Archive for the ‘8. Jobs & the Economy’ Category

HOW WILL PRESIDENT TRUMP ELIMINATE ANNUAL FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICITS?

The United States government currently owes over $21 trillion, called the National Debt.   Each year the National Debt is increased by the amount of money the government overspends that year, which is over the amount it collects.  This amount is called the Annual Budget Deficit. When President Obama took office, the National Debt was $9 trillion.  When he left office it was almost $20 trillion.  President Trump continued having hefty budget deficits, mostly because of the higher interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds that the government is paying, in addition to the cost of bringing back the military to be combat-ready, which had significantly weakened by the underfunding by the Obama Administration.  Consequently, at some point in the next few years, the Federal government may not be able to afford to pay interest on the ever-increasing  National Debt.

This problem is probably the most serious one that the U.S. faces.  President Trump is fixing every one of the country’s serious problems (though you would never know it from the pitiful biased Main-Stream Media which simply doesn’t report it) so what does he plan to do about this  upcoming financial disaster?  Here’s what I believe he will do, starting now and ending the last year of his 8-year presidency:

President Trump is significantly increasing revenues to the Federal government by stimulating the business environment in the United States, which has increased the number of people working and the revenues from their taxes, even at reduced tax rates.  He’s also making Americans more prosperous by reducing their tax load.  Most recently, he’s cutting 5% from all Federal Departments.  I initially thought that in a few years the U.S. might not even have a deficit, but with the Federal Reserve continuing to increase interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds, the interest on the National Debt is much higher today (over 3 %) than it was when Obama was President ( approx. 1 % ).  This translates into the government paying hundreds of billions more for interest on the National Debt than it had been paying only two years ago, and this makes it much more difficult for the government to eliminate its annual budget deficits.

Despite the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates, however, I believe President Trump will still eliminate annual government budget deficits, estimated to be about $779 billion in fiscal year 2020, and perhaps also probably start paying down the National Debt by the end of his second term, with one caveat.  Trump must have a Republican House of Representatives and a Republican Senate in order to put the U.S. financial house in order.  Democrat leaders will do anything to make Trump fail and prevent his straightening out the economy.

In the final phase of eliminating annual budget deficits, President Trump will eliminate useless and duplicative Federal programs and pare down programs that have shown only meager results.  This will be very unpopular with the general public and that ‘s why he’ll do most of it near the end of his presidency.  How do I know what President Trump will do and when?  Here’s how:

  1. I went to the same school as President Trump, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, though my Masters was from the FEls Government Center, which back when I graduated (1972) was in the Wharton School.  My focus was on government, not finance, but there still was some commonality between the two programs though Trump became a billionaire and I became a Federal employee.
  2. I’ve followed politics for 60 years, beginning with the Kennedy-Nixon TV debates, and have worked for the federal government for over 40 years, a city government for over a year and a State government for less than a year.
  3. I’ve followed Trump beginning a year before he became President.  I know why he does what he does and can explain most of his actions, unlike the pitiful mainstream media.
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DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP DOES NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE ECONOMY WORKS!

The Democrat and the Republican Parties have completely opposite ideas and policies on stimulating the economy and creating jobs, but it’s difficult to understand how this can be.  No longer simply theory, but proven time-and-time again to work, cutting tax rates and cutting regulations stimulates the economy and creates jobs to the extent that the additional tax revenues generated from the cuts can exceed the cost of the cuts.  President Kennedy did this, as well as Presidents Reagan and Trump.  Why doesn’t the Democrat Party get it but instead sticks with Keynesian economics which allegedly doubled the duration of the Great Depression in the 30s and early 40s?  Understanding this phenomenon is so simple that I can only conclude that the Democrat Party doesn’t want to get it, but why not?

