Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Trickle-down in action

For years we've heard from the likes of anti-capitalists like Russel Norman, John Kenneth Galbraith and Michael Cullen about "trickle down." According to one view, capitalism is supposed to be characterised by the poor getting the crumbs that have trickled down from the top tables of the rich. Galbraith characterised it thus: "If you feed the horse enough oats, the sparrow will survive on the highway."

But no sane economist has ever advocated such a view. Thomas Sowell invites anyone -- anyone -- to prove him wrong in that assertion:
A year ago this column defied anyone to quote any economist -- in government, academia, or anywhere else outside an insane asylum -- who had ever argued in favor of a 'trickle down theory'... a stock phrase on the left for decades and yet not one of those who denounce it can find anybody who advocated it. The tenacity with which they cling to these catchwords shows how desperately they need them, if only to safeguard their vision of the world and of themselves.
Frankly, if you want to see trickle-down in action, the only place you're going to see it is in Government. The best place to see it in NZ is in Labour's Welfare for Working Families package: they take your money, waste a large portion of it (fiscal drag, you see), and then dole out a small proportion of it back to some voters (for which they're pathetically grateful). That's trickle-down for you, as administered by the residents of an insane asylum.

LINK: The 'trickle down' left" Preserving a vision - Thomas Sowell
The 'Trickle down' economics straw man - Thomas Sowell (Sep, 2001)

TAGS: Economics, Labour, Welfare, Cue_Card_Libertarianism, Nonsense

1 comment:

  1. Your own party's website mentions "trickle down" as a good thing. Under the Education FAQ it describes how teaching methods pioneered in rich schools will eventually be available to the poor:

    "Methods of teaching will continually evolve and improve and this will constantly trickle down to lower budget educational facilities."

    It goes on to give the example of how electric windows were pioneered first in cars that poor people couldn't afford, but that benefit has now trickled down to everyone buying a new car.


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