Wall talks economics

Andy York

Last Tuesday, the College Democrats hosted Jamie Wall, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. So far, Wall is the only Democratic candidate who has entered the 2006 race for the 8th Congressional District, which includes Appleton, Green Bay, and the rest of Northeast Wisconsin. The seat is currently held by Republican Mark Green, who announced May 1 that he would not seek re-election for his congressional seat, and would instead run for governor in 2006.
Wall got his bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison, majoring in political science and history. He was named a Rhodes Scholar in 1992 and got his master’s degree in political philosophy from Oxford. He has most recently been the head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Program under the Department of Commerce.
Wall talked mainly about economic issues facing Northeast Wisconsin, and how he feels they could be managed better. He described how manufacturing jobs have been eroded, mainly because we are better at making things with fewer people today then we were in the past. He also talked about how free trade in general is good, but how in today’s world the argument comes down to how many people are dislocated and disrupted. He said that the government’s number-one job should be making sure its citizens’ needs are taken care of, and that this usually is a messy process. He went on to say that the trade debate is one that usually divides Republicans and unites Democrats. But he still would like to see more free trade and more treaties that protect American workers, as well as promote free-floating currency around the world.
He described how it is now a fact that smaller businesses, not the Fortune 500 companies, are providing more jobs for American workers. This is cutting down on many labor-intensive jobs for people with minimal educations and drastically affecting the make-up of the job population in Northeast Wisconsin. His plan for finding new jobs and benefiting the most people is to maximize job opportunities for everyone, drawing on what America does best: innovation and hard work. He stated that we should embrace the dynamism of the American economy and continue to celebrate the entrepreneurs and researchers who create more jobs for others. He also stressed that America needs to produce more scientists and engineers to be able to keep up with the rest of the world in the 21st century.
Wall described his position on some of the hot-button issues in Congress today. He stated that the United States needs to get its fiscal house in order: “Every baby born today is $27,000 in debt. That’s just not right from a morality aspect.” He also said that No Child Left Behind was a good program fundamentally, but was botched in its execution. “It wasn’t funded,” he said, “and there is too much attention toward passing exams and not enough attention towards learning the material.”
Wall ended with a discussion on health care. He stated that 13 percent of the United States gross domestic product goes toward health care. “It’s the best care in the world for those that get it,” Wall said, “but there is just too much overhead.” Wall said that he is in favor of preventive measures such as making sure that all children are immunized and that basic tests are given to find genetic defects, tests that can save thousands of dollars in care later on in life. He also said he would want to help small businesses and farmers in getting into larger “risk pools” – insurance plans for normally uninsurable people – so that their premiums are not as difficult to cover financially.