The Connection between Business Investment and Unemployment

The Stanford economist, John Taylor, has pointed out in the February 4, 2013 entry of his blog, Economics One, the strikingly close correlation between business investment and the national unemployment rate. His graph shows that since 1990, whenever business investment increases, then the unemployment rate starts to fall with only a short time lag.  And, vice-versa, when business investment starts to fall, then the unemployment rate starts to increase.

It seems like plain common sense, then, that a very good way to boost the economy and thereby create more jobs, is to figure out how to motivate businesses to increase their rates of investment.  One way to accomplish this is to let businesses speed up their tax deductions for capital investment.  Of course, the best way of all would be to completely eliminate the corporate income tax.

Approximately 10% of federal tax revenue comes from the corporate income tax.  This amounts to roughly $250 billion per year.  Such a loss of federal revenue could easily be balanced by closing loopholes and deductions for high income taxpayers.  Such a shift in federal taxation would provide an enormous boost to the economy.

Making our economy grow faster is the key to solving both our very serious economic (putting people back to work) and fiscal (shrinking our federal deficit) problems.  Any and all ways to get this done should be the top priority of our national political leaders.

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