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Jobs and the Economy

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Too many Americans are falling farther behind in today’s economy. We need to build an economy where everyone has a chance to thrive. To do that requires reforming immigration, healthcare, education, and investing in innovation and infrastructure. We also need to increase access to capital and crack down on large companies that use their size to make the market less competitive.

“Work hard and follow the rules – your success is limited only by your abilities and aspirations.” This idea is the foundation of the American Dream.

Unfortunately, this is no longer true for too many young and middle-class American families who are being left behind and shut out of the modern American economy. Too many families are struggling to make ends meet, let alone get ahead and realize their dreams. Too many work part-time when they want to work full-time. Too many live paycheck to paycheck. Too many who might start a business are afraid of losing health insurance.

As well as being a doctor, I’m also a small business owner – my wife Gina (also a doctor) and I make a payroll every month. We need a crash program to help small businesses start and grow, and provide support to those businesses who really are “job creators,” not subsidies and tax breaks for multinational corporations.

We must retool our education system to prepare people of all ages for their first job, or their next job, without burying them in crippling debt that leaves them unable to engage in the American economy.

We must direct our economic policies toward investment in education and research, innovation as a primary driver of job growth and infrastructure repair and improvements. Many new companies and products are based upon publicly funded research, but we have been scaling back on basic and applied-science funding. Increasing funding can provide entrepreneurs with knowledge and ideas for new products.

The job creators I meet when working with the bank do not want federal handouts, they want an educated workforce to help grow their businesses. They want affordable stable healthcare so that their employees can show to work healthy, ready to work.

The average salary in Volusia County is up to 20% below the state average. No one should work forty hours a week and live below the poverty line. Work should pay enough to care for a family. We need a $15-an-hour minimum wage, indexed to inflation so that no one falls behind again.