Refuted economic doctrines #5: Trickle down

The idea that policies favorable to the wealthy, such as financial deregulation and favorable tax treatment of capital income, will ultimately benefit everybody has been described, pejoratively, as ‘trickle down’ economics.

The same idea been summed up, more positively, in the aphorism ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ attributed to John F Kennedy, and a favorite of  Clinton advisers such as Gene Sperling and Robert Rubin. (It should be noted that this phrase is also used in the context of debates over free trade and over the effects of macroeconomic expansion. While it generally implies that we should focus on expanding aggregate income without too much concern over distribution, it is less sharply focused than the ‘trickle down’  pejorative.

Whatever you call it, trickle down economics is one of the casualties of the financial crisis. I’m not the first to point this out, and I’m sure I won’t be the last, but here’s a piece summing up my thoughts.

US experience during the decades of neoliberalism gives little support for this view. In the period since the economic crisis of the early 1970s, US GDP has grown strongly, and the incomes and wealth of the richest Americans has grown spectacularly. 

By contrast, the gains to households in the middle of the income distribution have been much more modest. Between 1973 (the last year of the long postwar expansion) and 2007, median household income rose from $44 000 to just over $50 000, an annual rate of increase of 0.4 per cent. (More on this here and here)

Household size has decreased, mainly due to declining birth rates. The most appropriate measure of household size for the purpose of assessing living standards is the number of “equivalent adults” derived from a formula that takes account of the fact that children cost less to feed and clothe than adults and that two or more adults living together can do so more cheaply than adults in separate households.  The average household contained 1.86 equivalent adults in 1974 and 1.68 equivalent adults in 2007 (my calculations on US census data). Income per equivalent adult rose at an annual rate of 0.7 per cent over this period.

For those at the bottom of the income distribution, there have been no gains at all. Unlike the situation in Australia and other countries where a poverty line is defined in relative terms, as a proportion of average income, the US has a poverty line fixed in real terms, and based on an assessment of a poverty-line standard of living undertaken in 1963. 

The proportion of Americans below this fixed poverty line fell from 25 per cent in the late 1950s to 11 per cent in 1974. Since then it has fluctuated, reaching 12.5 per cent in 2007, a level that is certain to rise as a result of the financial crisis and recession now taking place. Since the poverty line has remained unchanged, this means that the incomes accruing to the poorest 10 per cent of Americans have actually fallen over the last 30 years.

Other measures yield similar conclusions. Median earnings for full-time year-round male workers have not grown since 1974. Women have done a little better, with median earnings for full-time year-round workers rising by about 0.9 per year over this period. 

Overall, the main factors sustaining growth in living standards for American households outside the top 20 per cent have been an increase in the labour force participation of women and a decline in household savings. Over the period since 1999, consumption financed by borrowing against home equity has been the main factor offsetting stagnant or declining median household incomes.

Thus, in statistical terms the US offers little support to the trickle down theory. It is equally important, however, to look at how the theory is supposed to work. The general idea is that, the more highly owners of capital and highly-skilled managers are rewarded, the more productive they will be. This will lead both to the provision of goods and services at lower cost and to higher demand for the services of less-skilled workers who will therefore earn higher wages.

The financial sector is the obvious test case for this theory. Incomes in the financial sector have risen more rapidly than in any other part of the economy, and have played a major role in bidding up the incomes of senior managers and professionals in related fields such as law and accounting.  According to the trickle-down theory, the growth in income accruing to the financial sector benefitted the US population as a whole in three main ways.

First, the facilitation of takeovers, mergers and buyouts by private equity firms offered the opportunity to increase the efficiency with which capital was used, and the productivity of the economy as a whole.

Second, expanded provision of credit to households allowed higher standards of living to be enjoyed, as households could ride out fluctuations in income, bring forward the benefits of future income growth, and draw on the capital gains associated with rising prices for stocks, real estate and other assets.

Finally, there is the classic ‘trickle-down’ effect in which the wealth of the financial sector generates demands for luxury goods and services of all kinds, thereby benefitting workers in general, or at least those in cities with high concentrations of financial centre activity such as London and New York.

The bubble years from the early 1990s to 2007 gave some support to all of these claims. Measured US productivity grew strongly in the 1990s, and moderately in the years after 2000. Household consumption also grew strongly, and inequality in consumption was much less than inequality in income or wealth. And, although income growth was weak for most households, rates of unemployment were low, at least by post-1970 standards for most of this period.

