Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Make It Rain" Economics

If you got money, and you know it
Take it out your pocket and show it
Then throw it like
This a way (uh huh)
That a way (uh huh)...”

Those were the words that I heard blaring from the stereo of a late model Chevy Impala on my drive home one day. The car had two distinguishable characteristics. It had huge wheels with spinning rims, and a paint job that depicted an epic battle between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their main nemesis Shredder (seriously, you can't make that shit up). The wheels were so large in comparison to the size of the car that it looked like a giant roller skate.

Once I got past the aesthetics of the vehicle, I started to think about the lyrics of the song that I heard. They were contrasted with what was emitting from the speakers in my car. I was listening to “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio. The story was about the Republican primary election. The two front runners, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, were debating the practice of trickle-down economics during the Reagan administration in the 1980's. They both took turns giving a metaphorical hand job to “The Gipper” (a literal one would be deplorable and really hard to do without access to a backhoe). They also shot many a verbal arrow toward Barack Obama and his 2008 campaign comments about how the “old trickle-down theory has failed us."

A quick explanation of the the trickle-down theory is as follows: It is an economic theory which states that investing money in companies and giving them tax breaks is the best way to stimulate the economy ( In the 1980's, “Reaganomics” was born. It took that theory and expanded it to include decreased social spending, increased military spending and the deregulation of domestic markets. Basically, it said that if you lower the taxes for corporations and the higher income earners that run them, eventually the money will “trickle-down” to the consumers and other people with lower incomes.

The opinion of Barack Obama and many other Democrats is that the theory is flawed and is only “thinly veiled social Darwinism.” This being NPR, they showed a thinly veiled bias toward the Obama camp on the subject. Obama went on to aim his comments at Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) by saying, "For much of the last century, we have been having the same argument with folks who keep peddling some version of trickle-down economics," He said, "They keep telling us that if we'd convert more of our investments in education and research and health care into tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, our economy will grow stronger." That being said, I don't really have anything to say about the discussion or rhetoric. However, I do have an idea of my own.

I call it the “Make it Rain” theory of economics. Instead of giving tax breaks to corporations or on the capital gains that investors have received since the 1980's, I propose we give tax breaks to monies earned from rap record sales. No other subset of American multimillionaires has shown a similar affinity for spending money on goods and services with reckless abandon. I return to the words of Lil' Wayne in his song “Got Money.” If he has more money, he will most surely know it, and he will in turn take it out of his pocket and show it. It will “trickle-down” as he “makes it rain” this a way and that a way (uh huh).

Once the “make it rain” tax policy is enacted, a satisfied young gentleman named Soulja Boy will wake up the next morning, hop up out of his bed, turn his “swag on”, take a look in the mirror, say “what's up” and announce to his accountant, “Yeah, I'm getting money!”

The industries that would see the quickest jump in consumer activity would be jewelry stores, strip clubs and car dealerships. “Big timers” will fill their closets with Gucci suits, gator boots and Coogi sweaters (ironically, the Big Tymers will have moved on to more expensive brands). More precious gems and metals will be invented by alchemists. Their funding will come from the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West. They might have “99 Problems”, but a luxury tax wouldn't be one. Sales of Escalades and Hummers will skyrocket, and the American companies that make them will need to hire new employees to keep up with the demand.

The economic effect will be immediate and sustained. That is, until we experience a downturn in the country's interest in rap music. At that time, we may have to expand it to include the earnings of boy bands. Hopefully that cycle is at least another fifteen to twenty years away. I'm still getting those N'Sync songs out of my head from the last great musical depression.

I just solved the economic crisis, you're welcome. Vote D3P in 2012!

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