Beto’s Climate Change Solution?

Democratic candidates for the presidency continue to inundate voters with uniformed and absurd promises. Beto O’Rourke has presented the latest, on toxic emissions.

The plan calls for “net-zero emissions by 2050, [recommitment] to the Paris Agreement and [restoration of] Obama-era power plant regulations and fuel standards . . .”

The proposal has a $5 trillion price tag over 10 years “for . . . clean-energy research, infrastructure and extreme weather preparation.” However, the cost number excludes expenditures relating to building efficiencies and federal permitting, along with ending fossil-fuel leases, reducing methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities, etc. It would generate untold trillions of dollars of other costs for the federal government and private industry.

Of course, details are scant and various conservative and liberal parties are chiming in on the feasibility of such an endeavor, in an environment that is moderately receptive to the potential dangers of climate change.

There’s no question that climate issues are potentially an existential threat to mankind. But the US cannot deal with problem alone. Coordination with other major polluters of the environment is critical. And it’s highly unlikely that China, India and Brazil are going to forestall their industrial revolution to work towards less toxic emissions.

Also relevant are the issues important to our legislators. Conservatives and liberals in Congress can’t even negotiate a format to interview the Attorney General. Just imagine how difficult it will be to create a comprehensive plan for the federal government and every company in the country in an effort to save the world.

It would be nonsensical to pick apart O’Rourke’s proposal, primarily because he obviously spent a couple of hours thinking about the risks to planet Earth. Suffice it to say the plan is a non-starter as is all climate reform, until our federal government finds a way to build a bridge between the two political parties. Unfortunately Democrats are totally engrossed in the reinvestigation of Mueller’s investigation than negotiating when the use of fossil fuel should be banned.

Voters should recognize that a climate change plan along with universal health care, free college tuition and forgiveness of student debt are nothing more than liberal pipe dreams. The promises being made will not be kept if Democrats capture the presidency.

Entitlements, Income Inequality and Inheritance

Democrats are proposing some very big giveaways and entitlements. Elizabeth Warren is shaping up to be the leader of the pack along with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders.

It’s disquieting to witness how liberals are attempting to take over the federal government by bankrupting the country. Among Democrats there is not one iota of fiscal sensibility. They think they can buy votes by giving freebies to their base. If they are successful in 2020, there is no chance that any of their ridiculous and expensive entitlements will actually become law.

It’s comforting that many legislators, in both major parties, have admitted that the proposals by the politicians mentioned above are outrageous, even as millennials and ethnic groups are celebrating promises that won’t be kept. The types of aid being suggested go far beyond socialism and would be a recipe for financial disaster.

Warren’s objectives are actually the most draconian. The only strategy she has to pay for entitlements is to tax the affluent. After telling us about her intent to spend trillions, she has not offered one creative idea about how to fund universal health care, free college tuition, free child care and so on. If wealthy class taxes were increased to 60 or 70%, it wouldn’t be enough to avoid crushing fiscal deficits. Have any of the Democrats ever taken a course in economics or accounting?

Liberals say their base is totally supportive of proposals to bilk rich people. Of course they are. Other people are being asked to make sacrifices, not them. Proposals would be far more palatable if all Americans made contributions to improve our country.

For instance liberals never speak of commitment from the individuals receiving aid. Why should welfare be paid to able-bodied people if they refuse to accept available jobs? The job market is vibrant. People can find work. Aid should be contingent upon the recipients improving their lot. Aid should be temporary and not a perpetuity.

Some have suggested that young people with college debt should have an obligation to pay a percentage of their earnings, over a minimum level of earnings, into the future. If they were successful their debt would be paid back. If they cannot find employment above a certain amount, they would not repay with money needed to survive.

The point is everyone should make sacrifices. The Democrats and the federal government should not be allowed to continually demand more from successful Americans. And, since when is it a crime to earn a high wage? The mantra “everybody should pay their fair share” is a license to rob the rich. The affluent class in America has worked hard for their standard of living. The mantra is apropos for Robin Hood in Sherwood Forrest, not the US.

The amount that an individual earns is based upon the contributions he or she makes to the success of the organization he or she works for. Even in government, individuals that have advanced education and experience earn more than newer, less educated employees. Over time, with hard work, ambition and creativity people can advance. This holds true for both governmental and private positions.