Very little of this is likely to survive the financial crisis. At its peak, the financial sector (finance, insurance and real estate) accounted for around 18 per cent of GDP and a much larger share of GDP growth. With professional and business services included, the total share was over 30 per cent.[1] The finance and business services sector is now contracting, and it is clear that a significant part of the output measured in the bubble years was illusory. Many investments and financial transactions made during this period have already proved disastrous, and many more seem likely to do so in coming years.  In the process, the apparent productivity gains generated through the expansion of the financial sector will be lost.

The failure of the trickle-down approach has been even more severe in relation to consumer finance. The idea that increasing income inequality was unimportant when households could borrow to finance growing consumption was never defensible. The gap between income and consumption had to be filled by a massive increase in debt. With sufficiently optimistic assumptions about social mobility (that low-income households were in that state only temporarily) and asset appreciation (that the stagnation of median incomes would be offset by capital gains on houses and other investments)  these increases in debt could be made to appear manageable, but once asset prices stopped rising they were shown to be unsustainable.

In the US context, these contradictions have been resolved for individual households by a massive increase in financial breakdowns. Until 2005, this mainly took the form of a steady increase in bankruptcy, to the point where Americans were more likely to go bankrupt than to get divorced.  Restrictive reforms introduced at the behest of the credit card industry produced a dramatic drop in bankruptcy (in part, the lagged counterpart a massive upsurge in 2003 and 2004 as people rushed to get in under the old rules). From 2006, onwards, bankruptcy rates resumed their upward trend, reaching 1.1 million per year in 2008

This trend attracted little attention as bankruptcies were rapidly overshadowed by foreclosures on home mortgages. During the boom, when overstretched householders could normally sell at a profit and repay their debts, foreclosures were rare. From 2007 onwards, however, they increased dramatically, initially among low-income ‘subprime’ borrowers but spreading ever more broadly. 2.3 million houses were affected by foreclosure action in 2008. In hard-hit areas of California, more than 5 per cent of houses went into foreclosure in a single year

As in other respects, the longer-run implications of the crisis have yet to be fully comprehended. Even when economic activity recovers, consumer credit will be far more restricted than in past decades. As a result, there will be no escape from the implications of decades of stagnant wages for workers at the median and below.

Politically, the failure of the trickle-down theory seems likely to produce a resurgence of the class-based politics pronounced dead in the era of economic liberalism. The contrast between the enforced austerity of any recovery period, and the massive, and massively unjustified, excesses of the financial elite during the boom period, will produce a political environment where phrases like “malefactors of great wealth” no longer seem quaint and old fashioned. (Just after writing this, I Googled it, and found it as the title of a piece in Time Magazine’s Swampland by Joe Klein, among the most reliable indicators of the political zeitgeist_

fn1. Here I’m measuring the ratio of gross FBS output to gross domestic product, which is the figure most relevant to the argument. The value-added in FRB (which nets out inputs purchased by the FRB sector) is smaller, around 20 per cent, but still indicates a highly financialised economy.

90 thoughts on “Refuted economic doctrines #5: Trickle down

  1. Jill#49

    You add “by the government and the press” so well. Already Mr Murdoch is ouit pushing against pubklic education saying its a one way tiecket to being part of the criminal classes. Great. What happens when parents cant afford the non price falling private schools and are charged add ons for absolutely everyting?

    And I note that Piers Ackerman is back with his vitriole and his downright extremist views trying to hack into the decent Rudd policies thus far for all this pathetic man is worth. Why are they given so much press space in this country with their exrtreme right views? Cant afford to user pays for everything? Then we will let your public hospitals fall apart and we will let the pub lic education systems be starved. Like that is helping the poor. Its a beggar thy neighbour attitude (actually its an attitude that defies belief and lacks any sense of civility) from these sanctimonious odious screaming inquisators.

    Our media is rubbish. There is not a balanced view anywhere and I suspect its due to cost cutting. They employ junior journalists, dont give them an investigation budget, and tell them to sit and wait for the screaming extreme rights faxes every morning because its cheaper content.

    Its rubbish media thankyou MR Murdoch. Thank goodness he is old and we wont have that much longer to put up with him. Maybe Lachlan will prove to have more journalistic balance in him – who knows?

