Believe it or not, the very first book that I read on my own was about fun facts about each president of the United States. Without knowing it, I began to develop a deep passion for American history and politics, which today has manifested into my participation of Waking the Vote. This year I will be voting for the first time and I am super psyched about it! Like any other person voting I naturally have topics which are of the utmost importance to me, and for me, the economy is my number one priority.

Why is the economy so important to me? On a personal level, the economy impacts the job market for today’s college students. According to the Economic Policy Institute “the unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent…and the underemployment rate is 14.9 percent.” As a college student, these numbers are startling and honestly leave a lot of doubt as to how well they will improve or worsen over the coming years. On a national and global level, the economy impacts every aspect of everyday life. Think of the economy as the engine of a car for a moment. Seated in the car as passengers are affordable healthcare, affordable education, job growth, tax dollars, social security for elders, and climate change to name a few. The economy is the engine of the car which drives all aspects of society. Without a well-oiled engine or a well-oiled economy, the car cannot drive forward and the nation/world cannot drive progress. The economy impacts every single aspect of life, so for someone who is in college and will be looking for work 4 years from now, it’s obvious why it is so important to me.

Currently we have two candidates with very different policies on how to handle the economy. Donald Trump wants to cut taxes, which would leave more money in the pockets of the people. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes for everyone, especially the wealthy. Donald Trump also criticizes trade deals, such as NAFTA and states he will work to renegotiate. To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, she will not mess with trade deals and will “go where the money is.” To me, neither of these policies seem like enough to drive the economy. Through the course of three debates, what frustrates me most is it seems no candidate can provide the clear how answer to fixing the economy and the why answer is only provided. I want to know more about how these promises will be put into action rather than why they believe these policies are necessary. I believe that I will be voting for whichever candidate can explain how they will promote growth throughout the economy rather than the candidate who can merely tell me why they want to fix the economy. No matter who wins the election, one thing which is certain is that one of the next President’s top priorities should be the economy.

– Bruce

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