I generally attempt to remain, if non-partisan, at least partisan-fair. I personally think that many Democratic policies have contributed to the economic distress that has overtaken the American monetary landscape. So too have many of the Republican policies. Both political parties have made grievous errors in policy administration and the overuse of incentivizing or de-incentivizing perceived desires from everything from encouraging consumer spending by offering tax incentives for credit card debt to college tuition credits to increase college attendance for the sake of votes.Truthfully, for all of the good that those types of programs may encourage, they generally have the opposite long-term effect. Without going into long and boring examples, I will simply say that they have rarely had a lasting effect on the economic enhancement for the majority of the country.
Uppermost in this realm of politically motivated economic mythology is the Republican mantra of “overregulation” kills jobs. Just as “Video”, in fact, did NOT kill the radio star, and without casting aspersions on the anthropologic acuity of The Buggles, a 1980 one-hit wonder band, neither is there verifiable evidence that overregulation is the jobs-killing monster that the conservative wing of politics would have us believe.
Despite the proclamations of conservative stalwarts such as Texas Governor Rick Perry or House Speaker John Boehner, and in some instances, even President Barack Obama, according to the World Bank’s October release that ranks countries based upon the “ease of doing business”, the U.S. was ranked 4th out of 183 countries. The ranking takes into account tax rates, complexity of business regulations, and average length of time that it takes to start a business regardless of success rate. The 4th place ranking for the U.S. was unchanged from the previous ranking.
Moreover, a number of lower-ranked countries, including China, Brazil, and South Africa, have had much more rapidly growing economies than has the U.S. for the past 7 years. Outside of the U.S., the consensus is that regulation may kill some jobs, but it also creates others.
Additionally, those jobs created appear to be more stable due to the consistency across all business categories and the perception that corruption, whether among competitors for consumers or availability of investment capital, is less of a threat.Neil Gregory, a deputy director for indicators at the World Bank, says regulations kill some jobs but create others. He says rules that promote small-business lending are essential and provides impetus for the view that upward mobility is not only available, but common.
Americans have always cared much more about being able to move up the socioeconomic ladder than where we currently stand on it–the reasoning being that “we may be poor today, but as long as there’s merely a chance that we can be more well off tomorrow, we’ll take it.
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests that have spread across the nation seem to me to be the personification of the end of belief that the young-upwardly-mobile professionals or young urban professional–depending on whether your definition is based in the first half or second half of the 1980s–is as outmoded as the VHS.
To the contrary, the combined student-loan debt in the U.S. is now greater than consumer debt, and could very well be the next bubble to burst, which would send the U.S. into a double-dip recession at as quickly as any other economic boogey man on the near horizon.
Inequality in the U.S., always high compared with that in other developed countries, is rising. The 1% decried by OWS takes home 21% of the country’s income and accounts for 35% of its wealth. Wages, which have stagnated in real terms since the 1970s, have been falling for much of the past year, in part because of pervasively high unemployment. For the first time in 20 years, the percentage of the population employed in the U.S. is lower than in the U.K., Germany or the Netherlands.
New reports from groups such as Brookings, Pew and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that it’s easier to climb the socioeconomic ladder in many parts of Europe than it is in the U.S. It’s hard to imagine a bigger hit to the American Dream than that. According to Pew, “The simple truth is that we have a belief system about ourselves that no longer aligns with the facts.”
Given the above, it strains credulity that regulations that have been in effect for the better part of a year are the true cause of the economic dilemma that has been a generation in the making.