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Déjà Voodoo: Plutocratic Economics from Reagan to Trump


Déjà Voodoo: Plutocratic Economics from Reagan to Trump

Joseph Stiglitz

A Trump administration staffed by plutocrats – most of whom gained their wealth from rent-seeking activities, rather than from productive entrepreneurship – could be expected to reward themselves. But the Republicans’ proposed tax reform is a bigger gift to corporations and the ultra-rich than most had anticipated.


Finally, a good assessment by a real economist that shows how bad this new voodoo plan is for the vast majority of working Americans by shifting even more of the tax burden regressively on the poorer half. Neoliberal economics have been a complete failure for the workers and have increasingly shifted the tax burden away from those that can pay the most; big business and the wealthy. Might as well go door to door and say give me all your money while holding a gun but in this case feckless Congress wants to make it legal. WTF happened to big tax cuts for the workers? Oh, they get pennies while Trump’s rich asshole buddies get billions. Thanx a whole f**king bunch.


This goes very much in the right directions. Today big corporations and rich plutocrats like Trump are able to “manipulate” the tax code and move revenue to holding mechanisms where they don’t pay taxes. The only practical way to counter this is some form of minimum tax. Trump wants to do away with the alternate minimum tax because it is a large part of his taxes.
Any form or trickle down tax stuff is just not proven.
I don’t think the current Republican Congress has the courage or the guts to change the code fairly.


Money is a fiction and not a fact. It needs much better writing that the greedy fuckers use to “define” it.


Since we know trickle down, supply side economics has not worked every time the GOP tried it I think we need to implement demand sided economics. The big companies will still get more than their share, but at least millions of citizens will have money to “consume” their products and services.
This is just basic. If we increase demand by putting more money in middle and lower class workers it is a Win-win. We know they will spend the money.
Also, what happened to the idea of a financial transaction tax? After the 2009 bank mess I thought a small transaction tax was a way to stop some of the shenanigans that goes on there…I guess they forgot.


How can this tax cut of by and for the fat cats be stopped? Both sides of the pretend government benefit from this. Corporations will hire more people with higher wages, hogwash! They also want a 150 billion 10 year cut to food assistance. Aw you can afford the gmo ridden, glyphosate laced foods on the shelf. Planned cuts to social security. Cuts to medical care for the old and those unable to work while immigrants who work for less are welcome with open arms. Give us your tired huddled masses while we kill off citizens who pay no taxes. Get your vaccinations. A government police pharma narco state in plain site.


I love Stiglitz. He’s a true progressive.


Trump’s insensitivity and characteristic lack of empathy is perhaps the most valuable service that he renders to the Republican Party. He is simply insensate to criticism from the ‘little people’ on things like tax cuts for the rich and medical care coverage. Trump is out there on stage and takes the heat for Republican policies and their agenda for the rich but simply shrugs it off. Obviously he believes ‘losers’ (remember that Trumpism?) all envy his wealth and are just jealous. Nevertheless, narcissist that he is, he arrogantly seeks their adulation and ‘applause’ for anything he says or does, so love him or else!

Mr. Trump has been suffering a great deal of criticism and even disdain for his incompetence as a president. It is starting to look like Mr. Trump is feeling vindictive and is lashing out against all whom he perceives as not loving him. Rich people are his real base and he repays them. Working class supporters he only manipulates therefore he inwardly feels contempt for their ‘love’. When Mr. Trump gets criticized by those he feels are beneath him and his ‘class’, he openly lets loose the vindictive side like ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’.


…courage or guts…? How about desire, motivation, or intention?


Oh, the “trickle-down” stuff is proven all right. It is proven to be as bogus as a $3,000 bill. It is not even acknowledged by neoclassical (“mainstream”) economists, the tradition in which Stiglitz was schooled and in which to some extent he still thinks, as in this article, because if it were they might have to pretend to defend it. But Stiglitz has always been much more grounded in reality than many of his colleagues, such as Glen Hubbard, the Dean of the Biz school at Columbia where Stiglitz works and who was brilliantly caught with his pants down in the movie Inside Job, about the role of economists in setting up the conditions that led to the Crash of 2008. At least he recognizes the bogosity (bogusity?) of the Trump tax scam.


Not really. He is still a classical-tradition economist, just one who has become partially enlightened.


Not exactly a fiction, but not much like what classical-tradition economists would have you believe.


skip to minute 6:00 and get a terrific laugh with part 3 of David Icke at Wembly in 2014. Aside from the take on climate change - which might very well be true in part - its really chilling to have the dominant narrative challenged so thoroughly. My conspiracy theory is that the technology for weather manipulation is much more advanced and active than any narrative represents. - But Trump as trumped up costume for installation of chaos is becoming increasingly more difficult to dismiss.


Republicans want to push this through by Thanksgiving???And notice Trump is courting some democrats. The media is trying to portray this like healthcare and it won’t pass-----the corporate elite-the donors to the republicans and democrats want this ----Republican holdouts will be told this has to pass,they need to have some victory. There is a reason they are not being specific—the republicans have been working on this even before Trump was sworn into office.

People need to understand the rich elite have been stealing from the common people for decades—and this is another continuation of this theft. Its amazing how blatant this is----the elite are assuming people hear tax debate and turn off. The elite thought the same thing about TPP. STOP THE THIEVES!


Dilly Dilly!


Exactly. I’ve always sensed that tRumph is a shield for the true right-wingers, giving cover to most of those in congress. He gives off a lotta offensive fireworks, but he also takes on a lot of ‘incoming’ that the rest of them cannot withstand.


I disagree. Even if he’s not described himself as a progressive, what he’s consistently advocated has been supported by progressives. For example, he’s called for stimulus spending when others called for austerity. He also correctly framed the last bailout as socializing the costs, privatizing the profit–something heard in progressive circles.


Isn’t this the guy who believes in a reptilian conspiracy behind everything? lol


I don’t know, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t correct about a few things he mentions.


Important counterpoint by Stiglitz to the tax “reform” proposal. But voodoo economics encompasses so vastly more than mere income tax policy. And it is pervasive. Enormous subsidies are routinely granted, by federal, state and even local governments to private concerns for such things as corporate expansions, investments or relocations…all “justified” by claims that such subsidies are public investments that will result in more job opportunities and more governmental revenues. Never in all the years and cases I’ve seen, has there ever been an honest cost-benefit analysis of such subsidies. The only real gains are to the private profits of the businesses on the receiving end.

So those who push and consent to these “economic development” subsidies are either honestly or closeted believers in trickle-down economics. And they sit on both sides of the political aisle,

This mindset is now so enmeshed in most of the political class that there is almost no challenge - from either side of the aisle.

Again, while governmental policies, including taxation or tax relief and incentives of any kind, could be used to help shape the market towards real public benefits - say, to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases and/or other pollutants, to improve public health, etc.- the public interest is usually far more subverted to private profits, under the guise of the broad claims of jobs and hoped-for “future” tax revenues.

I intentionally deviated from the discussion of the proposed tax reform to point out the systemic nature of a more fundamental problem - that of the broader use and acceptance of “voodoo economics” to subvert democracy and the public interest.