Taxes are low and corporate profits are high, but nothing is trickling down to the American worker.
If politicians are going to continue kowtowing to every whim of the rich, can they at least think of a new excuse? Via Salon:
The theory of supply-side economics tells us that if you cut taxes on rich people and corporations, the moguls and businessmen will take their windfall and invest it, creating jobs and accelerating the rate of economic growth. The benefits of a light hand on the upper class, therefore, will “trickle down” to the working man and woman.
Ever since Ronald Reagan first attempted to make supply-side economics a reality and proceeded to inaugurate an era of persistent government deficits and growing income inequality, it has become harder and harder to make the trickle-down argument with a straight face. But we’ve never seen anything quite like the disaster that’s playing out right now.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that corporate profits are looking quite strong for the second quarter of 2011. Even the Journal can’t sugarcoat the basic facts:
While the U.S. economy staggers through one of its slowest recoveries since the Great Depression, American companies are poised to report strong earnings for the second quarter — exposing a dichotomy between corporate performance and the overall health of the economy.
What makes this “recovery” so different? Perhaps the simplest answer is that labor has been broken as a force that can put pressure on management, so there’s little incentive for employers to turn profits into wage hikes or new jobs. Instead, employers are squeezing more out of the workers that they’ve got, and investing in equipment upgrades and new technology instead of human assets — labor productivity has risen sharply since the end of the recession.
Wages are moribund, unemployment is stuck at 9 percent, and the corporate bottom line is doing just fine. You could be excused for thinking that if ever there was time to put the stake through supply-side economics, it would be now. Wall Street and big corporations are doing just fine, but absolutely nothing is trickling down. And yet Republicans are still pushing the same old song and dance, passionately holding the entire creditworthiness of the United States hostage in return for even lower taxes on corporations, adamantly refusing to countenance even the slightest revenue increase to help cushion the hard times for the Americans who are getting a raw deal out of the current recovery.
Democrats come in for their share of the blame, too. The worst economic recovery for American workers in history has happened on Obama’s watch, and he appears remarkably oblivious to it. He may live to regret this oversight.