Wednesday, January 20, 2021

How President Biden Can Turn the Economy Around With a Pen Stroke

 The American economy is driven by consumer spending. It is not driven as politicians tend to promote by the number of jobs or job growth when celebrating the rise of the stock market or the latest corporate tax cut and subsidy.  Instead, its driven by higher wages, low inflation, and people having what is called discretionary spending. That means money they have to spend on things after taking care of the necessities such as basic bills. Consumer spending then means more jobs are needed because more people are dining out, shopping, going to movies, traveling, etc.

So how do we raise consumer spending?  What can President Biden and any politician who actually means it when they say they want America to grow and have a strong economy? Or that sincerely any working Americans to have a good life and that shot at the brass ring?

Raise The Minimum Wage to $15/hour

President Biden ran on this, will he really fight hard for it or was it an empty promise? This will require Congress to pass it and since corporate donors dont want to raise wages and they own money politicians (in both parties) this will be a hard fight. They will say how raising wages will cost jobs, it will send companies overseas, its bad for unions and those making a higher wage already.  All this is a distraction and mostly not a real argument if you just stop to think about it. 

  • Is raising wages from the current $7.25/hour to $15 going to send companies overseas?  Well we already have many doing just that where they can get people to work for $1/day. Not a valid argument, the answer to keeping companies in America lies elsewhere, not forcing Americans to have low wages.
  • But I joined a union or went to college for better wages!  Why give these people more?  First, let me say that is a remarkably selfish attitude.  Its also counter productive because if the minimum goes up, those working more skilled or dangerous jobs can more easily get a raise themselves - it will be arising tide helping every worker.  Also businesses will be making and selling more stuff so can better afford wage increases.
  • What about the deficit? This is one of the stupidest arguments!  Raising wages will likely eventually result in higher govt salaries but it will likely take a year or more.  And with higher wages for most Americans we will pay more in taxes even at the same percentage rate. That lowers the deficit.
  • But I cant afford to pay that much to my workers!  Well if your workers have to get by on 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet you probably have a lousy business model. In reality, more people can afford to buy your stuff or services so your business gross income will increase.  We have seen this happen over and over again in states with higher wages.  People making twice the money they do now will be able to save and spend more, benefiting everyone.

Activate the Medicare Clause for the Duration of the Pandemic

This one President Biden can do right now, without Congress.  He wont though, unless Americans push him on it. Instead he seems to be aiming for afar more expensive COBRA subsidy.
Medicare is the most efficient health coverage in America, it pays the lowest administrative and marketing costs.  Private insurance spends a lot of money on advertising and administration, sometimes up to 50%! Thy do this because its cheaper to make complicated rules and hire people to slow down or block payments when you need it. That may be good business but its not good healthcare!  Americans pay twice the average for medical expenses as every other industrial country, in many cases we pay far more - especially for drug prices. This is because the current system is designed to charge consumers as much as possible while covering clams as little as possible and done n many ways, co-payments, premiums, deductibles, pharmacy rebates, back room deals with drug companies, out of network surprise costs, and of curse simply denying your claim as long as they can and hoping you die or give up so they don't have to pay.

Much of the problem is buried in your employee benefits so many people dont know how bad it is, especially if they dont get seriously sick. But all the money your employer spends on health care means lower wages for you.  Nothing is free after all!  COBRA is kind of an example of this, its employee health insurance without the company paying much into it.  Insurance companies love this because the money still ends in their pocket - they dont care who pays after all.

What can we do?
  • The AHCA had an emergency clause in it that allows the President to give everyone Medicare during a pandemic.  This means millions of unemployed workers can get health care. Even employed workers can save money by using it instead of dealing with their insurance company.
  • Will this cost taxpayers? You betcha!  I'm not going to lie to you like a typical politician or TV pundit. However what they fail to say to you is that by paying insurance companies through COBRA instead of directly paying your doctor is that the method President Biden just outlined will cost taxpayers far far more.  Doing nothing not only means more dead Americans but also costs the economy and taxpayers, lost work, lower taxes (cant pay taxes with no job right?), delays on vaccination, more time lost from work as people call in sick, on and on.
  • Remember every other major country does this better and cheaper than we do, all because politicians are getting paid to let YOU and your family get sick and die to benefit insurance and drug companies.  The media is just as guilty, they make a lot of money from advertising so wont call it out.
  • When this is allover we can go back to being ripped off, but right now we need this to more quickly get the economy turned around and save lives.  Who knows, you just might like single-payer instead of dealing with an insurance company!  Of course that is what certain people are terrified of.

Wear a Mask!

The final thing is not up to Congress or President Biden, but up to you.  Trump, Republicans, and conservative media all made wearing a mask a political issue.  Its not, its a moral one.  We should not need a law or regulation to force people to wear masks, people should wear them them as a symbol of patriotism and loyalty to America, or just because its the right and good thing to do.
Trump originally pushed this because he was afraid people would get scared and it would hurt the stock market.  He did not care how many people died, long as the economy was good.  Thing is if Americans all wore masks we would have cut the death toll at least in half and many people would still have their jobs.  We still would be struggling but not nearly as much. Dr. Fauchi lied and said wearing masks was not likely needed in order to prevent a run on them so health care workers would have enough. Not cool guy, not cool at all.

Mass are not comfortable, but if you refuse to wear a mask because your lazy or rather people die and lose jobs because you dont want to be mildly uncomfortable get out of the country because your not a loyal American!

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