Posted by: Ryan Schoenefeld | May 16, 2011

The State of the United States

The United States is currently experiencing the most devastating recession since the Great Depression. Both sides of the equation have suggestions for minimizing the overall economic catastrophe, but it only seems to generate disagreements on how to address the present economic, social and political landscape.US Economy

It shouldn’t matter how you classify your political orientation; we should all recognize the necessity to improve conditions and move forward as a collective country. The economic environment should be addressed with political cooperation and in tandem – with conservatives and liberals bringing forth suggestions and working towards common ground in a quick manner.

However, I obviously understand that liberals and conservatives generally disagree on how to stimulate the economy. The ‘Contract from America’ for example, urges the enactment of fundamental tax reform, which is more in line with conservative economic principles. They suggest adopting a fair single-rate tax system and support the permanent repeal of all tax increases, including those that correlate to income, capital gains and death taxes.

On the contrary, liberals usually oppose the fair-tax system and believe it cripples individuals that are on the low end of the socioeconomic spectrum. They consistently favor a tax system that requires the nation’s wealthiest individuals to contribute a larger sum of money, which frustrates conservatives and enables the political divide to linger.

President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 pointed out the supposed absurdity of offering tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Instead, he urged companies to keep jobs in the United States, which may help lower the unemployment rate and provide more opportunities for American citizens.

This even illustrates the difference between liberal and conservative ideology regarding business, because generally conservatives are in favor of businesses deciding how they would like to proceed, without influence from governmental actors. They even strive to incorporate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, which Obama pointed out in his 2004 speech in support of presidential nominee, John Kerry.

Moreover, people need to be aware of the variation between the liberal and conservative point of view, but not to the extent that it creates a hindrance on the political landscape. This can definitely be a disadvantage of only having two prominent political parties within such an opinionated country. The government seems to go through cycles where no progress is made and deliberation seems to remain omni-present. This also has a tendency to create line voters, who merely support candidates without conducting their own political research.

We need to strive to maintain an educated electorate that doesn’t merely support candidates based on the political orientation they subscribe to. This is especially important in exigent times, which demands action and not perpetual deliberation from our elected officials.

Challenging times call for more bi-partisan cooperation; the longer an economic resolution is delayed, the less likely it is to help unemployed Americans, which should be the collective goal — regardless of where you happen to fall on the political spectrum.

All in all, partisan politics can without a doubt prevent action in governmental affairs and public policy. It isn’t the politicians who suffer either; it is the citizens who are represented by the supposed individuals who are there to vote on our behalf.

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