Economic Growth in the U.S. has slowed down compared to historical averages according to recent reports from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Some are claiming that this is okay and that it is “normal” while there are others who disagree and understand that economic growth is essential to a prospering society. This division among people on how they view economic growth also represents a division among the two major political parties on how they view economic growth. Director of Research here at the Acton Institute, Samuel Gregg, recently penned an article for stream.org about the fundamental differences between the Democratic and Republican Party platforms on the topic of economic growth.
Gregg starts out by explaining the Dems position on economic growth and how they focus most of their economics on redistribution:
Generally, however, growth appears almost as an afterthought in the Democratic platform — as if growth were necessary primarily because it creates more stuff to redistribute. Virtually every section of the Democratic platform that refers to economic subjects focuses on using the state to
- redistribute wealth,
- secure various economic “rights” (which are asserted rather than explained), and
- stimulate the economy by any number of interventions and subsidies.
Many of these interventions support specific groups, thus underscoring the continuing rampage of identity politics on the left.
Gregg then begins to explain the GOP’s position on economic growth and how they seek growth first:
The primary differences between the GOP platform and that of the Democrats on the issue of growth is that the Republicans’ whole approach to the economy starts with
- a focus upon economic growth,
- a refusal to accept recent years of low-growth as normal, and
- outlines of what Americans need to do to realize a high-growth economy.
In all this, the GOP portrays government as playing a more or less subordinate role.
In concluding the article, Gregg asks the question “Why is there such a stark contrast between the two parties’ view of economic growth?” He then goes on to explain the difference between the two parties’ priorities and how he believes the gap in how people view economic growth will only widen with this year’s election. You can read Gregg’s full article on stream.org here.
In Becoming Europe, Samuel Gregg examines economic culture - the values and institutions that inform our economic priorities - to explain how European economic life has drifted in the direction of what Alexis de Tocqueville called "soft despotism", and the ways in which similar trends are manifesting themselves in the United States.