Peotician.com
October 25, 2011

Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing you today to identify the root cause of our economic problems and to present a simple solution to get America back on the right track. I have found over my young career that often times the simplest solutions are best, but they are often overlooked.

I will get right to the point and then provide supporting evidence. The root cause of our stagnant economy is lack of business confidence in your administration. Confidence is intangible and hard to measure, but we all know this is a major factor in economies, the value of our currencies, etc. I like to think of your approval rating and Congress’ approval rating as a measure of the people’s confidence in the American government and currently both are at all-time lows. Your American Jobs Act is not going to restore confidence because you want to spend another $447 billion dollars and I know you claim that it will pay for itself, but when confidence is low another stimulus package is tough for the American people and the world to accept right now.

To solve this difficult problem we all face, bold action is required instead of the status quo. I am proposing a non-partisan solution that can restore confidence in you, congress, and our economy almost overnight. Corporations all over the world are conserving capital in record numbers, especially American companies. The Federal Reserve’s second quarter 2011 Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States suggests that there is roughly $2 trillion on the sidelines because confidence is weak. Far more than $447 billion dollars has the potential to be deployed if you simply restore business confidence.

To restore confidence in the American dream and small to large companies all over the U.S., I propose a simple solution. Create a two page bill called the American Prosperity Act. On page one remove corporate loopholes that allow companies like G.E. to pay no taxes. The second page should reduce the tax burden of all companies, large or small, by 25% until unemployment reduces below 5% at which time there can be an option to slowly bring taxes back to normal levels over a five year period.

A two page bill would “wow” the world instead of your current plan, which isn’t gaining traction from congress or the American people. Anyone could easily read a two page bill, including congress, and know exactly what they are getting. Two pages also does not leave room for earmarks. Keeping it simple, non-partisan, and short will send a message to the world like never before. Let us attack the root of the problem and get back on track immediately.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small companies employ half of all private sector employees, generate 65% of net new jobs, and create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP. Since small firms represent 99.7% of all employer firms, according to the SBA, this is not a bill for Wall Street, but for Main Street small businesses. Give the small companies a break and make the large corporations pay their fair share.

I am a small business owner and a future U.S. president. In your Seventh Quarterly Report for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Of 2009 one can conclude that the cost per job created is as high as $278,000 per job. As a small business owner, for half of that amount I could have hired several people to help grow my business so I could continue to create more jobs. Government spending is slow and inefficient so let companies’ keep more of the profits so they can create jobs and innovate. There is no economy or jobs without small businesses.

As a small business owner one could potentially be paying a 35% corporate tax rate, 15% on dividends, plus any state and local taxes. Paying 50+% in taxes makes America unattractive to investors abroad and even to the companies made in America. Make America competitive again and lower tax rates for companies so we can hire and grow. When companies grow, the economy grows.

Many will argue that lowering tax rates for companies will do little for the economy directly. Debating that issue is not important because what we are really trying to do is restore confidence for businesses so they start investing their cash. Lowering taxes sends a message direct to each and every company that the government believes in and supports every organization, big or small, because without American companies there is no recovery.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
Peotician.com

Why do you see the wrong date at the bottom of so many websites? No one knows for sure because there are very easy ways to let the servers of the world do this extremely minor copyright task for every website.

Server side scripting example:

© <?php echo date(“Y”); ?> Acme, Inc.

Don’t know how to use server side scripting? That’s fine, most modern browsers support JavaScript:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
var d = new Date()
document.write(d.getDate())
document.write(“.”)
document.write(d.getMonth() + 1)
document.write(“.”)
document.write(d.getFullYear())
</script>

So please, webmasters of the world, do not let your boss, neighbor, mother, or child point out that your date is behind a year on your website. Make a simple upgrade and let modern technology help you year after year update the website copyright date.

GreenSortATL is an innovative solution to recycling. Instead of placing and maintaining two containers everywhere in Atlanta’s International airport and then expecting people from all over the world to decipher and know what is recyclable or not, there is just one container for everything and the trash is sorted off site.

Maybe other airports, malls, stadiums, and waste management companies will start similar programs.

http://www.atlanta-airport.com/hjn/2009/12/fa1.htm:

Hartsfield-Jackson introduces innovative recycling program
By Staff Writers

Hartsfield-Jackson on November 12 debuted its new recycling program, GreenSortATL. The program was unveiled just in time for America Recycles Day on November 15.

