(Readers: Please note the blog about the 5th revolution in the US is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, I think the story will be more meaningful by starting at the beginning.)

Want a PDF version for Entries #1-10 and 11-20 formatted for tablets and e-books?  Click links for download.  America’s 5th Revolution Volume I (Entries 1-10)  America’s 5th Revolution Volume II (Entries 11-20)

Scene: Cleo and Queeny having coffee. No one else around.
  

Queeny: “Cleo, we have an assignment.”

Cleo: “What for?”

Queeny: “The workgroup was discussing how increasing incomes of different groups affects the economic growth.”

Cleo: “What are you talking about?”

Queeny: “Here’s the situation. The government wants to stimulate the economy and decides to distribute a certain amount of money. Now the question. For a given amount to be distributed, will the money be spent more quickly by those who are wealthy or those who are poor?”

Cleo: “Are you serious? Somebody actually asked that question? How dumb can they be?”

Queeny: “What do you mean?”

Cleo: “Queeny, just think about what you asked me. If you give rich people more money are they going to spend more of it than poor people?”

Queeny: “No, that really is the question. There’s been a big debate about that since the Reagan Administration started promoting something called ‘trickle-down’ economics.”

Cleo: “And what is trickle-down economics supposed to mean?”

Queeny: “As I understand it, when you give rich people more money they will create jobs and hire people. Then the people hired will spend and everyone will benefit.”

Cleo: “I cannot believe how dumb this conversation sounds. Just think about it. If I gave you $1,000,000 today, what would you spend it on?”

Queeny: “Ya’ got me. I have no idea.”

Cleo: “What about a new car?”

Queeny: “No. How many cars do we need?”

Cleo: “New clothes? Fix up the house?”

Queeny: “No.”

Cleo: “A trip? You and King George III haven’t been to Antarctica.”

Queeny: “Cleo. I am tired of travelling. Yes, we’ve been to six continents. Probably should go to all seven but what for? I want to begin to enjoy ourselves.”

Cleo: “OK. Then you’re not sure how to spend the $1,000,000.”

Queeny: “I’d probably put in a trust fund for the children. Maybe buy some jewelry but not spend too much.”

Cleo: “Now, let’s pretend you are just married. Rather than $1,000,000, I give you $1,000. What you do?”

Queeny: “Spend it in a heartbeat. We had very little money and lots of needs. I might try to save some.”

Cleo: “How many people do you think are out there who need $1,000? And how many would spend most of the $1,000 right away?

Queeny: “Lots of people need it. And most all of them would spend it right away.”

Cleo: “Then you answered the question from the workgroup. Putting money in people’s hands who need it generates more spending than putting in hands of people who don’t need it.”

Queeny: “Why is that concept so hard to understand?”

Cleo: “I still don’t get the idea of trickle-down economics. If you give money to rich people and they don’t spend it, how does it trickle down?”

Queeny: “Aren’t the rich people supposed to invest the money, increase capacity and hire more workers to produce more products?”

Cleo: “We must be missing something. If people do not have money to buy products, why would adding capacity make them buy more? They don’t have enough money to buy what’s being produced now. What am I missing with this logic?”

Queeny: “I don’t think you are missing anything. Seems like what Bush 41 called ‘voodoo economics.'”

Cleo: “I think George Bush senior was right. It does seem like voodoo economics. The only trickle down is into the bank accounts of the rich.”

Queeny: “Listen to us. Have we become some kind of socialists?”

Cleo: “You asked me that a couple of weeks ago. We both agreed we weren’t. What we had become was more educated about how economics works.”

Queeny: “The basics of economics seem more like common sense to me. I don’t know why politicians try to make it so confusing.”

Cleo: “You know what might be fun…and educational?”

Queeny: “I can only imagine. Really, what?”

Cleo: “Let’s dig into some other parts of economics where politicians try to confuse the public. I’ll bet a lot of those issues are not as complicated as we’re supposed to think they are.”

Queeny: “OK. But not today. I need to get out of here.”

Cleo: “By the way, have you heard from King George III?”

Queeny: “Not directly but I understand he’s near getting released. Not sure what the next step is but I should know soon.”

Cleo: “Good. Keep me posted, please.”

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