One of the constituencies that the Democrat Party claim is the poor.  The Democrat Party’s policies, however, keep the poor being poor.  On the other hand, “Supply-side” economics (see Milton Friedman’s book, Free to Choose)  pulls up many of the poor into the working class, middle class, and some will even become wealthy.  When this happens, they might no longer vote Democrat.  It’s therefore in the Party’s self-interest to keep people poor, keep them victims, keep them envious and vengeful, have them believe they’re the victims of racism, etc.

The most recent evidence that this is so is the relentless attacks against the huge Trump and Republican tax cuts, using the phony pretext that the cuts mostly benefited the wealthy.  Since the wealthiest 10% of the population pay about 70% of Federal income taxes, they receive back the most in dollars, though just a tiny amount percentage-wise.  In addition, lowering the corporate tax rate from the very highest in the world, 35%, to a much lower more competative rate, 21%, benefits not only the corporation but all of the people that a corporation can employ, as well.

It’s way past the time that the Democrat Party changes its posture on stimulating the economy and creating jobs based on reality the actual results that have been achieved every time cutting taxes and regulations have been tried.

GOP/TRUMP ECONOMIC PLAN: REDUCE TAX RATES TO INCREASE TAX REVENUE

How can President Trump and the Republican House and Senate pay for large tax cuts and a trillion dollars in infrastructure improvements that they are advocating and still eliminate Budget Deficits and eventually the National Debt?  Few politicians explain this so I thought that a U. of Penn Wharton graduate (me), who should know this, would explain it.  Many are concerned that the large proposed infrastructure spending and proposed tax cuts will force the U.S. further into debt.  If you simply look at the economy as static, this would be true.  However, the economy is dynamic, not static.  Therefore, when you change some things, like reducing corporate taxes from the current 35% to President Trump’s 20%, as well as reducing taxes on the working and the middle classes, this stimulates businesses in many ways, bringing back U.S. business and investment money to America and stimulating new businesses and the growth of existing businesses.  In addition, Trump will repeal the individual mandate contained in Obamacare, which is the penalty that Obamacare imposes on those who chose not to be covered under it, estimated at $358 billion. Finally, there is about $3 trillion in U.S. corporate funds residing in other countries, that with a one-time repatriation tax rate of 10%, will return to the United States and be invested here.

All of this resulting economic activity will result in a huge increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is a measure of the size of the U.S. economy.  The taxes from this huge growth in economic activity, though the tax rates are reduced, will result in tax revenues being vastly increased.  President Ronald Reagan did this in the 80’s, as well as reduce regulations, and GDP consequently almost doubled in size within 10 years from the time that Reagan’s tax rate cuts went into effect (1983).  President Kennedy also did this in the 60’s.

GDP growth is extremely important because, with 4% annual GDP growth, the United States can afford to do what needs to be done without having annual budget deficits, that at the end of each fiscal year, are added to the total national debt.

If some form of the Trump/GOP tax cuts become law, the United States economy (as measured by Gross Domestic Product, GDP) will more than double in 10 years.

 

 

WILL PRESIDENT TRUMP CREATE JOBS & GROW THE ECONOMY?

After most recessions, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth comes back with  a strong minimum 5% increase/year.   But not the recession of 2008-09…annual growth averaged under 2% for the eight years that Barrack Obama was President and the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate diminished to 62.8%, the lowest it had been since 1978.  Moreover, although the official unemployment rate was under 5%, it would have been about 12% if it were measured the way it was back in the year 2000, and over 20% if it were measured the way it was during the Great Depression in the 30’s.

So what happened under President Obama?  Why not the usual strong growth?  Business had  a few trillion dollars that it held onto oversees, so why didn’t it spend its money to expand its operations and create millions of jobs in the U.S.?  There’s a lot of  reasons why business was cautious in expansion…and we need to understand what the problem was in order to continue to turn around today’s economy and foster substantial job growth (and the increased tax revenues that come with job growth).  Of course, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is filled with disincentives to job growth, especially full-time jobs, so it was partially responsible. The large number of regulations and tax increases under President Obama also added additional burdens on job creators and that’s another major cause.

