Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DACA, Dreamers & Democrats

        DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is an executive order by President Obama to allow minor children that came to the country illegally to remain here legally.  These individuals are often referred to as dreamers.  Some of these kids could now be as old as 36.  The number of dreamers is about 800,000.
        The DACA policy was implemented by President Obama as an executive order, and as such is clearly unconstitutional.  The problem is that most dreamers are here through no fault of their own and most are good people who contribute to our society. 
        President Trump could have just repealed the unconstitutional executive order, but instead he sent the DACA issue back to Congress, and recommended a bill that was very humanitarian.  He offered a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants. 
        The Democratic Party promised to help 800,000 dreamers, and Trump offered a path to citizenship for over twice that many.  The Democratic Party should have declared a victory and voted for the plan.  Their hate for Trump is greater than their desire to help the dreamers.  Democrats don’t want to solve the problem.  They want to keep it a political issue. 
        I have a problem with rewarding illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, but I do have sympathy for the dreamers.  Trump’s proposal was a compassionate compromise as long as we secure the border so we won’t be facing the same issue again in a decade.  
        All President Trump asked for in the DACA bill was to secure the border with a wall where needed, stop the immigration lottery, and stop chain immigration.  This was not sufficient reason for Democrats to vote against the bill.  All three must be assured before the dreamers are given a path to citizenship.
        I don’t know what the Democratic agenda is, except to oppose President Trump’s every move.  That is not working out very well. 
        Democrats just won a Congressional seat in Pennsylvania.  They put forward a good candidate.  He talked more like a Republican than a Democrat on the issues like the Second Amendment, abortion, and others.  He even said he did not support Nancy Pelosi.  It would be nice if he kept those campaign promises when he votes in Congress, but it is safe to assume he will vote the party line.
        The Democrats could have claimed a win with DACA, but they hated Trump more.  Trump just keeps winning.  How is that working out for the Democrat Party?

God bless President Trump and guide him to make America great again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fair Trade

        I posted my first blog on Common Sense, Business & Politics on January 18, 2012.  In that blog I listed my seven greatest fears for this country.  One of the seven was our deficit trade balance.  I’m sure many of my readers did not consider our trade deficit that big a problem at that time.  I did and still do. 
        I am a proponent of free trade, but only if it is fair trade.  America’s trade policies have not been in the best interests of the country for decades.
        I am not an economist, but I do have some business experience and eighteen collage hours in economics.  I always thought economics was common sense.  If you have more money going out than coming in, you have a problem.
        Our country’s negative trade policies date back to post WWII.  We intentionally allowed bad trade policies in order to help rebuild war-torn countries.  It may have been a good policy then, but that time has passed.
        We now have a trade problem and I am happy President Trump is keeping another campaign promise by addressing that problem.  We have not had a positive trade balance since 1975.  Our negative trade balance is hurting American workers and the economy. 
        The new tariffs will help rebuild our steel and aluminum industries.  These industries are in trouble, and we can’t afford to have them disappear.  Our Military and national security are dependent on strong domestic steel and aluminum industries.  Our industrial strength was one reason we were victorious in WWII.
        The new tariffs on steel and aluminum may hurt some business in the short-run, but it will be good in the long run.  Harly-Davidson motorcycles are built here in Wisconsin.  They use steel and aluminum and those costs may go up in the short-run, but many countries importing Harly-Davidson bikes now charge a 30% to 100% tariff.  That will change in future negotiations because of the new tariffs. 
        There may be a short trade war, but it will be short lived and American will be stronger in the end.  I understand some politicians are against the tariffs.  These are the ones controlled by political donations of special interest groups.  They need to represent American and not special interests.  Thank God, President Trump cannot be bought and is not controlled by the political party elites.
        Some globalist economists don’t agree with President Trump because he puts America first.  I agree with Trump.  I do not support the globalist idea of worldwide wealth redistribution. 
        Mexico and Canada have been exempted from the steel and aluminum tariffs, and this will be a major bargaining point in renegotiating the North America Free Trade Agreement.  NAFTA goes back to Reagan’s presidency.  I have disagreed with every president since on NAFTA.  I do not have a problem with free trade with Mexico and Canada, but it has to be fair.  That has not been the case.  The United States has been getting the short end of the deal.  It is time for a change. 
God bless President Trump and guide him to make America great again.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Go Teram

