Honestly, I couldn't bring myself to watch the President's entire State of the Union speech the other night. I've been trying to break the habit of listening to lies and obfuscation, so just as the recovering alcoholic avoids the liquor store, I shunned the President's reading of his prepared text.
Anyway, I've read a lot of the speech and noted several things the President said that made me even more anxious to move him out of the White House next January.
One of the more troubling aspect of Obama's speech was his desire to create "a blueprint for an economy that's built to last." It can't be done, Mr. President! Nobody and no body is capable of creating a blueprint for an economy; economies are far too complex for such a misguided solution.
John Stossel agrees (hey, that makes me feel like I am on the right track here), noting that "...economies are crushed by blueprints. An economy is really nothing more than people participating in an unfathomably complex spontaneous network of exchanges aimed at improving their material circumstances. It can't even be diagrammed, much less planned. And any attempt at it will come to grief."(Source: "The Real State of the Union" at Townhall.com)
If insanity is defined loosely as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome, then our political class is populated by those who are insane...and loose. They keep trying--and failing--to manipulate the economy with rules, regulations, and redistribution, and apparently they're crazy enough to think they can do it if they can only compound the layers of rules, regulations, and redistribution.
Stossel presented this great list of things he wished the President said in his State of the Union address:
What should Obama have said in his speech? Here's what I wish he'd said:
Our debt has passed $15 trillion. It will reach Greek levels in just 10 years.
But if we make reasonable cuts to what government spends, our economy can grow us out of our debt. Cutting doesn't just make economic sense, it is also the moral thing to do. Government is best which governs least.
We'll start by closing the Department of Education, which saves $100 billion a year. It's insane to take money from states only to launder it through Washington and then return it to states.
Next, we'll close the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That saves $41 billion. We had plenty of housing in America before a department was created.
Then we eliminate the Commerce Department: $9 billion. A government that can't count votes accurately should not try to negotiate trade. We will eliminate all corporate welfare and all subsidies. That means agriculture subsidies, green energy subsidies, ethanol subsidies and so on. None of it is needed.
I propose selling Amtrak. Why is government in the transportation business? Let private companies compete to run the trains.
And we must finally stop one of the biggest assaults on freedom and our pocketbook: the war on drugs. I used drugs. It's immoral to imprison people who do what I did and now laugh about.
Still, all these cuts combined will only dent our deficit. We must cut Medicare, Social Security and the military.
I know. Medicare and Social Security are popular. But they are unsustainable. The only way to cut costs and still have medical innovation is to free the market. So I propose that we repeal Obamacare immediately. My proposal was a mistake. We should repeal all government interference in the medical and insurance industries, including licensing. It all impedes competition.
We must shrink the military's mission to true national defense. That means pulling our troops out of Germany, Japan, Italy and dozens of other countries. America cannot and should not try to police the world.
Those cuts will put America on the road to solvency. But that's not enough. We also need economic growth.
Our growth has stalled because millions of pages of regulations make businesses too fearful to invest. Entrepreneurs don't know what the rules -- or taxes -- will be tomorrow.
All destructive laws must go. I endorse the Stossel Rule: For every new law passed, we must repeal two old ones.
Sadly, those are words of sanity and they reflect a real desire to set selfish political ambitions aside in order to fix a broken country.
We will never see such words come out of Washington.
As a guy who has sold retail products--in fact, I excelled at retail sales!--as well as vehicles, advertising, and insurance (one of which I didn't excel at), I really got a kick out of Seth Godin's blog post this morning because he touched on all these areas.
If you are serious about retail sales it is still important for you to sell when people come in to buy. If you simply receive payment for the bottle of water, blender, wrench, blouse, or light fixture without asking for another sale, you've squandered an expensive and fleeting opportunity to increase profits for your store. This is not the time for you to operate merely as a living vending machine.
Instead of simply exchanging some asked for product for money, think about what other products would be natural add-ons--e.g., a snack, a blender accessory, a tool bag, a skirt, or electrical tape--and then recommend at least one other product to the customer who is standing right in front of you. It only takes a few seconds and your simple recommendation essentially costs nothing.
The best part about it is that it works! A lot of people will say, "no thank you," but a lot will say, "yes, please," and your sales will grow. You will be doing a service for your customers and your business.
Give it a try! Let me know if I am right or wrong.
In 2008, a group of more than 31,000 scientists signed a petition dissenting from the position of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that man-made CO2 emissions are destroying our planet. More than 9,000 of them have Ph.D. degrees in fields like atmospheric science, climatology, earth science, and environmental science. That's fifteen times more Ph.D. scientists than are involved in the IPCC campaign.
This is an excellent recap of the global warming scam by the author of "If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You're Not a Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You're Not an Idiot."
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.
Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.
Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.
I am really excited to see how King, the master story-teller, handles this dark day and the years that led up to it.
There's no need to wait in line or even leave your house to get the book (sorry old-fashioned book stores). You can pre-order 11/22/63: A Novel at Amazon today and they will actually deliver the book to your door so you can dig into the story right on its November 8 release date.
Oh, and by the way, Amazon is offering a generous 47% discount off the cover price of 11/22/63.
In addition to the excellent discount, you can also get it shipped for FREE.
If you are really anxious to jump into the book and don't feel like waiting for the delivery person, you can also pre-order the Kindle edition, and Amazon has a 51% discount off the cover price on that version.
If you don't have your Kindle yet, you can order one right here for as little as $79.00.
In fact, when I think of it, it seems that King's new book would read nicely on the exciting new Kindle Fire [order here] for just $199.00, which will be released on November 15, 2011.