But who am I to be pontificating on jobs and the economy?  Well, I do have a masters degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.  And my degree is from the Wharton School in the U. of P., which is known for its econometric models of the economy.  To be clear, however, my education was in government, not economics, though I did need to have economics and accounting courses as well as a statistics course in order to graduate from Wharton with my MGA long ago.  I also worked for the Federal government for over40 years in various capacities, and have also worked for the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia.

FORMER  SUCCESSFUL QUICK RECOVERIES

Let’s put aside education and experience qualifications because, from my observations, ideology trumps education.  I’ve seen PhD’s advocate  really stupid positions, even in light of contradictory evidence.  So I tend to look at the real world, what actually happens when a particular economic policy is followed and practiced.

I’ll start with the policies used by President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s.  When confronted with a recession, he cut tax rates which led to increased economic growth and recovery.  In addition, when President Ronald Reagan inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression from President Jimmy Carter in 1980 (unemployment over 10%, inflation 13.5%, mortgage interest rates up to 20%), President Reagan cut tax rates to the extent that GDP almost doubled in ten years and tax revenues to the Federal government greatly increased in the 10 years following the tax rate cuts.  President George W. Bush had a similar experience with tax rate cuts, revenues to the Federal government significantly increased.

PAST FAILURES

Let’s look at what actually happened when the opposite approach was used:  it is estimated that President Franklin D. Roosevelt doubled the duration of the Great Depression in the 1930’s by using the John Keynes economic model of increasing government deficit spending, and the US still did not even get out of the Great Depression until World War II.   Moreover, when Japan’s economy went bust in the 90’s, it spent trillions over a 20-year period trying to stimulate its economy.  The huge deficit spending did nothing except give Japan a huge debt.

WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA TRIED

Which brings us up to to when President Barrack Obama spent almost a trillion dollars in his “stimulus” package in a effort to turn around the economy…and he also devalued the dollar by having The Federal Reserve Bank print trillions of dollars with no backing through it’s so-called Quantitative Easing 1, 2, and 3.  He also tried other short-term Federal spending programs such as his “cash for clunkers” and engaged in huge annual deficit spending, the extent of which had never been seen before.  His economic policies, based on the discredited theories of economist, John Maynard Keynes,  have actually have made the economy worse by piling up huge government debt (over $20 trillion in total national debt which is greater than the annual GDP of the US), with very little to show for it,  and whose interest payments will be unsustainable when interest rates increase.

Let’s look at other factors significantly adversely affecting the economy, such as oppressive government regulations.  One of the reasons for President Bill Clinton’s economic success in the 1990s was his significantly cutting back many Federal Regulations (as well as the reduction in government employment through attrition) as part of his “National Performance Review” initiative.  President Obama’s policy, on the other hand,  on preventing drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, has resulted in 240,000 barrels/day less oil from the Gulf,  which would have led to large increases in gasoline prices were it not for oil companies engaging in horizontal drilling and fracking on private and State lands.  Another example of over-regulation is the Dodd-Frank bill, the stated purpose of which was to prevent future financial meltdowns…but it did not even deal with the cause of the meltdown, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who threatened  and coerced banks into making housing loans to people who could not afford to repay them.  Dodd-Frank also had adverse impacts on small banks and dried up loan money for small businesses that would have otherwise been available to them to expand.

Then there’s Obamacare which has been estimated to actually cost the government up to 3 trillion dollars in the first 10 years, as well as lead to very expensive, rationed and inferior health care.   Then, of course, there’s EPA’s over-regulations, such as the one on carbon dioxide, which as we know, is an inert gas, the chief purpose of which is food for plant life, plants which turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.  Moreover, let’s not forget how hundreds of thousands of farm hands were suddenly unemployed when the US Department of the Interior shut off the water to California’s Central Valley in an effort to protect the Delta Smelt (a small fish) that was on the Endangered Species list.  All of these things have severely hurt jobs.  Finally, President Obama extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks actually increased unemployment because studies show that, on average, unemployment benefit recipients don’t even begin looking for work until 4 weeks prior to the end of their benefits.

