Social Question

RomanRealtors's avatar

How can we improve the US economy?

Asked by RomanRealtors (112 points ) December 22nd, 2009

the economy is the tank, theres rumors of hyperinflation around the corner, and some of the people who were laid off might not get their jobs back due to the companies adapting and using other means to get the same job done. We have talked about this here at the office and some have put forth the idea of legalization of immigrants, legalization of drugs, raising taxes for the rich, Revolution, Marxist Revolution, socialism, closing the border, devaluating the dollar, public projects.. etc

So as citizenz or immigrants of this country (USA) voice your opinion on economic plans or create your own.

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46 Answers

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Borrow, borrow, borrow. The system depends on loans to make money.

RomanRealtors's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien if we keep doing that China will surpass us.

erichw1504's avatar

No, we’ll just sink further and further into debt. If it does ever get fixed, it won’t be in my lifetime.

phil196662's avatar

Borrow and BUY American- Read labels, the products are out there right in front of you!

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@RomanRealtors China already owns so much US debt they probably have surpassed us already.

mowens's avatar

Elect a different president.

minolta's avatar

Max out all your credit cards and start paying them off.

willbrawn's avatar

Stop spending more than you make!

Sonnerr's avatar

Legalize Marijuana.

But seriously, the revenue can be used to fuel the income for our debt to china and other countries.

mrentropy's avatar

Stop sending money overseas and use it to re-build factories in the U.S. If a company based in the U.S. has more overseas workers than continental workers then increase taxes. Support small business’.

Michael's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien Actually, China owns only 11% of US publicly held debt (link) and less than 7% of US gross debt. Also, the US economy is more than three times larger than China’s.

phil196662's avatar

@Michael – Isn’t it growing with each Acura, Honda and Toyota purchased?

Michael's avatar

@phil196662 Isn’t what growing? Do you mean China’s economy? If so, then no. Acura, Honda and Toyota are all Japanese companies, not Chinese. Also, all of those companies have factories and thousands of employees right here in the U.S, so while some of the economic activity generated by the sale of those cars goes off to Japan, a good chunk of it stays here too.

jrpowell's avatar

@phil196662 :: You are thinking of Japan. And most of those are made in the United States.

edit :: What @Michael said.

UScitizen's avatar

Stop fighting wars to protect Israel. We are figthing two at the moment. Bring all troops home, from all foreign countries. Use our troops to stop the invasion by foreign nationals. Build 130 nuclear power plants. Eliminate dependence on foreign oil. Abolish the Federal Reserve. Force Congress and the Treasuy dept. to to their jobs. Put the dollar back on the gold standard.

phil196662's avatar

@johnpowell – NOOOOOOOO….Are not! They are Not “Manufactured” in the US, they are Assembled in the US- they bring the major components in containers from japan because they can pack more vehicles in a shipping container and use only what they need to use in the US to get past the taxes and Terrifs we Levey on them. They are an Export Driven country and are not going to give up a products production at any time. Look for the “Parts Oragin” on the vehicle and you will se “Japan” with a big percentage.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Fund small startups with small business, long-term, low-interest loans. Radically lower the capital gains tax. Offer deep tax breaks to firms who hire more people. Stop bailing out inefficient businesses. That should kick-start some new economic development.

phil196662's avatar

Yes @CaptainHarley. support your local businesses!

Cruiser's avatar

*****CUT CORPORATE TAXES!!!!***** It’s that simple!! They want to raise it and that will slit the throat of any incentive I would have to spend a dime since I won’t have a spare dime to spend if taxes remain this high or go higher!! Cut those taxes back to 26% and I will spend like I am on a Roman Holiday plus I could by more equipment, give raises, hire more people…money would be flowing everywhere in the system!!

