Dewey Calhoun Brown
Aug 2, 2017

Business as Usual is Boring

6 comments

 

I understand why people don't like talking about business because

A) It's boring

B) It's confusing

or

C) Both A and B

So I'm going to try and make the Business and Finance Category of BTD reach its top potential! If you're curious about anything regarding business or finance, I encourage you to contact me and ask as many questions as possible. I'll be trying to make more discussion based posts here and broaden this website as much as possible while also informing people on certain fiscal issues and how those issues relate to many other factors of politics as well. In a sense, I’m trying to show the importance of this topic and how fun and engaging it can actually be!

I'll go ahead and give you a quick tip: It's good to have a least a foundation of knowledge on these things because it makes you seem smarter and you can pretend to know what you're talking about, haha.

So we can start here with a discussion topic:

What do you all think the government should do about our national debt? Should we withdraw funds from other existing expenditures, or raise taxes specifically for this? If so, where would we re-purpose funds from (Military, Medicare, Social Security, Drugs, Planned Parenthood, Education, Immigration, Climate Change, Welfare, Science, etc.) and how would we use those funds?

Rachna Shah
Aug 2, 2017

One way to reduce the national debt could be to raise the retirement age for the purposes of Social Security and Medicare, to either 67 or 70, as well as for state pensions in the UK, to prevent funds from soon being depleted. At the same time, however, the life expectancy are generally applicable only to high-wage earners/white-collar workers.

 

(Interesting read: http://www.heritage.org/social-security/commentary/pro-con-should-the-retirement-age-go)

Fatima Yousuf
Aug 4, 2017

Personally, I am a bit worried that too much taxation would prevent the economy from expanding, and would put more stress on middle-class people. I think that the government should first try to reduce wasteful spending as much as possible. For example, even though I have many issues with Trump administration, they recently have discovered approximately $300 billion in federal spending in programs that have expired, and have promised to cut back on them. Also, the Trump Administration has promised to cut back on funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, which I believe was a good move. The truth is, wasteful spending occurs all the time. Take pennies for example. The U.S loses an estimated $900 million from their budget producing pennies valued at a small fraction of the amount!

If we really want to balance the budget and be more fiscally responsible, I think a good first step is to reduce spending on programs that don't really require federal funding or are ultimately useless. I think that doing so would save the U.S billions and would allow us to redirect more funding towards programs that actually need it.

That said, I am still learning about how the U.S economy works, and there are certainly lots of viable ways to reduce the debt. I am very curious to hear what you think about this issue!

Dewey Calhoun Brown
Aug 6, 2017

America definitely needs to re-purpose some of its mandatory spending by heightening requirements and transferring funds if we really want to try and solve this growing national debt issue. Medicare is a great place to take from considering it accounts for 13.34% of our budget. The only problem with raising the retirement age is that the older people become, the more money we find allotting to them. People 62-69 years old are a whole lot less expensive than people +80. This can be used to our advantage because the government could expect people to go without their minuscule check without much resistance. Despite this, it would be a small and relatively insignificant amount of funds, but we have to start somewhere if we truly want to reach a responsible spending budget.

Dewey Calhoun Brown
Aug 6, 2017

And the entire purpose of making pennies is that it provides Americans with jobs. Do you all think the the government has a responsibility to create job opportunities for their citizens despite it being a burden on tax payers (i.e. having a local government collect and dispose of garbage when they could easily give that contract to a local business that would do the same job for cheaper)?

Fatima Yousuf
Aug 6, 2017

You said it yourself: creating pennies is a burden on tax-payers! Millions of tax dollars are put into creating pennies for the U.S, even though they are valued at much less than the cost. The U.S military has already stopped using pennies, and they have been left virtually unaffected by this change. As for American jobs, of course I want the job market to succeed! But why do we need to rely on something as inefficient as pennies to do so? It simply doesn't make cents (lol).

 

I am a firm believer in the free market, though that is a topic for another discussion. So, I don't think you necessarily need to hold on to burdensome industries such as the penny industry to allow the job market to flourish. I would love to talk more about how to create more jobs in America and how to allow smaller businesses to succeed, but the reality is that if a business/industry is offering a product that is no longer needed, then perhaps it is time to let go of this industry to make room for progress and other services.

 

As for your question about garbage, I think that it completely varies from city/state to city/state. For some areas, it may make more economic sense for them to let the local government collect garbage, while in others, it may make more sense to hire a local business. I think that that is a decision best left for the community itself to decide. For example, a low-income city may find it better to contract a local business to collect garbage, whereas a rich city may prefer to allow the government to do so, or even vice versa. It's all about what the community wants and letting them decide for themselves, since the situation varies from community to community.

Dewey Calhoun Brown
Aug 7, 2017

I appreciate a good pun, Fatima. Pretty clever.

And I absolutely agree. The government meddles into the free market and attempts to tell people that coal is a dead industry and that it would be easier and more beneficial to make burdensome taxes on it and kill it instead of letting it die on its own, because it will. Coal is definitely on a decline, but we are a capitalist society that allows the consumers to dictate the market instead of government. It's the democracy of economics--let the people choose. But then they keep old and inefficient means of making currency that no one uses. I couldn't tell you the last time I used a penny and it was probably to get some gum off my shoe and then I just threw it somewhere.

And I also agree with you on the garbage stance. Who knows best for a community than the people living in it. We make blanket policies that inhibit growth and prosperity because we generalize too often. We think that one policy fits all, but places are different based on the region, demographics, and other characteristics. I say when in doubt, leave it to the local.

What're your all's thoughts on breaking away from TPP, renegotiations of NAFTA, and other trade deals?

New Posts
  • asaperstein1
    Jun 2, 2018

    Group of Seven finance chiefs criticized the U.S., claiming its trade actions could devastate global economic confidence and threaten the effectiveness of the Western alliance. Do you agree? Will these tariff actions ultimately have such effects?
  • Emre Balcı
    May 5, 2018

    Especially, Japanese companies are facing a workforce automation problem. It’s not the kind you normally hear about, though — workers aren’t afraid they’ll lose their jobs to machines. Instead, the companies need to engineer robots to replace the droves of Japanese workers approaching retirement age. Right now, over a quarter of the Japanese population is over the age of 65, and that number is expected to jump to 40 percent over the next 40 years. That’s bad news for industries that will need to replace those retiring workers, especially for industries like construction for which automation hasn’t caught on as quickly.
  • asaperstein1
    May 5, 2018

    Another week of stellar earnings reports has gone by without any payoff in stocks. Even Friday’s rally, the biggest in almost a month, couldn’t turn the tide. Why do you guys think people aren't responding well to earnings growth? I personally don't trade on earnings. I usually rely on others to.