IS CUTTING TAX RATES FAIR?

But stimulating the economy by cutting tax rates isn’t fair, is it?  Even President Obama said in an interview a year or so before he was elected President, when confronted with the fact that cutting the capital gains tax rate in the past had actually resulted in increased tax revenues to the Federal government, that he still would not cut the capital gains tax rate because “it isn’t fair.”

So is it fair to cut tax rates even though we know that the result would be to increase tax revenues?  The nation would then have more money to help the poor, not less, so why not do it?  I can understand the “equality” argument but  is it really a good thing if everyone were equally poor as they are in many countries?   “So what” if there are some super-wealthy people…we know that in the United States they will eventually give most of their money to charity anyway and do it much more wisely than the Federal government!   Winston Churchill said that  capitalism is a bad form of government except that it’s better than all other forms of government.

THE SOLUTION

Cutting  tax rates and regulations have always worked in the past and would stimulate the economy and thereby create many jobs.   Political ideology is the only thing preventing our government from following these time-tested strategies.   Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Bush all increased tax revenues by cutting tax rates for everyone.  Today, the bottom 50% of earners pay almost no Federal income taxes…the upper 10 %, on the other hand,  pay over 70% of all Federal income taxes.  If you believe that’s not enough, how much is enough?  The U.S. corporate tax rate is currently 35%, the highest in the world, and consequently has led to many businesses moving their operations and jobs to other countries and has caused the United States to lose many jobs.  It’s estimated that there are at least 3 trillion dollars off-shore that we could entice back to the US if we offered a temporary ten percent corporate tax rate for the first few years and a contract stating that the corporation would remain in the US for at least another 5 years.  The US needs to put ideology aside and focus on solving the nation’s economic problems.  Although  President Obama appeared very friendly, his policies have really hurt the United States, so it’s time for newly-elected President Trump to: 1)cut tax rates on the working and middle classes, as well as on businesses; 2)rein in the Environmental Protection Agency from over-regulation; 3)eliminate job and small business-killing regulations; 4)cut corporate income taxes from their current 35% (the highest in the world) to 20% to lure back the large number of businesses that moved overseas to escape the U.S. confiscatory taxes; and 5)repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) since it has significantly hampered business expansion.   President Donald Trump has done or will do these things and by so doing will grow the economy and create jobs and consequently significantly reduce the U.S.’ annual budget deficits.

The U.S. Senate, however, due to its slim Republican majority and arcane rules, may not be able to approve the bills necessary to implement the necessary changes.  If this happens, many Senators will lose their jobs in 2018.  However, even without major tax cuts, President Trump, through Executive Orders and deals with many countries and corporations, has increased GDP to over 3% growth for the last two budget quarters.

OBAMACARE vs. TRUMPCARE

The new proposed American Healthcare Act recently passed the House of Representatives, and now the Senate is working feverishly on it since Obamacare is quickly falling apart and needs something to replace it.  Its failure will hurt many people by eliminating health insurance.  Since the U.S. is stuck with Obamacare for now, let’s take a look at it.

 Obamacare covers full-time employees in companies that employ 50 or more people.  Because Obamacare is very expensive, businesses are very wary of hiring additional full-time employees (FTE) and have consequently reduced their numbers to under 50 FTE’s, as well as converting full-time positions to part-time, so as to keep FTE’s under 50.  Consequently, the number of jobs that the Federal government reports each month is baloney because: (a) most of those new jobs are part-time jobs, and (b) the major reason the unemployment rate has lowered is because, after the unemployed run out of benefits, they are no longer considered looking for work and therefore taken out of the unemployment statistics that are calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Those statistics consequently then depict a lowered (phony) unemployment rate; but they have nothing to do with the creation of jobs.  An accurate portrayal of employment is the “Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate” which was at it’s lowest level since 1978 when President Obama left office in January 2017.

