With unemployment at historic highs, society is turning to the government to help create jobs. However, the parties have very different views on how to approach this problem and just what the government’s role in job creation should be. Republican views on jobs focus around helping small businesses and promoting international competition. This will in turn feed economic growth and create new jobs. Republicans also believe in employee stock ownership and the improvement of reemployment and retraining programs throughout the country. They believe that bailouts and government-built subsidies are not the answer to properly growing the economy. They do help produce jobs, but on a temporary basis and not permanently or sustainably. Instead, they propose free market policies that can create sustainable economic growth and sustainable job market expansion. The largest fundamental belief of the Republican party when it comes to jobs is that less governmental regulation will help foster lower unemployment rates. The government needs to stop interfering and instead give the public the resources it needs to feed its own economy and therefore create more jobs.
Republicans on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Small businesses create a majority of Americans jobs, patents, and U.S. exporters. Republicans believe that this means fostering small businesses is one of the best ways to improve the job market. While Democratic administrations implement regulatory, contracting, and capital barriers that often impede the success of small businesses, Republicans would rather provide them with reformed tax codes that would allow them to grow and create more jobs. They also believe in encouraging investment in small business, and seek to “create an environment where adequate financing and credit are available to spur manufacturing and expansion.”
Minimum Wage and Jobs
A debate regarding the raising of minimum wage has been raging for years. One of the biggest arguments that the Democratic Party is making for the minimum wage increase is that it will create jobs. They have estimated that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would create $22 billion in new economic activity, translating to 85,000 new full-time jobs. They argue that these jobs are created when minimum wage workers have more money to spend on goods. This causes consumer demand to increase, and employers therefore need more employees to keep up with this higher demand. However, a study published in the Review of Economics and Statistics in November of 2010 found “no detectable employment losses from the kind of minimum wage increases we have seen in the United States.” Another published in 2011 “found no impact on hours worked or employment levels.” Again, all of these studies are done based on small increases of the minimum wage. They show that small minimum wage increases did not decrease unemployment. Therefore, we have no proof that a larger one will.
Republicans and Global Competition
In order to expand and create a larger job market, American businesses need to be able to expand beyond their borders. In order to do this, Republicans believe that we need to find a tax solution. American businesses currently face the world’s highest corporate tax rate. This is part of what contributes to the drive for corporations to outsource. It also “ lessens investment, cripples job creation, lowers U.S. wages, and fosters the avoidance of tax liability-without actually increasing tax revenues.” A reduction in corporate tax would increase competition internally within U.S. competitions and allow corporations to compete better internationally. Republicans would like to implement a permanent research and development tax credit, and a repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax. Republicans also support “the recommendation of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, as well as the current President’s Export Council, to switch to a territorial system of corporate taxation, so that profits earned and taxed abroad may be repatriated for job-creating investment here at home without additional penalty.”
Every $1 billion in additional U.S. exports means another 5,000 jobs here at home, making the ability to compete in the global market crucial to reducing unemployment. This statement is supported by the fact that “The Free Trade Agreements negotiated with friendly democracies since President Reagan’s trailblazing pact with Israel in 1985 facilitated the creation of nearly ten million jobs supported by our exports.” For this reason, Republicans fully support economic policies that will improve American ability to compete in an international market. In some cases, this includes creating a world where America can walk away from exports. For example, China has often manipulated currencies to our disadvantage and piggybacked off of western technological advances. Rather than conceding defeat in these situations, Republicans believe that we should fight back. They believe that we should “insist on full parity in trade with China and stand ready to impose countervailing duties if China fails to amend its currency policies. Commercial discrimination will be met in kind. Counterfeit goods will be aggressively kept out of the country. Victimized private firms will be encouraged to raise claims in both U.S. courts and at the World Trade Organization. Punitive measures will be imposed on foreign firms that misappropriate American technology and intellectual property. Until China abides by the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement, the United States government will end procurement of Chinese goods and services.” These practices would create a level playing field, allowing the U.S. to better compete globally and therefore expand the job market.
Workforce Training and the Job Market
One of the most important things to correcting the job market is creating a highly trained workforce. The current 47 retraining programs at a total cost of $18 billion annually that the federal government runs are showing results far below what their attendees and the taxpayers that fund them want and need. To remedy this issue, Republicans propose consolidating these programs into State block grants, which would allow training to be coordinated with local schools and employers. They would also like to see states establish “Personal Reemployment Accounts, letting trainees direct resources in ways that will steer them toward long-term employment, especially through on-the-job training with participating employers.”
Republicans support embracing immigrants that can positively contribute to the workforce and help expand the economy. They believe this can be achieved “by a policy of strategic immigration, granting more work visas to holders of advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math from other nations.” These immigrants can help the U.S. develop new markets and products, further healing the economy and easing unemployment numbers. Furthermore, Republicans would like to see foreign students that graduate from American universities with degrees in science, technology, engineering or math encouraged to remain in the country.
Republicans strongly support employee stock ownership. They believe that “employee stock ownership plans create capitalists and expand the ownership of private property and are therefore the essence of a high-performing free enterprise economy, which creates opportunity for those who work and honors those values that have made our nation so strong.” Today’s workforce needs more flexibility than ever before, and is happy when “allowed to innovate and rethink the status quo.” Employee ownership is the perfect way to foster these differences between the up and coming generation and those before it. Republicans feel that Democrats are “clinging to antiquated notions of confrontation and concentrating power in the Washington offices of union elites,” and that they need to embrace employee ownership in order to properly serve the workforce that will soon dominate the working population.
- Restoring the American Dream: Economy & Jobs – The GOP
- House Republicans Unanimously Vote Down Minimum Wage Increase – The Huffington Post
- Republican Views on the Minimum Wage
- Minimum Wage Increases: Good For Employees, But Detrimental To Employers
- Fix the Economy: A Cause Republicans Can Stand Together On
- Republican Views On Unemployment
- Democratic Views on Jobs
- Democratic Views on Small Business
- Democratic Views on Poverty
- Democratic Views On Minimum Wage
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