One of the most absurd controversies deals with the outrage over CEO compensation. Why would anyone find it offensive that the person who manages a corporation with 20 or 30 thousand people would earn 200 or 300 times the lowest paid employee? People are not paid millions of dollars unless they bring many times their compensation in value added service.

One of the most important tasks of Boards of Directors is to pay the person who runs the business a competitive salary based upon performance of the organization, personal achievement and comparison to others at different companies doing the same job. Usually, in the beginning of the year, targets for performance (financial, reputation, competitiveness, diversity, employee relations, etc.) are negotiated. If goals are achieved compensation will reflect them. If goals are not met compensation will suffer.

There is a growing misconception that certain people are dealt six and seven figure salaries as a gift. This is absolute nonsense and a myth perpetrated by radical social progressives. To bring home this kind of money is only possible for individuals who have the education, skill, drive and integrity necessary to be successful.

The New York Times had an article in the Sunday edition that spoke about the revulsion of children for inherited wealth from their parents. All parents are trying to do is to give their children a great life where decisions need not be made based upon the money. For this some parents are scorned. Talk about no good deed going unpunished.

It comes as no surprise that young people are so overly sensitive to income inequality when 90% or so of their teachers and college professors along with the media are so critical of high wage earners in the country.

My advice to the unfortunate young people saddled with so much cash: find a charity and write a big check.

As for Democrats, they will continue to play upon the problems of the lower classes by blaming them on the affluent.

 

 

Voting Rights For Convicts: Another Crazy Progressive Proposal

Several of the progressive, left wing socialists vying for the Democratic presidential nomination have gone too far. They are trying to convince Americans that convicted felons in prison and jail should retain the right to vote. Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, Democratic candidates for president, are leading this outrageous effort.

Many moderates and conservatives anticipated crazy proposals from ultra liberal candidates, and they are not being disappointed. Already Democrats are suggesting outlandish pie-in-the-sky proposals that include a multi-trillion dollar green new deal, a multi-trillion dollar free health care plan for all Americans (and the end of private health care coverage), free college tuition and free child care. The cost of all these entitlements and initiatives would certainly bankrupt our country. Supporters of these ideas say higher taxes on the affluent would pay for them.

So it’s not a revelation that radical liberals would also suggest that incarcerated individuals should not lose their right to vote. And it also comes as no surprise that their opponents are outraged by such a ridiculous proposal.

Why would law-abiding Americans allow convicts to vote? Their freedom has been taken away because they stole, cheated, murdered, kidnapped or terrorized fellow Americans. They brought sadness and devastation to countless families. Convicts are not supposed to have comfortable experiences while incarcerated, or be able to influence anyone outside of prison.

The only conceivable reason for this inane proposal is the Democrats’ search for more votes. Anyone who would vote progressive is a target of Democrats. Since the number of people locked up in the US is about 2.3 million, getting them the right to vote could impact many elections.

It’s likely that most Americans would support a change in voting rights for convicts who have paid their debt to society. This should be an item for discussion if Congress ever gets around to prison reform.

This episode is reminiscent the Willie Horton controversy during the George H.W. Bush/ Michael Dukakis presidential campaign. Horton, a violent criminal, was furloughed from prison in Massachusetts and committed additional crimes. It was a boon to Bush who said his opponent was soft on crime.

The bottom line is that many Americans are not sympathetic to the most violent criminals in jail. It is likely that Republicans will try to pin this on liberal candidates.

This voting rights proposal, which is being championed by several liberal candidates, is insulting to the victims and survivors of violent crimes and is indicative of what will be in store for America if a progressive candidate wins the White House.

The US Is Not Losing Influence Around The World

Trump haters have been saying that America is losing its status as the leader of the free world. They say the president’s non-traditional diplomacy tactics will make it more difficult for the US to assert its policies and ideology prospectively. This is not an accurate depiction of America’s strength under the leadership of President Trump.

Trump’s aggressive style is not endearing the US to other nations. But it is enabling the US to transact changes in trade arrangements and several other areas.

Regarding trade, America is making great strides and is in the midst of important negotiations with several countries around the world. For years other nations have taken advantage of US generosity by assessing high tariffs on our exports. We have not retaliated by correspondingly increasing our tariffs on the imports from these same countries, until now.

It could be that over the years our government thought it wise to use tariff negotiations for diplomatic purposes. Most of the gains no longer exist, and the gratitude of old trading partners has waned.

