Conservative methods do not create economic growth. The Republican party exists to give the wealthiest Americans even more money.
Pay low-income families more to boost economic growth, says IMF | Business | The Guardian
The idea that increased income inequality makes economies more dynamic has been rejected by an International Monetary Fund study, which shows the widening income gap between rich and poor is bad for growth. A report by five IMF economists dismissed “trickle-down” economics, and said that if governments wanted to increase the pace of growth they should concentrate on helping the poorest 20% of citizens. The study – covering advanced, emerging and developing countries – said technological progress, weaker trade unions, globalisation and tax policies that favoured the wealthy had all played their part in making widening inequality “the defining challenge of our time”. The IMF report said the way income is distributed matters for growth. “If the income share of the top 20% increases, then GDP growth actually declines over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down. In contrast, an increase in the income share of the bottom 20% is associated with higher GDP growth,” said the report.
Echoing the frequent warnings about rising inequality from the IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, the report says governments around the world need to tackle the problem. It said: “Raising the income share of the poor, and ensuring that there is no hollowing-out of the middle class, is actually good for growth.” The study, however, reflects the tension between the IMF’s economic analysis and the more hardline policy advice given to individual countries such as Greece, which need financial support. During its negotiations with Athens, the IMF has been seeking to weaken workers’ rights, but the research paper found that the easing of labour market regulations was associated with greater inequality and a boost to the incomes of the richest 10%. “This result is consistent with forthcoming IMF work, which finds the weakening of unions is associated with a higher top 10% income share for a smaller sample of advanced economies,” said the study. “Indeed, empirical estimations using more detailed data for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries [34 of the world’s richest nations] suggest that, in line with other forthcoming IMF work, more lax hiring and firing regulations, lower minimum wages relative to the median wage, and less prevalent collective bargaining and trade unions are associated with higher market inequality.”