Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Star Wars

The new Star Wars movie and merchandise is making billions and is a leading news story.  Groupies know every detail of the Star Wars history.  I wish the public was half as informed about our government and how our republic functions. 
Although it will never happen, I think people should have to take some type of government competency test to register to vote.  If you have ever watched Water’s World interviews, it is obvious that we have too many political morons voting.  How do we educate these people?  The media certainly is no help.  They broadcast anything that is controversial to hype ratings.  The lame stream media tries not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and divide the country. 
Why do we let big government, big money, and the political elite run our country?  I congratulate Congress for actually passing a budget for a change.  This is the responsibility and obligation that Congress has ignored in our recent history. 
The problem is that the budget was 1.1 TRILION dollars and gave President Obama everything he wanted.  Money for the military and veterans was cut, there is no increase for Social Security recipients, AND welfare was increased.  This is wrong. 
Republicans have done well in the last two elections because of promises to cut the size of government and government spending.  This new budget certainly does not reflect what the majority of the country wants.  
Too many government decisions are made for political reasons.  One example is the disaster called Obama Care.  The implementation of the tax on Cadillac health care plans has been delayed again.  Why?  If this tax were implemented, before the next election, it would be a death stroke to the Democratic Party. 
Most polls show that less than 10% of Americans think the government is doing a good job.  I can see why Republican Presidential candidates that are considered outsiders are doing so well.  The public may not be well informed, but most are smart enough to realize we have a problem. 
All political candidates give lip service to solving the problems created by big government, but will not act on these problems.  I can certainly understand both parties concern with some of the outsider candidates.  If elected, some of these candidates will act, and it could mean the end of big government and the political elite as we know it today, and it would force major changes in both political parties. 
For the sake of the United States of America and future generations, I pray we cut big government and get back to the Constitution, but I am very concerned that we will continue on the path to socialism.   

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Any of you that have read my book, Business Fits, know how I feel about acronyms.  The use of acronyms leads to misunderstandings and miscommunications.  In business they cause wasted advertising and marketing dollars, and most importantly lead to lost sales. 
So what does P.C. stand for?  I once did consulting work for a franchise that used the term in marketing materials for prospective franchisees.  The prospects felt the term referred to Personal Computer.  It made no sense and the prospects did not want to appear dumb by asking questions.  In this case P.C. stood for a technical term in the franchise system.  How many franchise sales were lost before the acronym was removed?
So does P.C. stand for a personal computer or something else?  I was listening to a book of fiction on tape in the car.  They kept using the acronym P.C. in this book and it did not make any sense until I finally realized that they were referring to Probable Cause for search warrants.  This may have made sense to someone involved in law enforcement, but not for most people.  Don’t get in the habit of using acronyms in your company or industry.  It is a bad habit, and you will use them when you shouldn’t. 
The P.C. I want to address now stands for Political Correctness, which is the most detrimental and dangerous trend in our government today.  We are at war with radical Islam and our government won’t even say the words.  How can we ever win this war?  We can’t have open and honest discussions about race, immigration, sex, or religion, because of someone taking offense at a word usage.  This attitude is ignorant. 
I understand many people get rich by race-baiting and even by advocating that we can control climate change, but this is not healthy for our country.  People should not be allowed to get rich by promoting lies.
Political correctness is dividing America and diverting attention from the real problems facing this country.  Instead of dealing with horrific problems like the war with radical Islam, the growth of government, and government debt, our leaders talk about b--- s--- like climate change and gun control. 
We need to forget political correctness and get serious for the sake of our children and future generations. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dangerous Minorities

