Talk:Supply-side economics

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Aggregate Supply Curve[edit]

There is no discussion of whether the AS curve is vertical. And I think that's stereotypical of people who have not studied either supply side or Keynesian economics.

Put GDP on the x-axis and price on the y-axis. Draw a vertical AS curve and a down-curved aggregate demand (AD) curve that levels off.

In this case, the only question that matters IS whether the AS curve is vertical. Because if it is, then the only way to improve GDP is to change aggregate supply. There is no discussion of any of this in the article, and it just amazes me.

Neutral Point of View: Reaganomics[edit]

It doesn't seem very encyclopedic. Words like smokescreen and the like are frequently used. Gillesp (talk) 02:34, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Article too focused on arguing[edit]

This article needs an overhaul throughout because it lacks a clear description of the supply side proposal. It seems so focused on trying to argue against supply side perspectives that it constantly interrupts itself before it can really lay out the concepts.

After reading the whole article I remain confused about what supply side economics IS, mainly getting the message that whatever it is, it's rejected by many/most.

Some people in the talk sections below have tried to express this, I think, and are met with an echo of the page itself, a responder arguing against supply side economics instead of making an effort to better inform about what it is. Crcarlin (talk) 15:53, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Geographical bias[edit]

As far as I was aware, supply side economics is not something that only applies to the United States, yet the opening paragraphs make it seem like the article is discussing American fiscal policy rather than the concept of supply side economics as a whole. Can someone fix this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.27.51.226 (talk) 16:40, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

A layman's view of this article's deficiencies[edit]

Pluviosilla (talk) 16:45, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

I am not an economist, but I am deeply interested in economics; I have been reading The Economist magazine assiduously since 1978, and I want to offer an opinion.

Supply-side economics was never more than an economic heuristic that was intended to communicate republican tax policy in simple terms that the public could understand. It was not an economic system like Keynesianism or Monetarism, so attempts to refute the rigor of supply-side economics are out of place here. It would be like trying to refute "deficit spending" as a legitimate policy tool. Sometimes deficit spending is good policy, sometimes it isn't. And even the very best economic policy tools are routinely used by politicians at precisely the wrong moment for all the wrong reasons.

The thrust of this article is to *refute* supply side economics as an economic theory, and I argue that this approach is flawed. Thus the Wikipedia representative who defended the article as reflecting the majority report among academic economists is missing the point. Supply-side economics could not possibly be true, if you extrapolated tax cuts to 100%. Obviously, at some point, reducing taxes will make revenues go *down*. Supply-siders simply argue that some tax reductions under certain circumstances make revenues go up, and I would be surprised if any serious economist, even Paul Krugman, would refute that.

If the author of this article really wanted to broach the substance of the economic issues, then to be fair he would have had to broaden the scope of the discussion to examine the effect of tax policy, more generally speaking, on tax revenues. For instance, he should have included some material on comparative economics. What has been the effect on tax revenues of tax reform in Russian and the Baltic republics? Revenues have clearly increased in all of these countries under a flat tax regime, because of dynamics very similar to those Laffer was describing. When you quote the criticisms that Paul Krugman made of supply side economics, is it possible that you are not aware that Krugman was engaged in a polemic with a specific set of people in a specific context? I defy you to find any quotation by Krugman or anyone of his stature that denies that tax revenues have increased in Eastern European nations due to effects of what could be roughly called "supply-side" reforms.

Several people have criticized the lopsided use that the author makes of academic authorities. His selection of authorities clearly is lopsided, but I don't think this is the most egregious flaw in his use of quotations. He does something much worse: he subtlely and indirectly misrepresents the very people he quotes. So even when he quotes correctly, his quotes are deeply tendentious in that they invite the reader to make false inferences.

In particular, when the author wants to refute supply-side ideas, he adduces quotations that are critical and suggests that consensus opinion is dismissive of supply-side ideas. But when he makes reference to ideas that most economists embrace but he is uncomfortable with, he circumvents his references with qualifying expressions which imply the ideas are controversial.

For instance, about free trade and the law of comparative advantage, which *does* reflect consensus opinion among probably 98% of all economists, including Paul Krugman, he says, "Crucial to the operation of supply-side theory is the expansion of free trade and free movement of capital. It is argued that free capital movement, in addition to the classical reasoning of comparative advantage, frequently allows an economic expansion."

Notice the use of passive voice, "It is argued ...". Economists disagree about almost everything, but noone except Marxists and Nazis deny the importance of the law of comparative advantage. Economists might assign different levels of importance to free trade, but it is very rare indeed to find a professional economist who disputes that free trade is good for most people, most of the time. Paul Krugman and several other leading economists made news very recently by questioning some of the benefits of globalization for blue collar workers, but what was most newsworthy was that all of these economists, including democrats like Krugman, have a track record of supporting free trade (which is based on comparative advantage) for years, and if they criticize it now, their criticisms are hedged all about with qualifications and NOBODY recommends trade protection as a solution. But from this article, you would almost think that supply-side economics is disreputable with professional economists precisely because it adheres to the discredited "classical reasoning of comparative advantage." If so, then Paul Krugman is a classical economist, and who knows, maybe even a crypto supply-sider!!!

Finally, the author makes selective quotations alleging that republican tax policy is nothing but an attempt to relieve the tax burden of high earners. Why does he think this is an appropriate venue for imputing motives behind the tax policies of one of the two major political parties? Would the Wiki editors think it is appropriate to insert a sentence like, "Democrats mounted a campaign to expand government assistance to the elderly. Many economists speculate that this was in an attempt to buy votes." Does the second sentence belong in an encyclopedia article? One of the key characteristics of political religion is the dynamic of competing stigmatizations, where each side tries to portray the other as being venally motivated. Please.

The article has a defensive tone that makes it unclear who the intended audience is. Is he talking to the readership of an encyclopedia or is he trying to make points in a bar or a college bull session? In my humble opinion, the entire article should be deleted.

Pluviosilla (talk) 16:45, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

You've got lots of stuff there. First, remember that WP is user-edited. If you feel the article needs improving, then improve it. (I suggest starting slow, to get used to how things work, and be ready to have your edits undone and argued here.) The article's been around for a long time and has many authors.
A second point of more substance, Krugman's work significantly undercuts the importance of comparative advantage brief explanation. In spite of that, he and most economists mostly support free trade. Of the economists who support free trade in goods & services, many are more hesitant about free flow of investment capital. CRETOG8(t/c) 19:55, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

I —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.206.206.228 (talk) 15:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly with Pluviosilla.

Let me reference what has motivated me to participate here: The new book "The End Of Prosperity" by Laffer, et.al.

My concern as a non-economist patriot is that it is crucial to educate, SOMEHOW, the voting public in basic economics. However, this article is a case in point. The whole area is predominated by myriad views, myriad underlying agendas, intellectual competition, bickering, and jealousy; in other words, a Tower of Babel. How on earth is this country going to come together without some intellectual consensus and resolution on this subject?

A crucial problem in this country is the naïveté and outright simple-mindedness of 90% of the electorate about how the economy works. That is, in turn, due to a profound failure of the education system in this country regarding that area of knowledge. I can remember when I was a senior engineering student in college, after having developed a fascination for political philosophy and economics that I stumbled across a sophomore economics text-book. As I thumbed through it, I encountered two facing pages – the left side was a treatment of socialism, and the right side was about capitalism, presented in such a way that the average college sophomore would perceive it all as eminently fair and balanced. The gist of the presentation was that each was equally valid, and this was accomplished with some of the most outrageous claims of the “benefits” of socialism. Having recently come through the period when we had “hide-under-your-desk” drills to help us survive a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union, I was outraged.

It is undeniably true that the left has dominated all levels of the field of education in this country since the 1930’s. Furthermore, it is fair to say that the left in this country is immensely indoctrinated to socialist ideas, starting with welfare-state-ism.

I believe that if a careful analysis of the American electorate were to be made, we would discover that the left is populated predominantly by individuals who have never participated in “capitalism”; i.e., people who have never started and/or run a successful business and learned the realities of “making payroll” every month, who have never been successful enough to become a member of the investment class, and who have no concept of the theory of money. Given that lack of insight from the left, and assuming that most of us have been exposed to the Christian concept of charity, we should be patient with those in our country who think a) there’s an infinite money supply somewhere, and b) the government should merely give money to the poor and bring them into the middle class. That's how we’d prove we’re a caring society, nobody would be wanting for the bare necessities in life, and we would all live happily ever after.

Whenever anyone tries to argue with that point of view without first making a successful attempt to create an awareness of just how an economy actually works, it precipitates hatred from the left. That results in accusations that the right is merely selfish, greedy and cruel, and, by God, DESERVES to have whatever wealth it has accumulated to be expropriated for others because it doesn't DESERVE to keep it and spend it as each sees fit.

You guys need go back to ground zero and get your act together. This nation and the world need it.

I would really like to see authoritative works like “Beyond Prosperity” become popular and appear on the best seller list. It (so far as I’ve read) has done an incredible job of, step by step, revealing economic realities that have been demonstrated over and over with our economy. If we could just get our electorate interested in and familiarized with the realities of economics, we might succeed in becoming One Nation again.

Sschale (talk) 16:56, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Sschale, welcome. Like Pluviosilla, I encourage you to find specific points of this article which can be improved, with the same caveats about going slow and expecting argument. You make a lot of points, but you risk getting into a broad discussion not clearly related to this article. Check out Wikipedia:Talk_page and guidelines, and make sure this doesn't become a discussion forum. CRETOG8(t/c) 17:27, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

The Forgotten Interest Rate[edit]

It is widely known that raising and lowering the interst rate has a strong impact on economic activity. Yet, most discussions surrounding the impact of US tax cuts on economic activity fail to mention that those periods of economic growth which followed US tax cuts under both Reagan and Bush were accompanied by strong cuts in interest rates. If the increase in the tax base is largely the result of lowering interest rates, then the tax cuts have done nothing more than to cut tax revenue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.152.83.127 (talk) 14:34, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

This article is laughably biased[edit]

It doesn't even accurately describe the theories it's trying to discredit. Reagan always called for spending cuts. He did not believe in running deficits, and he did not believe the tax cuts would COMPLETELY pay for themselves. He wanted to cut spending, but could not because he didn't have control of Congress.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.142.130.17 (talkcontribs) 08:27, November 13, 2008 UTC

(It must be wonderful to claim to know the mind of a master politician such as Reagan. Reagan had enough votes to be veto-proof so he could have vetoed the budget until Congress passed a balance budget. He was first and foremost a politician not an economist. He was also practical and knew the benefits of government spending having lived through the '30's so he never fully believed his own campaign rhetoric.). The notion the 'supply' creates its own 'demand' is incredulous. If that were the case then where is the demand for the millions of unsold American cars that people don't want to buy? It is and will always be, 'demand' creates 'supply'. Keep taxes low on lower and middle class and they will vote with their dollars for the products and indusrties that meet demands. Government spends for the future in infrastructure (US jobs) and public research that spins off private industry such as the transistor, microprocessor, computer, and internet. Supplyside economics did not produce those jobs... it was Keynesian economics.)—Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.162.147.39 (talkcontribs) 17:19, November 20, 2008 UTC
It must be wonderful to start a paragraph with "It must be wonderful to claim to know...", and then follow it with claims to know. I've never made such an idiotic argument, and never will, so I can never know the pleasure.
--OBloodyHell (talk) 04:16, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
"Supply creates it's own demand" is an incomplete summation of supply side economics, but works in many instances. It's a macroeconomic concept and therefore, in your example, you would need to look at the car industry long term as opposed to one cherry picked point. If it were possible to produce cars for $1,000 each, I suspect the volume would be higher than it is now. Supply-side economics attempts to allow people to produce more goods at cheaper prices. What's so hard to understand about that? 38.96.15.64 (talk) 22:11, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Even the first paragraph makes me suspicious where it uses the deceptive euphemism of "adjusting" where it really means "reducing". Also, the word "your" that immediately follows is ungrammatical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.223.154.18 (talk) 16:16, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Rising Tide Lifts All Boats[edit]

The article incorrectly attributes this to "the Reagan Administration"

Missed it by 20 years - it was JFK. SEE Wikipedia entry on RTLAB:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_rising_tide_lifts_all_boats[1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by BoerumHillJo (talkcontribs) 01:55, 12 January 2009 (UTC)


After reading several econ WP articles including Keynesian, I was stunned how opponents of this particular theory seem highly motivated to marginalize it as much as possible. Rather than fully presenting a coherent explanation of the theory and its virtues before exposing its flaws (as is typical with articles on controversial topics), the opponents seem intent on sprinkling counterpoints like land mines throughout the entire text. The theory isn't developed fully enough for me to understand before the attacks start, leaving me to believe that the article presents only a weak straw man. I don't have confidence in what is presented here, so I will seek enlightenment elsewhere. I want to hear both sides, but this is no way to do it. It's a shame when WP articles devolve like this. It only hurts WP as a whole. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.198.209.35 (talk) 08:36, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Tax[edit]

Most of supply-side economics is not about increasing tax revenues. It's about unemployment, economic growth, and inflation. The Laffer curve is incidental (and/or long term) and this article concentrates far too much on it. Larklight (talk) 12:58, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

What's So Hard About Reorganizing?[edit]

Why don't we just have two articles (or two sections within a single article)?

