Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the category “Economics”

VOTE!

I haven’t been blogging any this year. I realize that my audience has probably vanished. There is, however, something I need to say today.

VOTE

Many have said that we don’t have any choices in this election. That neither of the candidates are acceptable. I hear your objections clearly, but it is vital that we all exercise our right to vote.

There may come a day when that right is taken away. There may come a day when that right is greatly restricted compared to now. It’s simple. I may not agree with every one who reads this post, but I would fight if necessary to defend our right to say what is on our minds even if we don’t agree. So speak up! Go Vote!

 

Free College

President Obama announced yesterday a proposal to give free community college to anyone who is “willing to work for it”. The specifics of the program at this point are vague. It is proposed that students who keep up a 2.5 GPA and are making progress to complete their degrees in a 3 years or less could receive this help if the state the community college is in opts into the program.

This is because the Federal Government is going to pay 75% of the tuition and State governments would pick up 25%.

This program is modeled after a program began last year in the state of Tennessee. About 58,000 of the states roughly 62,000 high school seniors have applied for the program. It is my understanding that the Tennessee program is funded by Lottery monies.

There were no specifics given in the Presidents announcement about how this program would be funded. I would be interested in finding out how many billions of dollars this is going to cost the taxpayers, you and me.

I fear that this might be another unfunded mandate handed down by the Federal government for the state and local governments to bear the burden of.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problem  with assisting children from underprivileged families in order for them to get an education. A good education, if the individual applies what they have learned, is the best way for a person to change their lives and break the cycle of poverty.

However, just guaranteeing an education doesn’t guarantee a job in the field they get their degree in. There are people in this economy who are under employed. Meaning they are working in a field that is not what they studied, and are making less money  because there are no jobs available in their field.

I know young adults with degrees who are working jobs making $8-9 per hour because there were no jobs available in their chosen field. They should be making $22,000 to $25,000 per year at least based on estimates.

I fear this is another in a long list of education programs, both Democratic and Republican, design to “improve education”. However, government has been largely unsuccessful at improving education. That is why we have so many failing schools and failing students. While I don’t have any answers for this problem, I don’t think another bureaucratic program is the answer because most of the money will be spent on the bureaucracy created to run the program and very little of the money will actually get to where it is needed.

I have rambled on this a good bit and I appreciate you sticking around to read all of it. As I said I don’t have any good answers for our education problems, but I know that the government solutions have not worked before. Maybe this one will, but I doubt it

I am certain this program will create much discussion on both sides. Please share your opinion below about this new idea of the Presidents. I look forward to reading them.

Reaction To The Election: Better Late Than Never

I was looking at my blog the other day and realized I haven’t written anything in almost six months. Wow, talking about a long case of writers block! My problem is not always writers block, but instead lack of time to write.

So much for my whining, I thought today would be a good time to offer one or two quick comments about the election. I’ve spent the past week, just like you have, listening to all of the liberal and conservative pun-dents on TV and talk radio spin the results of the election. Some I agree with, some I do not.

Listen, this is actually pretty simple. Most people in this country are tired of sending people to Washington to do a job, who, opnce they get there, decide to do nothing, draw their pay, and then ask the voters for the job again.

It’s like this. You can fool me once. You might even get away with fooling me twice. It’s not often that somebody gets a third opportunity with me.

so the Republicans have two years to try to get something significant done in Washington. Will they be successful? I don’t know for sure, but probably not.

I do know this. If they don’t make improvements by the 2016 elections, the american voters will probably do it again. And I have a feeling that the voters will keep changing horses until they get some that will do the job they are sent to Washington to do.

I’m going to try to do better with this writing thing. I’m going to start with a goal of publishing something once a week toward the end of the week each week. Hopefully, some of you will come back from time to time for a read as I tell my side of the story.

As always, your comments are welcome below

Learning To Trust

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn in my Christian walk is learning to trust God in all situations. Not a blind trust, but a trust developed through experience. Yet, I need to be reminded constantly of the Father’s consistent working in my life.

I remember many years ago when my children were younger, we went through a tough time with my job. I was working for a major furniture manufacturer when business took a downturn. It got so bad that we were only working 3 days a week. I was out looking around our small town for  a second job and wasn’t finding one. I finally realized that God was trying to tell me to trust Him. To be patient and rest in Him. It was amazing to watch God work through other Christians and sometimes in ways that I couldn’t understand to meet our needs.

Proverbs 3:5-6 became very important in my life because of this season in my life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do  not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. ESV

There are times in our lives though that we don’t think about past victories and we fail to remember how God has helped us in the past. Maybe we should follow more closely the commands that God gave the children of Israel when he told them to teach the children in their household the truths of God’s law and the way God helped them get to the promised land.

It’s difficult to learn to trust God completely. In our culture, individualism is encouraged. There is pressure to look out for number 1, ourselves, and not think about others. We as followers of Christ, must learn in these difficult days to trust in God for all of our needs. We must realize that God, not the government is the source of all we have. It’s difficult to learn. I’m still working on it, but god is faithful to remind me daily of all He’s done for me. I just have to listen.

