Tesla is a bonfire of the vanities

From David Stockman, a former congressman, budget director under the Reagan administration, and partner of private-equity firm Blackstone Group. Today, Stockman is an outspoken opponent of the current monetary policy. He argues that Tesla and its sky-high valuation are a product of a money-printing Federal Reserve.

 He wrote an essay for our friends at Casey Research. Excerpts from the essay below…

The Wall Street casino is now festooned with giant deadweight losses waiting to happen. But perhaps none is more egregious than Tesla – a crony capitalist con job that has long been insolvent and has survived only by dint of prodigious taxpayer subsidies and billions of free money from the Fed’s Wall Street casino…So raptured were the day traders and gamblers that in the short span of 33 months between early 2012 and September 2014, they ramped up Tesla’s market cap from $2.5 billion to a peak of $35 billion.

 Stockman notes Tesla’s inability to make a profit…

Since 2007, [Tesla] has booked cumulative sales of just $6.1 billion, and that ain’t much in autoland; it amounts to about one week of sales by Toyota and two weeks by Ford. Its cumulative bottom line has been a net loss of $1.4 billion, and the losses are not shrinking – having totaled nearly $300 million for 2014 alone.More significantly, during its entire seven years as a public filer, Tesla has failed to generate any net operating cash flow (OCF) at all and has, in fact, posted red ink of $500 million on the OCF line. During the same seven-year span ending in Q4 of 2014, its [capital expenditures] amounted to a cumulative $1.8 billion.

So go figure. Combining OCF and cap-ex, you get a balance sheet hemorrhage of nearly $2.4 billion. The real question, therefore, is not why Tesla was worth $35 billion, but why it wasn’t bankrupt long ago?

 Stockman says that Tesla only exists because it got a $500 million bailout from the U.S. government… and it’s taking advantage of low interest rates and the Fed’s money manipulation to raise more and more capital (like the startups Gurley discussed above).

 But can you blame investors for shifting their capital into these types of companies? When governments debase currencies, the people lose faith in their money. They spend recklessly. They gamble. How would you characterize Fidelity investing in Silicon Valley startups anything other than gambling?

What Do Career Politicians, Professors and Community Organizers Have In Common?

I35W-Bridge-Collapse

I 35W Bridge Collapse – Cars rest on the collapsed portion of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge after the Aug. 1, 2007 collapse in which 13 people were killed and 145 were injured. America’s infrastructure has consistently beem rated poorly. U.S. Coast Guard photo

When it comes to politics, they think voters are stupid, don’t have time to question their lies, or don’t care!

Why else would career politician, Hillary Clinton, Professor Elizabeth Warren repeat, and community organizer a.k.a., Entreprenever and chief, Barack Obama’s well worn rhetoric, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” referring to private businesses being dependent of big government.

We have a problem and it is a corrupt government and a complicit mainstream media.  Who has time to fact check all the lies we hear every day courtesy of the Obama administration and echoed by the media? Take as an example the huge waste in billions of stimulus dollars Obama spent as payback for getting him elected.

So how is it possible that big government can provide corporations and businesses with the vehicle to succeed? I decided to look on the popular website HowStuffWorks.com to see if they agreed with liberals. This is an excerpt: In 2009, Community Organizer and President Obama’s government spent a staggering $3.5 trillion dollars and raised $2.1 trillion in individual and corporate taxes — still leaving a budget deficit of more than a trillion dollars.

The Government doesn’t earn money!  “Government Funded”, “Government Subsidized”, “Government Money”, “Government Grant” … all mean “TAXPAYER FUNDED”, “TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED”, “TAXPAYER MONEY”, or “TAXPAYER GRANT”. They’re all money from YOUR pocket.  Conclusion: The Government spends money!   Currently we are spending or speeding our way toward $18 trillion in debt.