2. Because Obamacare has deductibles as high as $5,000 for individuals and $10-12,000 for families, as well as very high co-pays, most people with Obamacare that are not subsidized by the government, tend to not benefit from it because they can’t meet their deductibles.  In other words, Obamacare for many people is like not having medical insurance…and at some point many will find it cheaper to just pay the IRS a fine every year for not not having expensive medical insurance that ends up each year in not providing any benefits.

3. With Obamacare’s IPAD (Independent Payment Advisory Board) or “Death Panels” as Sarah Palin calls them, expensive state-of-the-art medical treatment is severely restricted under Obamacare, for the elderly.

4. Though sold to the American public as saving the average American family about $2,500/year, it’s turning out to be far more expensive to everyone except those receiving government subsidies.  There are many, many people paying at least double their previous premiums.  Some are paying as much as five times their former premiums.  Moreover, the Federal government has spent billions in rolling out the Federal and State websites and in providing subsidies.  If and when fully implemented, some forecast that Obamacare will bankrupt the country.

Obamacare or The Affordable Care Act is rife with unintended consequences, some of the major ones I cited above. But there are many more (tax on medical equipment, doctor shortage, etc.).  All of the unintended consequences were completely predictable.  I don’t think that any revisions of The Affordable Care Act would be sufficient to fix it.  It was incompetently  and sloppily prepared.  I believe that it must be replaced after (this time) being carefully thought out.  Moreover, it’s failing so rapidly that soon there won’t be health insurance.  The House has prepared its version of healthcare insurance, the Senate is debating theirs.  A House-Senate Conference Committee will then meet to iron out the differences between them. The resulting bill will then need to be voted on by both the House and the Senate and then go to the President for his revision or approval.  Whatever replaces Obamacare will be much cheaper as well as a vast improvement by allowing individuals to actually choose their own plan and doctors.

HOW TO PAY OFF THE NATIONAL DEBT

The United States currently owes $20 trillion, $10 trillion of which President Obama spent in the 8 years he was President. That debt is an albatross around the neck of the Country and there is little likelihood that it will be even partially paid off anytime soon…or is there?

The richest country the world has ever seen, sitting on top of  huge untapped oceans of oil, natural gas and coal, as well as millions of square miles of publicly-owned land, and we’re the beggars of the world, owing trillions of dollars to China, Japan, and many other countries, including our own Federal Reserve, which creates money out of thin air.  This picture doesn’t make sense but what can be done to change it?

There are many proposals floating around to help address this problem, from a fair tax to a flat tax and the “Penny Plan”.  Ohio Governor John Kasich paid off billions of Ohio’s debt by cutting ineffective programs.  Wisconsin’s Governor, Scott Walker, cut programs and also stopped the Union practice of letting outragiously expensive Union contracts.  Former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, created many jobs and took Florida from billions in debt to billions in surplus.

Various plans have been tried, some with dire consequences, like the “Sequester” that President Obama suggested and Republican leadership agreed to.  The Sequester has been devastating to the military because it cut budgets across-the-board, both good programs and bad.  There are many expensive Federal programs that are ineffective and do little or nothing, have been around for a long time, and need to be terminated.  Some programs simply need to be revised in order to make them effective and efficient.  But any revising or terminating requires a strong leader. That’s why the 2016 Presidential election was so important.  Not many leaders would cut ineffective government programs and perhaps also expand production of, and then sell off, oil, gas and coal to other countries and surplus public land to its citizens, but I believe that perhaps President Trump will do so to help pay off the National debt.  We’ll see.

Bringing back trillions in cash currently “parked” oversees by American corporations will also greatly help and will occur once the U.S. corporate tax is reduced from its current (highest-in-the-world) 35% down to about 15%.