  2. The US Minneapolis Fed on wages/income growth:

    http://alsblog.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/has-us-middle-class-income-stagnated-over-the-past-30-years/#comment-60444

    *The Minneapolis Fed in a study Called “where has all the income gone” calls it nonsense and is quite pointed in the fact that such claims are dangerous as they could actually steer public policy to non-existent problems and thereby push scarce resources in the wrong direction. The Fed goes further and suggests misdirected policy could be moving resources from the very poor to a group that has done very well over the past 30 years in addition to poisoning public attitude toward free trade, globalization and free markets factors which have actually helped rising living standards in the US and elsewhere.*

  3. smiths,

    please explain this comment:

    “this one is the giveaway

    the opposite would occur”

    Say you’ve got 10000 Mt of coal and 5000 Mt of uranium. You allow uranium mining and nuclear power (previously prohibited) and don’t prohibit coal fired power. Why would energy prices (and presumably, output) fall?

  4. Mark#53 says “The Fed goes further and suggests misdirected policy could be moving resources from the very poor to a group that has done very well over the past 30 years in addition to poisoning public attitude toward free trade, globalization and free markets factors which have actually helped rising living standards in the US and elsewhere.*

    The IMF is fond of quoting the tiger economies of Asia as great examples of free trade and globalisation but even that is a myth. They came off the back of very low labour rates, concentrated on an export focus (no doubt the exports of which the US happily vacuumed up with all its cheap credit) but the tiger economies heavily protected domestic industries with high tariffs. Hardly free trade is it?. Well some countries went into huge trade surpluses as a result of free trade (in fact very few really but notably Japan, Germany and China) and others into huge deficits (like the US) and now we are seeing what happens, particularly, when under free trade situations such as huge trade deficits persist. Im astonished US citizens arent angrier than they are at “free trade globalisation policies”. They appear to have come out the worse for it.

    But I suppose we will all be told that the market will sort it out in the long run so that US CEOs can go where they like for cheap labour, larger profits (ie distributed excessively to a few insiders and not necessarily fairly including shareholders), and to avoid taxes back home.

    Free markets benefit some, not all and have barely touched world poverty. Worse than that, it is a “blanket prescription” which alleviates the necessity to think things through correctly (to analyse, to examine and to use critical capabilities to reach informed decision making).

    The one mantra fits policy in all countries in all regions across the globe?

    So superficial and so artificial.

  5. well ok mark,

    your list is supposedly about helping the poor,
    but included in it is allowing nuclear power,

    this is a devisive political and soceital issue that has very little to do with helping the poor,

    it locks governments into long term price contracts with huge multinational corporations that would subsequently influence government policy in adverse ways, and certainly cost more in the long run,

    decommissioning plants is uncosted as is disposal of waste, and the public is the only insurer of the plants because private companies wont touch it,

    it sounds like an expensive, dangerous, inflexible farce to me,
    not an option for helping the poor

  6. Mark, if you look at this post, and those linked here, and compare to the Minneapolis Fed, you’ll see that all the main points made by the Fed piece have been covered here. As the illustration article suggests, the Fed piece is very much a “glass half full” interpretation of some fairly gloomy data.

    But as the post says, I agree with the Fed that an excessive focus on median households takes attention away from the poor, who have clearly done much worse.

  7. Alanna, even though the tigers still protected local industries they do form a great counter example to say The Philippines or basically the whole of Africa which tried and failed to develop in near Autarky. The developing world needs an economic relationship with the developed world and this mens that things that used to be done in Australiaa and America will now be done in China and India.

    I don’t think that the notion that the developng world has not benefited from trade is wrong and the fact that multi nationals do not have particularly principles intentions does not mean that they their presence in the developing world has no benefit.

    I think it is revealing that even economists like Paul Krugman are pro trade. Though i agree that there is huge troubles with the blanket prescriptions and i don’t think that trade policies that don’t benefit the majority make any sense. Nor do i think that it needs to be accepted that the benefits of trade need to be funneled to a select privalaged few. It is probably interesting that with the Tigers, like japan before it and China after it all had strong roles for the government.

  8. An informative article Mr Quiggin.

    Given my grasp of economics is shaky and my nature somewhat coarse, I immediately recalled the old 80s stand-up comedy line: What’s the definition of ‘trickle down’ economics? The rich pissing on the poor.

    Now, at least, I have a bit more information than just a one liner.

