Reagan: Reaganomics and New Jobs Essay

Submitted By Ladymttatiger1
Words: 1145
Pages: 5

Reagan’s economic policies were, at best, misguided and short-sighted, and at worst, discriminatory, irresponsible, and ultimately detrimental to both the economy and the nation. Reagan implemented his supply-side (or, “trickle-down”) economic policies believing that they would restore a natural balance to the economy and allow the rich to create new jobs. What he failed to realize was that the majority of these jobs involved unskilled labor that was far cheaper overseas. This meant that the so-called “trickle-down” stopped at the top. The rich kept their tax cuts, while the middle class saw little to no improvement and the poor struggled to survive without the government aid they depended on. In a situation like this, it is easy for men such as Reagan to talk about the “dignity” of having even a low-paying job and surviving without government aid, but the reality is harshly different. For those who hadn’t been able to afford an education (and the future ranks who would lack an education due to the Reagan tax cuts’ impact on schools), a minimum-wage job was often the only work available – and Ehrenreich effectively proved through her study that it is nearly impossible to survive on minimum-wage, even with the government safety net that Reagan yanked away. Furthermore, by disadvantaging the poor, Reagan was also disadvantaging the minority groups who were disproportionally poorer than the rest of the country, such as people of color and women. It is true that the economy expanded under Reagan, but only the extremely wealthy saw any positive results. I cannot see this is a success. A president is responsible for the welfare of all American citizens, not just the rich few that he or she associates with. Furthermore, Reagan’s brutal cuts to social welfare were counteracted by his unnecessary increases in military spending. The numbers speak for themselves – during the Reagan administration, the poverty rate rose to 14%, and the national deficit skyrocketed to 200 billion dollars. As Mario Cuomo states in his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, Reagan’s economic legacy was “55,000 bankruptcies; two years of massive unemployment; 200,000 farmers and ranchers forced off the land; more homeless than at any time since the Great Depression in 1932; more hungry, in this world of enormous affluence, the United States of America, more hungry; more poor, most of them women.” And for what? Jobs shipped overseas, a return to the nuclear arms race, and some shiny new Porsches, yachts, and private islands.
The concept of Reaganomics appears very promising at first glance. Tax cuts would increase the savings of the common American, which would increase the amount of wealth invested in stocks. These investments would stimulate the economy and create new jobs. With so many options available to the work force, employers would have to compete in terms of wage and benefits in order to be attractive to potential employees. These increased wages would mean that people would have more money to give to the government.

With this plan come consequences. For one thing, Federal spending would have o be cut to a huge degree. This would create lower entitlement funds, reduce funding to mandates and erode the infrastructure of the country as money available for things like airports and roads dwindled.
The concept of Reaganomics was brilliant given the time-period we’re talking about. The economy was dropping like a stone and people’s trust in the government was waning. The tax cuts provided the boost the economy needed and then they were rescinded before the damage to our infrastructure was too severe. Unfortunately, implementing this plan for long periods of time would be tricky at best. My hope would be that, with the economy on the rise, growing industry would help to compensate for the under-funded entitlements, mandates and infrastructure. In addition, with more money running through the economy, private research and development…