Supply-side economics, popularly known as ‘trickle-down’ economics, has been the most dominant approach to economic policy in North America (and some other countries) since the 1980s. Despite all economic evidence to the contrary, it is a policy that is still pursued today, to some extent or other, by both conservative and centrist parties in liberal democracies. The primary real-world consequence of these policies is a drastic increase in the economic differences between the rich and poor. The record is not good. Why is the policy so popular?
Why does everything have to be so complicated?
Danielle: I heard they found evidence on Vic.
Dutch: Yeah. Maybe a little too much.
Danielle: What do you mean?
Dutch: You ever hear of Occam’s razor? The simplest answer is usually the right one? Good. Now apply that to the Lemansky case. Now all this evidence is pointing to Vic. Occam’s razor would suggest he’s guilty. Walter Chatton a contemporary of Occam’s. Disputed the razor. Coined his own anti-razor.
Danielle: What’s that?
Dutch: Chatton believed that the world was too complex. Too many variables to assume that the simplest answer was always the correct one.
From “Baptism by Fire,” the second episode of season 6 of The Shield.
I haven’t watched The Shield in years, but this exchange has haunted my dreams ever since. The world is indeed a complicated place, and most complex phenomena have complicated explanations, but, more often than not, the simplest hypothesis is the best. Why are so many of us tempted to believe otherwise, like Dutch here?