Politics Magazine

Jeb Bush Is Out Of Touch With American Workers

Posted on the 13 July 2015 by Jobsanger
Jeb Bush Is Out Of Touch With American Workers (This caricature of Jeb Bush is by DonkeyHotey.)
My aspiration for the country—and I believe we can achieve it—is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive; workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That's the only way we're going to get out of this rut that we're in.
Those are the words of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. I can understand why he would like to believe that -- because he father continued Reagan's "trickle-down" economic theory, and his brother doubled down on that theory. He would have to admit they were wrong, and he's not about to do that -- not to mention the fact that he still supports that failed policy himself.
But the truth doesn't support him. As the charts below (from Mother Jones) shows, Americans are already working more hours than ever. And yet their wages remain depressed, too many people are still out of work, jobs continue to be off-shored to other countries (where workers can be abused), and productivity is not being shared with workers. Continuing the Reagan and Bush-family economic policy would just put workers in an even worse position and benefit only the rich -- making the income gap even worse (and it's already worse than the gap was before the Great Depression).
Bush is right about one thing though. The economy is sluggish and in a rut. He just has no clue on how to fix it. There is a much better way to stimulate the economy -- creating more jobs and good profits for businesses. And here's a few things we could do to accomplish that:
1. Raise the minimum wage to a livable level (and tie it to the rate of inflation).
2. Strengthen labor unions, so they can bargain more effectively for workers (getting them a fair share of rising productivity).
3. Stop giving tax breaks to companies that off-shore American jobs.
These measures would put more money in the hands of workers, and stimulate the economy when that money is spent -- which would increase business profits and spur job creation by increasing the demand for goods/services.
This is not rocket-science, but sadly, it does seem to be beyond the capabilities of Bush and all the other GOP candidates. They can only see ways to make the rich much richer -- still convinced that someday the rich will share all that money with everyone else. How much failure will they have to experience before they realize the truth?
Jeb Bush Is Out Of Touch With American Workers
Jeb Bush Is Out Of Touch With American Workers

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