Sunday, November 30, 2008

a return of Broncblogging

A little light reading for you all tonight.

Today, the B-men put together a pretty good game, going on the road and beating the New York Jets, which had been one of the hottest teams in the league.

Go figure.

First, some things that are obvious: 1) our defense--as well as it played--was not populated by "normal" pro players, but rather was a hodge-podge of just about anybody we could get to put on a uniform (the tackling was atrocious); 2) the Bronco O-line is playing really well; 3) the Bronco D-line is pretty awful; 4) Peyton Hillis is a real good fit for the Denver running scheme; and 5) Cutler is still taking a few risks with the ball.

But taking all that into account, still it is a little crazy that Denver won--convincingly, at that--at New York. Isn't it?

If you think that, then you haven't watched the Broncos lately.

This is a team that won on the road in Atlanta two weeks ago, beating a team that is playing playoff-caliber football.

Granted, this is a team that also lost to the Raiders last week. Which I think explains in part what happened to the Jets this week. Just like Denver was really flat last week, I think the Jets were a little off this week, too. I mean, Favre had all day to throw the ball and still couldn't do a lot of damage. Giving Favre that kind of time isn't normally a recipe for success, but today it worked. I chalk that up more to ineptitude by the Jets than to anything the Broncos were doing.

So what now? Well, 4 games to go, and the magic number is 2 and they get a home game in the playoffs. Yes, you read that right: if the Broncs just get to 8 wins and the Chargers lose again (which is likely, since they play at Tampa for their next-to-last game), then the B-men play a home game in January.

That's what I call big news. I won't call it "good" yet, since Denver hasn't played well at home all year. Also, the likelihood is that the playoff game would be against either Baltimore or Indy. There's an outside chance that it would be against Pittsburgh or maybe the Jets (depending on how the final weeks go). Those aren't 4 teams that I'd give the Broncs an even-money chance against. Heck, against Baltimore or Pittsburgh, I'd think they have next-to-zero chance.

But for a team this completely decimated by injuries, this has been a good year. Cutler has taken some good steps. There are times when Marshall looks unstoppable. And if we keep the O-line in place and find one strong back to ride for a long time, that back is going to have success. Torain, maybe?

All I know is that Shanny's job is probably safe.

Now if only he could do something about that defense!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A little caution, please

There have been many comments in the right-leaning blogosphere that President-Elect Obama's personnel decisions thus far (to the extent that they've been made public with something other than anonymous sourcing) have been something less than as bad as it could have been. Surrounding himself with advisors from the somewhat moderate Clinton era is probably seen as a move to the center by folks on the right who, like me, were concerned that his liberalism had the potential to undo this great country of ours.

I am not celebrating anything about these appointments, however.

Here's why: I think Clinton's terms were moderate to the extent that they were because that is who Bill Clinton is. He was a consummate politician, smarter than just about everybody in the room and desperately needing to be adored.

Clinton's advisors and inner circle may have tried desperately to lurch him further left, I don't know. But ultimately Clinton was a "third way" kind of a guy, and he was also a man with a stubborn streak a mile wide. Not cajones, mind you--he wouldn't stick up for anybody but himself. But he would stick up for himself to the ends of the earth, no matter how far short he had fallen.

Obama is no Clinton. He is smart, don't get me wrong--but he isn't really the smartest person in the room. He speaks eloquently to a yearning in a large part of the electorate, but I'm not sure how much of that was him and how much of that was a good message being crafted by somebody else who had the ability to go and find a great messenger (Soros, Axelrod, folks like that. Honestly, I'm willing to bet that ANYBODY with the same "exciting, outsider" vibe who espoused the same policies as Obama likely would have won this year--although anyone else would have had to make a better choice for VP than Biden). When tried, Obama has shown a political tin ear (think of his defense of Jeremiah Wright and the various fiascos with his VP vetting team). I am under the impression that he can be bullied, not because of anything that he's done but rather exactly because he has never stopped anybody around him from doing what THEY have done. Obama is, literally, a go-along-to-get-along guy.

