Guest opinion: Thank you for being rich!

I am writing regarding Rob Olson’s column, “I love the Rich.” Robbie (Can I call you Robbie?) can only find “vague references from righteous protesters and editorial boards” in regards to the theory of trickle-down economics? Really? Being that this theory is the crux of the argument, some due diligence is in order. A simple Google search yields a wealth of information about the subject. In fact, the International Labour Organization’s World Employment Program conducted a nine-year study that “yielded over 20 books, about 40 journal articles, and over 100 working papers” which contained the collaboration of “almost 100 scholars from all over the world…” regarding information on this very topic. Granted, I’m sure that the content of these publications were inherently “vague” and these international scholars were “righteous protesters” in disguise.

For the sake of argument (and because I am a terrible fake economist) let’s say that the theory is debatable, at best. Actually, scratch that – let’s go CRAZY and say it’s impeccable. Undeniable. Immaculate. A foolproof economic manifestation handed down by the ghost of Reagan himself. Where does the money come from?

Assuming that this effect is not instant, we need to fill in the initial gaps. Enter: spending cuts. Cool beans, tax breaks and spending cuts – perfect together, like caviar and crackers.

Naturally the spending cuts will come from social welfare programs and items such as Medicare and Medicaid (you know, the programs that provide assistance to the non “rich” Americans).

On the surface it’s pretty simple math: cut revenue, decrease spending. Since there aren’t any government sponsored programs that directly benefit those in the top 1 percent you’re forced to cut from the bottom. The problem I see is that you are making a conscious decision to build your economy on the backs of the weakest and the poorest. Fairness of increasing taxes aside, it is not going to change the quality of life for the top 1 percent significantly. Cut welfare or Medicaid and tell me that it does not drastically change the quality of life for the people who rely on those services. Then, have the audacity to say that those people should be thankful to make these sacrifices so that “rich” people can buy fancier shoes that need polishing? Really? Americans do not behave like that.

- Seth Weil

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