letters | watching the economy

The way of the businessman is not a clear path to lead the country

One of the great myths of our modern political culture is that a businessman, by virtue of his success, is uniquely positioned to heal an ailing economy. Business and government serve very different functions.

For example, if a businessman who has increased profits and shareholder value by laying off employees then applies this lesson to the nation’s economy, it would deepen the recession.

As we learned in the Great Depression and World War II, and as we seem to have forgotten, in an economic downturn, when aggregate demand has fallen because families and businesses are cutting consumption and investment, the only way to restore economic growth is through government expenditure and, yes, greater debt in the short run.


Tax cuts for the wealthy are no cure.

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So-called job creators could enjoy a marginal tax rate of zero percent, and they won’t create new jobs if consumers can’t buy their products.

Derek Stolp

West Chatham