Archive for August, 2010
Monday, August 30th, 2010
August 27, 2010
I have a very diverse group of friends. I love them all, and I relish their diversity. I am hearing strange rumblings from my liberal friends lately that they, and their liberal friends, are beginning to abandon Obama.
One such friend was on vacation for the summer, and he told me that he and his friends, who were main financial supporters of Obama, were now feeling embarrassed that they had put their support and money behind Obama. I’m quoting here – he said, “Tell all of your friends to go vote in this election!”
My friends come from all walks of life – all religions, all economic levels, different political parties. I talk to all of them, and I listen to all of them. And I am now hearing a panic in my liberal friends about the direction that this country is going in. It is a panic I expect to hear from my conservative friends, but from my liberal friends, I find it shocking.
But I also find it hopeful, that maybe the tide is turning, and people are finally seeing the signs. If that is the case, then maybe this country has a chance
Friday, August 27th, 2010
No matter what Tim Geithner or Ben Bernanke or Barack Obama say, we are not in an economic recovery. Our economic recovery is basically on hold. You will not hear this from our administration as they spin and twist the news and data that comes out every day, but even liberal economists like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman will tell you that we are not in an economic recovery. We are not increasing our GDP, and we cannot claim to be in a recovery unless we are reducing unemployment. We have got to put people to work, and we are not going to put people to work with health care costs in the trillions, with new regulations on businesses, and with more money going to Washington, DC to be spent on bigger government earmark programs. You and I don’t believe for a minute that if we give Washington more money that they are going to spend it wisely, do we?
The solution is simple – we have got to cut the corporate tax rate, which is among the highest in the world. We need to reduce the size of our government, cut our deficit, and decrease taxes. This is not a radical solution. This is a sensible solution. The only stimulus package that has ever worked is a reduction of our taxes. We need – desperately – to invest money into the private sector now, to invest money with the people who will be innovative, who will create jobs and put the American people back to work. Giving money to the government is like putting money into a black hole because governments do not now, and never will, create jobs.
Thursday, August 19th, 2010
Last night on Fox Business Channel with Neil Cavuto, we discussed an across-the-board 10% tax cut, bundled with a 20% reduction in big government spending.
Check out the show here…
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
A friend recently brought me a photo from back on the early 1980s. I had attended many store openings for Sam Walton, or Mr. Sam as I knew him, all across the country. This particular one was in Peoria, IL with Mike Ditka. I did lots of business with Mr. Sam and Walmart, and it was the greatest experience of my life. I learned more from working with Mr. Sam than I learned from anybody else I have ever been around. He had his hands in every aspect of his business, from visiting every store, to choosing which products were on the shelves. He talked to all of his people, and he listened to what they had to say. He asked questions of everybody – he was the most inquisitive person I have ever met, and that was one of the biggest parts of what made him so great. So many executives think it is all about them, but Mr. Sam knew that it is really all about his people, and he showed it in his actions, every day.
In the early 1980s I had the opportunity to speak for Mr. Sam at a Chamber of Commerce meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas. Bill Clinton introduced me! On the same visit Mr. Sam tried to get me to go hunting with him and his brother. I told him I had never shot a gun in my whole life! We opted for lunch instead.
Not only did he build one of the greatest retail businesses in the world, but since his death in 1992, his business has continued to flourish worldwide. Did you know that the largest volume Sam’s Club in the world now is in China? Who would have thought that a guy who lived in Bentonville, Arkansas could build arguably the longest running, most successful business in the history of the world?
Over the years he wrote me many letters – the handwritten ones you could never actually read, so thankfully I have kept some that were not handwritten! One such letter he wrote me in 1989 I would like to share with you. It is one of my most prized possessions, and I’ve attached a copy over on my Facebook page.
If you take a good look at the photo, you’ll see the American flag proudly displayed. At every meeting, and at every store opening, the American flag was always present. Mr. Sam was a believer and a zealot for the free market system and the American dream. He was fiscally responsible, and ran his business lean and mean. He loved America, and he knew he could never have created what he did anywhere else in the world. I wish he was still with us today, but the foundation of his thinking is timeless as we continue to strive to make the American dream a reality.
Monday, August 16th, 2010
The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who was elected less than one year ago, has eliminated an $11 billion deficit in his state. That’s what I’m talking about! This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It is not a Conservative or a Liberal issue. It is purely an American issue. We have got to make the people in Washington take notice. We the people, we the taxpayers, have to make them take notice. We must demand that they cut the deficit, and they need to start by cutting government spending.
In the private sector over the last year and a half, we have had jobs lost and wages frozen in order to get expenses under control. The federal government has not cut their employment by one person, or cut spending at all. I ask, why should we be sacrificing in the public sector to feed the government sector that produces no revenue for this country? We, the business people and the workers of America are the sole sources of income for the government. If we are slowing our spending to get our houses in order, why isn’t the government, the biggest waste machine in the free world?
But this will not happen unless you and I are outraged. I am not anti-anything. I am PRO-fiscal responsibility.
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
I just got back from a week in Pebble Beach. There’s no place in the world more beautiful, and it is America! We played golf at Pebble Beach, and stayed right there at the Inn at Spanish Bay, but within a 30 mile radius, there is so much more to do than just play the greatest golf course in the world. The high temperature was 62, low about 52.
One of my favorite lunch spots was the Stillwater Café at the Pebble Beach Lodge, which overlooks the 18th green and the Stillwater Cove on the Pacific Ocean. It is an amazing place, but the food and wine is even more amazing. In Carmel, my favorite restaurants are Christopher’s, Bouchee, and Flaherty’s.
If you are visiting Monterey Wharf, don’t miss Café Fina. My Italian friend, Dominick, who is partners with John Madden, is a longtime owner of restaurants on the Monterey Wharf. It’s fabulous, and the food is so fresh! Carmel Valley has a wonderful inn and outdoor restaurant called Bernardus. It sits right in the middle of their own vineyard, and they make a great, great chardonnay. There is no place in Europe that is any more beautiful than Bernardus, and the food and wine is world class!
We also had drinks at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch Inn. The place is about 150 years old and sits in a marsh-type area that opens up to the Pacific Ocean. You can eat, have drinks, it’s very old fashioned, very charming and different.
We went to Big Sur twice while we were there – once for lunch and once for dinner. We left Pebble Beach in the fog and 60 degrees, and arrived in Big Sur to 80 degrees and bright sunshine! We had lunch at the Post Ranch Inn, which sits about 1,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, with the most stunning views I’ve ever seen.
While our lunch was five-star, the ambience and view were 10-star! We went back to Big Sur a couple of days later for dinner at Ventana, which is something I have been doing for 30 years. We eat outside in front of their big fireplace, and watch the sun set over the Pacific. Behind us to the east, so close it seems like we can touch them, are the golden hills that are so unique to California. It’s a spectacular place to spend an evening with friends.
I hope this gives you a notion of the diversity you can find in a 20 or 30 mile radius of the Monterey Peninsula, the Carmel Valley, Carmel Beach, and Big Sur. Again, all part of America. I have no need to travel anywhere else!
If you have the opportunity to visit the Monterey peninsula, I hope you’ll explore it and enjoy it like we do.