As we evaluate government policies relating to the economy we should look at history, and what has worked throughout history. To learn more click: What Works
Here is a bit more about my economic ideas, and what I think we need to do to improve the American economy. I had planned to discuss these issues during my 2014 campaign, which was cut short due to the death of my mother. I discussed those issues in what I planned to call The Four Pillars of my campaign.
Science is the Foundation of the Modern Economy
This should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention over the last few centuries, but science begets technology, and technology drives the economy, literally and figuratively. Boyle leads to Watt which leads to Lenoir and Diesel, which leads to Ford and Honda and Kia and a car based society. Gauss leads to Morse which leads to Bell and then Marconi, and the modern telecommunication industry.
Even though this is obvious to an eight-grader, we have politicians who hate science. On the state level they are trying to ban the teaching of basic, foundational science. On the national level they are trying to limit or even eliminate government support for science, and some in Congress are even attempting to impose political tests on speculative science.
In the United States, science is the goose that continues to lay the golden egg, but far too many Republican politicians want to pluck and cook the goose in a shortsighted attempt to save money.
To learn more about the importance of science in the economy, click here. (coming soon)
Tolerance is a Key Component of a Successful Economy
Virtually every business has anti-discrimination policies, and most large companies have active diversity hiring programs. Companies adopt these policies because they work. Companies know that in order to sell to the widest possible number of consumers they need to understand those consumers, and the best way to do that is to have a workforce that reflects all of the potential consumers in the country, if not the world. Simply put, diversity is good for business. To learn more, click Tolerance is Good For the Economy
The corollary is also true. If tolerance is good for business then discrimination is bad for business. One great example is the way that the economy of the South improved after the civil rights movement. To learn more, click Discrimination is bad Business.
Red Economy versus Blue Economy
You have probably seen the chart showing that since the end of the Second World War the stock market has gone up significantly more during the Administrations of Democrats that Republicans. But not only does the stock market do better with a Democrat in the White House, but so too does the overall economy. I discuss the issue in an essay called Red Economy Versus Blue Economy. The numbers were evaluated up through the end of the Bush II administration, and have not been updated to account for the state of the economy under Barack Obama. (I may update the numbers later.)
Economic insecurity and the frustration it generates are a driving force in modern politics. People are frustrated and scared, unsure what will happen next. The reality of the world is that technology drives economic change, and politics only tries to address those changes. Politics, for the most part, is not a major driver of the economy. I address that issue in an essay called What Went Wrong and Who to Blame.
Raising the Minimum Wage
A minimum wage worker lives below the poverty line. Not only is that unimaginable, it is bad economic policy. We live in a consumer economy, and workers need to have enough money to spend and consume. If they make only a subsistence level wage they will not be able to contribute to the economy in a meaningful way. Conservatives argue that raising the minimum wage will hurt jobs, but the minimum wage has been raised 29 times since it was instituted in 1938, and contrary to their argument, employment did not go down every time the wage was raised. In fact, employment went up more than it went down in the months after the minimum wage was increased. I discuss this more here: Raising the Minimum Wage.
Social Security Reform
Social Security plays an important role in most American’s retirement plans, which has a direct impact on their ability to participate in the economy. Put simply, social security is an integral part of our consumer economy. But it is currently encountering fiscal troubles, and is in need of some type of reform. I discuss the matter in some detail here: Social Security Reform.
The current national tax code is a mess. It is complex and difficult for individuals and businesses to understand, and to comply with, it is ineffective at raising revenue, and it is often a disincentive to business development. It needs to be reformed. But tax reform is a hard sell in the current and bitterly divided political climate.