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Your Views: Trickle-down theory ignores power of greed

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January 19, 2014

Trickle-down economic theory holds that when capitalism is allowed unfettered access to the free market, resulting wealth will, of its own accord, lead to greater justice, social inclusiveness and less income inequality. The rising tide of wealth will uplift all of society, especially the poor.

What theorists forgot to consider was the human factor: greed! Because of greed, the capitalist's glass never fills. As more and more wealth is accumulated, a bigger glass appears. Little if anything trickles down to even the working and middle class, let alone the poor. The result is that we have the widest gap in income inequality in over 90 years. Household buying power is less than it was in the 1980s. There are 21 million Americans needing full-time work, and 46 million live at or below the poverty line.

Sadly, there is little support among wealthy Americans for policy changes to reduce income inequality. It seems that the wealthiest have no interest in anything that doesn't enrich or empower them. Political leaders have become beholden to the corporate interests and wealthy donors who control and benefit from them.

We are less a government of the people and more a government of corporate power, by the powerful for the wealthy. The line between our democracy and a mercenary class in which buying and selling votes and money determine elections is very thin. Our democracy will have died when there is no brake on the power of wealth to subvert the electorate.

JERRY HANSON

Elkhorn



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