Archive for December, 2010

Who Are You Impressing?

December 15, 2010

Who Are You Impressing is taken from Gene McVay’s leadership & management book, TOP GUN MANAGEMENT

Too many upwardly mobile executives feel that they need to be somebody else or act like somebody else.  General George Patton and General Omar Bradley were great generals but total opposites.  Bradley was known as the solder’s general and Patton was known as “Old Blood and Guts.”  Sometimes you have to do what works.  Don’t use a push when a nudge will work.  Dress for success but do you really need to go deeply into debt to buy that luxury SUV?

Let me mention three billionaires:  When Sam Walton was the richest man in America, he drove an old Ford pickup.  Billionaire and presidential candidate Ross Perot drove a ten year old Oldsmobile.  I remember inviting my friend Lieutenant Governor Win Rockefeller to speak at my civic club in Fort Smith once.  At the time his net worth was 1.3 billion.  After speaking to my civic club I drove him to the radio station for an interview and then to an elementary school.  Win was to talk to some third grade students and read them a book.  The first question came from a little boy who asked Win if he had a limousine.  Governor Rockefeller told the boy he did not own a limousine.  The little boy persisted, did you come over here in a limousine, he asked.  Governor Rockefeller said he had not come in a limousine, he had ridden in Colonel McVay’s Chevrolet van.  The boy little boy then wanted to know what kind of car Win Rockefeller owned.  Win told him that he owned a Chevrolet pickup.  This is a long story to tell you to save your money.  Don’t buy a vehicle you can’t afford.  Don’t find yourself one pay check away from the poor house.  Live within your means.  The people driving cars they can’t afford to impress other people who are driving cars they can’t afford are only impressing each other.

Every single member of my staff had a much larger and more expensive house than I had.  That was not the only difference.  I retired when I was 54, they didn’t.


How Did We Get Here?

December 7, 2010

►The United States Congress and Government have done more to destroy America than all our foreign enemies put together. The destruction has occurred gradually over a long period of time so that citizens became like frogs in a saucepan. When destruction happens rapidly as in the Jimmy Carter years or when President Obama turned America upside down, citizens rise up and throw the bums out.
►One of the greatest engineering feats of all time was the building of the Panama Canal which was finally completed in 1914. The idea of constructing a canal dates back to the 1500’s and while earlier attempts were made, it was the Americans who were able to build the 51 mile long canal. Most of the 27,500 people who lost their lives building the canal died before the US took over the project, but between 1904 and 1914 there were still 5,609 workers who died. Why would the United States Government give away such an important resource that cost Americans so dearly? Who is smarter, our government or a Chinese high school dropout named Li Ka-shing? Li Ka-shing is now the richest person in East Asia and the operator of the Panama Canal. Nobody I know understands why our government would allow our canal to slip from our control. Today approximately 15,000 ships transit the canal each year.
►Another nail in the United States Coffin is government unions. The propertied purpose of unions in the first place was the existence of sweatshops, starvation wages and child labor. None of those conditions ever existed in the federal government. The Postal Service was the first to become unionized. I remember when there was a mailbox on every corner. Union Stewards are well known for telling workers to work slower to preserve jobs and salaries. Well, it’s sure working in the government. Right off the bat Postal Workers were given the same healthcare options as any Federal Employee, the difference was that they paid less for the same insurance and the USPS-we the taxpayers, paid more of the costs. Those blue mailboxes are all but gone and it takes a lawyer to figure out the cost of a First Class Letter depending on the thickness, weight, whether it is square or rectangular and so forth. While the Secretaries of State, Defense and the rest of the Cabinet Members earn less than $200,000 a year, the head of the Post Office rakes in about a million dollars. More and more we see government services including rest areas and parks being closed. Union workers are not laid off so what are they doing? At first only certain employees could belong to unions, now hundreds of thousands of key federal employees are unionized including Department of Defense, Border Patrol Agents, Transportation Security, Veterans Claims and Social Security Claims workers. What is next, the United States Armed Forces? The US should undo the thirty year old experiment of allowing Air Traffic Controllers and other government workers to unionize, it didn’t work.
►America’s competitiveness went down the drain with outrageous environmental regulations from the EPA and nonsensical safety regulations from OSHA. Add taxes and unions and so called Free Trade Agreements and guess what happens. Toyota becomes the largest automobile manufacturer and builds factories in the US and General Motors receives government bailout money and builds factories in Mexico. About 40 GM Manufacturing Plants have been idled in the US. The United Auto Workers has been trying desperately to spread its misery to Toyota Workers with little success. Toyota labor costs are well below those of General Motors making Toyota more competitive. Can it be that not only the UAW is carving on Toyota’s liver, but also the United States Government? The recent high profile recalls have received more government attention than any of those by American Companies in the past. according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Toyota unintended sudden acceleration recall, at 4.3 million vehicles, ranks only sixth on its list of top 10 recalls of all time. Ford’s 1996 recall of 7.9 million vehicles built between 1988 and 1993 for a faulty ignition module remains the largest, followed by the Ford Pinto-Mercury Bobcat, General Motors X-Cars, Audi 5000, and Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare recalls. It seems the government union members don’t make as big a deal out of flawed vehicles manufactured by UAW members.
►So here we are kicking off 2011 in America. Union Border Patrol Agents guarding our borders, Government TSA Agents fondling little girls, Government Union Members attacking our manufacturers with endless red tape and regulations and Congress taxing our every move. Big Government keeps getting bigger and bigger and continues to pay workers not to work and bailing out failed companies incentivizing poor performance. Jimmy Carters Department of Education has watched America drop from first to 17th in the World. India has more Honor Students than the US has Students. India and China are producing 7 to 9 times as many engineers as the US. Liberals still have time to try to force open homosexuality, drag queens and promiscuity on our proud, honorable and moral Armed Forces.

►Where is the bright spot? The silent majority remains silent no longer. Like Pearl Harbor almost 70 years ago, these socialist, Marxist bozos have awakened a sleeping giant ready to take our country back. I pray that even though our Government has tried to kick God out of schools and off of Government Property, that God will once again bless America and those of us who worship Him.