Amer­ica’s record­set­ting econ­omy makes it boom time for work­ers

Calhoun Times - - OPINION &VOICES -

WASH­ING­TON — Work­ers have been bet­ter off al­most ev­ery year since Amer­ica started its slow climb out of the Great Re­ces­sion in 2009. But this year is dif­fer­ent. Things aren’t just a bit bet­ter — we’re set­ting records!

After years of slow wage growth, slow eco­nomic growth, stag­nant job cre­ation, and de­clin­ing busi­ness in­vest­ment, all of th­ese mea­sures are im­prov­ing — and fast.

We’re in the midst of the long­est- run­ning pe­riod of busi­nesses adding new jobs. More job open­ings are a sign of a healthy econ­omy, one in which em­ploy­ees have the up­per hand.

Be­cause of this, work­ers re­port the high­est job sat­is­fac­tion since 2005, and those who aren’t happy are vol­un­tar­ily leav­ing for bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties at the high­est rate ever recorded.

The sus­tained good eco­nomic news is due in no small part to last year’s tax cuts and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s elim­i­na­tion of un­nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions that were damp­en­ing growth.

The tax cuts are let­ting av­er­age Amer­i­can fam­i­lies keep about $3,000 more in their pock­et­books — money that they’re now spend­ing on back- to- school shop­ping, end- of- sum­mer va­ca­tions or other fam­ily pri­or­i­ties. Those fat­ter pay­checks are help­ing fuel con­sumer con­fi­dence, which reached an 18- year high in Au­gust.

And there are more pay­checks, too. Busi­nesses are tak­ing their tax cuts and turn­ing them into new jobs and new in­vest­ments, fur­ther fu­el­ing the strong econ­omy.

Many work­ers are ben­e­fit­ing twice from the tax cuts. First, by pay­ing less in taxes, and sec­ond from higher wages gen­er­ated by a faster- grow­ing econ­omy.

The Her­itage Foun­da­tion re­cently cal­cu­lated that over the next decade, the typ­i­cal Amer­i­can house­hold will reap an ad­di­tional $ 26,000 in take- home pay thanks to the cuts and the growth they fuel.

For a fam­ily of four, the 10- year ben­e­fits are al­most $45,000 — more than enough to buy a new car or put a down pay­ment on a house.

The eco­nomic growth has al­ready started to take off. Since tax re­form passed, over 1 mil­lion net new jobs have been cre­ated. Com­pa­nies are also us­ing their tax sav­ings to in­crease bonuses, wages, and char­i­ta­ble giv­ing.

Ev­i­dence of the eco­nomic re­bound can be found in vir­tu­ally ev­ery busi­ness dis­trict and across Main Street in Amer­ica.

Just look at the store­front win­dows. You’re bound to see more “help wanted” signs than you’ve seen in a long while. Busi­nesses are vig­or­ously look­ing for work­ers.

Un­em­ploy­ment is close to his­toric lows. For the first time, there are more jobs avail­able than peo­ple look­ing for them — even though a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple are re- en­ter­ing the job mar­ket after a poor econ­omy pushed them out years ago.

What’s most im­pres­sive is that the low­est­in­come work­ers are ben­e­fit­ing the most. Wage growth for work­ers in con­struc­tion, hos­pi­tal­ity, and re­tail have out­paced both in­fla­tion and wage growth in the rest of the econ­omy. In May, wage growth for rank-and­file, non­super­vi­sory work­ers posted its best an­nual gain since 2009, and it con­tin­ues to in­crease.

Be­cause wage growth for lower- wage work­ers has out­paced high-in­come earn­ers, in­come in­equal­ity has de­creased over the past three years.

As tax re­form con­tin­ues to pro­mote a strong econ­omy and un­nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions are rolled back, you can ex­pect this trend to con­tinue.

The fu­ture is not with­out un­cer­tainty, how­ever. Many of the tax cuts ex­pire after 2025, and Congress is un­will­ing to re­duce the growth rate of fed­eral spend­ing, which drives up our debt and threat­ens the pros­per­ity of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

To so­lid­ify this broad- based eco­nomic ex­pan­sion, Congress must make the tax cuts per­ma­nent and place mean­ing­ful lim­its on fed­eral bud­gets.

Amer­i­can work­ers are bet­ter off than they have been in al­most two decades. With the right pol­icy locked in, the fu­ture can be even brighter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.