Fun Facts and Fiction

Fun facts to consider before voting:

Over the last 50 years Republicans have occupied the White house 27 years, Democrats 23. During that time the US economy has created approximately 46 million jobs during the Democrats time, 23 million during the Republican occupation.

From 1948 to 1973, American worker’s productivity increased by 100%. During this period, the average worker’s hourly compensation ( wage plus benefits) increased by 100%. This period witnessed the largest growth in wealth ever in the history of humanity, as well as the largest expansion of the American middle class. With tax rates higher than current rates.

From 1973 to 2006, the year before the recession officially started, American worker’s productivity increased 80.1%. During this period, American worker’s average hourly compensation increased 10%.

The other 70% of weatlh generated during this period increased the wealth of high-income individuals and corporations, while tax rates went lower and lower, and the middle classs shrank.

The average American worker hasn’t seen a real gain in her or his purchasing power in over a decade. The way Americans have gotten by over the last 4 decades is by putting a second bread winner to work and borrowing more.

The last three recoveries from Recession has been ‘jobless.’ The Stock-Market has recovered; corporations have done well, and the jobs that have been created have been low paying jobs.

Americans work more hours, and spend less time with their families, than anyone else in the developed world, except China.

There is not one example in history that I can find where austerity measures alone stimulated an economy and increased tax revenues. In the one case most commonly cited, Ronald Reagan’s presidency, President Reagan cut taxes in 1981, then, when the deficit soared he raised taxes in 1982. It’s that tax increase that spawned the famous ‘Read my lips, no more taxes,’ statement by Bush Sr.

I suppose the other fact demonstrated here is that people don’t vote based on facts.

That’s one of the ‘flaws’ of Democracy, and one that I am willing to live with. The US experiment in Democracy is a leap of faith, a belief in something like Christian Charity, or the Islamic principle that you have a moral obligation to feed and shelter your fellow traveler.

Will we live up to our religious principles?

 

Dancing on a Tightrope

Full disclosure. Though I don’t  like the term, I’m a job creator. I own two businesses and have added approximately twelve jobs over the last year and half to the economy.

I also like facts, instead of rhetoric. And I often espouse views that are less radical then my personal views, because I recongnise that most people don’t share my views, and I enjoy living with, debating, and learning from them.

Having said this, it  is becoming increasingly difficult  to respect views of individuals that refuse to give facts a chance. If one doesn’t want facts to have a bearing on one’s life, if one refuses to even consider science as having relevance to the truth, then please don’t use antibiotics, computers, or depend on our military, because without scientific research based on scientific theories, none of these exist. Without evolutionary theory, the process of developing and manufacturing vaccines is not possible.

Facts:

“No Republican president since the Great Depression has presided over a four-year term with four per cent average growth. Only Democrats have done this well (or better) – and indeed, every Democrat except Jimmy Carter managed this level of growth for at least one term. Ronald Reagan’s second-term 3.7 per cent GDP growth – the best Republican record in this era – trailed Bill Clinton’s 4.4 per cent second-term growth, while George W Bush’s best – 2.2 per cent – was just half that of Clinton’s. While Johnson topped five per cent, Truman barely missed that mark and FDR topped 7.8 per cent his first term and just missed 15 per cent during World War II. There’s an old saying from the New Deal era: “If you want to live like a Republican, you must vote like a Democrat.” Three generations down the road, the historical record still bears this out.”

And:

“But we already have a market-based healthcare system, which not only leaves tens of millions of us without medical care, it produces per capita costs roughly double those of the rest of the developed world.”

And:

“In fact, as economist Paul Krugman notes, Medicare’s administrative costs of two per cent are far below private plans. Medicare Advantage plans average 11 per cent costs, and when profit-taking is added, this rises to 16 per cent the amount not going to actual medical care.”

Quotes from Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor of Random Length News

Our problems are too large to ignore facts. Should public policy be guided by our values and compassion for others? Of course. And we should be willing to accept smaller economic growth to make sure our fellow humans have a decent life.

The fact is, we are all wealthier and healthier the broader the sharing of the wealth is. Completely free markets do not product broadly shared wealth, they produce winners and losers, with very little trickle. I challenge anyone to site one instanc of trickle down economic theory effectively ending a serious recession.

The fact is, like the difficult decisions each of us makes everyday in our lives, like who our friends will be, how  much risk to take in our economic decisions, who and how to love, or who to vote for, smart regulation that promotes economic justice for all and doesn’t stifle personal incentive, freedom, and innovation, is dancing on a tightrope, and also the right thing to do.