Archive for the ‘Innovative Ideas’ Category
October 25, 2011
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!
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.
var d = new Date()
document.write(d.getMonth() + 1)
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.
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:
To learn more about the Airport’s recycling program, please visit www.atlanta-airport.com/recycle.
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:
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.
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. 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.
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!
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.
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.
This was actually the idea that lead to the creation of this blog. It wasn’t necessarily the only idea on the table to discuss, but it was the motivation for this blog.
The basic premise behind this idea is two-fold. First, our education system in America is great at teaching the “how” and very poor at teaching the “why”. How many times have you heard a student ask when they would actually use the information that they were being taught? Second, there is a lot of other useful information that would be helpful for students when it comes to personal and career situations.
Here are some examples:
1. Beyond balancing a check book, when did a teacher ever explain a practical application for algebra or calculus?
2. In English class did a teacher ever explain that reading and writing would increase your vocabulary, spelling accuracy, and help you write reports and emails later on in your career?
3. In college, did a professor ever tell you that your first employer will probably want a copy of your transcripts and see the classes you did poorly in or withdrew from?
The list of examples could go on forever and hopefully you’re getting the point. So here is the solution, if we can make time for sex education, we can start a “Here’s Why Program” to teach students why they need to learn what learning and how it will impact their lives in later years. The greatest benefit from a program such as this is that students will now understand the “value” of the education they are being given. The “how” provides the foundation, but the “why” brings credibility and “value” to the students efforts. Not every student will “value” their education and some will place more “value” then others, but a simple program such as this to bring the real world into the classrooms could have tremendous benefits for the education of our youth.
If you knew that the calculus formula you had the learn and solve on test is used by automobile engineers to calculate the noise in the cabin from wind while driving, all of a sudden the stupid math formula you have to study now becomes cool because you have an “understanding” of its use.
I feel very strongly about this idea in particular so please pass this on and use the comments section below to submit useful pieces of information on topics taught in school and what the real world application is and hopefully something will come of this. It’s very important that we continuously improve our education system and continue to invest in the youth of our nation.
Just a thought for all you automotive engineers out there… why not put a brake light indicator on the front of the vehicle instead of just the back? Brake lights have always been traditionally placed in the rear of a vehicle on the left and right (sometimes in the center as well). It’s time to think Brake Lights 2.0 so more information can be shared with other drivers on the road. If Kitt can have a red light in the grill, why can’t we all?
More as been done with the turn signal in recent years than with the brake light. Many vehicles include the turn indicators in the side mirrors.
Consider some scenarios…
1. Your stopped or braking quickly and while doing so you check your rear view mirror to make sure the driver behind you is slowing down, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Are they braking? Are they slowing down fast enough to avoid collision?
2. Your getting ready to make a left turn from a side street and someone has their right blinker on to make a turn. Are they turning here or the next street?
3. Your walking across the street or riding your bike at a designated cross walk where drivers are required to stop and let you walk across the road safely. Is the driver yielding to me or not?
As you can see, that front brake light might be that little bit of extra information to help make the roads safer for us all.
By reading this post you have automatically agreed to provide me with a transferable royalty with no expiration for 90% of all future gross sales of the front brake light.
Just kidding on the royalty, but if this blog inspired you to create it, please do contact us.
For those trying to quit tobacco, whether it be cigarettes or smokeless, here is a simple and cost effective solution, peppermints. Smoking or chewing tobacco has one big thing in common above and beyond just the nicotine, your mouth. The tobacco for some people can really be more about doing something with the mouth then the smoke or nicotine like a pacifier or pen that you chew on. If that is the case for you, try a peppermint to keep your mouth busy during the time you would normally be using tobacco and if not try this solution anyways. Peppermints do have sugar, but for the most part they are cheap and often times even free if you go to the right restaurant. Peppermints are a perfect, non-additive solution to quit for good. Once you’ve gone a few weeks without chewing or smoking, simply wean yourself off of the peppermints and consider yourself a non-smoker.
We’ve all seen the gum, the pills, the patch, and now the water vapor. Well peppermints won’t give you crazy dreams or other side effects, unless you go overboard and get a tooth cavity. And while the new water vapor solutions might not be as bad for you or as smelly, it still reinforces the same behavior and can be a much more costly solution.
Whatever you choose, don’t quit quiting and kick the habit… you’ll be glad you did and proud of the accomplishment. Avoid cancer, bad breath, smelly clothes, yellow teeth, receding gum lines, yellow walls, second hand smoke, house fires, burn holes, and save a ton of money on tobacco and healthcare.