The Reagan Legacy

Here is 30 years’ worth of Reaganomics / Trickle-Down Economics / Supply-Side Economics / Voodoo Economics in one chart: 

And another, for good measure: 


The wealth. It didn’t trickle down. Let’s revive the middle class. End the experiment. 


  • “Let’s revive the middle class. End the experiment. ”
    Easier said than done as that top 1% and top 10% have the financial wherewithal to purchase politicians and government, control media and steer the discussion.
    But…we have the vote. Use it.

    • The way it’s going, we may soon not have that either-whether it’s due to all the new laws designed to prevent a crisis that doesn’t exist to our amazing apathy.

    • But you have to have progressive candidates for whom to vote. Where are they?

      • They lose at the primary level because only party die-hards (or those who owe favors) usually vote in primaries. And this leads to progressives not bothering to run in the first place.

        • If we can’t be bothered to take out the garbage the house will begin to stink. If we can’t be bothered to mow the lawn eventually it will go to weeds.
          If we can’t be bothered to vote and if we allow the parties to be run by insiders or the family plan while we don’t even know who our local party aldermen are, if we simply sit on our hands and bitch…this is what we get.

        • Do they actually get into the primaries? How often are their actually contested primaries for elected positions in the City of Buffalo?

  • The graphs nicely illustrate the time period during which social welfare programs grew like a cancer.

    • And you attribute that to what?

      • The average income of the bottom 90% is skewed by the inclusion of those supported by a government (taxpayer) subsistence.

        • So you are saying the bottom 90% income would be worse without government subsistence? I’m not seeing how that is relevant to the point of the charts. Or are you saying Reaganomics is responsible for an expansion of government assistance?

          • You are trying to put words in my mouth. I am saying the bottom 90% would be better off without government subsistence. The level of taxation, combined with the overhead inherent in all federal programs, robs the private economy of capital that would increase economic opportunities. BTW, I would also end all subsistence for businesses. Just thought I would throw that in so you don’t go off on a tangent suggesting I am a proponent of corporatism.

        • Only a small portion of the bottom 90% are supported by government programs, of course those government programs are more a subsidy to business. Government assistance enables business to drive down wages knowing the taxpayer will make up the difference. Lets hold business accountable and demand a living wage, I am tired of carrying all these parasites on my dime.

          • The “Living Wage” is total BS. The only thing it would accomplish is the elimination of more entry level jobs. The minimum wage already prices some people out of the job market because they haven’t learned basic skills necessary to hold a job. The real problem is people acting irresponsibility and trying to raise families before they’ve managed to put themselves in a decent financial position. For the most part, when I hear someone complaining that they can’t afford to raise their 4 children while flipping burgers, the first thing that comes to mind is WTF do they expect?

          • Actually the historical evidence of raising the minimum wage has not shown a loss of jobs. Demand for fast food, house cleaning, health care aides, etc. doesn’t go away, we need unskilled labor and should compensate those people fairly. All productive workers should earn enough to at least pay a modest rent, utilities, and necessities. We wouldn’t need near as many government programs if American business gave employees a fair share of profits instead of concentrating that wealth in the top 1%.

          • That is total crap and violates any concept of economic freedom. I’m sure you must hate Walmart, a company with an average profit margin of about 3.5%. In your bizarro world that is too much. Your claim that minimum wage increases don’t cause job losses is nothing but a myth (lie) designed to justify wealth redistribution. If you really want to boost the economy and provide employment for more people, eliminate the minimum wage.

            This is just one of many looks at the minimum wage, the evidence is clear that raising wages helps the economy. Your definition of “economic freedom” seems to be exploit labor, drive down wages, and let the government (taxpayer) make up the difference. There is and always will be a need for unskilled labor, our economy depends on those folks and they should be paid a fair and decent wage. The past 30+ years we have certainly seen wealth redistribution, from those that do the real work in our society to those that benefit from that labor. Enabling the rich is not only obscene but also goes against common sense economics. Concentration of wealth limits growth, limits upward mobility, and is detrimental to a maintaining a civil society, not sure why you guys can’t see that simple reality.

