INTRODUCTION: VOTER EDUCATION ECONOMICS SCORECARD
The economy is one of the most important issues to American voters, regardless of party affiliation. This makes sense, given how much economic distress tens of millions of American families are suffering. They are working harder and harder for less and less, and are living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to make ends meet. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these conditions.
While there are numerous causes for these economic pressures, the financial industry in general and Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail financial firms in particular are significant contributors, because:
- First, their recklessness and illegal activities crashed the economy in 2008, causing widespread unemployment, business failures, foreclosures, and so much more. In all, Better Markets estimates the cost of the financial crisis will exceed $20 trillion; and
- Second, Wall Street is supposed to support the real economy, jobs and growth, but finance has become a wealth extraction mechanism enriching the already-rich rather than a wealth creation system that benefits all Americans.
In November, voters will choose the candidate that they believe is the most capable of leading the country and making tough financial and economic decisions, among many others. And while it would be ideal if both candidates—President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden—had a detailed, concrete and comprehensive plan that addressed these key issues, which would enable voters to evaluate and hold them accountable, that’s just not the case.
That’s why Better Markets has created a Voter Education Scorecard for both Trump and Biden. Each candidate has been given a score based on his positions on key economic, financial and financial reform issues that have been identified by Better Markets as among the most important issues facing America today.
Those issues have been grouped into the following four broad categories, with subcategories on their hyperlinked pages detailing the importance of the issue and how we evaluated the candidate:
1. Make Wall Street Support the Real Economy, Jobs and Prosperity for All
2. Protecting Retirees, Savers, Consumers and Investors
3. End Too Big To Fail & Bailouts, Prevent the Next Crash & Protect Taxpayers
4. Protecting Democracy from Wall Street
Each candidate gets an overall color-coded score according to the key that follows:
= Is a leader on this issue Supports this issue Has a mixed record on this issue
Has a poor record on this issue There is Insufficient Data (ID) on this issue