"There is No Such Thing as Trickle-Down Economics"

Steven Horwitz posts a much-needed piece.

The problem with this term is that, as far as I know, no economist has ever used that term to describe their own views. Critics of the market should take up the challenge of finding an economist who argues something like “giving things to group A is a good idea because they will then trickle down to group B.” . . . 

There’s no economic argument that claims that policies that themselves only benefit the wealthy directly will somehow “trickle down” to the poor. Transferring wealth to the rich, or even tax cuts that only apply to them, are not policies that are going to benefit the poor, or certainly not in any notable way. Defenders of markets are certainly not going to support direct transfers or subsidies to the rich in any case. That’s precisely the sort of crony capitalism that true liberals reject.


"Short-term government built short-term capitalism"

Fine piece by former CEO of BB&T, John Allison.

The flood of federal regulation is an even more powerful incentive for short-termism. Businesses engage in long-term investment only if they believe they can generate a reasonable return. That calculus becomes far less clear when their plans could be suddenly altered by the actions of the federal bureaucracy. This breeds uncertainty, and when uncertainty reigns, short-term thinking becomes much more attractive.

"Affordable Housing Is Easy. In Theory."

Another very fine piece by Megan McArdle.

It's an example of a central problem of big government: a whole lot of things are easy. In theory.

How about helping victims of a hurricane rebuild? In practice, not so easy: "The real scandal of New York City’s Sandy recovery".

How about running a lottery fairly? Ditto: "NC lottery winners repeatedly beat stunning odds. Are they gaming the system?"

"Businessman, Defend Thyself"

Terrific exposition of some of the things successful businessman Trump should be saying.

The next Clinton statement was truly bizarre. “Trickle down did not work,” she said. “It got us into the mess we were in 2008-2009.” We can all debate “trickle down” economics—including my view that it’s a good marketing line for statists but doesn’t represent what small-government advocates actually propose, or what they think happens when taxes are lowered on everyone, not just the “rich.” But, few think that a main cause of the global financial crisis was the Bush tax cuts. The Left thinks that it was Wall Street and deregulation (mostly they blame Bill Clinton’s deregulation, by the way). The Right thinks that it was too-loose monetary policy and misguided federal housing incentives warping the real-estate market. Let the debate rage on. But few, other than Clinton, seem to believe that the only cause worth citing is “trickle-down economics.”

(The Washington Post's "fact checker," Glenn Kessler, awarded Hillary "Three Pinocchios" for that claim.)

"California’s Moral Superiority Complex"

Steven Greenhut:

The legislation epitomizes much that’s wrong with California’s Capitol and with capitols across the country. Legislators are eager to push “Nanny State” bills — and California is ahead of the curve in this and (most other) bad trends. But, in reality, the bigger problem is our people. It’s tough to maintain any semblance of a free society when citizens are eager to catch each other doing something wrong — or to report others to government officials.

A related example of seeming to do good as preferred over actually doing good: "San Francisco Soda Tax: A Feel-Good Policy Based On Junk Science".

Over time I expect more and more people will choose Texas. One reason: "Urbanism, Texas-Style: It’s about economic opportunity—for all".