Sen. Elizabeth Warren Hammers Trickle-Down Economics At Labor Summit

trickledownshamA couple of years ago when I still had my old page “Whiskey and the Morning After Blog,” I created this image about trickle-down economics which quickly went viral. In it, I addressed two of the tired old talking points I hear from conservatives ad nauseam which are that trickle-down economics works and that President Obama is destroying the economy. These are two easily debunked lies and if you can get someone who uses them to stop put their fingers in their ears and screaming “lalalalala, I can’t hear you commie!” for about a minute while you drop this logic on them, the puzzled or defeated look on their face is well worth the effort.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently addressed trickle-down economics in a speech at the AFL-CIO’s National Summit On Raising Wages. The following is an excerpt from that speech:

Think about it this way:  The stock market is soaring, and that’s great if you have a pension or money in a mutual fund. But if you and your husband or wife are both working full time, with kids in school, and you are among the half or so of all Americans who don’t have any money in stocks,(ii) how does a booming stock market help you?

Corporate profits(iii) and GDP are up. But if you work at Walmart, and you are paid so little that you still need food stamps to put groceries on the table, what does more money in stockholders’ pockets and an uptick in GDP do for you?

Unemployment numbers are dropping. But if you’ve got a part-time job and still can’t find full-time work — or if you’ve just given up because you can’t find a good job to replace the one you had — you are counted as part of that drop in unemployment,(iv)  but how much is your economic situation improving?

Inflation rates are still low. But if you are young and starting out life with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt locked into high interest rates by Congress, unable to find a good job or save to buy a house, how are you benefiting from low inflation?

A lot of broad national economic statistics say our economy is getting better, and it is true that the economy overall is recovering from the terrible crash of 2008.  But there have been deep structural changes in this economy, changes that have gone on for more than thirty years, changes that have cut out hard-working, middle class families from sharing in this overall growth.

It wasn’t always this way. (Source)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is right; the economy has improved. In fact, the economy is doing fantastically right now, but only if you’re part of the richest 1% of Americans.

Before the Great Recession, income inequality was already an issue and many companies (my former employer Sprint included) took the economic downturn as an opportunity to slash benefits, freeze wages and outsource jobs. Now that the recession is over, those companies are making more money than ever before. They’re doing so thanks to forcing workers to do more for less, and trickle-down economics has been proven to be a scam to anyone who can look beyond partisan blinders and apply a little critical reasoning.

Conservatives often like to claim that people who are receiving government assistance are moochers, cheats and don’t deserve help. At the same time, they feel that employers don’t have any responsibility for making sure their workers are not turning to the government to make up the difference between their wages and the cost of living. These aren’t just the politicians who say this keep their corporate sponsors happy, these are also working class people who vote for Republicans and justify their own use of government assistance because “I deserve it, but those other people don’t.”

If more money in the hands of the wealthiest of Americans means more money and jobs in the hands of the rest of us, why hasn’t it happened? The answer is that trickle-down economics is a scam sold to working Americans and maybe, just maybe, more and more voters will begin to realize this.


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