• Don Rearden

Trickle Dumb Economics


A brilliant new economic philosophy has appeared in Alaska, which will soon be known as the state formerly known as The Last Frontier. The architects of this train (wreck) of thought are Governor Mike the Destroyer Dunleavy and Donna What-Are-You-Doing-To-Alaska-Arduin, who apparently have invented a new form of government and economic policy. Clearly not fans of big government, in the biggest state in the nation, but huge fans of big oil, the two have envisioned a strategy of targeting those evils which have obviously been holding Alaska back from greatness on a Denali-like scale: children, the elderly, and the homeless. The former require problematic and costly luxuries like education and healthcare and public safety. Elders also tend to like and appreciate silly things like humanities and arts and public radio. And don’t get Dunleavy et al get started on kids, who, despite their lack of education, believe they are entitled to early education and have the gall to think they deserve some sort of future college opportunities in their home state. You and I aren’t quite dumb enough to understand the genius behind Dunleavy’s economic philosophy, but I’ll try to spell it out for you in simple lame-man terms, because the overriding principal is beyond stupid. Give billions of dollars to the world’s richest corporations, eliminate unnecessary and needless expenses like education, healthcare, the arts, etc, and then shower people with a few thousand dollars while the economy collapses. Then— somehow growth and opportunities (similar to the ones we had before the manufactured crisis) will rise from the smoking rubble like some sort of Prometheus and Alaska will be great! Again? That is the weak part of this new economic philosophy, which makes it so brilliant and coincidentally is probably why we don’t understand Dunleavy’s concocted catastrophe. Our job is not to worry about the missing link. We only need to sit back, collect that promised dividend and let the dumb trickle down. [Don Rearden is a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and author of the acclaimed novel The Raven’s Gift. His new co-authored book Warrior’s Creed comes out in August.] 


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