One part could discuss supply-side economic theory, whereas the other part could discuss applications of supply-side economics and the outcomes of those applications.

That way, we could have the *facts* about supply-side economic theory (who said what, and the thought processes behind what was said) in one bloc, then we could have the *facts* about applications of supply-side economics (who did what, and the outcomes of those doings) in another.

It's not the responsiblity of Wikipedia to prove or disprove any theories. It is the responsibility of Wikipedia to provide the information pertaining to those theories.

If the information is properly and accurately presented, then the reader will be able to absorb and process the information and judge the effectiveness of the theory themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.137.25.150 (talk) 04:36, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

--Monetarist Economics vs. Supply Side Economics--

This section is ridiculous. Ronald Reagan was a clear supply sider, but he was also a monetarist. The two are not mutually exclusive, and this section should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.177.246.46 (talk) 19:54, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Reaganomics[edit]

I need some help with this topic as I am have some difficulty in economics is there anyone that can assist. Please?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 162.119.68.249 (talk) 17:00, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

This is the place to discuss improvements to the Supply-side economics article. If you have questions about economics, one place to ask them is Wikipedia's Reference Desk. Tempshill (talk) 17:00, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

What empirical evidence exists?[edit]

A questioner at the Reference Desk asked the simple question: What empirical evidence, if any, supports the principles of supply-side and trickle-down economics? This article doesn't answer the question squarely; it has a great deal of talk about theory, but glosses over all of the observations that led to all the theory. There is some (disputed) evidence in the "Reaganomics" section — but I think the article would be greatly improved by a specific discussion of what events are taken to be evidence (disputed or not). Tempshill (talk) 16:59, 8 June 2009 (UTC)


Historical Origins[edit]

First sentence of the section: "Supply-side economics developed during the 1970s in response to the failure of Keynesian economic policy, and in particular the failure of demand management to stabilize Western economies during the stagflation of the 1970s, in the wake of the oil crisis in 1973.[6]"

I had know idea that it is a complete, straight-up fact that Keynesian economic policy is a failure! And here we are, in a world where economics has become a hard science like physics, and a bunch of jerk economists are recommending Keynesian economic policy to full us!

No, I'm just kidding--all in fun. Anyway, that seems like a bit of a generalization; surely it is more of a "response to Keynesian economic policy" than it is a response to the "failure" (as if it were an absolute, universally agreed upon fact among mainstream economists) of it. I do not have access to the book that is cited, so could someone check that? It seems a bit strange to me, seeing that this book is a textbook and all, that they would declare it a "failure" when that is by no means a definitive fact (of course, nothing in macroeconomic policy theories is a definitive fact).Treefingers1206 (talk) 22:20, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Still laughably biased?[edit]

The entire fiscal policy of this article is still riddled with personal bias and looks more like as Reagan roast than an educational overview. I see no real talk has gone on this talk page recently. Is this section still under review as it needs a hardcore cleanup. The criticism portions spill far outside the "Criticism" section and there is a plethora of grammatical errors, leading me to believe a supply-side economics critic edited it while very, very angry. Furthermore, anyone coming here to look for encyclopedic knowledge of supply-side economics will find very little and will leave with misinformation about both the economic theory and the Reagan regime, which only partially applied supply-side economics during its reign. Much of what is here instead needs to be moved to the trickle-down economics article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.148.5.169 (talk) 18:31, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

There is no evidence that this economic ideology has worked to improved government tax revenue. Even Friedman admits it would not do so. Perhaps it is republicans which are biased against reality, most Europeans recognize it correctly as a flawed ideology, so on average the unbiased description will contain legitimate criticism, just as you would criticize marxist economics. Ahahaha373 (talk) 18:37, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Removed paragraph from lead[edit]

I have removed this paragraph from the lead:

There have been strong debates over the theory in America in past 30 years. In 2003, the Wall Street Journal declared the debate over the ability of supply-side economics to reduce taxes without cost has ended "with a whimper," after extensive modeling performed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) failed to support that possibility.[1]

I think it is unduly negative considering that supply-side economists expect very few tax cuts to actually pay for themselves fully. This is already covered in the Criticism section anyway. –CWenger (talk) 22:25, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Agreed that most economists do not expect tax cuts to pay for themselves. However, I added this paragraph because much of the discussion of taxes in the media and among everyday folks has the assumption that tax cuts DO pay for themselves. As wikipedia is widely used as an everyday resource it is very important that this fact be included in the summary. I have undone your deletion.Jytdog (talk) 12:26, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I am fine with the paragraph as it has been rewritten. Thanks. –CWenger (talk) 16:31, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Great! It is good to resolve something in a nice manner!
I agree! Wikipedia can be very frustrating sometimes... –CWenger (talk) 16:04, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ `Dynamic' Scoring Finally Ends Debate On Taxes, Revenue. By Alan Murray. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Apr 1, 2003. pg. A.4

The Econoclasts by Brian Domitrovic[edit]

This article on supply side economics is inaccurate, unbalanced and unsatisfactory. It does not reflect well on Widipedia. It should be re-written by a scholar who knows the subject. Brian Domitrovic, the Harvard University economist who wrote The Econoclasts would be an excellent choice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Martinweinstein (talkcontribs) 09:32, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Not Harvard, but Sam Houston State University, which is so bad that it's unranked and has a 71% admissions acceptance rate. Jwray (talk) 02:04, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Triple merger with Reaganomics and Trickle-down economics[edit]

I think it's a good idea because they're all the same subject. Second? Jwray (talk) 23:02, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Possibly trickle-down economics. I'd argue against Reaganomics, though, because if you look at the page you will see this policy involved more than simply tax cuts, which is what supply-side economics primarily is. –CWenger (talk) 23:19, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Supply Side Economics - Taxes, Deficits, and Debt[edit]

It is my understanding that the whole thrust of supply side economics is a cost of capital exercise. Meaning that the private sector realizes its cost of capital on an after tax basis. Capital financing in the private sector takes two forms - debt (bonds) and equity (stocks). Capital and taxes being two costs in the production of any good, lowering the after tax cost of capital leads to an increase in production for a given amount of demand - ie, firms compete for that demand.

The capital gains tax cuts of the Reagan era focused solely on the equity side of finance. Supply side economics applications in government policy is missing a key ingredient - a term structure device. A lot of private sector capital financing relies on the credit markets. Debt instruments are fixed term (One month to 30 years) by their very nature. And so, if the federal government wanted to lower the after tax cost of capital across a term structure, it would sell a term structure instrument.

This is why supply side economics has no foundations in macro-economic theory. There is no financial instrument that embodies that policy.

Instead what we have are inflation indexed bonds (introduced by Bob Rubin in 1997) that permit financial firms to speculate on the direction of commodities and drive inflation higher at their leisure. 24.3.100.36 (talk) 05:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Opposition in the opener[edit]

Why is a CNBC reporter being so extensively quoted in the opener? To me, the opener reads like a planned refutation of the whole idea, as if it were universally accepted as being discredited. I'm not sure that's the case...InFairness (talk) 04:15, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

I consider myself a supply-sider and I don't find the quotes too negative. It seems like a pretty decent overview by mainstream economic thought. It would be preferable to find somebody more notable saying essentially the same thing, but it is acceptable as it stands in my opinion. However, for a bit of balance, since it is true that there is virtually nothing positive is said in the lead, maybe we could find somebody attributing the economic booms of the 1920s, 60s, and 80s to supply-side tax cuts of Coolidge, Kennedy, and Reagan, respectively. –CWenger (^@) 04:41, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
It didn't start out that way! Somebody didn't like the citation of the WSJ article indicating that "the debate was over" that cutting taxes could increase revenue and added a bunch of text to play down/discredit the quote. So there is overgrowth... you can see it in the history 5 August 2011 by 76.218.32.141. The citation of the WSJ article is useful in the lede as there is so much loose talk about raising revenue by cutting taxes, and as the lede indicates the real goal of supply side is not to increase govt revenue but rather to unleash economic growth. Jytdog (talk) 17:40, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Bad Link Epidemic[edit]

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-20004037.html does not lead to the article mentioned, much like reference #10. Is it a dead link, or merely an advertisement for this highbeam service?

169.231.35.75 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:08, 26 April 2012 (UTC).

Employment growth by top tax rate image[edit]

I've started a centralised discussion here regarding File:Employment growth by top tax rate.jpg, which is used in this article. Gabbe (talk) 09:59, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Marx and Smith paragraph[edit]

This paragraph is stupid. The connotation is that supply side theory relates to the left (Marx) and the right (Smith), but since this isn't explicitly stated it comes of as a random collection of facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.12.184.6 (talk) 17:28, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Lower federal revenue as percentage of GDP[edit]

@VikingExplorer: recently added the following:

However, lower federal revenue as a percentage of GDP would be expected according to supply side economics. The Laffer curve relates real revenue (not %GDP) to tax rates. Lower tax rates would naturally reduce the percentage that tax revenues are of GDP, but the point of the Laffer curve is that real revenues will be, after a transient drop, greater at the lower rates. For example, imagine the entire economy is 1 company with $1000 in revenue and $100 in profit. With a tax rate of 50%, the government would receive $50 in revenue. With the rate lowered to 33%, the revenue might increase to $2000, resulting in $200 in profit, and $66 for the government. Accordingly, real federal revenue was trending upwards during the entire decade of the 1980s.

The latest source was GPO, US Government Printing Office, Federal revenue, Table 2.1 - Receipts by Source: 1934–2016 (Excel file). The previous source to a similar problematic sentence was http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com which appears to be a WP:SPS. Most importantly, Neither source explicitly makes this point, so the added material is WP:SYNTH at best. The highly simplified example is most certainly not found in an excel file from the GPO, and the difficult-to-navigate blog doesn't make the point either (it mainly also provides raw data, at least on the page which was linked). It is not up to Wikipedia to present such material without solid sources, because Wikipedia is not a platform for original research. Simply supplying raw data and expecting readers to come to such specific and esoteric conclusions is a violation of WP:NPOV, so I have removed the paragraph once again. Grayfell (talk) 23:40, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

@Abierma3:

How is this an NPOV issue or undue weight? →Reagan also reduced taxes from a top marginal rate of 50% to 28%,[15] lower on the Laffer Curve, which increased nominal federal government revenue during his term, but revenue fell as a percentage of GDP.[16] While lower tax rates imply lower federal revenue when measured as a percentage of GDP, the Laffer curve relates real revenue (not %GDP) to tax rates. The Laffer curve says that when tax rates are too high, tax revenue in dollars will be, after a transient drop, greater at the lower rates.[17]

Please take a look at one of the most neutral sources in the article. http://web.uconn.edu/cunningham/econ309/lafferpdf.pdf Lipsquid (talk) 18:35, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

@Lipsquid:, thank you for taking the time to discuss this issue. I removed the text, "but revenue fell as a percentage of GDP," because it is undue weight (and undue weight is an NPOV concern). Here is the reason why: It was in the Laffer curve section, and the next sentence states, "...the Laffer curve relates real revenue (not %GDP) to tax rates." Thus, the removed statement does not belong in this section. I agree that a discussion of % GDP is certainly relevant to supply-side economics though. If you look down to the Effect on tax revenues section, it says, "Some hold this was borne out during the 1980s when, advocates of supply-side economics claim, tax cuts ultimately led to an overall increase in governmental revenue due to stronger economic growth. However, some economists dispute this assertion, pointing to the fact that revenue as a percentage of GDP declined during Reagan's term in office." The article already included the statement, so that is why I removed it. To include it twice, especially in the Laffer curve section, is NPOV. Abierma3 (talk) 04:48, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
@Abierma3: While I agree that it would occur twice in the article, many, many, many comments occur twice in this article and in most articles. I would suggest adding back "but revenue fell as a percentage of GDP" as it gives a full summary of what happened under the Reagan cuts and removing the next sentence, "the Laffer curve relates real revenue (not %GDP) to tax rates.", which is a description of Laffer curve mechanics and should probably be in the Laffer Curve section. The fact that revenues increased, but fell as a percentage of GDP is a matter of supply-side economics in general and not an attribute of only the Laffer Curve. In general and in my opinion, the article has too much emphasis already on the Laffer Curve which is only the distribution of tax revenues across various tax rates. Give the Laffer Curve its own section, but lets keep the article about supply-side economic theory. Lipsquid (talk) 16:35, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
The two sentences we are discussing (the first sentence contained the removed statement) are in the Laffer curve section. That is exactly why I removed it; tax revenue as a percentage of GDP does not pertain to the Laffer curve, so including the fact that tax revenue as % of GDP fell during Reagan's years as president would be better placed in the Effect on tax revenues section (which it already is). I think we are in agreement that % of GDP does belong in the article, but not in the Laffer curve section, so it seems this is just a misunderstanding. Abierma3 (talk) 17:55, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I think we are closer to an agreement. I suggest we remove the last statement "lower on the Laffer Curve, which also increased federal government revenue during his term.[16]" or we discuss the affects of the Kennedy cuts and the Reagan cuts and include revenue impact and the impact of revenue as a percentage of GDP. Cherry picking only the Reagan increase in revenue, while not discussing the Kennedy revenue and ignoring the impact of inflation and that the revenues were at a lower % of GDP favors a biased POV. WP is here to provide all information and let users form their own opinion. To leave out information because it does not support a particular point of view is by definition biased. Lipsquid (talk) 16:53, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I just did a small copyedit for grammar and clarity, below is the paragraph under debate:

