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What is the ONE thing you would do to fix the economy?

By The Five Friends
Aug 12th, 2014

From Joe Calloway:

joe-calloway-headshotFix the economy by electing grown-ups.

I don’t quite know what to write about this, because with the attitudes of most people being firmly locked in an intransient “we’re right and they’re wrong” position, the idea that we might elect grown-ups may be a pipe dream.

When I say elect grown-ups I mean elect men and women who can articulate solutions, not just spew partisan, whip-the-party-faithful-into-a-frenzy crap (I chose that word carefully) that appeals to the lowest common denominator of people who are incapable of critical thinking.

There are grown-ups in Congress on both sides who can point across the aisle and say “we can work with her or him.”  They know who the other grown-ups are.

In Tennessee, where I live, there is one Democratic Congressman (Cooper) and one Republican Senator (Corker) who are grown-ups.  They know how to get to solutions.  They’re smart.  They listen.  They think. They are pragmatists who are interested in moving forward.

I only wish that they had more grown-ups to work with.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com

From Mark Sanborn:

mark-sanborn-headshotIf you want to fix the economy, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch: if someone eats for free, somebody else has to pay for it. The belief that entitlements are “free” is not only erroneous but dangerous.

Resources spent on entitlements come from the productive sector, usually in the form of taxes. Individuals and companies who produce are taxed on their productive efforts. The money spent on entitlements may be humanitarian but it can’t be used to start or grow companies or invested productively. Entitlements generally may help people, but they don’t help grow an economy.

That isn’t to say we shouldn’t help those that need it; the problem is the increasing number of individual and programs that expect assistance and in recent years there have been more and more of them. Society should help those that cannot help themselves, but not those who will not help themselves.

The economy and all who contribute will improve when we improve when we offer to those who really need help, and not those who simply want it.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.

From Larry Winget:

larry-winget-headshotTeach people to be more responsible and smarter with their money, get government to run like a business, create more jobs and get more people working, fewer entitlements and no more bailouts.  All good ideas.  But all take too long to have an impact. So, here you go:  A 15% across the board cut on all government spending.  No more “let’s cut this and let’s cut that.”  When you pick and choose, it becomes partisan and political and nothing gets done.  So, cut everything by 15%.  Defense, education, wages, utilities, people, roads, even paper and staples . . . all of it.  Not one exception.  No department is spared.  And don’t say, “Larry!!!  Not education.  Not welfare.  Not feeding children!!”  That’s the problem, we want to play favorites and everyone says, “Cut spending, but not MY spending.”  Bottom line: Government is too big and there is way more than 15% waste in every area. So mandate a 15% cut to every budget with the condition that services and service levels are not affected. Force efficiency since they can’t do it on their own.

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.

From Scott McKain:

scott-mckain-headshotFocus on improving the relationship between government and small business.

For all the tax and infrastructure benefits offered to gain 1000 jobs, my wager is that 200 small businesses each hiring five new people has greater impact on the local community – yet, those entrepreneurs receive none of the incentives a big corporation mandates.

What if there were no corporate taxes for businesses that gross under $2 million? How many new employees could those entrepreneurs now hire? The owner will be paying more in taxes, as it’s reasonable to assume that her personal income would rise. More people would be employed, moving them from unemployment benefits and food stamps into taxpayers. It is a true “win-win.”

What if we placed a higher premium on creating companies rather than moving money? We need to stimulate more Steve Jobs and Bill Gates…and fewer Bernie Madoffs. When there’s more money in manipulation of currency, stock, and markets than there is in building businesses and creating jobs…something is out of alignment.

When a big company offers to create 500 jobs, governmental leaders fawn over them. Let 50 small businesses create 10 jobs each, and our government says, “So what?”

Until that’s corrected…the economy won’t be.

To find out more about Scott McKain, go to: www.ScottMcKain.com

From Randy Pennington:

randy-pennington-headshotThe easy answer is, “Do what we’ve done in Texas.”  The leaders here make it easy for business to do business.

Here are the results:  unemployment lower than the national average; 40% of all the jobs created between 2009 and 2011; large companies relocating here.

The employment statistics don’t mention the high percentage of minimum wage jobs, however.

Adding jobs is not fixing the economy. For that, we must completely overhaul our education system to grow the skills and work ethic needed to compete in the 21st century.

Here is the truth: Many of the jobs lost in the Great Recession are never coming back. They can be automated or performed in less expensive places. And, we have a skills shortage for the jobs that will grow our economy.

We spend more per student than any other country in the world, and we do not rank in the top 20 on math, science, and reading scores.  Our commitment to re-skilling adults is marginal at best – from both the unemployed and the government.

So yes, let’s elect grownups who will lead. But let’s not confuse putting people to work in low-paying jobs with fixing the economy. That requires a commitment to education and entrepreneurial thinking that enables jobs that add value. It is equal parts responsible leadership and individual responsibility.

That’s not easy. It is hard.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.