In fact, 55% of all tax dollars come from small business that are spent on government programs, including infrastructure, roads and bridges.  When a small business person fills up at the pump, on average, we pay almost 50 cents per gallon to the government for taxes on gasoline, approximately 13 cents on every dollar.   Add toll roads to the equation and in many parts of the country the cost to taxpayers for infrastructure goes up.

you didn't build that

You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” video. Click on image to hear video.

elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren’s “You didn’t build that.” video. Click on image to hear video.

hillary clinton

Hillary Clinton: Corporations and Businesses Don’t Create Jobs. Click on image to hear video.

“To say what he (Obama) said is to say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple Computer or that Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft or that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motor Company or that Ray Kroc didn’t build McDonald’s or that Papa John’s didn’t build Papa John’s Pizza. This is the height of foolishness. It shows how out of touch he is with the character of America. It’s one more reason his policies have failed. It’s one more reason why we have to replace him in November.”  Mitt Romney.

Even the Washington Post gave the “You didn’t build that…” liberal nonsense credence, giving him 3 Pinocchio’s.

Here’s what Charles Krauthammer had to say, “The argument between left and right is about what you do beyond infrastructure. It’s about transfer payments and redistributionist taxation, about geometrically expanding entitlements, about tax breaks and subsidies to induce actions pleasing to central planners. It’s about free contraceptives for privileged students and welfare without work — the latest Obama entitlement-by-decree that would fatally undermine the great bipartisan welfare reform of 1996. It’s about endless government handouts that, ironically, are crowding out necessary spending on, yes, infrastructure.”

Professor Elizabeth Warren has never worked in the private sector.  She is my favorite definition of a politician, unemployed and unemployable.  What she fails to say is businesses pay the lion share of the taxes so everyone in this country can enjoy our roads and bridges, including Elizabeth Warren with her progressive anti-business rhetoric.

Enter career politician Hillary Clinton.  There is and there will be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of interviews, videos, news articles, and blogs, written about Clinton, but most assuredly the one she is going to have to walk back more often than most, is this video above about federally mandated minimum wage jobs, and about businesses and technology not being the engine of the US economy and jobs.

After all, The Race Against The Machines has already been lost.  There will be no minimum wage jobs in the future.  People who know how to use a caulk gun will be highly paid by those who do can’t pound a nail.

My prediction is that Hillary Clinton will be pounded back into the stone age by 2016. There will be a 3rd generation POTUS in 2016, like US Senator Marco Rubio, who knows how to use a smartphone. More on this when somebody is ready to listen.

You Didn't build taht

Schnitt Show “we built this business” You Didn’t Build That Business Obama Parody – Click on Image

