Letter: Economics should not be a partisan issue
Ryan Summerlin April 8, 2014
To the Editor:
A long lifetime of being a political observer taught me that most voters are woefully ignorant of the principles of economics, as I was most of that time. It is lamentable that it isn’t required in high school, because economics is the very foundation of America. Economics should not be a partisan issue, but ignorance of it creates most political division. A recent example is the mention that local Democrats favor increasing the minimum wage under the assumption that it would be good for most wage earners. Regrettably, the real effect of a higher minimum wage will be to make everyone poorer in the long-term. Raising minimum wage costs employers more money. That will have one or more consequences: it will raise prices, reduce employee’s hours to part-time, cause a reduction in staff, or put the company out of business. If it were a good thing, why not just raise minimum wage to $500 an hour and make everyone wealthy?
There are two “schools” of economic principles: the Keynesian school (named for its founder, John Maynard Keynes, a British Fabian Socialist) and the “Austrian” school, (named for several Austrian economists who founded it). Most national governments follow Keynes, and most countries are experiencing economic instability or failure because of it. Keynesian economics suffers from several fatal flaws in logic. “Austrian” economics was practiced in this country until about 1900, and was the system that made America the most prosperous in the world. Our economy is now unstable because our government switched to Keynesian economics a hundred years ago.
I urge my friends and neighbors to educate themselves about economics, as I did 10 years ago. If you do, I believe you will experience what happened to me. You will have an epiphany, and you will no longer want to be either a Democrat or a Republican. You will change your voter registration to Unaffiliated and vote on economic principles, not politics. After all, “Money makes the world go around, the world go ‘round, the world go ‘round…” – Cabaret.