Vail Daily letter: Some ideas about jobs
Vail, CO Colorado
I think that it has become obvious that without some help, our free-enter-prise system will not create enough good jobs to provide us with full employment. Unfortunately, the rea-sons are many, the trends are going in the wrong direction, and the corrective actions are difficult. However, there are things that can be done, and I have attempted to iterate four actions that I think would help.
First, I believe that an increase in the purchasing power of the vast majority of Americans is mandatory. Only in that way will our businesses sell more, hire new employees and also be profitable. So how can we do that? Well, we should begin by reduc-ing the large and ever-increasing gap between the salaries and bonuses of owners and executives and the wages of the workers. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen voluntarily, but we can restore higher rates to the upper brackets of our income tax tables and provide meaningful bene-fits or tax relief to those with low incomes. Incidentally, the current top income tax bracket of 35 percent is historically low when compared with past years when rates were generally more than 50 percent and peaked at 91 percent. Although this action would be controversial, it would cer-tainly increase the purchasing power of a great many folks, enhance sales and create jobs. I simply believe that a reasonable adjustment of our tax rates will do far more good than harm.
Second, I think that the 30 percent high school dropout rate of Hispanic and black children has become a major problem. With few exceptions, those kids will only be qualified to per-form relatively low-paying service work, and there will be a dispropor-tionate number of them in relation to the available jobs. (And incidentally, that situation is only made worse by the illegal-immigration problem that we haven’t resolved.) But, in any case, I believe we should be concentrating our efforts and our education dollars on the motivation of Hispanic and black students as well as their parents. Whether it’s graduating from high school, trade school or college, many more of them must complete their education to the highest level of which they’re capable.
Third, in order to create more jobs and also reduce our nation’s trade deficit, our federal government should take steps to make domestic manufac-turing more attractive. States, counties and cities now offer significant bene-fits in order to attract new enterprises – there are no good reasons why the federal government shouldn’t do the same. And while we’re at it, we should also review existing tax “gimmicks” that actually encourage businesses to establish foreign operations. And besides these suggestions, there are several other finite actions that would encourage companies to keep their manufacturing here at home. We might even cause some businesses to rethink their previous decisions.
And finally, I believe that state and local taxes should be modestly increased in order to avoid devastat-ing our teaching staffs or reducing the effectiveness of our fire and/or police departments.
In summation, we simply can’t expect to crank up our large econom-ic engine by relying on jobs programs created by the federal government. Those help, but their size is properly limited by the fact that paying for them increases our nation’s debt; fur-thermore, their benefits are often tem-porary. If we are to achieve long-term economic stability, we must correct the root causes of our current reces-sion. And, if we do that properly, those solutions also will help us to avoid a repeat performance!