      It would be nice if we could always hire the most qualified person for the job, but that is not realistic in today’s society if we want to appear politically correct.  If a company does business with the government, hiring minorities can be a requirement for the business. 
Businesses must often hire based on race or sex requirements.  Then, minorities are hired, and everyone must be careful that these minorities are not discriminated against in any real or perceived way.  Business and government both have to give minority groups special consideration in order to prevent problems.  I am not saying minorities have not been discriminated against in the past, because they have, but today business has to be very careful not to show any sign of discrimination. 
Religious discrimination in business has not received a lot of attention, but it exists.  When I bought a car dealership in a small town, I was told I needed to join a specific church if I was going to do business in the town.  That offended me to the point I probably would not have joined that church if it had been my church of choice. 
Politically, minorities are an even greater problem.  These groups are easily manipulated by the political elite.  This is not the good for the country.  Only 5% of Germans were Nazis, but that led to the death of 5.7 million Jews in the holocaust and over 60 million people in WWII.  Very few people in Russia were Communists, but the Russian revolution resulted in the death of over 9 million people.  Very few people in China were Communists, but millions died. 
Communists regimes all started out with a very small part of the population, but this was a very dangerous minority.  Martin Malia estimates in his book, Black Book of Communism, that Communist regimes have caused the death of 85 to 100 million people.  Maybe Communists were a minority somebody should have been concerned with. 
Today Muslims are a religious group getting a lot of attention.  I agree that the majority of Muslims are peace loving, but the radical minority is a problem.  Any Muslim that believes in or supports Sharia law and Jihad must be considered an Islamic radical. 
Radical Islam is a minority of the Muslims, but it is a large and very dangerous minority.  There are over 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world.  Estimates put the number of radicals at 18% to 25%.  That is a huge number.  The number of radical Muslins probably exceeds the total population of the United States. 
This is not a small problem.  The majority of peace-loving Muslims MUST report any suspected radicals.  A passive non-involvement attitude is not acceptable.  The result will result in death and loss of freedoms for both Muslims and infidels. 
Think about this for a minute.  If we bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into the US, we can assume that statistically only 2,000 want to kill us.  How do we tell which 2,000?  We can’t tell by looking or talking to them.  Deceit is an essential tactic of Jihad.  There are very few records for these refugees which makes reliable vetting impossible.  Doesn’t anyone see a problem here? 
Age and sex are also irrelevant.  One of the shooters in the California shooting, Tashfeen Malik, was in this country illegally.  She slipped through the system.  We have a real problem with radical Islam.  They are at war with us.  We cannot negotiate with radical Islam. 
This is not an issue of religious freedom or political correctness.  Radical Islam wants to kill all infidels.  This means everyone that does not follow Sharia law and beleave in Jihad.  Someone said it is a war between the Koran and our Constitution. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

James Younger Gang

I am a student of our western history from 1860 to 1890.  This was an exciting time in the history of our county.   Jesse James, Frank James, Cole Younger, Jim Younger, and Bob Younger were the nucleus of an outlaw gang that achieved notoriety during that time period. 
Jesse became the most famous and the gang is normally referred as the James Gang.  He was shot in the back of the head by a gang member.  Personally, I believe that Cole Younger was the primary leader of gang.  The history of these people is very interesting.  I would recommend stopping at The James Farm and Museum in Kearney, Missouri. 
Jesse James was sometimes compared to Robin Hood, and the gang was defended by southern patriots, but in reality they were ruthless robbers and killers. Some politicians and some members of the press defended the gang and contributed to their infamy. 
The gang was able to continue their life of crime for many years for several reasons.  They were trained as guerrilla fighters in the Civil War.  The gang was better armed than most of the population and no one fought back.  They were protected by family and southern sympathizers.  The gang targeted banks and railroads so the pubic never recognized them as a serous problem or threat to the public. 
The downfall of the gang happened in Northfield, Minnesota where northern farmers and townspeople did not sympathize with the southern guerrillas.  The townspeople took up arms, and three gang members were killed.  The three Younger brothers were all seriously wounded and imprisoned in Stillwater, Minnesota.  Only Frank and Jesse James escaped. 
This history has some relevance today.  The shooting in San Bernardino is a change in tactics for terrorism in this county.  The government and media are very careful about labeling the problem or making any statements that might be consider politically incorrect.  The fact is that the shooters were devout Muslims.  Syed Farook had traveled to Syria to find a Muslim wife, and they had traveled to Syria and Pakistan.  This may be a clue to their motives.   They attacked, killed, and wounded people at a Christmas party.  Their dress, guns, and explosives clearly show that the attack was planned for a long time, and probably was funded by Islamic sympathizers. 
The change with this attack is that they were not on a suicide mission.  They tried to escape which makes it a guerrilla attack like the James gang.  They probably had training during trips to Syria and Pakistan.  They were better armed than their victims.  They knew that all their victims would be unarmed in a gun-free-zone, and would not fight back.  They planned on getting away and having family and the Muslim community hide and protect them, just like the James gang.  It is naive to think that no one in their family or church had any idea what they were planning. 
This all sounds like the guerrilla tactics of the James gang.  I am surprised Islamic terrorists have not adopted these guerrilla tactics before.  The only problem was that armed police responded too quickly.  Our police need tactical weapons to deal with this war on terror. 
Unfortunately, President Obama does not agree and actually took military grade equipment away from some police departments.  He would also like to take all guns away from citizens so they can’t defend themselves.  I would be in favor of any new gun control that took guns away from criminals and terrorists, but we already have that legislation. All proposed new legislation takes guns away from honest citizens and infringes on the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment. 
We are at war with radical Islam.  This is a guerrilla war in countries not controlled by Islam.  Political correctness and talk of gun control are dangerous because both avoid addressing the real terrorist threat.  Maybe we should recognize political correctness as the propaganda it is because it avoids facing reality. 
We have to wake up and fight.  People are dying and more will die until we win this war.  Citizens may need to help the military and police by taking up arms and fighting for our country like the people of Northfield, Minnesota fought for their town.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

