Thursday, October 20, 2016

Promises, promises!? Too Good to be True?

Politicians are great at promising a wonderful future: more jobs, no deficit, no costly illnesses, etc. Usually when I hear fantastic prognostications, I have to double-check. (Please note that the root word of 'fantastic' is 'fantasy'.)

  • "If ____ is elected, Iran will take us over and we'll be living under Shari'a Law."
    • Last time I looked, we have a larger military than the next 10 countries combined, including China. There's no way Iran will overwhelm our military forces. Iran doesn't even make the top 15 list.
  • "If elected, I will create 25 million new jobs in the US" and "we'll restrict immigration"
    • This requires both parts since the number of currently unemployed in the US is 2 million (yes, 1/10 of the promised number of new jobs). Where are the people to fill those jobs going to come from? The economy needs to produce the goods and services either through its own workforce (which we don't have enough) or by adding to its workforce or importing more. The latter two options don't seem amenable to this candidate's followers, so I guess Grandpa and Grandma have to come out of retirement and we need to revoke Child Labor Laws so we have enough workers for this future booming economy.
  • "If elected, I will make sure women and men are paid the same for the same work"
    • This has great value but it's really hard to implement in real life. As a business owner, I've tried to look at studies that compare disparate jobs on criteria that weights certain factors, like working environment (oily/hot vs. air-conditioned office), physicality of work, contact/communication frequency inside/outside the company, etc. Pay differences for the same work also occur because of education, direct/related/indirect experience, performance, etc.
There are others like balancing the federal budget...without touching education, defense and social welfare (Social Security/Medicare--your Grandma and Grandpa again mostly). The federal government overspends by 16%. Defense and social welfare and interest (just 3 of the categories--and only defense is considered discretionary) on debt account for 80% of the budget. So we'd have to cut almost all of veterans' benefits (the next largest category), food and agriculture programs, education and transportation support in order to balance the budget. Almost all politicians say they will balance the budget and I want to ask loudly, "How?? Especially if you want to cut taxes.

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