And he may be thinking that by deferring to these Clintonistas that he will be able to fly on autopilot and his cabinet will guide the administration to end up in the center-left of the political spectrum, where the aforementioned Clinton governed from.

But without Bill to keep these folks in check, there is absolutely no guarantee that Holder, Napolitano, and the rest will play moderate. That goes double for Emanuel, not because the man is more liberal-leaning than the rest, but rather because Obama desperately NEEDS his CoS to keep one foot within earshot of "the middle" if Obama is going to do maintain a center-left administration.

And Obama can expect little weight to be carried by his Veep. (Do you get the feeling I have no respect for Joe Biden?) This is his show, The One.

And I think he'll find governing a lot harder than he thought it to be.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

if only we could know

I'm really REALLY worried about the price of gas at some undetermined time in the not-too-distant future. My concern starts with a wariness of Obama's energy policies (more "McSame" than most of McCain's policies), it doesn't get any better as I think of the Congressional Dems and their debt to the environmental lobby, and it gets out of control when I think of Somali pirates and other crazoids that hold some key cards that can have an unbelievably negative effect on the world's energy infrastructure.

And I realize that as we're sitting here, filling the gas tank up for $1.79 a gallon, that it's pretty negative of me to be focusing on something that, God willing, will never happen to us and our economy again.

But I just can't help but thinking that we WILL be there, and sooner than any of us would like.

Which makes me harken back to a long, long time ago . . .also known as this summer. Remember the raging debate about the "cause" of the $4/gal gas?

One side said it was the law of supply and demand. The other side tried to demonize "oil speculators" and the greed of the oil companies.

If only we could know which one was right!

Because truth be told, BOTH possible drivers of the price of crude have subsided significantly. Global demand, we are told, is down as the economies prepare for an expected (or is it already happening?) recession--which, according to the "law" of supply and demand, WOULD help drive costs down, provided supply has remained somewhat constant.

AND speculators had every reason to flea the crude market as they digested, in order, Pres. Bush's ending of the EO against OCS drilling, and the downturn in the global economy as it slid towards recession.

So now we're here. If we aren't at the bottom of the price curve for energy, I gotta believe we are pretty close. Which means, of course, that it will turn up.

I HATE that we can't know what lessons should be learned from this summer's fiasco, because that just means there's that much greater chance that we'll end up having the same debate when it happens again, rather than having a ready-to-go solution.

We got "bailed out", if you will, from circumstances this past summer (although, admittedly, saying that a downturn that has cost people thousands of dollars in savings is a "bail out" of any sort is a unique and extraordinarily mild way to describe it--pretty much just wrong as can be. But stick with me here, we're talking about gas prices!). Why I'd love to give Bush a lot of credit for his actions, I just can't be sure that his was the action that made THE difference.

Next time. . .what if nothing bails us out? What if we--or more accurately, our leaders--have to actually be the ones who put a stop to ever-escalating energy costs? Will they act in time?

Or, far more appropriately, will they act CORRECTLY in time?

'Cuz you know what they say: those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

And I don't know that lessons have been learned from this past summer.

I hope I'm wrong.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

bar room econ 101--a tutorial

Complete and total inspiration for this story is supposedly David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics (at least that's who the e-mail I saw is attributed to), with no small shout-out to brother Tom for bringing the story to my attention.

Suppose that every day in 1999, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we paid our taxes, it would have split up something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would have paid nothing.
The fifth would have paid $1.
The sixth would have paid $3.
The seventh would have paid $7.
The eighth would have paid $12.
The ninth would have paid $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would have paid $59. It would have been exorbitant, but if it allowed his friends to have a good time, then he just might do it.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day in 2002, the owner changed the playing field. "I want you to help build up this area by spending your money in some of the other establishments around here. So, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. I'm going to accept the loss--that's $20 bucks against my bottom line--in the hopes that you all turn the savings around and help stimulate business in this area' Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $50 instead of $59 (15% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But after a few days of this arrangement, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to t he tenth man,' but he got $9!' 'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got nine times more than I!' 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $9 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!' The tenth man could only tolerate the whining of the other 9 so much, so he cut down on the number of his appearances at the bar. As a result of this, the 9 other men had fewer nights of drinking for nothing or next-to-nothing--and they blamed the richest guy for this change in their lives.

