Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Irrelevant Economic Issues

Does it matter if a presidential candidate has a Swiss bank account? Will that impact economic growth for good or evil? Will raising tax rates on millionaires, which will mainly lower tax revenues (because income will simply be shifted or accrued), improve the economy or help the unemployed or reduce national debt? The answer to all of these questions is "no."

The real issues in the American economy are economic stagnation, exploding levels of state, local and federal debt, and the absence of public or private savings. These are the issues that matter. Assuming that a candidate has nothing to say about any of these issues, it only stands to reason that the candidate will begin to talk about other things like "tax fairness," "carbon footprints," "public investments," and so forth.

The interesting question is whether the public is interested in the real issues or the irrelevant issues. European countries have focused on irrelevant issues for the past three generations and now they are paying the price. Which direction will the US choose?