100% Sure

I once had a marketing professor that said, “If you are 100% sure, you are wrong because you are too late.”  If you are 100% sure, someone else will have already acted, and the best opportunity is gone.  This is certainly true in marketing and business. 
The market is always changing.  Maybe that is why business is so interesting and challenging.   The changing market is one reason large companies, chains, and franchises are more successful than independents.  A small independent business can not afford the market research necessary to keep up with a changing market. 
I have had clients who were looking for a business and wanted to be 100% sure.  They will probably never own a successful business, because if they continue to investigate, the opportunity will be gone.  In some cases, the idea of being 100% sure is just an excuse so they never have to make a decision.  Unfortunately, they do not realize that this procrastination itself is making a decision to never be self employed. 
This works for the 100% sure individual because not everyone should be in business for themselves.  Owning a business requires making many decisions every day.  Someone that needs to be 100% sure has demonstrated that they are not capable of making business decisions in a timely manner. 
I would like to think I can be 100% sure of who to vote for politically, but that is also not possible.  Theoretically, we want to vote for the most qualified candidate that will best represent the future of our great country. 
We ask a candidate for specific plans on issues, but if the candidate is foolish enough to provide specifics, they will lose because the special interests and the political elite will criticize the details. 
Instead, we elect an individual with no experience or qualifications, but who has a good personality and can give a good speech.  No one would stay in business very long if they hired employees like this.  So why does anyone vote for them?
 Political candidates seek partisan support and the support of special interest groups.  They must then pay back for this support at the expense of the taxpayer.  It is most disturbing when they gain support by dividing the country based on race, sex, or religion. 
I am also very disturbed by politicians that feel they have to be so politically correct that they cannot even talk about some of the biggest problems facing this country.   This is why the political insiders are having such a hard time in the current Presidential race.  The public is getting fed up with inefficient big government, and the avoidance of the real issues facing this country.
I know it takes a lot of time and energy to learn about a candidate, and not just believe the lame stream media headlines, and the untrue super pack advertisements.  As in business, we can never be 100% sure, but we must do our best.  I have made many mistakes in both business and the voting booth.  I have learned from them.
You can never be 100% sure when you go to vote, but be informed.  Don’t be taken in by propaganda.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rapid Dog

It was very sad when Old Yeller had to be shot after contracting rabies, but it was necessary.  Old Yeller could not be cured of the disease and could cause the death of other people and animals. 
I have never seen a rabid dog, but I did have a young rabid raccoon charge me once.  I was bailing hay for my brother-in-law and I saw this young coon coming towards me.  It was very cute, but I was alerted when it charged me with an unsteady and crooked run.  I jumped out of it’s way and it ran into a grove of trees.  I told my brother-in-law and we found the coon.  By this time the coon was foaming at the mouth.  We shot the animal and burned the carcass so no other animals could be infected. 
It was a shame to shoot Old Yeller or that cute little coon, but necessary.  Neither could be returned to their former health and mental stare.  It is just as naive to think we can contain, convert, mentor, negotiate with, or reason with a Muslim that has been radicalized.  They feel it is their religious calling at all costs. 
I would have a better chance of convincing you to disavow and abandon your family, country and religion.  It’s just not going to happen.  I have heard some liberals make the ignorant statement that we just need to give them jobs.  We have a better chance of curing a rabies infected animal, than changing a radical Islam by giving him work.
Old Yeller was confined to a corn crib, shot, and burned.  Radicalized Islams must be contained in interment camps, imprisoned, or killed.  There is no other option if we are to protect our country’s future.  How many people must die before we recognize the fact that we are at war with radical Islam?  This is a war like we have never had to fight before, and we had better recognize that fast, before it’s too late.    

