All posts by Richard Thripp

Ph.D. graduate of UCF studying financial education, husband, father, Age 28.

On Corporate Privilege, Share Buybacks, Trickle-Down Economics, Taxation, and Anti-Competitive Actions

My response to a commentator arguing for trickle-down economics and against corporate taxation, and claiming he could not think of examples where a large corporation bullied small businesses, and claimed not to recall or understand instances when Walmart would sell at a loss to drive small businesses under:

Dr. Lt. Col. [Name], a scholar, helicopter pilot, military tactician, and financial advisor, can’t think of an example of big companies bullying small companies? Doesn’t understand markets? I’m having a hard time believing this.

Your questions and statements can be easily researched online and answered or discredited. Corporations avoid taxes all the time.

The Walmart story is well-known and you must have been living under a rock if you didn’t hear about it. It goes back to 1993 at least. They would sell certain items at a loss until local shops went out of business, and then raise their prices back up. This isn’t capitalist, but rather anti-competitive and unfair.

Corporations do not go to their customers directly to raise additional funds to pay taxes. They have the money, and the successful corporations do something with it. Being flush with cash, many are buying back shares… and executives coordinate the share buybacks so they can sell their shares at a high price, and this is legal. Meanwhile, many such corporations are paying low wages and bullying cities like Deltona (Amazon warehouse) into tax breaks when they could be paying higher wages or at least covering their employees’ Medicaid and food stamps. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could unionize cities, counties, and states nationwide to say no to bullying for tax breaks like Amazon having a phony competition for their 2nd headquarters on who can offer them the most taxpayer subsidies?

The idea that tax breaks lower costs to consumers is pretty rich. If consumers are willing to pay a certain price for an item or service, the price won’t come down either way.

“More money to give to their employees and stock holders”—really? They will raise pay to employees only if they must to compete for labor. You can’t argue for trickle-down economics, which is the idea that the market is fair and will take care of itself benefitting the 99% by eliminating taxes for the 1% and top corporations (which is corporate welfare for them as they are still benefiting from the USA’s many resources and public items such as financial markets, roads, natural resources, education, and so forth). Trickle-down economics has been empirically discredited.

If anything, the stock holders benefit the most, and it’s really getting tacked onto the national debt as the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 was a total robbery to benefit big corporations and share holders. And, as you know, I’m a big advocate for owning pieces of the big corporations via index mutual funds, but half of Americans own no stocks, and you shouldn’t need to just to get a rebate from the U.S. Treasury.

Also, your idea that more consumption is good is under severe pressure in light of the climate crisis, which you cannot discount as a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. The U.S. military knows the climate crisis is happening and they are making all sorts of preparations.

It’s pretty crazy that the United States is only 4% of the world population yet is home to 55% of publicly traded corporations by valuation. Given our immense wealth and prosperity, it’s crazy we are not investing in the American people by funding their medical care and education, at the very least. When you wonder why the young people are upset, or scoff at their preferred presidential candidate (Bernie Sanders), try to see things from our perspective and question the underlying assumptions that we have all been inculcated with.

Why Vote for Richard Thripp?

Here are a few reasons to vote for Richard Thripp on 8/18/2020 (Democratic primary) and 11/03/2020 (general election) for Florida’s 6th Congressional district (Volusia, Flagler, and parts of St. Johns and Lake counties), or by mail or early voting:

Photo of Richard Thripp

✔ Will fight for the Green New Deal to make better technologies cheap via scale
✔ Will fight for Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All to help all Americans
✔ Won’t cut Social Security
✔ A check on Donald Trump and the lawless Republicans
✔ Unlike other candidates, born in Daytona Beach and has always lived in the district
✔ Supports ending war and knows there is nothing to win in the Middle East
✔ Accomplished college instructor and financial educator who values education
✔ Will fight vested interests on the climate crisis to save Florida’s future
✔ Will expand the IRS with the resources to collect from high earners and big business
✔ Will not dial for dollars or be bought and paid for by anyone
✔ Will fight against corporate welfare, subsidies, and giveaways to the rich
✔ Constituent-focused and will open a district office in mid-town Daytona Beach

My Republican opponent:

✘ Has the “guts” to slash Social Security and Medicare
✘ Donald Trump’s favorite Congressman
✘ Supports endless and costly militarism in the Middle East and beyond
✘ Indebted to special interests and corporate donors such as NASCAR
✘ Lives in a different Congressional district
✘ Spews falsehoods about the “socialism” bogeyman
✘ Supports corporate welfare and giveaways to the rich (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act)
✘ Opposes women’s healthcare and choice
✘ Against expanding Medicaid and wants to repeal Obamacare

Download a printable PDF of the above list.

Richard Thripp logo, alternate version

Visit or mail your campaign contribution to:
Richard Thripp for Congress
ORANGE CITY FL 32763-6014

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Help Send Richard to Congress to Fight for You!

Please support my campaign if you can contribute any money!

I am putting in lots of my own money to get the word out and support our Democratic clubs, but I need more for door hang tags, signs, shirts, banners, buttons, & more.

