What Steps Would We Need to Take in Order to Raise Our Economic Growth Rate
Economic growth, a very boring economic term, is actually very important to our future as a nation. Aside from the current world recession, other countries are far surpassing the United States’ economic growth rate. If this continues to happen, life as we know it will all but fade away.
There are various factors that impact our economic growth.
- Natural resources – Does the country grow anything that is of high demand?
- Human resources – Is the population literate, for example?
- Technological Advances – Medicine, Computers, Agriculture, etc
- Government Structure – Communism versus Capitalism
- Stability – Does the country suffer a military coup every month?
The Labor Market
The factor that shows the most promise, when improved, is the declining quality of labor (human resources). If I were in a position to run our economy, I would definitely focus on the country’s educational standards to raise our rate of economic growth.
Living in California has opened my eyes to the poor school system and its impact on the work force. Most high school graduates in California cannot pass an 8th grade English test or a 10th grade math test. They do not have the skills necessary to run a cash register at the local convenience store.
The repercussions of poor education will impact students throughout adulthood and the rest of the country for centuries. Poor education in a high-tech economy has set them up for minimum wage work their entire lives. Poor education has detrimental effects on our country’s economy: a decreased labor pool, less consumer spending, and also all the problems associated with poverty. Poor education will be a drain on our taxes unless we do something about it now.
If I were making decisions about our economy, I would start by focusing on the education that our children are receiving.
Michelle Obama says "Education is the only road to opportunity"
- Michelle Obama: Teachers Are Key to a Successful Economy - US News and World Report
Having good teachers in classrooms is critical because education is the only road to opportunity.
Our Tax Dollars
Unfortunately, that may never happen, because Americans seek immediate progress for their economic woes and investing in education only produces long-term gain. The recent attempts to bail the country out of our current recession show that even the government is focused on the short-term. Rather than improve education, the government chose to bailout the financial industry (to save the value of our dollar), bailout the auto making industry (to save current jobs), and bailout a couple government programs (to save face).
Well over a trillion dollars has been spent in the last 18 months to bailout various corporations and industries. Meanwhile, school budgets across the nation are being reduced and requirements for schools in the No Child Left Behind policy are becoming more rigorous every year.
Without an increase in the quality of the American labor pool, other industrialized nations around the world will continue to surpass our economic growth.