    Ta

  9. smiths,

    Show me a public utility that doesn’t have the same public markets characteristics you describe.

    Your “certainty” is an assertion. The idea that private plants won’t touch them is a myth too. Why won’t private plants touch them? Will insurers cover the cost of a dam broken by an unforseen earthquake?

    Nuclear power makes the left in Anglo countries go a bit irrational. Social democrat Sweden has no problems with use of disposal.

    Freeing up energy production will invariably help the poor.

    El mono,

    MITI told Sony not to produce radio transistors. It is definitely interesting that they had such an invasive and counterproductive industry policy.

  10. I’ve got no problem with #3 (except that “bullying the states to abolish payroll tax” is silly – this was given to them as a major revenue source and would have to be replaced) or #7.

    But nuclear power is a nonsense in the present context. As I’ve pointed out quite a few times, Australia is decades away from being able to establish a nuclear power industry. We have no experience, no trained workers, no usable overseas models and no way, in the short term, of addressing these deficits. The US has had a program to restart their industry going at least five years, with brownfield sites, and they still haven’t broken ground. When they’ve got their act together and the industry starts to expand, it will be time for us to have another look. But put forward as a response to the current crisis it makes you look silly.

  11. El Mono#58
    We are on the same track here. I have no objection to free trade, if indeed it does help development. I do note the Asian tigers carefully managed theirs and maintained strong protection and a strong government presence as does China.
    The blanket prescriptions of the IMF leave me a little cold. They have made some disastrous errors re the privatisation of public utilities to large corporate entities in poor countries. It should never be forgotten that public services traditionally help the poor more than the rich. Affordable or free education or health or low cost water or other utilities services have a very important anti inequality role. This is something that irks me about the push to user pays in Australia. People forget that the most exposed to rising petrol prices and tolls on 2 kilometre sections of private roads (misappropriated from public traffic ways too often) bear most heavily on those that cannot afford to live close to their employment.

  12. That is, to be specific El Mono, those who live in the western suburbs of Sydney are a good example. I see no benefits whatsoever in imposing user pays charges on these people to get out of their poorly public transport serviced areas, to get to work. It is almnost immoral.

  13. With respect, JQ, you are mistaken about nuclear power. The obstacles you mention are political in nature, and the Canadian CANDU heavy water system could be brought in from outside even in the short term. In fact, it was developed almost from scratch on a much shorter time scale in the first place, in response to just that sort of problem of not having access to the supporting technologies and skill sets that the USA had obtained as part of the joint war effort but then not released to the other contributors. It would work very well as a bridging nuclear technology that would provide training and help with the development of newer generation approaches like the more efficient liquid fluoride reactors with less waste that are a decade or two of work away. If people only wanted reactors for breeding fuel or bridging and were less concerned about power, the CANDU system can run at lower power just using liquid and supercritical carbon dioxide laced with carbon monoxide instead of heavy water. The barriers to entry are much lower than is commonly supposed once you have the operating parameters, basically just the problems of preparing fresh control and fuel rods and processing spent ones; that’s a non-trivial amount of work, but nothing needing fundamental breakthroughs the way a durable aqueous homogeneous reactor would (but if anyone ever did crack that, the work part of it would be very low indeed).

    On states replacing payroll tax, there are some variants of land tax that would serve, ones that engineer out in advance the problems that can come up from hitting people like the retired who have property without an adequate associated revenue stream.

  14. You really feel this is a told ya so moment Mr Quiggin? What deregulation has caused this Crisis? What protectionist policy would have prevented it?

  15. “The US Minneapolis Fed on wages/income growth:”

    The Minneapolis Fed is a nest of feckless, dishonest wingnuts.

  16. JQ,

    No analysis of population increase?

    I think you’d find that the percentage at the fixed level has stayed constant is a miracle given the inflow of low-skilled workers.

    As is, your analysis is completely useless/ridiculous because of the (unstated) assumptions about the underlying population. You should actually be embarrassed.

    CF

  17. Thanks Alanna, February 1st, 2009 at 12:02 pm, for retailing “trickle down economics is the idea that if you feed the horse enough oats eventually some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”

    It prompted me to burst into song: Hooray for Ronald, hooray at last, …

  18. John Q,

    Are you telling me you believe that payroll tax doesn’t have significantly high deadweight loss costs? Surely if it was abolished the remaining taxes would raise more revenue than payroll tax lost? (Let’s say you might have to raise another tax to a lower rate than payroll tax at worst).

