Friday, October 30, 2009

Calling Things What They Are

My wife woke up at 3:59 AM wondering if the house was locked up. At 4:00 AM, I was stumbling around the house verifying that our compound was secure. After that, I never got back to sleep, so I did some reading.

Over the last several weeks, an old friend from high school who found me on Facebook has somehow engaged me in an exercise over "trickle-down" economics, the philosophy that if you ease the tax burden on the wealthiest citizens (the ones who own companies or are in a position to invest), enough economic activity will be stimulated to pay for the lost revenue and bring prosperity to the lower orders by increased production and jobs.

Offering me proof of this religion, he threw reports by the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute at me -- a lot of disproven claims and theories that have been debunked by CBO reports and surveys of job growth/stagnation, construction, retail figures, etc. An impatient feeling had been creeping into my consciousness as I dutifully read these things he wanted me to read, and after inquiring into the source of this impatience it's because I feel, in a way, this is all scratching the left foot when the right foot is itching.

There is a very simple political relationship at the center of this, and all this economic flummery is just so much stage smoke, attempting to legitimize our social order with a patina of pseudo-science.

It isn't science, it's politics. A very simple political disposition, really: the social order favors those who have power. Let's call it what it is, and do what we need to do.

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