The failures of trickle-down economics have put the need for policy changes based on the New Deal have been at the forefront of public discussions in recent years, but the political establishment has become addicted to corporate money, making it difficult for progressive advocates to draw attention to their ideas.
New Jersey Democrat Lisa McCormick has been a vocal advocate for reversing Reaganomics and investing in the country’s infrastructure, citing the outdated systems that are currently in place.
Trickle-down economics, also known as supply-side economics, is a theory that suggests that by cutting taxes and reducing regulations on businesses, the benefits will eventually trickle down to the middle and lower classes in the form of job growth and increased wages. However, this theory has been criticized by many economists and policymakers for failing to deliver on its promises.
“The trickle-down economic policies of the last few decades have been a complete failure,” said McCormick. “They have resulted in massive income inequality, stagnant wages, and an infrastructure that is falling apart.”
Indeed, the infrastructure in the United States is in dire need of an overhaul. According to a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the country’s infrastructure received a grade of D+ in 2017, with many areas, including roads, bridges, and water systems, in need of significant investment.
“The infrastructure of the United States as a whole is outdated because we have not invested enough to keep our roads, power grid, waterworks or communications systems functioning,” said McCormick. “Reaganomics has been such a failure that it saddled us with a $33 trillion national debt, along with inequality and disrepair.”
McCormick has called for a new era of infrastructure investment, similar to the New Deal policies of the 1930s that helped to rebuild the country following the Great Depression.
Those policies included the creation of jobs through public works projects, such as the construction of highways and bridges, as well as the establishment of social programs like Social Security and unemployment insurance.
“We need to invest in our infrastructure and create good-paying jobs for Americans,” McCormick said. “This will not only help to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges but will also provide a much-needed boost to our economy because smart investment is the engine for using government power to advance freedom and prosperity.”
Other advocates for such progressive policy changes based on the New Deal include New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Ocasio-Cortez has been a vocal proponent of the Green New Deal, a set of policies aimed at addressing climate change and creating jobs through investments in renewable energy and infrastructure. Warren, meanwhile, has proposed a wealth tax on the wealthiest Americans to fund social programs and infrastructure investments.
“The New Deal was a transformative period in American history, and we need to draw inspiration from it as we work to build a better future for all Americans,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“The climate crisis is an existential threat to our planet,” Warren said. “But it’s also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create a million good new jobs, and unleash the best of American innovation.”
Despite the widespread support for policy changes based on the New Deal, there has been resistance from conservatives who argue that such policies would lead to increased government spending and higher taxes.
However, advocates like McCormick argue that the benefits of these policies would far outweigh the costs.
“We need to stop thinking about government spending as a bad thing,” McCormick said. “Investing in our infrastructure and our people is an investment in our future. We need to reverse Reaganomics and start investing in the American people once again.”
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