Brian K. Stephenson
If governments were self sufficient, that is if they earned what they spent and only spent what they earned, meaning that they earned enough to cover all of their expenses with no cutbacks, then there would be no need for bonds, creating debt that gets out of hand. With that in mind, I feel that everyone's employee is someone's customer, if we pay our employees more, our customers have more to spend. This integrates into government budgets well since the tax base is the source of the majority of government revenue. Lets take our economy to start:
1) If the minimum wage were say increased to $15.00/hr or some livable wage, then we could provide ourselves with a "stimulus" instead of one coming from Uncle Sam. Think inflation would get out of hand? Deflation is actually worse, and once the $15.00/hr wage kicks in, I think inflation would be minimal.
2) Also, lets address Social Security, since ours needs an overhaul, and other European countries like Greece have theirs on steroids to a point where it's unsustainable. If the maximum FICA taxable income for Social Security were much higher, like matching the Presidents salary of $400,000/year, and the age where citizens are initially eligible to draw their SS income were raised to 70 with no early entitlements (401ks and other programs could cover folks who for whatever reason couldn't wait until 70) our retirement system would be both meaningful and permanently lasting.
3) Our trade deficit is another source of concern, where we have become unbalanced financially. If there were laws stating that 75% of all products sold in America were made in America, employment would definitely go up. Yes we have migrated (ascended) from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, but a lot of people have been left behind in that migration. To get America working again, there obviously needs to be more jobs at home; manufacturing of American products sold internationally can still be outsourced to other cheap labor countries.
The problems that we are seeing internationally and those that are being protested here at home with the Occupy movements can be addressed if we take these steps and other nations follow. Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal have some of the lowest wages in Europe; it is the taxpayer who finances a nations economy, if the taxpayer makes more, everybody wins.