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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/3/15

Trans Pacific Trickle-Down Economics

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Trickle-Down Economics
Trickle-Down Economics
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Have we learned nothing from 30 years of failed trickle-down economics?

By now we should know that when big corporations, Wall Street, and the wealthy get special goodies, the rest of us get shafted.

The Reagan and George W. Bush tax cuts of 1981, 2001, and 2003, respectively, were sold to America as ways to boost the economy and create jobs.

They ended up boosting the take-home pay of those at the top. Most Americans saw no gains.

In fact, the long stagnation of American wages began with Reaganomics. Wages rose a bit under Bill Clinton, and then started plummeting again under George W. Bush.

Trickle-down economics proved a cruel hoax. The new jobs created under Reagan and George W. Bush paid lousy wages, the old jobs paid even less, and we ended up with whopping federal budget deficits.

Then came the bailout of Wall Street in 2008. It was sold as the means of preserving the economy.

It ended up preserving the jobs and exorbitant pay of bankers, but millions of Americans lost their shirts. Small savers were wiped out, and homeowners never got the refinancing they were promised.

No conditions were put on the Wall Street banks for what they were supposed to do for the rest of us in return for our bailing them out. None of their top executives even went to jail for causing the crash in the first place.

Here again, nothing trickled down.

Now comes the Trans Pacific Partnership.

It's being sold as a way to boost the U.S. economy, expand exports, and contain China's widening economic influence.

In fact, it's just more trickle-down economics.

The biggest beneficiaries would be giant American-based global corporations, along with their executives and major shareholders.

Those giant corporations initiated the deal in the first place, their lobbyists helped craft it behind closed doors, and they're the ones who have been pushing hard for it in Congress -- dangling campaign contributions in front of congressional supporters and threatening to cut off funding to opponents.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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