. Because I strongly believe in Free Speech(another blog?)
Thanks for listening.