Work in the Real World First

I’ve always considered myself socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Or as another friend put it, nationally Democrat and locally Republican. Through this blog, I hope to reach people who identify themselves in this manner. It’s unfortunate that there are very few politicians that fit this mold. In my last post, I outlined my issues with the Republican Party. This post outlines my issues with the Democratic Party.

As a small business owner, I’m familiar with the many layers of regulations necessary to do business. Anyone who has spent any iota of time in the real world would not be proponents of adding complexity to the business of business. More often than not, Democratic candidates are career politicians while their Republican counterparts come from industry. Would love to see a requirement that before seeking office, every candidate must have spent time in the real world (and the military). I understand that there’s more to being a public servant than matters that concern the economy, but only by having spent time trying to turn 10 dollars into 20 can one grasp the challenges of business.

Let’s not perpetuate class warfare. I cringe every time I hear “the wealthy have to pay their fair share.” Really? Please define wealthy. If there is real concern about who is paying their fair share, then make it easy to determine everyone’s share. Eliminate deductions and pay a flat rate. Simple and clean. No more debate about who is not carrying their load. Added benefit: with no deductions, the tax code will no longer be used to pick winners and losers in the economy.

When it comes to the economy and the citizens of the United States, the federal government has one job to do. That is to level the playing field. Don’t stack the deck in favor of one industry (e.g. mortgage deductions favoring the construction business) or group of citizens (e.g. charitable deductions). I’m a free market individual and appreciate its ability to allocate resources effectively. However, for the market to do its job more efficiently, every individual must have an equal chance of participating. That’s our government’s role. As Arthur Okun sums up in the subtitle of his book Equality and Efficiency, it’s a big tradeoff but one that will have a lasting impact.


Jeffrey Hastie