This site presents three analyses of the United States government's economic policies compared to a list of 35 economic policies as prepared by students Carmen Cortina, Mitchell Hom, Simon Shi with the Mike P. McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA). This study was written in May of 2018. To read the analyses scroll through this site. To learn more about the background policies, click here
To learn more about MIEPA, click here
Return to MIEPA's Home PageThe first study is by Specialist Carmen Cortina and is presented immediately below. To read the studies by Mitchell Hom and Simon Shi, scroll though the study by Carmen Cortina.
This study presents a detailed study of the economic policies of the United States, as written by Specialist Carmen Cortina. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:
5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2018. Used herein with permission]
RATING SUMMARY - CARMEN CORTINA POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 % 2 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 3 1.5 4.5 15.0 30 4 2.0 6.0 15.0 40 5 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 6 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 7 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 8 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 9 1.0 3.0 15.0 20 10 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 11 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 12 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 13 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 14 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 15 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 16 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 17 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 18 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 19 1.5 3.0 10.0 30 20 0.5 1.0 10.0 10 21 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 22 2.5 5.0 10.0 50 23 1.5 3.0 10.0 30 24 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 25 3.5 7.0 10.0 70 26 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 27 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 28 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 29 4.3 4.3 5.0 86 30 3.4 3.4 5.0 68 31 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 32 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 33 3.0 3.0 5.0 60 34 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 35 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 TOTAL 120.7 256.2 370.0 69.2% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - CARMEN CORTINA
1. Freedom from internal control- 5.0
Citizens are free to move throughout the nation and conduct their business so long as they aren’t violating any laws. As stated in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights created by the United Nations, “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” Freedom of citizens to operate within the nation encourages the creation of new businesses and jobs. The freedom from internal control as stated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights positively impacts the economy, resulting in a high score.
2. Freedom of speech- 5.0
The First Amendment (generally referred to as freedom of speech) of the Bill of Rights was added to protect civil liberties from an oppressive government. It states Congress cannot make laws about religion (and exercise of it), speech, press, assembly, or petitioning against the government of grievances. The First Amendment does not protect against hate speech, speech which encourages violence, support of terrorism, public employee speech, defamation, publishing of private intellectual property, and true threats. It is also noteworthy that freedom of speech doesn’t apply to private entities and spaces (such as private universities or private companies). As a private entity, the government cannot step in and regulate what is done because the government cannot interfere with the private sector. According to the Pew Research Center, who conducted a study in November 2015, America is the most tolerant of offensive speech of the 38 nations studied. Americans were found to be in favor or supporting individual liberties in comparison to other countries.
Freedom of speech is important for economic growth because people feel safe to share ideas. A platform for free exchange of ideas will help grow and promote an economy. Joseph Schumpeter’s idea of “creative destruction” explains how being permitted to create in a destructive, unregulated way on a small level will allow for growth on a higher, economic level. Creating new ideas and sharing them in an open environment will allow for competitiveness in the market place. Competitiveness between businesses and industries will encourage research and development (money used in this sector of business will also add to the GDP) resulting in advancements for the nation. Ultimately, freedom of speech encourages innovation and growth across all sectors resulting in a high score.
3. Effective, fair police force- 1.5
As of 2016, 33% of Black Americans and 75% of White Americans believe the police in their community are doing a good job when it comes to “using the right amount of force for each situation”. Black Americans agreed 35% and White Americans agreed 75% that police in their community “treat racial and ethnic groups equally”. Black Americans agreed 31% and White Americans agreed 70% that police in their community “[held] officers accountable when misconduct occurs”. The gap in belief between the two ethnicities may stem from the media. Reports of unjust killings of minorities, where police officers typically did not face punishment for their crimes are brought to light. Data from the FBI in 2012 finds of the 13% African Americans and 17% Hispanic in the US, 51% of the two minorities were killed by police, though they weren’t attacking. In 2013, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports found 332 drug-related arrests (per 100,000 residents) were of White people and 879 drug-related arrests (per 100,000 residents) were of Black Americans, a difference of 264%. Black Americans are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people. It has also been determined, where you live plays a factor in how likely you are to be killed by an officer. Areas highly populated by Black Americans have a higher likelihood of arrest or death because police officers typically patrol those areas more, which translates to more opportunities for interference.
The belief of racial bias by the police force is dangerous to the economy. If citizens do not feel safe in their neighborhoods, they are likely to break- away from society. To prevent these issues, the police force should work in-house on preventing biases. Poverty is also believed to be a cause for the injustice minorities face. The government should step in to aid underprivileged racial groups to promote the overall success of the economy. The lack of confidence in the police force results in a low score because minorities cannot affectively create businesses if they feel they are going to be scrutinized by people of power.
4. Private property- 2.0
Private property as referenced in the Fifth Amendment, states “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”. As seen in Kelo v. London, a trial where a woman fought against a city in Connecticut, her property was taken for public use. The Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled against Kelo because they defined “public use” as anything done to benefit the “broader and more natural interpretation of public use as 'public purpose.'" It was argued the land was being used to benefit the public- as part of an economic development plan. There are two issues here: The Supreme Court doesn’t abide by clear, well-defined rules- they work by what they interpret the law to mean and secondly, the amendment is not clear- the Supreme Court can make rulings which do not have evidence of justification.
In a broader view, individuals cannot confidently invest in private ownership. I do not think it was justified in Kelo v. London to give the private property of Kelo to the city for development. Without clear meanings of what is defined as private property and who and what is protected under the law, it would be difficult for people to good heartedly invest themselves into private property. If one day, the state came and demanded everyone evacuate a city of businesses and homes because of plans to create a new highway, the occupants would not have the ability to defend themselves- as seen in Kelo v. London. Unclear definition of private property and what it entails results in a low score.
5. Commercial banks- 4.5
Commercial banks in the US are regulated by the Federal Reserve (FED). The FED requires banks to abide by the reserve requirement. Of all demand deposits, banks are required to keep a portion of the money on-hand. The remainder of the demand deposits may be loaned out to businesses or individuals. Commercial banks who lend out money increase the deposit money multiplier, which increases the nation’s GDP as loans (taken out by businesses) are used to develop their business. In addition to offering loans to businesses, commercial banks offer investment services, corporate credit cards and bookkeeping.
The promotion of small businesses by commercial banks promotes the economy positively resulting in a high score. The regulations in place by the FED to monitor the commercial banks’ loans and money of depositors adds to the security of the economy. Small businesses being monitored and guided by two agencies incentivizes new business because guidance is available on multiple levels.
6. Communication systems- 4.5
Businesses are moving to online platforms for communication. Flexible work arrangements are more widely accepted today. Americans have ease of access to the internet, telephone and fax machines, which makes working from home simple. As of 2017, 3.9 million U.S. employees work from home for at least half of the time (155% increase since 2015). With communication mediums readily available, the nation can move into the growing norm of flexible work arrangements.
Access to the internet is available in 98% of all US classrooms (National Center for Education Statistics). It is also available in public libraries, internet cafes, airports, coffee shops, shopping malls, and many more. Businesses sometimes offer free Wi-Fi to customers as an incentive for entering their facilities. In populated areas of the country, the availability to connect to the internet is easy to come-by. As for rural areas, the access is sometimes limited. About 70% of households in America have access to the internet. Over 50% of the nation has access to the internet within their cities. Availability to find some means of internet or communication network, whether it be at home, libraries or businesses, results in a high score. Access to communication networks is essential for a nation to thrive because it allows people to conduct commerce and business from anywhere.
7. Transportation- 4.5
Transportation in America has evolved from water ways via steamboats to the creation of the interstate highways. Today, cargo is moved via a myriad of methods (cargo boats, freight rails, air, etc.). Citizens in urban setting can utilize bicycle lanes on major streets, public buses, taxies, trains, subways and various car sharing methods. Unfortunately, rural areas of the country are not as easily traveled by. In rural settings, it is usually necessary to have a personal vehicle to travel from residential areas to more populated areas. Efforts to increase transportation in these areas are being improved as time goes on. Overall, the nation has done well to make travel and transportation of goods simple, resulting in a high score. The inability to travel as simply in rural areas, however, brings the close down slightly until improvements can be made.
8. Education- 4.5
The percentage of students enrolled for primary school in the US is about five to ten percent lower than similar industrialized nations. Since 2000, the nation’s lowest percentage of student enrollment was in 2004 at 91.33%; the highest enrollment was in 2008 at 95.12%. The nation’s school enrollment has declined since 1991 and has not gone above 95%. Japan’s lowest enrollment was in 2000 at 97.77%; since then, the nation’s enrollment has remained steady at 98%, without fluctuation. Italy’s school enrollment in 2000 was 98.86% and has remained steady at 98%. The US primary school enrollment is lower than other industrialized nations, but it is minimal and likely insignificant.
The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) conducted research on the literacy of America and 21 other countries. Adults aged 16 to 65 were tested on literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving. The average score for the US was 272. Japan scored 296 and Italy scored 250. The US has been determined to be average in literacy through this study (7 countries placed higher, 8 countries not significantly different and 6 countries placed lower). In comparison to the international average determined by the PIAAC, 13% of the adults placed at the highest proficiency level (higher than the average international average of 12%); 18% of adults performed at the lowest literacy level (higher than the international average of 16%). The literacy of the nation is average on the international scale.