CONSEQUENCES to the U.S. from PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES

 

President Obama meant well.  He sounded sincere and touted “fairness” as his primary concern in his governance of the nation.  However, it’s true that “the road to hell is paved with people with good intentions.”  In plain English, it almost doesn’t matter if the President was sincere  and meant well if the results of his policies were to cause great  harm to hundreds of millions of people.  The percentage of Americans with full-time jobs (“Civilian Labor-force Participation Rate”) has not been as low as today (62% of civilian labor force) since the late seventies and if unemployment statistics were calculated the way they were in the year 2000, unemployment would be about 10%.  If they were calculated the way they were during the Great Depression, unemployment would be over 20%.  Below is my analysis of those major policies of President Obama that destroyed the American dream for many Americansand which President Trump and the Congress need to reform:

A. OBAMACARE/AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: This  law is a wet blanket on the economy. While I’m for good healthcare, and for insuring people with pre-existing conditions as well as kids up to the age of 26 years-of-age on their parents insurance, Obamacare is a bureaucratic nightmare with much more expensive premiums for most people, and unbelievably-high deductibles and co-pays.  This turns most Obamacare policies into catastrophic care only because most people will never meet their deductibles and will therefore be paying out-of-pocket for most of their healthcare.  This turkey needs to go and hopefully will be replaced with something created by a combination of Senators and Representatives from both major political parties.

B. IMPEDING ENERGY PRODUCTION:  A decision on the Keystone pipeline was made for political reasons.  Oil production on government land was significantly down, however, basically because the environmental lobby was against all fossil fuels.  Meanwhile, America has more gas, oil, coal, and shale oil than all of the countries in the Middle East combined but government regulations prevent most of it from being developed.  The wealth created by all of this energy could pay off the National debt, the trillions in unfunded liabilities, and produce an economic boom the likes of which no country has ever seen.  And as thoroughly, scientifically, and irrefutably proven in David Archibald’s, Twilight of Abundance, the warming trend of the earth over the last century, up until 18 years ago when it stopped,  is due mostly to Sun Spots and Solar Flares, not to the burning of fossil fuels.  

C. DEFICITS/NATIONAL DEBT: President Obama doubled the National Debt (from $9 trillion to $20).  The Federal government is still borrowing billions/month from the Federal Reserve so the annual budget deficit is currently over 1/2 trillion dollars/year.  Each year the Annual Budget Deficit is added to the total National debt and currently the National debt is about $20 trillion.  This amount of deficit spending and National Debt is unsustainable. The Federal Reserve  has the authority to print money and by doing so has been able to get away with this huge deficit spending,  but doing so without the backing of gold and/or legitimate loans from other countries, simply inflates our currency.  The U.S. dollar is currently the world’s “reserve currency,”  but our borrowing and spending may eventually change that.  When it occurs, the dollar will immediately decrease in value by about 30%, our credit rating dramatically reduced and interest rates on our borrowing dramatically increased, and our ability to borrow severely curtailed.

D. REGULATIONS:  Regulations are necessary in our society but government needs to be very careful in not over-regulating since this can and does add significant costs to the economy, negatively impacts business creation, and reduces freedoms.  The regulations written pursuant to Dodd-Frank, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Affordable Care Act  (“Obamacare”), among many others, are excessively burdensome to people and the economy.  ESA, for example, has caused the destruction of most crops in California’s Central Valley due to the Delta Smelt, a small fish on the Endangered Species list. Dodd-Frank is a financial nightmare that does nothing to prevent future bank problems.  Obamacare has and is destroying jobs.

E.  HIGH TAXES:  Money taken from the economy in taxes should be limited because it hurts the economy.  Tax money should be used only for legitimate purposes.  Higher taxes is a drag and drain on the economy so  government needs to be careful to spend it wisely.  Lowering tax rates on everyone who pays taxes in order to stimulate the economy is the preferred way of increasing tax revenues and growing the economy to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, etc.

