The Myth of Middle-Class Economics

Middle-class economics is not what any of the political parties would have you believe it might be in the form of tax breaks and any other incentive you can think of. Middle-class economics is one thing only: protectionism. Why? Because, no tax break will restore your lost job at the abandoned steel mill. No college degree will find you a job in an industry that has long been shipped overseas. Nor will a stimulus package make your wage internationally competitive. Only sky high tariffs can save the middle class, because factories are the economy. The industrial, electronic, and chemical revolution with their associated productivity gains make all other industries possible. Without them, we become subsistence farmers once again. Without them, everything amounts to ideology built on intellectual quick sand.

The logic of this bold claim is outlined in a series of links for the reader who is new to the Instapopulist website and unfamiliar with my attempt to overthrow 200 years of defective economic theory. Critique is of course welcome, because unfortunately We The People are on our own. We can no longer rely on the political body to think beyond a few free-market catch phrases. It's time for a new debate. Let it begin here:

http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/its-economic-theory-stupid-5588
http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/unraveling-economics-5564
http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/adam-smiths-elephants-5625
http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/engineers-critique-keynesianism-...
http://www.economicpopulist.com/content/feds-not-so-excellent-adventure-...
http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/supply-side-economics-maraschino...
http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/fair-trade-fantasy-rev-3-5653
http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/one-supersized-china-go-please-5689

Van Geldstone

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Comments

clear and concise..

your first paragraph says it all, it should be self evident to anyone who gives it a moment's thought...the only thing that i would add is that the entire industrial revolution and what has sprung forth from it was & still is dependent on free energy from the sun which has been stored for millennia in the form of fossil fuels..

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rjs

clear and concise

Thank you rjs for the compliment. I've been struggling for six years to simplify the argument to a few sentences and it continues to be a work in progress. If we are to win this debate we have to make it "clear and concise". It is precisely muddle thinking that is destroying our economy. Thus critique is always welcome, because without critique we won't improve the clarity and logic of the message. As for energy and geographical limited goods, such as oil, it's a I've been avoiding, since it is considerably more complex than trying to build a simple foundation model (my main objective for now). best regards

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Dean Baker on TPP and TTIP

There are three points that people should understand in assessing the impact of trade and the meaning of these trade deals:

1) Trade has been an important factor increasing inequality in the United States;
2) The trade deficit is the major reason that the economy has weak demand and remains far below full employment;
3) The TPP and TTIP are about imposing a corporate friendly regulation structure, not trade.

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/joe-nocera-on-politic...

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Trade = Increasing Inequality

Bud

Thank you for emphasizing the link between increasing inequality and free trade. I agree fully. Wage structures can only form properly in a closed economy in my view. TTP will be another economic disaster as a result. My great hope is that we make clearer and stronger arguments, until perhaps all sides of the political isle wake up from their ideological slumber. I hope to tackle a new topic in the coming weeks: the myth of quantitative easing as a panacea. best regards

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hear, hear

The never ending "tax break" is absurd when one needs money to get a break with. Most are not paying that much, if anything in income taxes and payroll (FICA) are not going to be reduced.

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Precisely

Exactly right Robert! What good will a tax break do you if you don't have a job. It's freighting what is held up for solutions.

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