Change Your Shoes

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It’s a common sentiment, “Walk a mile in my shoes”, or, “Try to relate,” it’s easy to tell someone to try to relate to someone else, but is it as easy to do?

Change Your Shoes

The truth is we are a self involved people. It’s hard to see past ourselves, our problems, our families and our hardships. I know we all mean well, at least most of us do, and we’d like to think we consider other people’s feelings pretty consistently, but do we really?

I don’t think so. If that were true and we were really good about empathizing with each other, the crime rates wouldn’t be as high and there would be less victims overall in every walk of life.

When you come across someone who gets under your skin, or makes you very angry with their actions, Stop. Take a breath. If you know this person well enough to know their circumstances, consider them before you become emotional, is there something in that persons’ life that is causing them to react to this situation in a way that they may not otherwise?

Have a little moment to yourself and think about the other person, what they might be going through, what kind of difficulties they could be facing in life, even if all you can muster is, “They must be having a bad day” that still gives you the mental understanding that there’s another person involved in this besides you, including whatever has happened to them today.

Your next question to yourself is this: Do I have to make this day harder on them? Immediately after that, ask yourself this: Can I make their day better?

Do you hold the key to a smile on that persons’ face? Use it! Can you do something to lighten their load and make life a little more bearable for them today? Do it! What do you have to lose by helping someone out today?

I challenge you this week to do one thing each day to bring a smile to someone’s else’s face, it doesn’t matter who or how easy or how hard it was, do it and then come back here and tell me about it, how did it make you feel to be the source of a smile?

Changing the shoes you’re seeing the world in can change your perspective drastically.

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Design, ha!

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I’ve mentioned before I’m in school again. We have yet to see how successful I am this semester. Seems everytime I try to go back to school and enroll and all that, I get halfway into the semester doing well and something always happens that puts me behind.

It’s me I know, my discipline is out of whack. Yeah I know, it’s because when things change and I have a new project I go 120% at it and I forget everything else. In this case, that included school work. I’m such a damn slacker.

On Sunday, while I was trying to get at least something done that was worth a grade in web design I started playing photoshop designing would be logos for my site for school. Of course I played with a logo for MouthyGirl but it’s nothing worth looking at. Truth is when it comes to design, fashion, shopping, which bag I should be carrying, how I should wear my hair, how the forks are laid at the table, all that style shit – I’m clueless.

The hubby has more style than me, by a lot!

So yeah, the logo looks terrible I mean my son could prolly do better. Thinking I might start a chipin page or something so that for those of you that hate the design, you can send me a buck to go towards a new custom design, lol.

Screw that, I’ll just install the buy me a beer plugin. You’d buy me a beer wouldn’t you?

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An Employer’s Argument Against Socialism

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To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a Back Story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I’m sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don’t see is the BACK STORY :

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by t he way, would eventually employ you. My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying.. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70’s. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, someday, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don’t. There is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you h ave a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… you never realize the Back Story and the sacrifices I’ve made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bailout all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why: I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes.. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for
$288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country . The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? That’s nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy..

Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.

So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I’ll fire you and your coworkers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child’s future. Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more. Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I’m done. I’m done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

So, if you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steam rolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about….

Signed,

THE BOSS

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher

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Wendy’s Weekly Take: Socialism

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I’ve been hearing the word “socialism” thrown out there, mainly in the conservative blogosphere and talk radio. I was listening to one program on the AM radio dial while sitting in traffic. A college-aged kid explained to the host that his liberal professor had a blog on Facebook and the kid had left a comment on his blog that his ideas were “socialist”. The professor came back with two words: “Define socialism?” The kid was calling in to the talk radio program to ask how to define it. The radio host said, “Oh liberals think they are smart. They ask that question to try to trip you up, to trick you. You see, they do that to forward their Marxist principles. Just because we don’t live in an absolute socialist state, doesn’t mean it’s not socialism! You tell him that.”

Way to go! Define a word with the word! I’m sure it’s all clear to him now.

Poor kid, I wanted to call in and tell him to just Google it. Socialism as defined on dictionary.com is:

“a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

Now Marxism is the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that hold that human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism. Marxism is an economic theory explaining how communism comes to be. And communism is slightly different than socialism. Communism is a political system in which one ruler or party controls the economy in which all goods are shared equally by the people.

The way the conservatives are talking you’d think we lived in an absolute capitalist society and capitalism is holy. The truth is we don’t live in an absolute capitalist society and we haven’t since 1887 when the first regulatory agency the was formed to take charge in regulating the most important industry at the time-the railroads. The funny thing is that it was created on suggestion by Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller to limit competition. Who would have thought the richest Americans would get their hands in the pockets of politicians to create an agency that would make it impossible for other companies to form and compete in the railroad industry? That never happens (sarcasm).

The United States’ economic system is a mixture of socialism and capitalism. Many private industries are born from government programs, like the internet and cell phones. Back in the day of FDR, social security and the FDIC were touted as socialist, as well. But not one politician today would call for the abolition of either program. But yet, they think that government caused our economic problem and stifling free markets would cause the end of the world as we know it.

The truth is that the markets went willy nilly and made investments on crap derivatives. And from what I understand of derivatives, they are assets of a made up value making money appear out of nowhere. Once everyone found out what the real value of the mortgage derivatives were, that’s when the proverbial feces hit the oscillating blade. And now 4.4 million jobs are lost and more losses are to come. This is the dark side of capitalism.

So until the good times start rolling around again, we need to depend on our government to create jobs. Last I heard, they aren’t taking ownership of any private industry, although many economists say they need to take ownership of the banks. They are actually just giving industries some “welfare” checks by giving them some government contracts and giving local governments some extra cash to pay their police and fire departments until this crap finally blows over. So the super socialist part is temporary.

So to those who are afraid that we are in a socialist state, don’t fear until your bank becomes owned by you and everyone else. But really, the way I see it, we could probably run things better than the jokers who’ve been doing it so far.

Bank Failure; Republican Remedy

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