In the feedback to an article I read recently there was an interesting question posted. The poster wrote (and I paraphrase as I can no longer find the original post) "If anyone has answers to our economic problems please stand up".
Well allow me to stand up and present my solution and I can sum it up with two words... Less Government!
Now comes the long rambling explanation.
For starters let's look at it from a personal point of view. Mine like most middle class families pays a lot in taxes. We pay federal taxes, we pay various state taxes, tolls and fees and we pay local taxes. I just received my property tax bill and that alone was over $7,000 for the year. The federal government took even more then that from my family. And when you start adding up other taxes such as the meals taxes we pay each time we eat out, fees such as renewing my license, tolls and gas tax etc etc etc we're talking a good portion of what my wife and I make being taken from us.
I do get services in exchange for what I pay, I have a good police and fire department. My childrens' school is decent. I have a nice library with a friendly staff. The roads in my town and on the highways I travel are in decent shape. Federally we have a strong military to be proud of. With the exception of political campaign mailings disappearing and occasionally being sent late we have a good post office.
But if you break down the budgets of all the services and such that I use is it even close to the amount of money taken from me each and every day?
If the government cut back even 10% of everything they took from each and everyone of us that would be at least a couple thousand back in my pocket... and I'm not even the "rich" who get nailed in taxes.
Now think about it, if you had 1 or 2 thousand still in your paycheck what could you do with it? I know right away what I'd do. In fact I have a list of things around my house I'm looking to have done but just haven't been able to afford it. Each job such as having my pool relined or having my chimneys restored would involve my hiring someone to do that work.
In the case of bigger jobs like relining a pool, the person I hire would most likely need people working for them to complete the job. And just like that putting $2,000 or $3,000 back into my pocket just helped 3 or more people.
If the pool guy getting $2,000 or more per job gets 1 extra job a week and takes in $200 personally he or she has just seen a jump in pay of around $10,000 per year. What would they do with an extra $10,000? Perhaps buy a new car which would sure help the automotive industry's problems.
With more pool guys buying cars we'd see automotive plants needing to hire more workers instead of laying them off and with more people working and earning money they look for more ways to spend that money, perhaps hiring more pool guys and the cycle continues.
Instead tens of thousands of dollars are taken from me and my family each year. We look at our faded pool liner with a small rip in the corner and say to ourselves it isn't that bad, we can put a little duct tape over the rip and maybe get another year out of it. We look at our chimneys and think that fireplaces are a luxury. We don't need to have them done. We look at our cars (mine being over 10 years old with 228,000+ miles on it) and think we can get another year or two out of them with just a couple small repairs here and there. And jobs that need to be done that I might have hired someone for that I am capable of doing myself I do in fact do myself, thinks like changing my oil in my car or fixing a plumbing problem with a leaky pipe. It might take me longer and I may not like doing it but it saves me money in a time when I'm already allowed to keep far too little of what I earn.
As a result of my looking to save, the automotive workers find themselves making less money, such as the one mentioned in the telegraph article I wrote about last week. The plumber and the pool guy don't have as many jobs per year and end up making less. The automotive industry sells fewer and fewer cars and we see the problems we currently have with Chevy and Ford continue to grow.
Government now looks to take even more of my income now to fix the problems. They take more from me to give to the automotive manufacturers in hopes of helping their business. They take more from me to help the mechanic who can no longer afford his mortgage payments. They take more from me to extend the unemployment benefits of those who can no longer find jobs.
How long before they wake up and see this is nothing more then a self feeding problem?