Saturday, 10 September 2011

Hey Canada, Step Up And Take Your Place As An Economic World Leader!

 After an interesting and straightforward analysis of various economic statistics, 2 clear winners have emerged: Hong Kong and Australia.  Please Canada, shift the emphasis of how we view compassion from, "give our money to the government and let them disburse it for us" to, "let me keep my money and give as I see fit".  This shift in philosophy will shrink government, forcing people to build relationships where responding to needs is common place (Canadians are generous people...give us more of our money to be generous with). 

My basic premise is: let me own my property, and the fruit of my labour.  Taxes should be minimal (yes, Hong Kong minimal). Freedom within the context of rule of law should be our aim.  This will result in a freer economy.  This will enable increased productivity, greater aggregate earnings of all income groups, stronger trade laws, less litigation, true innovation, simplified government functions and therefore increased personal wealth.  The lower tax rates, in conjunction with the free economy will result in greater government revenues, which in combination with lower government spending will clearly have a significant positive affect on our national debt and further strengthen our credit rating. When low debt and strong credit ratings under gird your economy, weathering economic storms becomes much easier: i.e a Conservative government would NEVER be caught with it's pants down on a 50Billion whoops-deficit.

For your interest, here is comparison:
                                                (Cooperate)  (Personal)      (Economic)    (As % of GDP)    (As % of GDP)     (loss of dollar's value)
                        Debt-GDP  Tax Rate  Tax Rate  Growth  Tax Burden   Gov Expense  Inflation
Canada               84%          32%        0-53%         3%          32.2                   39.7                  1.6   
Hong Kong         18%          16.5%     0-15%         6.8%       13                      8.6                    2.9
Australia            26.6           30%        0-45%         2.7%       30.8                  34.3                 4.5

Canada is healthy, relative to the world standards.  However, if Wayne Gretzky would have scored 50 points in the mid 80's, everybody would have asked 'what went wrong, why such a low point output against his potential?'  Likewise, if I would have scored 1 goal in the mid 80's I would be viewed as a champion of champions.  My point is simple: we should compare against our potential, not against results that out-perform many others, yet fall beneath our potential. Gretzky's 50 points would have outperformed many in the NHL, yet underperformed to his expected potential.  My assessment is that Canada has been given a pass on this subject.  We measure ourselves against the world around us and feel good.  We do not debate the fundamental principles which enables us to squander vast resources via massive government spending, programs, initiatives and red tape.  This is a shameful reality (CBC should lose all 'news' status).  Canada, we scored 50 points, but our potential was 175points!  With our resources, talent and free enterprise market, we should outperform the Aussies and rival Hong Kong!  Why not and says who?  A Conservative Majority should act like one.  We need continued tax relief, stronger property rights and less government.  I see the day when the government will practice such and we will zoom ahead on the world standing...once achieved, real compassion will dominate by having more to give.  To my left wing friends...our bodies were not made to horde, just like fridges were not made to cool molten lava...we were designed to function a certain way, and giving generously is how we were made. Conservatives, wake thee from thy slumber and act!

Friday, 9 September 2011

What Does Listening Have To Do With Bettering The Economy?

Do you alter truth to fit your reality? Or do you alter your reality to fit truth?  As a business owner, I have listened to countless perspectives from people who think that I have the inside scoop on reality.  Most people either accept everything I say: after all, I must, I'm a business owner: or they spite my comments suggesting, 'what do you know...your in it for yourself'.  Blogging is cool, because I can cut through the gloss and articulate my position. 
I was encouraging an employee recently who was struggling with viewing complex problems as either right or wrong, true or untrue.  I shared, "what if your manager is not 'declaring reality' but only offering his 'best guess'?"  This was critical for this young man, due to offenses being picked up each time the view did not fit into his 'box'.  I encouraged him to abandon his perceptive of reality and try to simply hear another point of view without tying it to your emotions and experiences...just listen.  The feedback from this employee was incredible.  He indicated he is on much better terms with his manager (affirmed independently from the managers feedback) and is realizing that anothers' best guess or best opinion does not mean they are 'declaring reality', rather, simply trying their best to figure stuff out...while remaining open to alternate points of view.

