Monday, 3 November 2008

Trickle down is melting?

A brilliant article from Simon Schama in today's Guardian.

I love Simon Schama, even when I disagree with him, which happily doesn't happen that often. He's just that right amount of completely barmy. And he writes 'on the edge', by which I mean in this instance 'very nearly over-the-top'. It's the closest I've ever read a historian emulating Angela Carter, which sums it up nicely, I think.

But there was one passage in particular I liked here:

The Bush presidency is the spectre haunting the feast in more than tactics. Although every conservative administration since Ronald Reagan has promised to deliver, through supply-side stimulation, economic growth without bloated deficits, they have never been vindicated in their blind faith in what Bush senior once rashly called "voodoo economics". Consistently, they have brought the US Wall Street crashes and recessions along with massive deficits; and yet somehow, the stake that history attempts to drive through the heart of their economic theology never puts the ghoul away.

No weight of evidence to the contrary has ever shaken the totemic belief that tax cuts can grow the economy robustly enough to compensate for drastic shortfalls in revenue. George W Bush clung to this belief even as the Clinton budget surplus was converted into a mountainous deficit, and John McCain continues to parrot the same belief with the shining face of a true believer.

And about time, too. I've lost patience, you see, with whatever misguided notions of 'neutrality' stop the press in this country, that country (and mine own, too), from blowing the whistle on this bullshit. For more than thirty years, from Thatcher and Regan and Mulroney to Cameron, McCain and Harper, right-wing politicians have foisted the lie that tax cuts, trickle-down, 'supple-side' economics stand any chance of working for any one but the very richest in our society at the expense of everyone else.

It is a lie. My first day of Economics 101 lectures at U of T they told us this. Well, first week. It can't be that big a secret.

Parliamentary privilege stops MPs from saying so, but why is the media so apparently happy to repeat these lies as legitimate 'policy', I wonder? (Ok, stupid question, I know. Sorry)

Anyway, good on you, Simon. Keep it up and all that.


  1. That article made a great coffee break yesterday. And with your question in the second-to-last paragraph in mind, have you read this

    yet? You should do, it's amazing.

  2. Thanks Sarah! Book looks amazing. It's on me Amazon XMas Wish list!

    (And where you do you find the time to do all that reading?!?)