7 Responses to “What is the ONE thing you would do to fix the economy?”

  1. There’s all this talk about entitlement and the 2% and sadly the elephant in the room is we under value the unbilled gifts, contributions and service done for our families, employers, civic organizations, clients and friends in need. (Individuals not government do the work and pick up the tab. in fact, Larry, did you know the average hard working baby boomer 51+ years of age that I have worked with in our Debt Into Abundance program has calculated that they have given somewhere between $200,000- $500,000 of unpaid goods and services! (That includes doing bookkeeping themselves instead of hiring an accountant, doing the cleaning instead of hiring a service… Instead of following what you teach and getting paid for the value you produce we’re all guilty at some point of giving away our home care services to ailing loved ones, begrudgingly working over time at work in fear of layoffs, giving that ungrateful cousin a place to crash rent free for months with out acknowledging the untallied value being accumulated.

    Ironically there are many services that our government is “offering” that doesn’t have the inflated value they are charging tax payers. It would be interesting if every member of government including WE THE PEOPLE not only tallied up our debt which is rising at an alarming rate but how much unaccounted for contributions we’ve made to science, our healthcare, education, arts, diplomacy… that could be repurposed into more pride, self worth, focused resources in our nation rather than creating government jobs and spending willy nilly.

  2. Ellis Guy says:

    The government has spent and wasted millions and billions on website disasters, bailouts, you name it. They have spent enough to easily give every legal resident of the US $1,000,000 each. And that is what I suggest we do. Here’s why:

    The broke minded people that constantly complain of “its their fault I’m not doing well, I dont have the opportunity because of blah, blah, blah, ” would NEVER have another excuse of not having a chance to make something of themselves.

    Prosperity / Growth / Business minded people would use the money to improve their business models, hire people, upgrade, etc. Business start ups would have the cash to leap over short term hurdles.

    We all know what would happen……

    Within a few years if not months the broke will be broke again and the business leaders would have expanded.

    Another interesting thing would have happened…..

    The spenders would have flooded the car dealers, Best Buys, Walmarts, etc. and consumed massive amounts of products pushing the cash flows through the roof. GDP would explode if only for a data point or two. Walmart couldnt get big screen TVs in fast enough. That in itself would fuel demand raising prices, hence profit margins. Massive amounts of cash would flow to Wall St as folks with no retirement set theirs aside or try their hand at investing.

    People that are trapped in financial problems, student loans, hospital bills, back taxes, etc. would have a chance to clean that up.

    Once the wave of cash has moved through the economy, it will be obvious to all what it takes to succeed ….. personal responsibility and an environment friendly to businesses.

    The way to do this is not in one lump sum but in some form of monthly allotment, bank draft, or a credit that could be used against current debt, business “loans”, etc.

    Instead of printing more money to keep devaluing the dollar where we get nothing but kicking the inevitable can down the road that WILL come due one day despite what the “experts” say, we get something real – a massive boost to the economy and proof mindset is everything in succeeding. The proof would be in how each person handled his or her million bucks.

  3. Jim Bouchard says:

    Randy is right on- and I had that argument with a state rep here in Maine. Why not learn from the people who are doing it right?

    Having said that- on a federal level there is one fundamental shift that would streamline our entire revenue system and stimulate growth without relying on favors, exemptions and political clout. It’s been proposed several times, but has never gained serious traction.

    Move the federal revenue source from production (taxes on income and corporate profits) to consumption- for business and individuals. Simply tax each transaction on the purchase side- no exceptions.

    Combine this with a version of Milton Friedman’s “negative tax” to provide some relief at the lowest income levels, or simply make the ONLY exemptions across the board for true necessities, that is food, housing and energy up to certain levels.

    This immediately eliminates the incentives for favoritism and corruption on the government side, and it places the incentives where they belong, on production rather than on leveraging favorable tax loopholes.

    The problem, of course, is that this type of system would destroy the IRS as we know it- we simply wouldn’t need it, and it eliminates a significant amount of the power now in the hands of politicians and those with strong political connections.

  4. Deborah says:

    When we start taking personal responsibility as individuals and politicians start being more concerned with their constituents than with being re-elected, we can start moving in a positive direction. Until then, everyone is just out for themselves to see how much they can take.

  5. John Traxler says:

    Right out of the gate…If you or I who work in the private sector squandered as much money on a project as the healthcare roll out…WE WOULD BE OUT OF A JOB!!!!

    That being said, the first thing I would do is eliminate automatic tax withholding. Let people figure out their taxes and write the check to the government (FED, State & local) with their own hands. I think that alone would drive a big change in how the taxpayer views government. They/We would be asking questions and holding elected officials accountable (something that most politicians don’t know or understand). Withholding was a ‘great idea’ dreamed up by bureaucratic to lure unsuspecting citizens into tax slavery.

    In my opinion, that would be the single most effective way to fix the economy. If people really knew how much of their hard, earned paycheck goes to the government in taxes and fees, there would be a very strong push to lower them. Lower taxes, more spendable income, therefore more investment.

  6. Cheryl says:

    To improve the economy I would stop supporting other countries. Our country is lacking in education, food, housing, and jobs but we send money to help other countries. Let other countries stand up and help themselves and let America stop being the ATM for the world without the funds to do it. We need to spend money on lower education cost and actually teaching children life skills needed to get a job and keep it.

  7. Scott McKain says:

    GREAT comments — and fascinating viewpoints! THANKS to all who contributed…and, we’d love to hear what YOU think!!

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