Saturday, June 16, 2012

We Need a Free and Open Economy

I use facebook almost exclusively for political conversation.  The other day a conservative fb friend of mine linked the following picture:

Here was my comment:
Which is why we need to be much more concerned with unemployment than with debt/inflation - knowing that there is some overlap of these issues, but not a perfect overlap.
This coincides with and is inspired by a lot of commentary out there that unemployment should be our top priority.  This resonates with me because of my Dad's perpetual unemployment (and underemployment) problems has been a dibilitation that he passed on to me.  Not that I have had my own direct problems with this, but the fear of it has definitely kept me from taking bigger career risks (or any career risk) and has limited from really putting myself out there for far too long.

I'll spare you his response to my comment, but let me give you my out of context follow up to his response:
The overall economy consists of overall buying/selling, consuming/producing. It doesn't matter whose doing it. We're all people afterall whether our paycheck is coming from a gov't entity or a private company, work is work.

You can make the argument that accumulating a bunch of debt forces us to pay interest on that debt, which is why I think there is some overlap between jobs & debt, just not a perfect overlap.

And certainly, if gov't stopped borrowing completely, a bunch of people get laid off in the short term - and there's simply not enough jobs in the private sector, again in the short term, to absorb that.

So, if your priority is debt, you are willing to live with higher unemployment. If your priority is jobs, you are still concerned about debt as it relates to jobs, but you may be more willing to borrow in the short term. Similar to if say, I lose my job, I'm willing to borrow to put food on the table until I can bridge the gap until I find my next job. Food is higher priority for me than debt.

So, Reagan's point, a job is the best social program is something I 100% agree with, which is one reason I think unemployment has more urgency than our debt in the short run.
This is the part of my comment I want to highlight:
 And certainly, if gov't stopped borrowing completely, a bunch of people get laid off in the short term - and there's simply not enough jobs in the private sector, again in the short term, to absorb that.
Ok, this argument makes sense, but then Obama went ahead and issued an executive order to allow young illegal immigrants to stay in the US without fear of deportation.

In his press conference, he gets heckled by some conservative hack complaining that allowing these immigrants legal access to our economy would affect jobs at a time when there are none.  He basically makes the exact same argument as mine, but in this context my impulse is to disagree.

AAAARGGG, a contradiction inspired by my allegiance to team Democrat.  So, what do I do with this insight.  Do I shift on immigration or on government size?  Well, sorry, given those alternatives, I will never shift on immigration.  All things being equal, I want more freedom, less government and less restriction.  I would rather error on the side of the people.

What am I getting at exactly?  Well, even in times of high unemployment, we need to find ways to cut the waste of the government and allow local communities and neighborhoods find ways to solve their problems.  I think there are some problems that demand federal, state, and local government involvement, but where private and non-profit institutions step in, the government should step away.

Laying off people in government jobs that are providing marginal benefit to society can only help our economy, forcing, allowing that person to find a way to make a more positive contribution to the economy elsewhere.  There's not such a thing as too many people.  Our economy is big enough, diverse enough, and vibrant enough to absorb influxes of new people.

I strongly support the Dream Act, and I cannot relate to people who don't.

1 comment:

H said...

I guess I'm a little late in being excited about this move by President Obama, but I am. The Dream Act is "the right thing to do". Has congress and/or Mitt Romney responded to this? Sorry to be so out of the loop.

I personally know of someone that is probably breathing a sigh of relief.

I also have neighbors that are going back to Norway for 2 months while the US decides if they want to renew their visas. He can't sponsor himself on a work visa because he owns a company here...a company that employees US citizens, I imagine.