The Reagan administration and the Kennedy administration both justified such changes in socioeconomic terms by invoking the old saying that "a rising tide lifts all boats".[13] Kennedy reduced taxes from a top marginal rate of 91% to 65%,[14] which—consistent with the Laffer curve model—increased government revenue. Also consistent with the Laffer curve model, Reagan reduced taxes from a top marginal rate of 50% to 28%,[15] which increased government revenue during his term.[16]

As you can see, the Kennedy tax cuts are mentioned in the preceding sentence with equal weight as the sentence about the Reagan tax cuts. I don't see how this is cherry picking if both are mentioned equally. Also, don't forget that this section is about the Laffer curve, which is strictly about the relationship between tax rates and government revenue, so any discussion of tax revenue as a percentage of GDP needs to be in the "Effect on tax revenues" rather than the "Laffer curve" section. And since the decrease in tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is already mentioned in the "Effect on tax revenues" section, this information is not being ignored like you say, so I don't see a NPOV concern at all. Remember bias works both ways, something can be biased if information is not included in sections where it belongs, but something can also be biased if information is included in sections where it does not belong. Lastly, a discussion of inflation or other macroeconomic variables would belong in the "Fiscal policy theory" section. There is already a mention of "asset inflation" and "bubble" here, but feel free to add to this if you think it is inadequate. Abierma3 (talk) 17:52, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
When I said cherry picking, I was talking about ignoring inflation and that taxation as % of GDP is a truer reflection of efficiency of tax policy. I am not sure how anyone can argue this with a straight face, but I can't think for other people. To leave out information because it does not support a particular point of view is by definition biased. Lipsquid (talk) 21:53, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Inflation and taxation as a percentage of GDP are irrelevant to a discussion of the Laffer curve. We don't want to convolute an economic concept when there are better places in the article to include the information. Abierma3 (talk) 15:40, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Unless we can come to an agreement, I am going to remove the non-neutral POV items and rewrite this section as it does not reflect the reference and includes original research on the definition of Laffer Curve.
From the reference: "the Laffer Curve does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues, nor does it predict that any and all tax rate reductions would necessarily bring in more total revenues. Instead it says that tax rate reductions will always result in a smaller loss in revenues than one would have expected when relying only on the static estimates of the previous tax base. This also means that the higher the starting tax rate, the more dramatic the supply-side stimulus will be from cutting the tax rate. It is possible that this economic effect will swamp the arithmetic effect, causing an actual increase in tax revenue." Lipsquid (talk) 02:00, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
What do we disagree on? It seems pretty clear-cut. Tax revenue as a % of GDP does not belong in the Laffer Curve section, and it is already properly included in other sections. We have already discussed this thoroughly. Please be more specific on what you have a problem with. What exact statement does not reflect the reference? I will source it if there is any discrepancy (i.e. what you call original research). Abierma3 (talk) 02:05, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
This is what the reference says "the Laffer Curve does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues, nor does it predict that any and all tax rate reductions would necessarily bring in more total revenues. Instead it says that tax rate reductions will always result in a smaller loss in revenues than one would have expected when relying only on the static estimates of the previous tax base."
This is what the Wikipedia article says "Kennedy reduced taxes from a top marginal rate of 91% to 65%,[14] which—consistent with the Laffer curve model—increased government revenue. Also consistent with the Laffer curve model, Reagan reduced taxes from a top marginal rate of 50% to 28%,[15] causing an increase in government revenue during his term"
These statements are incompatible and the Wikipedia statement seems to contain original research. I doubt there is any resource that would be strong enough to dismiss Laffer's own definition of the meaning of the Laffer Curve. Lipsquid (talk) 02:42, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The source says, "This also means that the higher the starting tax rate, the more dramatic the supply-side stimulus will be from cutting the tax rate. It is possible that this economic effect will swamp the arithmetic effect, causing an actual increase in tax revenue." 91% and 50% are abnormally high tax rates, so this is in fact consistent with the Laffer curve and what the source says. Explain how this "[dismisses] Laffer's own definition of the meaning of the Laffer curve." Abierma3 (talk) 02:51, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I have explained my points, the wording does not match the referenced article, not does it reflect Mr. Laffer's own definition of the Laffer Curve. Feel free to make edits for more proper wording or to balance any point of view, I encourage other editors to review and if you would like we can mark the article, make a Request for Comment or any other dispute resolution method you like so that more people can take a look. I appreciate your feedback but Wikipedia is not a place for original research and I am certainly not claiming this is your original research, just that it is original research. Lipsquid (talk) 04:11, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is supposed to paraphrase a source, the wording is never supposed to "match a referenced article." You still haven't explained how this "[dismisses] Laffer's own definition of the meaning of the Laffer curve." Please do so, and also please point out exactly what is original research so I can source it. Something is not original research just because it is not sourced, as Wikipedia really only requires citations for material that is likely to be called into question. You have called the material into question so I will source it when I get a chance. Nothing in the disputed text is inconsistent with the Laffer curve model so this shouldn't be too difficult of a task. Abierma3 (talk) 04:32, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I fixed what I felt was incorrectly referenced, the wording should certainly portray the same intent as the writer's with no additional original research, which this section was heavy on. I listed my reasons, I like your additional edits, it reads as much more neutral in view now so I feel no more need to discuss it. Again, if you would like additional editors to review, I would welcome tagging the page or making an RFC. The article is still, in my worthless opinion, too Laffer Curve heavy, but getting better. I will probably clean-up the criticisms section with more references. Hopefully other editors will wander by and make additional edits and it will continue to be a great article with many points of view. Thank you again for your recent edits. Lipsquid (talk) 05:51, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm satisfied with recent changes. My apologies, I thought you were calling for a dramatic rewrite of the section. Abierma3 (talk) 17:36, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I removed the paraphrasing. I have no problem with the Laffer Curve possibly increasing raw revenue and i liked your previous edits that were very nice middle ground. Can we consolidate a bit on the Laffer Curve possibly raising revenue and not keep saying the same thing repeatedly? It is very clear from the article, and is common sense, that lowering taxes could possibly raise net income, lower net income or keep net income flat, do we need to repeat those outcomes or give undue weight to only one of the three outcomes? Lipsquid (talk) 18:59, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
If you "have no problem with the Laffer Curve possibly increasing raw revenue," then why remove it? This is sourced material from the Laffer Center, so it fits well in the Laffer Curve section. The section already says that tax rates "too low will not maximize tax revenues." Net income has nothing to do with the Laffer curve. A tax cut possibly increasing overall tax revenue is an important notion to supply-side economics. This sourced information should not be removed. Also, claiming things are "common sense" is not a reason for removal. Abierma3 (talk) 19:11, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Lipsquid, you recently reverted my edits, calling me a disruptive editor and urging me to use the talk page. I would like to remind you that I have been willing to discuss the issue the entire time and that my above post has been awaiting a response for over a day now (before you made these edits). I also think it is necessary to defend myself: I am not the disruptive editor here, it is you who is removing sourced info without proper justification or consensus. You don't seem willing to discuss this removal of sourced info either, which makes me suspicious that you are POV pushing. Abierma3 (talk) 08:10, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

When I asserted common sense, it was the same angle that VikingExplorer is currently also asserting. If you lower tax rates and gross GDP goes up, then you must take in lower taxes as a percentage of GDP, period, it is common sense and mathematics. If you don't understand this, you may want to consider doing more review before editing commentary about the Laffer Curve. In general, you should not revert the edits of others without discussion unless you are sure they are a vandal or a passerby. Use the talk page, make an RfC, tag the page, there are many dispute resolution methods available if you feel you are being treated unfairly or you come to a impasse on points of view. Don't be disruptive and don't just revert. Lipsquid (talk) 01:42, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Assertion about decrease in revenue as a % of GDP is false[edit]

I ask Lipsquid to self-revert his decision to re-add false information. This information was originally added by VikingExplorer. For some reason he wanted to discuss it on his talk page instead of this talk page, so I have included his post and my response below. I would also like to point out that VikingExplorer added nearly the exact content in September 2014, which was called out for being unsourced, false, and unacceptable original research by Grayfell (see the top post in the above section), and also failed to provide a reliable source for the addition either in September 2014 or now.

VikingExplorer post:

There seem to be people who erroneously think that an argument against the Laffer curve is that it doesn't raise tax revenues as a % of GDP. This is an invalid argument. For example, imagine if we had a tax rate of 10%, and this raised $10 in tax revenue. The GDP must be $10/.1 = $100. If we then lowered the tax rate to 9%, and IF in this imaginary scenario, the tax revenues increased to $11, then the GDP must have increased to $11/.09 = $122. The tax revenues as a percentage of GDP would be $10/$100 = 10% and $11/$122 = 9%. See how it matches the tax rate? So, claiming that the Laffer curve is invalid because it doesn't increase taxes as % of GPD is non-sense. It shows an extreme lack of understanding and critical thinking skills. In any real situation, the economy may or may not be overtaxed, and a tax cut may or may not actually increase revenues. There is a lot to criticize about actual tax policy, but we should not engage in non-sequitur arguments.

My response:

First off, Wikipedia only uses reliable sources. You must provide a source for this, or it doesn't belong in this encyclopedic article. Justifying the addition based on your overly-simplified (and false) example is original research. Secondly, your example is wrong because it assumes GDP is equal to taxable income, which is not true. Your entire argument is also easily proven false. In the case of tax cuts causing an increase in overall tax revenue, there is an economic effect (i.e. raise in taxable income and likely raise in GDP) that overcomes the tax revenue lost from the tax cuts, leading to an overall increase in tax revenue (i.e. raise in tax revenue). Thus, since both tax revenue and GDP might be raised, Laffer theory cannot predict anything about tax revenue as a % of GDP (again, GDP does not equal taxable income). Please remove your false information.

Abierma3 (talk) 07:47, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

First of all, you are misrepresenting what happened. I originally added text, which Grayfell very nicely helped me properly source. We achieved consensus, and the resulting text correctly describes the meaning of the Laffer curve.

I mostly agree with you when you say "Thus, since both tax revenue and GDP might be raised". An increase in tax revenue when the tax rate has been lowered can ONLY be explained by an increase in GDP (i.e. increased economic activity). As such, the tax revenues as a % of GDP should go down (or stay the same). In any case, the fact the tax revenue as % of GDP does not go up is NOT an valid criticism of the idea, since as you correctly say "Laffer theory cannot predict anything about tax revenue as a % of GDP". I agree with your statement here in quotes. All of my changes to this section from the beginning have been attempting to make this point and to remove any reference to % of GDP from the description of the theory.

Can you help me come up with a neutral POV description of the theory which does include any mention of % of GDP? VikingExplorer (talk) 18:04, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP could go down, stay the same, or go up. As I pointed out, taxable income is not equivalent to GDP. Taxable income (and thus tax revenue) could increase while other economic factors cause GDP to remain stagnant, which would mean an increase in tax revenue as percentage of GDP. Since any of these three options are possible, that is why I say Laffer theory cannot predict it. This is also why I have reiterated multiple times on this talk page that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP does not belong in the Laffer curve section. I don't know how you could get any more NPOV than what the original sentence said (i.e. "but [Laffer theory] does not account for any relationship to taxation as a percentage of GDP nor factor in the effects of inflation on government tax revenue). Maybe we could change this from "does not account for any relationship" to "does not predict any relationship." Frankly, my opinion is that this last paragraph is useless, confusing, and irrelevant to the Laffer curve and might be better if it was entirely deleted. I ask you to self-revert to the original or make these recommended changes, because the current version is unsourced and false. Abierma3 (talk) 18:23, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

As for your distinction between taxable income and GDP, the laffer curve is obviously a simplified model meant to help understand a concept. Imagine that the entire economy consists of 2 people, a supplier and a consumer. In this case, the GDP would equal the taxable income. Obviously, taxable income != GDP, but I didn't mean that literally. GNP (Gross National Product) = employee compensation + proprietors' income + rents + corporate profits + interest income GDP = GNP + indirect business taxes + depreciation + net income of foreigners. I think it's generally understood that taxable income is a big portion of GDP. The point is that no one should expect tax revenue/GDP to go up in response to a tax rate drop.

