Randi Thompson is a political and public relations consultant. You can reach her at Randi@RandiThompson.com.
We can find common ground
November 2, 2018
I spent Halloween with my best friend who is a Democrat. Yes, I have some Democrat friends — I’m actually voting for a few Democrats this election. (Go Chip Evans!)
We had a fun evening of greeting our neighbors with hot mulled wine, and their kids with candy. (We are a popular stop for adults!) We drank some wine, ate pizza and talked politics.
There were no harsh words. Neither accused the other of being ignorant or a racist. In reality, as when we went through the ballot, we agreed on most of the questions and even supported many of the same candidates.
It was a friendly discussion about candidates and issues, and I bet there are millions of such conversations happening all around the country right now. Despite the media coverage of the heated rhetoric, negative ads and name calling — yes, I include the president in that critique — I truly believe a majority of Republicans and Democrats agree on a lot of issues and candidates. It’s a few outrageous politicians and extremists from both parties — a vocal minority — who are garnering all the media attention and adding to the polarity in our country. But we, the average voter, know that to continue moving our country forward, we have to sit down, talk and find common ground.
Alice and I agree there are many pressing issues facing our county — illegal immigration, global warming, homelessness, health care — and finding agreement on them is a challenge. But one issue we both agreed upon isthat the economy is on the right track.
In the third quarter of this year, the U.S. economy expanded at 3.5 percent — well above the 2 percent that President Obama said would be the “new norm.” Consumer confidence rose to an 18-year high in October, driven largely by a robust labor market, suggesting strong economic growth could persist in the near term. We also saw U.S. wages and salaries rise 3.1 percent in the third quarter, the biggest increase in a decade. Unemployment is at historic lows for all sectors, and female unemployment is at its lowest level since the 1950s.
In Reno there are 253,000 people in the labor force, with just 8,600 not working. That’s about 3.3 percent unemployment, which is considered statistically full employment. Real average weekly wages in our area have risen $16 in the last year, or about 2.5 percent. For this economy to continue to grow and help people of all income levels, we need good economic policies.
While Congress plays a big role in the national economy, our Legislature plays a key role in the state’s economy. Last session, Governor Sandoval vetoed 41 bills, many of which would have negatively impacted our economy. Those bills will all be back next session, and that is why I’m supporting Adam Laxalt for governor. We need him there to sustain Governor Sandoval’s vetoes and keep our economy growing in the right direction.
I think we all can agree that a lot of social ills, like homelessness and access to health care, are eased when a person has a good paycheck. Continuing to grow our economy and create better-paying jobs will help all Nevadans live a better life. That is why I’m supporting candidates this election who will put Nevada and Nevadans first.