Uber – Sign of the Times, Ride Sharing Boosts the Economy

DeLorean time machine provided by Uber

DeLorean time machine provided by Uber

Ride Sharing Boosts the Economy Letter to the Editor – Tampa Bay Times – Small businesses are the engine of our economy. They create jobs, generate revenue, and embody the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in cities across the country. And that holds true right here in Tampa where small business plays a vital role in our future success and driving the city forward. Our transportation ecosystem—which is in serious need of improvement—is one example where innovation and entrepreneurs can have a real impact on bringing about positive change and greater options for consumers. Competition in the marketplace results in better products and services, lower costs, and more choice. We should embrace competition and new ride sharing services like uberX that expand transportation alternatives, offering safer, more reliable and affordable ways to get around town. More and better choices for consumers is a win for the city. Beyond the clear benefits to riders, Uber is also contributing to the local economy by providing new and greater opportunities for residents to start their own business, make a living, and pump money back into the market. Uber gives Tampa residents one more opportunity to leverage technology to be entrepreneurial, build a career and increase earning potential. The company is already creating 20,000 new driver jobs every month—we should welcome opportunity like that and offer the people of Tampa one more way to earn a living. The New Yorker – Just a couple of weeks ago, Uber (which also runs services allowing you to book livery cars and cabs) disclosed that it had raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars in venture-capital funding, most of it from Google. The flood of new money into all these new businesses feels like a mini-bubble in the making. But beneath all the hype is a sensible idea: there are a lot of slack resources in the economy. Assets sit idle—the average car is driven just an hour a day—and workers have time and skills that go unused. If you can connect the people who have the assets to people who are willing to pay to rent them, you reduce waste and end up with a more efficient system. James Surowiecki, a staff writer at The New Yorker goes on to write, “If these companies become more established, they’ll have to reach some kind of accommodation with regulators, perhaps along the lines of rules that California’s Public Utilities Commission recently proposed, which would let Sidecar, Lyft, and Uber operate if they implement certain safety and driver regulations.” The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission should put consumer choice and opportunity first—to embrace safe, reliable transportation alternatives like Uber. Restricting competition and limiting options for Tampa residents will only inhibit future growth and economic success. Modern technologies require modern regulations. The PTC should take a common-sense approach to regulating ride sharing and signal to the rest of the state that Tampa is indeed an innovative and forward-looking city. Peer-to-peer businesses like Uber are nothing new.  eBay was the firth peer-to-peer business which has exhibited an extraordinary capacity to self-regulate.  eBay’s success is built on their on-line reputation of reviewing and commenting that rewards good behavior and outs the bad.  The same will be the case for the ride-sharing industry. Innovations like Uber will solve many problems politicians and regulators refuse to face.    With internet start-ups able to self-regulate, stringent laws to govern start-ups such as Uber and Lyft are unnecessary. Next up, driverless cars and RoboTaxi whereby a fleet of self-driving cars will pick-up commuters on demand.  It’s time to get with the 21st century.  Technology waits for no man. 

Summary of Obama’s IRS scandal

IRS cartoonObservations from an IT Expert “If the IRS’ email server is in such a state that they only have one copy of data and the server crashes and it’s gone, I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

“I don’t know of any email administrator that doesn’t have at least three ways of getting that mail back,” he added. “It’s either on the disks or it’s on a TAPE backup someplace or in an archive server. There are at least three ways the government can get those emails.”

Dan from Squirrel Hill's Blog

In May 2013, the Washington Post reported that the IRS had illegally targeted conservative groups for additional reviews. Organizations with the words “tea party” or “patriot” were singled out for harassment, such as requiring them to provide a list of donors, details about their internet postings on social networking websites, and information about their family members.

When this was first reported by the media in May 2013, Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that had conducted these illegal activities, claimed that only low level employees had known about it, and that no high level IRS officials had known about it. However, soon afterward, NPR reported that an Inspector General report showed that Lerner had been lying, and that she herself had actually been aware of it since June 29, 2011. Even worse, during March and April of 2012, Lerner herself had actually written such letters to fifteen different…

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Climate Disruption? Let Cooler Heads Prevail!

 

Lessons in climate changeGlobal warming a.k.a., climate change will now be proclaimed “climate disruption?!” with extreme prejudice from a global warming zealot and White House Science advisor John Holdren .

Apparently there are more than a few scientists who strongly disagree with Holdren as published in a NCA rebuttal –  Scientists Respond to the Obama Administration’s National Climate Assessment –  2014.

I can acknowledge there are two sides to the issue of CO2 emissions but in any case I cannot defend the tremendous government waste of taxpayer money, the billions in taxpayer dollars wasted on greentech failures.  Nor the political rhetoric, the ignorance or the hateful talk and actions from either side.

Take CO2 emissions out of the equation we should be proud we, as a society, have done a tremendous job reducing pollution and carbon emissions.  On the flip side, we all know we can do a better job to reduce emissions and pollution.

On the one hand, you’re not going to want to suck on the tailpipe of a full-sized SUV, so you know carbon emissions contribute to pollution,6 of whom are cities in CA, like the smog in L.A. and other cities, but so does their location.  Certainly, I would rather run 5 miles in the Tampa Bay area vs. South L.A. where your lungs will burn.  So reducing carbon emissions is necessary in highly populated areas.

Cooler heads will not prevail without greater awareness, more education and a willingness to listen to both sides of the debate, all which is sorely needed.  It is difficult to have that debate on climate change when the POTUS says the debate on climate change is over, the Senate majority, the mainstream media and Hollywood go to great lengths to castrate anyone who they perceive to be a climate change denier.