"This is also why I have reiterated multiple times on this talk page that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP does not belong in the Laffer curve section." I agree 100%. I never wanted any mention of % of GDP. The previous sentence regarding inflation was not original and is not NPOV since there are a million things that are not relevant to the theory. If I said "the sun will rise tomorrow, but this doesn't account for A, B, C, D, E, F". The implication is that the sun may not rise. It's just adding confusion.

In fact, many people are confused by the criticism that the Laffer curve is not correct since tax revenues do not go up as a % of GDP. This is invalid since if the idea is correct, it would be because of increased economic activity, which would be reflected by a larger GDP. Therefore, even if tax revenues remained constant, the % of GDP would go down. A ratio naturally goes down when the denominator is increased. VikingExplorer (talk) 18:59, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

I agree with you. Please revert back to the version that says "...but does not account for any relationship to taxation as a percentage of GDP nor factor in the effects of inflation on government tax revenue" as this reflects what we agree upon and is NPOV. I wouldn't disagree if you chose to delete the entire last paragraph of the section because we both agree tax revenue as percentage of GDP is irrelevant to a discussion of the Laffer curve. I have been accused of being a "disruptive editor," so I would prefer if you made these changes. Abierma3 (talk) 19:25, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

As I explained, the original sentence is not NPOV, since the implication is quite different. I'll try to come up with something that reflects what we agree on. VikingExplorer (talk) 21:23, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

From Mr laffer himself: "the Laffer Curve does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues, nor does it predict that any and all tax rate reductions would necessarily bring in more total revenues. Instead it says that tax rate reductions will always result in a smaller loss in revenues than one would have expected when relying only on the static estimates of the previous tax base." The second sentence is key "will always result in a smaller loss than one would have expected". In general, I think we all agree, except on whether inflation and taxation as a percentage of GDP are appropriate in an article about an economic theory. I think it is pretty rough to exclude fully excepted principles of economic theory in the discussion and when talking about taxation, the amount as percentage of GDP is the yardstick most commonly used. Ignoring it is like calculating profits without including expenditures, it makes no sense and has no valid measurement because inflation has a definitive and widely accepted effect on all economic theories. Supply Side Economics is no different. This is not an article about the Laffer Curve, though the Laffer Curve is important to Supply Side Economics. How the Laffer Curve effects taxation in supply side theory is an integral part of the discussion because we all know it has an effect and we all agree as to what that effect is, let's use this as an opportunity to have people actually understand what the Laffer Curve means as it is a useful theory. Lipsquid (talk) 02:36, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

"the amount as percentage of GDP is the yardstick most commonly used" It does not make sense in connection with the Laffer curve, since it's specifically about maximizing tax dollars by increasing the GDP. Abierma3 was correct that this can't be sourced. However, it would be expected that tax revenue as a % of GDP would be expected to go down IF the situation starts out overtaxed and a lower tax rate is enacted and economic activity increases.VikingExplorer (talk) 13:28, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Sure it makes sense in connection with the Laffer Curve and it is still easy to calculate. It just goes down. Why hide it? Take this as an opportunity to educate, lots of people come to Wikipedia to learn, use sources to explain why it goes down. There are tons of these sources out there. http://www.factandmyth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/clinton-taxes.jpg 14:49, 10 July 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lipsquid (talkcontribs)

Lipsquid, TaxRev/GDP is likely to go down if the economy is above the Laffer peak, but that's not the point of the Laffer curve. The curve of TaxRev/GDP will not have the characteristic hump shape. Imagine if the tax rate were 99%, and no one did any work except two people, and one sold the other a cappuccino for $100. The government would get $99, and the GDP would be $100. TaxRev/GDP = 99%, a large number rather than the small number implied by a Laffer hump curve. The Laffer curve only makes sense in terms of real dollars, and that the economic effect is the opposite of the tax rate change. When one looks at TR/GDP, it goes as expected, the same direction as the tax rate change. VikingExplorer (talk) 16:20, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't disagree with you at all. This is not an article about the Laffer Curve. It is an article about Supply Side Economics and if you want to include the Laffer Curve in Supply Side Economics, then include its economic effects on Supply Side Economics. One of the critical measures of any economic system is taxation as a percentage of GDP and ignoring % of GDP makes the discussion meaningless, just like any discussion of my own personal taxes is meaningless without knowing my tax rate as a percentage of income/earnings. Lipsquid (talk) 16:55, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Lipsquid, if you agree with me, we should be good, right? However, when you say "One of the critical measures of any economic system is taxation as a percentage of GDP", this is false. Your argument is stretching which makes you seem like you have an axe to grind. The bottom line is that the heart of the Laffer curve is the hump shape. As soon as you switch to TRev/GDP, that shape disappears, so that Laffer has no meaning or explanatory power. If that is your goal, then you are NOT NPOV. As Abierma3 pointed out, Laffer theory makes no specific prediction about TRev/GDP. It's about T$ = f(Tax-Rate). Lowering rates could cause GDP to rise such that the tax/GDP remained a constant. As for SSE, this "Laffer Curve" section is only to explain Laffer's influence on SSE, not to explain SSE. I'll add "due to increased economic activity" to connect the dots. VikingExplorer (talk) 18:40, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

I really do think we are mostly in agreement, I am a fan of Supply Side Economics and think the Laffer Curve is just a fancy way of saying that we should look to find the Goldilocks zone of taxation, not too high not too low. Other than that, it makes few predictions and is treated more like a cult, pseudoscience since many people fall in love with it but refuse to accept all of the associated mathematical implications. Its implications are its implications. I defended your last edits so I don't think it is fair to say I have an axe to grind. If I do have an axe, it is to have a great, fully informed article. I can source from many reliable sources that lowering taxes always lowers taxation as a percentage of GDP. Mathematics dictates that it must be so. I hate the last sentence in the section, it is misleading. Lipsquid (talk) 19:36, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes, you can source that "lowering taxes always lowers taxation as a percentage of GDP", but that's because it's not profound in the least, and therefore carries no information. It's certainly got nothing to do with the Laffer curve. I'm only interested in keeping the Laffer curve description free from confusion, since it's a simple concept. The last sentence is a great summary of the Laffer curve, so I can't think of any reason that you could find it misleading, unless your agenda is to somehow discredit the Laffer curve. Your description of the Laffer curve in terms of cult and pseudoscience supports the notion that you are not neutral. VikingExplorer (talk) 21:18, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

I only used cult and pseudoscience as a description of people who like to ignore critical data points. The Laffer Curve is 100% valid, there is nothing wrong with its use and I am not a critic. All that said, it still takes in lower taxes as a percentage of GDP and that has an effect on supply side economics. It is no wonder it confuses people, you have to know the secret jargon and understand what is implied, but never said, because it doesn't make a nice simple story. Everyone who understands knows that it takes in lower taxes as a percentage of GDP. Who cares that some say it doesn't matter? It is facts or data points that are true regardless, people can decide which facts matter when given all of the information. Things like this are the most annoying part of Wikipedia. Lipsquid (talk) 02:57, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

"Everyone who understands knows that it takes in lower taxes as a percentage of GDP". I agree that if one lowers tax rates, it should generally result in lower tax revenues as a % of GDP. As Abierma3 has pointed out, it's not a specific consequence of the laffer situation. It's a general fact that is caused by the numerator definitely going down, and in some cases, the denominator going up. Not every tax rate drop will have that effect. If you can cite this from primary sources, and if Abierma3 agrees, maybe we can add something like "As expected from any tax rate drop, tax revenues as a % of GDP will also drop." VikingExplorer (talk) 13:09, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

I would disagree with saying something like "As expected from any tax rate drop, tax revenues as a % of GDP will also drop" because it just isn't true. There is not a direct relationship between tax rate and tax revenue as a % of GDP. There are too many macroeconomic variables affecting GDP to predict whether tax revenue as a % of GDP will go up or down as a result of either cutting the tax rate or increasing the tax rate. Abierma3 (talk) 00:19, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

I had hoped we would have more editors chime in on the subject, but there seems to be little interest and I am not sure why since it is the cornerstone of current US economic policy and has been for a long time. VikingExplorer I would agree completely with your assessment that it is a function of the change in denominator and I much prefer the language you proposed over the current state of the article. Maybe we should tag the article and get more people to come in, I see it as a NPOV issue. Thank you for your suggestions with the article. Lipsquid (talk) 20:26, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Please explain, how it is an NPOV issue? Abierma3 (talk) 07:05, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Lipsquid, let me try to give an example of what Abierma3 might be talking about. Prior to Reagan tax cuts, rates were high enough that some wealthy people used real estate to park capital, where the losses from that reduced their taxable income. The rate drop caused that structure to no longer make sense, so these people decided to just pay the lower rate than mess with all that (a closed loophole also may have helped them decide). The end result was more tax revenue, a real estate bubble collapsing and leading to less economic activity. The bigger point is that the change in tax revenues as a % of GDP is NOT crucial to understanding Laffer and Laffer has nothing to do with % of GDP. So, why do you want to link the two so badly? VikingExplorer (talk) 14:35, 18 July 2015 (UTC)— Preceding unsigned comment added by VikingExplorer (talkcontribs) 14:31, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
VikingExplorer I actually understand the mathematics behind the Laffer Curve and from your posting I know you understand the mathematics of the Laffer Curve. This is an article about Supply Side Economics, all national economic tax policies use taxation as a percentage of GDP as their standard yard stick, all of them. Taxation as a percentage of GDP is hugely important to Supply Side Economics. Regarding the "Laffer Curve makes no claims on taxation as % of GDP". Well an evolutionist would say Darwin makes no claims about the Bible, yet evolution does in fact imply claims about the Bible. Ignoring it is ignoring the elephant in the corner and the source of all of the serious debate. Same with the Laffer Curve. People can say it makes no predictions on taxation as a percentage of GDP, but in reality it does. Mathematics 100% guarantees that lowering the tax rate, lowers taxation as a percentage of GDP. You know it and I know it. I can source any number of articles that show lowering tax rates lowers taxation as a percentage of GDP. My goal is not to turn the Laffer Section into a soap box or a big argument or to trash it with dueling sourced references, I ask for a couple of words to be added. Taxation as a % of GDP is a source of contention and the target of most of the serious debate about the effects of Laffer Curve-based policies. Ignoring taxation as a % of GDP because it is a source of criticism is ridiculous for an encyclopedic article and seems to point to issues with non-neutral points of view. I am not asking to push any point of view in the article, I have made no edits even though I disagree. I only ask that all facts be included so people can make their own informed decision, you know like an encyclopedia article should be used. I think we should tag the article since, your last RfC request got a total of zero responses. Lipsquid (talk) 18:17, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
"Mathematics 100% guarantees that lowering the tax rate, lowers taxation as a percentage of GDP." This is false. And trying to include something that is false is pushing a POV. You say "ignoring taxation as a % of GDP because it is a source of criticism is ridiculous for an encyclopedic article and seems to point to issues with non-neutral points of view," but this is also false. We ignore taxation as a % of GDP because it does not belong in the Laffer curve section as the Laffer curve has nothing to do with and predicts nothing about % of GDP. Considering tax revenue as a % of GDP is included elsewhere in the article, including it in the Laffer curve section where it does not belong would be NPOV false balance. Abierma3 (talk) 20:12, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
If you lower tax rates from 20% to 19%, the taxes taken in at 19% MUST be a lower than if THE SAME AMOUNT OF GDP was taxed at 20%. 19% is lower than 20%, therefore 19% times X will always be lower than 20% times X. Always, forever, it will never, ever, ever, ever change, like seriously never. I am 100% positive. Is this plain enough? Please consider before saying it again. If we can get past whether the first statement is true or false, we can get to your secondary arguments. Or if you prefer, you could just say I understand and we could move to the other arguments. Under what conditions would GDP times 19% be greater than the same GDP times 20%? Lipsquid (talk) 22:47, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
In the real world, GDP is not a constant, and there is no basis for your assumption that GDP will remain the same when there is a change in the tax rate. By changing the tax rate, GDP could go up, go down, or stay the same. It's false to say that lowering the tax rate will always result in lower tax revenue as a percentage of GDP. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP could also go up or remain the same after lowering the tax rate. Abierma3 (talk) 02:08, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
yawn Lipsquid (talk) 02:33, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Lipsquid, you say "Under what conditions would GDP times 19% be greater than..", but I gave you an example where it resulted in more tax revenue but less GDP. If the numerator goes up while the denominator goes down, the % of GDP goes up. Why can't you see that "All other things being equal, including GDP, a lower tax rate will lower tax revenues as % of GDP" is generally true, but not specific to Laffer? VikingExplorer (talk) 14:07, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

