The u.S. Needs to Focus on Jobs

The u.S. Needs to Focus on Jobs

The Fed is worried about inflation, but it's got it all wrong.


The Federal Reserve believes that the United States is currently at, or above full employment. What is full employment? The idea is that employment is as low as possible, without causing inflation, which could be a concern if, say, everyone had a job, and employers raised wages to compete with each other so fast that the rest of the economy couldn't keep up with the rising wages. So the Fed believes that the current rate of unemployment is below the rate of natural unemployment, which is more or less the rate at which a healthy economy allows people to quit their jobs to find better ones, and more efficiently allocate workers into better positions.

So a quick look at a few charts and the economy is looking very good.

In 2007 there were 121 million people employed, while in 2017 there were just under 126 million people employed.

Also in 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.6%, in 2017 it was 4.4%.

Looking at all this it would appear that the economy has more than recovered from the Great Recession, but there are some people who are more skeptical. Although both in and outside of the Fed, economists think the Fed is making the right call, "others think the Fed can afford to be patient and that the official rate of unemployment can fall even further before inflation concerns need to be addressed."

The main reason economists think it's too early to call whether or not we are at full employment? Wages. Namely, they aren't rising fast enough, in fact, they are hardly rising at all. Remember how I said early that the worry with full employment is that rising wages would cause rising inflation? Well, if wages aren't rising then there is no reason to believe that inflation will rise, nor is there any reason to think that employers are trying to compete with each other over job-seekers. Also worth noting, "job gains have failed to slow much, and you would expect them to in an economy at full employment."

It may be that wage growth has slowed because "many firms were unable to reduce wages during the recession, and they must now work off a stockpile of pent-up wage cuts." But if that is the case, is de-incentivizing business from borrowing money by raising interest rates a good idea? Wouldn't a smarter option to be to wait for business to catch their breath from the recession? And what would happen if the Fed overdid it a little bit? Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, and a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said, while referencing a Paul Krugman article, that 'we should act as if there's more slack than he thinks there is, because the "the costs of [Fed] tightening when the economy still has room to grow are much bigger than those of waiting and discovering that we've overshot a bit.'"

In conclusion, in a time where it is both true that our economy is doing well, and there is still room for improvement, the Fed pumping the breaks are only going to draw out, or worse yet stop an already slow recovery.

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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To Fix Taxes, We Have To Rethink 'Wealthy'

"Wealthy" doesn't mean the same for everyone.


When discussing taxes today, so many politicians are quick to rush to the adage "tax the rich." Bernie Sanders has called for the rich to be taxed higher to pay for Medicare for All. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for a 70% tax on the wealthy.

However, all of these proposals are missing a key thing: a true definition of rich.

When thinking about what counts as rich, it is important to distinguish between the "working wealthy" and the "investment wealthy."

The working wealthy are the people in society that get paid highly because they have a high skill set and provide an extremely valuable service that they deserve just compensation for. This class is made up of professionals like lawyers, doctors, and CEOs. In addition, the working wealthy are characterized by another crucial aspect: over a long term calculation of their earned income over time, they don't come out as prosperous as their annual incomes would seem to suggest. This is because this set of the wealthy has to plunge into student debt for degrees that take years to acquire. These jobs generally also require a huge amount of time invested in lower-paying positions, apprenticeships, and internships before the big-money starts coming in.

On the other hand, the investment wealthy is completely different. These are the people that merely sit back and manipulate money without truly contributing to anything in society. A vast majority of this class is born into money and they use investments into stocks and bonds as well as tax loopholes to generate their money without actually contributing much to society as a whole.

What makes the investment wealthy so different from the working wealthy is their ability to use manipulative techniques to avoid paying taxes. While the working wealthy are rich, they do not have AS many resources or connections to manipulate tax laws the way that the investment wealthy can. The investment wealthy has access to overseas banking accounts to wash money though. The investment wealthy can afford lawyers to comb over tax laws and find loopholes for ridiculous prices. This is tax evasion that the working wealthy simply does not have access to.

That is why it is so incredibly important to make sure that we distinguish between the two when discussing tax policy. When we use blanket statements like "tax the rich," we forget the real reasons that the investment wealthy are able to pay such low taxes now. Imposing a larger marginal tax rate will only give them more incentive to move around taxes while squeezing the working wealthy even more.

Because of this, in our taxation discourse, we need to focus first on making sure people pay their taxes, to begin with. Things like a tax of Wall Street speculation, capital gains taxes, a closing of loopholes, and a simplification of the tax code. These things will have a marked improvement in making sure that the investment wealthy actually pays the taxes we already expect of them now. If we stick to the same message, the only thing we will be changing is the rate that the uber-wealthy are avoiding.

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