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The economy is always a salient issue in every national election. The state of the economy directly impacts all people and serves as the foundation for all functions of society. Therefore, success in political campaigns requires that candidates have effective policy positions and overall visions for the future of our economy. 

Many voters cast ballots with significant weight placed on their perception of how a chosen candidates’ economic policies will impact their wallets both short term and long term. Consideration given to how well policies will provide stability in employment, growth in investments, and future career opportunities.

Hysteria, marketing tactics, and pure misinformation can cloud how one views the condition and state of the economy. Prospective voters should understand what a good economy looks like and how it is measured. Understand basic economic principles underlying political talking points. Understand how government policy really impacts the economy.  

A common answer in economics is the phrase “it depends”, which is applicable in judging how our economy is performing. There are many viewpoints to consider when evaluating our economy. A macro view looking at overall growth and wealth creation across our society. Or a micro view look at the economic condition of individuals in our society. 

The term “economic growth” is commonly thrown around as clickbait in news coverage, which simply means our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was higher in the current period than the previous one. Conversely, an economic recession is when our GDP is lower in the current period than the previous one. 

GDP measures the productivity of our domestically owned economic interests. Another measure used is Gross National Product (GNP), which measures productivity occurring within our borders. For more globally connected economies, GDP provides a broader view of the economic performance because some assets may be deployed overseas. 

From a bird’s eye view, economic growth is good and desirable. Greater GDP and GNP reflects a nation’s collective wealth is expanding. Economists balance their view of the economy with more in-depth measures that reflect how well that growth spreads through society. Ideally, economic growth should create jobs, expand wealth, and improve productivity.

Periods of sustainable economic growth can help business decision makers choose to expand payrolls, depending on consumer demand and cost impact. More overall jobs can help spur wage growth as workers can market their skill set. Moreover, economic growth can help spark investment into innovations like new technology or new markets and industries. 

A summary for defining a good economy is one that experience sustained economic growth creating net new jobs, expanding wealth through wage increases and investment returns, and creates incentives for innovation and entrepreneurial pursuits. A good economy provides increased government revenue through the numerous taxes levied by federal and state agencies. 

The critical aspect for a good economy is creating opportunity. The source for American greatness over the years was opportunity and pursuit of success, whether financial or personal achievement. Unlike other economies, the United States economy is driven by the people, based on what is consumed and invested in. People make what people want.

The United States is the land of opportunity, which is why America is the clear global leader in immigration, bringing in people from around the world seeking better lives for their families. People enjoy the economic freedom to chase their dreams, leveraging hard work, ambition, and creativity to pursue all forms of success. 

A nation built on the principles of self governance should maintain an economy affording economic freedom and uncapped success. Society is much better off if all take up the challenge of pursuing success and pushing the limits of human achievement. Risk can bear rewards well beyond the risk taker, who deserves to be compensated for their risk. 

There is no perfect economic system, but free market capitalism by far does much better job of reducing overall poverty than any other model. Despite this fact, there are some challenges policymakers must address with appropriate policy measures and regulation. Keyword appropriate, as much of our economic issues are a direct result of regulatory missteps. 

There always will be some people who struggle to compete in a dynamic economy like ours. Our economy rewards ingenuity, ambition, productivity, and innovation. Many people work hard, but are not able to find ways to make themselves stand out in crowded labor markets. The focus should be assisting them in skill acquisition instead of the politics of jealousy.

There is no real proof that government centric economic systems are sustainable in the long run. Many nations operating government centered economies fail to create jobs, grow wealth, and reduce cost for those living under these systems. Poverty, social violence, and international bailouts are a common theme in these nations. 

No matter how often candidates re-brand failed economic policies of the path, society must choose to stay on the path that made the United States great. Focus on growth, job creation, wealth creation, and improving our social skill development systems. Empower people not government. A nation of the people should have an economy of the people as well.