Swickard: The magic wand of work

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” Thomas Edison
            The New Mexico Legislature has ended and there are people in our state who were wanting those politicians to change the sad plight of New Mexico, which is last in almost every category in our nation. They are disappointed that despite the politician promises at election time New Mexico remains poor.
            If past performance is a predictor of future performance it is a good bet that New Mexico ten years from now will still be last in most categories. Why, because the Legislature does not have a magic wand to wave over the Land of Enchantment to bring wealth to every citizen.
            Yes, legislation can help citizens who want to lift themselves out of poverty. Legislation can make New Mexico more attractive for businesses. But the heavy lifting of changing the fortunes of New Mexico must be done by the citizens themselves.
            It starts with a work culture. New Mexico suffers from a culture of not working. Right now more New Mexicans are not working than are working. The poverty programs in our state make it hard to take a job for pay when the pay will nullify benefits. And the state does nothing since the poverty programs employ many people and give power to the leaders.
            Question: when do most people who get a job do so? The week after their unemployment benefits end. Or, and this is important. They get a job almost immediately after losing a job. One or the other. I’m painting with a large brush, but we have two cultures.
One says “I work proudly.” The other rides government programs until they end and then despairs. Those who go for a year between jobs while milking the system find it hard to get a job when benefits run out.
            However, some sectors such as the Agriculture Industry are full of proud workers. If they do not like a job they hunt another before moving on. The Oil and Gas Industry have men and women who do not watch the clock, they get the job done.
            But as an employer myself and manager of hundreds of workers over the last forty years I find many young people are not taught to work. No, not that you need a 13/16 socket to take out a spark plug. They do not know you must be on time always. In fact, be five minutes early so if traffic snarls you are not late.
            This all starts in public schools which should not propagandize but should provide many examples of enjoying work. The magic wand, if you want to think of it as such is attitude. Thomas Edison looked forward to going to work each day because he liked to work. Those people who enjoy being employed are important.
            Many people in New Mexico think that wealth comes from the government and all you have to do is have one of your relatives get elected to some office and the wealth truck will make regular deliveries. And in our crony corrupt state that is more true than not. But it cannot and will not last.
            What happens to these people when their relative is caught and cannot provide any more loot? Then they turn to drugs for quick cash. Some New Mexicans have no Social Security benefits because they never have worked officially.
            The attitude that is important is to find things about the job that prepare you for the next job. We hear so much about minimum wage jobs but most people only make the minimum wage for a few months and then are promoted beyond it if they apply themselves.
            If it is easier to float on the government programs than actually go to work this will come to the end at some point. At some point the problems of our budget and debt will intrude. We are spending money that we do not have.
            Who will ride out the hard times the best? Those who can hunker down working at any job and being satisfied with making money rather than having it given to them. They have the magic wand of work.


Mean-spirited, selfish, greedy, or stupid?

© 2016 Jim Spence - A well known pundit summarized the difference between Democrats and Republicans quite well. Democrats think Republicans are mean-spirited, selfish, and greedy. And Republicans think Democrats are stupid.
You can understand why this is so. If you listen to the language of our Democrat family members the insinuations of their moral superiority due to our excessive greed drips off nearly every phrase during discussions of current events. And of course we hear them embrace big government like the govbots they are….ever ready to keep doubling down on socialism regardless of the fact it has been an utter failure throughout human history.
And it matters not that our charitable donations dwarf theirs, nor does it matter that we pay more in federal, state, and property taxes to support their precious government than they do.
Though we pay more towards the support of government in a year than they pay in a decade, in their estimation, what we cover is not close to enough.
Nope, there is little room for middle ground. Because we favor free enterprise to simply giving the keys to the means of production to big government bureaucrats, either we are mean, selfish, and greedy or they are stupid.
Still, you have to wonder about GOP primary voters in New Hampshire and South Carolina these days. As they try to sort out the choices for President, they must consider that after seven years of disaster under Obama, many things need fixing. The good news is since 2012, we have witnessed a period that has seen voters increasingly turn away from Obama’s Marxist solutions to every problem. And the GOP has a golden opportunity this year to regain the White House and keep control of Congress.
But instead of taking the layup win GOP voters are being mesmerized by a circus clown.
Donald Trump’s resume is not complicated. He inherited hundreds of millions of dollars from his daddy. He borrowed billions of dollars on four major projects. Each project was a monument to the Trump self-promotion ego with his name plastered all over them. On each project he wound up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and stiffing people he made big promises to.
Trump is without a doubt, a clever man. He shielded his sizable inheritance from each bankruptcy proceeding, while also managing to skim millions of dollars away from each project for his personal benefit. Though Trump surrendered a large portion of his “equity” in each project, in effect he took more equity out than he ever put in to each project with his financial shell games.
Why did Trump’s projects fail? First, he has no managerial ability. Second, he never hesitated to borrow other people’s money recklessly. 
Again, dissecting the Trump biography is NOT complicated. However, what Trump has been able to do, thanks to millions of hopelessly gullible people in the nation, is to create the myth, that he is some sort of business genius and negotiating wizard. Trump may be a wizard when it comes to using other people’s money (beginning with his father’s), but he is no business genius.
Trump has set his sights high in the latest “deal.” These days he chases the highest political office in the land and manipulates the national press with the greatest of ease. At his disposal, should he win, is a bloated federal bureaucracy that is desperately in need of more efficient management, hardly Trump’s strong suit. But even more daunting is the idea that Trump will gain access to more borrowing power at lower interest rates than anyone can possibly imagine. Should his latest con work, Trump will be taking over a situation that needs two things he does not have, managerial ability and financial discipline.
Why don’t GOP voters see Trump’s biography for what it is? Two thirds of them do. But in a crowded field it seems that there are just enough dummies in the GOP primaries willing to fall for Trump’s latest con job. It is true that slowly the also-rans are dropping out of the race. The question is will enough of them get out soon enough to stop the madness of falling for the Trump con? Only time will tell. Personal ambitions are tough to curb. If the GOP voters settle on Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz they are layups in a race against Hillary Clinton. They are also much more likely to give America intelligent public policies, smaller government, and more fiscal discipline.
While Republicans think Democrats are stupid, the early primaries show there are more than a few dumb bunnies voting these days. It is a pity. Getting mad is one thing. Getting stupid is another.