        I have two degrees from the University of Iowa and have lived in Iowa City three times, so I am an Iowa Hawkeye fan.  I love collage football, watch the games, and cheer for my team.  I praise their wins, mourn their losses, and wear sports apparel showing support for my team.  Going to a home game is a lot of fun.  The tailgating outside Kinnick Stadium is a great experience.   
        It is fun to support a favorite team that provides great entertainment.  A good season is exciting, and if they have a bad season, there is always next year.   
        The student athletes are encouraged to be team players, which is good training for a career later in life.  This is great as long as the coaches or fans don’t do anything that violates the rules.  If that happens every member of the team needs to speak up. 
        Team building is also big in business.  Management promotes the team concept, and managers are sometimes called team leaders.  Same job, different title.  Being a team player is great and does not mean being a yes person all the time.  But, if the boss does something illegal, everyone must speak up and not ignore the problem.  Being a good team member means doing what is right for the team, and not covering for the boss.
        The same is true in government.  If the heads of any government agency do things that are illegal and unethical for any reason, everyone in that agency has an obligation to speak up and expose the infraction.  In the military, everyone must follow orders, but no one should ever comply with an illegal order.
        I understand that whistleblowers are afraid of losing their jobs, but everyone has a moral obligation not to allow corruption in government.  Being a team player does not mean covering up or being part of a crime.  There are no excuses. 
        There is obvious corruption for political reasons within the top management of several government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.  They cannot investigate themselves and top management refuses to cooperate with Congress. 
        Most people working in these agencies are hardworking honest people, but they need to come forward to expose the corruption or the public will never trust the FBI and DOJ again.  Being a team player means doing the right thing for the country and not covering for corrupt bosses.  We must be a country of law and order.
        I understand that the deep state and political elite don’t want to give up their control.  They have demanded and rewarded a corrupt team.   We must drain the swamp.

God bless President Trump and guide him to make America great again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

School Shootings

        There is a saying that you should never take a knife to a gun fight.  Another saying is that it takes a good man with a gun to stop a bad man with a gun.   
        We have had a terrible shooting in a Florida school. Seventeen dead is a new record, and the shooter almost got away.  We can be sure that another mentally ill person is planning to break that record.  It is like a new high score on a violent video game. 
        This is a complicated problem with no simple solution.  Many people and organizations made mistakes.  They all must take responsibility, and change to prevent it happening again. 

·       The FBI and local police ignored the signs of a problem.
·       The FBI, state law enforcement, and local police do not communicate. 
·       Armed police and security on site did not react to gunshots in the school.
·       Mental health people are not doing their job and we do not have the facilities to evaluate and detain potentially dangerous people.
·       Background checks are flawed because all felons and mentally ill people are not reported to the data base.
·       Gun laws presently on the books are not enforced. 
·       Moral and religious conditions in the family unit contribute to the problem.  Parents must be parents and not friends to their kids.
·       The “See something – Say something” rule is good, but often when people do say something, the warnings are ignored as in the Florida shooting.  People are also afraid of not being politically correct so they keep quiet.

        All of these things need to be addressed, but it takes time to pass good legislation.  It takes even longer to teach people to be responsible citizens.
        One thing promoted by the left and the lame stream media is more gun control and banning certain guns.  This is a political agenda and an attack on the Second Amendment.  Banning the AR-15 or high capacity magazines would do absolutely nothing to stop mass shootings, and takes the focus off things that could actually save lives. 
        One thing can be done immediately that would have an immediate impact, is improved school security.  We go through security to get on a plane, but not to get into most schools. 
        The National Rifle Association has offered security consulting services to any school in the country for free.  Who else would offer that kind of service for no charge?  Thank you, NRA.  
        Armed and trained security guards, teachers and school staff would stop most school shooters.  Teachers and school staff would be totally voluntary.  Many already are proficient with guns, have their own weapons, and have a concealed carry permit.
        Most mass shooters are cowards and will avoid any target where they know someone will shoot back.  Gun-free zones could just as well put up a sign like this:

Gun-Free Zone
Prime target for a mass shooting.
No one will shoot back.

        If a mass shooter does pick a target where there is armed security, they will be stopped fast.  Calling 911 when there is no armed security is a joke.  Most mass shootings last about 3 minutes.  First responders to a 911 call arrive in 4 to 8 minutes.  This is too late to stop the killing.
        But, most fixes take time and money to implement except one.  Giving teachers and school staff gun training and concealed carry rights in the school can be immediate at almost no cost, and is by far the most effective. 

        Most effective - Least expensive - Immediate 

        Sounds like a no-brainer to me.  I wish most business decisions were so simple.

God bless President Trump and guide him to make America great again.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


        There are many different advertising mediums.  Some offer a low cost per exposure, but have a lot of wasted exposure.  Some target the market or specific potential customer wanted, but will have a higher cost per exposure.  Let’s take a look at a few.

·       Television:  A 30 second Super Bowl ad costs $5 million.  Great exposure for a national product, but not practical for most companies.  Cable networks and local stations might be a better fit.

·       Radio: More local stations, but more competition for listeners.  At least the listener doesn’t record the program and skip over the commercials.

·       Newspaper:  Low cost per image, but high waste exposure.  I was taught 3 ads to be seen once, 6 ads to be read once, and 9 ads to be remembered.

·       Magazines:  Waste coverage if magazine does not target your customer.  The geographic market covered might be larger than the market your serve.  Magazine ads can be reprinted as handouts.

·       Yellow pages:  This market is changing due to smart phones and the internet.  Some franchises used to coordinate openings with yellow page printings.  This has changed. 

·       Outdoor advertising:  Road signs can be very effective for some businesses.  Burma-Shave and others had some phenomenal success stories.

·       Direct mail:  This can be a great way to offer discounts and coupons.  It is also easy to track results.

·       The internet now offers opportunities to advertise and pay on a per-click or per-sale basis.  This can be very cost effective and easy to track results.

