An article highlighting my views on economics in the U.S.
The Housing Bubble
I believe the housing bubble is attributed to people overvaluing houses and paying more than they are actually worth. The way people build houses is also important to note. More high end houses are being built and flooding the market but there are hardly any entry level houses being built. I personally think we can avoid housing bubbles by making housing more reasonably priced for working class people. If people didn’t have to worry about paying for an unreasonably priced mortgage they could have money to spend to get ahead and contribute to the economy with spending. This same principle applies to the higher education bubble. By making basic expenses more affordable and by taxing the rich we can generate consumer spending which helps the economy.
The current economic condition of the United States is caused by a multitude of factors. Including stagnant wages, income inequality, the rise in the cost of health care, houses, rent, and higher education. The current economic state could also be attributed to corporate greed. It is important to note that consumer spending drives 70% of the economy but recent studies have found middle class and poverty level consumers are collectively spending less than they have in previous years.
For the capitalist economic system to work there has to be a large and healthy middle class but CEO’s and the top 1% are in control of half the wealth in America; this brings me to corporate greed. The wealthy simply don’t generate enough consumer spending to drive the economy. Instead they choose to invest their wealth to make themselves wealthier, all while receiving tax breaks and convincing middle class and poverty level workers that a below living wage is acceptable and they’re not working hard enough to achieve success. If the rich paid their taxes it would generate enough wealth to significantly reduce the stress on the rest of Americans.
Since consumer spending is the driving force in the economy, it is my firm belief that if we raised wages to meet the rate of inflation and paid workers a living wage we could tremendously increase the economy. The success of the middle class and poverty level people is the success of the economy. If workers didn’t have to struggle to get by, or work multiple jobs just to pay their bills, they would better be able to contribute to the economy.
The cost of healthcare, housing, and higher education have significantly increased. Almost every American has these expenses, but are unable to afford them so they take out loans and get into debt to afford to live the lifestyle they have. I believe if these expenses were reduced and corporations that profited on healthcare and higher education were deprivitized they would be more affordable for workers and middle class citizens to obtain. This would reduce the national debt and allow people to live a more comfortable life by not having to worry about making it to their next paycheck.
Now, there is no clear one-step solution but what I believe would help is accountability. Corporate and personal responsibility and accountability for what we created should be the starting point to fix this problem. I want to be clear that I do not blame individuals for the system that they were born into. I offer this advice as food for thought. U.S. capitalism has put Americans in this predicament, but the responsibility of navigating it are placed on us as individuals.
As individuals, we should try living within our means, investing, educate ourselves and advocate for a better way that benefits all people not just the rich. This does not mean that individuals should hold all or any of the blame. Living within your means could be buying more affordable products and services and only buying for what you can pay for without going into debt. Investing is a good option but only if you invest what you can and do it smartly. Which takes me to educating yourself, by doing this you can expand your resources and find better options or solutions to problems you have.
Advocating for better systemic change is going to be the key that unlocks the box of prosperity for the U.S. It is vital to put people with the power to make systemic changes in a place where they can- via elections and canvasing. As a collective we, the people, need to evaluate the way we are currently using and spending our money and find better options. We need to think about who is profiting from the moves we make and in turn make better moves. We also have to stop spending money with corporations who don’t support our same values. It’s time for us to unite and stand up for what serves us and stand up against what doesn’t.