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Penalty Must Stop the Crime

       I was once the manager for a manufacturing plant that made pickup covers.  These covers were for an eight foot pickup box so they were over eight feet long counting the forward slant and rear door handles.  Legally these covers could not be hauled crossways when shipped as they would make the load over eight feet wide.  A wide-load permit could not be obtained because they could be legally transported lengthways. 
       The problem was that 23 covers would fit on 40’ trailer crossways and only 19 if hauled lengthways.  The fine for the over-width load was usually around $50, and the drivers were seldom stopped and fined.  Putting four extra covers on a trailer saved freight.  We could afford to pay a fine on every load and still make money. 
       Once a driver was stopped at a weigh station and not allowed to move until the load was legal.  He was partially empty and hired other drivers to help him rearrange the load.  Only one time in two years was a driver stopped with a full load and not allowed to proceed.  That time cost us, since he was in another state and we had to send a pickup and small trailer to make the load legal. 
       The $50 fine clearly was not enough to stop the crime. The reward was greater than the risk.  If the drivers were always stopped and not allowed to proceed, or if the fine had been $500 and frequent, we would not have broken the law.
      The penalty often does not deter the crime in this country.  Corporate executives break the law to enhance their bonuses, and are never prosecuted.  Instead, the corporation pays fines that end up costing the stockholders and consumers.
       The rewards for drug dealers far exceed the risk and penalties, so they continue selling illegal drugs.  These drugs destroy people’s lives, homes, and the future of children in the home.  Taxpayers bear the cost of that destruction.
       We have regulations that hurt small business, and help big business because big business can and do buy the politicians.  Small business must often ignore the regulations or go out of business.  The entrepreneur and small business is what made this country great.  We should be encouraging them.  Now big government shuts down many small businesses, and discourages new small business start-ups.
       Illegal immigrants are breaking the law and usually face no penalty.  Instead, they are rewarded with free education and many government benefits.  Legal immigrants and taxpaying citizens pay the cost of not securing our borders and not enforcing our immigration laws. 
       Politicians, sports stars, celebrities, and the super rich consider themselves above the law and seldom pay a penalty for breaking the law.  They simply deny and cover-up the crime.  They need to face severe penalties that make them adhere to the laws.
       This great country is a country of laws.  These laws must be enforced equally for all.  The penalty must be adequate to discourage the crime.  We seem to have lost sight of this in many cases.  This is egregiously unfair to all the hard working citizens who do obey the law. 
        We must reduce the size of the federal government, and stop the unfair political advantage of big business.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rehabilitate Islamic Terrorists?

There was an article in the Sunday, November 8, 2015 Pioneer Press titled “Should U.S. help terror suspects in return to society?”  According to this article there are 350 Islamic terrorists in our prisons today.  We cannot turn Islamic terrorists loose in society, but what is the solution?
Our prisons are a great venue for recruiting Islamic terrorists.  Recruiting someone to the Islamic State is not like a missionary converting someone to a peaceful religion.  Radical Islam advocates “death to all infidels.”
Rehabilitation should be a primary goal of our prisons.  People can and should be treated for drug and alcohol addictions.  Inmates can be taught new job skills so they can be productive members of society when released.   Juvenile offenders should be the most receptive to rehabilitation. 
Not all prisoners can be rehabilitated.  Serial killers and pedophiles are two examples of offenders that should never be released on society.  Islamic terrorists should never be released either.  They should be incarcerated, deported, or executed.
We now have Islamic terrorist serving as little as five to twenty years.  They will then be released on society to continue their religious war.  Some juvenile Islamic terrorists are never incarcerated.  This is wrong.   
Islamic terrorists do not consider themselves criminals.  They are fighting a religious war.  Even a juvenile Islamic terrorist will cut your head off, your children’s heads, your grandchildren’s heads, and the heads of your entire family with no remorse.  He thinks he is doing God’s work.   I hope some liberal idiots don’t have to experience this personally to see the light.
I get so sick of political correctness protecting all Muslims including Islamic terrorists.  Our White House won’t even say the words Islamic terrorists.   Muslim mosques should be preaching peace and reporting anyone advocating violence, but most Muslims look the other way.  Muslims protecting Islamic terrorists is just as wrong as the police protecting bad police officers.  Both may be in the minority, but should be held accountable for their actions.  Criticizing the police is in vogue, but it is not acceptable to criticize the Muslims or the Islamic State. 
We are in a religious war with Islam and we better accept this fact before it is too late.  Islamic terrorists cannot be treated as other criminals in our prisons.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


      I normally refer to NBC and their affiliates MSNBC and CNBC as the government networks.  They are so biased in support of the current liberal President and his followers that I usually refuse to watch any political news these networks.  They are either totally incompetent or intentionally report lies. 
Because of this network bias, I had mixed emotions about watching the Republican debates on CNBC last week, but I couldn’t help myself.  I watched it and was appalled.  The moderators were more interested in stating their political agenda than asking pertinent questions.  That wouldn’t have been so bad if they could have at least gotten their facts correct.  The moderators were not only inaccurate, they were biased, rude, and incompetent. 
It may be hard to pick a winner of the debate, but the clear loser was CNBC.  There is no excuse for a moderator calling one of the leading candidates a comic book character.  I commend all the Republican presidential candidates for not falling for any of the moderator’s traps.  The candidates were obviously much more intelligent. 
The debate may have been one of worst examples of media bias I have seen in a debate, but not the worst.  Candi Crolick supporting Obama in a lie and telling Romney he was wrong was the worst travesty I have seen.  In my opinion, Crolick should never have been allowed to work in the news or TV again.  But the liberal left loved her lying and breaking all the debate moderator rules. 
We have to accept the fact that the lame stream media and especially NBC is like a super pack for the liberal.  Telling lies is okay as long as they achieve their objective.
There are a couple things I don’t understand.  The Republican National Committee had to know this would be a biased and disrespectful event on CNBC, so why did they approve it?
This debate was obviously a huge moneymaker for CNBC.  Why would any individual or corporation that wants the best interested of this country buy ads on CNBC and support this debacle? 
Until We The People hurt the lame stream in the pocket book, they will continue to promote their political agenda and not report the news accurately.  We must stop watching these biased networks so ratings and advertising revenues decline.  It’s time to take control of our country.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Socialism and Why It Fails