The poorest 30% of  the US population spend 17% of their after tax income on gasoline while politicians and climate change proponents continue to point to perceived success stories of wind farms and solar, that fly in the face of sound economic reason.  The EPA and their regulations are systematically and progressively hurting the people and the economy which depend on fossil fuels and related jobs.  Case in point, the Keystone Pipeline and the War on Coal .  Working middle class Americans depend on cheap energy to commute to work and heat their homes during the winter months.

You can look to polar opposites on climate change for highly controversial opinions from both Dr. Tim Ball in his book, A History of the Disastrous Global Warming Hoax and to  Greenpeace activist Paul Gilding in his book The Great Disruption, which is a rambling read that addresses his theories on global warming and overpopulation.  The idea that the “earth is full” is and will be largely debunked.  Think Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper.  Calmer heads may prevail if you were to read and follow Bjorn Lomberg, in his book Cool It and his blog lomborg.com.

Lomborg, who’s position on climate change is not without controversy from the left, takes a more middle of the road, practical approach to reducing carbon emissions and pollution through innovation like driverless cars or this 19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World’s Oceans.

Lomborg has more recently defended his position, which is to say radical climate change policies hurt the poor, in his book How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World serves as more of a source or reference on pollution and the economic impact on civilization over time.

There are many things everyday people can do to reduce pollution and carbon emissions although I personally prefer long lasting LED lighting over compact fluorescents.  It’s really too bad most people will simply form an opinion based on their politics, inundated by sensational news stories from the mainstream “if it bleeds it leads” media and Hollywood celebrities who have little to sacrifice when it comes to policies that affect them in their daily lives. It does affect the rest of us.  I recommend looking at all sides of the climate change debate. Let cooler heads prevail.

NOTE:  Many global warming advocates say there are no credible scientists who debate the existence of global warming.  Here is the list from the NCA Rebuttal referenced earlier in this blog:

Obama Administration’s National Climate Assessment – NCA REBUTTAL AUTHORS/REVIEWERS

Joseph S. D’Aleo Certified Consultant Meteorologist, American Meteorological Society FellowM.S., Meteorology, University of WisconsinB.S., Meteorology (cum laude), University of WisconsinDr. Harold H. DoironRetired VP, Engineering Analysis and Test Division, InDyne, Inc.Ex-NASA JSC, Aerospace ConsultantB.S. Physics, University of Louisiana – LafayetteM.S., PhD. Mechanical Engineering, University of HoustonDr. Don J. Easterbrook Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington UniversityPh.D., Geology, University of Washington, SeattleM.S., Geology, University of Washington, SeattleB.S., Geology, University of Washington, SeattleDr. Theodore R. EckPh.D., Economics, Mich. State U.; M.A, Economics, U. of MichiganFulbright Professor of International EconomicsFormer Chief Economist of Amoco Corp. and Exxon Venezuela Advisory Board of the Gas Technology Institute and Energy Intelligence GroupDr. Neil FrankB.S., Chemistry, Southwestern CollegeM.S., Ph.D. Meteorology, Florida StateFormer Director of the National Hurricane CenterDr. Gordon J. FulksPh.D., Physics, University of ChicagoM.S., Physics, University of ChicagoB.S., Physics, University of ChicagoDr. William M. GrayEmeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State UniversityPh.D., Geophysical Sciences, University of ChicagoM.S., Meteorology, University of ChicagoB.S., Geography, George Washington University Art HornB.Sc. Meteorology Lyndon State CollegeTeaches Meteorology/Climatology at Tunxis Community CollegeTV Meteorologist 25 years, lecturer, expert witness, radio broadcaster

Some interesting ideas for innovation to reduce pollution:

19-Year-Old Student Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World’s Oceans | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