You and I are on the same page, maybe you can change my mind here because this is my area of concern. Why is % of GDP not specific to Laffer besides Laffer says so? What is the intellectual argument? I already made the same argument above. "an evolutionist would say Darwin makes no claims about the Bible, yet evolution does in fact imply claims about the Bible. Ignoring it is ignoring the elephant in the corner and the source of all of the serious debate." Same - Same Lipsquid (talk) 14:59, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Because Laffer theory predicts nothing about the tax revenue as a % of GDP since it is impossible to predict. You say, "I can source any number of articles that show lowering tax rates lowers taxation as a percentage of GDP." Please provide these sources. Your evolution argument is irrelevant, as secondary sources could easily be found discussing implications of evolution on the Bible. Wikipedia is not a place for original research: if you have sources for what you asserting about tax revenue as a % of GDP, let's see them. Abierma3 (talk) 15:38, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Good point, I will edit the section with sources proving my point. Thank you for the suggestion. Lipsquid (talk) 15:52, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Abierma3Thanks for tiding things up and for updating what was perceived as NPOV. I have not had a chance to review it all yet, but i appreciate trying to work together and will look at it all later today. Lipsquid (talk) 21:28, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

@Lipsquid: Your two recent, significant edits of the lead do not adequately paraphrase what the sources say, nor does it adequately summarize the body of the article. Please provide the direct quotes from the sources, otherwise it fails verification and will be reverted. Abierma3 (talk) 18:36, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Specifically, you changed the Laffer mention in the lead to "repressively high tax rates stifle economic activity lowering tax rates always has a lower negative effect than one would believe." The words "repressively" and "stifle" do not appear in the source, and these are not neutral. Also, it is unclear what "lower negative effect" means. Considering that negative numbers are lower than positive numbers, are you asserting that lowering tax rates would have a more negative effect than one would expect? The new change is worse at summarizing the section than what you changed it from and also lacks clarity.
For the statement, "many Supply-Side economic policies have a negative impact on taxation as a percentage of GDP as all tax cuts require offsetting spending cuts or other future tax increases and the government must take on new debt to fund the tax cut to bridge the time between spending and receipts," you need to provide direct quotations from the source to support this. What you changed it from read, "critics assert that supply-side economic policies will likely increase federal budget deficits unless funded by offsetting spending cuts." This is supported by the direct quotation found in the source, "Tax rate cuts may encourage individuals to work, save, and invest, but if the tax cuts are not financed by immediate spending cuts they will likely also result in an increased federal budget deficit, which in the long-term will reduce national saving and raise interest rates." The original text was better and accurately paraphrases the source. I see no evidence that all tax cuts require offsetting spending cuts. This is not NPOV Abierma3 (talk) 18:51, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Abierma3 What I put in the article is totally sourced "However, any tax cut must be financed by some combination of future spending cuts or future tax increases—with borrowing to bridge the timing of spending and receipts. The associated, necessary policy changes may not be specified in the original tax cut legislation, but they have to be present in some form in order to meet the government’s budget constraint. Because fiscally unsustainable policies cannot be maintained forever, the financing of a tax cut must be incorporated into analyses of the effect of the tax cut itself." Please don't change it my cited statement again as you have reverted it 3 times. Please use dispute resolution methods, take it to a board, ask for RfC, mark the page. You do not own the page and anyone can edit with reliable cited sources. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution Lipsquid (talk) 15:27, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

How do you arrive at your statement: "In addition, many Supply-Side economic policies have a negative impact on taxation as a percentage of GDP as all tax cuts require offsetting spending cuts or other future tax increases and the government must take on new debt to fund the tax cut to bridge the time between spending and receipts," from the quote you provided? It says nothing about taxation as a percentage of GDP, and it also says nothing about the "many Supply-Side economic policies" causing this. The statement I provided more accurately reflects what the quote you provided states: "In addition, critics assert that supply-side economic policies will likely increase federal budget deficits unless funded by offsetting spending cuts." This is also supported by this direct quote from the source: "...if the tax cuts are not financed by immediate spending cuts they will likely also result in an increased federal budget deficit." Your "cited statement" fails verification and is rightly reverted. Abierma3 (talk) 17:19, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

You deleted some of my cited references, it is in the page history. Something about it being from an opinion or blog section. The whole laffer curve section is from a blog, by the way, and is noted in the RfC below. I have no problem with us reaching a compromise statement, if fact that is what I would hope is the norm rather than reverting the edits of others. I am a sane guy and my edits are usually not very controversial. There are already many references about "taxation as a percentage of GDP" in the sentence before the sentence in question.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply-side_economics#cite_note-3 Lipsquid (talk)

Also this is the quote from the Brookings article:

"However, any tax cut must be financed by some combination of future spending cuts or future tax increases—with borrowing to bridge the timing of spending and receipts. The associated, necessary policy changes may not be specified in the original tax cut legislation, but they have to be present in some form in order to meet the government’s budget constraint. Because fiscally unsustainable policies cannot be maintained forever, the financing of a tax cut must be incorporated into analyses of the effect of the tax cut itself. In the absence of spending changes, tax cuts are likely to raise the federal budget deficit."

It doesn't say only "critics" believe that tax cuts must be financed either through future spending cuts or future tax increases, I doubt anyone in academia would doubt the validity of this statement. it is pretty non-controversial and common sense. Lipsquid (talk) 02:57, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Blog sources are not acceptable per Wikipedia policy. Please provide direct quotes from the other (non-blog) sources you claim discuss "taxation as a percentage of GDP," I can not find it. Fails verification. Abierma3 (talk) 13:45, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

There is a whole section below on the talk page about the Laffer Section being from a blog: [1] Lipsquid (talk) 00:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

References

Laffer curve[edit]

RfC: Can I have some guidance?[edit]

Several paragraphs in this section have simply been copy-pasted verbatim from: http://www.quickoverview.com/issues/supply-side-economics.html. I'd like to highlight 5 examples:

(1) Verbatim: The supply-siders were influenced strongly by the idea of the Laffer curve,

(2) Verbatim: This led the supply-siders to advocate large reductions

(3) Verbatim: Furthermore, in response to inflation,

(4) Verbatim: However, some economists see similarities between supply-side proposals and Keynesian economics

(5) Marx and Smith section, Verbatim: Both supply-siders and their opponents have been keen to claim the mantles

I would suggest that we delete all but #1. Paragraph #2 is not related to the Laffer curve connections to Supply Side. The other paragraphs are questionably sourced. I would speculate that the existing citations are made up.VikingExplorer (talk) 18:08, 10 July 2015 (UTC)


I looked up the website in question and it is someone's personal blog which goes to http://www.philbartholo.com/?page_id=2 This article is in serious need of help after reviewing how much of it came from a blog. It needs a re-write and input from as many editors as possible. If you do not feel like you have the time to re-write the article yourself, I can assist if you would like to divide and conquer. If you want others to rewrite, I would say it is yet another reason to tag the article and get some real help in here. This article is a mess. Lipsquid (talk) 18:29, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Laffer curve doesn't illustrate supply-side because it peaks around 70%[edit]

The introduction paragraph stating that the Laffer curve illustrates supply-side theories is false, because an economy can be either to the left or right of the Laffer curve's peak, and it says nothing about tax incidence, which is far more highly determinate of outcomes than the total tax rate. EllenCT (talk) 03:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The sentence in question is not false. It is true, which can be verified by reading the cited source. Of course an economy's tax rate could be either to the left or right of the Laffer curve peak (no one knows for certain where the peak lies or what the shape of the curve is or if there is even a single peak or multiple), the idea is that the peak somewhere between 0% and 100% is the optimum tax rate, and if it is suspected that the tax rate is to the right of this peak, a tax cut (often advocated for by supply-siders) could optimize tax revenue while also boosting output and employment due to the tax cut's economic effect. Laffer theory is a central theory for supply-side economics; no where does it say that this is the only central theory of supply-side economics or that the Laffer curve illustrates all supply-side theories, which seems to be what you are assuming. Abierma3 (talk) 05:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
On the contrary, since you admit that nobody knows exactly where the peak lies, how can you say, "that lowering tax rates has a positive impact on work, output, and employment and generates more government revenue"? That would only be true if the peak were at 0%, which would mean no courts to enforce contracts, for example. Therefore the sentence is false and will be removed. EllenCT (talk) 17:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't matter where the peak lies, lowering tax rates will have a positive impact on output and employment. This is known as the economic effect (stimulus) of a tax cut. You cut off an important part of the quote ("...generates more government revenue than would otherwise be expected from the lower tax rate due to the tax cut's economic effect"). For instance, if the tax rate is cut in half, it would be expected mathematically that tax revenue would also be cut in half, but due to the stimulus effect of a tax cut, there will be more government revenue generated than expected (i.e. it will not be cut exactly in half, but will be greater). The sentence is true. Please read the cited source. Abierma3 (talk) 06:52, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
If the peak is to the right of the current tax rate, cutting taxes does not have a stimulus effect, it has a dampening effect. Do you have a peer reviewed source from the WP:SECONDARY literature, like the Journal of Economic Literature or a literature review published in a high-impact peer reviewed academic journal? We need to follow Wikipedia's reliable source criteria instead of depending on advocacy organizations' websites. EllenCT (talk) 14:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Cutting taxes has a stimulus effect, no matter where the peak is. See this paper: "Even critics of supply-side economics concede that tax cuts may produce substantial revenue reflows, lowering their net cost." Keep in mind the sentence is not saying that overall tax revenue will be greater, but that tax revenue will be greater than otherwise expected for that lower rate (i.e. "lowering their net cost"). If the peak is to the left of the current tax rate, it is possible that overall tax revenue could increase if the economic effect (stimulus) of the tax cut overpowers the arithmetic effect (but this is another story, it is not what the lead is stating). Also, see this journal article, it says, "The Laffer Curve is the most evident illustration of the key postulations of the supply-side economics." Thus, it is lead worthy and should be explained whether mainstream economists praise it or criticize it because this is the supply-side economics article and it is a key concept of supply-side economics (the viewpoints of critics are also in the same paragraph for NPOV balance). Abierma3 (talk) 15:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
None of those sources is a WP:SECONDARY source, such as a literature review or a meta-analysis. Yet, in this edit summary, you wrote, "Laffer Curve should be emphasized as peer-reviewed secondary source says: 'The Laffer Curve is the most evident illustration of the key postulations of the supply-side economics.'" However, the source cited not only isn't a secondary source, it's not a peer reviewed source. In fact, it's an advocacy organization source just like [2]. Are you aware of the difference between an advocacy organization's publication, a peer reviewed academic journal article or book chapter, and a secondary literature review or meta-analysis? EllenCT (talk) 21:17, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
BNAS, the source that says, "The Laffer Curve is the most evident illustration of the key postulations of the supply-side economics," is a peer-reviewed source. Laffer Associates is not an advocacy organization, but rather a private company (research and consulting firm) that happened to be founded by Arthur Laffer, and the author (Bruce Bartlett) is credible, so your classification is debatable. I am aware. Abierma3 (talk) 07:17, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Journal articles are secondary sources; the primary sources are things like interviews with natives that anthropologists do in the process of preparing the journal articles. However, since supply side theory applies irrespective of where on the Laffer curve one is operating, and indeed also applies to supply curve manipulation even if that manipulation has nothing to do with taxes, I agree that the Laffer curve is not central to supply side theory.Warren Dew (talk) 04:14, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

The Laffer curve illustration should be much less convex, and should not be shown with a peak at 50% or current tax rates at 50%[edit]

The actual height of the Laffer curve looks more like a pitchers' mound than a haystack, and the peer reviewed secondary sources say the peak is around 70%, not 50%. Current tax rates for most of the English Wikipedia readership are around 25%, not 50%. EllenCT (talk) 14:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