Other nations have taken advantage of our attempt to encourage free trade, a misnomer in today’s world. Free trade, per se, means there are no barriers for imports or exports. Unfortunately roadblocks exist throughout the world, as other countries never hesitate to protect domestic industries. The US on the other hand does the least to protect home grown companies.

Exacerbating the situation is the theft of trade secrets and the unorthodox demands of China. Investment in the country almost always necessitates local ownership, disclosure of trade secrets and revealing information about proprietary products. At long last the federal government has protested these practices and is demanding they cease immediately.

The US is by far the most powerful military force in the world. Unfortunately military might is the only thing that despotic countries and terrorists seem to understand. This unholy situation has been a boon to ever increasing suicide bombings around the world. Only through harmful terror activities do certain organizations project their influence.

Because our security is far stronger than all other countries, even with our open borders, terrorism strikes more frequently elsewhere. Nevertheless, the US has had its fair share of tragedy, in particular the 9/11 attacks.

The US has been an exporter of armaments to many countries and local militia groups worldwide. Generally, but not always, these arms sales have included low tech weapons. Although it is somewhat counterintuitive to sell arms while simultaneously calling for peace, the US derives many benefits from this activity.

First of all, these sales bolster domestic arms manufacturers. The affiliated revenues are very significant if they are sold and not just handed over to others. But even more important is that the US can support fledgling efforts in certain places to overturn despotic and unfriendly regimes. For instance, the US regularly provides arms to freedom fighters in the Middle East and other places. It should be noted that, on occasion, weapons we sell to some groups are either used against us, or our allies, or sold to other groups that are hostile to the US. It’s a dirty business.

The most important contemporary “weapon of mass destruction” available to the federal government, aside from raw firepower, is the economic influence of the US. Our country can virtually bankrupt another nation by manipulating and limiting the use of our banking system. Sales cannot happen between our enemies if the cash can’t travel from buyer to seller. Additionally embargoes on countries like Iran and North Korea will ultimately aid in the redemption of evil leaders or their demise.

To his credit, Trump has effectively used the threat of power to drag uncooperative leaders towards peaceful arrangements. None have been consummated, but progress has been made.

North Korea will eventually accede to giving up their nuclear weapons so long as economic pressure is maintained. Similarly Iran is in dire straits economically because of embargoes that now have been attached to all of their oil sales. Without this source of revenues there will be domestic upheaval in Iran and a decline in nefarious activity in the Middle East.

China is in the midst of an industrial revolution that depends upon rapid and continuous economic growth. The US can hamper this with tariffs on Chinese exports to the US. China exports far more items to the US than what the US exports to China, so retaliation by China will not have a great effect on the US. By attaching large penalties to critical items, the US can actually increase unemployment in China.

The US has its issues. Entitlements and giveaways to too many people are creating massive financial problems. Nevertheless our economy is chugging along nicely and most people are working. Our country continues to wield great influence, which has not been used effectively by previous presidents.

Why Is Congress Re-investigating Mueller’s Work?

As anticipated, Mueller’s investigation didn’t settle a damn thing. If he could prove Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, the president would and should be impeached. If Mueller could prove Trump obstructed justice, he would and should be impeached. Mueller couldn’t do either. So why is this whole thing being re-investigated by Congress?

Democrats are pushing forward to review Mueller’s work, a man was anything but partial towards the president. This is being done even as our nation is in dire need of new infrastructure, more security, immigration reform and so on.

Liberal lawmakers have made up their minds that Trump is guilty of crimes and misdemeanors of the heart. They say Trump wanted to commit crimes but his aides stopped him from doing so. They say all of the president’s minor offenses add up to a major crime that is impeachable. Trump’s opponents want to impeach because Mueller did not “exonerate” Trump.

Exoneration was not Mueller’s purpose. He was appointed to investigate undue influence in the 2016 election by Trump and/or his advisors, and to accuse those guilty of such a crime. The investigation expanded and Mueller came up empty. It’s likely that Mueller and his zealots came to the conclusion that the disorganized and inexperienced Trump administration was, in no way, capable of executing a broad conspiracy in cahoots with Vladimir Putin.

I’ve learned from watching countless episodes of Perry Mason, L.A. Law and CSI that it’s the job of a prosecutor to indict and prove criminal activity. The accused doesn’t need to testify or prove anything. If the accused is “logically guilty,” it doesn’t matter. Proof of a crime is the thing that enables a court to convict someone. On the other hand, Trump is guilty until proven innocent if you believe liberals.