RomanRealtors's avatar

@Cruiser i can agree with that, give us incentives to hire more people as well.

ragingloli's avatar

@Cruiser
The only thing that would achieve is the corporations saying “thanks for the money, bye” and not doing anything in return. They will continute to cut jobs , move jobs outside the country, etc., in the name of profit. If you want to create domestic jobs you have to either legally tie the cuts to domestic job creation and/or preservation, or to reduce the costs for the consumer, to give them an incentive to buy more, therefore increasing demand, giving incentive for the corporations to produce more and to create additional jobs to satisfy the demand. No company in its right mind will hire more employees just because of a tax cut, if the demand for their products does not change.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli Wrong!! All the other business owners I talk with we all say the same thing!!! Corp taxes are killing us….strangling us to death. Take our corp tax rate add in the employees salaries and health care costs and overhead….there is NOTHING left to spend!! It doesn’t take an economic genius to see what 10% extra cash would do for a companies growth potential. The biggest problem is in our leadership who has failed miserably to instill any confidence in our economy and it’s ability to recover with any strength and resiliency. These same business owners are scared stiff over hiring any new employees not know what the future will bring especially in the way of higher taxes and costs including this freak show health care reform. Tax breaks will show us business owners the Gov supports our efforts and desires to get back to making money and spending it. Until then, it is cover your “ass“ests. just to survive.

ragingloli's avatar

I was talking about the large corporations that even in this crisis continued to rake in the profits. I agree that the strain on middle class and small companies must be lowered, but all that would be for nothing, if the buying will of the customer base does not grow as well. When the market is saturated and you produce just as much as you can sell, it simply makes no sense to hire more people, to increase production, when the surplus of products can not be sold because, as mentioned earler, the market is saturated. All that will do is increase your production costs and the costs of disposing of unsellable products.
It is extremely important that the consumer is strenghened financially, so that he may demand new and more products and being able to pay for them as well.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli I am glad to hear someone else feel that way. I would love to give raises and bigger bonuses this year and any bonus at all is out of generosity not because of outstanding year end performance of this company. All my employees know that we are getting by as a company and are grateful they still have jobs. It is the worst I have ever seen it out there.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Politics in this Country is all about getting yourself re-elected and about control. It is NOT about the will of the people. Neither party does diddly about the national debt. Neither party does diddly about the increasing destruction of the environment. Neither party does diddly about what is becoming an aging infrastructure. Neither party does diddly about the drug problem. Neither party does diddly about reforming education so that those children who WANT to learn can actually DO so. One of these days we’re going to wake up and find our Country is owned by the Chinese ( from whom we have been borrowing like crazy ), all of the creative and innovative things are being done by the European Union, all of the money has left for other places where it’s not taxed to death by those who refuse to work, and our children are either unemployed or slaves to foreign corporations.

nitemer's avatar

As long as the moral standards of every individual declines, there will never be improvement in anything at all.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

Everyone needs to spend more money, which will create more jobs. Yes, I know it is not that easy. :|

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Paradoxically, the biggest thing that we could do to improve the US economy is… to stop trying to fix it. The economy can work fine—not perfectly for everyone all the time, no, but it works very well. It works better than any command-and-control economy that has ever been invented and tried up until now.

“But it’s broken now! People are out of work! Losing their homes!”

Yes, and to the extent that we try to tinker with the economy by taxing people who are well off and trying to give that money to people who aren’t so well off—and saving their jobs by propping up failing businesses in failing industries (or industries and businesses that can’t compete with lower-cost providers elsewhere), then we make things worse instead of better.

Let the jobs go overseas that are going to go there anyway. Stop trying to “save” them. Let markets work; they work better than any government.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

From the common household, to the heights of government and the Federal Reserve Bank, America must stop spending money it doesn’t have. We must transition from a borrow and spend policy to a tax and spend policy. Violent downturns are inevitable in a consumer economy based on debt rather than one based on existing money.

In order to go back to a real tax and spend policy, we must first pay our national debt. In order to do this we must adopt an extremely stringent austerity program. There is nothing in the Treasury but promissory notes that will bind the American taxpayer for the next three generations or more. Much of our national debt, in the form of promissory notes—US Treasury Bonds—have been sold to nations with opposing ideologies such as the Peoples Republic of China. This can be problematic in the future.

