October 24, 2016

Invest in America

By Glenn

It’s not a secret that America’s economy is changing rapidly. In the 1950s, our products were sold on the world market with little or no competition. Today, Europe and Asia have vibrant industrial and technological businesses that rival our own. Hillary Clinton wants to invest in America, building industries and services that will be the envy of the world. Donald Trump wants lower American wages and benefits to foster competition.

We have learned a few things from America’s history. All of us are better off when we invest in world class roads, electrical grids and schools. These are services that the private sector can’t provide at an affordable price. In the years following World War Two, the United States led the world in public investments. Businesses could easily ship their products, power their factories and hire educated workers. Public investment raised our standard of living.

We need public investments more than ever. Individual companies can’t afford to pay tolls on roads, upgrade power lines or train their workers. Small businesses never had these costs in the past, but as conservative governments cut back, they shifted the cost to the private sector. More often than not, large companies negotiate special deals to avoid these costs, leaving the small businesses to pick up the bill.

Public investments also directly create well-paying jobs. Roads and bridges require skilled labor. Electrical and communication technology require skilled labor. Schools and universities require skilled labor. Skilled labor can demand higher pay, creating an incentive for workers to improve themselves and lift America even higher.

Donald Trump and the Republican Congress, on the other hand, have a different set of priorities. During a Republican primary debate, Trump said “Wages are too high.” He argues that American businesses can’t compete with cheap foreign labor. His only solution is to stagnant wages until American wages are low enough to bring jobs home.

The Congressional GOP “jobs plan” also contains similar language. Republicans in Congress explained that teachers, police, firefights and public service office workers drive up private sector wages. They used fancy language to cover up their goal: “Decreasing the number and compensation of government workers. A smaller government workforce increases the available supply of educated, skilled workers for private firms, thus lowering labor costs.”

What is a “supply of workers”? The unemployed teachers, police, firefights and other public service office workers. What are “lower labor costs”? Lower wages. Lower health and retirement benefits. Overall, conservative politicians promise a lower quality of life. These goals, when combined with Donald’s, present huge risks for American workers and businesses. Well-paid workers were the key to the post-war boom. Low paid workers would be America’s down fall.

Instead of Donald’s plan to drop us down, Secretary Clinton wants to lift American workers up. Up requires leading the world in technology and innovation. Where would we be without public investments in medicine, energy, electronics and space? How many of the private business opportunities exist today because our parents and grandparents sacrificed and invested tax dollars yesterday? From the Polio vaccine that protects infant lives to the cell phone in your pocket, government spending has improved the quality of so much around us.

Where is our future? Down or up? Secretary Clinton says up. She has learned from the past: “America is great because it is good.” It is good to invest in well-paying jobs today to build a brighter tomorrow. Secretary Clinton offers leadership for tomorrow.

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