Michael Wodka I completely agree. The achievement gap is only making the problem worse. I just wished that the 40 percent of students planning on studying STEM majors didn't switch to other majors. If universities encouraged them through better educational policies, many more would stay and graduate.
Michael Wodka I agree with you. Increasing high school math/science education levels would go a long way in helping STEM students. However, colleges and universities should also help out and not systemically try to fail every student but rather help them succeed.
Michael Wodka You make a fair point. I am not doubting that you have to work your tail off to be a STEM major. But universities and the government should be encouraging students to enter these fields but many get discouraged because of the high stress associated with these majors and a lack of guidance and preparation by the universities. If universities implemented some of the proposals I mentioned (which do not make any of the content easier), you would see a larger retention of STEM majors which is good for the country and our economy.
Michael Wodka I completely disagree. There are many bright, capable students that can thrive in STEM careers but become discouraged when they are weeded out of of their STEM major/classes. If there was more academic support and more practical classes taken earlier in one's academic career, you would see larger retention rate and more passionate/low stress engineering, pre-med, and other science majors. I am not calling on STEM schools to maker their classes easier, but they should encourage and help students rather than discourage them.
Michael Wodka As a fraternity member at Cornell University, I believe hazing classes are not effective in stopping hazing practices. Nor are safe drinking practice classes. People usually sit through them half asleep, cracking jokes about how much they drink. In order to stop alcohol related hazing practices, colleges need to regulate pledging by having fraternities/sororities submit pledging plans for approval by university administrators and having national Greek members oversee pledging events. A better solution to this whole mess would be to lower the drinking age to 18, so college students will not be inclined to binge drink.
Michael Wodka You grossly exaggerated Romney's record in this article. What about the $750 million in "fees" Romney imposed on Massachusetts citizens to balance the budget? Do you disagree that a fee is not a tax? Also, what about him being 48th in the nation in job creation when he was governor? Of course, you're not going to mention these "selective" facts and statistics in this article but just misrepresent Obama's record.
Michael Wodka This is a great article. There is definitely something wrong when we are spending more on our defense budget than the rest of the world combined. And are we safer because of it? I would say no.
Michael Wodka This system would not be a national sales tax. Essentially, you would report your income for the year (like an income tax return) and your savings, and then be taxed on the difference. Obviously, the tax system would have to be implemented in a way to avoid the problem you are talking about. However, I also suggested using a deduction method so a certain amount of necessary consumption cannot be taxed. And hopefully the increased savings would lead to higher domestic investment which leads to increased economic growth.
Michael Wodka Again, I will make the point that our current system places an "indirect" tax on consumption (since you are losing income to consume), and the consumption tax protects savings which is critical to economic growth and essential for family well being. You make a good point about the economic life cycle, but remember, my tax system would have a deduction system and implemented on a progressive scale, so lower income and middle class families would not be burdened. Moreover, a lot of Americans are inadequate savers and continue to overleverage and go into debt to pay for things they frankly can't afford. My tax system addresses both Republican and Democratic desires: it's a pro-growth and pro-equality model
Michael Wodka Implementing a consumption tax would be a gradual process, and I definitely would not support implementing it during our current economic climate. However, you are missing the point that our current income tax system harms consumption as well (since you are losing potential income for consumption). The great thing about a consumption tax is that it does not harm savings which leads to domestic investment which is a catalyst for economic growth. As for your point on whether my tax proposal would help or hurt job creation, I believe it would encourage job creation because it would boost domestic investment. Also, implementing the tax system, so it would do the least harm to consumption while being revenue neutral is the optimal choice.
Michael Wodka My proposal is based on the theory that the rich and wealthy consumption habits cause the middle class and poor to over leverage and go into debt to maintain a relative standard of living. By saving more and consuming less, many americans will be better off in the long run. And the tax would be progressive so the middle class and poor would receive a deduction to buy necessary consumption products.
Michael Wodka When people usually write this type of article, they like to sight the job numbers between Clinton and Bush to further their argument. However, you must be careful with correlation vs. causation which is why I left out their job numbers. Clinton benefited from an Internet stock bubble which is what created a majority of his job numbers. I don't believe tax policy (either high or low) is a huge factor in what creates jobs. Jobs are created through technology booms, increased consumer confidence, and domestic investment which all lead to increased demand for goods and services. Tax policy can have some impact on this, but it is clearly not the all encompassing solution to economic prosperity.
Michael Wodka I understand the government "crowding out" principle. However, assuming the private sector will invest and innovate in every industry that the government has invested in is not true. The government can operate with huge economies of scale (because it can leverage huge amounts of capital and has a huge budget) which allows it to develop technologies that most of the private sector cannot. I agree with your principle to an extent, but I still believe the government can be a more effective innovator and investor than the private sector.
Michael Wodka Obviously high taxes don't benefit an economy. However, what you do with these revenues is what matters such as government investment in infrastructure, research, health care, education, etc. If Bush redirected the trillions of dollars he spent on Iraq and Afghanistan to these investments and tightened financial regulations to stop the housing bubble, then clearly we wouldn't be sitting in the mess we are in. All I am saying is that tax cuts for the rich prove to be an ineffective economic stimulus and lead to worse problems such as a ballooning deficit and income inequality. And income inequality is definitely negative because it leads to political corruption and disenfranchised poor voters, and the decline of social insurance program
Michael Wodka Certain types of government spending are definitely beneficial for the private sector. Investment in research and infrastructure leads to new technological advances, develops new industries, and creates new jobs. I would definitely call that a successful "trickle down" for the private sector. I think you would agree that our highway system, advances in medical research, and the Internet were all good government investments. But giving tax breaks to wealthy Americans who are not even spending the tax break and then investing the money abroad is clearly a bad economic policy.
Michael Wodka I'm pretty sure Obama wants to hire more police officers, fire fighters, construction workers, nurses, etc. These are good middle class jobs that require public expenditure to create. And classifying these jobs as a public sector "trickle-down" is a misrepresentation.
Michael Wodka I understand Engel's law. What I was trying to say is that the wealthy have an especially low propensity to consume compared to the middle and lower classes. Thus, a tax cut for the middle and lower classes will be more economically stimulating than for the wealthy because they are more likely to spend.
Michael Wodka I am not doubting the Laffer Curve, but at a certain point, lower tax rates does not increase revenues which Republicans love to use as a talking point. And I agree that sometime in the near future, the lower and middle classes will have to pay higher taxes. However, to claim that any tax increase will kill jobs and the economy is completely unsubstantiated and empirically not true. The Bush years had some of the most anemic job growth numbers in a post-recession period in the last 50 years. And as I mentioned in my article, cutting taxes for the wealthy is not an effective economic stimulus and it only adds to our debt and increases income inequality.