    Do you not also believe in industry adjustment? Surely if nuclear competed with coal, the coal industry would be more…competitive, not to mention to long term increase in baseload power and energy resources. I would normally conclude that this would lower energy costs. Do you think futures prices mean anything? Why wouldn’t coal prices be altered as soon as nuclear was no longer forbidden?

    Jon H,

    Please tell us of your personal experience in dealing with the Minneapolis Fed. If their research is invalidated by your experience, we’d like to know why.

  19. What protectionist policy would have prevented it?

    no policy protects anyone,
    but the genuine enforcement of policy by a well funded department can, and this has not occurred

    in the US, Glass-Steagall was scrapped

    in the UK, The Companies Act (Operating and Financial Review and Directors’ Report Regulations 2005 were scrapped
    The Department of Trade and Industry described the OFR as “vital to improving corporate regulation” and the measures had been widely welcomed – On 28 November 2006 Gordon Brown squashed it

    Decisions made at a brief meeting on April 28, 2004, explain why the problems could spin out of control.
    On that bright spring afternoon, the five members of the SEC met in a basement hearing room to consider an urgent plea by the big investment banks.
    They wanted an exemption for their brokerage units from an old regulation that limited the amount of debt they could take on.
    Five investment banks led the charge, including Goldman Sachs, then headed by Henry Paulson Jr. Two years later, he left Goldman to become the U.S. Treasury secretary.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/10/03/business/sec.php?page=1

    complexity was desirable, the more smoke and mirrors the better,

    add to that the more than one hundred tax and secrecy havens and the complicity of the auditing profession and the idea that regulation is occurring is a joke

  20. smiths,

    Bill Clinton came out and said “thank Goid I did that” with regards to Glass Stegall. The entities were not merged before the crisis. But it allowed many to merge where otherwise they failed.

    The Australian banks have less regulation on what they can lend – but also less moral hazard in lending. With less regulation, our banks take on less debt, less leverage and less risk. Nor are our banks to forced to make loans with social equity goals, as were the US banks.

    The mission statement of a regulator isn’t much proof of how effective their regulation was.

  21. 70#Alphonse
    Your unfinished ditty……so true. I think he was riding the wrong end of the horse at the time.

  22. an example of where the supposed trickle is really just pi**ing

    WASHINGTON — Today two senators expressed concern over the recent lobbying blitz by multinational corporations to allow companies with offshore funds to move their money back to the United States at a deeply discounted tax rate. The lobbying effort is advocating a repeat of what was specified in 2004 as a one-time only tax break for corporations with funds offshore, when the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 provided a one-year repatriation tax holiday that reduced the 35% federal tax rate that U.S. companies normally owe on their foreign earnings to just 5.25%.
    http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=307617

  23. “#24 Read the post,then look up “pejorative” in the dictionary.”

    I don’t understand what is pejorative about the term trickle-down – apart from you asserting that it is.

    “People who advocate trickle-down economics don’t generally use the term.”

    Why not? What do they call it? Who are these people? What is the economics and why is it wrong? Who proved it wrong?

    “That doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

    Name names please. Otherwise you are just asserting.

    “The idea that policies favorable to the wealthy, such as financial deregulation…will ultimately benefit everybody…”.

    That is not the essence of the ideas behind financial deregulation.

    Straw men, straw arguments.

  24. The claim that cutting taxes on the wealthy, deregulating financial markets and similar policies will help everyone is part of the standard view of the US Republican Party, espoused by everyone from George W Bush down. The Club for Growth is the clearest single embodiment of this view, and the commentator who exemplifies it is Larry Kudlow. But I doubt this will help much.

  25. “But I doubt this will help much.”

    It does help. Thankyou.

    However, you have named a political party, a politician, and a lobby group as examples, but only one economist (and part celebrity at that).

    So are we mainly refering to political rhetoric rather than economic doctrine?

