Head to Head

Inequality: Are the rich cashing in?

Mehdi Hasan challenges former Reagan economic adviser Arthur Laffer on whether slashing taxes helps rich and poor.

“You don’t want to make the rich poor; you want to make the poor richer,” says Arthur Laffer, an economist who laid the intellectual foundations for Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher’s right-wing policies in the 1980s.

If you tax rich people and give the money to poor people, you're gonna get more poor people and less rich people.

by Arthur Laffer

But should we really be cutting services to the poor while we cut taxes for the rich? Has the spread of ‘Reaganomics’ really helped the world’s poor?

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges Arthur Laffer on whether free market economics still makes sense in the wake of the financial crisis, and on his famous ‘Laffer Curve,’ through which he advocates cutting taxes on high earners.

Arthur Laffer has been described as “the father of supply-side economics”.

Joining the discussion are Ann Pettifor, Director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), Faiza Shaheen, Head of Inequality at Save the Children UK, and Adam Memon, Head of Economic Research at the Centre for Policy Studies.

To watch this episode on Youtube click here