Then came 2009. The bar owner, disappointed from the lack of development in the neighborhood and sensing a need to do more than "return money to the wealthy customers", decides that he's going to increase the prices in his bar so that he can pay directly for programs designed to economically stabilize the area. So he increases the price of the drinking bill for the group of 10 back to $100, but he INSISTS that nobody except the richest 5% of the group pay any higher tabs. He also promises to decrease the costs for another large part of his clientele, and even provide some rebates to the poorest of his customers. In the end, the owners' new program was going to assess the following costs to the group of drinking buddies:

The first 5 men GET PAID $1.
The sixth man pays $1.
The seventh man pays $4.
The eighth man pays $9.
The ninth man pays $14.
And the tenth man has to pay $77 in order for the bar owner to get the money he needs to pay for his new spending plan.

The next night the tenth man told the group he'd never show up at the bar to drink with them again--he had better things to do than spend $77 with a bunch of guys who thought nothing of the financial sacrifice he was making for them because "he could afford it". The nine, undaunted, arranged for a night at the bar and had beers without the "greedy" guy. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important: there wasn't enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! In turn, the bar owner didn't get the money he needed in order to pay for his investment in his own bar, much less for any new "neighborhood development" programs. The bar eventually had to close because the only people who drank there were people who couldn't afford to pay their full tabs (as well as the poorest folks, who were waiting for someone wealthy to come in so they could get a rebate from the owner).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works, and how it may very well work under President-elect Obama. The people who pay the highest taxes SHOULD get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, or EXPECT them to continuously act against their own economic self-interest, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night? (UPDATED)

No, I didn't.

And yet, here I am, a non-economist, willing to venture an answer to the following question:

What the heck is going on with the stock market?

To me, it's pretty simple. It doesn't take pie charts, six-sigma projects or any of that nonsense. It just takes the willingness to look at some facts that were left remarkably uncovered during the campaign:

-- Senator Obama ran as an anti-big business candidate. More income taxes, increased capital gains taxes, a "more of the same" energy policy that helped usher in $4/gal for gas this summer--EVERYTHING about Obama's economic policies will increase the operating costs of big business.

-- Senator Obama won.

-- big business AND ITS INVESTORS, lacking any indications that Obama's campaign rhetoric was "just words", are acting as the Dems have always told us they act: in their own economic interest.

Again, I must stress, Obama's entire plan relied on the wealthy acting selflessly, which is something that the left assures us they don't do. Do they have an answer for when their argument proves true?

Right now, if I was wealthy, I'd be doing the exact same thing that we're seeing: taking money out of the market that is MOST DEPENDENT on economic confidence.

Can this be recovered? Absolutely--but it requires Obama to take a significantly different approach to big business than he already has.

Let's review:

Will the moderately wealthy accept higher taxes? Yes.

Will big business accept a lot higher operating costs? No. They will find a way around it--either by releasing jobs, increasing the price of their goods, or maybe even just moving off shore.

So, here comes that reaction full circle, since NOTHING about the economy acts independently: will the moderately wealthy, ALREADY ACCEPTING HIGHER TAXES, leave more money at risk in a market where big business will be handicapped against helping smooth out any rough seas?

We're seeing the answer to that.

And the only person who can fix it is Barack Obama.

IF President-elect Obama wants to stop this market downturn, he needs to immediately adopt a more pro-business attitude. You know, the kind of attitude that helped Clinton during his tenure in the White House. Not a straight pro-business line, mind you--I wouldn't want poor Harry Reid's head to explode--just a MORE pro-business tact is all.

Failing that, the market will continue downward. Maybe not at 400-plus point daily rates, but definitely in the negative direction.