    I looked up Lawrence Kudlow on Wikipedia (i had not heard of him – wonder how many of your readers have?) Quoting the section on his economic and political views:

    “Kudlow opposes estate taxes, as well as taxes on dividends and capital gains. He also advocates that employees be compelled to make greater contributions to their pension and medical costs, suggesting that these expenses are an undue burden on corporations and defends high executive compensation as a manifestation of market forces and opposes most forms of government regulation. In general, he describes himself as a ‘supply-side’ economist, arguing that reducing taxes will increase governmental revenue through expansion of the overall economy. He has also advocated wide ownership of stocks and frequently speaks of a broad “investor class” that includes most Americans. He is a harsh critic of corporate corruption such as that at Enron and Worldcom.”

    Contradicting his support for small government, he is a supporter of the massive state intervention in Iraq.

    But now i want to take you up on another point. To quote from this post –

    “US experience during the decades of neoliberalism gives little support for this view [of trickle-down economics].”

    What exactly defined the past few decades as neoliberal? Was it the level of govt. spending as a portion of GDP, either absolutely or relative to the previous few decades? Was it the amount or ‘strength’ of govt. regulations? Privatisation perhaps?

    Lets look at some numbers for the U.S….

    U.S. Federal Register total pages:
    http://www.llsdc.org/attachments/wysiwyg/544/fed-reg-pages.pdf

    From Wikipedia:

    “The Federal Register is the main source for the U.S. federal government agencies:

    * Proposed new rules and regulations;
    * Final rules;
    * Changes to existing rules; and
    * Notices of meetings and adjudicatory proceedings.”

    U.S. Govt. spending history 1902-2010

    I cannot see any trend towards smaller government in these numbers. So what is more neoliberal about the post mid-1970’s period than the post WW2-pre mid 1970’s period, other than some of the rhetoric?

  26. On your first point, “trickle down” is a doctrine about economics rather than a hypothesis debated, in that specific form, by economists, although lots of economic analysis has implications for the claim.

    On your second point, it’s true, and I’ve pointed out on many occasions, that neoliberals failed to stop the growth of the public sector. That doesn’t mean they didn’t try, quite strenuously. The problem is that the natural tendency of economic development is in the direction of more of the services, governments typically finance or provide.

  27. Ok, so “trickle-down” is a framework for analysing economic theories. Fine. But doesn’t that leave you with the problem of “projection” – imparting meaning, substance or intent to theories or policy proscriptions, that are not implied or intended (or fully so) by their authors? Or less formally, won’t the trickle-down framework result in a tendency to see and hear what you want or expect to see?

    Why not deal with the economics directly? – its not like the Laffer Curve is Rocket Science!

    So the neoliberals tried but failed to stop the growth of the public sector, owing (as you believe) to the natural tendency towards bigger government. Does this tendency have a natural limit? Does this tendency include the push in the United States for higher home ownership levels (“the ownership society”), via the strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act and pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to extend their purchasing of morgage securities, particularly of sub-prime and Alt-A securities? Or the ultra-low interest rates that fueled the boom that this intervention precipitated?

    In your linked post, one reply refers to Webers belief that “rising social progress and incomes will lead to expanding government to ensure stability, protection and social welfare”. Does the pressure on governments to provide greater and greater levels of stability, protection and welfare result in debarcles like Iraq and Afganistan? I think it might.

    Btw, the link to the Oz was broken. Perhaps it was to this article by Friedman?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB110255773839695254.html?mod=2_1239_1

  28. Another way of looking at it would be to ask how much would Warren Buffet have to spend in order for the Trickle Down theory to make sense?

    When you have $62 billion in spare change simply buying the odd yacht just won’t cut it, for that you would have to “…buy a private jet, pack it full of rare breed poodles and smash it into the side of a mountain. Every. Single. Day.”

    Even then he would have change left over 😉

    http://rebroadcast.blogspot.com/2009/02/only-thing-that-trickles-down-from-rich.html

  29. It’s true that luxury items create jobs. But so does school construction, mass transit and healthcare.

  30. The next issue then is what about children who are neglected – or more generally, how do you ensure equal access to resources for children – who are obviously not in a position to guarantee that for themselves.
    Similarly for people with profound disabilities – how do you ensure decent opportunity for people with disabilities? Similarly, how do you ensure decent medical treatment for children born with correctable disabling conditions but whose parents lack the resources to have the problem corrected.
    There is an obvious history here with hip dysplasia which is simply corrected in most cases where resourcing is available.

  31. Dear Mr. Quiggin, Can you refer me to some web address where I can get a complete set of your nine economic doctrines refuted? I can find 5 and 9. You could email them to me as well, at gambledg@comcast.net. Thanks, David

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