As a first step, many people such as Senator Ron Paul (R-Tex) and economist Paul Krugman, advocate dissolving the Federal Reserve Bank, which is a private coalition of bankers that control American currency. Every dollar they put into circulation—a job originally assigned solely to Congress by the US Constitution—is essentially a loan from the Federal Reserve that we the taxpayer must pay interest on. They have been using credit in order to stimulate the economy, which is a disastrous policy that got us where we are now.

We were warned about this over 200 years ago:
“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”—Thomas Jefferson

Simultaneously, we must re-adopt the Austrian School of Economics, which we abandoned approximately the same time as the Federal Reserve Banking Act was passed in 1913. One of the basic tenets of the Austrian School is self-liquidating debt. This means that bank loans can only be made against collateralized, appreciating properties, such as real estate, real estate improvements, and business loans to businesses with viable, bankable business plans. Bank credit was never meant to be used to buy depreciating consumer items such as cars, furniture, TVs, and—God forbid—food. For those items, one must actually save their earnings. The Austrian School makes for a less volatile, yet healthier economy, but alternatively, a consumer economy based upon compound debt is a depression waiting to happen.

Banks began making loans for consumer items such as model T’s and radios in the 1920s, which stimulated the economy known as the Roaring Twenties, but led to the era known as the Great Depression ten years later as soon as we hit a bump that tightened loans to businesses and farmers, causing unemployment in certain sectors, which caused people to default on their loans, whole industries to go bankrupt, and snowballed into national catastrophe.

We must also bring back those banking regulations such as the capitalization rules, Congressional oversight committees and the Glass-Steagall Act that were put in place since the last depression—and slowly removed or made toothless over the past thirty years under Reaganomics, deregulation, and continued through succeeding administrations—that prevented commercial banks from, among many other things, transferring savings into the stock market making those funds uninsurable under FDIC.

Are Americans willing to do these things? Are they willing to spend the next generation working and saving and doing without in order to build a real economy? Only when they wake up to the causes of the debacles like this current economic collapse and similar cycles and are willing to stand up to the representatives in Congress that, the majority of which, support the present system.

LeopardGecko's avatar

Tell other countries to give money to the US without having to pay them back.

TominLasVegas's avatar

easy,stop buying things you cannot afford.you know why the economy went into the tank?Because we spend more than we made,case closed. Don’t blame Bush because you bought a $500,000 house when you only made $35k a year.

ETpro's avatar

First, let’s not put the people back in charge that drove the economy nearly off the cliff the last time they had their hands on the wheel. Thanks be the aggressive efforts of frirst Bush then Obama saved us from sliding all the way over the ledge.

Our debt is high now, but it is nowhere near as high as it was after they last time the same crew drove the economy over the cliff. After fixing the Great Depression and helping win WWII, our debt hit 120% of Gross Domestic Product. Today, it isn’t yet 50% of GDP. By looking at debt as a percentage of GDP you take inflation out of the equation.

Back in the 1940s, we pegged the top tax rate at 90% and above and rapidly paid the debt down. Interestingly, despite the dire warnings of the don’t-tax-just-spend crowd today, our economy was strong and we produced lots of jobs and lots of new millionaires in the post-war boom.

John Kennedy proposed dropping the top rate to 75% and Americans cheered. Now, it is down to 35%. We are drowning in red ink. If we launched the austerity program needed to match our revenues at that tax rate, it would reverse the recovery we are now seeing, and drop us straight into the abyss of a depression. We can’t raise taxes yet either. Like in the 1930s, we have to get the economy back on track before tinkering too much with spending or revenues.

But once the economy is humming again, it is time to develop the national will to either quit spending and let the infrastructure crumble around us or raise taxes and pay as we go. The Greatest Generation did it, and so can we.

mattbrowne's avatar

Be serious about going green.

MeinTeil's avatar

Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes.

ETpro's avatar

@MeinTeil All that will do is further inflate the already untenable national debt.

