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When it comes to economic issues, Republicans and Democrats see things very differently.
Liberal Democrats bill themselves are being pro-little guy. Liberals want to, as President Obama said to Joe The Plumber, spread the wealth around. Specifically, they want to take from the rich and give to the poor, like Robin Hood. Liberals concern themselves with the redistribution of wealth. That's why liberals engage in class warfare tactics, and believe massive government programs and government spending are needed to carry out their wealth redistribution dreams.
Conservative Republicans bill themselves as being pro-business. Conservatives believe that if the business sector prospers, that is what creates jobs for the little guy, thus enabling him to prosper too. Conservatives believe economic growth is the key to prosperity. That's why conservatives favor tax cuts, and believe government often gets in the way of economic growth with burdensome regulations, interference with business, high taxes, etc.
This is the crux of the ideological battle on the economy. Neither of these opposing belefs is bad or evil or necessarily wrong, though you'd certainly think they were if you listen to all the political rhetoric that is shoveled on a daily basis. Liberals call conservatives heartless, racist, only caring about the rich, etc. Conservatives call liberals marxists, anti-liberty, etc.
Anyone who has read this blog knows which side of the argument I favor, for a variety of reasons. I'm with the conservative pro-business, pro-growth, pro-liberty side, and I'll tell you why.
I'm not against "helping the little guy", as liberals favor, but I think liberals have a blind spot when it comes to the creation of wealth and the creation of jobs. Those things come from the private sector, not the government. Wealth creation, jobs, the resultant rise of the middle class, and even government revenue ultimately comes from private sector BUSINESS. Therefore, being antagonistic to the business sector, as liberals so often are, is counterproductive. Putting it in the simplest terms, if our businesses aren't profitable and growing, as conservatives desire, then there won't be any wealth for liberals to spread around later. That's why making our businesses successful is Job One. You don't accomplish that by taxing them heavily, holding them down with burdensome regulations, placing one financial burden after another on them, and in general making it more difficult to do business in this country. You especially don't want to do that when our businesses are competing in a world economy, because we will be the losers with such an attitude. Our jobs will continue to disappear. In my view, helping business IS helping the little guy. I want our businesses to make money, lots of money. The more the merrier. Though liberals demonize profits for some reason, they are only exhibiting their blind spot again when they do so. Those business profits are what provide more jobs, more investment, and more economic growth. Those jobs are also what provides revenue to the government for the government services liberals love. When I see liberals demonizing business and profits, I only see them shooting themselves in the foot.
It's not business profits that are the problem in this country. As I said before, those profits are what creates jobs. No, the problem isn't profits. The problem comes when business profits end.
If you want to see what happens when businesses fail in this country, you don't have to look very far, because we just went through one such period, known as the Great Recession. Business profits plummeted, Wall Street crashed, unemployment rose dramatically, government revenue diminished, and we went much deeper in debt. That's what happens when American businesses don't succeed. Our economic Jenga tower collapses.
Therefore, it should be obvious we'll be better off if we implement policies that help our businesses thrive, because every other economic plus flows directly from them. The CEO of the 3M Corporation, George Buckley, who called Obama "anti-business" a couple months ago, put it in stark terms:
"Politicians forget that business has choice. We're not indentured servants and we will do business where it's good and friendly. If it's hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We've got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico -- which tend to be pro-business -- or America," [Buckley] told the Financial Times.
Lots of business people view Obama as being anti-business. When business people hear "redistribution of wealth", which raises specters of marxism, they get very nervous. Marxism is, by definition, anti-business. Even former Obama supporters in the business world have begun backing away from him. Harry Alford, head of the National Black Chamber Of Commerce, said voting for Obama was "the worst mistake I ever made in my life". Because Alford is black, I'd like to take a little subject detour into matters of race for a minute. I'm hearing a constant drumbeat from liberals these days about how conservatives are racists for being anti-Obama. No, liberals, that's not it. I'm sure there are right-wing racists, just as there are left-wing racists, independent racists, and racists of all colors and nationalities from all walks of life, but liberals are missing the boat. The right-wing opposition to Obama isn't due to his race, it's due to right-wingers perception of Obama's leftist beliefs. There's no way conservatives WON'T be opposed to that. They aren't going to suspend their own beliefs and withhold their criticism just because Obama is black. In my own view, Obama seems like a pretty nice guy personally. I'd hang out with him, but I've been highly critical of him because I disagree with his politics. I basically think he's in over his head, and though he's plenty intelligent enough, he didn't have the necessary experience to be the President. As a result, he has floundered about. I'd be pretty offended if anyone thought I believed these things because I'm a racist. In my eyes, race has nothing to do with anything. The racism charge is just an easy and convenient accusation for liberals to make, so they make it...constantly.
Sorry for the diversion, but I had to get that off my chest.
Getting back to business, as the 3M CEO said, business has choices. As we all know by now, companies don't have to manufacture in America. A lot of them have moved overseas. A lot of our jobs have moved overseas with them. I'm all for keeping as many of those jobs here as possible, but there's a problem. Many companies move away to take advantage of cheaper overseas labor, and the last thing we want here is to pay slave wages to our own workers. Obama might call that scenario a "race to the bottom", which I don't want either. We want to keep wages up.
How do we keep wages up and jobs in America at the same time ?
What I would do is make it more attractive for companies to do business in America in different ways. First of all, I'd END corporate income taxation. As I say this, I picture liberal heads spinning in circles like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, because liberals complain that corporations don't pay enough in taxes, especially the evil ones like Exxon (the oil industry employs millions of people and generates tons of tax revenue for the government). Sorry liberals, but I'd rather have the jobs. The taxes will come from the incomes and economic activity of all the employed workers. The second thing I'd do is to remove the skyrocketing health care cost monkey from companies backs. Liberals complain about wages not rising fast enough in this country. Well, those health care costs are a major reason why. If you add in a companies health care contributions, which are part of an employee's compensation package, I bet you'd see that compensation HAS risen.
Those are two big ways to attract businesses to this country. I have many more, but this post is getting rather lengthy, so I'll stop here.
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