The US is home to many well-known universities such as the Ivy League Schools, MIT, and many more. These universities are sought after by native and international students. The schools are competitive because of the academic excellence and employment opportunities the students gain by joining. Due to the educational competitiveness and what is required of students who take on the higher learning, the names of these schools are well recognized and make any individual associated with them stand out.
9. Social Mobility-1.0
America is believed to be “The Land of Opportunity,” recent studies have proven social mobility is not as easily accessible as it was once was. Today, half of the 30-year-olds in the country are earning less than their parents did at the same age. Social mobility in America has fallen by more than 70% in the past fifty years. The cause is believed to be the unequal distribution of income. Income hasn’t increased since 1970 for households of the bottom half of the economy. Income for the bottom 90% of US workers only rose by 30%, while income for the top 1% has risen 216% since 1970. If income continued to grow proportionately across all classes, the decline in social mobility wouldn’t be as drastic as it is today. The wealth disparity is detrimental to what a family can provide for their children.
Education is also a factor in social mobility. Children who are privately education have a higher likelihood of achieving more professionally than students of state-funded schools. From youth, children of the lower income class are disadvantaged. As time goes on, the gap of knowledge between the children of rich and poor increases. For most well-paying professions, a college degree is required. Tuition for college has skyrocketed, leaving working families to turn to student loans and lifelong debt- just to have a chance at securing employment, though not guaranteed. Individuals can work their way to the top, but there are many financial barriers to face. The height of the ladder to success is different for someone who is poverty stricken compared to an individual of a wealthy family.
The opportunities for success in America are plentiful, but the pathway to be eligible to apply is blocked with many barriers. The unequal distribution of wealth causes a gap between what opportunities are available for children of wealthy and poor families. The lackluster education provided to the youth of lower class income brackets adds to the idea of social mobility not being attainable. Income disparity and barriers to success hurt the economy resulting in a low score.
10. Share of All Jobs in Small Businesses- 5.0
As of 2016, small businesses employed 47.8% of the US’s employees. Half of the work force being employed by the Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s) shows how the country is open to the creation of small businesses. Small businesses are important to the US economy because they create two-thirds of all new jobs. Entrepreneurship is important to an economy. Entrepreneurs create new businesses, which promote innovation. New ideas from businesses may improve and advance the economy. SME’s are important to a nation to keep the market competitive and encourage novel ideas. Nearly half of the workforce being employed by the SME’s shows how America is open to new ideas and growth.
11. Freedom from outside control- 5.0
The Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, declared the independence of the thirteen states of America from Great Britain. While not explicitly stated, the document was a statement that America will be free of all external control, which holds true until today. Americans are free from foreign governments while within the nation. Americans are expected to follow the laws and regulations of the country they are in if they travel outside.
12. Protection of Domestic Enterprises- 2.0
The trade deficit in the US has increased from $504.8 billion in 2016 to $568.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 2.9%. A trade deficit occurs when there are more imports than exports. Trade deficits are an issue because it suggests citizens are promoting other nation’s economies (and GDP) by purchasing foreign goods and services instead of domestic. Furthermore, an increase in demand of foreign nation’s goods and services may result in jobs being moved overseas. Jobs may move overseas to where workers are available to meet demand. If citizens aren’t spending their money within the nation, the nation’s GDP will fall, effectively hurting the economy.
The United States has 14 free trade agreements. Free trade agreements allow trade to take place through competition without quotas and tariffs. While trade agreements increase business opportunities and encourage growth, they also pose dangerous economic risks. In free trade agreements, businesses are competing to produce the best good or service at the lowest price to beat their rivals. As a result, unsavory practices take place such as unfair labor practices- to keep up with competition. The US enforces laws to prevent unfair labor practices which means businesses must move elsewhere (typically overseas) to get the production level they need to stay in line with competition, without consequences. Production moving outside of the nation takes away from the economy’s GDP, a negative consequence to trade for the success of businesses.
The trade deficit negatively impacts the economy, lowering the score. Though they are meant to increase business opportunities and growth of the nation, free trade agreements are hurting the nation as businesses move overseas and lowers the GDP resulting in a low score.
13. Foreign currency transactions- 5.0
Required by the Federal Reserve System, the US dollar is the only currency accepted in America. Foreign travelers are expected to convert their currency to the domestic form to complete transactions. Travelers to America are encouraged to use credit and debit cards to make sales easier for both parties. The US dollar is widely used in the world. As a result, traveling Americans can sometimes use the US dollar while visiting other nations. Other nations, who do not have a declared currency of their own, have adopted the US dollar into their economy. Countries such as Ecuador, East Timor, El Salvador, Marshall Islands, Palau, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Zimbabwe and others operate on a foreign currency- the US dollar. The use of a single currency adds to the success of businesses in America. Business owners who don’t need to convert currencies received into domestic currency have more time to focus on other aspects of their business. Additionally, a single accepted currency allows fiscal and monetary policy to be effective.
14. Border control- 2.0
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress believed building borders around the nation was essential to guarantee safety for its citizens. Since the increase in border control, illegal entries into the country have fallen from 1.8 million in 2000 to 200,000 in 2015. The position of the government on removing and preventing immigrants from entering the country is not in line with the beliefs of its citizens. Some believe immigrants are useful to the economy because they provide inexpensive labor and are willing to do jobs others aren’t. Although border control has done well to minimize the entrance of immigrants, it may be counterproductive considering some business owners rely on the willingness of immigrants to work for their businesses to operate.
In terms of smuggling drugs into the nation, it is difficult to take account for how much is passing border control because it passes through undetected. The number of deaths from opioid overdoses (estimated to be approximately 91 American deaths daily according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests the smuggling is widespread and dangerous. It is known the drugs enter the nation through an assortment of methods (through hidden compartments in cars, masked as produce, catapults, via tunnels, boats, and aircrafts like drones). The efforts to prevent drugs from entering the country should be increased.
The nation has decreased immigration, but it may be negatively affecting businesses who previous relied on these workers. The goal of decreasing immigrants in the country is a government ideal, not necessarily one of the citizens. Considering the needs of business owners for immigrant workers, a reduction in border defense budget may benefit the nation. The control of drug smuggling is not well monitored. Illegal drugs entering the nation is detrimental to the success of the economy and more should be done to stop the issue. The nation should take into consideration the various methods in which these drugs are being transported and do more to monitor all points of access rather than limit their scope to immediate neighboring countries.
15. Currency- 5.0
Since 1944, the US dollar has remained the global currency (reserve currency). The Bretton Woods agreement of 1944 moved the gold standard to the US dollar. The US dollar was chosen at the time because the country had the largest gold reserves, which meant they could redeem any dollar for its value in gold. The US dollar remains the reserve currency because there hasn’t been a compelling replacement option and the dollar has been able to withstand hardships such as economic decline. The international currency being native to the nation results in ease of business in and outside of the borders. The nation’s stable form of currency results in a high score.
16. Cultural, language homogeneity- 1.0
History shows America to be hesitant in allowing immigrants to join the nation. If they should be permitted to join, the new arrivals are undervalued, exploited and often forced to assimilate into American culture. History shows people develop a sense of nativism about the country they live in and are hesitant to allow others to be a part of it. During the immigration of Irish in the early 19th century, the immigrants were regarded to as being alcoholics. During World War II, Japanese people in America were forced into internment camps to prevent spies. In today’s news, President Trump issued an executive order to block all refugee admissions and banned seven Muslim dominant countries from entering the country.
The day following Trump’s win in the 2016 election, hate crimes jumped from ten to twenty-seven per day for the following ten days. Reasoning for this jump in hate crimes may be because the candidate was vocal during his campaign of how he despises immigrants. Trump boasted he would go to great lengths to remove immigrants from the country and “Make America great again”. During his presidential campaign announcement Trump said, “Mexico is sending people who have lots of problems... [they are] bringing drugs, crime, they are rapists.” He continued, “Its coming from all over South and Latin America and probably from the Middle East.” Placing judgement over multiple minorities, within a two-minute span, from someone who now is a leader of the nation is greatly discouraging homogeneity.
Due to the bias in the nation regarding immigrants, the nation is at a higher risk of conflict. While previously the bias had been kept within the borders, Trump’s outspoken opinions on the status of minority groups has become apparent to other nations. As a result, other nations have threatened nuclear war against America, others have broken ties to prevent any negative outcomes against their own countries.
17. Political effectiveness- 3.0
American history shows the nation handles disaster situations poorly. Examples of poor assistance from the government in times of distress are the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In these instances, the federal government was reluctant to provide aid and took a stance of it being the responsibility of the state and private sectors to provide relief. The creation of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) in 1979 by President Carter was a positive step toward properly acting in disaster situations. However, conservatives and libertarians believe the federal government should detach themselves from these situations. Considering the plethora of resources the federal government has access to, it is unreasonable to move the sole responsibility of aid during disasters to the state and private sectors. In recent years, FEMA has been mostly effective in times of distress across the nation.
It is important to note, FEMA is only effective when it is seen as an important organization for the nation. Under the Bush administration, the organization was not represented by individuals who were qualified. The poor staffing choice led to a substandard response to Hurricane Andrew of 1992 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Recently, FEMA’s response to the Bay Area Wildfires of 2017 were well orchestrated. Instead of taking a view of reacting only when disaster strikes, the organization should be given the funding and authority to put in place preventative measures for disasters. In addition, the organization should plan for rebuilding efforts to help transition back into normal business activity after these problems take place. While there has been recent success of aid in disaster situations, the nation could do more to speed along the road to normalcy, resulting in a neutral score.