The hypocrisy of Trump’s congressional opponents is staggering. It seems like every day one of them is found to have committed a real crime, acted corruptly or sexually abused the opposite sex. Nearly every day federal, state and local officials are accused and convicted of taking bribes, and corruption.

To make matters worse the congressional committees convened to interrogate the opposition are an embarrassment. Very few committee members are prepared or experienced enough to ask questions.

If Democrats can prove Trump committed a crime, bring it on. Why would the American people stand for another 18 months of reexamination of Trump’s alleged misbehavior? When November 2020 arrives, Americans can vote and oust Trump from office for being a jerk, which is not a crime.

In the meantime alleged crimes by Democrats are not being investigated. The infamous dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign has not been ferreted out. It contains lies and was illegally used to trap innocent people. And what about all the crimes perpetrated by Hillary Clinton and her minions?

I’m disgusted that my government is in paralysis. I’m disappointed that the president and Congress can’t enact new laws that could potentially impact poverty, education, border security, international trade, terrorism, infrastructure, prison reform, etc.

Congress should allow voters to deal with the strange man in the White House in 2020 and end the investigations by incompetent, uninformed, embarrassingly unsophisticated ideologues in Congress.

 

No Democratic Candidate Can Defeat Trump

Donald Trump has done everything humanly possible to alienate Americas outside of his political sphere. The 2016 election and subsequent polls have never given Trump a majority. A vast swathe of America despises him. He’s only been successful in the last Electoral College. There is no reason why a Democrat should not be the next president. And yet, it’s not going to happen. Here are five of the most important reasons why.

#1- Democrat infighting. When it’s all said and done there will be 20 or 30 liberal candidates fighting tenaciously for the Democratic nomination. Even though all are very progressive, each has a special interest(s). Sanders is universal health care (among several other issues), Gillibrand –women, Harris- prison reform, Biden-anyone’s guess, O’Rourke- immigration and so on.

Every member of the group will be vying to be the ultimate left-wing candidate during the primary. Historically presidential candidates cater to the most radical elements in the primaries and move to the center in the general election. Not in 2020. Every Democrat will continue to move further left as the campaign revs up.

Democrats are not a cohesive group, although their caucus in Congress has consistently voted against all initiatives by Trump. They are only united in one regard, the demise of President Trump.

Sanders still thinks the old guard cheated him in the 2016 primary. And so he has a chip on his shoulder and is clashing with Clinton trolls who for some reason continue to have influence over Democratic dogma and money.

Joe Biden is a confused has-been. He has no idea whether he will contend, but he is keeping Democrats on the edge of their seats waiting for an announcement. He also should stop touching women without their consent.

#2- Socialism. All of the Democratic candidates have gone all-in for socialism. Being a socialist used to be the kiss of death for politicians in this country, and now it’s all the rage. Liberals have decided the best way to combat Trump’s outrageous and destructive leadership is to act more like countries that we have despised and conflicted with over the years. This has occurred even as many of those same countries have moved away from socialism to capitalism economically. Russia and China are the most noteworthy examples of this.

Our nation cannot afford to provide free health care, free education, free prescription drugs, free college tuition, free child care, restitution to oppressed Americans, etc. There are not enough wealthy people in the country to bilge to fund all these programs and entitlements.

America is a capitalistic country and most people, liberal and conservative, want an economic system that rewards hard work, innovation and ambition. Americans don’t want the federal government to assign to them the same salary, same house and same life as their neighbors. They believe in exceptionalism. No matter how much Sanders screams and hollers this country will not accept his vision.

#3- The Sanders factor. It is inconceivable that America would elect Bernie Sanders president. He’s a socialist who has no conception of what services cost or what America can afford. He opposes millionaires and billionaires even though he recently joined the 1%. He’s too old and his vision of government is warped. The only people who will vote for him will be unpredictable and naive millenials and downtrodden ethnic groups that want more entitlements without conditions.

#4- Trump Investigations. Democrats are a political party with one objective, the ouster of Donald Trump. Forget about security, nuclear proliferation, trade, safe borders and the well being of our financial system.

In fact even after a rabid prosecutor and his openly left-wing cadre spent two years trying to make a case against Trump, Democrats now want to restart the investigation. Have you heard about any real initiatives by Democrat leaders lately?

More investigation is not what Americans wants. Voters want to be safer, earn a fair wage and live a rewarding life with their families. Political soap operas no longer will move the electorate.

