Friday, March 18, 2016

The discrediting of 'Reaganomics'

Former Rep. Joe Scarborough made an admission I never thought I’d hear from a conservative Republican: “It never trickles down.”

The reference, of course, was to what became known as “Reaganomics,” which posited that, were taxes and regulations cut, the wealthy would be free to invest and grow the economy.

I for one thought from the jump that supply-side economics, its formal name, was a scam inspired by pure greed, and Scarborough seemed to be saying that as well — although well over 30 years later.

What I found amazing is that such a scheme found its way into the church, almost as though being Christian was tantamount to supporting a pro-business ideology. Nothing wrong with being in business and not even with making a profit, but — really — how much money and power does one need? Especially with the pursuit of it leaving families and communities devastated, with more working-class people these days turning to drugs and even committing suicide due to the lack of economic opportunity.

Because what really happened is that the rich pocketed that money, taking it out of the economy altogether and using it to get more or maintain their privileged status. And while the economy did grow after President George W. Bush cut taxes, virtually all that growth came at the very top. And you simply cannot maintain a healthy society with such inequality because it means a lack of opportunity down the road.

National Review is in denial, publishing a tome that said that supporters of Donald Trump, whose candidacy for president the magazine opposes, have simply lost their “values.” But you can’t feed a family on values.

Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks has been saying since 2008 that "the big [conservative] defeat is coming" — perhaps this year. I must confess that I didn't think it would happen like this, but the delusion of Reaganomics is finally being rejected.

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