Friday, March 30, 2012

Why Gas Will Never Be $2.50 Gallon Again - China, India...

Top Photo: Beijing China Traffic when I first went there in 1982.
Bottom Photo: China traffic today (2012).

FACT: China will add another 170 MILLION cars the next 5 years. India, Brazil will add millions more as well.

Conclusion: $2.50 gas is a pipe dream. It's a GLOBAL gas market. Supply is LESS than demand and will continue to fall short as demand and the economies pick up.

Source: LinkBetter Times Ahead: April Fool? "Agenda for American Greatness"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trayvon Martin & Racial Attitudes in the U.S.

The Trayvon Martin killing has hit a nerve and renewed a dialogue on racial attitudes in America.

Frankly America, we have a problem. Too many people stereotype others simply because of their color or their religion. Those attitudes are holding America back from reaching its greatest potential. Our strengths come from our diverse population.

It's a dialogue we' have needed since President Obama was elected. We didn't have it after he first came into office because the economy was falling off a cliff and we had bigger fish to fry and economic battles to fight. But now that the economy has put the worst behind us and is improving. So this is a good time to have that discussion.

The problem became obvious right after President Obama was elected. I was stunned how casually some people, usually whites who assumed I thought like they, who would refer to him using the "N-word." This started when he had hardly been in office nor had a chance to do anything. He was prejudged simply because of his color.

Not only that, our country's first black President was blamed for an economic situation he did not create but merely inherited. Never mind that the prior President, George W Bush inherited a $300-plus billion SURPLUS. On his first day on the job Barack Obama didn't get a surplus but a lump of coal -- a $1.2 Trillion DEFICIT his first day in the oval office. Yet certain people still used the "N-word" to describe him. It made me wonder if the same people would do anything to prevent him from succeeding in turning the economy around, because of that prejudice.

Maybe it was because I was born in Iowa which has had a history of treating people with respect regardless of color. If you have seen the movie "The Tuskegee Airmen" you'll see what I mean. The main character was a young black man from Iowa, who is stunned along with those from New York when the train crosses into the South and the recruits are forced out of their coach - to make way for German prisoners of war. They faced enormous hostility in their training.

I saw the change when my father moved our family to Texas in 1965 when I was turning 16. People seemed to bring up race a lot, in a negative way. I never understood it frankly. Why hate a person just because of their color? It made no sense to me.

My early career sent me to over 30 countries while working for two Texas Fortune 500 companies, and I got to know people in place as diverse as South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Having long dinners and meetings with negotiators in Brazil and China and in places like Nigeria introduced me to the real people of the world. In it I found almost everyone to be the same. All wanted freedom and opportunity, a chance for an education and that human desire for respect.

My convictions strengthened when I ran for Congress in Ft. Bend County, Texas -- which was and is one of the most racially diverse counties in America--a model of what America will soon look like. During the campaign I went into many different kinds of churches, synagogues, temples and even mosques. In each one I heard almost identical lectures -- be a good parent, work hard, pray, be a good person. No one was teaching hate or "jihad."

Over time I realized something that a lot of people may have missed -- that we are all the same and that no one group has a monopoly on good or bad. I've found good and bad in each group. As M.L. King once said "It's not the color of the skin but the content of the character" that counts. He was right. Just this week an Iraqi women in California was beaten to death by someone who left a note behind, calling her a "terrorist." She wore a headscarf. Now her children are orphans.

Today, I still hear people eager to stereotype others. Recently I was shocked when a candidate for the Texas legislature, a Democrat no less, made a comment on Facebook about "Muslims wanting to take over America." Evidently he has never met any Muslims. I wondered if he'd been listening too much to 'wingnut radio.' The Muslims I met when I was a candidate (in several GOP primaries and one as an independent) just wanted to fit into America like everyone else. The ones I met overseas treated me with respect. No one tried to convert me.

So when people say nasty, negative things about Blacks, Hispanics, Gays, Jews, Muslims, Women, etc. they are casting doubt on God's own handiwork. They are being racist and sexist. I can't think of anything more un-American, a country founded on the principal of equality. If a white person steals a car or commits murder, do we condemn all whites? Then why do people condemn all Blacks or Hispanics for the acts of a few? Why call a woman a "slut" for wanting contraception to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and abortion?

God made us in his image. The only difference is that at the end of human assembly line, we each got a different "paint job" just like the cars at the end of their assembly.

Perhaps the case of Trayvon Martin will be a wake up call. We as a nation cannot excel when we insist on classifying entire groups as bad because of something they cannot change, like their color or sexual orientation. Diversity has always been America's strength.

Young people get it -- many of them grow up with friends who are of different race and religion. They are a role model for older generations who seem to be living in the past and judging people by their color or economic status, not by the content of their character.