GreenSortATL eliminates the need for separate recycling containers. Under the new program, all waste generated by passengers, employees and businesses goes into the same container and is taken to a facility, where it is sorted and recycled. The Airport plans to reduce the amount of trash it sends to landfills by 50 percent by the end of the program’s first year — and by 70 percent by the end of the second year.

“One of Hartsfield-Jackson’s goals is to operate in an environmentally responsible manner, and that’s why we are pleased to launch our new recycling program,” said Aviation General Manager Ben DeCosta. “We aim for GreenSortATL to become one of the largest such programs in the Southeast and to make Hartsfield-Jackson as green as any airport in the nation.”

Receptacles throughout the Airport will be labeled with the GreenSortATL logo and slogan: “You Trash. We Sort. It’s Recycled.”

Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corp. (AATC), the Airport’s facility management company, manages the recycling program. Solid-waste handling company Waste Pro USA transports waste via an alternative-fuel truck to a material recovery facility (MRF), where it is sorted. All recyclable materials are recycled, and the rest is sent to landfills.

“Waste Pro is honored to be the green waste hauler for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Waste Pro is focused on recycling today for a better tomorrow,” said Jeanie Dubinski, general counsel, Waste Pro USA.

The Airport generates nearly 70 tons of paper, plastic, food and other trash daily.

“Sustainability is an important consideration of AATC in the maintenance and operation of the central passenger terminal complex at Hartsfield-Jackson,” said Kim Vagher, AATC executive director. “The solution, developed in partnership with Waste Pro USA, exceeded our expectations. The implementation of an MRF not only solved all of our operational and financial obstacles; it creates opportunities.”

Among those opportunities is employment; the recycling program will create 28 jobs.

Other initiatives in the Airport’s sustainability program include:

  • New fixtures and plumbing in terminal restrooms, which save almost 7 million gallons of water per month.
  • Water-conserving chiller plants.
  • A water conservation and recovery system, which recaptures more than 145 million gallons of water per year.
  • Energy conservation efforts, resulting in power savings of more than 7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in only a 10-month period.

To learn more about the Airport’s recycling program, please visit www.atlanta-airport.com/recycle.

Read this article from CNN about the possibility of a new law in New York that would make everyone an organ donor unless you opt out. I guess our organs can officially be compared to SPAM and email lists.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/10/organ.donation.jobs.laws/

I can understand the point that we need more organ donors, but why be sneaky about it. Most people would never know about this law and understand it enough to opt out if that’s what they wanted to do. Instead, why not create an incentive? What about a free driver’s license renewal for becoming an organ donor or a discounted vehicle registration for becoming an organ donor? You would generally register yourself as an organ donor at the department of motor vehicles so create a reason for more people to become an organ donor! Don’t just pass a law making everyone a donor without their knowledge.

This is exactly why folks don’t like government, it’s time to be more creative in our policy making.

We recently posted about a welfare cell phone program and that got us thinking, should we just give subsidies away for free or should we get something positive in return? Disney is giving away tickets to their theme parks for a day of community service, so maybe we should ask this of those taking advantage of welfare and other programs like Medicare / Medicaid. If you need help from your fellow citizens, you should have to give some back to others in need.

It doesn’t have to be a huge obligation, but what about 8 hours per month with exceptions for individuals who are not capable of sparring 8 hours per month. A single mother of 5 or a disabled veteran might not be able to volunteer, but if you’re an able-bodied American collecting unemployment, getting subsidized healthcare, or a free cell phone you should have to give back to the community that gave to you as a volunteer.

Volunteers are always in high demand. Who knows, getting out there and volunteering for 8 hours while collecting unemployment could actually help you create a relationship that leads to full time work.

Almost 30% of Americans volunteer is some capacity or another each year, which is a good number, but there is always a demand for more volunteers. Here are some sites worth checking out about volunteering:

http://www.serve.gov/

http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.nr0.htm

PAYGO was introduced during President George H.W. Bush’s administration to prevent the government (congress) from spending money it doesn’t have. It forced fiscal discipline during the Clinton administration, but had some drawbacks. President George W. Bush let the bill expire in 2002 after being handed a budget surplus from President Clinton. The government has since created deep tax cuts, entered into wars, and borrowed money for huge stimulus packages after the financial system collapsed. The U.S. national debt is now almost $13 trillion and we need to do something about it!

