The Pillaging of Human Capital

Paul Krugman:

And what about that trickle-down? It never took place. There have been significant productivity gains these past three decades, although not on the scale that Wall Street’s self-serving legend would have you believe. However, only a small part of those gains got passed on to American workers.

To put this into perspective, the Stossels of the world would tell you that the poor and middle class aren’t struggling because they have tvs and fridges. True, you can buy a 32″ flat screen HDTV on the cheap these days, and that’s the “only a small part of those gains” that were passed on to American workers.

But the incredibly significant majority of those gains went to those at the top. You can argue that they deserved it, but you won’t convince anyone but the most brainwashed right-wing worshipers of our authoritarian elite.

On another topic, it’s really sad that liberals get blasted for wanting to raise taxes and being fiscally irresponsible. I would think that the Bush years would be a very recent example of how the right-wing isn’t fiscally responsible at all. Instead of cutting taxes and cutting spending, they cut taxes and raised spending – and they deferred the costs of those taxes and that spending until 2009 when their accounting tricks would explode the deficit so someone else got the blame!

Democrats aren’t saints, but they are at least somewhat honest about the need to raise taxes when higher spending is inevitable. They know it’s not the dog wagging the tail: tax increases don’t lead to spending increases, spending increases come regardless of the tax code. Just look at the Bush years for proof of this phenomenon that economists with half a brain would never challenge. No logical mind would posit such atrocious lunacy.

The Democrats tried to be fiscally responsible during the Reagan years as they wanted to raise taxes. Reagan didn’t want to raise taxes, he wanted to cut them even while raising spending on defense and the military more than at any point since World War II.

For some reason, the Republican Party redefined fiscal responsibility as meaning “low taxes, low spending” instead of simply meaning a balanced budget. They never bothered to practice either of these forms of fiscal responsibility. I realized that in the 90s when I was still trying to decide which party was for me. I came to the conclusion that while the Democrats weren’t saints, at all, they at least were half honest when it comes to fiscal responsibility instead of completely full of shit.


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