Economist John Kenneth Galbraith described trickle-down theory as “the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” Which pretty much summarises what has happened in practice over the past forty years as the theory has been rigorously applied by giving tax cuts to rich people and powerful corporations. Well guess what, the rich have become very much richer, the corporations have become very much more powerful, and the sparrows are getting a whole lot thinner as fewer oats make it through the system.
Now President Barrack Obama has rubbished the trickle-down belief-system. Speaking at an event in Cleveland, at which he attacked Republican proposals for yet more tax cuts for millionaires, he said:
“Reality has rendered its judgement, trickle-down economics does not work and middle-class economics does.”
Better late than never. The horse needs to go on a diet, and the sparrows need nourishment.