By Ian MacLean
We are about to enter a completely unnecessary recession.
President Joe Biden and his administration have created huge inflation. We all experience it. Instead of solving the problem with obvious solutions, the administration relies on the Federal Reserve to solve the inflation problem by raising interest rates. This will inevitably lead the United States into a recession when we are already struggling in so many areas as a country.
What could the Biden administration do to easily bring relief to a struggling US economy?
Take control of the fossil fuel industry. Facilitate the ability of American companies to drill and refine fossil fuels responsibly. Allow Keystone XL pipeline to complete. Just a year ago, the United States was energy independent. We are now increasingly dependent on other countries to produce oil and gas. We are buying huge amounts of oil from countries, including Russia, when we are potentially on the brink of conflict with them. Today, the cost of fossil fuels drives up the prices of almost every product and service we consume. Whether you hire an HVAC company to maintain your home or buy bacon at the grocery store, their prices depend on the cost of fossil fuels. These are two examples, but everything between these two very different examples is impacted.
Solve our clogged ports. Relaxing regulations and introducing real solutions will remove the first blocker that is causing problems in our supply chain. There were a few sentences spoken about fixing clogged ports. It is insufficient. The supply chain crisis continues to escalate and requires attention and solutions. (I’m still waiting for the first Christmas present for one of my beloved daughters because it’s trapped somewhere overseas.) And container boxes shouldn’t be reloaded onto ships without something in them. China has lost billions of dollars short of its promise to buy from American farmers. The containers could bring food to China and meet the agreement with China. We have heard almost nothing about it.
Eliminate vaccination mandates. Imposing mandates on corporations is causing massive disruption in many industries. When so many businesses and industries lose a percentage of their workers, it hurts our economy. Moreover, imposing vaccination mandates on truckers is absurd. Drop all vaccination mandates for truckers, encourage Canadian leaders to drop vaccination mandates for Canadian truckers so the Port of Vancouver can be fully utilized, and encourage U.S. companies to follow Starbucks’ lead in abandoning Vaccination mandates for their employees.
Open ALL schools. Although 95% of schools are open, this is not enough. This means that 5% of schools are closed. If you reopen those 5% of closed schools, countless parents will be able to return to work.
Work with business leaders to get their employees back to work and to the office unless they are high risk people. Those of us who are essential workers have been working every day during the pandemic. Who are these people still working from home and why haven’t they returned to work yet? Are they better than those of us who have to go to work to do their job? So many small businesses depend on people going to work to survive. There are the obvious businesses like office construction, maintenance, hotels and hair salons. But there are less obvious beneficiaries of the homeworker crowd returning to work, such as dry cleaners, drapers, childcare centers and hot business lunch spots, to name a few. .
Reform Immigration. It’s been dragging on for years. It would be a game-changer for our economy. And immigration reform doesn’t mean letting more than two million illegal immigrants pour into the United States in a single year. It means establishing a system where companies can import both talent and labor to fill jobs that American citizens cannot or will not do. This is legislation that would easily garner bipartisan support.
Finally, there should be very few Americans collecting unemployment benefits at this point. Almost every business in the United States is desperately hiring and looking for employees at many levels. Those who are too lazy to be a productive member of our society should step up a gear (an analogy to be understood by those who know how to drive a stick, or even know what it means). There is a short list of legitimate reasons for not being able to work right now in our economy.
So why are Biden and his administration taking the approach they are taking? Who benefits if the United States enters a recession? Think about it. Reread the solutions and think about why these solutions are not working. And then…follow the money.
(Ian MacLean owns Highland Landscaping Construction in Southlake. He was selected to chair the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council last November. In this capacity, Ian offers his perspective as a “voice of small business in America.”