Presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush suggested in a live stream interview that the country could grow its economy if Americans were willing to work longer hours.
Bush said he thought the economy could expand by 4 percent but tempered his goal by saying a lot depended on whether or not Americans were willing to work for it.
Pressed to provide details on his statement, Bush backtracked by saying “incomes need to grow.”
When asked if he meant that people with two jobs had to work even harder Bush responded by saying: “Absolutely not. The simple fact is people are really struggling. So giving people a chance to work longer hours has got to be part of the answer. If not, you are going to see people lose hope. And that’s where we are today.”
That’s where we are today…
Bush’s comments rank as completely out of touch with both reality and economic reason. Additionally, Bush insinuates Americans are lazy.
First, you can’t base a government’s economic strategy for growth on “how hard people are willing to work”. Most of the American population works itself to the bone. But this notion of the government acting like the Wizard of Oz — controlling things by pulling levers behind the curtains — becomes more and more surreal by the day. If the government’s goal is to provide incentives that spur economic growth, it merely needs to remove itself from the marketplace in terms of regulation and cronyism.
Second, people ARE really struggling. Almost a third of the nation is either on unemployment or has dropped out of the workforce entirely. More than 70 million people are on food stamps. Most of the American public has lost hope. Job creators have lost hope. At this stage, people are just putting their heads down and hoping this overreaching corrupt government will somehow stop and we’ll magically return to a free market capitalist system.
With candidates of Bush’s mindset around, that’s a highly unlikely scenario.
If Bush really wanted to spur this economy, he’d be campaigning to stop illegal immigration because that will result in even fewer jobs for those already on the market in the addition to lower wages. Low-skilled and tradesmen stand to lose the most behind the influx of millions of illegals.
Obamacare serves as a crippling factor to small business owners and their employees. Health care regulations forced small companies to cut back employee hours from 40- to 30-hours per week. Many people lost their health benefits as a result. Small businesses add full-time employees because they want to keep their headcount under the mandatory Obamacare benefits threshold.
The early portion of Bush’s campaign requires re-thinking and polishing if he is to be considered a serious candidate and reformer. As it stands now, he’s merely campaigning on platitudes, ill-formed ideas and Democrat-light policies.