If I was in charge: The economy, jobs and deficit in America

Posted: October 15, 2010 in Political Commentary, The Blog!

If I was in charge: The economy, jobs and deficit in America

In our country we have a 9.6% unemployment rate. A rate that sky rocketed during the Bush Administration, started to rise in the early months of the Obama presidency but has since slowly started to come down. Large corporations abuse the “free market” an outsourcing is at an all time high, Instead of keeping jobs here in the states, these corporations are shipping jobs overseas. Pick up a plastic cup, or kids toy car, chances are at the bottom you might read something like this. ”Made in China”.

Sending jobs over to China does harm not only to the Americans loosing their jobs, but also to the people in these other countries who are making the products. In China, Indonesia and other countries, these people are making sometimes as low as .20 cents and hour, and being treated sub human, just so the giant CEO’s and presidents of these companies can line their pockets with more money. So lets get this straight, Americans loose their jobs, we get cheaply made goods, the people making those goods are treated awful and getting paid literally pennies, but the companies get rich. Doesn’t this seem wrong to you as well?

Ever hear of “Fair Trade”. Fair trade is a regulated version of Free Trade. Shipping jobs over sea’s would be taxed, and be taxed at a high rate, and those companies who keep jobs here in the states would receive a tax credit. Of course there is more to it, but that is the bulk of it, If I was in charge I’d replace Free Trade with Fair Trade, in the hopes that our trade deficit would decrease. Our deficit to China alone is almost 800 billion dollars.

Now, trade deficits aren’t the only reason why jobs are being lost and our debt is sky rocketing. With the deregulation of the major companies on wall street, oil companies and in the health care industry beginning with the Reagan Administration in 1980 and through the Bush Administration through 2008, our money has been concentrated to the top 2% of the country, In 1980 the highest tax earners were paying a rate of 70%. By 1984 Reagan lowered that top bracket to 50% and by the time he left office in 1988, the top bracket was only 28%. Free market and capitalism were the buzz words, and people thought things were going to be great. Make the government step aside and let the private industries take control, the money will go to the top and the big corporations would create jobs and the money would “Trickle Down”. However, at the same time, unions were being destroyed, people lost their jobs and the “working” American began to struggle and the “trickle down effect” known as Reaganomics proved to be false. The money did go to the top, but it just stayed their. Capitalism in it’s purist form is wrong. I know that is a “no-no” to say in our country, but sometimes the truth hurts. Now I wouldn’t set up a communist or socialist government , but capitalism needs government intervention. If there isn’t any government too look over these corporations, it would be comparable to letting the inmates run the asylum. When people on top have so much control, should we be surprised that they keep all of the money for themselves? President Obama passed a financial regulation bill following the financial crisis and crash of 2008, however, because of the filibustering republications and some conservative democrats, many of the provisions in the bill were watered down, Banks can still be “too big to fail” its just a bit harder now. If I was in charge, I would hold banks 100% accountable, I wouldn’t just hand loans out to people that couldn’t afford them and than stick it to them a few years down the road. I would have the banks create manageable loans to people, depending on income, and work a plan out for them to pay the loan on time, with a low and reasonable rate. Gone would be the days of 25% interest rates that never get paid and the days of working for the people would be here.

The debt in our country is through the roof. The surplus that was handed to George Bush by president Clinton is long gone. The GOP’s “plan” of getting down the debt is simple, cut taxes and cut spending. Sounds nice right? Like maybe it would make a good bumper sticker or something. There is a problem though, it doesn’t work! I mentioned earlier about Reagan lowering taxes in the 1980’s, the same holds true today. If you lower taxes more than they are, or take taxes away, than gone are the programs that people depend on that are tax dependent. You don’t want to pay taxes? That’s ok, but if your car breaks down, than you shouldn’t be allowed to take the public bus or train. Your house catches fire? Can’t call the fire department. Someone tries to rob you? Forget about calling the cops, their salaries are paid by taxes. It seems sunny today doesn’t it? Well you can’t enjoy the local beach because those are tax payer funded as well. Oh ya, I almost forgot, I hope you have a few extra thousands of dollars for your kids school, because their public education is tax payer funded as well. Taxes today for the richest Americans is at 35.6%. As a part of the Bush Tax cuts they were lowered from the 39% tax bracket that was placed on them by President Clinton. Today the economy is in shambles, and middle and lower class Americans can’t afford to take a tax hit, however the richest Americans, those making over $250,000, can take that hit. As middle and lower class Americans income has decresed over the last decade, the top 2% of earners have increased their income. How is it possible that I can’t afford to go to the dentist, but a top CEO of a company can buy BMW’s for their whole company. The wealth can no longer be concentrated to the top, if I was in charge I would increase the top earners tax bracket back to the Clinton years, similar to what President Obama wants to do, except those making $1 million should be in a new bracket at 41%, and those making over 5 million should be at a rate of 42% and so on until we reach a 45% tax bracket. Those higher taxes would pay for our health care reform, Medicare , Medicaid and social security as well. I know what you are thinking, I am not being fair to the richest people, and only care about people in the middle class. Not true. The big companies should be rewarded by their success. When paying a higher tax rate, they would also be given tax credits for keeping jobs in the states instead of outsourcing, not to mention with more money coming into hands of the middle class, those people will than be able to spend more driving up the profits of the company and making them more money.

Cut spending. That’s another thing you hear a lot. What though, what is the spending you hear about. Republications talk about privatizing or eliminating programs like social security and Medicare. The problem with that is that if you put those programs in the hands of private insurers, they wouldn’t have the best interests at heart for the individual, they would try to take those programs and put them in the stock market in order to try to make more money, the issue is that if those stocks go down the individual risks much or all of the money that they have paid into social security over the years and could loose much of their retirement funds. Any talk about even touching these programs is ludicrous. Other programs that you hear about cutting are things like the department of education. That is another crazy idea, we need our schooling structured and improved not depleted. If you want to cut spending you need to cut out spending for “pork barrel” projects. Funding projects to over spend on monuments, staircases, museums etc need to decrease, Obviously these are nice things, but should be privately funded or at least funded privately for the most part. Did you know the members of congress vote on their own pay raises? Ya, I think we need to cut that out of the equation as well. How would it work if everyone at their own job got to vote on what they made, I don’t think it would work out to well, and it doesn’t in Washington.

Now I know this isn’t a 50 page break down of how to fix things. These are just a few issues that I have brain stormed. I’m sure I will tackle more issues in the future with a few more solutions, hopefully you have given this article and read and maybe add to your thoughts or even better, came up with something I didn’t.

  1. Robert Sobel says:

    I thank you for your possible solutions to the problems.Well thought out, and as you know,I could not have said it better.I look forward to more of your insightful posts.

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