#5- The economy. Our economy, even with a global slowdown is doing very well. Unemployment is low and wages are increasing. Confidence is high. In times of good economic growth, incumbents win elections.

Our nation has many issues to deal with. Yet Democrats have not shown one scintilla of interest or creativity to make the America better. They are losers in 2020 in spite of Trump’s outlandish leadership.

 

 

I Hate MRIs

With age we are subjected to more intrusive medical testing that can sometimes be quite disconcerting. Among the worst for me is Magnetic Resonance Imaging, aka MRI.

An MRI is no big deal unless you’re claustrophobic, which is a fear of closed-in spaces. Little did I know ten or fifteen years ago that I would be so creeped-out by being stuffed into an MRI tube for 15 to 30 minutes.

MRIs are prescribed for many medical issues. The obvious ones are bone and tendon injuries. But they are also used to examine other “soft” parts of you body such as your heart and even your prostate. In most cases docs are able to obtain clear images of impaired body parts and then decide the best treatment.

Men and women are individually subjected to examinations that are horrible. We all know what they are. But an MRI is not biased. It’s a major event for members of both sexes who don’t relish being slid into a tube that is reminiscent of a coffin. I never knew I had this affliction until my first MRI.

Different MRI imaging requires that the patient be deeper or less deep into the tube. For some leg injuries your head may be at the end of the tube so the experience is not so confining. For others, like for your head and organs in your torso, you need to be further into the machine.

It’s unclear about how many people are claustrophobic. One source I found indicated that 5-7% of the world’s population is frightened of tight places. This number probably includes only those that are terrified. I’ll bet the number is much higher for people like me who are moderately terrified.

You may be asking yourself why I’m making a big deal about my fear of MRIs. The reason is that they are becoming more prevalent. Without disclosing private medical information, I have been MRI-ed for no less four different parts of my body. Two of them are repetitive (I have them every year). So it was incumbent on me to find a way to survive the MRI experience.

For those of you who have never had an MRI, the machine is massive. Yet the space in the tube is sparse for anyone with any extra bulk, large individuals and athletes. Most MRI’s require you to lie down (usually face up, but sometimes down) on a slab that enables you to be slid into the MRI tube.

An MRI tube is 70 cm, or 27.5 inches, in diameter. The average head of a person is 18cm, or 7 inches, in diameter. So when you’re in the tube there is 20.5 inches between your eyes and the tube. That may seem like a lot, but it’s tight to me.

Depending on the type of scan, you may be required to stay in the MRI for 15 to 30 minutes. You must lie perfectly still or you are penalized with more minutes. Staying still and looking straight up at the tube only a few inches away is difficult. During my first MRI, my head was at the edge of the tube, so I could see out. I barely managed to stay in the machine for just over 30 minutes by counting the seconds.

After my first MRI I swore I would never do another without assistance. I was unsure about what that might entail. Sure enough I injured my shoulder. I figured that I would need an MRI and that it would require me to be deep in the tube. I was having nightmares about this prospect.

The orthopedic doctor who saw me is a good friend. He was attending to several people in the hallway with a large entourage of residents. Before I could say anything he told me to go and have an MRI done immediately in the bowels of the hospital. I told him I was unable to do MRIs. He said I had to have an MRI. This went on for a few minutes, and after a few insults directed at me, and a lot of laughing directed at me among his minions, I agreed to try.

I went to the MRI area, which was in a dungeon-like area in an underground space. I suspect the hospital administrators kept all of their torture equipment in this place. I slid into the machine and immediately freaked out. I trundled back up to see the doc with my tail between my legs.

The doctor made some derogatory remarks about my manhood, which made his minions go hysterical. In the meantime I stood there in pain. He said he must have an MRI to do the surgery. I thought about it and proposed a compromise. I would do the MRI under three conditions. The doc rolled his eyes and the sycophants were waiting anxiously.

One, I wanted general anesthesia, not a sedative. I wanted to be unconscious. The doc rolled his eyes again and said OK.

Two, I didn’t want to see the MRI because it frightened me. So I was to be knocked out before I went into the MRI room. More eye rolling, but he said OK.

What else the doc asked. I said I didn’t want to see the MRI after I was done. Everybody but me was getting a kick out of my stand-up performance. He agreed.

Everything went smoothly. I was treated like a surgical patient, sedated and had the MRI. Of course it cost three times as much because an anesthesiologist was needed.

