An Uncertain America

Over the last seven years, if you had to come up with just one word to sum up the American mood, it would be the word uncertain. From workers to business owners to those unemployed and searching for work, uncertainty is the prevailing sentiment throughout our republic. That mood puts a wet blanket on our sputtering economy and it isn't likely to change soon. So what exactly makes most people uncertain about the current situation we find ourselves in?

First of all, the economy isn't booming and hasn't really recovered from the recession of 2008. The GDP numbers over the last four quarters, show a downward trend from a 3.9% annual growth rate the second quarter of 2015 to just a .5% annual growth rate the first quarter of 2016. Consumers feel this uncertainty and aren't spending money on big-ticket items, thus pinching their pennies and saving money in case of economic hardships. More people are living paycheck to paycheck these days, as food, healthcare, and energy prices have risen, to take more and more of their disposable income. They tend to also be more uncertain about their jobs and how stable they will continue to be as the world economy and unrest in Europe and the Middle East continue to become growing issues.

Secondly, businesses are uncertain about the current situation as well. With increasing government restrictions and new taxes, they find it harder to grow and develop a business plan that has any consistency. Businesses, much like baseball players, like a consistent umpire calling balls and strikes. Unfortunately, the government regulations have been all over the board and the looming spectre of more and more executive orders just keeps these businesses in a state of anxiety and uncertainty. Then add in the cities and states passing $15 per hour minimum wage laws, and you can understand why it is becoming harder to grow a business. They have to either lay off employees or raise prices on the consumer to try and make a profit because the government regulations smother them.

Thirdly, it is an election year, and the uncertainty of who will be the next President of the United States adds fuel to the fire. Between elections for Congress and President, this is a pivotal year in determining whether or not this uncertainty will eventually wane. If Hillary Clinton wins in November, it will likely be much of the same and a continuation of more government control over businesses and individuals. If Congress turns more liberal and favors the Democrat Party, they would no doubt rubber stamp anything Mrs. Clinton wants. So what exactly could end this uncertainty?

Well, it would have a chance of waning if Hillary Clinton is defeated in November. If corporate taxes were reduced to zero and individual income taxes were cut to a flat rate of 10% across the board, no matter what your level of income is. That would spur the economy and put more money in the pockets of the American people, thus leading to increased spending on big-ticket items and a more positive outlook on life. If government regulations were cut back on businesses, that also would be a serious measure that would help drive away uncertainty.  Those actions alone would be a great start.

The next several months will be extremely critical and will tell us whether or not we can finally escape this uncertain America in which we live.  It will be up to the American voters to ultimately decide our course. This November is truly a decisive marking point as to whether we become a confident and strong America again or whether we have a lost decade of uncertainty.


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