18. Institutional stability- 5.0
America’s constitution, created in 1787, is known to be the world’s oldest living document. Outlined in the document are the nation’s government bodies and their roles. The document has amendments, which were added to account for the inevitable changes as the nation has grown. Despite these amendments, there haven’t been many changes to the initial institutions created within the document. The stability in the core institutions allows businesses to flourish and grow because the institutions are predictable, resulting in a high score.
19. Honest government- 1.5
The corruption in America has increased in the minds of its citizens since 2017. It is believed the wealthy can influence those in the government, who can in turn create legislation to help their companies. One tenet of Trump’s campaign was to improve the government to make it work for the citizens. In 2018, it is believed corruption is worse off than before. Trump’s new tax break decreases taxes for corporations from 35% to 21% in hopes of creating new jobs and higher wages for workers. While this tax break may help workers, it is seen by the public as Trump working for his friends of major corporations by giving them back more money via taxes.
Corruption can be seen by the President himself who is in violation of the federal anti-nepotism law. The law states public officials cannot promote relatives of the agency they currently hold jurisdiction over. Trump has employed his daughter, Ivanka Trump as assistant to the President and her husband, Jared Kushner, has been titled senior advisor. Eric Trump’s brother-in-law has been hired to be chief of staff at the Department of Energy. While the list of questionable appointments the President has made continues, it is apparent he is adding to the issue of corruption. Corruption has grown within the government and can be seen through the changes in policy to benefit the wealthy.
20. Common laws- 0.5
In recent news of sexual assault and murder committed by young, white males, it is clear: money truly can buy freedom. From drunk driving to sexually assaulting females, if a family has the money to pay for a good lawyer- the child can plead to affluenza as a form of mental illness and not have to pay any consequences for their crimes. Americans are aware of the injustice by the country and have taken a stance against the wrongdoing but with minimal power and voice within the country, it is difficult to enforce fairness.
Psychologists believe from the first time they see defendants in the courtroom, judges develop unconscious biases. These biases may or may not be in favor of the accused. As shown in recent police brutality events, it is known that the US government favors particular groups over minorities. This is shown through the lack of proper punishment upon law enforcement officials who wrongfully kill and imprison minorities. It is a well-known fact that Black Americans are stereotyped more than their white counterparts. Black Americans, among other minorities, face longer prison sentences in comparison to White citizens of the same crimes.
21. Central bank- 4.5
The Federal Reserve Bank is the central bank. It is independent of other banks and is not owned by the US government. The objectives of the Federal Reserve are to control inflation, promote full employment, moderate the business cycle and promote long-term growth. The board of governors are appointed by the president. The terms served are staggered to prevent collusion. The Federal Reserve Bank works to ensure the economy is doing well and is not influenced by politics. Because the Federal Reserve Bank is relatively free of politics, it can make decisions in the best interest of the economy.
22. Domestic budget management- 2.5
The US government is consistently unable to balance their budget. Between the years of 2014- 2017, there has been a budget deficit of 2.78%, 2.42%, 3.14%, 3.43% of the nation’s GDP(respectively). The inability of the government to balance the budget is a factor in whether businesses can develop. The deficit results in the government needing to borrow from outside the system. Borrowing from outside the system shows there isn’t left-over money to add to businesses growth, thus hindering advancements.
23. Government debt- 1.5
The United States debt as of 2018 is approximately $21 trillion. Of that sum, about $14 trillion is internal: debt- owed to the American citizens and U.S. entities. The rest of the debit can be attributed to external or foreign debt. The nation’s current GDP is approximately $19.574 trillion. The debt is calculated to be 107% of the nation’s GDP.
A high amount of debt will negatively influence the country’s growth. Instead of allocating resources to improvements and advancements, the nation is at a standstill. One solution to remedy this financial disaster is to limit government spending and begin repaying the debt.
24. Economic statistics- 4.5
The United States’ Department of Commerce uses the subdivision known as the Census Bureau for the general collection of information on the nation’s income, ages, and ownership rates. This information is clear to understand and is readily available for public use. Access to this information is encouraging for those who are interested in how businesses performed previously.
Unfortunately, the Census Bureau has under counted minorities and over counted the wealthy in the past. This typically is due to wealthy people owning two homes and mistakenly filling out two census forms. Many minorities are fearful of exposing personal information to the government and do not to fill out the form, resulting in underrepresentation in the final count. It is important to consider with a survey this large, there will always be an area of miscalculation. Upon review, it was found that approximately 3.1 million people were overcounted (wealthy) and 6.4 million people were undercounted (minorities).
The availability of the information results in a high score. The accuracy of the information lowers the score slightly.
25. Protection of public health and safety- 3.5
The United States has an estimated 2.9 cases of tuberculosis per 100,00 people as of 2016. In likeness to other industrialized countries such as Japan (13.9 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people as of 2016) and the European Union (12.8 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people as of 2014), the regulation of infectious disease in the USA is comparatively superior. The success in maintaining the airborne virus stems from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) teaming together to become more vigilant in the screening for the illness. This persistence and attention to detail has resulted in the rate of the disease being lower than other nations.
The infant mortality rate in the United States is not on par with other developed nations. The United States reported 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births (as of 2017). The US’s infant mortality rate is high in comparison to other countries such as Japan (2.0 deaths per 1,000 live births as of 2017) and the European Union (4.0 deaths per 1,000 live births as of 2016). America’s high rate of infant mortality is a result of higher poverty rates compared to other developed countries. Poverty, which affects approximately 20% of children in the United States, typically leads to premature deliveries and low birthrates.
While the containment of infectious diseases has been well maintained, the nation could be doing more to ensure the life of infants through their first year.
26. High wage policies- 1.0
America’s wealth disparity is larger than any other developed nation. Those who are wealthy have become wealthier as those who were born poor have a high chance of staying classified as such. The increase in cost for housing, health care and education have added to the wealth gap in the nation. The current national minimum wage in the US is $7.25/hour (results in approximately $15,000 before taxes, for a forty-hour work week). The last increase on the federal minimum wage was in 2009 (from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour). Prior to that increase, the minimum wage was set at $5.15 per hour for ten years. The current minimum wage is not up to par with the cost of living despite the increases.
Regardless of the required minimum wage, many cannot afford to support their families and must look to government agencies to pick up the slack. Citizens cannot afford healthcare, food, housing or clothing due to the mediocre wages. Despite the enforced minimum wage, American citizens cannot keep up with the cost of living, making it a less than ideal place to live.
27. Environmental protection- 3.0
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 to create a safer environment for America. The EPA has created laws to better the Earth and has done well at enforcing these laws. Those who have been found to violate the regulations enforced by the group have been reprimanded extensively. The EPA has created laws and regulations for a multitude of concerns such as clean air, maintaining marine life, ensuring safe drinking water, regulation on oil pollution and many more. The success of the EPA has encouraged other foreign nations to do the same for their own countries.
While the agency has done well for the country since its inception, recent leaders of the country may not continue this legacy. With the new presidency, roughly 67 environmental regulations have been either closed or opened for review. The amendments to regulations to ensure environmental safety may become an issue we may see visibly in the environment with time. Many of those in the Trump administration do not believe in climate change and have already made changes to support their disbeliefs, despite the substantial evidence to prove the issue of global warming.
28. Strong army- 5.0
In addition to international alliances (referenced in policy 34), Americans can be assured safety due to the large military reserves in the country. America estimates one million active military personnel within the country. Those considered to be “fit for service” as of 2017 are estimated to be around 120 million individuals. In 2015, the budget allotted for military spending was about $609.3 billion. This budget was about 15.88% of the total federal spending for that year. The safety ensured by the large domestic armed forces within the country’s borders provides a place of safety for American citizens.
29. Foreign trade impact- 4.3
America’s total trade in 2017 was roughly $ 5.231 trillion ($2.331 trillion in exports and $2.9 trillion in imports). Of the nation’s $19.754 trillion GDP, total foreign trade accounted for about 26.48%. This percentage shows the US is not too reliant on imports from other countries for sustainability and trade is a playing a healthy role in the nation’s economy.
Trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) have permitted trade to continue positively. Both trade agreements have contributed to creating jobs for American citizen’s which also positively contributes to the economy.
30. Management of foreign currency budget- 3.4
In 2017, the United States’ total exports was approximately $2.331 trillion, imports stood approximately at $2.9 trillion. This resulted in the United States having a trade deficit of about $569 billion. The USA’s GDP as of 2017 was roughly $19.754 trillion. This trade deficit was approximately 2.88% of the nation’s GDP.
America’s trade deficit is not worrisome. Although the nation’s exports and imports have been at a steady decline for the last five years, it remains among the top two in both imports and exports. Contrary to popular belief, the trade deficit is not necessarily a bad thing. The trade deficit shows American citizens can use their disposable income to purchase foreign goods- something other nations may not have the same leeway to do.