No one knows the actual shape of the Laffer curve, whether there is one peak, two peaks, or multiple peaks, let alone the percentage of where the peak lies, so I am skeptical of anyone that claims to know the exact shape and percentage. Please share you sources. A quote from this journal article says, "the data also show that federal income tax revenue would have been maximized at a tax rate of about 35 percent, and total income tax revenue maximized at a total tax rate of about 40 percent," which is far from 70%.
The caption of the Laffer curve illustration in the article attributes it "as drawn by Arthur Laffer" and notes that it "need not be single-peaked nor symmetrical nor peak at 50%," so it is fine for illustration purposes as it does not claim to be the actual curve of a certain economy. Abierma3 (talk) 15:56, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The article you cited discusses tax rates only in the US and only from 1982-1984. It is not a WP:SECONDARY source. Would you be satisfied with an illustration of a water molecule with a 70 or 140 degree bond angle? [3] indicates, "The U.S. is currently far from the peak of it’s Laffer curve and could increase revenue by about 57% if the average labor income tax rate is increased to about 58%." EllenCT (talk) 21:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The Laffer Curve is a vague scientific theory at best. It makes no real predictions, it is hard to model and only makes two real observations. 1) At a tax rate of 0% and a a tax rate of 100%, the government would take in no revenue. 2) Tax cuts lose a lower amount of government revenue than one would suspect due to the economic stimulus effect. What no Laffer Curve apologist wants to discuss is that tax cuts ALWAYS lower government revenue as a percentage of GDP and that current US tax rates are far below where models of the Laffer Curve say the curve's peak is actually located, with most economists saying the Laffer Curve peak is at 60-70% tax rates. I have tried adding more information to the article, but it gets reverted. I would take the history of the word Laffer Curve and the sentence EllenCT noted out of the lead in personally and move them to the Laffer Curve section. The focus of the article should be on Supply Side Economics which is a whole lot more than the Laffer Curve. The Laffer Curve is a distraction and has little to do with supply side policies since current tax rates are far from the curve and additional tax cuts supported by supply side economists have little, if anything, to do with maximizing government revenue, which is the whole point of the Laffer Curve. It has been 30 years since we have had tax rates on the top side of the Laffer Curve and going from a $1 trillion US debt to a $17 trillion US debt in the same period speaks for itself. /end soapbox. Lipsquid (talk) 23:32, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Ref in lede for "tax incidence" criticism of Laffer[edit]

The ref doesn't speak to tax incidence at all. Is there somehting in the ref that anyone can see that supports the criticism? Capitalismojo (talk) 19:28, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

Do you understand the relationship between progressivity and incidence? EllenCT (talk) 22:07, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

Revision by Lipsquid[edit]

Lipsquid has reverted a couple of my edits

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Supply-side_economics&curid=174607&diff=684109311&oldid=684108726 I deleted original research as there was a leap from the sources (statements of tax rates and budget data) to the conclusions with no secondary sources to back up this jump. See WP:Synth. If you think it is relevant, you can still have the raw tax/budget data in there but there is no source for e.g. "Krugman and other critics point to increased budget deficits during the Reagan administration as proof that the Laffer Curve is wrong." "Supply-siders cannot legitimately take credit for increased FICA tax revenue, because...." ] (Note that the last source is a broken link as well. If it is a source for all of these then feel free to keep the conclusions in there)

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Supply-side_economics&diff=prev&oldid=684108726 There is again a leap to an unsourced conclusion. There is no source to say that McConnell or anyone else is wrong.

Could we discuss on the talk page and reach a conclusion?

Thank you for using the talk page. What do you specifically have an issue with as much of it does seem sourced? According to the article, McConnell did say that the Bush tax cuts increase government revenue and the CBO does say he is wrong. Krugman and others do use the deficits during Reagan to say the Laffer Curve is wrong and you can find dozens of sources for this comment from Krugman. Lipsquid (talk) 15:07, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
For criticisms: In the paragraph starting "Krugman and other critics", The Tax Policy Centre link does not work and neither does the CBO link. I can't find a link to Krugman saying that the Laffer curve is wrong, if you can easily find one then please add it yourself. I have rewritten the next paragraph - it was not clear that the second sentence was sourced from the previous reference. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 18:05, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
That took like 10 seconds. Any other questions? http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/10/the-laffer-swerve/?_r=0 Lipsquid (talk) 04:02, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
That doesn't mention the budget deficit so "Krugman and other critics point to increased budget deficits during the Reagan administration as proof that the Laffer Curve is wrong." is not sourced. You haven't addressed my other point, that in the paragraph starting "Krugman and other critics", The Tax Policy Centre link does not work and neither does the CBO link. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 13:55, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
"I can't find a link to Krugman saying that the Laffer curve is wrong, if you can easily find one then please add it yourself. I have rewritten the next paragraph." You asked a question I provided a source to your question. Lipsquid (talk) 17:13, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

An overwhelming majority of leading economists reject?[edit]

In regard to the edit which claims "An overwhelming majority of leading economists have rejected the rationale of the Laffer Curve. When asked whether a “cut in federal income tax rates in the US right now would raise taxable income enough so that the annual total tax revenue would be higher within five years than without the tax cut,” 96% of economists surveyed by the University of Chicago in 2012 disagreed." I oppose this edit for many reasons.

1) Its deceptive. The edit claims that economists reject the rationale of the Laffer Curve, but the citation only asks if a cut in taxes in the US right now would raise or lower income. The question does not ask if they agree or disagree with the rationale only if it would apply here and now, the IP which added that edit inferred the rest.
2) Most of the economists surveyed didnt comment on the Laffer curve per se, only saying agree or disagree. Of the 40 economists listed, only 12 even commented at all, only 4 or 5 of the comments unequivocally reject the Laffer curve (maybe slightly more depending on how you read them). There is no reason to believe that those who disagree necessarily reject the Laffer curve. See 1 above.
3) Of the ones that did comment 5 or 6 responded in such a way as to indicate that they actually accept the Laffer curve despite 5 of them responding disagree to the question. Consider this response: "See previous question. In addition, few studies suggest we are already at the max of the Laffer curve, though we may be close." - Robert Hall (his response was 'disagree'). Or this: "Seems implausible, but not impossible." - Bengt Holmström (disagree)
4) Although it might be a Reliable source, IGM forum is hardly a peer reviewed or scientific source. Strong statements need strong sourcing, i think the claim that 'An overwhelming majority of leading economists have rejected the rationale of the Laffer Curve." is a strong statement that needs to be sourced much better than a panel question.
5) We already have plenty of criticisms of the Laffer curve that express exactly what the complaints are and by whom, adding a distorted representation of a non-scientific survey does nothing to inform the reader as to the nature of the disagreement.

For these reasons i have removed the edits above and oppose their inclusion. Bonewah (talk) 02:47, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

This arguing is rather silly, most economist agree that lowering taxes will not raise revenues from current tax rates and if you actually read the various sources, most economist agree that the peak government revenue of the Laffer Curve is at tax rates between 60 - 70%. Soooo, since were are far to the downside of the peak of the Laffer Curve, this is kind of nonsensical except for someone who wants to push their own opinion or political positions through original research. Laffer himself says we are well below the peak of the curve. There is nothing wrong with the sentence as is. It speaks to the root of the argument, will a tax cut raise revenues at current rates? The answer from experts and empirical data is a resounding no. Please recommend a compromise, but don't just revert. http://www.nber.org/papers/w15343 http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2011/assets/hist01z2.xls Lipsquid (talk) 04:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
1) That's a reasonable argument for rewording the text not for removing it.
2) The question is about the Laffer curve and which side of it we're on. Don't engage in original research by interpreting the results to your liking.
3) See 2).
4) Reason you won't see Laffer curve talked about much in scientific sources is precisely because empirically it's a hokey idea so nobody bothers writing papers that no, cutting taxes will not raise revenues, because it's pretty much well known.
 Volunteer Marek  03:19, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Volunteer Marek I agree with Bonewah that a rewording is needed, as the source does not refer to the Laffer curve except in the title - only one economist "rejects the rationale of the Laffer curve" - the others suggest that we are on the left hand side of the peak rate. Can you suggest a rewording? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 08:28, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Absolutelypuremilk I don't think anyone is against rewording as long as the rewording is factual and remains true to the source. Volunteer Marek kind of hangs out here and helps resolve disputes. I can recommend new wording or you can recommend new wording or we can both recommend new wording and reach an agreeable compromise, but what we can't have is edit wars. Lipsquid (talk) 04:33, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Commenting that, as of right now, the article states:

An overwhelming majority of leading economists have rejected the viewpoint that the Laffer Curve's postulation of increased tax revenue through a rate cut applies to the current U.S. tax system. When asked whether a “cut in federal income tax rates in the US right now would raise taxable income enough so that the annual total tax revenue would be higher within five years than without the tax cut,” 96% of economists surveyed by the University of Chicago in 2012 disagreed.

And I think that's factually correct as well as neutrally worded. I guess one can bring up the word "overwhelming" and say that it's not necessary (the reader can understand already the meaning of the 96% number). Still, that's a nit-pick. I think this is good, and it should be in the lead. CoffeeWithMarkets (talk) 06:25, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

I have moved this out of the lead - it is entirely US-centric and applies only to federal income tax Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 07:41, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
It's not really US-centric and the general fact that the idea has no academic support is not limited to the federal income tax. Volunteer Marek  07:48, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Also, this whole idea of "supply side economics" (sic) is essentially a US centric phenomenon (maybe a little bit in Britain) so of course there's going to be more focus on the US. Perhaps voters in other countries aren't dumb enough to fall for it. Volunteer Marek  07:50, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
If you can find secondary sources that say that it has no academic support then feel free to put them in the lead Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 08:13, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Im not in love with the proposed edit, but its a lot better. The word 'current' is going to wind up with a [when?] tag and 'leading economists' is a Peacock term. so maybe change current to 2012 and get rid of the word 'leading'. I agree with User:Absolutelypuremilk, this should not be in the lede, maybe the 'criticisms' section instead. It applies to the US, to only federal income taxes and only in 2012, too narrow a claim to include in the lede. Bonewah (talk) 13:50, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
I removed the paragraph from lead because as Bonewah, Absolutelypuremilk, and myself all agree, a 2012 poll of economists is not leadworthy, especially when the information already has a standalone paragraph in the article (see second paragraph of "Effect on tax revenues" section). Abierma3 (talk) 20:34, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Mhm. The lede is supposed to summarize the article, so if it's in the article it should be summarized. Here's another reference [4] "Most economists, however, did not accept the conclusion that tax cuts would decrease the budget deficit... most economists questioned the specific shape that early advocates gave to the curve". Here's another [5] "...Laffer curve, who argued in the early 1980s that a tax cut in US tax rates would lead to more tax revenues. He was clearly wrong... The effect of decrease in tax rates was to lower tax revenues, not increase them." There's more out there. Basically any textbook which bothers mentioning the Laffer curve will tell you pretty much what our text said. I don't care what source is used. But the empirical irrelevancy of the curve needs to be mentioned in the article and the lede, per WP:NPOV. Volunteer Marek  21:03, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Restored original lead as the discussion continues and I warn Abierma3 you are way, way over 3RR. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Edit_warring#The_three-revert_rule I want to be civil and we are not that far away from a compromise. Please reach a compromise. The article is about Supply Side Economics, maybe all of the Laffer Curve references should be removed from lead. The article needs to be balanced and there is serious and wide spread academic criticism of the Laffer Curve. Again, this is the Supply Side Economics article, not a Laffer Curve article and the Laffer Curve is actually about MAXIMIZING government revenues so the result of lower tax revenues from lower taxes in the current environment is highly pertinent to the discussion. Lipsquid (talk) 04:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Let me add on the other issue. You can't dismiss the criticisms of the Laffer curve as "US-centric", or because "they only apply to federal income taxes" - the reason you can't is because those are precisely the cases where the Laffer curve has been used in political debates. In the US. In debates about federal taxes. So most sources are going to talk about Laffer curve ideas in those specific contexts. And we need to follow that.