If lowering taxes always built a robust economy, we should just institute a negative 100% tax and have the government find out how much gross income you earned in 2010, and cut you a check for the same amount in matching funds. Our taxes are already the lowest on income of any industrialized nation on Earth. And we are mired in debt.

Under Bill Clinton, when taxes on the rich were just a bit higher, we had 8 years of real growth in the GDP and created 22.5 million new jobs. We were paying down the national debt, not running it up. And Clinton left office with a budget surplus of $183 billion.

George W. Bush slashed taxes for the rich. He created 3 million new jobs. The GDP grew in his 8 years at an anemic 2.5%, but that was almost entirely driven by the real estate bubble and the $62 trillion derivatives market leveraged on top of the shaky real estate loans. Instead of paying down the National Debt as Clinton had been doing, Bush doubled it from $5.6 trillion to $11 trillion.

It is baffling to me how anyone can review the facts and still insist that lowering taxes enough will finally make the economy healthy. Just as you can kill an economy by taxing too much, you can kill it by taxing too little.

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro Lower taxes serves the obvious purpose of putting more cash in peoples wallets to spend and then will stimulate the economy and blah blah blah. What I see people fail to punch into these equations is the necessary reduction in Gov. spending that created this problem (need for higher taxes) in the first place. Can’t do one without the other and IMO it is time someone started that dialog.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Reductions in government spending take cash out of pockets. You reduce government spending either by firing or laying off government employees or by having the government stop buying things, in which case the businesses that make those things loose a big customer and lay people off.

The whole problem in 2007 was that individual consumers lost the cash cow of an ever inflating home price to borrow against, and quit spending. When consumers quit spending, businesses had no orders, so they started layong off workers, which meant more people now couldn’t spend, or even pay for their mortgage.

You plan to fix that problem by stopping the one entity left that can spend from doing so. It will not work. It only adds to the dwindling spiral. Had we done that in 2007, we would be in afull-blown depression right now. As it was, we didn’t do ENOUGH spending and may still slide into a double-dip recession or worse.

The non-partisan CBO has done studies of various ways to stimulate a down economy. Direct cash rebates to taxpayers is the fastest, but not the best. Long term, buying new and repairing old infrastructure is best. Tax cuts to middle class and poor taxpayers are less effective stimulus because in uncertain times, most consumers just hang on to the small weekly increase they offer. Tax cuts to the very wealthy are dead last in stimulus effect. They hold the money or invest it in offshore investments that pay better than the suffering local economy.

but while tax cuts are a lousy stimulus, they are the hardest possible kind to bring to an end if the economy recovers. Our problem is that our current tax system is pegged too low. Slashing it further in some delusional belief that eventually tax cuts will pay for themselves would be insane. That voodoo economics has taken our national debt from $1 trillion when Ronald Reagan sold the lie to $13 trillion today. It has had 30 years to work. Where are the jobs, Where are all the profits that were going to eliminate the national debt?

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro SO WHAT!! Cut government spending for the sole reason they suck at EVERYTHING they do and why??? Because it’s NOT THEIR MONEY!! HS if you told a company to do their business and go ahead don’ t worry about making a profit….what do you think is going to happen?? Everybody will get a raise, a company car and killer benefits for life just like the F’n Government employees! It is a FACT that Gov employees earn up to 30% more than their private counter parts so imagine if you will if we simply level the playing field and pay gov employees what the private employees make and just how much money we could save??? Could you imagine what cutting the federal payroll by 30% would do to our deficit?? I bet a lot AND I bet we could then cut a shitload of taxes while we were at it! There is so much our Government does that IMO has no F’n business doing and privatization would save us hundreds of billions of dollars and after it is all said and done, I might just actually be able to renew my drivers license in less than 4 hours!

ragingloli's avatar

The only solution is Socialism.
Hang every CEO and replace the leadership of companies with people that have been democratically elected by the companies’ workers. The company must become shared property of the employees. Corporate policy must also be decided democratically by the workforce. The age where the greed of the few decides over the fates of the many must come to an end. The west got rid of monarchy and despotism. We must finally rid ourselves of capitalism as well.

