Food for Thought "If you have the right people, with good, basic values and good work ethic, you can have a tremendous journey."

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September 28, 2011

Please don’t make me change

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 8:49 am

Biblical Paul said something like “The things I want to do, I don’t. The things I don’t want to do, I do.” Change is very difficult, It starts with creating favorable conditions for change. We must go through a Metamorphosis, we must form new habits, we must change. How to change, how to form new habits is the major issue.
1st, set a goal to change. This does not guarantee anything, but it is a start.
2nd, define a reward or consequence if we do or do not accomplish our goal.
3rd, Identify why you have not changed prior when you tried. What obstacle stopped you from change. What was the root cause of failure. ie, I can’t stop eating chocolate. The root cause is that I like it and the reward is not significantly high enough to change. I would like to lose 5#’s, but I will stop eating something else and continue eating chocolate. Identify the obstacle. What is really in my heart. What are my real affirmations and is this goal key to accomplishing my life affirmations.
4th. When, My dad used to say, “you have time to do what you really want to do”. The problem was, I really did not want to clean out the barn. But, it is true, we choose every day consciously or sub consciously what we will do that day. We choose. We often do the easy things firsts. Make a list, link to your affirmations, do those things first that mean the most and will let you accomplish your life affirmations.
5th, Then and only then will you become the person you wish to be.

September 13, 2011

Tax the rich, more, more!

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 6:52 pm

I don’t mind raising taxes on sports stars and the crazy rich that make $10 million a year.   But, I do have a problem with raising taxes on small business people that earn more than $250k per year.

Current top tax rate is 35% (they were 39.6% until 2000).     Add Social Security and Medicare for self employed of 15.3% which most small business people are either directly or indirectly.    Add State of an average of 5%.   Add City of 2 %.   and we are at 57% of earnings for a tax rate.    I am not even adding property taxes, sales tax, gas taxes, utility taxes, etc.  (these added taxes could easily be another 5 to 10%).

So.   Taxes are too high!

The problem with raising taxes on those who make over $250k is S corp. vs. C corp.     Many small businesses are S corps. and they must treat all earnings at the end of the year as real income.   If we increase their tax rate, they will invest less, take less risks, and not try to grow their companies.    C Corps have retained earnings, and do not claim all profits as real income.   They pay Corporation taxes and can find some deductions to offset.   The problem with many small businesses converting from S corp. to C corps. is that they then can be double taxed.  ie,  1st on corporate earnings, then on personal income.

My suggestion,   Change the S corp. laws so that they can have retained earnings and when they sell their business they do so as capital gains.

Summary, if small business persons do not believe they will get a return on their investment by reinvesting in their business,  they won’t.   And right now with all the uncertainty in Washington,  they are just waiting.

PS:   I don’t make over $250k net,  so this does not affect me personally.

10 months after Prostate Cancer Surgery

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 2:07 pm

Well,  got the results of my 4th PSA blood test post Prostate Cancer Surgery and they were still <0.1 or undetectable.    I am blessed!    Getting better every day with incontinence.    I would say 110% of prior on all levels, except for item 2 below.   Most of the time I do not wear a pad,  and when I do it is a women’s Poise very light liner and I cut it in half.   I only wear it when I am wearing light colored pants, or at night in bed.   Truth be known, I probably leaked this much prior to surgery.   I still do Kegel’s, but only 1 set of  10 a day.   20 seconds on, 5 seconds off 1st thing in the morning.     I usually do them when I am doing my mild Yoga ham string stretches and back exercises.   I stopped doing mega Kegel’s after I had done 10,000 (really, I have the charts to prove it).   If I have had too much caffeine or too many beers,  I leak a little more.   But, usually less than 1 gram.   Sometimes an issue when one passes gas.

