Common Sense from a Common Man


True Change
January 12, 2009, 8:36 am
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Let’s talk about true change.Sun

I’m writing this as a result of Fred Wilson’s post on his blog.  He really got me thinking and I encourage anyone to read his post here What if your model is wrong? matter if you agree or disagree with Fred – he gets you thinking and that’s what matters.  Fred posits the question “What if your model is wrong?” and talks about change in this world of ours.

I want to talk about and, hopefully, move people out of their comfort zones and engage in true change.

Obama’s plan or model is thoroughly Keynesian and history shows us that it hasn’t worked.  We have but to look at FDR’s New Deal or look at Japan’s adoption of that model to see that long term value was never really created. We saw costs explode at the expense of individuals which are the core of any society.

There’s a great article (Is government spending too easy of an answer?)by Greg Mankiw, a Harvard Economics Professor that shows why big government spending does not work and why permanent tax cuts actually produce more benefit to individuals and the GDP of this great country.   In the article it shows that for every dollar that the government spends it produces only $1.4 dollars of GDP.  However, when you look at every dollar given in a permanent tax cut, that produces $3 dollars of GDP.  Interestingly, Christina Romer, who now chairs Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers is the one who did the study on tax cuts.

We need to understand that our elected officials are interested in short term gains for themselves.  Sure they mask their personal ambitions as for the people, but in reality and if you look at them objectively – the politicians are in it for themselves.  Look at the Omnibus Lands Bill – It’s currently being revived in Congress and there are tons of earmarks in there.  For example – $ 1 billion dollars for the saving of 500 fish.  Does that sound like someone who’s interested in creating long term value, who’s interested in the costs associated with that and who’s interested in the benefit to individual Americans?  Sorry but I’m not willing to pay $2,000,000 per fish – there’s absolute no economic or societal value in that for any person.

So what does true change look like?  For me it looks like the following:

  • Provide across the board PERMANENT AND MEANINGFUL tax cuts to businesses and individuals.
  • Freeze all future “new spending” meaning no new projects, bailouts, giveaways, etc.
  • Actually go through our nation’s budget and eliminate non value producing programs and spending. A perfect example would be the Dept of Education which has NEVER produced any value for this great country.
  • Fix our trade system. It’s broken and we know it. When countries can export goods into our country at a low cost but we have to pay extraordinary costs or submit to oppressive barriers then something is truly wrong with that picture.
  • Finally, hold our politicians’ feet to the fire. Currently both parties haven’t a clue as to what the American people really need – a government that supports them in rising to individual excellence and not nursing them in the mediocrity of just existing.

I think that if you take the time to think and discuss with others what I have proposed you will find that, well …

It’s just common sense.

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Self Reliance – You can do better for yourself
January 11, 2009, 12:18 pm
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In this period of time that we’re in, we all tend to get hyper-emotional on certain issues.  This greatly clouds our ability to reason and thusAlexa and Emily - The future make decisions based on half baked ideas, false data, or just plain hearsay.  We need to be more in tune with the power that each one of has, we need to come back to the tested and proven principle of self-reliance.

Right now I can think of no better example than my daughter Alexa.

A couple of days ago, she received a letter from Arizona State University informing her that she was awarded an academic scholarship (a 4 year scholarship) from the Provost there.  Alexa was at a friend’s house for the night so we waited until she got back the next day and then gave her the letter.

The look on her face said it all.  You could see in her beautiful eyes the pride she felt but if you looked a little deeper you could see recognition.  She realized, at that moment, she had done this on her own.  She realized all the hard work that she had done had just paid off.

My daughter realized the power of self-reliance.  She now understood that she was powerful in and of herself.  That no single person, not her father, mother, teacher, President, Congress, etc., could do better for her than she could for herself.  She knew it all along but now she realized and understood.

She didn’t have to go to summer school, she has a 4.25 GPA, but she has done so every summer since 9th grade.  She could have just gone along with having a teacher who couldn’t teach Physics last year and breezed through a class.  She didn’t do that though – she spoke up and wanted the other teacher who challenged her and made her work for a good grade. She didn’t have to take Advanced Calculus.

She didn’t have to join a youth group and then become a leader.  She didn’t have to join Student Council and contribute hours and hours.  She didn’t have to join DECA and lead in that group as well.  She didn’t have to do any of this – she could have relied on others – but she didn’t.  She relied on herself.

Am I bragging about my daughter?  You’re damn skippy I am.  I’ll continue till the day I die and, my younger daughter Emily, you’ll be hearing about her as well.

I hope at this point in time in our country, more adults encourage their children to rely on themselves.  I hope as a nation we move towards self reliance and not relying on the government which is the worst at doing something good for anybody long term.

I hope we can move away from the empty words of Hope and Change and turn towards the actions of self-reliance and focused effort.

Self-reliance – the proven and tested way of doing better for yourself like no other.  That’s just common sense.

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