Why does socialism fail?  Socialism is not a new idea.  The idea is thousands of years old, and has never worked.  According to a friend of mine, the only really new political idea in the last couple thousand years was the Republic with three branches of government our founding fathers designed. 
Changing the name of socialism and calling it something else does not change how it works and the end result.  It does not matter if you call it socialism, modern socialism, progressivism, modern progressivism, or communism.  The principals and objectives are the same.
Socialism fails because it takes away all incentive to perform and achieve.  Why should someone work when there are no rewards?  The concept of working to one’s ability and being compensated only according to one’s needs just does not work in the long run. 
Socialism often shows early signs of success, but eventually fails.  Early success is because of wealth redistribution, but over time everyone is reduced to a lower standard of living except for the political elite.  By definition, socialism grows the size and power of government, and ends with tyranny.  The political elite live in luxury and the workers live in near poverty.  This is not just a wild prediction.  Look at history shows every socialist country fails. 
This history lesson is relevant today when we have a self-proclaimed socialist running for President.  In the past political candidates may have advocated socialist ideas, but tried to disguise them under other names. 
We have been moving toward socialism in this country for the last 100 years.  I think it is time we get back to the principles of our Founding Fathers that made this country great. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Presidential Debates

      I have watched both the Republican and Democratic Presidential debates.  CNN was a little hard on the Republican candidates.  CNN openly said they would concentrate on the candidate’s vulnerabilities and try to pit them against each other.  I was not happy with this agenda, but understood that CNN was going for maximum ratings.  
When CNN hosted the Democratic Presidential debates, they stated they did not want to pit the candidates against each other because these were serious candidates that wanted to discuss the issues.  Was CNN saying the Republican candidates were not serious candidates? 
Let’s take a look at the candidates.  The Republican candidates included seven governors, five senators, two medical doctors, two CEOs, one woman, two Cuban Americans, one Asian American, and one African American.  Most were well known to the politically informed.  The Democratic candidates included one woman, one socialist, and three old white men that most people had even heard of.  This is interesting, considering the Democratic Party tries to present themselves as the party of diversity.  Talk is cheap.
  As with most politicians, the Democratic candidates tried to shout out about all of their accomplishments, both real and imagined.  The exception was Jim Webb, who is actually a war hero and never made a big point of it. 
Because of the self-proclaimed socialist on the stage, all the candidates leaned toward socialism except for Webb.  He obviously was the big loser.  They all promised everything imaginable for free, but never mentioned how to pay for it. 
If the Democratic candidates were serious about the issues, why did the issue of Islamic terrorists never even come up?  The topics included the mythical global warming, but never addressed the serious issues facing this country like, out of control government spending and debt.  I would like to hear a real debate and not a scripted one, but most politicians will say and promise whatever their advisors tell them to say with no intentions of keeping their promises.
For me, one of the scariest things about the Democratic debate was when Anderson Cooper asked the candidates to name their worst enemies.  Hillary Clinton said Republicans were her worst enemy, and also said she was proud of it.  This is at a time when we need a President that will unite and lead this great country.  Clinton’s elitist partisan attitude is the last thing we need at this time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Speaker of the House