A fuel cell for the home

Architecture Innovation Would Turn Air Pollution Into Biofuel

James Dyson’s Barge Concept Will Vacuum Trash Out of Rivers

China Tests Autonomous Smog-Busting Drone

One Artist Plans to Suck Pollution Out of Beijing’s Skies

Hand Tree Personal Air Purifier Helps You Breathe Easier

ROMNEY to OBAMA in 2012 Presidential debate: “you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers”

ROMNEY to OBAMA in 2012 Presidential debate: “…you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers…”

romney

Romney – click on Romney to hear video

Romney said i n the debate, “And in one year you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 year’s worth of what oil and gas receives and you say Exxon Mobil, actually this $2.8 billion goes to small companies, to drilling operators and so forth. If we get the tax rate from 35% to 25%, why that $2.8 billion is on the table.  Of course it’s on the table. That’s probably not going to survive to get the rate down to 25% but don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years worth of breaks into solar and wind to solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and I had a friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers. This is not the kind of policy you want to have to get America energy secure.

While the Obama Administration’s Eric Holder and the DOJ is investigating an illegal $20,000 contribution by Dinesh D’Souza, fierce critic of the President, who has been indicted the Justice Department, you might wonder why the DOJ doesn’t investigate how millions in green energy money got funneled back into Obama’s reelection campaign?

President Obama’s taxpayer-funded trillion-dollar spending spree –– spent over $90 billion earmarked for clean energy.

Harry Reid “led the passage of the $814 billion stimulus bill and worked to include the loan guarantee program to help finance clean-energy projects.

Now the Obama Administration Is Taking Another GO at the FAILED Program That Funded Solyndra.  This must be stopped!

Here is Obama’s GREENTECH FAIL list WHICH HAS LAID WASTE ON TAXPAYER DOLLARS!!!

37. NEW – With the news of another tragic FAIL, Abengoa which received a $1.4 billion loan guarantee in 2010 to build one of the world’s largest parabolic trough solar plants near Phoenix, Ariz.  The following year it received another $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to build another solar plant in California’s Mojave Desert.  The following year it received another $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to build another solar plant in California’s Mojave Desert.

36. NEW – Smith Electric Vehicles – Despite $32 million in federal stimulus funds and status as one of Obama’s favorite “green” companies, the firm has halted production, having built just 439 of the promised 510 vehicles.  Bright Automotive (electric delivery vans)Carbon Motors (clean diesel-powered police cars)Aptera Motors (three-wheeled electric cars)Coda Automotive (inexpensive electric sedans), all bankrupt or near bankruptcy, applied for Government funds but didn’t win the lottery.  Tesla Motors, on the other hand has met with growing success.

35. Ecotality, an electric car charger maker, who won a $99.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy four years ago filed for bankruptcy.

34.  GreenTech Automotive is owned by Capital Wealth Holdings, an investment company incorporated in the tax haven, the British Virgin Islands.  GreenTech president and Chinese businessman, Charles Wang, owns the investment company.  Wang is an expert on the EB-5 visa program and has coached other U.S. companies on how to effectively make use of it.  Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe is involved in electric car company.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange commission currently is investigating GreenTech’s use of the federal EB-5 visa-investor program, which raises funds from foreign nationals in exchange for U.S. green cards.

33. A $50-million loan previously award to Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG)through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program (ATVMP) has gone unpaid. VPG, a maker of compressed natural gas-powered wheelchair-accessible vans, shut its doors in May after running out of cash.

32. SoloPower, the startup pitched as the most innovative player in Oregon solar manufacturing, will suspend its Portland operations.  State officials, too, were working to get in touch with the company, which has received a $10 million loan and a $20 million tax credit.  It also is in line for a $197 million federal loan, meant to help fund later stages of growth.

31. Rentech Incorporated For most of its 33-year history, Rentech Inc. tried to make money on green fuel development. But like its plans to sell synthetic diesel to major airlines in 2009, those efforts never really left the ground.  Rentech received $23 million from the DOE for a Colorado refinery turn wood into fuel.

30. SunTech Power, a China owned solar company struggling from a downturn in photovoltaic solar panels, benefited from a combined $84 million in Energy Department tax credits.

