Affluent liberal economists are constantly looking for things to do. Proposing higher taxes and more ways to waste taxpayers' money can't quite fill up all the idle time that economists seems to have available. Now, the next new idea is "pre-distribution" economics. The NY Times has tossed up a trial balloon for 'pre-distribution' economics in this morning's edition.
Here's the way this works. Instead of letting business owners earn the profits of their investments, the 'pre-distribution' gang proposes that workers share in the profits. This, of course, is not a volunteer program. This is to be mandated by the full force of law. If you wish to invest your money in a business, you no longer will be entitled to the proceeds of that investment. That's over in the brave new world of 'pre-distribution' economics.
In this brave new world, who will invest in American companies? The answer: no one. Why not just invest your money in other companies in other countries where investors get the fruits of their investments?
Once these geniuses make it illegal to invest your own money in a business without sharing your profits with some third party, investments in American companies will disappear. Then, I suppose, the plan will be to have 'government' take up the slack. The government will invest directly in businesses.
This is a pretty direct road to fascism. No doubt you will need a lot of extreme-left economists to supervise this entire exercise. Presumably modern day Venezuela will be the political and economic model.
If you think this idea is a joke, check it out. The article is by Neil Irwin and is billed as the chief policy idea to be promoted in the soon-to-be Clinton Administration.
Maybe negative growth is their goal after all.