What I should also tell you is that the MRI is really noisy further adding to the terror of the experience. It bangs and shakes. It’s not a quiet and smooth-running piece of equipment. The other thing is the technician asks you if you want to listen to music. I always say yes but it doesn’t help.

My journey was not over. I figured I needed to do something drastic to find a way to get through an MRI without having a nervous breakdown. More of my doctors wanted me to have them every year.

I was told to have my torso MRI-ed by another doctor. I figured it would put me deeper into the tube once again. I was frantic. The doc sent me to an imaging place, which much to my surprise didn’t have an anesthesiologist on staff. This meant that I could not receive general anesthesia. I told them I couldn’t do it. But the technicians were persistent in their efforts to get me to saddle up.

To make a long story short they told me one of their associates had invented eyeglasses with a prism that would enable me to see out of the tube while I was laying on my back. Bingo. It worked. I immediately offered to buy the makeshift glasses, but was turned down.

Eventually I found a pair online, but most of the MRI places now have them. I still dread climbing into the machines but at least I have a plan to get myself through the ordeal.

Black Holes And Life In Outer Space

Black holes are in the new again. Astronomers “captured images of the unobservable: a black hole, a conic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it.”

For years scientists have opined about the characteristics and importance of black holes. Empirical speculation about these massive vacuums in outer space that gobble up anything in their paths has intrigued nerds for decades. But is it just science fiction?

All the metaphysical analysis and mathematics has inspired conversations about the origins of man and the likelihood that there is life on other planets. Given that space seems limitless beyond the Milky Way, could higher life forms be controlling our destiny? And even more interesting are the debates about infinity before and after the present and the physical limits of outer space.

Two of the most common discussions relate to the role of black holes in evolution and the creation and destruction of matter. Black holes apparently clean up the cosmos. They supposedly swallow dying stars that could be millions times larger than our sun. Where the remains go and what they are converted into is unknown (maybe energy or maybe life). But scientists are trying to set parameters for such phenomena. Unfortunately these observations are about as definitive as proving the existence of God.

How old is the cosmos? Who created it? What is its destiny? Are higher beings moving earthlings around a chessboard of life? Do humans decide their own fate? Is there a heaven and hell in outer space where our souls will go to rest? And just what are the real functions of black holes?

I guess the pictures of a black hole are a good starting point in our assessment of human existence. The black hole in the news is 50 million light years away, and its corona is not light from inside the hole. Black holes don’t make light. They engulf it.

There is even speculation about what would happen if a human was to be ingested by a black hole. The simple answer is that the person would be burnt to a crisp. And the trip to the black hole (50 million light years away) would take some time to complete.

The variety of observations about black holes is not going to do much for world peace, nor will it settle contemporary feuds between religions. But the whole subject is pretty interesting to talk about with an adult beverage in your hand. And certainly nothing found to date has illuminated mankind about the existence of God and His or Her influence on our afterlife.

The Secrets Of Greater Compensation

What would Democrats do if Trump were no longer president? Given that nearly every ounce of effort is directed at destroying the president, the answer is who knows? Nevertheless, I have a sneaking suspicion that battling income inequality is going to be high on the liberal their agenda for some time even after Trump is gone.

Liberals in the country want two things, the ouster of Trump by any means and more entitlements. Regarding the latter, the have-nots, represented by congressional Democrats, want to denigrate the most successful individuals in the country. Inequality is the refrain from virtually every downtrodden group in the country.

There are so many things the government can do to encourage “all boats to rise at the same time.” Why is it so important to steal money from those who have distinguished themselves? Should Americans be attacking other Americans for doing their job well and earning more compensation?

Our leaders ought to document the reasons why some people earn more than others. If they did they would see a number of interesting things. For instance, most big earners are intelligent and have attended college. A large number of them are creative, innovative and ambitious. Many are risk takers. The vast majority are quantitatively gifted and/or qualitatively advanced. Most successful people have personality characteristics that encourage others to follow them. In other words they are born leaders.

Successful people are not just focused on amassing a large bank account. They know that material benefits will follow success if they build companies and convert ideas into tangible items that people need. Earning large compensation is just a derivative of the actions of brilliant business people.

It’s true that many successful individuals are brought up in homes that include intelligent parents with great work ethic. They emphasize hard work and attaining good grades in school. They recognize the importance of attending college. In these households earning a degree is not debated.

It’s true that families in lower socioeconomic classes have greater challenges including less money and time (especially for single mothers and fathers). Putting food on the table may supersede deep conversations about getting ahead and excelling in school. It’s all this that makes it so difficult for urban kids to compete with affluent children.

