“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

Business is improving, despite all the obstacles in this unpredictable economy that remain and those ahead of us.  This is largely self-fulfilling prophecy as our engine runs on premium personnel and our management team isn’t half-bad either.

We have invested a great deal in new products and new markets.  I’m a big fan of Alan Kay’s expression, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Klondike Bluffs mountain bike trail outside of Moab. In the background, Arches National Park and the La Sal snow-capped mountains (click on the photo for a better view)

This message comes somewhat diluted by events such as 9/11, and the BP oil spill.   Natural disasters are somewhat unpredictable but they are going to happen.  I have seen the raw and gut-wrenching affects as they unfold.  We are certainly not exempt from the fallout.

There’s little one can do in the moment but there is much that can be done to either prevent an occurrence or deal as effectively as possible with the results.  Unless of course, your government gets in the way.  That’s a whole other topic.

We believe we are as well prepared as we can be to limit the impact of most natural disasters.  Arguably we are and will be impacted on a financial and personal level as well.  To what extent will be born out by the actions, performance and lessons learned by others.  Certainly, we are far more fortunate.

There is still no consensus on when and where the economy will improve.  I spend a great deal of time measuring and evaluating circumstances as they may affect our business.

We can watch Fox News or CNN but our success or failure has little or nothing to do with the economy, politicians or other outside factors.  It has to do with you and me.  It has to do with the quality and functionality of our products and services.  It has to do with how we deliver our products and services!  It has to do with how we choose and treat our customers and our partners.

We are nothing to big business or big government in terms of our success or failure.  We are everything onto ourselves.  We will not succeed or fail due to outside influences.  We will only fail if we are cannot deliver excellence on all levels, products, customer service, implementation and ongoing support. 

Conversely, big business and big government need us to succeed, Their’s has become a global problem.  Because they have simply ignored the entrepreneur; unless, of course, the entrepreneur is holding the glass slipper.

Small businesses are mostly carriages of pumpkins and mice out there delivering the goods.

There are very few Cinderella stories.  Once delivered, the glass slipper still fits but we are working well past the ballroom festivities which has become just as intended, a fantasy.  We are soon  forgotten.  When the carriage and horses are stabled and the cats are away, the mice, small business people, you and I, will come out to play.  Small business can be very resourceful, if left alone.

Made in the USA

Made in the USA

Monday, October 19, 2009 at 9:16pm

“Made in the USA” isn’t about the Big 3 automakers…
It’s time to put the brakes on government spending. The road to recovery lies with the success of small businesses, not with behemoth car companies and big labor. If we were going to bailout anyone, we should have bailed out the car dealerships and auto supply companies to allow them to remarket, retool and invest in new technologies. We should be growing our tax base, which is only going to happen if we fuel the small business private sector. Speaking of which, why are we not doing more to grow and keep promising small business technology companies and their technology jobs in the USA, where our best talent and our best jobs can remain right here at home?

“You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don’t seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together.”    Henry Ford

We have Bill Gates and Microsoft, Larry Ellison and Oracle; and Eric Schmidt and Google, not to mention a plethora of phenomenal technology and software companies that started from nothing and today generate thousands upon thousands of high paying private sector jobs and tax revenues, all “Made in the USA.”

What’s more, most technology companies, in particular software companies, do little to harm our ecology (true green); they do not tax our ports, our roads, our bridges or our rail. This reduces our carbon footprint, while not adding to the tremendous and costly burden on the seemingly never ending and costly construction of our roads and our beleaguered transportation infrastructure.

Competition is increasing dramatically from foreign countries who wish to attract our talent, both foreign and domestic grads educated here in the USA, many getting their higher education with the help of US taxpayer dollars. The number of “propeller heads”, a.k.a., the savvy entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers “Made in the USA”, are leaving for a more favorable business climate or jobs overseas.

Our foreign competitors are offering much lower tax rates and hundreds of thousands of dollars in incentives to technology business startups and to their highly paid – highly skilled employees. They are advertising a better quality of life, improved infrastructure and a lower cost of living. Our foreign competitors recognize what we increasingly take for granted, which is the huge tax and revenue potential from small business startups, in particular in the technology field; with their disproportionally high numbers and high salaries as it pertains to job creation. This is coupled with the minimal impact on their country’s costly transportation  infrastructure.

The now and next generation of Bill Gates’, Larry Emerson’s and Eric Schmidt’s may find our politics too ambiguous, too costly and too unimaginative to breed success here in the USA. There are hundreds of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs right now who are losing the battle against a poor economy accentuated by high taxes and ever increasing regulation. There are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurial ventures not even born yet that will never pass the incubation period.

