Jeb Bush: Out of touch or misunderstood?

Jeb Bush: Out of touch or misunderstood?

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has been under fire lately for comments he made about the need for Americans to work more hours, but now he claims his words were taken out of context.

 

On Wednesday, Bush was interviewed by the New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board. When asked about his plan to fix the economy, he gave an answer that created controversy for the candidate.

“We have to be a lot more productive, work force participation has to rise from its all time modern lows, means that people need to work longer hours, and through their productivity gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”

 

Many took this statement as Bush saying that Americans need to work over the standard 40 hour work week to fix their financial problems. Immediately after hearing Bush’s comments, the Democratic National Committee jumped at the chance to shine a spotlight on this issue.

 

 

According to Bush, his plan was taken out of context. Rather than telling Americans to work more, he says that his comments were meant to call for more full time employment opportunities in the United States.

 

“If we’re going to grow the economy, people need to stop being part-time workers, they need to be having access to greater opportunities to work, said Bush. “You can take it out of context all you want, but high-sustained growth means that people work 40 hours rather than 30 hours.”

 

If Bush meant that there needs to be more opportunities to work full-time, why didn’t he say so in his original statement? There was no mention of increasing opportunities for full-time employment when he spoke with reporters on Wednesday.

 

It’s entirely possible that Bush wasn’t trying to push overtime on Americans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 6.5 million people working part-time jobs would rather be employed full-time.

 

Although there are millions hoping for a full-time job, is working more the best solution to fixing the economy? Many Americans are working 40 to 60 hour work weeks and still struggling to make ends meet.

 

According to a 2014 Gallup survey, 50 percent of Americans employed with full-time jobs work over 40 hours per week. Almost 20 percent of these people are working 60 hours or more every week.

 

If a 40 hour work week was enough for most Americans to get by, it’s unlikely that such a high number of people would continue to work overtime. It’s possible that Bush’s comments were taken out of context, but that doesn’t change the fact that working more isn’t the cure for every American’s financial problems.

 

Do you think Bush was taken out of context or did he change his stance to save face with voters? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.

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