Vote For A New Plan – By Daniel Bradshaw

Published October 24, 2012

This letter appeared in the Farmville Herald on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.

Dear Editor,

“Next Tuesday, all of you will go to the polls, will stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the store than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the Country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you believe that we are as safe, as strong as we were four years ago? And if you answer all of those questions “yes,” why then I think your choice is very obvious as to who you will vote for. If you don’t agree, if you don’t think this course that we have been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I could suggest another choice that you have.” – Ronald Reagan during the last week before the 1980 Presidential election.

In 1980, Reagan challenged voters to ask themselves several specific questions about issues that are as prevalent today as they were 32 years ago. Though I would like to share my thoughts on many of these issues, the patience of those reading this would be exhausted long before I finished. So I limit myself to offering you some cold, hard facts on an issue that is prevalent on everyone’s mind: the millions unemployed.

When the September unemployment report came out, there was much acclamation that the President’s strategy really was working and he was coming through on his promises. Unfortunately, there is more to the story than 7.8%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 114,000 new jobs were created in September. Economist John Lott noted on Fox News that since the working age population grew by 206,000 in September, 138,000 new jobs would have been necessary just to keep pace with population growth. Essentially, that puts us 24,000 jobs behind right from the start.

But let us step back and look at the bigger picture. Since President Obama was sworn into office in January 2009, the working age population has increased by approximately 8.4 million. That would require 5.5 million new jobs just to keep up with the aforementioned population growth. According to an article in Forbes Magazine by Peter Ferrara, “A generous reading of the data is that during President Obama’s entire term in office, a grand total of only 787,000 jobs have been created overall on net.  The unemployment rate declined to 7.8% only because of a reported surprise September spurt of 873,000 jobs in the separate Household Survey of families across the nation.”

Returning to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, as of September, 12.1 million were still unemployed, another 8.6 million employed part-time but looking for full time employment, and another 2.5 million wanted work but had given up looking. This 2.5 million were not counted in the 7.8% report because they had stopped looking and were considered out of the work force, even though they still wanted a job. Total these numbers up and you get 23.2 million unemployed or 14.7% unemployment. Going back to economist John Lott, “Mid-wage occupations accounted for 60% of the jobs lost during the recession, but low-wage occupations accounted for 58% of hiring during the recovery.”

In closing, I firmly believe that President Obama has tried to increase the number of jobs in this country. However, I have a fundamental difference of opinion as to how to create those jobs. One of the things we need is lower tax rates on businesses and corporations so that they can expand and hire more workers, and create a more competitive business market to prevent more jobs being shipped to other countries. I am a small business owner and I know dozens of other business owners who will use any additional money they obtain by lower tax rates, to re-hire the workers that they had to lay off in the past four years. President Obama has had his opportunity to implement his ideas, and frankly, they just have not worked. It is time for a new plan, a new direction, laid out by someone who has turned around failing businesses and solved “unsolvable” financial messes. Four years from now I want to say “YES! We are better off than we were four years ago.” Don’t you?

Daniel Bradshaw

Prince Edward

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