·       A website can be great, but totally worthless if no one visits the site.  Something must drive people to the site.

        I have only touched on a few advertising options.  There is no magic solution, just as there is no perfect business for everyone.  
        Tracking results is important for future ad campaigns.  In one industry, I told my salespeople to ask customers what prompted them to call.  They seldom asked because they were more interested in what the customer wanted to buy. 
        When the salespeople did ask, some customers mentioned a specific magazine we had not advertised in for years.  They remembered us from that magazine, but did not remember the specific ad that prompted them to call.
        Advertising is only one small part of any marketing plan.  Some very successful marketing plans might not include any advertising. 
        An advertising campaign might be so successful that it will guarantee a business fails.  I give examples of this in my book Business Fits. 
        For a better understanding of how advertising fits in a total marketing plan, read Business Fits.  It is available on Amazon as an eBook or a paperback. 

        God bless President Trump and guide him to make America great again.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


A system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives – Oxford Dictionaries

        We all have horror stories about working with bureaucracies.  It could be government agencies or our medical insurance providers.  The red tape created by bureaucracies increases the cost of everything. 
        Bureaucratic red tape has stifled our economy for decades.  I am so happy to see President Trump keep his promise of reducing government regulations.  He has eliminated 20 regulations for every one he has initiated.  It is easy to understand why the economy is growing.
        I have a problem with bureaucrats enacting regulations that have the force of law and do not have the approval of Congress.   Bureaucratic agencies should not have the power to legislate law. 
        We have a problem with bureaucratic agencies going beyond their designated power and actually committing crimes for political and/or personal reasons.  We have seen this with the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, and possible the State Department. 
        This bureaucratic corruption must be stopped and prevented in the future.  No one is trying to degrade the FBI or DOJ.  Quite the reverse is true.  We need to clean up the corruption at the top to preserve the reputation of these great agencies.  Some people don’t want to clean up this bureaucratic corruption because they are trying to cover their own ass.  
        When Trump said he was going to clean up the swamp, I had no idea how corrupt it was.  We are just starting to uncover the truth.  Things to consider: 

·       Are bureaucrats committing these crimes because of partisan politics?

·       Are bureaucrats committing these crimes for personal gain?

·       Are partisan politicians controlling the corrupt bureaucrats?

·       Are the political elite and deep state controlling both the corrupt bureaucrats and politicians?

·       Are the corrupt bureaucrats actually the deep state and do they control the politicians?

·       Who is controlling the lame-stream media, or are they just going for ratings with no concern for reporting the facts?

        These are some interesting things to think about.  I wonder if we will ever know the truth.  Both major political parties may not want the public to know how corrupt the government has become.  People might loose faith in their government. 
        Unfortunately, even if we do learn the truth, the people at the top of the corruption will probably never face any serious legal consequences.  I heard one political commentator say these corrupt bureaucrats should be ashamed of themselves.  Being shamed is not enough.  I want to see people go to jail. 

        God bless President Trump and guide him to make America great again.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Oh Shit

        I admit my language can be colorful.  I do embarrass myself on occasion, but I am totally upset by how politically correct everything we say has to be today.
        Some liberals make all kinds of assumptions based on an individual’s choice of words.  Words alone do not make a person a racist, sexist, homophobe, or Islamophobic. Discounting a person’s contributions to this country because of offensive language is a violation of our first amendment rights. 
        In September I had a heart attack.  I did not recognize the symptoms and didn’t know I was having a heart attack until I was in the emergency room.  The staff was very fast and efficient checking me out.  When I heard one of them exclaim, “Oh Shit,” I knew I was in trouble.  Within seconds, the room was full of people who were very efficient and well trained.  A helicopter was immediately ordered to take me to a level III trauma center. 
        Should I have been offended by the “Oh Shit” comment?  If words hurt and it was offensive, I should have told him to leave the room and let me die.  Actually, I thought the comment was very descriptive of my medical condition at the moment.  He and other medical professionals saved my life.  I didn’t care about their language. 
        I feel the same way about liberals picking on President Trump’s choice of words.  As long as he continues to win and make this country great, I don’t care about his colorful language. 
        Trump’s language might offend people sometimes, but he often uses the most descriptive words possible to paint a picture.  Calling some African countries shit holes is pretty descriptive to me.  It paints a picture. 
        I recently saw a presentation by an individual that spent two weeks in Tanzania.  He went there to teach people how to grow soybeans.  These people had no electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, or safe heat.  Their houses were the most rudimentary structures.  Our old outhouses with the half moon on the door would be an improvement over what they used for toilets.  Their primitive dirt roads were impassable in the rainy season. 
        I don’t think I would describe that country as a garden paradise.  Trump got it right.  He described the country and living conditions.  It had nothing to do with race.
        We need to get over banning certain words.  This is not Orwell’s 1984, but liberals banning speech scares me. 
        Liberals have given politically-correct lip service to minorities for decades, and never improved their situation.  President Trump has reduced unemployment and welfare for all minorities in one year.   We need to look at who people are and what they are doing for this great republic, and not their choice of words. 

        God bless President Trump and guide him to make America great again.