On a related note, why is this article and the article on Trickle-down economics separate?  Volunteer Marek  21:07, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

And in addition to the two textbooks I provided above we also have the very good paper by Trabandt and Uhlig provided by CoffeeWithMarkets above [6]. Volunteer Marek  21:09, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek why do you think the "trickle-down" and "supply-side economics" articles should be combined? The first refers to a rhetorical term used to criticise the second. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 21:37, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

I am not Volunteer Marek, but "Trickle Down" and the "Laffer Curve" have nothing to do with each other. One is about stimulating consumer spending and the other is about maximizing government revenue. Lipsquid (talk) 04:07, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

I didn't say Trickle Down and Laffer Curve are the same. I asked why Supply-Side Economics and Trickle Down are not the same article? If one is just a rhetorical term for the second then perhaps they should be merged where "Trickle Down" is discussed within the article "Supply side economics"
Also, Lipsquid, I don't think "supply side economics" is necessarily about stimulating spending. The kind of "supply side economics" we're talking about is basically just tax cuts, for whatever reason. Having said that, the term "supply side" is sometimes used in mainstream economics to refer to structural policies which aim to reduce distortions in the economy, increase human capital or the saving rate, retrain workers, etc. - basically to contrast with "demand side" monetary and fiscal policies. Volunteer Marek  05:14, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Lipsquid you moved the "An overwhelming majority of leading economists..." paragraph back into the lead after myself, Bonewah and Abierma3 agreed that it was US-centric and applied only to federal income taxes (see above), so should be in the main body of the text rather than in the lead - can you explain why? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 07:48, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
@Volunteer Marek, im not dismissing criticisms of the Laffer curve, im saying that this edit doesnt match what the sourcing provides and that if we include it, it should not be in the lede because it is US centric, time dependent, and an inaccurate description of what the source claims. @Lipsquid, Abierma3 is not even close to the 3RR, he only reverted once. The rule is about reverting the same thing over and over, not reverting then editing further. And i should warn you guys that unilaterally readding this material without seeking consensus is just about as bad as violating the 3RR. There is no clear consensus that the edit in question should even be included at all, yet you and Volunteer Marek have both added it back in as if there were. Bonewah (talk) 13:19, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
I owe Abierma3 an apology, it is actually Bonewah who violated 3RR. Also a quick glance at your user page shows you are doing a lot of reverts on Laffer-centric pages and you are also edit warring on Arthur Laffer, Jude Wanniski and the Laffer Curve. (note, this edit was from Lipsquid, but did not get signed.) Note added by Bonewah (talk) 19:12, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
@Volunteer Marek, the problem here,or at least one of the problems, with this specific edit is that it takes a specific question of tax cuts, in this case Federal income taxes in the US right now, and tries to make that into a refutation of the Laffer curve generally. The question in the source didnt ask that and most of the respondents didnt say anything like a refutation of the Laffer curve. Your citations, such as i can see them have the same problem, "Most economists, however, did not accept the conclusion that tax cuts would decrease the budget deficit... most economists questioned the specific shape that early advocates gave to the curve". He is objecting to the application of the Laffer curve in this specific instance, not the theory itself. Bonewah (talk) 13:37, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
So are we just edit warring now? There are still plenty of unanswered questions that need to be addressed. Please stop editing the page until we can resolve them. Bonewah (talk) 13:34, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
I will stop editing and would like it discussed. I already walked away from this article for 2 months in July after the last flurry of edit issues from Abierma3 Lipsquid (talk) 14:36, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Absolutelypuremilk If someone doesn't answer a post in 5 minutes that means that does not mean you can revert for failure to respond. I don't sit here all day waiting to debate pseudoscience. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Responding_to_a_failure_to_discuss "Wait: Check daily to see if there has been a response at either the article talk page or at his user talk page. If there's not been a reply in a week,[7] check the editor's user contributions (there's a link to them on his user page and user talk page) to make sure that he's been online during that time. If he's not edited during that week, then wait until 72 hours after his next edit (any edit, not necessarily an edit to the article you're interested in) to move to the next step.[8] Ask again on the other editor's talk page and wait again:[9] Essentially repeat the last two steps, above, but this time (a) make the section header on the user's talk page "Talkback Article name (second request)" and use the same talkback code again and (b) only wait 72 hours after his first edit after you posted your new talkback on his user talk page. Lipsquid (talk) 14:30, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Whether a given thing applies or not to the United States at the current time does not, in my opinion, merit to be part of the lede. The question being asked to these economists is basically not whether they support or reject the concept of the Laffer curve, but something about where in that curve the US lies right now, and whether other factors would influence the outcome. I support removal of that statement from the lede, especially with that boosting "overwhelming majority" claim. By the way, the "96%" is only if you take the weighted-by-confidence numbers, which makes the claim about "96% of economists" simply false. LjL (talk) 19:08, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

You are right, I did not make the statement, but it seems misleading. I reworded it to reflect the results without the weighted confidence numbers. The fact that none (zero) of them agreed is a better factual statement rather than x percentage of some weighted average agreed or disagreed. I agree also that the question is about where we are on the curve. I do not support removal. The statement is fairly neutral with no one saying revenue will increase, but the majority saying it will stimulate the economy, just not enough to make up for the lost revenues. I am not sure why anyone would complain about this as it is the most widely accepted view of supply side economics. Lower taxes raises all boats, but it causes a decline in government revenue. What is there to disagree with now? Lipsquid (talk) 21:28, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Just the fact that a US-specific detail/poll is being prominently put in the lede for a non-US-specific article, I guess. LjL (talk) 21:47, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
I have never heard of any other countries saying they were advocates of Supply Side Economics. The UK is probably closest under Thatcher, but there are very distinct differences and they have never called themselves as believers in Supply Side Economics that I know of. Is there anyone outside of the US who claims to be adherents of Supply Side Economics? If not, I guess that answers the question. Pretty much everyone now is using Keynesian based policies for better or worse, including the US. Lipsquid (talk) 22:06, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
Then perhaps the article doesn't make it clear enough (with enough reliable sources) that the school of thought is a US-centric or US-specific one. LjL (talk) 22:30, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
While i think the edits themselves are improving and we are, perhaps, reaching a consensus on what should be said, i dont think these edits should be included in the lede. They are too narrow a criticism to include at the top and not really a fantastic source in any event. I am going to make an attempt and replacing it and making some minor tweaks. Please discuss here before edit warring. Thanks. Bonewah (talk) 12:45, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Seriously, you ask for a discussion after you already changed the article and this is your 5th revert on the same paragraph? The talk was ongoing for several days, you added nothing more to the conversation and then say "We are reaching a consensus so I am reverting again." I am going to ask 3rd party editors to come in and review, this is ridiculous to have to put up with. Lipsquid (talk) 17:20, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
You agreed on the Leffer curve article that it should be removed from the lede, for the reasons Bonewah and I also share, but you will take this one to ANI. I see. Is this place you talk about the same ANI as this? LjL (talk) 17:27, 14 October 2015 (UTC) (Addendum: while this was being written, Lipsquid's statement was that they'd take the issue to ANI, so that's why it mentions that; it was changed, according to Lipsquid, per WP:REDACT, although I thought this would fall under "Other than minor corrections for insignificant typographical errors made before other editors reply, changes should be noted to avoid misrepresenting the original post") LjL (talk) 20:09, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Unlike you I am still here talking instead of whining at ANI. Lipsquid (talk) 19:18, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Regardless of the level of harassment, I still choose to talk it out on the talk page. By the way, when did you start having an interest in Supply Side Economics? WP:HOUNDING Ease up, seriously. Lipsquid (talk) 20:18, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Substantial criticism (as in, criticism shared by most relevant people) should be in the lede in my opinion, but I just don't think criticism that is specific to one country, at one point in time qualifies. These economists aren't saying anything about the Laffer curve (see also the same criticism in that article's lede), they're just saying the US is at a certain point in that curve. LjL (talk) 13:10, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Just to be clear, are you saying where we are on the Laffer Curve has no effect on Supply Side policy? I am very against this edit on the Supply Side page though I had no issue with it on the Laffer Curve page. Supply Side can't use the Laffer Curve as a reasoning to cut taxes at current rates and again, if your argument is that is only US centric, what other countries say they use Supply Side economics? I know of none and I have looked. Lipsquid (talk) 17:25, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
If you think supply side economics is used only in the US and have citations for that, then feel free to put them in the article as that would change things. Otherwise we cannot assume that it is true. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 17:48, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but this is a logic failure. You can't prove a negative so the responsibility to provide proof of the assertion that Supply Side Economics exists outside the US lies on the person making the assertion. Otherwise, the sources we have only talk about the US so assertions about other countries need to be proven. Lipsquid (talk) 19:15, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Surely you can find a source that says "Supply-side economics is used only in the USA" Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 20:22, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Wikipedia is not in the business of "proving" anything, positive or negative, only in the business of condensing sources, and a source can most certainly say that. Otherwise, this remains a "school of macroeconomics" and as such is a concept applicable worldwide. Where "we" (by which I think you mean you, in the US?) are on the Leffer Curve may have an effect on US supply side policy, but it doesn't have an effect on the economics theory per se. LjL (talk) 20:26, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia as a thing does not prove anything, true, but editors must prove their assertions on reasoning to allow or deny edits. "Lipsquid you moved the "An overwhelming majority of leading economists..." paragraph back into the lead after myself, Bonewah and Abierma3 agreed that it was US-centric and applied only to federal income taxes (see above), so should be in the main body of the text rather than in the lead - can you explain why? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 07:48, 8 October 2015 (UTC)" So I am asking for clarification from Absolutelypuremilk on what he meant by asserting, not what you meant LjL, since you didn't write what seems to be asserted. Lipsquid (talk) 20:36, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

But I endorsed and I certainly can form part of the consensus (which you seem to be against, as best as I can see). LjL (talk) 20:46, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
There is nothing to have consensus on if the writer of the statement can't be given a chance to speak is there? I will wait for Absolutepuremilk to speak for himself and then we can have consensus with him, mmmkay? Lipsquid (talk) 20:54, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Please do not accuse me of harassment as you did in your edit summary when you could simply have not responded to my comments which were, in turn, directed to Absolutelypuremilk, not to you. Stick to the content. LjL (talk) 20:59, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
That is what all the people who break WP:HOUNDING say. When did you develop an interest in Supply Side Economics? Why will you not let Absolutepuremilk speak for himself instead of continuing your not stop blathering harassment? Lipsquid (talk) 21:13, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Let's try and keep this civil guys. So you added this content to the lead, we responded saying that it was US-centric and you replied that supply-side only exists in the US. You don't have any sources for this, saying that the onus is on us to prove that it exists outside the USA. Is that a fair summary of the discussion so far? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 21:52, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10572654/Francois-Hollande-vows-supply-side-assault-on-French-state-doubles-down-on-EMU-austerity-agenda.html
http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/472/economics/supply-side-economics-in-the-uk/ https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/key/date/2004/html/sp040622_1.en.html
Sources for how supply-side economics is used in the UK and France, and at least seriously discussed by the European Central Bank. Does that satisfy you? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 22:00, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
First doesn't say much, second is not a reliable source, but third looks like it has it covered. It is long, I will read it and reply. thank you for sending. Lipsquid (talk) 22:11, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
The first makes reference to supply-side economics in France. See Thatcherism for more info on supply-side in the UK and https://sslcam.news.com.au/cam/authorise?channel=pc&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.heraldsun.com.au%2fbusiness%2faustralia-needs-supply-side-reforms-as-well-as-rate-cuts%2fstory-fni0dcne-1226685247299%3fnk%3d76af546f0cddb834512782b3c2e7990c-1444861131 for discussion in Australia. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 22:19, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I read the ECB release and regardless of the other articles, the ECB is about the strongest source you can possibly have that proves Supply Side Economics are applied outside of the U.S. I agree with your assessment that the poll of US economist probably has undue weight in the lead. I still hope that you see it as important enough to be kept in as a criticism or to start a new section on specifically U.S. tax policy and maybe include it there. Thank you very much for your efforts, you have certainly changed my opinion. I think you have enough here to write a short synopsis of how Supply Side Economics are employed outside the U.S. and I encourage you to enhance the article to be much less U.S.-centric. Great stuff... Lipsquid (talk) 05:25, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
You may want to call out Volunteer Marek by name and see if he is okay with the changes as he initially fought to have them included in the lead. Lipsquid (talk) 13:16, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm fine with the exact results of the poll not being in the lede, but it most definitely should be in the article. Additionally, since the lede is suppose to summarize the article, the fact that most actual economists don't consider "Supply side economics" a serious theoretical approach should be in the lede in some form. A sentence or two. Volunteer Marek  15:37, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree provided a reference stating pretty much that specific thing is provided; I do not think that can be extrapolated from the poll. LjL (talk) 15:41, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Reganomics[edit]

This paragraph in the section Reganomics:

"Reagan himself gave credence to Samuelson’s argument when he used this analogy, “We can lecture our children about extravagance until we run out of voice and breath. Or we can cure their extravagance by simply reducing their allowance.” There was a second smokescreen as well, closely related to the first. If there was not a drop in total government spending, what Reagan did achieve was to not only move the national debate to the right of center but to move the center itself. So, for his eight years and most of the period since then, political battles have been fought on the conservatives’ turf. How much or how little to cut Federal programs became the issue du jour. Efforts to prevent cuts in discretionary programs for the poor, such as a campaign in the early 1980s by mainline Protestant denominations under the banner, “The Poor Have Suffered Enough,” quickly discovered this. To this day, subsequent similar attempts to increase or restore funds for these programs only confirmed the political lesson these church bodies learned, that the repositioning of where the battle would be joined may have been Reagan’s greatest domestic achievement. [1]

