A Better Future

 

Who doesn’t want a better future, for themselves and their children? The question is: what is “better” and how to achieve it?  What kind of future are we seeing, one year after Trump’s inauguration as President?

Hayden Collins

Hayden Collins

The previous administration focused on social benefits, and on the government leveraging the provision of a rich mix of social benefits to everyone in this country, making the taxpayers carry as much of the burden as they could bear, and pouring the rest into an escalating national budget deficit. That administration’s idea of “better” was to make the U.S.’ social programs resemble those in western European countries with Socialist governments.  And ignoring the near-collapse of some of those countries’ economies, such as Spain and Greece.

In some of these countries, the Marshall Plan was implemented after WW II. It required people to check in, in order to get social benefits, and allowed the post-war controls and relief efforts to keep an eye on them.  But these kind of post WW II controls in Europe and Asia evolved into a Socialist nightmare.  The direction of the previous administration’s social and economic efforts was leading the U.S. to become the same as we created for our enemies after WW II – control. How could that kind of war controls be “better” for the U.S.?

The voters didn’t think so. In 2016 the press – already on the ropes from losing their market to online news outlets and the effect of social media – tried to hijack the election, but it went a different way. Collectively, we didn’t want a continuation of a government that was starting to smell like Socialism.  The Obama administration’s policies amounted to a deep dive away from freedom, and as President, Hillary Clinton’s administration would have continued it.  A large segment of U.S. did not want to continue the dive, and they don’t think U.S. is ready to become Socialist – that this direction is stepping too far away from our freedoms.

In the debates leading up to the 2016 presidential election, President Obama criticized candidate Donald Trump over his call at bring back manufacturing jobs, asking if Trump had a magic wand. Obama’s error was that he was sold on the idea the U.S. was done.

Instead of the U.S.’ idea of freedom being diminished by the kind of challenges that we set for our enemies after WWII, now we’re getting away from that. In the past year, the pendulum has swung away from Socialism, more toward capitalism, with a market drive. Competition, business and freedom are what enable our country’s ability to provide the social programs; we can’t have the social programs without a strong economy. Success is built on competition, not on mediocrity – not on leveling the playing field so that everyone can finish the game without trying – but nobody wins.

Is it “better” now? There have been reports of 2.2 million new manufacturing jobs created in the U.S., sampling against the Fortune 500 companies’ hiring. This is unsubstantiated growth of 3.6% with projections of 4.0% plus in the near future.

If it continues in that direction, we will be moving away from the policy of using government money to stimulate economy, that takes from economy to stimulate economy. Instead, the government is now cutting taxes and stimulating the economy by allowing business to lead the economic resurgence.  And by cutting business’ taxes, it enables them to hire who they want to hire, and changing offshore restrictions to bring investment capital back to U.S., so U.S. kids can have jobs.  That is my definition of “better”!

One year in, this is only a beginning. We are in the midst of an economic war of jobs and money, that we can’t afford to lose. We still have a long way to go, especially in bringing down the deficit.  War is expensive, and we have to manage our resources.  What we can afford – now – is to be competitive, and to do it without the kind of controls that were used to restrict our conquered enemies of WW II.

Hayden Collins speaks on the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Austin Collins American Legion Post

Austin Collins American Legion Post

Hayden Collins speaks in Calhoun to Mohawk Industries’ Silver Circle on the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

I told the group of senior employees about my relative Austin Collins, who was one of the sailors serving on the USS Arizona, a battleship that was lost during the attack.  For Austin it was an ordinary Sunday morning on duty and in the service of the U.S Navy.  The family was not given many details and we didn’t know whether he was on duty at the time, but do know he gave his all for the defense of the ship and his fellow sailors. 
In fact, it took some time for the family to get the news of Austin’s being involved in the attack. And when the family received the news Austin had been “kilt”, several of my direct family members joined up, including cousins, uncles and my own father.  My father had to lie about his age in order to serve in the U.S. Navy.  Losing their kin may have gotten them stirred, but they felt called to join up as their duty to God, Family and Country. 
For myself and for the Collins family, it is a tradition for members of each generation to serve in the armed forces.  For us it is the passing on of leadership, and a tradition of duty.
I also talked about another attack, and another group of service members who came to the defense: the ones who recently helped to contain an active shooter at Ohio State.  These individuals had finished their tours of duty and returned to civilian life.  They were among the students attending classes that day, but they responded immediately to the threat, and put themselves back on duty – much as my relatives responded by joining up after the Pearl Harbor attack: to protect others.  These individuals of exceptional character continue to serve the Constitution, even when they’re no longer in uniform. 
There are some experiences that cannot be taught in books, but one generation needs to pass on to the next.  I urged the Mohawk audience to pass on their knowledge and experience to their fellow workers who are not yet in the Silver Circle.  Passing on leadership, and the response to duty is generational. 
I was glad to have the honor and opportunity to talk about Austin Collins’s sacrifice on this the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and I thank Mohawk’s Silver Circle for the invitation.