MeinTeil's avatar

How will you pay for your furry porn?

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser I would love a tax cut as much as the next guy. I’d love it even more if there were no need to pay taxes, and I could keep every penny I earn. But you know what? The money you earn isn’t yours either. The money Exxon-Mobil earns isn’t theirs. Money is fungible and as long as it flows, things work well. When fear causes hoarding, everybody suffers. It flows to and from government just as it flows to and from corporations and individuals.

The fact is that governments do not suck at everything they do. They build our roads, they keep air traffic safe and possible, protect our food supply (and cuts to the FDA staff—95% cut since Reagan began deregulation) prove that what they do is valuable. Our government cleaned up our air and water back when acid rain started killing forests and rivers started catching on fire and poisoning people’s drinking water. They prevent the return of the robber barons. They arrest the bad guys. They put out house and forest fires. They protect us from invasion by foreign despots and attacks by determined terrorists.

We have only to look to Somalia to see how horrible life is when there is no government. If you live there and want a road, hire a contractor and build it yourself. Want to drive on your new road? You had better have a heavily armed private security force in your hire to protect you, because the place is crawling with thieves. There is no police protection. And there are more AK-47s than humans in the country. House on fire. Too bad if you don’t own your own fire department and water supply. And how much does being tax free contribute to the wealth of the average Somali? The per-capita annual income is $600. If that’s your idea of paradise, move there . I don’t want Somali style “prosperity: instituted here.

We can have a legitimate discussion about what government should do, and what is best left to private enterprise, or approached by a public/private partnership. But we can’t begin that discussion if your starting point is that governments “suck at EVERYTHING they do.” That is a false premise that leads us to a solution that destroys everything we cherish about our nation.

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro You know by now I do exaggerate once in a blue moon and yes the Government doesn’t suck at everything they do…. just most of it. When I finally see a State Road crew that doesn’t have 6 guys laying one pot-hole patch, when I have a toll booth attendant actually say hi, thank you or have a nice day, or when the DMV people behind the counter move faster than yogurt culture, or a politician that is actually behind their desk doing their job I might actually not be highly offended every April 15th!!

Give me one Governor here JUST ONE that won’t get indicted doing something stupid!! OMG have you EVER tried doing business with the GSA??? What a clusterf*** that is!!

You say you ran a business and so do I and no government office I have ever set foot in would be able to stay in business in a competitive situation doing what they do and how they do it…NONE!!! I don’t know how any tax paying citizen can stomach this largess unless of course they are in a union, on the Fed payroll or sucking from the Government teat!

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Maybe I am just lucky, but I had a great experience when I visited the Social Security Administration here to sign up for Medicare. I’ve always found the people at the Massachusetts RMV helpful and courteous, even though they face a constant flood of visitors, some of them not so courteous themselves. City Hall here treats me well when I renew my business license and such. I grant you toll both attendants aren’t bright and chipper, but who the Hell would be at that job. It is one thing that should be automated, IMHO.

Absolutely, if you want to talk about making government more efficient, if you want to discuss what it rightly should do and what might be better handled by private enterprise, I can talk all day about that. I just balk at extreme statements that suggest we’d be much better off if only we had a government more like Somalia does. Until I see complete anarchy work somewhere, I’m not ready to deconstruct our government lock, stock and barrel.

MeinTeil's avatar

In case you havent been observing developments since I posted last:

Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes Lower taxes.

ETpro's avatar

@MeinTeil Same answer as last time. Look how wonderfully no taxes have worked for Somalia.

By the way, we don’t need to look to foreign shores. Since Reagan cut the top tax rate 60%, the only period of sustained prosperity we have had was when Bill Clinton came to office and raised taxes.

Under Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, lower taxes over and over produced soaring National Debt, stagnant job growth over the long hall, and a rapid shift of America’s wealth to the top 1%. We have been lowering taxes for 30 years. Where are the jobs? When is this medicine finally supposed to kick in?

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