Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Does a Rising Tide Lift All Boats?

We've been spoon-fed an economic concept since the Reagan administration, as part of that whole "trickledown economics"* thing, that a "rising tide lifts all boats". Well, it does seem to work that way in the real world of Budd Bay, one of the farthest-south reaches of Puget Sound, about a mile from my house. But, since boats that are lying on the bottom and stuck there don't get lifted, using that as a metaphor for anything except the rise and fall of water in an arm of the sea is kind of stretching it.

But that what's rightwing economists have tried to do since Reagan, and they are still at it, despite 30 years of facts -- inconvenient things, those damn facts -- proving the exact opposite when it comes to that "trickledown" bullshit.

BadTux the Snarky Penguin, whose blog I always read, has a startlingly simple analogy of his own, which involves the sellers of oranges. A lot of sellers of oranges coupled with just a few buyers. It illustrates a concept which was new to me, oligopsony, but which makes a lot of sense.

It's definitely worth the read, especially since it comes from a smart guy who is actually in a boat that's rising but who still sees the necessity to help those boats that are stuck on the bottom.

Dammit, now I'm using that metaphor... But never mind that. Go read his trenchant analysis of the whole thing.

 * Also known as the "don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" school of economics.