The Speaker of the House is one of the highest ranking positions in our government.  Besides chairing the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House is third in line for the President, right behind the Vice President. 
John Boehner has been the Speaker of the House since 2011.  He has resigned, but is continuing in the position until a replacement can be named. 
Kevin McCarthy was the House Majority Leader and the obvious successor to Boehner, but he has announced that he is not interested in the position.  McCarthy said he felt a new face was needed that could unite the Republican Party and work across party lines. 
The most common name that now comes up is Paul Ryan, a US Representative from Wisconsin since 1999.  Paul Ryan has been the Chairman of the House Budget Committee since 2011. He came to national recognition when he was Mitt Romney’s running mate for Vice President in 2012.  With Democratic Senator Patty Murray, he negotiated the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. This was the first time since 1986 a budget was reached when different parties controlled the House and the Senate.  Ryan is currently the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Paul Ryan probably knows more about Federal government spending and waste than anyone in government.  Partisan politicians that want to continue to grow the size of government consider this a negative, because Ryan will cut the budget and eliminate some of their pet projects. 
I think some of the negative things I have heard about Paul Ryan are interesting.  I heard someone call him a quintessential Midwesterner and not a very good liar.  I heard several comments that he was not a very good politician because he couldn’t lie. 
I am proud of my midwestern farm background.  I don’t like liars and never have.  Why does a large portion of the public accept the notion that a politician needs to be a good liar?  We have some great examples of excellent lies in high positions.  “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance.”  How is that working out?
I heard someone question Ryan’s ambition and motivation.  They said he went to Washington “to do something and not to be somebody.”  Obviously whoever said that is more comfortable with a narcissist than someone who wants to serve the people.  Personally, I have had enough of unqualified narcissists in government and think someone who wants to serve the people is what our country needs.  Unfortunately, Ryan say’s he is not interested in running for Speaker of the House either. 
Some commentators think the Republican Party is in trouble because there is not a clear heir apparent to the position of Speaker of the House.  I hope it is just the reverse.  Maybe the Republican Party is evolving to put forward qualified candidates to serve the people instead of unqualified party loyalists. 
Real change would be good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Return On Investment

Return On Investment or ROI is a common accounting term.  It is simply the return or percentage return on an investment.  If someone buys a business for one million dollars and that business generates $100,000 a year in profits, the ROI is 10%. 
I once had a client who was considering buying a small franchise business for $100,000.  The seller was an absentee owner paying a manager a $20,000 annual salary.  The manager was working 60 hours a week.  The business was just breaking even.   I told my client that she would have to increase the profitability of the business, or she was paying $100,000 for a 60-hour per week job that paid $20,000.  She decided the business was not a good option for her. 
If an investment of any kind is made in a business, that investment should generate additional profits.  The increase in profits is the ROI.  A retailer invests $5,000 in a new advertising campaign, and $10,000 in additional sales are generated.  If the retailer has an average profit margin of 20%, the additional gross profits generated by the ad campaign are $2,000.  The additional profits generated did not even cover the cost of the ad campaign.  This was a bad investment if there are no additional residual sales as a result of the campaign. 
See my example of giving cars away at cost in Business Fits.   http://BusinessFits.com
The private sector is very aware of ROI.  Unfortunately, that is rarely the case with the public sector.  The examples of government spending money on things that generate no return on investment are disgusting and all too common. 
There are a few politicians who actually watch the ROI on government spending.  I recently attended a Small Business Summit here in Wisconsin.  I was amazed to see that Governor Walker and his cabinet are aware of the ROI for the way they spent the tax dollar.  Governor Walker actually tries to run the state government like a business.  Amazing! 
The local economic development and tourism groups I am familiar with consider the ROI for any expenditure.  Local government is normally more efficient.
When private corporations, special interest groups, and big money make an investment in a political candidate’s campaign, they expect a return on that investment.  That return may come in the way of loans, grants, subsidies, tax breaks, or special political appointments.  Don’t kid yourself; big money is not making that donation for the good of the country.
Donald Trump admits making large campaign donations to candidates from both parties.  Trump is a very savvy businessman.  He knows how the game is played, and I am sure he received a very good return on investment for those campaign donations.  He could be a game changer.
We are in desperate need of campaign spending reform if we are going to take back our country.  Maybe we should pass legislation making it illegal for any individual, corporation, or special interest group that makes a campaign donation to any candidate from either party to receive federal money in any form. 
Think about this.  Making a campaign donation with this law would eliminate receiving government money or favors. They could not buy politicians, as is now the case.  It would be a real game changer. 
That change might actually help clean up politics and provide the campaign spending reform we desperately need.  Organizations like Planned Parenthood could no longer use federal money to donate to the Democratic Party in order to get more federal money.
I’m probably just dreaming again, but I can hope and pray we can band together and make some real changes to take our country back.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#1 Entrepreneurial Mistake

      I have been watching some comments on a Linkedin forum titled “What’s your best tips for an entrepreneur?”  I find most of the comments very disturbing, because they lead the new entrepreneur down the wrong path.  The comments may be valid, but many are dangerous if blindly followed.  Most seem to be rah-rah, psychological, self-help or motivational in nature.  I think some of the advice is just people trying to psych themselves up to continue their own venture. 
There are both new and old clichés that ignore the basics of business.  This infatuation with current clichés scares me.  It is no wonder so many new entrepreneurs fail.  This obsession with blindly plunging forward and ignoring the basics of business promotes failure.   I have previously blogged about the 7Ps, which are Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance.  Many current clichés encourage moving forward without proper preparation. 
I understand that no one can be an expert in every area necessary to successfully start and operate a profitable business.  But, the new entrepreneur must be aware of all areas of business so he can obtain the help he needs.  If the new entrepreneur ignores the basics of business, he will fail unless he is extremely lucky.   
There are three books I recommend every new entrepreneur read.  I do not mean read them when time allows.  They need to be a priority, as there is probably nothing more important to a new entrepreneur’s success.  These books are not some psychological Rah Rah or written by a professor talking theory.  All three of these books are easy to read and offer real life examples of business basics that must not be ignored if the new entrepreneur is to succeed.  These three books are:

1.   Business Fits by Terry Oliver Lee
2.   The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
3.   Marketing War-Fare by Al Ries & Jack Trout

All three of these books are available on Amazon as an eBook or a paperback.  I would recommend the paperback if you are serious about your business, because you will want to refer back to them later.  
I knew an individual who was very successful in the real estate business.  He told a story about going to a class on how to grow his firm.  There was considerable expense in time and travel to take this course.  When he walked into the class the first day, he was disappointed to see several of his competitors in the class, because he felt the class would not give him a competitive advantage. 
He later said the class did help him because he implemented what he learned.  His competitors went home and continued blindly on doing business as usual without implementing anything the class taught them. 
Unfortunately, I realize that 90% of all entrepreneurs will ignore this advice and move eagerly forward until it is too late.  They will justify this by telling themselves that they al ready know what they want to do and don’t have time to read some book.  This makes me sad.  I wrote Business Fits for the new or aspiring entrepreneur, but it must be read to have any value.   
This naive approach to business reminds me of politics.  Some people do not want to learn the facts.  The facts might not support their political views.  They would rather just blindly push forward with their emotional perceptions. 


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Traditional Politics

Some of us have an image of big money and the political elite in a cigar-smoke-filled room determining who will be our next President.  Presidential candidates were selected by big money and party politics, and then the public was told what it wanted to hear with all those promises forgotten.  With today’s improved communications, the smoke-filled room no longer exists, but the process is alive and well. 
There was a time when if a Presidential candidate was from the north, his running mate needed to be from the south.  Now politicians are more successful at dividing the country on race, sex, religion and other special interest groups.  A current Presidential candidate might want a running mate from the other race, sex or sexual orientation. Our current President won with no experience or qualifications, but commanded votes from a large majority of blacks, Muslims, union members, and Democrats.  That and a meaningless campaign slogan of “Hope and Change” was enough for him to be elected and reelected.
I hope this process is changing.  Political commentators are totally befuddled by the current political campaign.  They can’t get their head around the fact that the working middle class is fed up with the political establishment.  Political commentators and the media cannot understand a candidate that is not dependant on political donations and the political elite.  The fact that Donald Trump was part of big money, understands how to buy politicians, and has bought politicians in the past, terrifies the political establishment. 
Since Trump is not dependent on the political establishment, he could actually change the system.  What if he initiated relevant campaign spending reforms and term limits?  This would take away, or weaken the power of the Washington insider.  Candidates who actually represent working America would be elected. 
I realize this is very optimistic, but I can dream.  Big business, big money, the Washington insider, and the political elite are not working in the best interests of our country.  We have to do something to take back our country. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lawful Compliance

A county clerk from Kentucky was jailed recently for refusing to issue a marriage license to a gay couple.  She was jailed with no opportunity to post bond.  She said she refused because her religious belief was that marriage must only be between a man and a woman. 
There clearly is a conflict between her right to practice her religious beliefs and compliance with the law.  Would an elected county official who refused to comply for religious reasons have been treated the same if they had not been Christian?  We bend over backwards for Muslims and atheists, but Christians continually have their First Amendment rights violated. 
I question the law because I question the Supreme Court legislating instead of just enforcing the Constitution, as they should.  I cannot understand why both Congress and the states allow their laws to be ignored and their power taken away. 
Personally, I think the county clerk should have assigned the duty of issuing marriage licenses to another staff member if it was against her religious beliefs.  This may be a cop out, but it would have complied with the law.  She also could have resigned, but this would not have given her a platform to express her beliefs.
All members of government, both elected and appointed, should comply with the law or be forced out of office.  This needs to be applied at all levels of office and not just the low level of a county clerk.  Why should the political elite be exempt?  Maybe President Nixon was right when he said “It’s not illegal if a President does it.”  President Obama has taken this philosophy to a new level of arrogance.  
High-level officials should be held to a higher standard and not given a pass.  Not one President since Eisenhower has enforced our immigration laws.  A President does not have the right to choose which laws he wants to enforce.  If we held our Presidents to the same standard as that Kentucky county clerk, they would all have been impeached and/or jailed.  Why do we accept and allow this double standard for the political elite? 
Congress makes our laws.  The President enforces those laws.  The Supreme Court’s job is to enforce the Constitution.  Our founding fathers knew what they were doing when they set up these three branches of government.  Why do we allow the political elite to ignore the rules and hold themselves above the law?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Work Ethics and Welfare

