BUT ARE WE JUST GIVING UP DREAMING BIG?
When I wrote my previous article two weeks ago on the eve of the “No New Jobs added in August” bad news, stocks had tanked along with crude oil, while gold and silver rallied, and all this followed by the usual “expert” analysis and counter-analysis from pundits on quantitative easing, tax cuts and tax credits needed to jump start the economy. So as a small business owner just trying to pay my bills on time and survive in the tough economic environment, I had jotted down some humble recommendations to the leading corporate and government key decision makers to figure out some long-term structural solutions for our labor force:
1. Adopt 15% Flat Income Tax: Our tax code is extremely complicated and uncertain that only accountants and lawyers love, so why not simplify it and make it consistent with no exemptions and loopholes that low income people as well as large corporations and wealthy people enjoy to avoid paying their “fair” share. KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid
2. Rationalize Payroll and Social Security Taxes: As President Obama just announced in the latest $440B stimulus package, politicians create temporary payroll tax cuts and other gimmicks that don’t solve long-term problems. I would take away the income cap on payroll and social security taxes, otherwise lower wage earners bear a higher proportional tax burden.
3. Stop emphasizing virtues of home ownership: Nothing wrong in renting, people! Housing market is strictly a function of supply and demand, so let the demand pickup with the uptick in employment and immigrants moving up the income curve. 2008-2009 homebuyer tax credits were just revenue accelerating mechanisms that boosted temporary home sales, but then shot the pipeline in the foot.
4. Create More Effective Job Banks: Currently there’s a serious mismatch between jobs advertised and job skills, so we need a public/private job bank where volunteers similar to retired SCORE Executives could pre-screen resumes for employers.
5. Provide jobs for Recent College Graduates, Veterans, Homeless People, Petty Thieves, and Unemployed: We all need to be productive and participating citizens, so we need local job training programs that could pay reasonable wages to all those disadvantaged or unemployed for more than 6 months in exchange for essential work such as disaster recovery, parks maintenance, street cleaning, neighborhood safety patrolling, coast guard volunteers, garbage pickup, infrastructure work, education tutoring etc. E.g. http://www.centralparknyc.org/, https://www.glwd.org/
6.Create manufacturing and design incubators: To rejuvenate U.S. economy, we’ll need to create many local manufacturing incubators that collaborate and share space, expertise, logistics, planning, warehousing and distribution. I was extremely fortunate to meet some people from NY Designs this week who may help me in manufacturing right here in NYC some children’s ottomans that I’ve designed.
I had requested additional ideas from readers, and I’m so thankful to them for sharing their thoughts:
7. Utilize Technology: “Technology needs to be at the forefront if somebody is even thinking about business.” – Anthony R
8. Cut Government Spending and Invest in Higher Education: ALL Budget items to be cut by 10-12% with a concomitant 10% reduction in all tax rates at every level, suspend ObamaCare, and make tuition to accredited higher education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math tax deductible – Gregory S.
9. Do Things Differently: “Sell overseas. There’re booming economies that love American products. Integrate business areas internationally, and bring foreigners to study, take education to other countries. There are so many areas where Americans excel” – Alicia H.
10. Become the product-culture innovators we once were: “Ultimately, design will play a much bigger role in getting the world to buy U.S goods. Smaller, “boutique” manufacturing outfits will be able to produce short-run products that are unique and valuable based on their forward-thinking design and short time to market. I believe that we can combine America’s love of social networking and small (emphasis on small) sized manufacturing to make things that the world once again envies.” – Joe P.
Conclusion: After every disaster, there’s renewal, hope and a chance for redemption. Who doesn’t like an underdog with a feel-good comeback story? I was especially thrilled with an article on CNBC yesterday that read “PIIGS Becoming IGS? Portugal, Ireland Look Better”
It further said “Portugal and Ireland, both previous holders of the “next to fail” badge in the euro zone, have slipped quietly from center stage…… Reasons: The Irish government is going to great lengths to protect its low corporate tax rate, seen as key to maintaining its relatively resilient exports particularly in the pharma sector; while Portugal’s internal demand is helping cushion the blow even though vulnerable to fiscal retrenchment. NEITHER STEALING NOR BEGGING IS AN OPTION, SO DO WHAT YOU MUST!!!