31. Layers of collective action- 5.0
Americans have the opportunity to influence decisions that affect them and their environment on many institutional levels. Citizens are granted the right to make decisions for their schools via PTA meetings and school gatherings. Americans can vote for their representatives in the federal government as well as those handling issues within their city through votes for mayor. Americans have the right to vote for people to represent their states and districts. The multitude of layers in which citizens can join in on the government is important because it allows them to be a part of the nation in an emotional way. This emotional connection is important because it encourages citizens to do well so their nation will do well. The ability to join in on the action results in a high score.
32. Pro-business climate- 5.0
America’s pro-business climate is one of social form. Business leaders are celebrities in America. In the “Land of Opportunity”, those who know how to succeed, are those most often sought after. The success of business is a priority in the government’s eyes which is shown by the many tax breaks businesses receive. As a capitalist country, business is held in the highest regards because a business’s productivity and prosperity directly help the country’s economy. Because of this, businesses are greatly helped by the government and the obtaining of profit is encouraged by all.
33. Government enterprises- 3.0
The government of the United States gives out subsidies mainly to agriculture and oil. American citizens benefit from the funds going toward these markets. Although the government shouldn’t stop its subsidizing these markets, the amounts distributed should be minimized. Contrariwise, the adding of the government’s money to multiple enterprises positively adds to the nation’s GDP, which helps the economy. Minimizing subsidies will not only lessen the country’s debt, but it will also eventually lower taxes for its citizens. The lowering of taxes will eventually allow citizens to be able to open small businesses of their own or invest into small businesses of others which will help grow the economy.
34. International security agreements 5.0
The United States of America is known to be allied with the following countries: UK., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Netherlands. The preceding countries are dependent upon each other to ensure safety of their respective citizens. With the knowledge that safety can be ensured for its people on the international scale, citizens can confidently spend their time developing businesses.
35. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs 2.0
Federal regulations increased in 2008, making owning a business more difficult than before. Although these regulations imposed by the government are for the well-being of society, they can hinder a small businesses’ growth. Some may argue the mandates are in place to protect the owners from their employees- in instances of accidents or unplanned events. Small businesses greatly help the economy with the addition of new jobs and innovate ideas. If government mandated fees are high, small business creators may decide to spend their time elsewhere, which can drastically change the economy.
William Cho and Benson Chau, part owners of The Boba Shop in San Francisco, CA say the government mandated fees they faced while establishing the shop were discouraging. The fees limited their ability to pursue aspects of the business they had hoped to develop. Cho says the health inspection, licenses and permits raised their estimated starting costs by a substantial amount. Chau says the fees paid in employment disability, payroll and (new this year) sugar tax have begun to add up. They report every so often, new taxes arise- things they aren’t familiar with and haven’t heard of before. They have so far received (in their six months of business) multiple mistaken bills from the government. Due to errors by the government, the owners cannot handle the bills alone any longer. The owners have sought out the help of a local Certified Public Accountant to help them finance their business- adding to their already higher than expected costs. Instead of making business owning easy, it appears the government mandated costs have made the act of owning a small business more difficult.
Interview with William Cho, part owner of The Boba Shop in San Francisco, CA on February 27, 2018.
This study presents a detailed study of the economic policies of the United States, as written by Specialist Mitchell Hom. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:
5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2018. Used herein with permission]
RATING SUMMARY - MITCHELL HOM POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 % 2 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 3 2.5 7.5 15.0 75 4 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 5 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 6 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 7 4.3 12.9 15.0 86 8 3.5 10.5 15.0 70 9 2.0 6.0 15.0 40 10 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 11 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 12 1.5 4.5 10.0 30 13 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 14 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 15 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 16 4.3 8.6 10.0 86 17 3.5 7.0 10.0 70 18 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 19 3.8 7.6 10.0 76 20 1.9 3.8 10.0 38 21 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 22 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 23 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 24 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 25 3.5 7.0 10.0 70 26 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 27 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 28 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 29 4.5 4.5 5.0 90 30 3.0 3.0 5.0 60 31 3.5 3.5 5.0 70 32 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 33 3.5 3.5 5.0 70 34 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 35 2.4 2.4 5.0 44 TOTAL 136.3 293.1 370.0 79.3% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - MITCHELL HOM
1) Freedom from internal control -5.0
The United States recognizes Freedom of Movement as a fundamental constitutional right. Under this right, citizens may travel both internationally and domestically. Those who choose to travel domestically need to provide a form of photo ID that meets Real ID requirements. The United States also recognizes Privileges and Immunities Clause which allows for interstate travel and lays guidelines from which possible criminal penalization can be drawn from.
2) Freedom of Speech- 4.8
The First Amendment prohibits the Congress from passing any laws that contends with the right to freedom of speech, religion, press, and to peacefully assemble. The extent to which the ‘Freedom of Speech’ is really free has been intensely debated by Congress numerous times. It is has been determined by these debates that the categories that lie outside of its protection are obscenity, child pornography, defamation, incitement to violence and true threats of violence. Generally, citizens have free will to speak and discusses whatever they choose to, therefore the high score.
3) Effective, fair police force 2.5
The police has a long road ahead of them before they can earn the full trust of the public. The police has historically mistreated minorities and the statistics prove it. While African Americans only make up 13% of the population, they also account for 28% of all arrests. This systematic mistreatment has lead to conflicting viewpoints on how law enforcement is perceived. According to a study done by Pew Research, 60% of the general public view the “deaths of African American during encounters with the police” as a broader problem and not just isolated incidents. It is also the belief of many officers that the general public doesn’t understand the full scope of their duties and risk. While revision to police tactics and training have been in discussion, this current high mistrust of law enforcement continues to be one of the US’s biggest issues, thus the score.
4) Private Property 5.0
According to the 5th amendment, no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” The 14th amendment states that no one shall, “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” These two amendments work together to form the basis of private ownership. This basic right extends to both physical and intellectual forms of property, and violation of this right can lead to lawsuits and even jail time. Owners may do as they please with the property so long as it falls under federal and state law guidelines.
5) Commercial Banks 4.5
Banks are extremely important to the economic well-being of the US. Despite a series of mistakes that ultimately lead to the 08’ financial crisis, banks have recently been able to facilitate growth by giving business loans to small businesses. In 2016, big banks such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan had approved $1.3 billion and $534 million in SBA loans respectively. As the economy continues to thrive, commercial bank’s interest rates have appropriately dipped. This dip has lead to an increase in loan volumes, as well as restructured bank loan portfolio. As markets continue this bullish trend, commercial banks will see steady growth as the result of increased card loans and consumer loans.
6) Communication System 4.8
The Federal Communications Commission is responsible for regulating radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The 2016 Measuring the Information Society Report Out showed that 74.6% of the US population use the internet. Of the 325.17 million US citizens, 237.72 million are cell phone users and 224 million of them are smartphone users. These smartphone users have the capability to access phone capabilities (text and call), internet functions, radio, email, etc. This staggering percentage of Americans who have access to internet and are smartphone users makes the United States very interconnected, thus the high score. v https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/11/22/47-percent-of-the-worlds-population-now-use-the-internet-users-study-says/?utm_term=.adc290c008e3
7) Transportation 4.3
The US has a huge infrastructure for transportation. The US leads all nations for most km of roadway and rail. They also have some of the largest airports in the world. However, as large as US infrastructure is, certain parts of its infrastructure are quite lackluster. The US has nearly 4.2 million miles of roadway and at nearly 3 million; rural areas own a majority of the roadways. However; the condition of these roads are quite suspect. The ASCE’s 2017 infrastructure reports says that the nation’s road deserves a “D” grade, which of which can be attributed to the deteriorating conditions of rural roadways. Compared to comparable industrial Asian and European countries, the US’s public transportation systems is somewhat inferior. Again this may be attributed to the lack of connected transportation in large rural lands; however, densely populated areas, such as San Francisco, have figured out to correctly map and distribute its subway, buses, etc. Despite having a huge infrastructure for transportation, the US receives a less than perfect score, due to the poor condition of roads.
8) Education 3.5
According to results from a 2015 cross-national test, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the US ranks 38th of 71 countries in math, and 24th in science. Pew Research Center reported a survey that asked the American Association of Science for their thoughts on the K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) program. Their response was concerning; only 16% called K-12 STEM best or above average, while 46% said STEM was below average.
College enrollment has been steadily increasing since the 90’s. In the fall of 2017, 20.4 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities. Nearly 40% of 18-24- year olds are enrolled in college, which is a 5% increase since 2000. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2018, the US holds place in 3 of top 5 universities in the world. The US can compete at the more prestigious levels of research; however, it fails to hold such high standards for its standard schooling system.
9) Social Mobility 2.0
It is increasingly more difficult to move up the income ladder in the America. The US’s economic mobility is inferior compared to Canada and many Western European Countries. One such European country is Denmark, which as a Swedish study pointed out, has a 25% chance that men in bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. The US is significantly higher at 42%. Only 8% of Americans at the bottom earnings percentile moved up to the top 5th; while 62% of US citizens born into the top fifth earnings percentile stayed there. This trend even holds true for Americans with college degrees, which may be due to the overwhelming amount of population that are currently enrolled at college universities. The cause for this weak economic mobility may also be due to a decline in union membership, increasing income inequality, and many other factors. Overall the US does not have very good social mobility, thus the score.
