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The macroeconomic side of growth is straightforward enough: Incentives shape individual choices, and good choices lead to productive activities. Economic growth accelerates when people choose to get an education in a field the economy values highly, when they choose to work full time and hone their productivity, when they choose to save, invest and take business risks, when they choose to start companies and hire workers, when they choose to innovate and create new products, and when they choose to seize the business opportunities around the world. Market signals steer individuals and companies toward the productive activities that grow an economy. Markets tell us to get an education. Among 25-34 year olds, workers with bachelor’s degrees earned an average of $62,960, more than double the $28,202 for high school dropouts. Markets tell us to invest in private companies. Since 1925, average annual returns have been 8.8% for small company stocks and 6.7% for large company stocks, well above the 2.4% on long-term government bonds. Markets tell us to innovate and start new companies. Microchip-based economic activity expanded from $164 billion in 1977 to more than $1.6 trillion three decades later, adding nearly a half percentage point to the nation’s annual growth rate. Big Government does a lot of damage when it interferes with markets’ orderly and consistent incentives. Higher income taxes, for example, erode the rewards for education, hard work, saving, investing, innovating, and growing businesses. Government handouts frequently reduce the urgency to go to school and find a job. Onerous regulations divert money and manpower from productive activities. Big Government holds back the economy, slowing growth and making it difficult to create jobs and raise living standards. The U.S. economy has been in the doldrums for nearly five years. Market incentives are the key to getting out of the funk. The path to 4% growth lies in greater economic freedom.
TARIFF-IED: Trade Talk with Matthew Rooney
This week, trade relations between the U.S. and India are continuing to escalate. Earlier this month, the U.S. stopped granting India special trade privileges by taking away the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and India has responded by enforcing more tariffs of its own. The George W. Bush-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Director Matthew Rooney breaks down the trade conflict: For more information on trade groups and the global economy, visit www.bushcenter.org/scorecard.
How Trade Spreads Holiday Cheer
It is projected that the average American household will spend more than $1,000 during the holidays this year.
Deporting Salvadorans May Lead to Economic Decline
We should think carefully about a policy whose major impacts are likely to be reductions in employment and economic activity here at home, and increased instability and lawlessness along our borders.
Bush Institute's Laura Collins Talks Immigration on Good Morning Texas
Last week, Deputy Director of Economic Growth at the George. W. Bush Institute Laura Collins spoke with Good Morning Texas about immigration myths. During the interview, Collins had the opportunity to set the record straight and address common misconceptions about legal immigrants living in America today. The segment was inspired from facts released earlier this fall by the Bush Institute in the third edition of America's Advantage: A Handbook on Immigration and Economic Growth. Watch the full Good Morning Texas interview here.