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Sticking up for trickle-down

Not many people believe in the economics of trickle-down, but it does seem to work, at least over the long run

By Tony Jackson   March 1999

One of the oldest and most fundamental claims made for capitalism is that in the long run it makes everyone better-off. The rich get richer, but so do the poor. The gap may widen and inequality get worse: but the wealthier the society in absolute terms, the less absolutely poor those at the bottom.

In recent years this proposition-the so-called trickle-down effect-has come in for a good deal of flak. Too many people sleeping in doorways, too many African states sliding into destitution. On the pre-New Labour left, it became axiomatic that the trickle-down effect was a con: a bogus…

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