The Trickle-Down Theory

Jim Mullen is a very funny guy, as you might expect from the author of “Baby’s First Tattoo,” and “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life.”

He has a funny column in the Vernon (British Columbia) Morning Star about CEOs who make as much as a billion dollars a year.

“At first, like everyone else, I thought, ‘That’s crazy, no one is worth that kind of money,’ ” Mullen writes. “But then it was explained to me by a 30-year-old billionaire hedge-fund manager on television that it just sounds crazy.

“It’s really OK, because that $300 million, that $1 billion is going to trickle down to you and me. That CEO is going to buy a house and clothes and cars for himself and his wife and his children, and all that money will get spread around to people who make the cars and the houses and the clothes. It’s really good for everyone, see?”

Of course the CEO buys not one, but two cars: a Maserati and a Lamborghini, and he builds a house in Tuscany and another in London. His wife spends lots of money on clothes — in Paris. His daughter is on safari in Kenya and his son is mountain climbing in Patagonia.

Mullen explains why it’s only CEO pay, not workers’ pay, that trickles down:

“I’m not an economist, so I can’t give you the technical explanation for it, but a CEO’s money trickles down, whereas if he took less and paid his workers more, it wouldn’t.

Only CEO money trickles down. It’s a well-known fact that workers will just waste any money they make on food and medicine. Or throw it away on clothes for their children. And most of that is spent right in the towns where they live. What a waste. That money’s got no place to trickle down to. It already is down. It can’t help anyone.”

“But there is trouble on the horizon for our hardworking CEOs,” Mullen concludes. “Some people, I won’t say who, communists probably, think our CEOs get paid too much and want to replace them with cheaper, less costly CEOs. From Mexico…”