Economy is like an Automobile Engine

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Call to Action

Tell me if you think this analogy is useful.


The only economic strategy that Republicans have is "Tax Cuts." Unfortunately, tax cuts don't solve everything - I wish it were so simple. However, to explain that to the average American is difficult, since a good explanation involves a whole bunch of economy-jargon mumbo jumbo and the listener just tunes out.

The analogy "the economy is like an automobile engine" can go a long way toward making this understandable to a casual listener. Here is how you start out:

  • The economy is like an automobile engine. Tax cuts "stimulate" the economy, the way that pushing down on the accelerator "stimulates" a car. But if a car is broken, pushing the accelerator harder won't help. You have to repair the car first, then you can push the accelerator.

Now that you've used the analogy, your listener knows what the structure of your argument is going to be: it's like you just read him the outline. This will make it much easier for him to understand the details of your argument, as you continue:

  • Two years ago, I tried to get some money to start a business. The venture capitalists told me "nobody's investing in anything." I said, "why not?" They said, "the dot-com bubble just popped, everybody's afraid of another stock market bubble." I said, "would tax cuts help?" They said, "no, we've already got this giant pile of money we're too afraid to invest, giving us more money to put into the giant pile isn't going to make any difference." I said, "so what do we do?" He said, "get these stock market bubbles under control - then we'll start investing the money we already have."

Now that you've given a specific example, you can return to the analogy:

  • So what we have is a economy with a broken stock market. We need a mechanic who can repair the problem, not some guy who just keeps pushing harder and harder on the accelerator and wondering why nothing's happening.

Oh, and by the way: tax cuts aren't useless. It's just that tax cuts should be just one of the tools in the mechanic's toolbox.

See, wasn't that expressed elegantly?

Further, you might not agree with me: perhaps the stock market bubbles aren't what's broken, or maybe that's not the main problem. I don't really know. You may be a better mechanic than me: that doesn't worry me. As long as the economy is being repaired by somebody who can see its moving parts and find the defects, I'm happy.


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