Political Education

Thoughts about the Economy

In the last five years, we have seen the misuse and mismanagement of corporate funds that have led to a near-collapse of the US economy. And yet, the majority of the Republican party does not want to see a rise in taxes or government intervention in these businesses since they are the “job creators.”

To be fair, in some cases, this is true.  As the minimum wage increases, companies will either slow growth and not hire as many new people or lay off workers.  The reason an increase in the minimum wage in a recession doesn’t make sense is fear.  People, in general, as Maslow famously said, have basic needs, and one of these basic needs is a safe place to live. The housing crisis isn’t over yet.

I am not a huge fan of government intervention.  Even if some business practices seem unfair, such as saying there isn’t enough money to hire new workers when CEOs buy themselves new fancy toys.  I do believe that a person has a right to spend the wealth that he or she earns.  But I do feel as though having higher earners pay an increased tax burden, while closing tax loopholes, will be good for the economy.

I do find it funny that the Republicans are trying to portray themselves as working for the people but in the media look uncompromising and as though they only support the rich and want to hurt senior citizens.  Their way of not falling off the fiscal cliff would be to raise the age of Medicare, which would raise the retirement age for many people, and to close tax loopholes and to end or cut other entitlements.  The Republican party is adamant that raising the tax burden on the wealthy would only hurt the economy by slowing job creation.  It stinks that the government needs an income tax, but the US hardly manufactures anything anymore and we cannot make enough money to run a government based on import and export duties.  The Republicans keep saying over and over that Democrats aren’t willing to compromise, when it looks to me as though the Republicans aren’t willing to compromise, either.  Everyone in Congress is trying to make everyone else look bad and nothing is getting done.  The tax burden for the wealthy in the Clinton administration was 39%–which is a lot. And yet, we had an era of economic stability and job growth, which I know it can be argued began with the Reagan administration.  But this shows that a high tax burden doesn’t necessarily mean low economic output.  I know I’m not an economist, but it just seems to me that our Senators need to work together rather than just trying to see who is the best.

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