Please share some of your experiences in learning to trust God in the comments below.

 

A Leadership Void

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve been watching some of the bickering this week over the government shutdown in Washington. I’ve got to admit, these people don’t have a clue about what is best for the country

 

I could give you my opinion on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as some call it. I could even give you my opinion about the debt and the federal budget. I’m not going to here. That’s not what this is about. You can ask me and I might tell you privately, but not here.

 

When you study the people who were instrumental in the founding of this country, you find something that is missing in Washington today. Not just in Congress, but all the government has this problem.

 

If you read the stories of the founding of The United States, especially the debates around the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, we find some heated debates between the delegates. One central theme remained the same throughout. All of the delegates wanted what was best for the young nation. They knew they were not going to win every debate. Each man seemed to know when it was time to compromise and give a little for the good of the country.

 

That’s just one small part of being a leader and showing leadership in tough times. We face some difficult problems in this country. These problems won’t be solved by the political party that has the power not being willing to compromise. Leadership means being willing to listen, willing to compromise, and must realize that you can’t have your way all the time.

 

We have a leadership void in Washington. No one seems  willing to lead and do what’s best for the country and our future. We need men and women like those who founded this country. I’m afraid there is not any of those kind of leaders left.

 

What is your opinion on the leadership void in Washington?

 

Sunday Dinner

Cornbread, collard greens, macaroni and cheese...

Growing up in the south, some of the best times as a family were around the kitchen table as we shared a meal together. It was a time of great food, conversation and fellowship. It was also very loud. Why? Because everybody was talking at the same time usually. The number of conversations going on at any one time depended on the number of people at the table.

But the center piece of the table was the food. Not gourmet food either, but some of the best tasting, simple food you could imagine. Everything from fried chicken to fresh vegetables that had just been picked from the garden the day before. By the way, the chicken had run around in the yard the day before too.

Every Sunday, we went to my grandmothers for Sunday dinner. She always had a table full of food. She expected whoever showed up to eat all of it. Of course as soon as dinner was finished, we would place a tablecloth over the table with the food still on it.

The adults would go and sit in the living room for more conversation, all us kids would go out into the yard and run and play, no video games back then. Many times about middle of the afternoon we would slip back in the house, lift the corner of the tablecloth up, and get us a cold piece of chicken and a cold biscuit. There is nothing better.

The tradition continues today. Almost every Sunday after church, my family heads over to my mom’s house for Sunday dinner. Now its my mom and dad, my 2 daughters and their husbands, and of course our 2 grandsons who are always the center of attention. We are all trying to eat healthier these days, so we don’t have fried foods as much either. But there is still nothing better for Sunday dinner than good food, and good conversation.

 

That is one of my favorite childhood memories. What are some of your favorite memories? List them in the comments below.

 

The Calm After The Storm

I’m sitting here in my office at home, looking out the window because it is a slow day, I noticed something.It’s quiet around here today! Normally, I have the radio playing here in the office, but not today. I mean it is quiet around here. Not just in my house, but outside as well.

What’s so important about the quiet today? Yesterday was much different. It was stormy where I live in North Mississippi. I’m talking high winds, lots of rain, thunder, lightning, you get the idea. Not today!

Today the sun is shining, there is very little wind, it’s just an AMAZING day! When I look at the beautiful day God has given today and I remember how stormy it was yesterday, it reminds me of how God watches over us. How even in the darkest of times in our lives, there is always a time of refreshing. A time to draw near to Him and be refreshed from our struggles. I believe it is important for us to take advantage of these times to refresh and recharge ourselves for two reasons.

First, it is important for us to recharge physically. Most people I know don’t take enough time to rest their physical bodies. I’ve known of many people and you probably do to, who do not get enough rest for their physical bodies. there is a whole library full of examples of what happens to our bodies without ample rest.

Second it is important for us to recharge spiritually and mentally. I group these two together rather than separately because I feel they go together. That’s part of the way God designed the human body at creation. There are several instances in the Bible where Jesus goes up the mountain, or to some other place to pray. These were times of spiritual and mental recharging that prepared Him for what lay ahead of Him.

I believe we all need to make it a point to get adequate rest, both physical rest as well as mental and spiritual rest.

What are your thoughts? What are some ways you rest? Do you feel it is important to have times of refreshing?

Thanksgiving

I know every blogger writes a post on Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to be left out so I thought I would put down some random thoughts about Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, like Christmas has become very commercialized in our culture in America. It has become the one week of the year that grocery store owners look forward too because of the increased sales and profits from that one week alone. I know this to be a fact because I spent several of my teenage years working for a grocer in my home town.

Thanksgiving is a day set aside for family. We as a family get together on this day and unfortunately it is one of the few times of the year that we are all together at one time and we all live in about a 60 mile radius of each other.