Is terrible. At a minimum, it asserts things as truth that are really opinion, such as " what Reagan did achieve was to not only move the national debate to the right of center but to move the center itself" and "the repositioning of where the battle would be joined may have been Reagan’s greatest domestic achievement." Worse, it does so in Wikipedia's voice, rather than attributing it to a speaker. I have not read the citation given for this section, but im going to see if i can get it from the library, but at a glance, it does not appear to be a scholarly work and might be inappropriate as a citation of fact. It might still be appropriate as a citation of what the author believes, however. Bonewah (talk) 13:11, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes, this should definitely not be in here unless as a quote (and its far too long to include as a quote) Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 18:41, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Martin, Keith D. (2010). A Liberal Mandate: Reflections on our Founding Vision and Rants on how we have Failed to Achieve it. Silver Spring, MD: WeitPress. ISBN 978-0-578-04365-4. pp. 101–02.
As i suspected, the citation here is not from a reliable source. The Author is not an expert in economics, and makes no claims to be one, the work is not a peer reviewed work, and, again, makes no claims to be. The work cites no sources, has no footnotes or indications that he is drawing from a reliable source. Indeed the author himself describes the work as "contemporary political comentary" (p13) and later "This polemic, diatribe, or rant records what i have found; perhaps more accurately, my ruminations, rumblings and grumblings about ..."(p20). As such, i am removing the above statements for being unsourced (that is, not coming from a reliable source) and for the reasons listed above. Bonewah (talk) 18:13, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
How about rather than deleting information, people spend some time adding sources to the places where citations are needed in the article. Some of the cite tags are several years old. I agree with your edit, but we should spend more time adding information than deleting information. Lipsquid (talk) 19:08, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I might be more inclined to agree with that if i didnt have to waste my time arguing sill stuff. Bonewah (talk) 14:48, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

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"However" before economists agreeing about GDP rise[edit]

So you guys have disagreed about the use of the word "however" before the sentence about some economists agreeing that a tax cut would lead to higher GDP, after a sentence about most economists disagreeing that tax cuts would lead to higher tax revenues. The discussion on the article so far:

Abierma3 said "Transitional words make the prose read better"

Volunteer Marek said "but they don't when they imply something that's not present in source (WP:SYNTH). The "however" makes it sound as if there was some contradiction and the two results were in opposition - they're not"

Abierma3 said "None believe tax cuts will raise total tax revenue over 5 yrs. On the other hand, 35% believe tax cuts will raise GDP over 5 yrs. This is a contrast; transition word is necessary for an impartial tone"

and Lipsquid said "Prefer original wording"

Shall we discuss on here rather than edit back and forth? It seems to me that while the two sentences are not intrinsically opposed, the first sentence goes against the concept of supply-side economics, while the second doesn't. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 19:26, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

While on a first look the "however" seems innocuous enough, concerns of WP:SYNTH may be justified since the idea that the two sets of responses are contradictory is not at all present in the source. Note how in WP:SYNTH, examples are given of a statement that is considered inappropriate when the two clauses that compose it are joined by "but" or "and", but okay when given separately. This seems to apply here. LjL (talk) 19:31, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
That's basically it. The wording tries to suggest that "the first sentence goes against the concept of supply-side economics, while the second doesn't". The idea that taxes affect incentive is not particular to supply side economics. So suggesting that economists agreeing with that means that economists support "supply-side economists" is WP:SYNTH. Volunteer Marek  20:12, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree, the 'however' is inappropriate. Bonewah (talk) 13:01, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
I also agree, but the average person who comes to this article comes here wanting to learn more Supply Side Economics has heard that lowering taxes will raise more tax revenue, which will never happen until we have rates north of 70% again. The quote contradicts what the average reader believes about the Laffer Curve and quotes in the article like "The Laffer curve illustrates a central theory of supply-side economics, that lowering tax rates may generate more government revenue than would otherwise be expected at the lower tax rate because moving off of a prohibitively high tax system could generate more economic activity, which would lead to increased opportunities for tax revenues." (which is basically pseudoscience babble in the lede, the theory that predicts things MAY happen, ugh) but again, I agree that it is not contradictory if you understand the whole ball of wax. Lipsquid (talk) 14:02, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not specifically here to debunk myths about what today's "average" reader may believe, instead, it's an encyclopedia explaining topics in a hopefully neutral manner. Underlining particular aspects of a topic just to counter an expected reader bias would, itself, be biased and non-neutral. Besides, I don't see all this having a lot to do with this section's topic, which is about the "however". LjL (talk) 14:08, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Well stated LjL I have nothing to say to the contrary. Lipsquid (talk) 14:32, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Trickle-down economics[edit]

LjL apologies if I offended you by my earlier reversion, I did not mean to. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Supply-side_economics&diff=686511847&oldid=686511549 Volunteer Marek made this edit earlier, saying that as supply-side was not a theory, then we should not make a distinction about the fact that trickle-down is not an actual theory. Once you added citations showing that supply-side economics is a theory, then it makes sense that this earlier point did not stand.

The second source states "Others viewed it (supply-side economics) as traditional Republican "trickle down" economics, meaning that the benefits accruing to wealthier taxpayers would filter throughout the economy" which is a rhetorical term, as Sowell writes here http://www.webcitation.org/6AvD7JHEC, no economist has ever claimed that tax cuts will boost the economy by themselves (what these "others" are viewing it as). Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 21:41, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

I am not sure I follow completely, but you reverted my edit resulting, among other things, in removal of a source (which smells reliable enough to me) that plainly stated that trickle-down economics was, itself, a theory. How do you justify its removal, as well as the re-addition of a claim that it is not a theory, directly contradicting the source? LjL (talk) 21:46, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I read this as another source which criticises supply-side economics but I have now added it back in. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 21:54, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, but its point - and the quotation from it - is that "Trickle-down economics refers to the economics theory which states [...]", yet in your current revision, the article still insists on stating that trickle-down economics is "a rhetorical term which is not an economic theory.". Can we not contradict the source? LjL (talk) 21:56, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
My point is that the theory to which it is likened to by critics does not exist (that giving money to the rich through tax cuts will trickle down to the poor - no one has advocated this). However the theory of supply-side economics (also called trickle-down economics by some), that the rich will work harder and invest more if taxes are lower, and that this extra wealth will trickle down to the poor, does exist. However the critics are referring to the former "theory" rather than the latter and so the source you added does not contradict this. I agree it could be clearer, could you suggest an alternative wording? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 22:05, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I found it easier to be bold and change the wording than to explain how I'd change it here. This is the result, tell me what you think. LjL (talk) 22:12, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Just for the record, the original "trickle down" theory did claim that giving money to the rich - but through government spending, not tax cuts - would trickle down to the poor; this was the approach taken by Hoover toward the Great Depression. That theory, of course, was entirely a demand side theory and had nothing to do with supply side economics, though.Warren Dew (talk) 04:05, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
This is an old discussion. Supply side economics are widely seen as the cause of the Great Depression. Supply creates its own demand, unless the over supply creates deflation.... The government becoming the employer of last resort ended the Great Depression under Roosevelt. 18:05, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

RfC on the Laffer Curve, economists poll[edit]

I have opened an RfC on the economists poll and the Laffer curve on the Jude Wanniski talk page. The discussion is similar to what we discussed above, if you participated in that discussion, I would appreciate your comments on that RfC as well. Thanks. Bonewah (talk) 15:30, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

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Discussion of removal of paragraph on Laffer curve from lede[edit]

Lipsquid: you reverted my edit to the lede that removed the final paragraph discussing the Laffer curve, asking what was unsupported. The sentence that the references do not support is "The Laffer curve is a central component of supply-side economics", the topic sentence of the paragraph I removed. The references support the rest of the paragraph explaining the Laffer curve, but do not support that it is central to supply side economics, making it inappropriate for placement in the lede.

For reference, the Laffer curve is actually not central to supply side economics, which is about the supply curve, not about the Laffer curve. In particular, supply side economics is about manipulating the supply curve, in contrast to the demand curve manipulation generally associated with Keynesian economics. This is true whether or not the manipulation results in increased government revenues.

For these reasons, the paragraph on the Laffer curve should be removed from the lede. Warren Dew (talk) 04:00, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Per Laffer himself "The Laffer Curve is one of the main theoretical constructs of supply-side economics" <ref>http://www.laffercenter.com/supply-side-economics/laffer-curve/</ref> I added a citation to avoid future confusion. Lipsquid (talk) 04:40, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
That isn't saying the same thing, though. That's just saying it's a corollary of the theory, not that it's "

central to" the theory. I will edit the sentence to reflect the actual Laffer quote.Warren Dew (talk) 23:02, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

If you think there is better prose that would be more true to the reference, I encourage you to make improvements. I reverted your edits, but I want to be clear that I am not personally tied to supporting the Laffer Curve, I just want to have the best possible article and to reflect the opinion of the most reliable sources available on the topic. Best Wishes, Lipsquid (talk) 23:28, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

ERROR FOUND[edit]

There is an error noticed on the page... it says "in 1999, during the Ronald Reagan Administration." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.201.154.104 (talk) 20:29, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

It means the Nobel Prize was won in 1999, but I have clarified this by rewording. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 20:34, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Tax cuts never work[edit]

This article promotes the POV that tax cuts have never worked. We get only an unsupported claim that Reaganomics helped improve the economy, followed by authoritative pronouncements that "it is not so." That seems one-sided to me.

We should mention the cuts in tax rates in the 1920s which (according to Thomas Sowell) led to:

rising output, rising employment to produce that output, rising incomes as a result and rising tax revenues for the government because of the rising incomes, even though the tax rates had been lowered [7]

I believe there was a Democratic president who advised, “... it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.” [JFK?] --Uncle Ed (talk) 16:11, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Sowell also cites a 2006 quote from the NY Times:

  • when tax revenues rose in the wake of the tax rate cuts made during the George W. Bush administration, the New York Times reported: “An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.” [8] --Uncle Ed (talk) 16:15, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I would support the addition of this content - thanks for highlighting it. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 16:39, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I added two sections, on the tax cuts of the 1920s and the early 1960s. --Uncle Ed (talk) 16:49, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

What's a tax cut?[edit]

Here's an odd phrase:

  • However, under Reagan, Congress passed a plan that would slash taxes by $749 billion over five years.

Was Reagan's purpose to cut tax revenue - so that rich people would pay a smaller absolute amount of taxes? Or was Reagan's purpose to cut tax rates, so that rich people would carry out more economy-stimulating activity that would increase tax revenue?

Critics of cutting tax rates tend to describe these as lowering "taxes" by a certain huge amount (like nearly $1 trillion). Advocates of cutting tax rates generally speak in terms of lowering a percent of income that investors have to pay, which (they predict) will result in increasing the amount of "taxes" that the government receives.

The question is whether cutting a tax rate results in less tax being collected. Another question is whether we contributors are smart enough to define the difference; maybe some quotable source out there has already done that job for us, although I daresay there's controversy about it. --Uncle Ed (talk) 21:33, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Better refer to experts: http://www.igmchicago.org/surveys/laffer-curve Daniel Vallstrom (talk) 05:10, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Contradictory Claims/bad sourcing on 1920's data[edit]

Differing claims are made in the "Effect on tax revenues" and "U.S. monetary and fiscal experience" sections of the article.

The earlier section shows that revenue did not increase during the 1920's as a result of tax rate cuts, and the citations [23]&[24] support this with real world data published from the primary source, namely the IRS and reports generated from that data.

Under the 1920s subheading in "U.S. monetary and fiscal experience" there is an opposite position taken that tax revenue did increase, as supported by citations [31] & [32]. Examining these sources, they are both secondary, and neither has significant sourcing or data for the claims made therein. Citation [31] in particular does not source any data it presents. Citation [32] conceals its lack of evidentiary reporting by having 4 footnotes, with only the first actually being a source. It also does not make the claim it is being used to support; while it states that higher income tax brackets increased their share of the tax revenue burden, it does not claim that total tax revenue increased, in real or actual terms.

I am new to wiki editing, so I wanted to bring this concern to the talk page first. But it seems to me that the [31]&[21] sources cited due not meet academic rigor and should be removed, or replaced, with the claims they support revised.

WLD000--68.117.200.61 (talk) 07:09, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

The source [24] comes from a blog, and does not actually give the amount of income tax revenue, merely the tax as a percentage of GDP. The first source does give the amount of revenue though, but it does not say that there was a tax cut in 1920. There also seems to be a misreading of the table, the highest revenue was in 1919, tax levels did return to 1920 levels by the end of the 20s. So I think the first section should be removed, as it does not provide a source for a tax cut in 1920. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 07:59, 18 June 2017 (UTC)


I need to correct something from what I originally wrote. I mistakenly pointed to citations [23]&[24] when I has intended to note [21]&[22]. I'd recommend those sources be examined prior to deleting what seems to be the more thoroughly researched section.

WLD00068.117.200.61 (talk) 03:37, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

The sources which are now [21] and [22] are what I examined above. I will remove them now as per WP:OR, the content is trying to draw a conclusion from data, and is also misleading as I have described above. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 16:34, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts[edit]

This article is mentioned in the press.

Appended to his latest article, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts makes some critiques and also provides a reprint of his, "Supply-Side Economics, Theory and Results: An Assessment of the Amercian Experience in the 1980s", Paul Craig Roberts, Republished from January 1989, THE INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY.

SUPPLY-SIDE ECONOMICS, THEORY AND RESULTS 104.174.231.6 (talk) 19:50, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

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