The Economy Tops Issues in This Election

Guest Blogger, Caitlin Soard

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the November, 2011 unemployment rate was 8.6 percent. (Economy at a Glance) This is an alarming trend for high school students who are looking at four years of college expenses and the uncertainty about whether or not there will be a job waiting once college is completed. One of my cousins recently graduated from Purdue University with a degree in construction management. In the seven months since he graduated, he has been unable to find a job in his field. He is not the only person I know struggling to find a job. The single most important issue to high school seniors in this election is what the candidate is going to do to fix the economic woes our country is facing and if those actions will work by the time they graduate from college.

For people like my cousin, the impact of paying for four years of college and then coming out without a position can be frightening. It’s important to find ways to reduce expenses while in college. Obtaining scholarships is only one small part of the equation. As the campaigns heat up and the Republicans narrow the field to a single candidate, the economy is one issue that many students are looking at closely as they decide which candidate to entrust with their votes.

Possible Solutions

When it comes to solving economic woes, it seems that almost everyone has an opinion and many of them differ. In a panel conducted by Bloomburg Businessweek, Peter Orzag, former director of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget commented, “So the majority is going to have to come on the revenue side for the medium term.” He feels that cutting entitlements would not produce enough revenue. (How to Fix the Economy)

One the other hand, Professor Charles W. Calomiris, Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia University, disagreed and said, “Government expenditures as a fraction of GDP are way too high. We need to go back and think about where we were 10 years ago and think about rolling back those programs, because we are broke.” (How to Fix the Economy)

The debate rages on even between Presidential candidates in the same party. High school seniors who are 18 years old, or will be by the November elections, may feel confused over which candidate can solve the current economic problems. Since even the candidates can’t agree on how to solve the issue, it is little wonder that first-time voters feel uncertain.

The Best Candidate

The best candidate isn’t tied into a single name in the upcoming election, but rather which person each individual voter feels will do the best job of helping the economy recover. Listening to the debates, taking quizzes on sites like ABC News’ Match-O-Matic and reading information on each candidate’s site can help voters better understand the philosophies each candidate has and that candidate’s plan for the economy. Whether the voter feels a flat tax will help put more money in the pockets of working families and spur the economy as people have more money to spend, or he believes that fixing roads and bridges will provide work and fix failing infrastructure, the great thing about the United States of America is that each person gets to pick the one person he or she feels can make the economy better. Ultimately, if the person chosen doesn’t get the job done, in four more years, the voter can choose someone else. By studying the issues carefully and understanding the plan each candidate has to fix the economy, one can at least make an educated guess about which person will do the best job.


“Economy at a Glance.” United States Department of Labor Statistics. December 25, 2011. <>

“How to Fix the Economy: An Expert Panel.” Bloomburg Businessweek. September 16, 2010. <>

This is an official blog entry for the Blogging Scholarship. If selected, I’ll receive $1000 towards my college expenses in 2012. This scholarship is sponsored by


AuthorCaitlin Soard

Caitlin Soard is a journalist and high school student. She has had several articles published in the past and is the editor-in-chief of her high school yearbook. Looking toward college, she wants to study journalism.