10) Share of All Jobs In Small Business 4.5
Small businesses are essential to the prosperity of the United States. Small and Median Enterprises (SME) are non-subsidiary independent firms that employ fewer than 500 workers. SME’s are found in industries such as wholesale, retail trade, hotel and restaurant businesses; however, they generally thrive in niche markets. SMEs constituted 48.1% of US employment and according to the International Trade Administration accounted for 98 % of goods exporters and 97% of goods importers. Companies that have fewer than 100 employees see the largest share of small business employment, at 34%. The US has done a quality job of cultivating small businesses which in turn has lead to less unemployment, thus the score.
11) Freedom from outside control 5.0
Seldom are citizens of the United States subject to foreign statute. Citizens are only subject to follow the laws that are passed by state jurisdiction and the federal government. Although many Americans forget that this applies to them, once a citizen leaves the country, they are subject to the laws of the foreign government they visit. If convicted of a crime in a foreign nation and able to revert back to home soil, the US may grant immunity in certain situations. In cases of international terrorism or drug trafficking the United States may extradite certain entities. US has extradition treaties with over 100 nations. Any extradition must be carried out through diplomatic channels and reviewed by a court. If deemed necessary the US will formally surrender entities to another state for punishment or prosecution.
12) Protection of Domestic Enterprises 1.5
The US currently has the highest trade deficit in the world. In 2017, the trade deficit was $566 billion dollars. From January 2017 until March 2018 the exports of goods and services increased by 5.1%. Which be due to President Trump’s adamant demeanor on improving the trade deficit. He wants to do so by using protectionist measures such as a 25% tariff hike on steel imports and a 10% tariff increase on aluminum. A big portion of the unfavorable effects of the trade deficit fell on the shoulders of manufacture workers; since 1989 the US has lost more than 5 million manufacturing jobs. The new protectionist measures proposed by Trump may bring jobs back but may also lead to a trade war. Although trade can be beneficial, current US trade policies is making it more favorable to outsource rather than produce and manufacture domestically.
13) Foreign Currency Transaction- 5.0
All transactions that occur domestically in the US are done by only using US currency. No other forms of payment are accepted. Exchange of foreign currency can be done at banks for a small fee. This requirement allows US business to streamline their operations and gives them more time to focus on more important business operations; therefore the US receives a high score.
14) Border Control 4.0
US customs and Border Protection is responsible for detecting and preventing the illegal entry of aliens in the United States. As of 2012 there are nearly 21,000 agents on its team. Between 2012 to 2015 those border patrol agents have seized nearly 32600 pounds of cocaine and more than 8.2 million pounds of marijuana. The number of illegal immigrants apprehended has lowered by 80% since 2000. This is has been largely due to both increased checkpoints and increased jail time for illegal border crossers. From 2012 to 2014 there has been a 130% increase in drug traffickers apprehended. For the most part, the US has done a significant job at limiting the amount of drug traffickers and illegal aliens; however, drug related seizures continue to plague the southern border, therefore the US receives this score.
15) Currency 5.0
The only currency the United States honors is the official printed paper currency and minted coins issued by the Treasury Department. Unauthorized currency is not accepted or tolerated. In regards to paper bills, it comes in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. Currency is engraved with a certain set of distinguishing markings to ensure authenticity. There have been several redesigns and upgrades in security features to several of the bills to counteract counterfeiting.
16) Cultural Language Homogeneity 4.3
The United States is a melting pot of cultures. There is no extremely polarizing culture in the United States; however, according to the 2016 US census the US is predominately white-76.9%. America is arguably one the most diverse nation in the world. The most common language spoken in America is English at 80% followed by Spanish at 12.4%.Due to America’s homogeneity in regards to language, the US deserves a high score. At the small business level, 29.3% of all small businesses were owned by minorities; therefore the score is not perfect.
17) Political Effectiveness 3.5
The United States has shown vast improvement in natural disaster relief. Despite the massive failure in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina, recent disaster relief efforts have shown the US’s quickness and effectiveness. Under the Obama administration, FEMA greatly improved its response time. FEMA responded with effectiveness for tragic events such as Hurricane Harvey and the California Wildfires. Some 792,000 households and $571.8 million were given to those affected by the Hurricane.
In response to terrorist attacks the US has been quick and swift. Following the attack on the World Trade Center the US responded with a 50 % increase in military spending. However with regards to mass shootings, the US has remained quite stagnant in response efforts.
18) Institutional Stability 4.5
The US has an excellent track record of establishing long-running institutions. These deep-rooted institutions have made headway for other institutions to blossom. From some of the oldest universities like Harvard (est. 1636) to the relatively new government departments such as US Department of Homeland Security (est. 2002), the US has shown stability and predictability. Other great institutions such as the Supreme Court (est. 1789), Congress (est. 1789), and the F.B.I. (est. 1908) have shown great ability to uphold and expand upon the law put forth by the constitution.
The first police department was founded in Boston 1838. Since then, police departments have been scattered throughout the nation. Throughout that scattering, multiple police departments have faced scrutiny to change their policies. The public has voiced in favor of different non-lethal training methods as well as denouncing corrupt police chiefs. The police institution has been a necessity for basic citizen safety but has undergone changes to routine and practices. Despite hiccups with regards to the police department, the US receives a good score because of its willingness to strive for accountability, longevity, and predictability.
19) Honest Government 3.8
In 2017, the US ranked 16 out of 180 countries in corruption perception index. It received a score of 75 out of 100, with 100 being the cleanest possible. With the recent election, Donald Trump’s presidency has thrown the legitimacy of democracy into the air because of accusation of Russian meddling. A survey done by the Transparency International indicates that almost 70% of people believe the government is failing to fight corruption and 44% of people believe that the executive branch is mostly corrupted. The United States is known to stand against corruption; however, with newly elected officials comes a different set of ideals and ethics. The Federal government is only one level of the government. At the state and local level there may be different ordinances in place which may created a conflict of interest and possibly even lead to corruption.
20) Common Laws 1.9
It is no surprise that in a capitalist country the rich receive certain luxuries that lower income citizens don’t get. According to a Humans Right Watch report, only 13% of defendants were able to post bail of $1000 or less. This meant the poorly convicted were incarcerated as a result of simply not having enough money.
Public perception plays a key factor in the overall effectiveness and willingness of people to accept the current justice system. One 2014 survey showed that 32 % of citizens were not very confident about the criminal justice system as a whole. Another report showed that only 22 % of people believed that all ethnic groups are treated fairly by the police. The public perception of the US has only gotten worse with recent controversial cases, thus the score reflects how the United States justice system is perceived by the public media currently.
21) Central Bank 4.5
The Federal Reserve was instituted to serve as the public interest. Even though the Federal Reserve obtains its authority from the Congress, it has a decentralized operating structure and its own set of governing board. Decisions by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) do not require an agreement with the legislative or executive branch of the government. There are 12 total reserve banks and they each operate independently. It is important to note that Reserve Banks don’t operate for profit. The Federal Reserve acts on monetary policy to stabilize the economy. The Federal Reserve is accountable to the public and US congress. Much like a stock, the Federal Reserve is required to be transparent. The FOMC publishes a yearly statement, 8 annual reports, as well as weekly balance sheets. The Federal Reserve is audited by an outside auditor to ensure accountability and trustworthiness. Although the Federal Reserve is not necessarily directly working with government, they elect policies that are usually in accordance to ongoing government policies.
22) Domestic Budget Management 3.0
The US has only ran surpluses in 12 of the last 77 years. The most recent surplus was during the Clinton presidency; however, since then the government has run a deficit. These yearly deficits have been a combination of an increase in mandatory spending, an increase in military spending due to 9/11, and tax cuts. In 2015, Congress resuscitated tax breaks which were then followed by a 2017 rewrite in the tax code that is estimated to reduce federal revenue by $1.5 trillion in the next 10 years. As of 2018, total federal tax revenue is sitting at $ 3.37 trillion while total spending is $3.76 trillion; this is a 2.3% deficit. Economists predict that the long term effect of the Congress’s willingness to unhinged spending is of great concern. This economic outlook may sideline domestic investment and hurt the economy as a whole.
23) Government Debt 2.0
The US currently holds $21 Trillion in debt. Approximately $5.6 trillion (30% of debt) is tied up with intergovernmental holdings. One of the largest owners of debt is Social Security. Congress is expecting SS trust funds to dry up in the next 20 which may mean higher taxes to cover those funds. China is owed $ 1.2 trillion followed by Japan who is owed $1.1 trillion. In the short run, the economy is aided by deficit spending; however, in the long run this unhealthy method of growth could lead to economic turmoil. As of 2017, the US GDP totaled out to $19.739 Trillion. This means that US debt accounted for 105% of total GDP, thus the low score.
24) Economic statistics - 5.0
The US is very good at documenting its internal and external condition. The United States is very keen on transparency; there are multiple reliable sources that any person can find information on many ranges of different topics. The US Census Bureau and The US Bureau of Economic Analysis are both easily accessible and reliable places to find information that may affect business economic outlook.
25) Protection of Public Health and Safety- 3.5
The United States’ infant mortality rate (IMR) was 0.58% which lead all developed nations. Compared with neighboring country Canada, the US is .1% higher with regards to differences in infant mortality rate. While other countries such as Belgium and Japan have a .34% and .21% IMR respectively. In 2016 the CDC reported that there were only 2.9 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 persons. Efforts have been made to eliminate TB at the end of this century; however, that goal seems unattainable at the current rate.