    • Social welfare programs grew in direct proportion to the outsourcing, offshoring, union breaking, and various other attacks on American labor, you reap what you sow.

  • The bottom 50% of Americans share together just 1% of our nations wealth, in 1970 that same 50% had 3%. Rich Whitey is the enemy, they have twisted and corrupted our government and tax structure to enrich themselves at the expense of the average worker. Strong and expanding economies are fed from the bottom up, not top down, this is basic common sense. Raise the minimum wage, end tax loopholes and dodges, and reform the financial industry. Putting more dollars in circulation at the lower income end would create demand, spur investment, and make many new tax paying citizens.

    • OK, I’ll bite. What should the Artificial Floor for wages be, and be sure to back up the answer with facts, not opinion. The last liberal I asked said 12 dollars, and the explanation was strictly opinion (our economy is fragile right now). Refused to provide any facts or studies to back that up (like rent and utility, transportation, food, medical expense studies, etc.) Who should be the arbiter of what that wage should be? If you ran a business (which it appears you don’t) who would you want to tell you the amount that you HAVE to pay your employees? I’ll check back for your answer, if you can come up with one that isn’t opinion.

      • Isn’t this a chicken and egg thing? If there were no social welfare programs companies like Walmart would have to pay their employees a wage that they could live on. That’s the number, whatever it is. As it stands now Walmart’s business plan counts on their employees to having access to the community trough.
        I honestly don’t know how to unscramble this egg (another egg metaphor). Businesses have become too greedy, government tries to fix everyone’s problems and people too often don’t stand up for themselves. Or expect to be coddled.
        But all this wanders away from the graphs startling reality.

      • It is really simple, the minimum wage should be enough to live modestly without the need for government assistance. This would vary from place to place but a floor could be established in the 12 dollar range as a baseline. Maybe you have no problem with the taxpayer making up the difference but I think the private sector should pay their employees out of their profits, not ask me for a handout.

    • The biggest culprit is government not businesses. Federal debt, fiat money, myriad agencies and subsidies, business and personal, are the drivers of the declining middle class. Add war-mongering and the military industrial complex to the mix and you have what you see today.

  • And just what is your solution? If any of you feel like you make too much–I haven’t had a job in a year—First time since 1968 I’ve been without a job more than 4 months. I’ll send you an address for your check.

  • But wait — there’s more!
    Under Obama the top 40% of households paid 106.2% of all income tax in 2010, per the CBO.
    And the bottom 40% paid -9.1%.
    But of course the “rich don’t pay their fair share.”

    • But Alan said so, he is so smart. Don’t you get it? My wife and I left WNY for Pittsburgh in the 80’s, we went from the bottom 20 to the top 20 in ten years, I will let the readers guess why. Alan would not understand what hard work and smarts brings to those who produce, ie major tax liabilities to us, not so much tax to others. As I would say, Alan aint too swift upstairs.

      • I stayed here in WNY, went from the bottom 20 to the top 12, pay my taxes without complaint as I know that is the price of a civilized society. Upper income earners have a built in cushion, disposable income is what matters in the end.

        • We would have loved to stay in WNY, but as a Math/Physics guy that was not a choice and Westinghouse was 4 hours away. I looked at jobs in WNY every few years, not a technical place then and now. We paid at least five thousand a year less in state and local taxes here, saved that and retired early, not possible in WNY. When we moved here, unemplyment was 16%, but WPA is thriving today, WNY is not. Why do you think that is? Pittsburgh is an example of how you do it, Buffalo is the next Detroit. Pittsburgh is far more civilized than Buffalo, great jobs here for all stripes of people, why is that? Visit the city here and you will see what I am saying. We do plan on moving to WNY sometime soon, so miss it. Never realized our Grandparents and Parents would be gone when we moved, that is the sad part.

          We are diametrically opposed on many issues, but I do see many of your thoughts make sense.

    • The top 10% have 80% of our nations wealth, the bottom 40% share less than 1%, of course the top 40% pay the bulk of FEDERAL income taxes, that’s where all the money is. The working poor pay a much greater share of their income in regressive payroll, sales, and other taxes and fees.

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