5

US conservatives seem to still believe in the concept of 'Trickle Down Economics', while it has shown very limited results in the past and if anything, it only made the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Why do US conservatives support Trickle Down economics policies, while it has shown to be very ineffective in improving the economy, over and over again? (as shown in Is there any record of Trickle Down Economics improving the economy?)

Since this question is asking for the 'why' they still believe in it and it's not asking for whether it has ever worked, therefore it's no duplicate of Is there any record of Trickle Down Economics improving the economy?.

closed as off-topic by Readin, BobE, Machavity, curiousdannii, Andrew Grimm Oct 20 '18 at 23:16

  • This question does not appear to be about governments, policies and political processes within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Related: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/26638/… – F1Krazy Oct 18 '18 at 11:19
  • 3
    There are MANY conservatives of several types, and I think that trying to get an answer that is valid for all of them will probably mean that this question is "too broad". Could you reduce the scope of your question? – SJuan76 Oct 18 '18 at 13:36
  • 1
    Many comments deleted. Comments should be used to improve the question. Please don't use comments to answer the question or discuss the subject matter of the question. – Philipp Oct 20 '18 at 10:18
  • 2
    Do you have any citation for conservatives ‘believeing in’ ‘trickle down’ economics. Any instances of them calling for it? Instances of them defending it? – Readin Oct 20 '18 at 15:12
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is pushing a subjective opinion and is not a good-faith solicitation of information. – Readin Oct 20 '18 at 15:15
3

Long story short? One needs to wait and see the results, as they take longer to propagate than more direct forms of stimulus due to the wealthy needing time to expand their businesses before the poor can see the benefit. Once it's been several years? The answer is that we just haven't found the right combination of factors to make it work yet.

That said, your premise is flawed in that you're comparing a liberal value (economic/status equality) to a conservative value (the Prosperity Gospel). So unfortunately, your conclusion also doesn't work out: that supply-side economics failed. If you think the goal of supply-side economics is to lift all metaphorical boats via the creation of wealth, it is not.

The goal of supply-side economics is to give the tools of growth and change to those who have been blessed with wealth to do with as they see fit. In the USA's version of capitalism, we equate a certain amount of virtue from someone being wealthy: that they earned wealth by the sweat of their brow, and are thus fundamentally 'better' than those who did not do well. If you look at it through this lens, it only makes sense to give money to 'responsible' people to dole out to the less-well-off as they see fit, rather than directly to those 'less-responsible' people who might just spend it on booze and scratch-offs.

  • 4
    That goal is not how it's sold, though. I believe OP is after why those getting screwed by such a system would still put faith in it. And, for the record, since the promises of supply-side - rising tide lifting all, productivity revenue boosts outweighing revenue lost by tax cuts, the working classes being better off - those have all been demonstrably been shown to be false. So while those benefiting might deem it a success, if you evaluate the policy from the prism of what it was claimed it would do, it has been a proven failure. – PoloHoleSet Oct 18 '18 at 19:26
  • 2
    That would be more of the hidden agenda than the explicitly stated goal. I don't dispute that those who are the main forces pushing and selling the agenda may see that as what they want to achieve. If the stated goal was "give us the money, you're too stupid to be trusted with it," it would not have the support that OP is asking about. – PoloHoleSet Oct 18 '18 at 19:31
  • 2
    Fair enough. I'll add some snark at the beginning to address that. – Carduus Oct 18 '18 at 19:33
  • 2
    I was just going to add that my quibble is more semantic than substantive. I do like the answer, overall. – PoloHoleSet Oct 18 '18 at 19:33
  • 6
    For the record, the Prosperity Gospel is a right-wing thought, but it is explicitly condemned by Jesus and the Apostle Paul, and others, in their scathing criticism of Pharisees and of rich/poor preference in the church. – elliot svensson Oct 18 '18 at 22:32
1

Trickle Down Economics is associated with supply-side economics: the belief that you get better growth by giving individuals and businesses more liberty, and that that's good.

The alternative, of course, may be called demand-side economics, but is more frequently thought-of according to "Keynesian economics" after John Maynard Keynes. Keynesian economists believe that you get more stable growth (i.e. better growth) with active government intervention in businesses, especially regarding money.

It is natural for conservatives to want less government intervention in business, and it's common for others to desire that government does more to intervene and prevent injustice.

Both ideologies value equality under the law, but a conservative typically wants to have an equal opportunity (a position sometimes called meritocracy) while the others seek equity in the outcome (as through government support during recessions that sustains demand) ... and this plays into preferences about government intervention in economics.

  • 1
    This answer addresses only ideology, whereas the Q is about hypothesis (trickle down), experimental results, (greater inequality), and conclusions, ("trickle down is good"). It fails to answer the apparent inconsistency between blithe conclusion and dour result. – agc Oct 18 '18 at 15:58
  • @agc, since the hypothesis includes the notion that "X is good", I think that science must always be paired with clear ideological statements... that's how I formed this answer. – elliot svensson Oct 18 '18 at 16:05
  • 8
    This is a purely ideological presentation. To claim that conservatives in the US are in favor of "equal opportunity" is patently absurd since the Republican party is openly against investments to help underprivileged children get opportunities. The party has also railed rather furiously against the estate tax (which impacts very few people), attempting to allow even more exorbitant amounts of unearned wealth to keep opportunities very much not equal. Regardless of what "conservatives" believe ideologically, conservative politicians in the US are clearly not in favor of equal opportunity. – Tal Oct 18 '18 at 17:41
  • 3
    @Tal I think Republicans have a very different definition of "opportunity". What they mean is formal equality; ie that the state (and possibly companies) do not actively discriminate based on demographic data (eg by saying that black people are not allowed to become doctors or lawyers). Thus, a person getting education or a billion dollar loan from their parents, and a poor person not getting that have the same opportunity, as long as the state does not actively discriminate. As this is pretty absurd, I agree that OP should clarify (or at least rephrase, eg "wants to have what they call ...") – tim Oct 18 '18 at 18:01
  • 6
    To claim that demand-side somehow equates to "equal outcome" is not accurate. Equal outcome is the idealistic goal of Marxism. Demand side targets greater equity, but within a wide range, and only from the pragmatic stance that idle money does not stimulate economic activity. – PoloHoleSet Oct 18 '18 at 19:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.