Thursday, October 11, 2012

Socialists everywhere I look

What in the world has happened to a large proportion of our leaders these days?  There seems to be no middle ground on any issue and the result is that our country is gridlocked and getting nowhere fast.  Even the so-called independents are getting into the act!  I watched a video of an interview of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and though some of the things he was saying sounded interesting and decided to check out his book from the library and see what he has to say.  I was flabbergasted to find that he advocates a 90% tax on people who make over $400,000 per year.  Really? 

A person works hard, builds a company (contrary to the opinion of our current president) and, when he begins to achieve an executive salary, he must give back $360,000 of his earnings and live on only $40,000.  What would be the incentive for a person to excel in such a scenario?  Why would anyone bother to recruit, train and retain quality workers?  Why would they work hard to keep track of a payroll and meet their share of investment and health care contributions?  Is the intent of such taxation to make every business a local street corner operation where the owners scratch out a living year after year without any reason to expand?  When will politicians stop treating success like a crime? 

While I agree our current tax code is a mess, I do not agree that the way to fix things is to tax our most productive citizens far beyond reason.  Change the tax code!  Simplify it and take out a bunch of those stupid deductions!  Make sure that those below the poverty line are not paying tax!  Why is there a poverty line when it is meaningless at tax time?  If someone is impoverished, they ought not to have to pay any tax!  But to suggest that someone who has succeeded should have to give up what they have won by their labor and intelligence simply so the government can expand and give money to those who did not succeed is simply ridiculous. 

That way lies malaise, as those who can achieve great success begin to see that there is no reason to do so.  Where then will jobs come from and who will fund the programs that we really do need to retain?  We are already seeing the effect of governmental policies that are toxic to business as Campbell Soup and others pull out of California.  How many more businesses will have to close their American operations and move to other countries before our politicians realize they are causing this migration that will make our country extinct all too soon?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ron Santo - humble hero

Ron Santo – humble hero

A hero has gone from among us. Ron Santo, sportscaster and former third baseman for the Chicago Cubs finally lost his battle with cancer and his lifelong enemy, diabetes on December second. Santo was exemplary in so many ways. He was a ten-time National League All-star pick, four times a Golden Glove winner and awarded the Lou Gehrig Award in 1973 by Phi Delta Theta. He scored 1,138 runs, batted in 1,133, put out almost 4,600 runners, led the league in triples in 1964 and got on base 3,400 times. That is the stuff of eight and nine digit salaries these days. This brings up the most noticeable way that Ron Santo was exemplary.

It may seem trite to note that Ron Santo was a different breed of professional athlete than we often see today. His exploits were outstanding. His ego was not. Ron Santo was a humble man. He did not show up in the celebrity gossip columns or the police blotter. He did his job and went home to his family. He was far from unusual in this during the years that he played. Very few players in the sixties and seventies did any trash-talking or grandstanding in press conferences. Those who did were not usually well regarded by their teammates or the fans.

This is a major reason that Ron Santo was so beloved by those who were his fans during his career. It was the humility that cemented the affection and made it so long-lasting that Santo was still well regarded long after he retired from the field and will be easily and fondly remembered for many years now that he is gone. Ron was a phenomenon on the baseball diamond but he saw himself as a common guy who just happened to work on a baseball diamond. The third base line was his office. He did his job and then he took off the uniform with the number 10 on it and went home. The closest he ever came to bragging was to run down the third base line and click his heels after a home win. Ron Santo will be greatly missed by those who miss a more innocent type of professional athlete. I like to think I can picture number 10 going along a golden road, clicking his heels. Farewell, Ron!