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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.


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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

The Horse and the Sparrow

Nov. 29, 2017 2:08 am
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President Trump and his people have been claiming that his tax plan will magically spur business investment and lead to more jobs and higher wages. It will be a bonanza the likes of which we’ve never seen, Trump tells us.

Polls show that the country doesn’t buy that, and Trump’s top White House economic advisor got an embarrassingly tepid response from a group of CEOs and top executives recently.

At the Wall Street Journal CEO Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, the business executives weren’t in the mood to play along.

As Cohn sat onstage, a Journal editor who was serving as moderator asked the audience of chief executives for a show of hands indicating who among them would increase their investments in their businesses if the Trump tax plan becomes a reality.

Of at least three dozen executives, only about three raised their hands.

Cohn was incredulous. “Why aren’t the other hands up?” he asked.

The executives probably didn’t feel the need to lie and show false enthusiasm in order to help the president pass his legislation. They probably feel this is their time, with Republicans controlling the White House and Congress.

They know “trickle down” economics is a fraud. But the CEOs simply have no intention of investing in their businesses or hiring more workers. Or, of course, raising workers’ pay, as the Trumpsters claim. And they’re feeling that they have the upper hand right now, so why lie?

They’re the makers; workers are takers. Trump appears to be rewarding that mentality.

Naturally, all the tax savings will go into executive bonuses and will be passed along to investors. In America, the idea that workers and even customers are genuine stakeholders hasn’t been in vogue since before Dewey took Manila. In this new Gilded Age, corporations have doubled down on the idea of being run primarily to harvest profits for the investors and to line the pockets of executives.

Workers are merely suckers to be exploited. Ditto for customers and the environment.

Trickle down economics was defined under the Reagan administration with the Laffer Curve, a goofy bell curve-like diagram to baffle the ignorant and cloak the self-serving theory with a mantle of pseudo-science. But no matter how you dress it up, it’s all still an outright fraud — designed to dupe working people and gull voters into believing that a rising tide raises all boats.

In the old days, it was called the “horse and sparrow theory.” If a horse is fed enough oats, some of it will eventually pass through the horse and land on the road for the sparrows to feed on.

Why not just give the working-class birds the oats in the first place, instead of feeding them horse dung? Then the benefits could trickle up. But the wealthy and corporations would have to be patient and nice to the commoners below them on the economic scale, treating them as stakeholders. And they would have to remember that those commoners are their customers, not merely serfs to be cheated, swindled and gulled.

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