Will Obama act in the interest of all those people who have their economic futures tied to market fortunes? Well, that would require courage and the ability to understand that your plotted course is wrong. He hasn't shown either of those traits in the past.

I'm hopeful (LOOK--I'm one of them!) he can learn. Paging Mr. Buffet, Mr. Warren Buffet, the President-elect desperately needs a good dose of economic learnin'.


The stock market recovered a tad today. If I was a betting man, I wouldn't think this is a sign of things to come. Most of the narrative today from Wall Street was "bargain hunters" fueled the upturn. Here's the problem with that: "bargain hunters" aren't buying low just so that they have to sell lower. They are buying stocks in the hopes of a recovery, where they can turn a quick buck. But what happens if the market continues down? Well, the more often it does so, the smaller and smaller these little one day, "bargain"-fueled rallies become. Even as it stands now, it's not a new direction for the market; rather, it's just a speed bump on the high-grade hill down to the bottom of the mountain. My guess: next week, the market loses about 10%. That is, UNLESS Obama does something about it. You know, if he can keep from taking classless shots at former first ladies long enough to do the country some real good.

ADD TO MY LIST OF ANTI-BIG BUSINESS POSITIONS ESPOUSED BY OBAMA IN THE CAMPAIGN: his love for the labor movement. I think this may be the most detrimental of all his stances because it's impossible to plan for the hurt to stop. For example, I'm pretty sure when gas hits $4/gallon again, we the people will start raising a stink and something might actually be done. But the inequitable treatment of management in favor of labor? When does that spiral end? It will be up to the union to stop looking for more, More, MORE from management in order to keep things going. With the cards stacked so thoroughly in their favor, do you think they will resist? Management will keep being pushed to the wall until finally, they have no place to go. And when that happens, the result is anything but capitalism. Either the company dies or the company will be nationalized--but regardless, the loser is the free market.

Just like with all the rest of Obama's policies.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

my two cents

Quick round-up of thoughts:

-- first and foremost, congratulations are in order for President-elect Obama. And regardless of your political leanings, I think a few prayers for good judgement during the time ahead are also in order.

-- I wrote the other day that the election would serve as a referendum on the loser. I was wrong. (I'll give you a few seconds to recover from the shock of me admitting an error in my ways) There's NO WAY that this loss can be chalked up to McCain's inadequacy alone. This was, in the end, all about Obama.

-- While I'm making clear and definitive statements: there's no way this is a center-right country anymore. Just no way. I could still buy that argument after 2006 MAYBE, but not today.

-- The absolute worst result of the election last night: the likelihood that ACORN or any other vote fraudsters won't face their day in court. I'm not saying that the millions of deciding votes cast around the country were all fraudulent, don't get me wrong. But what I AM saying is that from just the things that we understand today, ACORN engaged in voter registration shenanigans during this election, and should be held accountable. That accountability is unlikely because the margin of the election puts ACORN down the memory hole of the public consciousness.

-- Our household is disappointed in the outcome of the election--but there is no reason to be hopeless. This country is still a loooooooooong way away from being anything less than the best country on the planet. If you're looking for doom from me, you're going to have to wait until I see clear infringements on my rights. Absent that--and I mean a whole lotta that--this is still very much the country of our forefathers. . .with one very key exception: we are a far more open-minded people today than were our predecessors.

-- I think it was Karl Rove who said one of the best things last night when he claimed that the younger generation (he was talking about voters specifically, so I'm guessing his target was 18-23 y/os or so) is already post-racial. Gosh, I hope he's right. If that youth can keep "color"-blindness through the years when they bear, raise or otherwise influence children, then there's every reason to believe our country's best days are ahead of us. Hate in any form (except my clung-to loathing of the Raiders) is a drag on society, and the sooner we can get beyond the senseless hatred of racism, the better it is for everybody.

Monday, November 03, 2008

checklist for the final two days

For all of us to do in these last two days:

1. VOTE! If you didn't vote early, make sure your Tuesday starts off at a polling place. DO NOT BE SUCKERED INTO SITTING ON THE SIDELINES!