29. SolarWorld, a German company received more than $100 million in state and local tax incentives – only to see companies like SolarWorld in Hillsboro and SoloPower in Portland struggle in the wake of fierce competition, especially from Chinese companies. Source: Oregon bet big on this emerging technology

28. VESTAS, A Danish wind turbine company whose subsidiaries received over $50 million in U.S. stimulus dollars. Vestas also reported a net loss of 62 million euros, or $83 million, for the second quarter, compared with a loss of 8 million euros in last year’s comparable period. Revenue declined to 1.2 billion euros, compared with 1.6 billion euros a year earlier.

27. COMPACT POWER Plant that received $150M in taxpayer money to make Volt batteries furloughs workers.

26. CH2M HILL, is embroiled in atime card fraud scheme that took place between 1999 and 2008 when CH2M was servicing a DOE contract worth $2.2 billion, and at the beginning of 2013, it was discovered that CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) “provided inaccurate cost data to support a multi-billion-dollar federal nuclear waste cleanup contract, “reported the Washington Free Beacon. Despite their history of legal and workplace safety violations, in 2009 an additional $1.3 billion was awarded to a different CH2M subsidiary to go toward the Hanford cleanup.

25. Bankrupt Amonix.

24. Bankrupt Babcock & Brown.

23. Bankrupt A123 Systems.

22. Bankrupt EASTERN ENERGY

21.Near Bankrupt 5N Plus The State of Wisconsin handed over $500 thousand to a Canadian company to open a solar panel recycling plant near De Forest.

20. BANKRUPT Fisker Automotive–was awarded a $529 million loan under an Obama admin program designed to spur production of advanced tech.  Fisker drew about $193 million of the Energy Department loan to engineer its Karma luxury plug-in hybrid. AL GORE!  Now the Chinese benefit from our hard earned taxpayer dollars!!!

19. BRIGHTSOURCE — President John F. Kennedy’s nephew, Robert Kennedy, Jr., netted a $1.4 billion bailout for his company.

18. Bankrupt Solar Trust for America.

17. Bankrupt Energy Conversion Devices.

16. Bankrupt Raser Technologies.

15. Bankrupt First Solar – of course GE’s in the mix.

14. Bankrupt NEVADA N.G.P.

13. ENN Mojave Energy LLC – linked to Harry Reid,

12. Bankrupt Ener1—

11. Tonopah Solar – linked to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Crescent Dunes

These 10 failed projects ALONE, cost $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds AND COUNTING!

10. Bankrupt SolarReserve,

9. Bankrupt Beacon Power,

8. Bankrupt Geo Thermal,

7. Bankrupt Sempra Energy

6. Bankrupt Evergreen Solar, Inc.

5. Bankrupt SpectraWatt

4. Bankrupt the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.

3. Bankrupt Abound Solar of Loveland, Co. $400 million from Obama

2. Bankrupt SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra.

1. Bankrupt SOLYNDRA

Families will have less disposable income as they spend more to light and heat their homes, with seniors, families on fixed incomes and lower-income Americans being hit the hardest.

NOTE:  I agree much needs to be done (more practical examples abound, like passive shading) regarding pollution and the reduction of CO2 emissions but this post  is about pure politics, corruption and an abusive waste of taxpayer money.  I am not a climate change denier so don’t report me to the good professor.  I still do believe the jury is out on the all the reasons climate change advocates attribute to climate change.  Rather than panic and spend billions MORE of taxpayer dollars on failed Greentech technology, I believe in a pragmatic, limited government approach, such as that espoused by Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, to lower CO2 emissions.  I believe existing and new technology such as driverless cars will do much more to reduce emissions than government backed wind and solar.  Let the private sector do it’s job, which is to innovate, create jobs and grow the economy.  Let government get out of the way.

You Cannot Govern Leadership

individualism

While small business owners are putting up their houses and their life savings to survive, to cash flow their business, to hire employees, President Obama was and still is, greasing the palms of his political donors in the name of greentech failures, spending billions of our taxpayer dollars.