Over leveraging the nation is not good as it weakens our country and as a result may cost us our AAA rating. We’re basically debasing our currency and putting the stability of the nation at risk. If this trend continues we may be called the Republic of China instead of the United States of America. The “money well” could also run dry as investor may not want to own a piece of the U.S. federal government, especially if we lose our AAA rating. The interest expense alone is a big percentage of the government’s budget and over 50% is now being paid to non U.S. citizens, which is a big change in recent years.

U.S. National Debt Clock

It’s time to bring back PAYGO (pay-as-you-go), but with an improvement. President Clinton had to operate under this law and while it produced budget surpluses, it also prevented certain programs from happening… possibly healthcare reform, Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, the Stimulus Acts and other important programs. If we needed these programs is a debate for another day, but let’s at least force congress to be fiscally disciplined like PAYGO, but let’s also leave some room in case important programs are needed and instead of being PAYGO or bust, what about PAYGO 80/20?

“The PAYGO or pay-as-you-go rule compels new spending or tax changes to not add to the federal deficit. New proposals must either be “budget neutral” or offset with savings derived from existing funds.[1] The goal of this is to require those in control of the budget to engage in the diligence of prioritizing expenses and exercising fiscal restraint.” [Source]

PAYGO 80/20 could potentially make the government prioritize old, current, and new programs on both the 80 side and the 20 side of the new equation. This could mean that the government must offset of minimum of 80% of new spending or it could mean that 80% of the budget must be covered by revenue 100% of the time and 20% of the budget could be open for important new laws and reforms. The basic idea in whatever form it takes would make the government fiscally responsible, but allow for compromises in critical situations instead of allowing congress to spend at will like it is able to do today.

The budget deficit in 2010 is estimated to be $1.5/$1.7 trillion. That means we need to spend an additional $1.5 trillion dollars than the government is going to take in with tax revenue, in other words we need to borrow it and expand the national debt further in order to pay for all the government expenses in 2010.

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK

80/20 might not be correct, but the fact is that President Clinton wanted to introduce some important programs and was not able to do so. Let’s improve upon PAYGO and give some room for only the highest priority programs to fall outside of the strict PAYGO boundaries in order to allow the government some flexibility in case it is truly needed. Maybe it’s PAYGO 95/5 or PAYGO 2.0, but let’s fix this debt crisis!

Welfare Cell Phones, Fair or Not?

Sunday, April 25, 2010
posted by mattadmin

Have you ever noticed all the extra taxes at the end of  your phone bill? Well, part of those fess go towards $800 million in funding to subsidize low-income telephone programs in about 20 states and growing. Don’t beleive it, read about it…

http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/cellphone.asp

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/lllu.html

http://blog.heritage.org/2010/01/18/government-welfare-cell-phones-for-the-poor/

Is this fair or not?

Is the telephone a necessity for the modern society we live in?

Is cellular service now a right for every American like healthcare?

We would love to get your opinion on the subject. Please post comments below.

There  is concern among many that inflation will skyrocket post recession after the financial system meltdown of 2008. A high inflation rate can be detrimental to the growth of the economy. Instead the ideal situation would be an inflation flat that is stable at about 2%. Those who are concerned inflation may have not realized how this time in history is very different from times past. What’s so different you ask? Technology and primarily the Internet.

“Inflation is a general rise in prices across the economy. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. There are two main measures. The consumer prices index (CPI) was adopted as the Government’s preferred measure in 2003 and is used by the Bank of England for the purpose of inflation targeting. The target is 2%, which would mean that prices overall are 2% higher than in the same month last year.” [Source]

Econ 101 tells us that the FED tries to balance unemployment and inflation by influencing interest rates; lower interest rates to decrease employment and raise interest rates to combat inflation. But what if the Internet and transparency of information actually helps the FED on the inflation side of the equation? That might mean it could become easier for economies to maintain low unemployment while keeping inflation under control. Only time will tell, but economies all over the world are becoming much more diverse and the Internet might have more benefits than first anticipated.

Well let’s not speculate any longer because this topic has actually been studied. In 2005, Myung Hoon Yi and Changkyu Choi released an article titled, The effect of the Internet on inflation: Panel data evidence, via the Journal of Policy Modeling. Their hypothesis says, “the Internet improves productivity and thus will reduce inflation is tested by pooled OLS and random effects model using cross-country panel data from 1991 to 2000.”