Although the CDC has received a healthy chunk of federal funding for years, Trump is proposing a 1.2 billion dollar cut in funding. Dr.Tom Frieden, director of the CDC claims that Americans may be see an increase in illness, death, and health care costs. The FDA will also receive similar budget cuts; that of which may lead to a halt in technology innovation.
26) Highwage Policies 3.0
Consumer spending is a big component of the United States’ GDP. If consumption continues a leveling out trend, economic growth will follow in its path. Not only have real wages been declining for most lower to middle income citizens but also union membership. In a little over half a century, union membership has drop from 28% to just over 10%. This is has been largely due to spread of other labor market institutions—such as non compete contracts, and no-poaching agreements.
In 2012, lower income workers had just $2,450 to spend after paying for essentials. The essentials included renting an apartment which on average can cost up to $1200 a month and even more for highly coveted locations such as San Francisco or New York. If these workers were to consider a vacation, it could run them up to $1,145; which is luxury most cannot enjoy. In 2016, durable goods took about 13% of personal consumption expenditures. The economy has done well enough for some consumers to justify the purchase of consumer durables; however, if wages stay stagnant domestic growth may not reach its preferred destination.
27) Environmental Protection 4.0
The United States gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the job to enforce environmental laws to protect human health and the environment. Failure to comply with EPA enforced federal regulation can lead to settlements, fines, and even incarceration. According to the Scientific American, the EPA has been very effective since its inception in 1970. Compared to 1990, a 2010 study done by the EPA shows that asthma related deaths have fell 165,000 per year, as well as a staggering 1.7 million fewer cases of asthma. Lead levels in adolescents fell in excessive of 80%. Cities such as New York and Boston have greatly benefited from EPA regulation; Boston Harbor is now one of the cleanest harbors in the country and New York instituted a relatively new sewage system. According to a study done by Michael Jarrett, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, America has a seen a significant improvement in both carbon monoxide and particulate matter levels in the last 30 years. With all the success the EPA has cultivated, the US receives high marks for environmental protection. However, with President Trump’s attempts to derail the EPA, continued success may be in question.
28) Strong Army- 5.0
The United States stands as one the most dominant army in the modern era. It spends nearly $600 billion on the military while 7 other countries (Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Japan, Russia) combined only spend $567 billion. It has a military size of 1.3 million active duty troops and 865,000 in reserve; the United States only trails behind population powerhouses such as India and China in that category. The US also displays a multitude of military weapons in its arsenal: 3476 tactical aircrafts. 10 aircraft carriers, 760 attack helicopters. Despite this large expenditure, US’s military spending only tallies up to 16% of the total domestic budget. With all things considered, the US deserves the highest score possible.
29) Foreign Trade Impact 4.5
The US has continued a steady climb in the % of imports and exports compared to GDP. The % of exports to GDP was 11.9% while the % of imports to GDP was 14.7%. That of which tallies up to 26.6%. This percentage is not ideal compared to the 33% that is preferred, but very close thus the score.
In conclusion of 2017, US exports has accounted for $2.329 Trillion and US imports have totaled up to $2.895 trillion. Of the exports, capital goods have done the best; it is pulling nearly ? of exports. In addition subcategories such as commercial airlines and semiconductors have done particular well. While exported machinery exports have appreciated, spacecraft and pharmaceuticals have taken a dip. Of the imports, electrical machinery and equipment has taken the top spot at 14.8% of imports.
30) Management of foreign currency budget -3.0
In 2017 the US trade deficit was $ 566 billion; this deficit has risen since 2013. Trump’s proposed protectionist measures, a increased tariff on steel and aluminum, may have some short term positive effects on trade deficit; however Trump’s actions might have been the beginnings of a trade war.
31 ) Layers of collective action 3.5
Unlike many other foreign countries, the US is a democracy. At the almost all levels of government there are many volunteers. The US has 89,004 locally ran governments and has over 13,000 school districts; therefore, enabling citizens to voice their opinions at annual meetings and advocating for needed reform. At the local level citizens from all walks of life, whether immigrant or not, can run for local positions to help improve their community.
Unfortunately, there is a slew of alleged corruptions at not only the state and federal level, but also the local level. Just looking at states like Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois, there has an influx of corruption. There is always a promise to fix this corruption, but it never materializes.
32) Pro Business Climate - 5.0
America, the land where its people can live the “American Dream”, lives up to its name as being one of the most business friendly countries on the planet. There has been a steady growth rate in the GDP allowing for more ventures to start up and allowing for expansion of existing businesses. The US is recognized as the leader in research and development and has issued more international patents than any other country. The US is backed with the infrastructure and regulatory environment that is the perfect breeding ground for owning and operating a business. Small business owners are often praised for their ability to create jobs. Nearly 48% of private workforce is employed by small businesses, with firms fewer than 500 workers - 99%.
33) Government enterprises- 3.5
The government funds private profit making companies as a means to bolster the local economy and contribute to the wellbeing of citizens. Major recipients of these subsidies are the oil, farm, ethanol, and housing industry. According to 2015 statistics, the percentage of GDP from government owned enterprises sits at around 10.2%.
Subsidies as beneficial as they are, unfortunately are not equally distributed. Government subsidies are plague with a concept of corporate welfare. Corporate welfare is intended use of subsidies and tax breaks to help struggling markets. Corporate welfare tends to favor big businesses such as Nike, Citigroup, NRG energy, Shell and Boeing. Other than agriculture and the Affordable Care Act, small businesses benefit very little from subsidies. The SBA budget is 1.4 billion which is around .03% of the federal budget.
34) International Security Agreements- 5.0
The US has made a multitude of agreements throughout its history that brought a high sense of domestic security. Of those many agreements, important treaties: NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and SALT I (1972) and SALT II (1979) (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty), have brought a huge sense of security and peace of mind to US citizens. US has allied itself with other very powerful countries in order to mitigate militarized disagreements and help during times of war. The US also has had a historically strong military. The US has a huge monopoly on military aircraft carriers, which of which is commonly displayed as a symbol of military strength. They also hold the number one spot in number of nukes. According to a 2016 study, only 3.5% of U.S GDP is spent on the military.
35. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs- Score: 2.4
There have been no major domestic regulations in the last 40 years. As a result of that
History has shown that tariffs may have adverse effects to the economy. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff passed in 1930 was major contribution to the longevity of the Great Depression.
Nearly half of small business report that they incur an annual cost of over 12,000 dollars to be in compliance with federal regulations. More than ? of businesses have deferred from business investment because of an apprehension on pending regulation and 42 percent held off because they couldn’t interpret existing regulation.
This study presents a detailed study of the economic policies of the United States, as written by Specialist Simon Shi. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:
5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2018. Used herein with permission]
RATING SUMMARY - SIMON SHI POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 % 2 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 3 2.3 6.9 15.0 46 4 3.0 9.0 15.0 90 5 4.1 12.3 15.0 82 6 4.6 14.1 15.0 92 7 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 8 3.2 9.6 15.0 96 9 2.1 6.3 15.0 42 10 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 11 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 12 3.2 6.4 10.0 64 13 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 14 4.2 8.4 10.0 84 15 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 16 2.2 4.4 10.0 44 17 2.3 4.6 10.0 46 18 4.7 9.4 10.0 94 19 2.1 4.2 10.0 42 20 1.6 3.2 10.0 32 21 3.6 7.2 10.0 72 22 2.1 4.2 10.0 42 23 0.4 0.8 10.0 08 24 4.8 9.6 10.0 96 25 4.6 9.2 10.0 92 26 2.7 5.4 10.0 54 27 2.3 4.6 10.0 46 28 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 29 4.7 4.7 5.0 94 30 2.1 2.1 5.0 42 31 4.2 4.2 5.0 42 32 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 33 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 34 4.7 4.7 5.0 94 35 3.3 3.3 5.0 66 TOTAL 127.9 272.2 370.0 73.6% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - SIMON SHI
1. Freedom from internal control: 5.0
The Freedom of Movement, under the Privilege and Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution, ensures the citizens of each State have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to travel and choose their residence within the U.S. territory. Likewise, citizens have entitled the freedom to start and conduct legal business in all States within the U.S. However, laws, regulations, and permits may vary in States.
2.Freedom of speech: 4.8
The freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the rights to protest, express ideas and information, criticize individuals and government. Though the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the freedom of speech is not absolute, and there are a few limitations to protected speech. Forms of speech that aren’t protected by the first amendment include obscene materials, plagiarism of copyrighted materials, defamation, and hate crimes.
3.Effective, fair police force: 2.3
According to 2017 Gallup survey, 57% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the police force. Though the overall average in 2017 hovered around the all-time overall number, the confidence in police of African-Americans reached an all-time low of 30%.
With heavy media coverage of the police shooting unarmed blacks in Ferguson, New York City, and Missouri, and Black Lives Matter movement, minorities, and younger generations are beginning to lose hope in the police force. In 2015, an all-time high, 45% of African Americans and 41% of young people believed that police officers routinely lie to serve their own interest.
4.Private property: 3.6
English philosopher John Locke believed that all people are born with the natural rights to life, liberty, and property. Inspired by Locke, the Founding Fathers of the United States implemented the rights to property in the Constitution, which are protected by the Fourth,and Fifth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from “unreasonable searches and seizures” from the government. But the government’s interpretation of “unreasonable” has varied over time.
