By All Means Argue With Me. Just Make Sense


Posted by Bob Lord

Some political bloggers treat commenters from the opposing viewpoint with disdain. I get why they do so, but I try to refrain from that practice. I like a spirited debate. I think my fellow bloggers do as well. But we don't care much for mindless talking point repetition. 

Here's a case in point. I wrote a recent post regarding a Fed Board Governor's recent epiphany on inequality. One of our conservative friends wrote a lengthy dissertation on how lower tax rates were the way to address inequality. In other words, supply side economics would shrink the gap between the few and the many by putting more dollars in the pockets of the few. 

Really? How can that possibly be? The whole point of supply side economics is to justify inequality as necessary for the greater good. That's why it also is referred to as "trickle-down" economics. The theory is that if you allow those at the top to increase their wealth and income, some of it will trickle-down to the rest of us. Thus, supply siders argue, we need to allow the "job creator" class to be very wealthy in order to grow the economy.


Essentially, this commenter's reflexive reliance on supply-sider talking points made it appear that he thought proponents of supply-side / trickle-down economics have advanced it as a means of remedying inequality, when the reality is they've used supply-side economics to defend and justify inequality and, in fact, argue for increased inequality.  

So what happened here? If the commenter had thought about what he was saying for a few minutes he likely would not have mindlessly spewed out conservative talking points, or at least would have spewed different ones. But it seemed from the comment that inequality triggered thoughts of poverty, which in turn was correlated to joblessness, which then induced a lengthy dissertation on the wonder of supply-side economics for job creation. The problem is that even if supply-side economics actually works to create jobs, it never was designed to reduce inequality. I don't think it ever dawned on the commenter that he was taking the absurd position that the way to reduce the gap between rich and the rest of us is to make the rich even richer.

So, by all means, argue with me. Just try to make sense when you do.  


  1. Faith-based economics. Free-market economics is an ideology, a belief system not subject to refutation with facts or reason. I thought Yves Smith summed it up well in the last paragraph of her book “Econned.”

    ” That brings us to the final outcome of this debacle. A radical campaign to reshape popular opinion recognized the seductive potential of the appealing phrase “free markets.” Powerful business interests, largely captive regulators and officials, and a lapdog media took up this amorphous, malleable idea and made it a Trojan horse for a three-decade-long campaign to tear down the rules that constrained the financial sector. The result has been a massive transfer of wealth, with its centerpiece the greatest theft from the public purse in history. This campaign has been far too consistent and calculated to brand it with the traditional label, “spin.” This manipulation of public perception can only be called propaganda.”

  2. There is almost no objective study data supporting the supply side myth. There is tons of data showing Keynesian stimulus spending does work, it may not address inequality as much, but revised tax policy can and will.