I think it would do the economy well if we Canadians became a people that inquired more, and declared less: and here's why:

1. Inquiring opens the door to alternate positions/perspectives and others perceive us as listeners.  Customers pay us to listen, then solve problems.
2. Declaring your point makes alternate perspectives difficult to be heard: Customers nod to your 'state of affairs' and find someone who will listen.
3. Fellow suppliers/employees are often valued when you simply hear their perspective.
4. It opens the door to conversations.

My experience, is that I am typically not open to other relevant points of view when I am insecure, or comparing myself in a negative way.  I mention this as a big deal because as a business owner, I admit that I have made poor decisions, squandered cash and wasted time as a result of my insecurity driving a 'closed minded' position.  I encourage you today, open yourself up to other relevant perspectives in your work place..and don't be so tied to your ideas. This allows you to forfeit human nature's call to bend reality to your truth.  Achieving this victory will position you to align your reality with truth.  When we do this, good things happen.  Have a fantastic day.

Help The Economy: Scrap Minimum Wage!

Obama's "it the governmental job to employ you" speech last night triggered an interesting point of discussion.
"It's the government's job to 'x'!".  What would you fill in for 'x'?  Is it their job to employ you? To ensure you have a t.v, microwave fridge, Nintendo and other great thrills of life?  Is it their responsibility to govern your agreement with an employer by stating minimum pay conditions?

Here is an argument for why the government should abolish minimum wage:

1. Employers will be able to offer people a job (albeit at a lower rate) versus going offshore.  Unemployment will go down. (people have the right to say, "no" to a lower wage...and they have the right to start their own company, or go to another employer)
2. It offers real incentive for people making less then minimum wage to grow in their skills and knowledge.  Reality is scary AND inspiring.  If the reality is you are worth $5/hour, then receive that harsh feedback and use that as incentive to gain skills.
3. A pattern of responding to reality in humility speaks value over an individual at $5/hour MORE THEN the forced law of minimum wage. Here's a simple analogy to illustrate my point:
As an owner of an aerospace machine shop, if I ship a 'scrap part' to a customer and they reject it, what option to you think will best serve me long term? Option #1: "Sorry customer, can you pay me for my time and materials so I don't lose big?" Or, Option #2: take the loss on the job and learn why I scrapped it?  Obviously, in the real world, customers pay for the results I provide.  No results, no pay.  Although this is seemingly harsh, it speaks VALUE over me and my company.  It forces me to understand why I am not creating value and gives me that chance to learn and grow.  From these lessons, my capacity to add value increases and therefore I can take on more!  The worst thing customers could have done is say, "hey, you are entitled to partial pay even though you did not add that value".  It would have jaded my perspective and likely caused me to lower my standards.  This would have devalued me and my potential.  The government should take that same 'seemingly harsh' view and start valuing it's people.
4. Minimum wage is code for: "you did not earn it, but you get it anyway".  How does this language inspire people to change and grow?!? It does not.
5. "Minimum wage protects employees from unfair employer treatment and abuse" is code for, "We do not trust the employee to say 'no' and walk away.  We do not trust them to find another job on their merits. We do not trust the free economy from hurting people and we just don't want people hurt".  This type of sheltering is destructive to people's potential.  It must stop.  The advice I offer to these activists is, "Stop focusing on forced laws to 'protect' people, and start working with people at lower wages and teach them how to be successful in the workplace.  Although this is the road less traveled, it will produce better results.

Again, freeing the market continues to be the obvious choice for economic recovery.  My passion remains simple: invest in people and help them become successful within the framework of a free market.  If a relationship of valuing others under-girds the 'seemingly harsh' feedback, there is hope to develop with others such that we all advance and move forward.  I am proud that each of our employees are paid based on their results! I am not satisfied with this, I desire increase for the customers, company and suppliers.  Results will continue to drive this, not forced handouts.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain