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Unemployment

Millions of Americans who are willing and able to work are unemployed. Republicans and Democrats argue over band-aids like extending unemployment benefits and creating make-work government jobs. Meanwhile, they ignore the major cause of unemployment: their own policies. When government officials inflate the supply of money, when they give special privileges to banks, and when they try to plan the economy, they cause cycles of boom and bust -- cycles that misdirect investors, destroy healthy companies, and put workers out of work.

Some politicians propose that the government should guarantee a job to every American. Other politicians believe a national industrial policy will put people to work. The Soviet Union tried these policies for decades. The result was national bankruptcy and widespread poverty. Why should we make the same mistakes that the Soviets made?

The only cure for unemployment is a real job. The only effective way to create real jobs is to have a strong economy.

The Democrats and Republicans have destroyed jobs by:

Each year, our government takes over $200 billion in taxes from American consumers and businesses to subsidize foreign governments, foreign companies, and foreign citizens. The U.S. provides foreign countries free defense, direct military aid, direct economic aid, guaranteed loans, and other subsidies too numerous to list. Our government is sending your hard earned dollars to many of our fiercest competitors. This puts businesses here at a competitive disadvantage.

The U.S. corporate income tax discourages the flow of capital into America to open and expand businesses and create new jobs. Companies that pay lower taxes can produce goods and services at a lower cost and be more competitive in world markets. Companies that pay higher taxes have to pass those extra costs on to someone -- usually their customers. This raises prices for American consumers and helps price American goods out of foreign markets. The result is lost jobs at home.

More jobs are lost because of useless regulations and bureaucratic mandates. Large companies must devote resources to comply with each new regulation instead of becoming more competitive, expanding, and creating new jobs. Small businesses, which generate the vast majority of new jobs, frequently cannot afford to comply. They go out of business and unemployment rises.

The free flow of goods and services is a major source of employment in a market economy. Anything which restricts trade, either within a country or between countries, contributes to unemployment. Democrats and Republicans may talk about eliminating subsidies, trade barriers, and tariffs, but they haven't done it. The current U.S. policy of subsidizing agriculture, limiting imports, and erecting countless other barriers to trade is the exact opposite of the free trade position that our government claims to support.

To enable Americans to find jobs, we must do everything in our power to give workers, and the companies they work for, the ability to compete in world markets. The Libertarian Party supports five major initiatives to achieve this goal:

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