Additionally, after the attack of 9-11, Congress passed laws, making it easier for the government to access personal information when investigating terrorism. In the age of the internet, where so much personal information is shared over social media such as Facebook, and Twitter, many argue that the “Big Brother” has taken away the rights to privacy.
5.Commercial banks: 4.1
Commercial banks are the foundations of business and finance in the United States, they offer services such as deposits, loans to enterprises, and treasury management. The top five largest commercial banks in the United States are J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, with J.P. Morgan Chase leading the pack, which earned over $105 billion in revenue in 2016. As the U.S. economy continues to grow, the demand for business loans will rise also. In December 2017, the value of loans to businesses of U.S commercial banks totaled to over $12.5 billion, and over $781 billion in loans to individuals. In addition, the annual revenue of U.S. commercial banks is projected to increase to over $240 billion in 2019.
Despite the prosperity of the commercial banks, the number of FDIC-insured commercial banks is on the decline since last decade. In 2016, there were 5,102 FDIC-insured banks in the U.S., about 200 fewer than the previous year. On top of that, there on only two new FDIC-insured commercial banks since 2011. With the number of FDIC-insured commercial banks on the decline, investors and enterprises are more vulnerable to financial crises in the future.
6.Communication systems: 4.6
The United States has an extensive network of communication facilities, with over 121.53 fixed telephone subscriptions, 416.684 million of cell phones, over 15,000 radio stations, and 246.8 million internet users. The United States is ranked 3rd in communication infrastructures, behind European Union and China.
88.5% of the United States population has access to the internet, and 77% of the population own a smartphone. The accessibility of internet allowed technology companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple to grow and expand in the U.S. market. Though the majority of the population has access to the internet, the internet speed in the United States is extremely slow compared to other developed countries. In 2017, Korea internet speed is ranked first in the world, with an average speed of 28.6 Mbps. In comparison, the United States has an average speed of 14.2 Mbps, an unacceptable speed that must be improved to support the rapid technological advancements in the country.
The National Highway System has established over 164,000 miles of highways in the United States, with interstate connections to all states except Alaska. Americans own an average of 2.28 vehicles per household, thus the highway system is essential to the United States commerce, defense, and mobility. Furthermore, the United States has over 5,100 airports for public use, and over 10 reputable airline companies, passengers are accessible to anywhere in the country.
In 2017, 50.7 million students attended public elementary school, and 3.6 million students graduated from high school, with a high school dropout rate of 5%. 20.4 million students attended American universities and colleges, and 33.4% of the U.S. population holds a bachelor’s degree. The United States has established over 98,000 public schools and 33,000 private schools. In addition, historical top-ranked universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and Princeton attract international students around the globe to attend every year. In 2015, international student tuitions contributed more than $35 million to the U.S economy.
Despite free public K-12 education in the United States, in 2015, the Programme for International Student Assessment results placed the United States students 38th in math and 24th in science among 71 countries. The United States was ranked 5th in spending per student, with $113,000 per student. Compared to other developed countries, the United States education system is expensive and falling behind.
9.Social Mobility: 2.1
The United States was built on the idea of “American Dream”, which attracted countless immigrants around the globe to work for better lives. With the decline of social mobility, United States no long upholds its identity of “American Dream”. In 1970, 30-year-olds had a 92% of earning more than what their parents earned at the same age. In contrast, 51% of 30-year-olds in 2016 earn less than what their parents earned at the same age. Individuals that are born to households in the bottom 20% of earnings have 7.8% chance of reaching the top 20% when they grow up.
Income inequality is another factor that inhibits Americans from climbing up the ladder. The average income for top 0.1% in 2015 is $6,747,439, they average more than 137 times the average income of the bottom 90%.
10.Share of All Jobs in Small Businesses: 5.0
In 2014, the U.S Census Bureau reported that there were 5.83 million employer firms in the United States. Firms with fewer than 500 employees made up 99.7% of the employer firms, and firms with fewer than 20 employees accounted for 89.4% of the firms. In 2014, small and medium enterprises hired 56.8 million employees, or 48% of the total private workforce in the United States.
In addition, small and medium businesses accounted for 97.6% of all exporters and 97.2% of all importer in the United States. In 2015, SME’s contributed 32.9% of the total export value, and 32% of all known import value.
11.Freedom from outside control: 5.0
The United States federal laws apply to businesses, and people (citizens, green card/ visa holders, etc) living in the United States and territories. United States legal residents are free from control of laws and restrictions of foreign countries. However if residents travel to another country, they must obey and follow the laws of the destination country for the time present in destination country.
12.Protection of Domestic Enterprises: 3.2
Throughout history, The United States has shown effort to protect its domestic enterprises from foreign competitions. The Commerce Compromise of 1787 mandated that tariffs were only allowed on imports from foreign countries, and not exports from U.S. manufacturers.
Despite historical policies, the United States suffered from a total trade deficit of $566 billion in 2017, with $2.895 trillion goods and services imported, and $2.329 trillion exported. The trade deficit was a result of free trade agreements with foreign countries, which the United States agreed to place little to almost no tariff on their import goods and services. In attempt to protect domestic companies, President Trump imposes 25% increase in tariff for imported steel, and 10% increase on imported aluminum. In response, China imposes tariffs on U.S. imports worth around $3 billion. Though heavy tariff on foreign goods and services sounds perfect on paper, it is impractical realistically. It drags the United States into unnecessary trade wars, and high prices ultimately hurts domestic owners.
13.Foreign currency transactions: 5.0
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the United States, all physical currency transactions conducted in United States must be done in dollar. If one wishes to exchange it’s foreign currencies into U.S. dollar, one can do so through banks, airports, ATM machines, and private currency exchange businesses. Elimination of foreign currency use in the United States allows the Federal Reserve Bank to effectively monitor money supply in United States, and allows government policies to work efficiently.
14.Border control: 4.2
A strong border is crucial to an country’s success, as it prevents illegal immigrants, drugs, and terrorists and human trafficking. The U.S. Mexico border is one of the world’s most strictest borders. In 2012, over 21,000 border agents were active in patrolling 1,317 miles of the U.S Mexico border. The agents arrested over 364,000 people illegally entering the country, seized over 5,900 pounds of cocaine, and 2.2 million pounds of marijuana in 2012 alone.
In 2018, President Trump plans to increase budget for U.S Department Homeland Security by $23 billion for enhanced border security and fencing along the U.S. Mexico border despite our government deficit. Though border security is important, such enormous budget increase for a huge wall that will be impractical.
The official and only currency of the United States is United States Dollar (USD). The U.S. Treasury controls the printing of USD, however the Federal Reserve Bank controls the money supply through its power to fluctuate interest rates.
USD is one of the world’s most expensive and strongest currencies because of its value in the international market, and it’s the most traded currency in the exchange market. On top of that, USD is a global currency, many countries such as China, Hong Kong, and Singapore peg their currencies to dollar, and hold large deposits of the USD.
16.Cultural, language homogeneity: 2.2
The United States is a nation built by immigrants around the globe, a melting pot that includes ethnicities, cultures, languages, and values from every corner of our planet. In 2016, the United States consists a population of 76.9% of White, 13.3% of Black, 17.8% of Hispanic, and 5.7% of Asian. In addition, more than 80% of the population apprehends the English language, thus the United States is relatively culturally homogenous.
Despite the cultural homogeneity, racism and discrimination of minorities have existed since the birth of the United States. From genocide of the Native Americans, and Jim Crow Laws in early history, to Ku Klux Klan and President Trump’s attitudes towards Latin immigrants in modern days, discrimination will continue to magnify as minority populations expand in the future.
17.Political effectiveness: 2.3
The intelligence of the Founding Fathers has granted the citizens the power to vote for government officials and laws, however, the United States government was never designed for efficiency and effectiveness. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed 90,000 square miles of land and left more than 1,500 dead. Along the Gulf of Mexico, more than tens of thousands of people suffered without essential supplies for weeks, because of the failure of the government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were unable to help due to deep budget cuts by the federal government. The Homeland Security Department waited 36 hours after the Katrina struck to declare it an incident of national significance.
Despite mass shootings like Harvest festival shooting in Las Vegas and Parkland shooting in Florida, the Federal government fails to establish gun control laws and continues to allow such horrific events to take place.
18.Institutional stability: 4.7
Though the United States government, courts, schools, law enforcement and businesses have experienced slight modifications and incorporated numerous of Amendments through history, the cores of these institutions remain identical since they were created in 1987; how we vote for government officials, the way Congress was set up, and separation of states. The Constitution has endured the test of time and remains as the supreme laws of the country to this day.
19.Honest government: 2.1
In 2017, the United States received a corruption perceptions index score of 75 out of 100, and ranking of 16th out of 180 countries, with 1st being least corrupt. Though the United States is on the top of the list, it is one of the world’s powerhouses, thus slight corruption in the government will be significant. With 44% of Americans believe that the President and his office officials are corrupt, and 70% of Americans believe that the government fails to fight corruption, a majority of the Americans distrust the government.
With political campaigns being funded by billionaires, politicians can be bribed to reduce regulation of industries like banking. From 1998 to 2008, Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and real estate companies spent a total of $1.725 billion on political contributions, and $3.4 billion on bank lobbyists to undercut the federal regulation.
