How to Decide Which Candidate to Vote for in Any Election

Political Issues - What Matters

Presidential Elections
Presidential Elections | Source

I always try to stay abreast with the latest political issues, especially news and updates on the Presidential election. I usually post a comment or two on blogs that tend to focus on real issues, and avoid those that are centered around negativity, such as name slandering, propaganda, distortion of the truth and so on.

Recently, I have stumbled across this blog in particular that really caught my attention. Just from reading 95% of the comments made, I came to the conclusion that in politics today, a large percentage of Americans do not have the slightest clue as to what the real issues currently facing the nation are, and to what extent are they related to economics.

To further support my conclusion, I decided to do some research. Based on my findings, I have come to discover even more! I have also discovered that most politicians themselves don't know much about economics; as a result, they are unable to give specifics and instead resort to unrealistic promises.

The truth is, In order to successfully govern any country, sensible economic policies are of paramount importance, and for this reason, all nations need brilliant economists. Today, global leaders routinely turn to economists for advice and policy suggestions. Successive President of the United States for example, benefits from the recommendations of their Council of Economic Advisers.

No doubt, the vast majority of political problems currently facing this nation have some very important economic ties; therefore, it’s critical for us to have a basic knowledge of economics, if we are to be well-informed citizens.

Economic Issues of Paramount Importance

Over the years, If we were paying close attention to the annual economic report of each of our President, by then we should at least have an idea of the broad range of economic issues that are often of paramount importance to the nation.

Usually, some of the areas covered in the contents of this annual economic report typically include:

  • Unemployment
  • Inflation
  • Economic growth
  • Taxation
  • Poverty
  • International trade
  • Health care
  • Pollution
  • Discrimination
  • Immigration
  • Regulation
  • Education

Questions That Should Be of Importance

The following important questions that should be of concern to all Americans for example, are economically related:

  1. Why is it critical for us to balance the Federal budget?
  2. What can we do to make the social security retirement program financially secure?
  3. What are the reasons we continue to have large international trade deficits?
  4. What are some of the best ways to reduce pollution?
  5. What should be done to keep inflation under control?
  6. What can we do to increase U.S. productivity and economic growth?
  7. How effective and justifiable are our existing welfare programs?
  8. Is there a need to reform our tax system?
  9. How should we respond to growing market dominance by a few firms in some high-technology sectors of the economy?
  10. How can we stop employment discrimination based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or ethnic background?
  11. How can we improve our current educational system?
  12. What contributes to high rate of unemployment and how can we address it?
  13. What measure can be put in place to reduce illegal immigration?
  14. How can we reduce poverty?


Why Are We Always So Dissatisfied?

Registered voters are not challenging our government representative to provide us with the answers to these questions that they need to address, or in other words, questions that should be of primary concern to the nation at large. As a result, this is one of the main reasons a large percentage of the nation’s population always ended up feeling somewhat dissatisfied with the job performance of our elected officials.

We are simply not seeking answers and solutions to issues that should be of importance to us, which is partly due to the fact that we are lacking certain knowledge when it comes to economics. Sometimes, even when a few may ask any of the above questions, we tend to accept the unrealistic answers from most of our politicians who themselves don't have a firm grasp of economics. This again, is due to our limited knowledge in economics.

As voters, we can influence the decisions of our elected officials in responding to the above questions. However, intelligence at the polls requires a basic working knowledge of economics, which most voters are lacking.

In fact, a survey by the National Center for Research in Economic Education suggests that economic illiteracy is widespread in the United States. As a result, during Presidential elections, most of us tend to focus our attention on "election pork barrels", propaganda, media bias, negative advertisements run by the candidates, and so on, to help us with our voting decisions.


What Really is Economic?

According to economists, unlike accounting, advertising, corporate finance, and marketing, the study of economics is not primarily based on how-to-make money. They agree that although the knowledge of economics and mastery of the economic perspective will help you run a business or manage your personal finances, that is definitely not the primary objective of economics.

They believed that economics ultimately look at problems and decisions from the social, rather than the personal, point of view. With economics, the production, exchange, and consumption of goods and services are not discussed strictly from one’s own standpoint, but rather from the viewpoint of society’s best interest.

Conclusion

During elections, of course each of us is going to have our own personal political bias or opinions. However, we should focus on important political issues instead. We should not allow negative advertisements, popular figures, or the media to prevent us from voting for the candidate who provides us with the best answers to all the above questions, based on sound economics reasoning.
I.MCFarlane 9/2012.*.

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