Technology with attitude

Isn’t Bailing Out Automakers Trickle-Down Economics?

7

null

O.k., I’m obviously being provocative, but I felt it needed to be said: if trickle-down economics is as bad as Democrats have told us it is, then why do so many Democrats support giving $25 billion to the automakers?

Make no mistake, trickle-down is how the bailout is supposed to work. We give the top of the pyramid (GM, Ford and Chrysler) $25 billion and they use it to pay suppliers who in turn pay employees and keep the economy humming. Right? The money trickles down.

So, how is giving $25 billion to the top of the pyramid any different than reducing taxes by, say, $25 billion for the top of the pyramid? And if giving the automakers money is good for the American economy, shouldn’t we be giving money to (or alleviating the taxes of) other corporations who keep large numbers of Americans employed? How about helping out all those billionaires who pump their money into burgeoning businesses which in turn hire Americans? Philosophically, what’s the difference?

Now, I’m no supply-side absolutist or even a major proponent. The idea has its merits but, if used improperly, it can create the kind of wealth and resource concentration that is more like oligarchy than capitalism. But bailing out the automakers is supply-side in its conceptualization. The more we give to GM, Ford and Chrysler, the less is available for entrepreneurs and individuals down at the bottom of the pyramid.

How many new businesses could be funded with $25 billion? If even one of those businesses became the next Google or Microsoft, wouldn’t that be worth the investment? And wouldn’t that kind of investment be “trickle up” rather than trickle down?

I’m just saying…