But the search for equality should not entail tearing down successful people or organizations. The demise of exceptionalism will not result in the advancement of the middle class. The have-nots should focus on what the haves do and have done to get ahead. They should be instructed on which characteristics enable one to get ahead to make a better life.

What does it take to earn significant compensation? Does anyone really believe that a company will pay its employees a huge amount of money without requiring something in return? What does one have to do to convince his or her company to pay them high six figures?

The answer is that individuals would likely need to be responsible for generating revenues equal to at least ten times their compensation (a rough estimate). How easy would it be so sell that many products or services?

Earning a good living is not as difficult as it seems. But, not everybody can earn out-sized compensation. If you aren’t trained, have minimal education, aren’t ambitious and aren’t willing to work hard and be a productive contributor to the success of your employer, you will be doomed to mediocre compensation for life.

Is America Corrupt?

Is America corrupt? Are our government leaders concerned about the well being of the country over and above their own self-interests? How many citizens cheat in business, and personally? How many taxpayers fudge their returns? Do many people pad their medical insurance reimbursements?

The college application scandal has been a real shocker. Well-to-do parents gamed the system to insure that their undeserving children obtained coveted acceptances from elite colleges. In some situations the children received help taking standardized tests, and bribes were paid to school administrators and sports coaches. The parents are not the type of people you would expect to actually commit felonies, even to benefit their children.

The scandal makes those of us who follow the rules wonder whether we are in the minority. Do most people cheat in everyday life?

Cutting corners starts early in life. If your parents didn’t take the time to tell you to respect others, then you probably don’t care about anyone but yourself. And, if you have opportunities to cheat playing basketball or monopoly as a child to increase the odds of winning, you took them. Even though no money was involved, you needed the self-satisfaction of winning.

And what about those of us who attend church, temple or mosque and pray to God? How many walk out of houses of worship and cheat on their taxes, abuse family members and steal from others? God does not bar anyone from visiting his house even if they are sinners because He has faith that we can behave better. In today’s environment this perspective may not be reality.

Whenever I listen to politicians and world leaders I feel like I’m being treated like a fool. Do these people really believe that I’m so stupid that I can’t recognize lies and twisted logic? Frankly many voters are fools if they rely on political claptrap to make their decisions.

Voters should spend time preparing for Election Day. Don’t vote exclusively on one issue. Consider the totality of a candidate’s principles and beliefs. Depending upon FOX News or the NY Times exclusively is a recipe for disaster. Good citizens learn about both sides of issues before they pull a lever at a polling place.

For so long I relied upon written news for my information. Sure, reporters are biased like anybody else. But newspapers, good newspapers, should ensure that reported news is factual and not tainted by opinions of the authors.

Today both sides of the political spectrum politicize every occurrence. To make matters more complex, those reporting the news offer their perspectives even as we assume they are unbiased. The feelings of the press towards our current president are deeply seeded with hatred and scorn (this is not to say the bad feelings are not justified by our leader’s demeanor). The facts in the newspapers and on TV are peppered with contempt.

If market or public sentiment changes from world events, everyone wants to know if it will impact their lives. Very little empathy is generated by the aftermath of certain events if they do not have an effect on one’s life. Things like famine, disease, war, oppression and abuse are other people’s problems. This perspective is inappropriate because events that do not seem to have any relevance can change how people act towards America.

And then there is our current president, the all-time master of misinformation and self-aggrandizement. To his credit Trump is transparent. He has not hidden facts from us except those that are related to his personal life (like his tax returns and his relationships with women). The man is not concerned about details. Rather, he cares only whether an event will benefit his ego and reputation. All the while his sycophants are telling him he is great every day.

Frankly I don’t believe Trump’s behavior will influence today’s young people. He is not and does not want to be a role model. Trump is so far off the grid that his behavior will be denigrated long after he leaves office. He will be rated as one of the worst presidents ever regardless of his accomplishments because he represents the worst of the way a leader should act.

My concern is whether I can believe anything said by my leaders, candidates for office and the media. Every time they step in front of a camera, it’s an effort to pump up their reputation or sell a political perspective as opposed to giving us germane things to think about. Americans are shielded from bad things like children not old enough to process negativity.

Honesty, integrity, empathy, generosity and courage along with creativity, innovation and risk-taking are what make a person great. When you add in concern for family, friends and country, you have a complete individual.