Here’s what they found: “After controlling for money growth rate, unemployment rate and oil price, we found that the Internet significantly reduces the inflation rate. We found that when the ratio of the Internet users to total population increases by 1%, the inflation drops by 0.04264% point to 0.13193% point.” How could this be? Simple, just look at the airline industry where you could easily make an argument that ticket prices are cheaper today in many cases than they were 20 or 25 years ago. The Internet makes it easy to compare prices all over the world putting a constant pressure on companies to keep prices low through efficiencies. So maybe we ought to be more worried about deflation. Maybe we ought to put more healthcare prices on the Internet.

Really just about any product or service can be surveyed for price on the Internet. Amazon, the world’s dominant online retailer by far, allows merchants to compete on price and compete directly against them. You can literally compare bird cage prices instantly and just about anything else you can imagine.

What’s the bottom line to all of this? Well, don’t listen to the Bear’s when they try to spread the fear of inflation. As we recover from this recession, economists need to re-think founding principles and formulas to account for technology and the tremendous power of the Internet.

Why Doesn’t Government Test Laws

Sunday, January 10, 2010
posted by mattadmin

Anyone who has started a business, a new project or product at work, a movie, a book, basically everything that we see throughout our lives began with a test. Tests might be in the form of market research, pilot groups, alpha or beta tests, and so on, but for the most part anything new is tested before it is launched to the masses. So that begs a very important question, why doesn’t congress (government) have to test laws before they are put in place?

I’m sure the government tests some things, for example, new weapons or technologies that are developed. They probably test new software and other systems, but when congress passes a law, it is law for the entire nation as long as the president doesn’t veto. How do they know the laws are right and what impact they are going to have?

Let’s say Hollywood wants to produce a new TV show or movie for national release either by theatre or national television. Corporate America isn’t going to just take a guess and hope the show or movie is going to be profitable. No, they do diligence first through pilot screenings and releases. If certain benchmarks are met, the investment would then be made. It’s common sense really to manage your risk and get feedback before investing thousands or millions of dollars into a new project (government is often making billion or trillion dollar decisions). Corporate America would probably then go as far to test its marketing campaigns for the new project, weeding out what works and what doesn’t.

Software companies and web sites follow a similar framework. Software with many users is often upgraded regularly to fix bugs or provide new enhancements. As new and better code is developed it is tested internally and once approved for release is often released to a pilot group, and then a region, and finally to everyone if everything goes smooth. Web sites often throttle traffic to different versions of web sites before releasing something to everyone. For example, Amazon could throttle a small percentage of traffic to a beta site, measure the results and performance, and if everything looks good it could be implemented and made available to all users. Many web sites do this to measure changes and how they affect sales.

We often test things in our own personal lives. We might ask a friend or family member for their opinion before purchasing something or making some other type of decision. This feedback is often very valuable because you may not have any experience with the decision, but a friend may and that might be very helpful.

At the end of the day testing determines what works and what doesn’t and creates data that can be turned into knowledge so key decisions can be mode. However, Washington D.C. is somehow above the same common sense that everyone else in the country uses. Often times the decisions that are made affect the entire world. Lives, economies, across the globe are affected.

Some may argue that certain decisions cannot be tested. The decision to go to war is a tough one to test and some of the recent decisions regarding Lehman Brothers, TARP, and stimulus spending would have been difficult to test because time is a huge factor in the success. But healthcare reform is something that can be tested before it is made into law as time isn’t as much of a factor.

Benchmarks for success should also be included in the law so that government decisions can be measured for success or failure and at least there would be an opportunity to take corrective action.

So in conclusion, the government should test new legislation and the performance should be measured and analyzed to help make the government more effective in its policy making and strategy for the nation and the world.

Abortion, Symptom or Problem

Sunday, January 10, 2010
posted by mattadmin

Abortion is a very sensitive subject to a lot of people. Votes are cast for one person or another on this issue alone in many cases, protests occur every day somewhere on this issue, and some have even died or been killed over this issue.

It is time to agree to disagree and start putting effort and other resources towards the real problem. We should be fighting rape, premarital sex and the other situations that force people to choose to abort or not. The issue is very controversial and how do you know what is really right? Can a man even really have an opinion on this issue since men cannot give birth? At what stage is life with a soul really present? There are a lot of extremely difficult questions and concerns with this issue.

Ultimately, arguing over the issue does nothing and everyone should be able to agree that prevention is very important. So let’s start taking the position that the key to abortion is to prevent it. Let’s educate, allocate resources, and start to shift the focus and be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to abortion.

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