I restarted my testosterone cream and Thyroid meds 5 months ago,  two blood tests since and both were undetectable.  I stopped taking both during just prior to surgery.    All my testosterone and Thyroid blood levels are now low to mid level.    They were below prior.   I have not tenderness nor pain when riding a bicycle nor when running (if you call a 12 minute mile running.   I do ride a Terry bicycle saddle,  so I don’t know how a regular bicycle saddle would feel.   Even on bumpy roads, no pain nor discomfort.   Karen and I rode from New Buffalo, Mi. to Mackinaw City along the Lake Michigan shoreline in August (508 miles).   No pain nor discomfort other than the hills.

The biggest changes in my life have been two things.  1.  Diet,   Karen takes very good care of me.   We eat 3 to 5 fruits a day, and 3 to 5 veggies a day.  We try to eat Organic of both when available.     We do have an Organic garden this summer, so that helped.   During all this ,  I have lost about 8 pounds in the last 6 months.  Would still like to lose another 4 pounds.   Oh,   I still eat dark chocolate.    2.  I have tried all sorts of impotency pills, devices, prescriptions, etc.   If you want the details, email me individually.   None of them work.   I have not tried injections!!!

I still take a plethora of vitamins and herbs.   4000 mg of Vitamin d,  lots of fish oil, lots of Cinn, a little niacin, melatonin, baby aspirin,  etc.   My Cholesterol is 188, HDL is 49, BP is 104/74 and resting pulse is 55 to 60.

So,  in summary,  doing great.   I say 110% of prior because we have adjusted my dosage of testosterone and thyroid correctly and I lost 8#’s.

September 12, 2011

Economics for our politicians, “how to create jobs”

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 4:24 pm

It does amaze me why some of our leaders don’t understand the simplest of ways to create jobs.   I don’t just mean the President, I mean most of the Congressmen and Senators.

You can’t just wish jobs or promise jobs.   So ,  here goes!   Not in any priority.

  • There must be a demand, or one must be created.   Another way of stating this is there must be a need or a want.    Or we need to create a need or want.   ie There is a demand and need for gas and for transportation.   There is a want for 40 mpg cars.   There was a demand created by the IPod and I phone.   They are now a need.    If we just have a want, something must motivate us to purchase, and make us think we have a need.
  • Once we have a demand  or need.    We must have the means to purchase.    IE,  we must have the money or credit to buy, and we must perceive it is a priority over all other items.     When we have fair paying jobs,  we buy more.   When we are confident in the future, we buy more.    If we don’t have money but credit is available, and the need is great, we will buy.   But,  no money, no credit , no purchase.
  • In order to create jobs, we must have the ability to produce to meet the demand a product that the customers perceive as the best value.    ie marketing ,  advertising , price, availability and quality.    And we create jobs when there is growth in the demand.    To Grow we must be better at all the above than the competitors.
  • The tricky part is getting companies to believe they can create or capture that market.   Companies can manufacture all over the world.   They will invest only when they see a greater return than the risk.    Companies measure risk in government regulation stability, tax favorability, where is the market, is the market growing, what is the cost of labor and manufacturing in that geographic area, etc.

So,   We can create jobs only when there is a demand or we create one.    We create jobs only when companies think it is a good risk to expand and build in our area.   We create jobs only when we are the best value and the most competitive in total value.   We can create jobs only when we have cash or credit allows us to expand.    All of these things must be present to create jobs.

Building infrastructure does help and create temporary jobs.    However, if we increase taxes to build those roads, companies just move to lower cost areas.

Two options to make companies feel comfortable enough to expand.

  • Keep corp. taxes where they are, but give tax credits for real profit sharing with all employees.   Give tax credits for much much fast depreciation for building expansion and new buildings, for new American made machines, etc.
  • Lower corp. taxes to zero for 2 to 5 years, and allow corp. to bring profits home if they invest in capacity and facility maintenance or new facilities.

We need to make our US cost to manufacture so low than Corporations bring back there outsourcing.    The reason the jobs are not coming back is that as US Corporations are growing they are sourcing more and more overseas.    All the GM bailout money went to source GM parts to China.   We should have tied the money to sourcing domestically.

Finally,  if we all just bought US made products,  or even just half of our stuff made in the US,   we would solve most of our economic problems.

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