F. CORPORATE TAXES:  A significant Obama policy  that has unintentionally done  harm to many people is the retention of the 35% corporate tax, which is higher than any other country in the world.  This has led to the flight  of many U.S. corporations and businesses to other countries, and with this flight, the jobs and taxes that go with them.  They need to be reduced to 15-20%.

G. PROLONGED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS:  Extension of the duration of unemployment benefits for more than  12 months is very harmful to the unemployed as evidenced by studies showing  the unemployed usually do not even look for jobs until a few weeks prior to their unemployment benefits expiring.  At one point, Obama, in conjunction with a Democrat Congress, extended unemployment benefits to 24 months. “Compassion” was the stated reason, but getting the unemployed off of of the official unemployment roles  so that the official unemployment rate would be lowered is the real reaon.

H., I., J.,K., L., M., N., etc.

In closing, most Americans were proud that the U.S. elected an African-American President 151 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed  American slaves, even if they personally did not vote for him.  The United States inherited slavery from England when it took over the country in 1776 but had to temporarily retain slavery  in order to form the Union to include Southern States (the “Great Compromise”).  At the first opportunity, the U.S. rid itself of slavery (in 1863).

The first African-American President unfortunately had no experience in managing anything or in guiding an economy and therefore the U.S. consequently is badly hurting economically.  While I believe President Obama meant well, he also still believed that failed liberal/”progressive” economic policies (“Keynesian economics”) were the way to stimulate the economy and therefore turned a blind eye to workable economic policies.

President Reagan demonstrated how to get an economy working and the proof is the fact that the Gross Domestic Product (which measures the size of the economy) of the United States almost doubled 1n the 10 years following Reagan’s implementation of his large reduction in tax rates (1983-1993) and curtailing Federal regulations.  President Kennedy also stimulated the economy during a recession in the 60’s by cutting tax rates.

 

 

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: PROS & CONS

Who can be against a livable wage and why would they possibly be against it?  That’s what this post is about.   President Obama raised the minimum wage for Federal contractors from $7.25 to $10.10/hour.  It covers future Federal contracts only and therefore won’t affect many workers right now.  The President has urged Congress, however, to pass legislation to cover all minimum wage employees in the U.S.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has recently reported that if the minimum wage were to be increased to $10.10 nationwide, or a 40% increase, about 500,000 to 1,000,000 million minimum wage employees, from the current pool of 16,500,000 minimum wage employees, would lose their jobs because employers could not pay it and remain in business.  Recently, however, the new proposed minimum wage has jumped to $15/hour.  The specific effects of such a raise have not been officially calculated, but it would surely result in millions of “minimum wage employees” losing their jobs because many employers could not afford to pay it and remain in business.

So why do it?  The main argument is that it’s not a “living wage,” that no one can live on and raise a family on that wage.  Sounds like a reasonable justification but, of course, we need to look at other sides of the argument before reaching sound conclusions.  I already cited one of the primary reasons why not to raise the minimum wage too high…the loss of about 1,000,000 minimum wage jobs; however, another significant reason is that it would almost shut down the first step on career ladders for unskilled workers…to the extent that they couldn’t even get that first job, get their foot in the door…because their work would not be worth $15/hour.  In addition, since only 15% of minimum wage employees live in poverty households, raising it would do little to reduce poverty.  Finally, many businesses, like restaurants, are very sensitive to the minimum wage and when that wage is increased substantially, restaurant prices increase substantially, which hurts the business or makes it fail (so the end result may be the elimination of jobs).  Moreover, it’s far more accurate to call “minimum wage” the “starting wage,” because that’s exactly what it is for most people.

It appears that labor union leadership and consequently the Democrat Party is the only beneficiary of dramatic minimum wage increases with everyone else being harmed; therefore, gradual increases in the minimum wage may be able to satisfy genuine concerns of the minimum wage argument.

The best way to raise everyone’s wages the most is to create a booming economy like they have in North Dakota where $15 is the starting wage in fast food restaurants because of the huge competition for employees that North Dakota’s great economy fostered.

 

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