Monthly Archives: January 2010

Biting the Hand that Feeds You.

This was a quote from one of the comments supporting business and opposing 66/67. Yes, I understand businesses provide jobs…but businesses’ main agenda is profit…not feeding America. If business is bad, they have no problem laying people off. The day I depend on a business to feed me is the day I starve. And then there was this little rich nugget, suggesting the rich believe the rest of the people depend on their charity to survive.

If we tax the rich, they will not have the money to feed the poor.

 

I have left open lines intentionally as a moment of silence and thought. Here this rich people; I don’t want your charity. I want the ability to make a decent living with a good quality standard of living. Americans should not have to depend on handouts from anyone!

There has been so much talk about socialism. And honestly the people talking about it the most have no idea what it means. Gather round folks and I’ll tell you a story. Once upon a time I met some Germans who talked about their government funded health care system, guaranteed college education, clean air, public transportation,…need I go on? On the other hand the Germans have one of the strongest free enterprise economies in the world with the best import/export ratio per capita. In doing some research Germans pay nearly 45% in individual taxes and corporations pay 15%. Shocking! Yet, somehow they have more disposable income then Americans. Strange, but true. So you may ask, “How can they achieve a healthy balance of social programs and free enterprise?”

Sadly Germany’s modern economy is the brain child of our late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He died before he could implement in the United States, but his former cabinet members used his economic proposal to rebuild Germany after WWII. Germany went from complete animation to an economic power in a period of 50 years. That is pretty darn impressive and speaks volumes of a social economic structure and the work ethic of the German people. Not to mention a national unity that cares for the welfare of ALL its citizens.

Otherwise here in America we have made Capitalism a religion that many worship, where Reagan is god and Goldman Sachs CEOs are his disciples. And bankers act a prophets for profit. Everyday millions pray they will one day be rich, but very few make it to heaven. Make more money at the expense of another. This is not a faith I can believe in. Riches are fleeting just as looks. And one day it will all crash…oh that’s right it already did. Our Capitalist economy almost crashed and nearly brought down the world economy.

The lesson here for everyone….businesses not only survive in “Socialized” countries, they thrive. Canada, Britain, Germany, France and of course China have highly successful corporations that are buying up America. If socialism is so bad…how do these countries have corporations that continually churn profit and have social programs that increase their overall standard of living for their people? If it is so bad, why are businesses struggling in this country with less tax burden and foreign corporations are buying American companies left and right with higher tax burdens?

The point is, here in America we think we have all the answers, when other countries “Socialized” economies are so much stronger than ours. Our dollar is weaker. Our unemployment rates are higher. Perhaps we owe it to ourselves and the future of our country to give it a second thought.

Voting Yes, to Prop 66, 67

I awoke to some good news this morning. Oregon state measure 66 and 67 was passed today increasing taxes to corporations and individuals who earn more than $150,000 a year. Before I go on, for those who do not live in Oregon, allow me to give you background. Opposite of what California did by cutting all social programs to avoid raising taxes, the Oregon State Legislature imposed the taxes on businesses to keep and enhance social programs.

Businesses petitioned against it; so they put it to a vote. People against raising taxes campaigned hard. I received three threatening campaign phone messages of what will happen if businesses were taxed, they will lay off people, raise taxes or even move out of the state. In the end, businesses lost the vote.

Now, I am fully aware of the discomfort some will feel from this vote. I understand the argument of businesses. However there is another side and it is not as some have stated – moronic socialist liberals out to bury business. No, sorry. That’s not it. I have many reasons to vote yes to taxing businesses and the wealthy 3% of Oregon. To keep this blog in a readable length, I will choose one for now – education.

I will start this argument with a personal story. Years ago, I studied abroad in London, England. It was such a great experience that after I graduated, I wanted to return to get my Masters. The Dean of Admissions read my masters proposal and kindly sent me letter that read, “If you want to get your Masters in England, you would have get my bachelors degree again in England. An American Bachelors degree equates to a British High school diploma.”

Let me reiterate – an American education does not compare to a European education. It should never be a point of American pride that our education system is inferior to Europe, China and India. We should be striving to improve it.

So you’re thinking, “I don’t want to be a pompous, elitist British intellectual.” But know this; we can’t be a super power if we’re the dumb kids on the international playground. We can’t be a super power with just pearly white teeth, fit bodies and cool stuff; all that is superficial. If we do not invest in education and training, the quality of the American job force will decline. No one would want to hire Americans, not even American corporations.

But this is already happening. American companies are already outsourcing their workforce. Take India, their labor is cheaper, American corporations do not need to pay them health coverage and the Indian people are better educated. It just makes good business sense to get the best employees for the cheapest salary. And in that case, it doesn’t matter how much or even if we tax businesses at all – if they can get a higher quality workforce elsewhere – they’re going to take their business elsewhere.

Now I know there are many worrying,” What is going to happen to me? How is this tax increase of the
wealth 3% and businesses going to affect me?” Yes, because it is all about YOU. You are the only person that matters in the country. But for those of us who voted yes, the question we asked, “How can we improve the future for our children?” At some point we have to understand, our investment should be more than just money in our pockets, but the future for our country.

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