2. Turn off the major news media. They aren't going to cover anything worthwhile, so invested are they in the outcome of the election. This could also be a handy tip for life over the next 5 years in this country.

3. Don't believe the exit poll results. They'll seep their way into non-major news outlets, making sure that there is saturation coverage of Obama's unbelievable support in the exit polls. Instead, spend a good chunk of Tuesday late-afternoon and early evening with your family, enjoying the peace and freedom of our current country. That is, of course, assuming that you've already voted; if not, YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO GET TO THE BOOTH!

4. Don't expect anything to be decided on Tuesday night. As long as the GOP has the right resources in the right places, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of several state-level challenges to the results. As one Mr. Hugh Hewitt made the case in the last general election, "if it ain't close, they can't cheat". Despite the fact that he hasn't revisited that mantra much this year, we're all hoping that this one is close--which, of course, means they can cheat. If that happens, my hope is that the GOP isn't caught flat-footed. I bought a new book this weekend, and I expect to spend much of Tuesday night with my nose buried in it.

5. Pray. Not so much for one candidate or the other, but rather just for our continued way of life. Democracy truly is inspired governance--but it requires the electorate to hold their leaders accountable. I have no doubt that key trait of democracy hangs in the balance in this election, and I fear that an Obama election may foretell an end to accountability. Two groups of people can keep that from happening: Obama himself; or the voters who can keep him from taking the White House. I have seen nothing from Obama to make me believe that he welcomes honest accounting for his actions, so I put my hope in the voters to keep him from the Presidency until such time as he lays all such rational fears to rest.

ELECTION SUMMARY: What an interesting election! On one hand, we have a total newcomer to the political scene who perfectly crafted a winning strategy. Despite some pretty remarkable soundbites that likely have Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt turning over in their graves, we're on the verge of coronating this man-of-no-accomplishments to a statistically significant victory. His opponent, a long-time public servant with a long list of accomplishments that helps stress his across-the-aisle credibility, was totally confounding as a candidate, only really figuring out a good message once all the cameras were turned off.

Ultimately, I think that however this election turns out, it should be seen as a referendum on the loser. If Obama wins, no small part of it will be because McCain ran a horrible campaign. His debate performances were awful, as it sometimes seemed that he had 30 things he wanted to say, but just ended up saying nothing. . .incoherently, at that. I'll never forget his "rousing" endorsement of Palin at the 3rd debate--it was embarrassing. The fact that it took Joe Wurzelbacher to help McCain find the right words to properly address Obama's tax plan is inexcusable. And with all the clips that have come out this last week of Obama interviews given in the very recent past, I think it's safe to say that McCain's oppo research team should never find a job in politics again. Now I will be kind and state the obvious: McCain was working with a severe handicap this year, being a member of the "party in power" while the economic sky was falling. What's that, you say? The Dems are in charge of Congress right now? Where did you hear that?. . .because it certainly wasn't from McCain, who never fought hard enough to get rid of the "McSame" label. McCain: a great American. . .and a lousy candidate.

However, IF McCain wins, I think it will be exactly because Obama is an even worse candidate THIS CYCLE. Great, great campaign--horrible candidate. Listen, I really do think that Obama will have a place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue someday--I just don't think he's ready today. If he doesn't win, it will be PRECISELY because the right amount of voters feel the exact same way. He needs to let go of not just the Chicago political machine, but also of all the baggage he accumulated while rising through that machine. He doesn't need them anymore--he will win election to the Senate and maybe even to the Governorship based on his own starpower for as long as he wants. And he can certainly use those extra years of seasoning to build a resume to end any questions about his past or about the substance of his spine. Take on the Chicago machine, Senator, and you might even win my vote.

