When Republicans Complain About Stagnant Wages, They’re Proving Trickle-Down Economics Doesn’t Work

175002489-7b9dcd83b0cd60d8e7f018262fac48798b8185fd-s6-c30There are a few indisputable facts about our economy, such as the fact we’ve created over 8 million jobs in the last 4+ years of continuous private-sector job growth, unemployment is down to 6.7% and the stock market has reached record highs.

A few other facts are that corporate profits are up, the wealthy are richer than ever and taxes continue to be at some of their lowest levels in United States history.

Unfortunately, there’s also a few undeniable facts like wages are stagnant, long-term unemployment remains a big problem and a lot of the jobs that we’ve created are lower paying jobs with fewer benefits.  This is a fact Republicans often seize on any time positive economic numbers are released.

But when they do this, I can’t help but laugh and shake my head because by doing so they’re essentially admitting that their entire economic platform built on trickle-down economics is a complete fraud.

The entire premise of trickle-down economics is predicated on the fact that the more the rich have, the more that will “overflow” to the rest of us.  Essentially, the richer they are, the better off the rest of us will be.

I was a kid when I first heard about this economic theory and even then I knew it didn’t make any sense.  Rich people didn’t become rich by giving away their money.  They often became rich by being cut-throat and brutal when it came to increasing their profits/wealth.  If a company feels it can keep productivity at a certain level and still meet demands, yet eliminate jobs – they’re almost always going to eliminate jobs to help increase revenue.

Right now the rich are doing better than they ever have before, taxes are low and stocks are high – according to trickle-down economics, that’s the perfect formula for a growing and strong middle class.

Except that’s not what’s happening.  Since the dawn of trickle-down economics the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” has widened to record levels and wages for 98% of Americans have remained mostly stagnant, while the top 2% of Americans have seen their wealth skyrocket.

Everything trickle-down economics says it needs to “trickle over” to the rest of us is there – low taxes; extremely wealthy “job creators”; strong stocks; high corporate profits.

But it’s not working – and it never has.  So when Republicans brag about the fact that wages are stagnant, despite the fact that everything required for trickle-down economics to supposedly work is there, they’re basically admitting that trickle-down economics is what every liberal already knows it is – a massive con.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • MLR

    Republicons know damn well trickle-down economics doesn’t work, but they don’t care because all they have to do is demonize the “inner city” poor, the “welfare queens” and “illegals” and they know that a lot Americans will fall for that shit. They are masters at bullshitting the American people and dividing America. It’s the only way they know how to excite their base and win elections. Why else do people consistently vote against their own economic interests?

  • Pipercat

    This is an example of wealth extraction and accumulation. Supply side economics does not create wealth. To create wealth, money must percolate throughout an economy.

  • Sunny Ray

    Well, don’t expect rational from people who believe in irrational…

  • strayaway

    There are so many things wrong with this article that it is difficult to know where to start.

    – Democrats have controlled the presidency and Senate for the last five years and the the House, Senate, and presidency for two of those years but we still have trickle down economics? What’s wrong with that picture? Trickle down was instituted by Reagan and we had an additional eight years of Clinton in between.
    – Since July of 2008, the US population has increased by 13 million. 8 million new jobs? Whoopee.
    -6.7% unemployment is not good and worse if it was calculated the way it used to be calculated or if it were to include people no longer looking for work.
    – Taxes are low partly because about 1/3 of federal revenue is borrowed. Were the borrowing included, taxes would be much higher but that problem has been dumped on our children. (societal child abuse?)
    -The stock market is up largely because the 1%are taking full advantage n the money the Fed is pouring into the economy. They invest it in stocks causing the demand/price to go up. It has to go somewhere.
    -Stagnant wages have much to do with sending jobs abroad and bringing in foreign labor so there is reduced demand for US workers. Illegal aliens are even thought to have a lower rate of unemployment then US blacks. Wage problems aren’t just due to Democrats refusing to fix Reagan’s policies.
    – As the article correctly notes, the gap between the 1% and the rest of us has been accelerating under Obama since Bush.

  • Matthew Reece

    The economy is a mess because of corporate bailouts and handouts. Natural selection should be allowed to eliminate incompetent businesses and investors from the marketplace so that they will stop doing damage.

    The unemployment rate is only low because it is calculated in a ridiculous manner. If people leave the workforce because there are no jobs, the unemployment rate goes down.

    The stock market is at record highs thanks to currency debasement, not real growth.

    • terry63

      Great Post !

  • terry63

    It can work, Will it work today? Is their a silver bullet? Will threatening the upper echelon, produce jobs? One thing that Reagan and Clinton under stood was that America need’s a tax base. ( Jobs). Washington produces nothing. Not one red dime. They simply spend money. No tax base means that they will borrow and print money, This devalues the dollar. It creates inflation. Today we have 93 million Americans unemployed. Thats not 6.6 . 6.6 is a made up number ( Fuzzy Math) The real problem is much bigger. around 17%. Worse for Minorities and the young.
    I grew up under Johnson,(D) he spent the wad in Vietnam. He killed off much of the Poor Black kids and the White trash. If you had money you could buy your way out. If not you were drafted, Johnson ran the war from the White House His Generals were yes men. Johnson Murdered those kids. Nixon, would go to China, He would introduce operation Linebacker and in 3 months did more damamge to Hanoi than Johnson had the entire war. Nixon ended the war in Vietnam and took us off the gold standard. Nixon was impeached and Ford held the line. When Carter , came aboard in 1976, the Vietman war had officially ended. The nation was in pain. There were no jobs, there was no energy, We had lost our first conflict and the military was in shambles. We had a misery index on t.v. in 1979 we had and energy crisis. America had hit bottom as Ghadaffi was blowing up things all over the world and openly bragging about it. No one dared stop him. America, was a laughing stock. My dad bought a propane rig fo our car because gasoline was uncertain. Then Reagan took office, within 4 years he looked at a camera and ask America if it were better off now than four years ago. He won re-election carrying 49 states. America was back. we were filling jobs at a fast pace. When Reagan was done America elected his vide President. In the early 90’s the economy began to slow. Clinton, would adjust it and ride the power curve of Reagans economy. None of the things that I have listed were still around after Reagan. Neither was the USSR. Or the Berlin wall. We were proud Americans. Next up Goeorge Bush 43 and the end of prosperity. Today we have a man in the White house who does not understand how an economy works and things will get worse and worse from here. Back we go to the 70’s/ or worse.