Trickle down doesn’t work except when it comes to peeing.
I’ve been on the downward slope of the economic trickle my entire life and although I feel a little damp, my bank account continues to gasp for oxygen.
It’s not that I don’t get the theory — I have a minor in economics for heaven’s sakes (it’s what we math geeks who didn’t do drugs in the late 70s did for fun). But when I studied economics there was no trickle down theory. It was created during the Reagan Administration by a bunch of rich white guys who were ticked off by the cliche, “You can’t take it with you” and determined to prove it wrong.
My two dogs love to hang out at my feet when I’m eating because they know that I will spill a crumb or two and they will score some extra treats. But I still have to feed them. If they had to exist solely on my hummus and tofu residue, they’d be thin enough to make it big in Hollywood. That’s exactly how trickle down has worked.
On Monday on the front page of my local paper was a story headlined “Tough Times for United Way” that detailed declining donations because people are too financially strapped to give as they have in past years. Next to this was a brief news item about a local golf course planning to invest $5.2 million to transform its driving range into a “true practice facility.” Yep, trickle down is working just fine. At least three new ball-retrieving jobs may be added, woo-hoo!
Today, a story about proposed cuts in federal programs for the poor and the environment was juxtaposed next to a brief on the need for the U.S. to continue supplying military support in Libya and a story on the $180,000 starting salary our the new incoming school district superintendent. Can you feel the trickle down coming your way?
And lets just say we add to the mix the recent news that GE paid no taxes in the U.S. for the past several years and the outrageous sums of money Charlie Sheen was being paid for his tiger blood on Two and a Half Men before his crazy got too crazy.
It all just begs the question, “What kind of s#%t are people smoking?”
I have my own theory that explains why Americans aren’t taking to the streets and insisting things change. I call it the CFFT or cheap fast food theory. There have been a lot of questions lately about why Americans have become so fat and sedentary. I’ll tell you why: because the best way to prevent an uprising is make to sure the people who are being trickled on the most (or the least, depending upon whether we’re talking money or pee) are too obese to leave their sofa.
I say it’s time to stop stuffing ourselves with fast food and insist the government try trickle up for awhile. Give all the people who can’t afford to feed themselves and their families $250,000 each and see how it goes. It can’t possibly be any worse than what we’ve been doing.