Articles from February 2012

A future worth fighting for

Hayden Collins

Hayden Collins

We as citizens of the United States have a responsibility: exercising our right to vote and helping to make a decision that will impact not only you but the entire nation.  I have accepted that responsibility – by taking part in early voting – because I know that my vote counts.

If we feel that there’s no leadership we can trust, each of us reacts differently.  As we come to Super Tuesday, you can be active in this process, dormant, or a mercenary. Those that are dormant have given up and have turned a blind eye to the problems and issues. Those of us that become active get involved in the process and lead to positive change.  Then there are those who become mercenaries.  Mercenaries will serve the leader who makes them the best offer.  Sometimes the best offer is not in the best interest of the country, but mercenaries don’t care about that.  When they have fulfilled their service and been paid off, mercenaries go home.  But for those who are being mercenary about their own country, there’s nowhere to go.  There’s no online “Second Life” or other imaginary world that will make go away the realities of paying for a roof over your head and food on your family’s table.

It’s your vote – what is your best offer?  Are you looking to negotiate with a business leader who promises to get involved with adjusting regulations and financial policies to make it easier for private sector business to grow and create more jobs?  Or someone who thinks government should get out of the way, demand less in the way of taxes from you, and let the states and communities address their particular needs for social programs?  Or someone who’s concerned with the integrity of our country, the ethical and moral dimensions of government decisions, with less aggressive approaches to economic stimulation?  What do they have to do with core values of smaller government, self-reliance, free market, and fiscal responsibility?

Mercenaries don’t care about policies, just paychecks. However, government enticements and entitlements should not buy your vote – your vote is worth more than that.  But where we stand now, are 99% of us headed toward being mercenaries? 

Sometimes disaster has to strike close to home before the danger gets your attention – a bridge collapses or a family member dies unexpectedly.  And then you find yourself fighting an entirely different kind of battle – one that you’re familiar with, involved with, and can commit to.  Then you have skin in the game – you are no longer a mercenary, you are fighting for your homeland.

Don’t let disaster strike your vote.  Don’t become a mercenary. Make a stand.  You can fight now, or you will be fighting later.  Use your online resources to prepare, to ask your own questions, and engage now, rather than escape into other people’s daydreams or be dormant and await results you may not agree with.  You do have input for the direction of the country and the direction of this next generation. Make the choice or the choice will be made for you.

 Vote.  And Be About It.

The invisible enemy

Hayden Collins

One of the critical things when under attack is to know who the enemy is. And is not.

If you listen to many of the national speeches being made about what is imperiling our country, you’ll hear that wealth redistribution – through bigger, stronger government, and through changes in who is taxed and how much – are the necessary counter-attack.  It’s implied that the cause of our current crises is social inequality.  But it is not.

What threatens us now is the “red menace” of our day: debt.  Debt leads to downgrades.  Yet if you listen to those speeches, the Progressives and Democrats are not concerned about the debt, they’re spending their energy on taxes – on getting to the “fair” share of contributions that everyone should be paying. And some of their versions of fairness call for radical measures on the level of class warfare.

What if we let the examples of the credit downgrade in Europe educate the Progressives & Democrats in the U.S.: downgrades do not care about your class.  Debt affects us all equally.  Could those elected representatives who are focusing on taxes be trying to take your attention away from the debt they’ve enhanced?   Case in point: our country’s GDP – gross domestic product – was released recently and the numbers indicated about 2% growth.  Yet here we are, just a couple of weeks later, and they are already revising the numbers.  Their focus has always been on taxes, with no concern for spending or debt.  When our country hit its debt ceiling this past August, a “super committee” was appointed to address it, but all they talked about were taxes.

The can that was kicked down the road in the past three years has grown – during which time the U.S. debt has almost doubled.  Today we don’t even own the can or the road that they are kicking it down.  $6 out of every $10 the government spends is now borrowed. As a country, we are upside down in our debt, and the simple economics of this kind of situation is being played out in Europe at this moment.

And at this moment, the future doesn’t look much better.  The new entitlement programs set to take effect soon will add even more debt.  In those speeches, the existing political machine will try to sell you anything to buy your entitlement vote and promise anything to gain control for its own self-preservation.  Allowing an even bigger government to provide big government answers to big government problems will only result in more government.  They know no other solutions.

We have seen people try to make their monthly payments more “fair” by re-financing their homes, but those who don’t have the focus to use the savings to pay down their debt often lose their homes.  We have seen people who switch to “healthy” foods to try to reduce their weight, but if they don’t cut back the amount of those foods they consume and exercise to burn off what they already have, their diet fails and sometimes they gain even more weight.  It isn’t about being “fair” – when the situation is this critical, you simply have to cut.

Another critical thing when under attack is to know what your resources are, and the best way to deploy them.  While in charge during operations, sometimes an officer in command has to consider what orders he or she is receiving, and if the information is correct to make the correct decision.

It’s time to redirect our leaders’ focus to identify the most harmful thing to our country, greater than any enemy: the national debt.  At the national level they may call this class warfare, but here on the ground, everyday individuals don’t see the class war – they only see the struggle to pay the bills.   The decisions being made to address a class war are nonsense that no one has time for because each person is making decisions in their operations, despite the information that command is sending down.  That information is not current and does not reflect the current needs to make good decisions.

The election is almost upon us and it’s time to consider just how much more damage we want the current leadership to bring upon our country. We can control our own future and economy, but business is the answer, not government.  We don’t need speeches and we don’t need numbers- adjusting.  When the situation is this critical, we simply have to cut.  After the effects of the past three years, no incumbent should go unchallenged. Each person in a leadership position needs to be personally challenged to address the economics of the current problem.

We do not need and cannot afford bigger government.  Allow business to grow and provide jobs and we will be stronger, and in a better position to combat our debt.  In the 2012 elections, support business and support your economy – vote out debt spending, tax increases and bigger government.

Reported from Kiev this week: in Germany – which adopted old American economic ways – unemployment is low with retail sales showing a 9% increase in sales over previous years, and very solid economic standing using good proven American economic policies. (Germany’s Chancellor grew up in the former East Germany and knows how Marxist socialism destroys a society.)

Know who your enemy is: the enemy is our debt – and the individuals who are ignoring it.