Don’t Listen to the Man Behind the Curtain


Our friend John Huppenthal is now back posting comments after recovering from his post-election blues. No word yet on whether he’s gong to seek office again. Or whether he’s undergone counseling to confront his inner racist.

But his understanding of economics hasn’t changed. More directly, he still has no understanding of even the most basic concepts.

In recent comments, ole Thuckarooskie has been citing statistics comparing 1980 to 2008, in order to show that supply side economics works.

Lest nobody be taken in by the Thuckster’s hucksterism, here’s an apples-to-apples comparison of this supposed golden period, 1980 to 2008, to an earlier 28-year period, 1945 to 1973. 

1980 – 2008: GDP increased (in inflation-adjusted dollars) from 6.5 trillion to 14.58 trillion, a 124% increase. The portion of that GDP flowing to the bottom 90% decreased from 68% to 55%, however, which means the percentage increase in GDP flowing to the bottom 90% was 81% over that period. Because population also increased 45% during that period, the increase in per capita GDP to the bottom 90% was 25%, or 25.12% to be fair, but under 1% per year.

1945 – 1973: GDP increased (again, inflation-adjusted dollars) from 2.22 trillion to 5.46 trillion, a 146% increase. The portion of that GDP flowing to the bottom 90% increased from 66% to 68%, so the percentage increase in GDP flowing to the bottom 90% was 153%. Because population also increased by 50% during that period, the increase in per capita GDP to the bottom 90% was 68.93%, close to triple the increase experienced by that group over the 1980 – 2008 period.

Doing the same analysis for the top 10%, the result would be the opposite: A 118% increase in per capita GDP during the 1980 to 2008 period, but only a 54% increase during the 1945 to 1973 period.

Between 1945 and 1973, 30% of the increase in GDP flowed to the top 10%. Between 1980 and 2008, 55% of the increase in GDP flowed to the top 10%.

Don’t listen to the man behind the curtain.


  1. Steve,
    Wow, a powerful example of the destructive gravitational attraction of welfare programs. I have two daughters who recently graduated from college and chose to work in brutally competitive industries at close to minimum wage. One of my biggest fears is that they will apply for food stamps.

    The tragedy is that the research shows there are millions of people like your brother who became ensnared in these welfare programs as a way of life. As a businessman you are carrying these people on your back through your taxation when they should be helping your move others ahead by being your employee or by starting their own businesses.

    Bob wants to make welfare even more attractive through higher taxation of your business.

    • I know you and Bob Lord have a figurative running gun battle going on, but I actually like Bob. He and I and I have had a couple of bitter arguments on some subjects near and dear to our hearts, but I still like him and respect him.

      I am a conservative and agree with you on a lot of subjects, especially the welfare state. Bob did tell me not to listen to your explanations on economics, but I find a lot of what you say makes sense. Bob also presents excellent information from his perspective which makes me thinks that economics is a multifaceted science that is not as black and white as some would like to believe. Bob did convince me that raising taxes on the top 1% was not a bad idea, but I did point out that if we did raise taxes on them, there was a good chance they would find ways to avoid paying them and total tax collection would drop. Bob didn’t think that would happen and explained why. I didn’t really understand it. It would be interesting to see what would happen if taxes were raised on them.

      Anyway, I hope you keep posting. I enjoy reading what you write and I especially enjoy the spirited arguments it provokes. ;o)

  2. Immigration is only one aspect of the faultiness of Bob’s analysis. 1975 is close to the epicenter of a whole slew of liberal initiatives that badly damaged the economic ladder moving poor people up and on to a better future. Just one example: since 1975, the proportion of our population on permanent disability has increased by over 70%. People are healthier than ever yet the percentage of our 50 year olds permanently taken out of the work force has skyrocketed. We have 46 million people on food stamps. Rogerson has done amazing work showing that when you give people things they would otherwise have to work for, they work less, a lot less. As a result, they quit moving up the economic ladder.

    If the lower end of the ladder has not done as well as it might have, it is not the fault of the 1% who now pay an additional 400 billion in taxes thanks to supply side economics.

    These are my black brothers and sisters. I have worked my entire life to give them a pathway to prosperity. You call me a racist, yet my observation is that you have your liberal boot on their faces grinding them into the mud.

    • John, my youngest brother is an example of someone who ensnared himself in the trap of government “support” programs at an early age. For almost forty years he has done everything possible to keep his reportable income low so that he didn’t make too much to qualify for the various handouts the government offers. Whether it was health insurance, Section 8 Housing, Food Stamps, direct cash payments, or what have you, the programs all have thresholds beyond which you lose eligibility for the Program. My Brother sought out employers who would pay cash under the table that would not have to be reported so that he always stayed under those thresholds. Of course, that trapped him in poverty because none of these Programs will make you wealthy. I tried to hire him at a decent salary for at my Company as a Security Guard, but he turned me down because the salary was insufficient to replace the value of services he was receiving from the Governments at all levels. He is now trying to figure out how he can get on Social Security Disability because he is older and it is harder for him to find work under the table. The hard manual labor is also more difficult for him. He thinks disability is the way to go. Unfortunately, because so much of his work was under the table, his Social Security Account is not that large. He is a text book example of lifetime product of the liberal system of government support.

      I have never understood why minorities are so slavishly devoted to the Democrats. They have made little or no headway in improving their lot under Democrat care and custody and, in fact, have seen the destruction of their family units brought about by reliance on government program and bureaucrats. Generations have passed of the same old promises with little good to show for it.

  3. Typically deceptive. Typical false insults. The analysis completely ignores the massive impact of immigration. The two periods of time had almost identical population growth yet in the second period, immigration was 30 million of the population growth while it was only 10 million in the first period. Coming to the United States had a huge positive impact on the income of these immigrants, much more so in the second period of time than in the first, yet that aspect is completely not reflected in this analysis.

  4. You know, Bob, I am not a stupid man. But I have to confess that all this economic discussion leaves me confused. I trust you that the figures you use are correct and your analysis makes sense to me, but even after studying it I find I am still confused and that is so-o-o frustrating. I do appreciate your taking the time to explain it to Phillistines like me because it is important, but I regret I am unable to fully understand it. But keep it coming because even if people like me don’t fully understand it, we do understand the importance of it and the underlying message it carries.

Comments are closed.