There are three major problems with trickle-down economics. First, trickles are far too slow and inadequate. Nobody wants a poxy trickle of wealth filtering through to them in the cheap seats down below, drop by fecking drop. Sod that. "Thanks for that trickle!" are the words they will never cry. A waterfall would be more acceptable. Luckily, there is a better and faster way to Get Rich Quick.
The world looks like a rational place, everything functioning according to immutable universal principles, economies growing and people thriving as they experience lives of increasing abundance…until you bring in the twin notions of Justice and Equality. That’s where it all begins to unravel.
Employment ‘at will’ is the idea that a worker can quit at any time for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. Similarly the employer can fire any of the workers at any time for good reason, bad reason or no reason at all.
The aim of Employment law is to regulate the voluntary exchange made between employer and employee. Voluntary? Why should a voluntary exchange require any form of regulation? There are two main reasons.
If you begin by denouncing capitalism, the problem of inequality becomes quite easy to fix as it is pretty obvious what governments have to do. They must use tax laws to take from the rich and give to the poor.
There is a great yawning divide between those who care very much about economic inequality and would do anything [Editor: anything?] to make sure that henceforth everybody will have the same amount of stuff, and those whose only response to the reams of data proving beyond doubt that some people are richer than others is to ask: ‘so what?’
If we start by asking whether we can reduce inequality while still enhancing market efficiency, we are assuming that ultimately we want to continue enhancing market efficiency; or at least we don’t want to push inequality-busting policies beyond the point at which efficiency would begin to erode.
The board of directors is the corporate seat of power. Those are the guys to lobby if you want to see corporations dishing out money to the poor and hungry instead of hoarding it for the greedy shareholders.
There is no such thing as an ‘economic pie’ favourably granted to mankind by Mother Earth with the admonition that we should play nicely together and divide it up equally between ourselves, taking utmost care to ensure that nobody has a bigger slice than the others. But if there were an economic pie, would you rather have:
The modern market economy depends upon voluntary exchange between people selling what they have to offer and buying what they need. Workers sell their problem-solving skills and ability to get things done, and employers pay them a wage in return. That’s the beauty of the market. Alas, markets are not very effective in ensuring that everybody ends up with the same amount of stuff.