Guest Columnists

It's still the economy, stupid

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa.
Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa.

Eighty-four percent of Americans say the top presidential campaign issue is the economy. Americans’ concern over the economy is justified.

USA’s 2007 recession was so damaging that total employment did not return to its pre-recession peak until 2014. While the top-line unemployment rate is below 5 percent, there are millions of people who would do anything to convert their current part-time job to full-time employment. Many would, in a heartbeat, transform their current low-paying for a higher paying job.

In addition to employment concerns, America’s federal deficit is nearing $20 trillion: 75 percent of GDP.

Solving this economic morass will not only require selecting the correct 45th president, but also electing a more bipartisan and problem-solving U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Remember, it is not the president that authorizes the budget. That onus lies in both houses of Congress. As of now, 57 percent of the U.S. House (247/435) and 54 percent of the Senate (54/100) are controlled by Republicans.

From the perspective of economic issues, electing wise Congressional delegates is probably more important than selecting a president.

Americans are tired of political extremes where the far right-wing just wants to decrease taxes and the far left only care about spending more.


The political system is a disaster for another reason. Our U.S. Senators and Representatives only work 133 days a year versus the typical American’s 240 days. If you and I only worked 55 percent of the time, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish much either, let alone hold onto our job.

It’s time to elect policy makers who will treat this slow job creation, federal deficit and economic growth problem with the urgency it deserves. We must elect problem solvers versus lemmings who follow whatever their majority leader, minority leader, lobbyist friends or PAC supporters dictate.

Our 45th president and 115th Congress should focus, above all, on policies that will ignite the American economy. If the U.S. economy grew just 1 percent faster between now and 2030, three things would happen: 1) the economy would be $3 trillion larger, 2) personal income would be $2.5 trillion higher and 3) Uncle Sam would collect more than $5 trillion in additional revenues.

The overwhelming majority of Americans are saying, if not screaming, that we want: 1) a completely revamped tax and regulatory system, 2) a strong middle class, which creates a strong economy, 3) a first-class educational system, 4) upgrading of our infrastructure (e.g., roads, bridges, public transportation, electric grid, broadband, etc.), 5) immigration reform, 6) embrace science and technology in our education system and 7) support entrepreneurs as they fuel new job growth.

Research is replete that there are seven strong headwinds that are slowing job creation and economic growth in America. They include: taxes, education, workforce, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, regulatory system and immigration.

• Steve Corbin, emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa, is one of 12 District Leaders in Iowa for the non-partisan and not-for-profit group No Labels. More information: Comments:



As record numbers of students around the state participate in walkouts and other demonstrations against gun violence, we are urging local public schools not only to recognize the constitutionally-assured free speech rights of thei ...

For most children, childhood is filled with playing, learning and growing. But for the large number of children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk may be missing. Unfortunately, one in seven children in our community go ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.