Where should we, the United States of America, concentrate our efforts to keep our existing technology gurus and attract the next generation of “byte heads?” We need to provide education and programs that offer immediate and future tax relief to small businesses and their employees, like a payroll tax holiday. To do this we need to elect government representatives who want less government, who do less for Wall Street, who care less about big government and big union.

We need tech savvy, forward thinking, feet on the ground, “been there, done that” politicians who have missed a few paychecks like the rest of us and who want to do more for small businesses and the working class. Get started by offering existing small businesses and their employees, tax relief with a payroll tax holiday of 6 months or more. Offer new business start-ups, especially technology and software businesses who are Made in the USA and who are 1) less impactful on our transportation infrastructure; 2) provide green technologies; and 3) provide the high end wage earners, which is our future tax base, lower taxes and less government to stay and grow their businesses here in the USA.

“What’s right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity – intellect and resources – to do some thing about them.”
Henry Ford

Are we (done) playing chicken?!

We may be the one’s in the chicken suits, waving people to c’mon in.  No one is waving back! We may be the one’s saying, “May I take your order please?” No one is saying, “Yes please.” There is a multitude of mundane and less rewarding tasks we do for ourselves and for our families. We are taken for granted. It is bad enough our family and friends expect us to take it on the chin. Now big government wants a piece of the action. That’s right! Don’t fool yourself. Even if you are getting a nice refund check, you’re paying taxes brothers and sisters. If you are a working stiff, more and more you are working for those who do not work or will not work.

If this sounds familiar, welcome to the working class. We are tired, we are exhausted. The people who have been elected to spend our tax dollars depend on it. That is why we need to get singular and focused on one message. We need a “reverse stimulus.” The silent majority can no longer remain silent. Hello! “Wake up Washington!” We are done playing chicken!

Campaign rhetoric was and the new Administration maintains, “Ninety-five (95) percent of our taxpayers will not pay more taxes.” The solution the President campaigned on was that the rich needed to pay more taxes. Where the sleight of hand was and remains, is that the working class, the wage earners, the self-employed and small business owners need a tax break if the economy is to recover. The rich will stop spending, cut expenses, including employment (the working class); and effectively negate any tax increases.

Working class people, whether they get a refund or earned income tax credit are taxpayers. Make no mistake about it. Our hard earned dollars are contributing to government programs, Local, County, State and Federal taxes on consumables such as gasoline for our clunkers (we all have one).
Working people need a holiday; a payroll tax holiday! The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker; even Joe the plumber, it’s time to place our hard earned tax dollars where it is will do the most good, back in our pockets. We can do that if we can go on holiday, a payroll tax holiday. We are the working class, the employees who work for small businesses, the self-employed and the small business owners that make up the backbone of the United States of America.

Banks won’t loan us money, so our home becomes our bank. Merchants won’t extend us credit, so we play the shell game with credit cards. Small business owner’s prospective customers doubt we can stay in business. Many of them buy from bigger companies. Many of those companies depend on big labor or 3rd world countries to make “throw away products” and provide “unintelligible services” that would frustrate a monk. Now, we, the working class have had to bailout big government, big business and big labor, mired in corruption, yesterday’s technology and bottomless bureaucracy.

We’re still here. Unlike big business and big labor we actually want your business. We actually take pride in what we do, make great products and provide great service because we stand behind them. Why? The self-employed, small business people and their employees have to stay in business to make a living and pay our taxes.

A bipartisan effort, two freshmen House members, are offering a six month “holiday” from payroll taxes that they say would benefit both small businesses and the working poor. Under the bill offered by Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, employers and employees of businesses with 50 or fewer workers would pay no Social Security and Medicare taxes for six months.   See the link below for more details…


Currently, both employers and employees are required to pay the 6.2 percent Social Security tax and the 1.45 percent Medicare tax throughout the year. According to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, payroll taxes are a bigger burden than income taxes for more than four out of five tax filers. Lower-income workers would especially stand to benefit from a suspension of the taxes: according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, more than 60 million tax filers with incomes under $40,000 had tax returns in which their payroll taxes were greater than their income taxes.

We need tax relief for the working class, their families, their fellow employees, the self-employed, and small business owners. Ask for a holiday for the working class, a payroll tax holiday. Maybe we need a million man and woman march on Washington to demonstrate the need for a Payroll Tax holiday for the working class of America?

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