Show Iowans the money!

The Upper Midwest is fighting a low-growth situation. The unemployment rate is really low, but so is our growth rate. It's largely outside of our making, according to the Federal statisticians: "Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting decreased 1.7 percent nationally -- the fifth consecutive quarterly decline. This industry subtracted from growth in all the Plains states."

When you hear good news (like that the unemployment rate is now below 4.0%, don't forget that it's part of a long-term trend -- the rate has been falling ever since the start of 2010 -- and what happens on the national level is often different from what's happening on a state or regional level.

This means we should heed Margaret Thatcher's words: "There is only one sure way of increasing prosperity. It won't be done by government strategies or plans. It will only be done by giving the people themselves the incentive to do so. You don't stimulate economies; you stimulate people."

There's a lot that government can make worse, and only a limited amount it should try to do to make anything better. It's up to us as voters not to misunderstand the real state of the economy -- and not to vote for anyone's false promises to change it. There's a lot we can't control, so we shouldn't screw up the things we can control.

Brian Gongol

Brian Gongol

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