The alarming failure of big government was never more evident than when President Obama publicly and carelessly joked about a trillion dollars (stimulus (taxpayer) money) wasted on “Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.”  Where was the red flag then?  Where is the red flag now?

The only hope I see for this country is individual responsibility, and leadership that creates prosperity, not big government. You cannot govern leadership.   Today individual responsibility, leadership, and American exceptionalism are too often political talking points and empty words. When individual leadership fails, or fails to materialize, it creates dependency.

Leonardo da Vinci said it 480 years ago and he said it in Italian. Here is the clearest translation:  “People of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.”

I don’t do what you’re passionate about, but be passionate about what you do.  Don’t follow your passion.  Let your passion follow you.  That’s leadership.

As a small business owner after 25 years it has been my experience, the most important life decisions you make, have to be made on your own.  I built my business and leadership is key.

Others will pontificate as to what a leader is, what a leader must do and how a leader must act.  I don’t have time for all that and neither do you.  The best way to find out if you are a leader is to deal with life’s biggest challenges when it comes to crunch time.

Decide on your own and act accordingly.  You’ll no doubt get plenty of advice, but no one is going to know better than you, what to do.  You are better qualified than anyone or anything to make the decisions that affect you personally and those who depend on you.

There’s a disturbing trend in our day-to-day lives towards dependency on others, big institutions, big labor and big government.  Sweat equity has been replaced by entitlement equity.  People measure success based on what they can get, not what they can give.  

A major new study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty, however, shows things haven’t changed all that much. “Children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s,” it finds.  “That doesn’t mean politicians can’t improve people’s chances of rising. It’s just that the best way they can do so is by getting out of the way.”  The Foundry

The problem is the more you lean on the government, the more your life depends on government.  You are governed by more  laws, more regulations and more public policy today than ever before.  Who you become, what you do, and how you do it, is shaped by public opinion and the mainstream media.

In this new era influenced by mass media and public opinion, big government is their divined solution to all your problems.  American exceptionalism, entrepreneurship and the multitude of small business success stories that built a thriving post WWII economy, are too often ignored, discounted and discouraged with crippling regulation and  laws that are the new normal.

What if a typical family spent like government?

What if a typical family spent like government?

Individualism and leadership are sorely needed.  People, not big government, can make a difference.  You and I need to step up to the plate.  Our country’s in peril as is our next generation.  Take on the career politicians who have created roadblocks to personal responsibility and leadership.  Our country is on the line. Vote them out in 2014 and 2016.

Career politicians passing laws that control our lives severely curtail the entrepreneurial spirit and small business startups, the little engine that could, that should and does grow the economy.   Consider the cost of healthcare has virtually doubled for small businesses in the past 5 years.  

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is beating for their next customer, for their fellow employees and their families.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country, small business.  In their shadows are the real leaders, the chief cooks and bottle washers; the real risk takers that stand behind their champions, small business owners.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy.

Entrepreneurs are not the only leaders.  Leaders are people I see when I come to work before dawn.  I see them after dusk, when darkness settles.  They are resourceful.  They don’t think twice.  If you say something to them about the long hours they keep, they will readily commiserate with you, complain if you will, but there is a sense of pride in their voice.  There is a smile on their face.  These hard working people who are the heart and soul of the US economy.

In an atmosphere where people lean more on government, blame others and institutions for their circumstance, we need more leaders. Whether you are a parent, employee, small business owner or CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation; people depend on you for guidance.  You are accountable for the success or failure of others.  You have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. 

In business or in your personal life, when the time comes, no one will make the important decisions for you.  Don’t get me wrong.  You will get plenty of advice.  “If I were you…” “You should…”  “You could…” “You might…” Later on, after the decision has been made, you will summarily receive the same words, only in a different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have… Draw on your own experience.  Make your own decisions.

The most important decisions you can make, are made by you alone.  That’s leadership.  You can change the world, change you can believe in.

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