How to rig the economy in favor of America
In short, President-elect Trump’s not doing it right
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post was originally written on December 7, 2016, by me. This post has been republished to my new Medium publication, Rebuild America, because of the relevance to the subject matter that Rebuild America is about.
Long story short, the global economy is rigged against America, and it’s almost entirely the fault of politicians in both major political parties in this country. Manufacturers have used the weakening of trade protections in the United States since the Reagan era to move blue-collar American jobs to foreign countries, where workers are paid much less than they are here in the United States.
Republican President-elect Donald Trump won this year’s presidential election in no small part because some very liberal voters, who usually vote for Democrats, voted for Trump because he promised that he would bring manufacturing jobs back to America. However, when it comes to rebuilding the American economy, Trump isn’t doing it right at all. Trump’s economic agenda is largely political grandstanding every time there’s jobs created or saved in this country, as well as a ton of grandiose promises.
Here’s some of my own ideas (none of which would probably be seriously considered by the President-elect or a Republican-controlled Congress) about how to rig the economy in favor of America.
Get rid of the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration, and replace it with a national economic development bank
Currently, because of the existence of the Export-Import Bank, it’s a lot easier for businesses to get money from the federal government if they sell their goods outside of the United States instead of within the United States. That is one of the more obvious ways that the economy is rigged against America. North Dakota has a state-run bank that guarantees loans to businesses that operate within the state, and that would be an excellent economic development model for the entire country. A national economic development bank could supply loans, which they would have to pay back to the federal government, to manufacturers and other businesses, thus providing millions of new American jobs. A national economic development bank would effectively replace the Small Business Administration as well, since the SBA’s current functions pretty much entirely overlap with that of the functions that a national economic development bank would have.
Tax the corporate profits of companies that ship their jobs to foreign countries, not the goods made by them
Trump has called for a 35% tariff on imported goods made by companies that ship American manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. A better idea would be to enact a 35% corporate income surtax on companies that ship their jobs to foreign countries and then try to import foreign-made goods into the United States. If such companies move their corporate headquarters outside of the United States, then they should be forced to establish a U.S. subsidiary if they wish to continue operating in the United States, with the subsidiary subject to a 35% corporate income surtax.
Raise the minimum wage to at least $15/hour, and strengthen existing equal pay laws
While any increase in the minimum wage would be a step in the right direction, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour would lift millions of Americans out of poverty and allow many poor and working-class Americans to spend more money on goods and services, thus stimulating the economy. Additionally, while there are equal pay laws on the books in this country, there must be stronger laws to ensure that no employer is allowed to pay women less than men for the same exact work. That would result in millions of American women being able to spend more money on goods and services, thus stimulating the economy.
Expand Social Security, strengthen Medicare, and institute a public option health care system
While Republicans intend to take either a chisel or a sledgehammer to the social safety net, that would leave millions of Americans a lot worse off financially than they are now, probably leading to an economic recession caused by politicians in D.C.. Instead, expanding Social Security by removing the cap on taxable payroll income and using that to ensure long-term stability of the Social Security trust fund, allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and instituting a public option health care system for those not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, private health insurance, or other health insurance would lower health care costs and ensure that the social safety net provides for the welfare of those who can’t fully support themselves.
Reform the farm subsidiary system so that farmers get a fair price for their crops
Although I’ve never lived on a farm, I live in Illinois, a major corn-growing state. However, it’s not currently profitable to grow corn in the United States, because the current farm subsidy system is absolutely horrible at providing farmers with a fair price for their crops. The farm subsidy system should be reformed in such a manner so that it is designed to provide farmers a fair price for their crops, thus making it easier for family farmers to pass their farms off to the next generation of farmers.