Jan 11
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America through the Eyes of the Economy (edited)

    Americans have changing views on the economy, and they have changing values. Americans want to fix economic issues they see; however, many also believe that the current methods are ineffective, or actually harming the economy. Many Americans observe issues, but do not want to fix the problems themselves. They simply leave the issue for future generations, or for others to solve. Putting off dealing with issues in meaningful ways is visible in more than just economics. The economy is a window into American values and political leanings.

    Most Americans view tariffs (a tax on an imported good) as bad for the United States. In a survey done by the Pew Research Center, 49% of Americans view  tariffs as harmful, compared to 40% of Americans that view them as helpful. Tariffs might seem to help the steel and aluminum industries in the short term, but have already begun harming other larger industries such as the automotive industry. Tariffs will continue to eliminate jobs, increase the prices of goods, and reduce people’s purchasing power in the long term, this statement is supported by the Forbes article, Tariffs Are Costing Jobs: A Look At How Many. According the the USA Today opinion article, Donald Trump’s tariffs are upsetting everyone, the tariffs may cause manufacturing plants in Arkansas to close if they are not given an exemption from the tariffs. If the plants close many people will lose their jobs, and the price of products will increase. Many Americans view the tariffs as harmful to the economy as a whole.

    The article from USA Today, United Steelworkers: Metals tariffs are crucial to national security, looks at the workers view, and addresses the issue of steel and aluminum plants that are being closed by “subsidized metal pouring in from China”. The leader of The United Steelworkers sees the issue as something America needs to address. They believe putting tariffs on metals will allow the plants to continue operations and increase U.S. production of aluminum and steel. The rationale for the tariffs is also based on national security, which shows the nationalist leanings of American leadership. The United Steelworkers’ opinion differs from most Americans’ view according to the survey done by the Pew Research Center.

    The political view of American leadership of the economy takes a more Nationalist approach than one of Globalism, focusing more on the United States than the world as a whole. Americans focus on our economy and hold it above all others; However, many Americans want the cheap products from overseas without thinking about where they come from. Many Americans are short sighted, opting to purchase the cheaper foreign product of lower quality. Then these same Americans then look at our economy and trade deficit, and say it is an issue while doing nothing about it. The takeaway is, Americans can be hypocritical and struggle to deal with issues in a proactive way, Americans want two things they can’t have together, high paying jobs, and low cost of products. Additionally the nationalistic approach to the economy can be observed to extend to nationalistic leanings in other policies. Conversely trade deficits can create situations where the citizens of countries in a trade deficit cannot change their purchasing habits; therefore, the countries are stuck in a downward spiral. Americans’ Consumer habits clearly show american values, and how they conflict with current political policies.

    The U.S. economy clearly shows how America functions, or dysfunctions, and the leanings of America. The tariffs show american viewpoints and they show American political leadership leaning more toward Nationalism. An observation of American Consumerism shows a pattern of pushing issues further down the road, and leaving them for someone else. Americans need to deal with our economic issues in proactive ways.
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