20.Common laws: 1.6
Though the Fourteenth Amendment states that no state shall deny any person within the government’s jurisdiction “the equal protection of the law”, the criminal justice system of U.S often discriminates against minorities and people of color and favors the white and wealthy. In 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy drunkenly drove his car off a bridge, though he safely escaped, his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne was drowned to death. He was pleaded guilty for leaving the scene of the crash, however, did not face any charges for driving under the influence or the death of the young women. Kennedy received two months in jail for his character and reputation.
According to the NAACP, Hispanics and African Americans make up 56% of all inmates in 2015. African Americans are imprisoned five times more likely than whites.
21.Central bank: 3.6
The Federal Reserve System is the United States central bank, a system established in 1913 by Congress to promote the health of the U.S. economy and stability of the U.S. financial system. The Federal Reserve is not funded by the government, its operations are financed from the interest earned on the securities it owns, thus the Fed is independent of political control. However, the Fed is not independent of the U.S. government, since all net earnings of the Fed are required to transfer to the U.S. Treasury. The Federal Reserve seeks to promote the growth of the U.S economy, regulate financial institutions, control interest, and inflation rates, and maximize sustainable employment and stable prices through monetary policy.
During the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed issued a $16 trillion bailout in attend to save the economy. However, the audit of the Fed reported that more than $6 trillion was given to foreign banks. This founding raised doubts and questions about the effectiveness of the Fed.
22.Domestic budget management: 2.1
From 1970 to 2018, the United States has been in deficit, excluding 1998 to 2001. In 2018, the country’s deficit is estimated to be $833 billion and projected to reach $1 trillion in 2020. With no intention to reduce the national deficit, the national debt will continue to climb to a projected $30.024 trillion in 2027.
Despite the increasing national deficit, the government is able to control a relatively stable inflation rate. From 1991 to 2018, the nation’s inflation rate ranges between 0.1% to 4%, a healthy range that promotes job creation.
23.Government debt: 0.4
As of March 2018, the United States national debt was $21.03 trillion, with a federal spending of $4.1 trillion and average debt per citizen of $61,250. With a GDP of $19.843 trillion, the national debt is equivalent to 105.4% of GDP, an unreal amount that will take centuries to pay off.
Despite the insane amount of national debt, the United States deficit continues to climb. The country’s 2018 deficit projects to near $833 billion, and $984 billion in 2019. The government clearly has no effort to reduce the federal deficit, digging a deeper hole that will be impossible for the future generations to escape.
24.Economic statistics: 4.8
The United States has a number of credible federal sources that publish and analyze economic statistics, such as the Department of Commerce that founded the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve which controls interest rate and money supply, and the Census Bureau. With well-established federal agencies and economic statistics in place, investors and entrepreneurs can stay up to date with our economy, and allocate their investments based on the economic datas.
25.Protection of public health and safety: 4.6
In 2017, the United States was ranked 170 out of 225 countries for the highest infant mortality rate in the world. The infant mortality rate in the United States was 0.58%, which was slightly higher than Japan’s 0.2% and European Union’s 0.4%. Afghanistan had the highest infant immortality rate in the world at 11.06%, and Monaco had the lowest rate at 0.18%. In 2016, the United State’s national tuberculosis rate was 2.9 cases per 100,000 people, which was significantly lower than TB high burden countries like China and India.
Since the Progressive Era in the early 20th century, the United States has an importance of public health and established numerous amount of federal aided institution to ensure the health of its people. With the most well-known programs being the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
26.High wage policies: 2.7
The United States has a national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, regulated by the federal government. However, minimum wage varies across the nation, because state and county governments have the rights to increase and establish their own wage policies.
Although the local governments have the flexibility to adjust wage policies, the majority of the American population suffers from poverty, and real wage hasn’t grown much since the 1960’s. After adjusting for inflation, today’s average hourly wage has the same purchasing power as it did in 1979. In 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 54% of Americans said their wages were falling behind the cost of living. Though raising the minimum wage could relieve Americans from poverty, it could also have a domino effect on the economy, affecting the level of employment, prices of goods and services, and competition with foreign goods and services.
27.Environmental protection: 2.3
The Environmental Protection Agency was founded in 1970, to establish much needed regulations to protect the health of citizens and environment. The Clean Air Act, Oil Pollution Act, Ocean Dumping Act, and Clean Water Act are some of the progressive and revolutionary regulations put forward by the EPA.
Despite the efforts of EPA, air pollution remains as one of the major leading causes of death and diseases in the United States. According to American Lung Association’s 2017 report, more than 125 million Americans live in counties of unhealthy air pollution level. In addition, Trump’s administration disbelieves environmental changes and seeks to cut $2.5 billion, or 23% of the annual budget of the EPA. On top of that, President Trump plans to roll back regulations set forward by past politicians and presidents. President Trump is truly a reactionary that will make “America Great Again”, bringing along American citizens back to the toxic past.
28.Strong army: 5.0
The United States is globally known as the protector of democracy, and superpower of the world. It ranks number one in both military power and military budget, with a budget of $689 billion, approximately 3.4% of the GDP in military spending in 2018. The enormous budget supports the world’s largest air force, cutting-edge military technologies, 1.4 billion of well trained armed force, and world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
Despite having the most powerful military of the world, the military spending only accounts for 17% of the U.S. federal budget of $4.1 billion in 2018, a cost that is significantly lower than one-third of the domestic budget.
29.Foreign trade impact: 4.7
The U.S. economy is highly involved in foreign trades. In 2017, the total U.S. trade with foreign countries was $5.2 trillion, making up approximately 25% of the GDP. With 2.329 trillion in exports and 2.895 trillion in imports. Approximately 41 million American jobs depend on trade, and small and medium businesses account for one-third of U.S. merchandise export.
In addition, our friendly relations and alliances with foreign countries allowed the U.S. to have free trade agreements with 20 countries, backed by Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
30.Management of foreign currency budget: 2.1
In 2017, the total U.S. trade with foreign countries was $5.2 trillion, making up approximately 25% of the GDP. With 2.329 trillion in exports and 2.895 trillion in imports of goods and services, totaled for a trade deficit of $566 billion. One reason for the trade deficit was the increased value of U.S. dollar, which was strengthened 28% between 2014 and 2016, making imports cheaper and exports more expensive.
In March 2018, President Trump increases a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum imports, in attempt to reduce the trade deficit. The increased tariff makes imports more expensive, and forces business owners to purchase overpriced resources, ultimately hurting the economy as a whole.
31.Layers of collective action: 4.2
The Founding Fathers separated the United States government into Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary branch to eliminate the possibility of dictatorship. In addition, the voting system was set in place to allow every citizen to have to equal opportunity to voice their opinions and be apart of the government.
Furthermore, the US government is fragmented into federal and state governments. Each state has the right to pass laws and regulations that do not contradict with the federal government, which allows the state government to enjoy regulated freedom. In 2012, 89,004 local governments existed in the United States, each with modified policies and regulations, voted by the citizens of the local area.
32.Pro business climate: 5.0
The United States, the land of opportunity, the “American Dream”, a concept that motivates citizens to establish businesses and work hard to achieve success and prosperity.
Our economy was built on the idea of capitalism, and powered by personal consumption. In the fourth quarter of 2017, 70% of the United States GDP, equating to $13.65 trillion was produced by consumer spending. With high consumer demand, and the United States’ skilled labor force, advanced technologies, and pro-business culture in place, the United States provides a perfect climate for entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams.
33.Government enterprises: 4.0
The United States government subsidizes businesses such as agriculture, oil, and energy to keep the prices affordable for everyday consumers and to protect producers from an economic crisis and natural disasters. Although, government subsidies conflict with the foundation of American free market, such action is necessary to promote positive externalities, and to prevent events like the Dust Bowl and Great Depression from happening again.
From 2000 to 2015, the United States federal government granted $68 billion in subsidies to businesses, with two-thirds of the subsidies to giant corporations such as Boeing, Intel, Alcoa, and General Motors, in hope to encourage these companies to improve their technologies, thus lowering their prices in long run. $68 billion is an insignificant amount compared to the enormous $19.74 trillion GDP, a price worth paying to stimulate the US economy.
34. International security agreements: 4.7
Throughout history, the United States has been the enforcer of the world. From the Monroe Doctrine in the early 20th century to North Atlantic Treaty Organization after World War II, the United States utilizes its military and naval dominance to protect the American people and ensure democracy across the globe. The United States maintains over 700 military bases in over 70 countries abroad. In 2014, the cost to maintain troops and bases overseas was roughly $85 to $100 billion.
Furthermore, President Trump signed a defense policy bill that increases the military budget from $549 billion to $700 billion, which is roughly 150 billion or 1% increase to our GDP.
35. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs: 3.3
While the federal government regulations benefit and ensure the rights of American workers, these regulations granted small businesses unnecessary suffrage and cost disadvantage in the home market. More than 45% of the United States GDP is driven by small businesses, and about 98% of the nation’s businesses have fewer than 100 employees. Policies such as The Affordable Act, Overtime Rules, and Minimum Wage increase the variable cost of the small firms and price of the domestic goods, which ultimately discourages consumers to purchase U.S. made goods and drastically hinders the growth of our GDP. Business federal regulations are estimated to cost the American economy $1.9 trillion a year.
Although federal regulations damage our economy, history has proven that these regulations are necessary to prevent monopolies and trusts, and to ensure the health of American people, and the safety of American workers. v https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/blog/post/regulations-impact-small-business-and-heart-americas-economy
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