Originally published by Voto Latino here.
If you are Hispanic, immigration is the only issue that matters to you. At least that’s what politicos in D.C. keep telling us, and polling seems to back it up. But, should it be the number one issue, or is there something more important that trumps even the supposed golden goose of Latino politics? In reality, the impact of our economy is far more important. It affects you, your family, the world . . . and evenimmigration.
The deficit impacts you
Our national debt just passed $15 trillion. Every man, woman, and child will have to pay $48,000 just to get us out of debt. You can make your check out to the Department of the Treasury, P.O. Box . . .
Don’t have the cash? Neither does our government, and that’s why we continue to borrow and pay nearly $30 billion per month, in interest alone.
The higher our debt the more we have to waste in interest and the less we have for building better schools, supporting our military, or helping a family in need.
Want a job? You better support small businesses.
Small businesses have created nearly 65% of jobs over the last decade, comprise nearly 99% of all businesses that employ people, and higher at a faster rate than other businesses.
Hispanics, particularly, open small businesses at a rate nearly twice that of the rest of the population.
Want a job in the future? Want to open a business? Want your kids to have jobs and the opportunities that you do? Then you better pay attention to policies that affect small businesses; they are the drivers of the economy.
Tax rates on any of us affect all of us
Do you remember that feeling before you got your first paycheck? You were so excited about how much you were about to make and then wham – Uncle Sam gave you a sucker punch to the gut.
Imagine what you could have done with a few extra bucks. You could have bought the new shoes you wanted or even helped your family or a needy friend.
Before you get too caught up in the idea that we can just increase the taxes on the “wealthy” in order to keep our taxes low, consider this: Have you ever been hired by someone poorer than you? If we start impacting their pocketbooks, it may inadvertently start impacting our jobs.
Higher tax rates, whether on us or on others, can have a significant impact on our lives
Want your family to be safe and secure?
Our enemies know that the economy impacts us all in many ways. If our economy is in the tank, the last thing we want to do is get into an expensive fight with someone, even if they just slapped us in the face.
If a foreign government decides it wants to hurt our economy, it can devalue our money or recall what we owe them. I won’t bore you with the economics of it, but if our economy is hurting, we are much more susceptible to getting financially screwed.
Without a strong economy, we have little security.
Our economy affects the world
Our economy has been the strongest and most influential in history.
Because of our success, the U.S. is the most attractive location on the planet for immigrants chasing the “American Dream,” as well as the most benevolent and giving to the needy of other countries. Now imagine our economy becoming so burdened that it can no longer offer the dream that our forefathers chased or the much-needed food and medical supplies for the poorest in the world?
When our economy is down, the world’s economy is down too.
Not just a vote, but an educated vote
It’s easy to get caught up in the mêlée, double-speak, talking points, and overall Politicanese of an election cycle, but don’t become so disoriented that you give up. There are distinct differences between politicians’ philosophies and those differences are going to greatly affect our economy, your life, your family’s welfare, and the well-being of the entire world.
It’s too important to let others decide for us. You may have the right to vote, but making an educated vote is your civic duty.
Justin Vélez-Hagan is the National Executive Director of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, and an international developer of senior living facilities. Justin is also a contributing writer for Politic365 and a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He can be reached at JustinV@NPRChamber.org or @JVelezHagan.