My Plea to the US Government - Take an Economics Test!

Economics has right and wrong answers!
Make Politicians Learn Economics!
Enough of this nonsense! In economics, there ARE right answers.

For politicians, those we trust to make economic decisions, to completely and blatantly ignore basic economic principles is absolutely horrid.

In the last few political cycles, it has become painfully obvious that either a good half of our leaders don't care about the economic health of this country, or they are simply ignorant of  basic economic principles.

That's why I believe that every politician should take an economics test and the results should be made public! The answers and solutions should also be made public so that when those politicians support policy against those basic economic principles, the public can be made aware of it.

Here are some sample questions to help the politicians study. These are basic economic principles that I have learned from introductory courses in high school and college.

Q1: Do Price Floors or Price Ceilings cause economic benefit?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Whatever my constituency wants.
  4. Whatever my political party dictates to me.

A1: If you answered 3 or 4, then you are probably a politician. If you answered 1, you need to go study up on basic economic principles. Here is a graph showing why #2 is the correct answer. DWL stands for Dead Weight Loss, or the total amount of money that fails to be generated from the trade in question.
Graph of a Price Ceiling
What does this mean? Anytime a price ceiling or price floor is set, (including minimum wage) there is an obvious DWL that occurs due to a shortage of either supply or demand. This is a basic economic principle that is proven with; you guessed it, math!

Q2: Does the US operate off of a Progressive Tax System?

  1. Yes. The rich pay a much higher base percentage of income than the poor.
  2. No. Everyone pays an equal base percentage.
  3. No. The poor and middle class pay more than the rich.
  4. We are the 99%!
A2: If you answered 2 or 3, you're dead wrong. Here is the current base tax rate for income levels.
Note, those figures do not include deductibles. The poor do not pay any sort of significant taxes. The "We are the 99%" movement and the democrat party's assertion that the rich are not contributing enough is absolutely ridiculous. 

Nearly all taxes come from the upper middle class and rich. Additionally, the poor do not pay business taxes since most corporations are owned by upper middle class and rich individuals. If you answered #4, please leave the US.... now.

Why is a progressive tax bad? It discourages individuals from accepting job promotions if that promotion would put them in a higher tax bracket. 

On the grand economic scale, some workers who have the skills required to advance will choose not to advance because to do so would actually cause their net income after taxes to decrease. 

Gaining skills to get that new promotion would be off the table for those workers, and the overall labor capital of our society is thus decreased.

Q3: Why is socialism bad?
  1. It is not. Obama promotes entitlement programs, therefore they are good.
  2. It is not. Socialism says that everyone is a winner.
  3. Socialism is bad because Republicans say so.
  4. Socialism is bad because those who have qualities such as intelligence, work ethic, creativity and communication skills give their income to those who would rather not work if they can get away with it. A capitalist system vastly encourages and develops good qualities while a socialist system rewards hard-working individuals and sluggards at the same rate. Capitalism encourages innovation, new product development, entrepreneurship and technological advancement. Socialism encourages doing the minimum job possible.

A3: If you answered 1 or 3, you are sadly one of the most common groups of people in the US. Most people get their economic ideals from their political party, not from education or common sense. If you answered #2, you probably greet your friends with "comrade" Your birthday cards most likely read, "comradulations!"

If you answered 4, then you understand the basic benefits and negatives of the different economic systems. Any program which has socialistic tendencies will cause those negatives and these that follow:

  • Socialism sacrifices freedom for equality. 
  • Socialism removes the possibility of being rich. 
  • Socialism sends government spending through the roof and causes 17 trillion dollars in debt.
  • Socialism removes the conventional purpose of public education, which is to give you the skills necessary to compete in the free market.
  • Without the need to compete, there is no need to educate.
  • Socialism puts everyone on the same level... a level far below our current middle class.

Q4: Which option is the largest chunk of government spending?

  1. War and defense spending.
  2. Social security and Welfare/Socialist related spending.
  3. Obamacare
  4. Poetic Cowboys

A4: If you answered #4, then you are a hilarious person. The government does waste money on promoting cowboy poetry, but that isn't a significant portion of overall government spending.

If you answered #1, then you are not alone. Most liberals I talk to think that defense is the sole culprit in causing the national debt and keeping our budget unbalanced, and they blame solely George Bush and the Iraq war for our national debt. Sorry guys, that is most definitely the wrong answer as well.

If you answered #3, you are almost there. Obamacare will cost an estimated $2.6 trillion in 10 years rather than the 900 billion that President Obama promised it would.

If you answered #5, you are wrong again. The stuff we really want the government to do, like implement infrastructure, isn't actually a major part of their spending.

If you answered #2, you're RIGHT! You know that socialism I talked about in A3? That accounts for the majority of government spending. Here, have a pie chart.
Notice the military spending and things that benefit the taxpayers is dwarfed by socialism.

These four questions represent some basic economic principles that our government is completely ignoring or is ignorant of! Economics have right and wrong answers, and do not let any politician tell you the wrong ones.

If you really want to be a decent citizen of the US, learn the laws of supply and demand and how they relate to economic policy. Next election season, only vote for those people who do not blatantly lie about what they think will help the economy. Vote for those who know basic economic principles like the back of their hand.

Our nation has come to a decisive point. The ignorance of our politicians has caused this number in debt thus far $17.076 Trillion.

Send this post to your representatives! Email the heck out of them! Get this out to all those people you think need to learn basic economic principles! Hold our government accountable for playing politics and ignoring what actually needs to be done! Use #FixEconomy to join the conversation.