I am posting this thread in the "Above Politics" forum because I feel that the time has come to look past our political affiliations and desires in
order to discuss our economic reality as it is today. Some people's political-feelings may get hurt in this thread, but we must set aside our silly
allegiances to party mantra in order to talk about policy in a way in which we can prosper again as individuals and collectively as a nation.
The Horse and Sparrow Theory
The name is beautifully simplistic in the way it illustrates the mechanics of this theory. The theory is that if you feed enough oats to a horse,
plenty will make it out the back end for the sparrows to pick out. In economic terms, this means that if we give the rich more tax breaks and
incentives that enough will make it through the economic "digestive system" for everyone else to collect.
You and I are the sparrows!
While you have that bad taste in your mouth, let's call this theory by it's better know name....trickle-down economics.....aka: Supply-side
Unfortunately, this is the system in which we find ourselves today. Tax policy has benefited the collectivist/corporate/wealthy for quite some time
now and the benefit of such policy has yet to come to fruition. The "oats" have been fed to the horse, but little has made it through for the
sparrows to feed on.
In my opinion, trickle-down economics is the root cause of income disparity and can be directly correlated to the rise in food stamp and welfare
assistance. It's not a matter of not feeding the horse enough to make it's way to the sparrows, it's that the horse is refusing to "crap it out"!
So if there is less for us to pick out, people must resort to some assistance to survive in a world in which the sparrows have less and less to
I will even go as far to say that trickle-down economics is to blame for our current economic woes.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
This theory is essentially the polar opposite of trickle-down economics. The theory is that the general economic welfare of the nation is much more
stable and productive when the lower and middle class individuals are better off. This is achieved by lowering taxes on the poor/middle class and
mixing it with a bit of government assistance when needed.
By assistance I do not mean welfare. I mean that the government can step in and direct tax money to places in which money can be most useful and to
ensure the flow of money from bottom to top.
Although this theory has a real "feel-good" tone to it, I don't believe it is the answer either. If we were in just the infancy stages of creating
a new economy, this theory may work well. But to initiate a system such as this in our current situation, wealth must be taken from one place and put
into another. Unless it's money taken from crooked Wall street thugs or wealthy individuals that have defrauded the population, there would be no way
to morally or ethically take wealth from one group of individuals and give it to another.
It would also require much more government intrusion than is allowed by constitutional.standards.
So What Do We Do?
The two theories we have discussed cover the vast majority of economic thinking within our current political paradigm. It's either top-bottom or
bottom to top. Neither theory discusses how to manage issues with corporate monopolization or how to revert to the original corporate charter
But are their other economic theories that offer a much more stable economy while adhering to constitutionality? I don't know. That is where the
debate begins. Some schools of thought believe that Keynesian or Austrian economic theories could provide a good mix of true supply-demand, fairer tax
policy and a sound currency hedged against inflation.
So what do you think ATS? What school of economic thought tickles your fancy? How do we take our current situation and turn it around in a way that
paves the way to economic success?