Here are some things I’ve paid for already:

1/02/2020: $20.00 to join Southwest Volusia Democratic Club
1/08/2020: $25.00 to join Port Orange Democratic Club
1/08/2020: $45.00 for Lake County Democratic Party Winter Breakfast on 1/25/2020
1/10/2020: $162.40 for Mary McLeod Bethune gala in Deltona on 1/17/2020
1/21/2020: $25.00 to join Northeast Volusia Democratic Club
1/23/2020: $25.00 to join Northwest Volusia Democratic Club
2/12/2020: $15.00 to join Volusia LGBTQ+ Caucus
2/13/2020: $25.00 to join Ormond Beach Democratic Club
2/18/2020: $100.00 for Black and Blue gala in Daytona Beach on 2/29/2020
2/20/2020: $20.00 to join Volusia Young Democrats
Banners × 2: $64.23 to Vista Print
Business cards × 3,000: $63.87 to Staples
Various mileage for driving to events
Various printing of materials at home

Please pitch in if you can! Even a small contribution helps.

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Comments to Republicans on Wealth Inequality and Corporate Welfare

My comments in response to Republicans for Trump, critical of welfare queens, who say people need to work hard to succeed, and who say Bernie Sanders wants to give everything away for free and ruin our country. (Mostly white seniors saying this, while on Medicare, Social Security, and having grown up in a different economy that was more favorable in several key ways.)

We have the greatest wealth inequality since the 1920s and the American dream is dead for many. Look outside your bubble a little bit. I’m not saying the economy isn’t strong but it’s not working for everyone and Trump is pouring gasoline on it with $1 trillion deficit spending per year and pushing the Federal Reserve for rock-bottom interest rates. It won’t last forever.

The 52% proposed tax is fake news. Bernie has proposed this tax bracket on the portion of income above $10 million per year or $20 million if married.

If you want to look at freeloaders look at your mega-wealthy and big corporations. They make the food stamps look like scraps. Under the new Republican tax law the top 379 profitable corporations paid 11.3%, not 21%. These are just profitable corporations. Others, like Amazon for many years, keep expanding or use tricks to appear unprofitable and pay a 0% federal corporate income tax rate.

On Behavioral Bias, Framing, Status Quo Bias, the “Socialism” Bogeyman, and the USA’s Present Lack of True Capitalism

My writings to two commentators on Facebook about Behavioral Bias, Framing, Status Quo Bias, the “Socialism” Bogeyman, and the USA’s Present Lack of True Capitalism.

Richard Thripp (Me): Libertarian principles sound good as ideals but don’t hold up well with actual humans. If you live in a food desert, you’ll eat more junk food. If not for Social Security, Americans will NOT put aside huge sums of money throughout their working career for their retirement.

Commentator: I know a lot of Democrats think they know better than the average person, and you very well might. But I would recommend that you don’t publicly admit that you think you know better than the average person.

Richard Thripp (Me): This isn’t about me at all. Please read a bit about behavioral economics, nudges, and psychology and get back to me. Take a cognitive psychology course… or even a free online course or watch some videos. People are vulnerable to psychological tricks like framing effect, anchoring, and so many others. It’s why As Seen on TV ads are so effective at selling junk at huge markups. This isn’t about being arrogant or superior. Even highly educated professionals are vulnerable to these phenomena. Ignoring them or wishing them away by pretending people know best is foolish.

Commentator: Dr. Thripp, I know you wrote your dissertation on this sort of stuff, I know you are literally an expert and that is fine. I know that you’re right, you’re missing my point. It’s not that you are incorrect. I’m stating that a message that can be distilled down to “regular people are too stupid and/or can’t be trusted to take care of themselves so the government has to do it for them” isn’t going to win you any votes that weren’t already going to vote Democratic in Volusia County.

Richard Thripp (Me): I wouldn’t phrase it that way but I suppose there is danger in the Republicans phrasing it that way or critical commentators doing so? But they would do that anyway and are already doing it. I would be more optimistic in saying when we set up people to succeed, they will make great decisions. The idea is that the naysaying logic of people being able to take care of themselves can be used against Social Security too… but we have Social Security, have had it for 75 years, and it works well and is very popular.

There is also a status quo bias favoring what already is happening and disfavoring any change. For instance, corporate welfare and giveaways to the rich are happening, so we get a lot of people saying its justified and they earned it. Even Michael Bloomberg is out-of-touch… in his first debate performance he could have been magnanimous and even inserted some self-effacing humor about his $62 billion fortune but instead he argued he deserved every cent… which could literally buy 1,250 Orange Avenue bridges in Daytona Beach, 6,500 Matanzas Woods Parkway interchanges on I-95, or 310,000 houses at $200,000 each. Is that fair?

Richard Thripp (Me) to another commentator who presents socialism as a bogeyman and Millennials as having a victim mentality and being lazy:

It’s not an either/or and even small business owners like yourself are getting squeezed when big firms, super-rich people, and big corporations get too many tax breaks, lack of enforcement, lobbying to get laws their way, privilege, corporate welfare, and giveaways. You can worry about the bogeyman of socialism by the government… and then your small business is crushed by Walmart, Amazon, Zillow, or some other behemoth that was created not by free-market capitalism, but corporate crony capitalism.