Thanksgiving is also about food, lots of food! As part of my decision to eat healthier I am going to try to not overeat today and yet still enjoy the day because I love food! Growing up in a family of cooks, even though I was a boy, I learned to cook and I love to cook and eat many foods.

Thanksgiving, like the name implies, should be a time of giving thanks for all of our blessings that God has given us. When I think about it though, we shouldn’t just set aside one day each year to be thankful for our blessings, we should be thankful each day for those blessings God so richly gives us. things we don’t even deserve yet e continues each day to pour them out on us.

Let me challenge each of you who reads this to be more thankful each day of our lives, not just one day each year.

The Day After

Yesterday, Nov 6, 2012, was election day in our country. I know some church folks who thought that the world would end if President Obama won the election. Well I was on the way to work this morning and the sun was coming up over the horizon just like any other day.

One thing we as followers of Christ have to learn is that we are no longer in the majority. The culture war that we have waged with our Christian talk radio stations and our mainstream conservative media persons for the last several years has been lost. We are in the minority.

So what do we do? The best example from scripture is in the book of Acts. We need to do as the apostles and other Christians did in the early church. We need to realize that we are probably not going to change the culture in our country. We must learn to be the hands and feet of Jesus and love each person we come in contact with to Christ.

We have been labeled by the radical left as extremists. We are being shouted down by those who don’t agree with us. The only way we are going to change that perception is through love.

Of course this doesn’t mean that our pastors and evangelists are to sugar coat the gospel. On the contrary, those men like the prophets of the Old testament times are to take the stand against the sins and ills of our nation just like they have been because that’s what they’ve been called to do. However, they to will have to learn to call sin by its true colors and learn to do so with a tear in their eyes.

To borrow an analogy from sports, we now have to play the game from behind. Just like in sports, some teams have the ability to come from behind, while some do not. We shall see if the church has what it takes to come from behind and if the church can handle a little adversity.

One last thought, I have heard more calls for prayer for our nation in the days leading up to the election. We should continue to pray for the President, the Congress, and the rest of our federal, state and local government leaders daily. That, my friends, is the best way to influence the culture. We need a revival in America, and prayer is the only way that revival will come.

 

As always  your comments and responses to my thoughts here are welcome. I try to read every response even if I’m not able to respond to each one.

 

 

Tax Cuts And Basic Economics

I’ve been fed up with the junk that goes on in Washington for some time now. I usually manage to keep my mouth shut, but there is only so much stupidity I can stand.

This week the President, Barak Obama, gave a speech about the economy and tax policy. He proposes that we keep the Bush-era tax cuts, but only for those Americans who make less than $250,000 a year.

Let’s go back to simple basic economics and see if I can explain this. There are many entrepreneurs in this country who are sole proprietors or in simple partnerships in the businesses. Most of these business owners make more than $250,000 per year.

At the most basic level of economics, which by the way almost nobody in Washington seems to understand, there are only 3 things that small business owner can do with his profits.

First of all he can save it. There’s a novel idea. By saving and investing part of his profits, He puts part of his profits to work to build the economy. However, the Congress and the President have made sure that they will get their share of the profits of those investments in the form of taxes.

Secondly, he can spend his profits on personal bills, a new car for his wife, light bill, phone bill, put food on his families table. He can also use that money to expand his business and hire more employees.

Finally, he can pay taxes. Of course there are tax consequences with the first 2 items. As I’ve already mentioned, there are taxes on the profits from investments. Then there are taxes on spending in the form of sales taxes. Lastly we have the dreaded income tax. The President wants to raise taxes on everyone making more than $250,000 per year as I’ve already mentioned.

The effects are clear. If you increase the amount of taxes there is less money to save and spend. This means for the small business owner that there is less money to invest in the business which translates into fewer jobs.

I’ve had several jobs in my life. Some of those jobs were with large corporations. Some of those jobs, however, were working for small business owners. There are more jobs provided by small businesses than the larger companies. The bottom line is this. I’ve never had a poor man hire me for a job. I’ve always been hired by a business owner who was wealthy enough and successful enough to create jobs and hire me. Mr. President if you want to take more money from these job creators, then it is obvious to me that you fully intend to completely tank this economy.

I hope the American voters have better sense than to reelect this President!

As always your opinions on this subject are welcome. I try to read all responses even though I will not be able to respond to all of them.

 

Post Navigation

Worthily Magnify

Helping Worship Leaders Lead Well

Levi's Daily Thoughts

For I know that my Redeemer lives Job 19:25

Jon Rouse

a blog about God, life, and everything else

Jesus My Healer

Devotions on Divine Healing

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

The Great Plains Poet

Just a simple pen used with integrity, whimsy and God's purpose; to show the whole world that you can overcome anything with Jesus! -Psalm 52:8

Dare to Look

dare to look beyond the veil

MindMedicine Blog

Professional Golfer & Mind Coach in Life & Professional Sport...

46 Psalm

Be still and know that I am God

Ireadthat

read, write and contribute

%d bloggers like this: