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Restructuring the Economy: Task for Next President

by Dan Richards, published

Our next president will need to focus on restructuring the economy. Costs must be reduced and the decline in incomes for average Americans must be reversed. The first thing you do when you restructure entities is look for what is weak and costly and then replace or remove it, be it people or programs. This is what Congress and our next president will need to do to rebuild this country. But hyper-partisan politics must end before this happens. This is where independent voters can make a real difference.

Another major problem is the drop in net worth and incomes for most families, even as inflation is increasing.

Median net worth declined from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010, a Fed survey of family finances found.

We need to turn this around. Reducing taxes for big businesses and families isn’t the whole answer. Giving tax breaks to small and medium businesses would be more effective. Why?  These businesses create more activity than large businesses. They will stimulate and build the economy by hiring, upgrading, and expanding.

The share of total assets of all families attributable to unrealized capital gains from real estate, businesses, stocks, or mutual funds fell 11.6 percentage points to 24.5 percent in 2010.

Somehow we need to restructure the economy so that everyone continues to benefit from it rather than fall behind.  Perhaps we could give tax breaks to businesses that bring return 50% or more of their outsourced labor.

Many Americans were also slammed by shrinking incomes during that three-year period. The median income fell 7.7%, with middle-income families hit by the biggest declines.

Many have had drastic drops in income after the passage of the healthcare bill. My employer has laid off workers and cut hours for those remaining due to increased health care costs. This is increasingly common across America. There are less full time jobs, and more part time jobs, which is partly due to the 27-32% increase in health care costs for those businesses. I have read over 700 pages of the healthcare bill and predict medical costs will rise because of it.

The housing market's collapse was at the core of the recession, during which the economy contracted nearly 5.1 percent between the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, with the unemployment rate rising 4.5 percentage points to 9.5 percent.

While there has been some mild recovery in housing, it is mainly because builders have been dropping prices.

A mild recovery in the housing market was expected. The panel foresaw a rebound in real residential investment spending, growing at a 10.4 percent pace for 2012. However, housing prices were stabilizing at depressed levels. Another major risk to the U.S. economic outlook was with continuing fiscal challenges, because firms may not want to take on new hiring and spending commitments with major potential tax hikes and federal spending cuts looming.

Whoever takes is elected to the Office of the President next will need to work with and lead the Congress. The restructuring means hard choices will need to be made and it may be painful. But we can and must rebuild our country.

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