What has happened to the work ethic in this country?  We just celebrated Labor Day, and we have a larger and larger percentage of people unemployed.  Many are not even looking for work, and why should they bother?  We have a welfare system that rewards them for being unemployed.  Many people never plan to work again, because of welfare (often shamefully disguised as disability) food stamps, aid to dependant children, and other government programs.
I was raised on a farm.  The summer I turned sixteen my dad told me that he could handle the farm work while I took a job detasseling corn.  For you city folk, tassels at the top of the corn stalk are removed from one hybrid of corn plants in order for those plants to be pollinated by rows of another hybrid in order to create a specific hybrid of seed corn. 
At that time this was done by walking through the field and pulling the tassels by hand, or by pulling the tassels as you rode by on a machine.  I had taken a job riding on a machine. 
About the time my detasseling job was to start, my dad fell in a granary and was bedridden with some badly broken ribs.  I became responsible for the farm chores and fieldwork.  If I got up by 4:00 AM, I could get the morning chores done and be at my detasseling job by the 6:00 AM start time.  We usually worked detasseling until 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon.   
Our neighbor, Ed Kemna, wrapped up his work early so he could have his chores done and eaten supper by the time I got home.  When he saw me arrive home, he would come over to help with the fieldwork.  We combined the oats and bailed the straw until Dad was able to work. 
Many nights, we would work until dark.  I then had to do the evening chores, which normally took about two hours.  By the time I finished chores and got cleaned up, it was often midnight. 
In recent years, I thought about why I did not quit the detasseling job when Dad was hurt.  This was never mentioned or considered.  It was accepted that I had committed to the detasseling job.  My parents and myself just assumed I would do that job and the farm work too.  What has happened to this work ethic?
I think it is interesting that none of us back then asked for any assistance or subsidies from the government.  Our neighbor gave his time and labor with little or no compensation.  That was just the way it was in rural Iowa when I was a kid.  What has happened?  How have we lost that work ethic and neighborly spirit?   We have to get it back. 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was considered a liberal Progressive for his time.  But, he never felt people should be given welfare without doing anything to earn it.  He created government work programs so people could feel they were contributing and earning their government check.  
We need to do the same thing.  People must work for their welfare money.  We may need to provide transportation and childcare, but if at all possible, they have to work at some job according to their capabilities.  They must stay sober, stay off drugs, get out of bed, and go to work if they want the welfare check.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Constitutional Amendment Mistakes

      I am continually amazed at the foresight of our founding fathers in writing our Constitution.  It is amazing how relevant the document still is today.  The only time there is a problem is when we try call it a Living Document in order to change  or reinterpret it for some political agenda. 
The founding fathers knew they could not anticipate every possible issue in the future, so they made a provision to add Constitutional Amendments.  Most of these Amendments have been necessary and have served a good purpose. 
The first ten Constitutional Amendments are normally referred to as The Bill of Rights.  These Amendments protect our personal liberties, like freedom of speech and religion.  The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, which liberal Progressives would like to do away with.  
All ten Amendments in The Bill of Rights are important, but number ten is critical to the future of this country and our federal government is ignoring it.  The Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from any power or activity not specifically granted in the Constitution.  The federal government has ignored this Amendment to an ever-increasing extent for the last century.  This must be corrected. 
Several Constitutional Amendments were a mistake.  Three that are obvious at this time are Amendment 14, Amendment 17, and Amendment 18.
The 14th Amendment states that all children born in this country are citizens of this country.  This Amendment was clearly written to apply to the children born to slaves in this country.  The broad interpretation today promotes illegal immigrants entering this country in order to produce Anchor Babies that are American citizens.  This is wrong and must be corrected. 
The 17th Amendment established that U.S. Senators are elected by popular vote.  This sounded good initially, but has not been good for the people. The founding fathers determined that a good balance of power was to have U.S. Representatives elected by popular vote, and U.S. Senators appointed by the individual state legislatures.  This system insured that an appointed Senator actually represented their state.  This is not true today when expensive U.S. Senate campaigns are funded by big money.  This Amendment should be repealed.
The 18th Amendment prohibited the manufacture or sale of alcohol in the country.  This was great for organized crime and led to thousands of deaths from alcohol poisoning.  The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment.  It can be done and should be done with the 14th and 17th Amendments.
We must follow the Constitution.  We have legal options to change it.  We will, and have made mistakes, but they can be corrected.  We cannot allow the Constitution to be changed with Executive orders, Executive interpretations, and enforcing only those laws that fit the White House agenda.