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Kearns and Sons

Trickle down

 

I am not an economist. I need help to balance my checkbook. I suffer through a few months of income tax preparation every year before I take it to a CPA. I do read the papers and have a mind that stores away most of the trivia that the newspapers write about.

As I recall, “trickle down” was an economic theory that arose during the Reagan administration. I think it was supposed to work something like this. The very wealthy one percent would be allowed to use whatever means they could to get wealthier. As their wealth increased they would hire more people for their business or start new businesses and hire even more people. The wealth would trickle down to the newly hired workers and all the boats on the water would rise.

Trickle down sounded like a good economic platform but looking back over the last 30 years I can’t see where it worked any magic. The first part worked. The rich one percent got richer, but somewhere between the one percent and the 99 percent, trickle down broke down.

In order for the rich to get richer they needed the assistance of the government. There was a need for some special laws or some tweaking of existing laws if the wealthy were to increase their wealth. In order to maintain the wealthier cycle there had to be more laws and a little tweaking. The rich were getting richer but their increased wealth had to be poured into lobbyist and congressional campaign contributions in order to get the tweaks and laws that let them get wealthier. Congress itself was a dam that was holding up the money trickle and it wasn’t trickling down to the bedrock poor.

There has been some trickle down. Campaign donations have trickled down to the county level. What do they buy? The same as in Washington D.C. – favorable treatment by officials elected to represent the people of the county.

Trickle down has only been with us for more than 30 years. Could it be we just haven’t given trickle down enough time to accomplish its proposed purpose? Maybe some of the created wealth will seep through the elected official’s dam and eventually trickle down to wet the whistles of the thirsty 99 percent who have been patiently waiting.

While the one percent is becoming wealthier, the 99 percent have become poorer. The trickle down water provided by the wealthy has not reached the water in the lake the 99 percent have been sailing on. Their lake has been dwindling and their boats are being dashed on the rocks of poverty. Those who miss the rocks are finding their boats dry-docked on the sandy shores of welfare.

It’s a real shame that trickle down dried up before it raised the water and floated the boats of the poor. It sounded like such a good economic plan. Too bad that it lowered the lake of the middle class and drained the lake of the poor. The oars of the middle class are beginning to row sand and the beached boats of the poor will never float again. Too bad we can’t get the sands of poverty to trickle up.

John W. Robinson

Corvallis

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