Subscribe Register Login
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 6:28 p.m.

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Picks - Mobile App

OPINION

PAUL GREENBERG: The science of history

Its end result should be predictable

By Paul Greenberg

This article was published March 21, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

His name was Ibn Khaldun. He lived from 1332 to 1406 in this our Common Era, which was the only thing common about him.

This story is only available from the Arkansas Online archives. Stories can be purchased individually for $2.95. Click here to search for this story in the archives.

Print Headline: The science of history

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments on: PAUL GREENBERG: The science of history

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

WhododueDiligence says... March 21, 2018 at 9:38 a.m.

Greenberg, quoting Reagan quoting Ibn Khaldun: "In the beginning of the dynasty, great tax revenues were gained from small assessment. At the end of the dynasty, small tax revenues were gained from large assessments."
And Greenberg adds: "It seems the trickle-down theory of economic development was well known long before lowering the rate of taxation on capital gains could bring prosperity for all."
*
And when through all these centuries did trickle-down economics ever bring prosperity for all? That's right. Never. Ever. But here we are still clinging to trickle-down economics because some glorious day it could happen.
*
Ibn Khaldun is credited with inspiring the Laffer curve, the extreme right portion of which is beloved by extreme-right economists. They illogically ignore the left two-thirds of the Laffer curve which shows sharply and alarmingly descending tax revenues. The Laffer curve supports only the second sentence of Reagan's quote of Khaldun.
*
When Reagan cut taxes and tax revenues dropped as predicted by the Laffer curve, Reagan had enough sense to raise taxes. Even so, the national debt nearly tripled during Reagan's presidency. In contrast, today's trickle-down devotees--despite the clear and glaringly obvious warning in the Laffer curve--are determined to drive taxation only downward and never, ever adjust upward (as conservative Alan Simpson said, no matter what).
*
They recently lowered taxes sharply during a period of sustained economic growth with low unemployment. This is particularly reckless because it increases the chances of inflation and, worse, increases the chances of skyrocketing national debt, especially during inevitable economic downturns or expensive wars. It also increases the likelihood that Medicare, Social Security and other safety-net programs will be attacked by those very same trickle-down politicians. And based on American history of economic depressions--several major depressions before the 1930s calamity and a grand total of zero since--those safety-net programs have helped prevent economic depressions.

( | suggest removal )

mrcharles says... March 21, 2018 at 11 a.m.

Strange , science over witchcraft and superstition. I then suggest PG change his normal agenda of using fancy talk to support those who are of that nature ,...suggest all Google the talk of Mike the pence when he gave a rant in the house to the merits of witchcraft and superstition of ancient books being scientific.....and to think he is one indictment away from being POTUS..

SCARY CHOICES WE HAVE.

( | suggest removal )

WhododueDiligence says... March 21, 2018 at 11:16 a.m.

The Laffer curve powerfully illustrates the need for moderation in governance and fiscal policy. If taxation becomes too high we get decreased tax revenue due to the disincentives of confiscatory taxation. It shows that if taxation becomes too low we get lowered tax revenue and when taxation drops to zero we get zero revenue. The Laffer curve--all of it--is perfectly compatible with common sense. If America's tax revenue is too low it jeopardizes America's ability to fund infrastructure, education, military, and safety-net programs. The Laffer curve powerfully argues against extremes. Both extreme ends of the Laffer curve give us nothing, or nothing sustainable.
*
By cherry-picking the right one-third of the Laffer curve and pretending to ignore the steeply declining left two-thirds which their dogma dictates we must slide down in a mad rush toward nothingness, the far-right extremists show extreme disrespect for the Laffer curve. They try to radically re-shape it to fit their extreme ideology while in reality the entire Laffer curve shows the need for the opposite of wild-eyed extremism. It shows the need for moderation combined with common sense.
*
The notion that we can continue to just cut and cut taxes and nothing bad will ever happen is wild-eyed pie-in-the-sky silliness. And the notion our politicians should be signing anti-tax pledges to Grover Norquist because Grover has never liked taxes ever since he was little and when he reached an age of adulthood he said he wants to shrink the United States government to such a little size that he can drown it in his bathtub only goes to show how extreme wild-eyed extremism can get.

( | suggest removal )

BOLTAR says... March 21, 2018 at 11:57 a.m.

If older wisdom is inherently wiser, dump all law after Hammurabi, all medicine after Galen, and all history after Herodotus, and be done with the illusion of the further improvement of the human condition.

( | suggest removal )

  • page
  • 1
Click here to make a comment

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

ADVERTISEMENT

SHOPPING

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Picks - Mobile App
Arkansas Online