Improving the economy is vitally important to improving lives. We must improve sustainably, however, so that we "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves AND OUR POSTERITY" (emphasis added).
Our economic future will be determined by our decisions (past, present, and future). If we make wise decisions, our economic future is bright. Foolish decisions may lead to short-term economic growth but long-term ruin. Sustainable energy, materials, and industry are all critical factors for sustainable growth. I have an enviro-economic plan that contains specific details on how to grow the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions (without undue strain on livelihoods). Following this plan could lead to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by around 50% of current nationwide values over the next decade.
Our current national picture is filled with labor market inefficiencies. If we don't address our current inefficiencies with a mind towards the future, the future of the labor market, business, and the economy at large is more dim. To improve the economy, we need people productively working. To encourage productive labor market participation, we need to make sure tools and resources are available for lifelong human capital investment. We need to organize in a way that job openings can be filled with appropriately prepared and trained workers.
Businesses use public resources and should pay their fair share of taxes. Sometimes, government imposes fines or taxes to have businesses and other entities pay for damage caused to society. And sometimes, government imposes taxes on businesses that are only imposed on businesses because politicians don't want to lose votes by increasing taxes on individuals. Since businesses don't get a vote, it's much more popular at a surface level to tax businesses instead of individuals. Many of the taxes imposed on businesses fund causes that actually hurt business, so they fund benefits they don't receive.
The United States has accumulated more debt (both absolute and relative to GDP) than at any point in the nation's history. Our posterity will likely not have the financial liberty and quality of life we enjoy if we don't resolve our budget imbalance. Furthermore, our debt is a national security risk since other nations could use our debt as an economic weapon against us. Our national revenue and spending both need to be addressed. If expenditures do not sufficiently contribute to our national objectives, the spending should be dramatically reduced or eliminated. On the revenue side, we need some changes to pay for the spending that is justified. Any changes need to be implemented in a way that livelihoods are not made worse.
Taxes are the primary means of generating revenue for the country. Every dollar collected in tax represents sacrifice on the part of the entity that pays the tax. We need to treat the funds raised from taxes with the respect and gratitude owed for the sacrifice. However, we also need to collect taxes to pay for the spending required to advance the nation's objectives.
Tariffs could increase the generation of revenue for the country, but tariffs need to be imposed carefully and strategically. Levying a tariff on any product or material can have significant and long-reaching consequences that reverberate through affected supply chains and eventually throughout the entire economy. Widespread tariffs can also increase inflation rates.
Trade is an exchange that benefits all parties involved in the transaction. Trade with foreign nations should likewise be a win-win. Investment in foreign nations can (but is not guaranteed to) provide longer-term wins. We should not avoid participating in global issues; but we need to do our best to ensure that our participation on the global stage advances our nation's objectives.
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