In the workplace, a worker who spent more time lobbying for promotion than actually working would not be well-liked or trusted among his co-workers. Since most of the electorate is "co-workers", Obama's power-hunt may very well put him into the electoral penalty box. It would not spell the end of his political career, not by any stretch--it would just mean that Americans were acting naturally suspicious of anybody who was trying to bully their way through the system. There's a reason we've never elected such a neophyte to the position of President, you know--and that very natural cynicism is as American as apple pie. The question is this: is Obama's strategy, crafted to get beyond this exact cynicism by flooding the rolls with voters that are usually happy to play by-stander, enough to deliver him the victory?

We'll find out Wednesday.

Or maybe we won't. No, let me change that: we probably won't.

Which, by the way, is exactly why the GOP needs to keep a little money in reserve for post-election ads. Whatever the result is, one thing that cannot be allowed to slip from the voter's minds is ACORN and the OH state government (they of the "SecState doesn't have to keep the election fair" and the "research into the records of public figures" fame). Ads that show how perfectly pathetic the Dems in charge were during these episodes will help lay the foundation for an anti-Decmocrat move in 2010.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

disconnected message

As I wrote earlier this week, I was busy working with my 5th grade son on an economic view of this year's Presidential election. I think I'll get a good grade on the project; my son, of course, will get the credit. (Parents of grade-school kids will probably get the humor in that comment)

Anyhow, one of the features of the project was the explanation--on a fifth grade level--of trickle-down economics. Doing my best to make sure the presentation was "balanced", I stressed to my son that the economic theory of trickle-down requires that the wealthy "act" in a certain way in order to have substantial economic might flow down the chain. Since it is not guaranteed that the wealthy act in any interest except to make more money, I say to my son, sometimes incentives for the wealthy to continue producing does not evolve into "buying power" for the lower earners.

Did he understand it? Absolutely, and here's how I know:

As I was explaining Obama's plan to my son--stressing that the burden for taxes will fall mostly on the wealthy and on big business--he quickly told me that it won't work. I asked him "how do you know?" Response: "well, if you tell me that the rich act only in the interest of making more money, why would they just do nothing about paying more taxes?"

And I, so overwhelmed with pride, almost cried!

If I'm not mistaken, the argument against trickle-down is that the rich act in their own interests, not in the interest of the country. I find that unpursuasive for any number of reasons, but for now let's just use that line of reasoning and apply it to the economic world under a President Obama.

Why would the "selfish" wealthy continue producing at the previous level when there are no incentives in it?

Clearly it won't be "patriotism", as Sen. Biden has asked of them. Remember: these people, in the lefty's mind, don't act in the economic interests of the country. That's why trickle-down doesn't work, remember?

Obama's plan calls for everything--EVERYTHING--to stay the exact same in the economic world for 8 years in order to pay off his budget in 2017. That means that all these businesses will just accept the higher tax without sharing any of that pain with the consumer or with their employees. . .for EIGHT YEARS. That means that all these wealthy people--many of whom could probably retire comfortably right now--will just accept less financial return for their time WHILE STILL PRODUCING THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK. . .for EIGHT YEARS.

IF these are people and organizations that truly act only in their economic self-interest, then something's going to give. Whether it be early retirement by wealthy earners, wage freezes or job cuts (or even just moving off-shore with the jobs, tax penalties be damned!) by big corporations, increased prices for everybody, or just less production because it isn't worth the extra effort, the wealthy WILL make adjustments to keep their bottom line at a certain level. Isn't that what the left tells us?

And WHEN those adjustments hit the market, everybody gets screwed.

So I'm left with a question: If Obama's plan only works if the wealthy show more "patriotism" and less "selfishness", then why is that plan any better than trickle-down economics? Wouldn't trickle-down work if the wealthy were less interested in themselves than in the greater good?

But here's the bigger question: which system will more likely find the wealthy doing what they're "supposed" to do?

Trickle-down, where the wealthy still have incentives to make money?

Or Obama's plan, in which the wealthy have less incentive to create wealth and definitely less opportunity to use it?

If I was rich, I'd think the answer is pretty clear. And that's the disconnect of Obama's economic policies.