I’ve been debating on writing this post now for some time. This post is going to be a lot of pondering, especially in potentially anecdotal evidence, some of which I’ve seen first hand. Please keep that in mind while you are reading this.
If you are reading this, you probably know that I am a high school teacher at an underprivileged school. I have a coworker, whom I have the highest amount of respect for, who is largely conservative. (Note: I hold this man in the highest regard as an educator, the way he interacts with his students, the passion he has for being a lifelong learner, and the passion he has for educating children is immense.) In his classroom, however, he has a t-shirt that states, “I built my business, not the government.” This is obviously a point of view held by many Republicans.
This is where I start to get into my point of this post. Is this point of view not extremely short-sighted? Is being Republican not potentially a symptom of somebody who is perhaps self-absorbed and cannot think about the bigger picture?
When I see that shirt, I have a lot of strong feelings come up. I ended up typing a word document that I am debating on printing out and hanging next to his t-shirt, which states:
But the Government did build…
- The roads that helps to transport your product and employees
- The schools that taught your employees basic education
- The infrastructure that helps your business have water and electricity
- The police station that houses the government paid police officers to keep your business and employees safe
- The fire station that houses the government paid firefighters to potentially keep your business safe from an emergency
- The post office and postal service that your business utilizes
- The regulations that keep the banks from enacting predatory practices that protect you when you were first starting up your business.
Just because the government didn’t have a direct hand in the creation of your business doesn’t mean that business owners do not greatly benefit from our government and the tax dollars they spend.
Is my colleague wrong to state that the government didn’t build his business? By the way, this colleague is also a business owner in the community. True, business owners are the ones who have the spark of entrepreneurship and ultimately make that dream a reality, but did they not receive some help along the way? To think that they could have the success they have, without the government, is an extremely short-sighted, self-absorbed point of view.
One of the main arguments I hear when people are defending things that Donald Trump says is, “Well he is just saying what people are thinking!” That statement is true, as well. Donald Trump states a lot of things that his base supporters think every single day. Are those statements, however, not the same short-sighted and self-absorbed thoughts from my colleague? Let’s break it down.
Let’s talk about The Wall. Donald Trump, and many of his base supporters, feel it is of utmost importance that we build a border wall with Mexico. The short-sighted theory of this is that it will stop the giant majority of illegal immigration. While it is true, and factual, that immigrants do illegally cross the border and/or the Rio Grand where there are not any roads, buildings, cities, etc., it is also not the only way illegal immigrants arrive here. Hell, the image in the heads of many Trump supporters of brown people sneaking across the border in the middle of the night isn’t even the main way people come here illegally. The unfortunate fact is that over two-thirds of people who come here illegally don’t sneak across the border. They actually come here legally, initially, with student visas, tourist visas, temporary work visas, etc. What ends up happening, is that they ultimately over-stay their visa. The short-sighted, self-absorbed view cannot explain how a border wall, costing billions of dollars, is going to solve the larger picture. Ultimately it turns into a question of, is it worth it? You’ll notice that I’m not even going to get into how a wall/fence won’t even be 100% effective, as there are such things as ladders, ropes, tunnels, etc.
I’ve not given two different examples of how being Republican might be a symptom of somebody who is either short-sighted and/or self-absorbed. What else is there?
Let’s talk about the economy and these great tax cuts we’ve been hearing about. We heard a lot of words that ultimately could be wrapped up by stating, “Tax cuts on businesses will create jobs!”
Is it true that businesses need money in order to pay employees, absolutely! Do giving businesses money via tax cuts, however, create more jobs? I disagree. Again, I see this as a very narrow and short-sighted, self-absorbed thought. What is it that ultimately drives the creation of jobs? Demand. Walmart getting 20 million dollars in extra revenue from tax cuts will not create any extra demand that Walmart doesn’t already have a workforce to handle. If a business gets 100 million dollars every month of profit from their product/service, with no gain or no loss, do they need to hire or fire more employees? If that business the next month gets 100 million dollars again, but also receives an extra 35 million dollars in tax savings, do they need to hire anymore employees to keep up with any extra demand? The answer simply is no.
Money to a corporation does not equal demand. If a business starts getting more money, but demand stays the same, then why do they need to hire anymore employees? They do not. If we’re going to fix the tax system, we need to build from the bottom up. Consumers having more money means that consumers have more spending power. This ultimately means consumers will purchase more goods and services, therefore create more demand. The government cannot change what a business pays it’s employees, except through a minimum wage requirement. A business getting more money does not mean that business will doll out more raises. We’ve been seeing business put up record profits, yet we hear nothing about employees receiving more. So again, the concept of tax breaks for the richest corporations (given by wealthy politicians who receive campaign donations from those very same corporations) is very short-sighted, narrow-minded, and self-absorbed. It doesn’t truly look at the roots of why jobs are created.
I’m slowly realizing just how long this post is becoming. I will continue this on soon, but for now I am going to wrap this up with calling it Part I. Please feel free to comment and give your thoughts and opinions. Feel free to share this, as well.
Take care and have a lovely day.