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Mike Connolly / Clear, concise arguments and answers from leading thinkers / Eristical.com
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Mike Connolly

The cause of poverty is human imperfection. Some people are poor because they do not work, and some people are poor because they can not work, and some people are poor because of horribly unlucky personal circumstances. (Some people are born into wealthy families in America, and some people are born into poor, sick villages in the Third World.)

That said, the greatest enemy poverty ever had is freedom. The economic power of a free United States over the last 100 years had been responsible for lifting literally billions of people out of poverty. When people are protected by the Rule of Law and are free to work and live as they please while keeping the fruits of their labor, they have greater opportunity for upward mobility than in any other political or economic system. Honestly, the greatest practical solution to poverty is the United States of America.

Communications Director, Club For Growth, Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

Economies grow when they are free to grow. When people are free to keep more of what they produce, they will produce more. Free, competitive markets encourage transparency, innovation, and honest dealing. Free markets, featuring low barriers to entry, constantly encourage new investment and innovation. Prices are driven down while the quality of products and services are driven up.

Economies controlled by informed consumers and competitive entrepreneurs – and not by politicians and bureaucrats – meet the needs of a society far better than political manipulation of economics. Market-oriented economies create jobs, opportunities, and wealth – undue government intervention in the economy squelches all three.

Communications Director, Club For Growth, Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

Minimum wage laws are good politics, but lousy economics. Forcing companies to raise the wages for workers at the bottom rung of the economic ladder only encourages them to cut the number of jobs for those workers. If a company employs three people at $4 per hour, and the government increases the minimum wage to $6 per hour, the employer will simply cut the number of jobs from three to two. That might make life better for two of the three, but it makes the third unemployed, and now an economic drain on society rather than an economic contributor to it.

In the absence of a minimum wage, young and unskilled workers have an incentive to educate themselves, work hard, improve their skills, and increase their value to their employers. An artificially high minimum wage discourages all of the above.

Communications Director, Club For Growth, Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

Only large enough a role to maintain order, enforce laws and contracts, and meet needs – like courts and national defense – best left to public rather than private oversight.

As a rule, market competition more efficiently rewards virtue, punishes irresponsibility, and more fairly distributes resources and opportunities than government. Markets favor the most accountable, innovative, and best companies, while government policies usually only favor the most politically well-connected companies.

Ideally, everyone should have the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail based on his own merit, work ethic, and pluck. Government’s job should be to guarantee equal rights and equality of opportunity, and leave the outcomes up to individuals, their families, neighbors, businesses, and customers.

Communications Director, Club For Growth, Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

Workers should be free to collectively bargain with employers. And employers should be free to bargain with them or not. Negotiated labor contracts make more sense in some industries than others, and the decision to enter into one should be left to the individual businesses and their employees. The government should not put its thumb on either side of that scale.

Communications Director, Club For Growth, Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

Taxes should not exist to more equally distribute resources. Government has a certain set of functions it must perform, and it obviously needs a certain amount of money to perform them. But beyond those basic functions and services, government should do and tax very little.

So, taxes should not be raised or lowered according to ideological notions of “fairness.” Fairness dictates that people should keep the fruits of their labor, period. Government doesn’t deserve any share of your income, property, or wealth, and thus should not determine its budget based on how much money it can confiscate. That’s backwards. Instead, government should determine what it must do and go about collecting the necessary taxes to do it, through a transparent and flat rate of income, consumption, property, or what have you.

In terms of economic efficiency and job creation, taxes should be as predictable as possible. Businesses, families, and individuals should be able to plan for the future without fearing massive tax increases to suit the whims of a political elite.

Communications Director, Club For Growth, Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

Human nature. Conservatives prefer to maximize freedom, even if it means sacrificing equality of outcomes – like wealth, education, etc. Liberals prefer to maximize equality, even if it means sacrificing freedom (higher taxes, more government control of economic choices).

A liberal sees a rich person and a poor person, who both work equally hard at their jobs, and sees injustice. A conservative sees the liberal take money from the rich person and give it to the poor person, and sees injustice.

They disagree because they’re both right. Liberals are right to believe life isn’t fair. Conservatives are right to believe liberals can’t change that fact.

Communications Director, Club For Growth, Mike Connolly