America is not strengthened by hate, which has filled our airwaves. Shooting kids of color does not make our neighborhoods safer. Casting aspirations on Hispanics working in meat plants and doing labor Americans won't touch doesn't help us either.

It's time Americans stood up for the principles that made us great - treating all people with respect and judging people by their actions.

If you agree, post to Facebook, etc. and hit "Share." Between us, we can make it a better America and a better world.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When "Socialists" care more about Education Than Our Kids...

When people call Europeans "Socialist" and assume our "superiority" consider this.

Our Rotary is sponsoring an exchange student from Sweden, one of those countries certain folks like Rush Limbaugh and his kind like to call "socialist." Over coffee today she told one of our past Rotary President's that she has been shocked how many American students don't seem motivated or interested in school. She obviously doesn't feel that way, nor do the kids in Sweden.

He discussed this with a professor from India who hit on an answer: "It's because they don't fear poverty."

I think he has a point - kids like me who grew up poor on a farm were motivated to study hard to get away from poverty - my dad wasn't going to leave a big inheritance or get me in with a big company.

However, today many kids in America have everything given to them, and they think the gravy train is never-ending. Even the special needs kid I had hired to put film samples on my Armor Glass business cards said he wasn't interested in doing it anymore "because he gets a monthly check and doesn't have to do it." So, he gone back to listening to Christian radio all day. I was really shocked that being "picky" about work went that far.

That attitude towards work and school means poor kids in China and India will be beating our kids socks off and getting the high paying jobs that remain unfilled in America today because Americans don't have the high tech skills to fill them. Come to think of it, that's already happening. Meanwhile our kids watch "Snooki" and flip burgers.

To succeed in a 21st Century high tech space age, we need a serious attitude adjustment - the so-called "socialist" from Sweden cares more about advancing her education than our free market kids do....

So, in the end, who do you think will win? I'm betting that the winners will be the kids hungry for education, whether you call them socialist, communist, farm kids or whatever...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Who has the Most Fiscally Conservative Budget - the GOP Presidential hopefuls - or Obama?

America, here is the fundamental question of all? WHICH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HAS THE BEST BUDGET -- the GOP candidates or President Obama's? This is a fact question, not an opinion. What does an analysis of their proposed budgets do to our deficits?

Has anyone bothered to read the analysis by economic experts - that every plan proposed by the four GOP Presidential candidates would create even LARGER Deficits than that proposed for 2013 by President Obama? And they would give even more tax cuts to the rich.

So every Republican plan would INCREASE our deficit. That makes President Obama's budget the most FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE of any Republican candidate.

Where are the tea baggers saying "COOL" to the President for doing a better job at controlling our deficits than Mr. Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul? All I am seeing are misleading, false and downright racist and sexist commentary -- against women, Puerto Ricans, each other --you name it they hate it.

You would think that those campaigning to become our next President would be going to serious heights with potential solutions to regain our mojo after the worst economic downturn in 70 years, right? They seem to have forgotten that in January 2001 Pres. Bush walked into the oval office to find a $300 BILLION plus SURPLUS; whereas in January 2009 President Obama's walked into the oval office on his first day on the job to find a $1.2 TRILLION deficit, and another $5 Trillion in IOU's run up by the prior GOP administration, not to mention a couple of hot wars going badly...

Wouldn't you expect that we would be hearing serious proposals from all of these Presidential candidates for job creation and educational advancement for Americans needing work?

Wouldn't you expect them to be detailing serious strategies to help Americans get the skills needed to fill 3 million empty jobs that exist in America TODAY - jobs that remain unfilled. WHY?

Because American workers lack the skills to fill them. However, Asian and Indian workers DO have the advanced skills required by those jobs. So the jobs either remain unfilled --or they go overseas or to foreign workers allowed to live here to fill them. Filling them could drop our unemployment rate to 6% or less.

Are any of the GOP Presidential candidates addressing that problem? I haven't heard a word about that from the Republican candidates. However, I have heard President Obama speak on that issue at length - yet he has received no help from Congress providing that higher level of training for Americans to get those jobs and help us lead the world in the high tech 21st century.

You would think that is IMPORTANT right? If Americans don't have the high tech job skills required in the space age global economy, how can that be good? How can that make us competitive when countries like China have more skilled employees than America because we have let our educational system slip from No. 1 in 2000 to No. 9 in the world by 2008?

I just don't see how the GOP plan to increase our deficits and give yet MORE TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH can pass the economic smell test. I thought tea baggers were against more debt? Did I miss something? Yet every GOP Presidential candidate's budget plans would make our debt situation WORSE than President Obama's. So are they blind or just stupid or something else?

In "Agenda for American Greatness" the last chapter of my new ebook "Better Times Ahead: April Fool?" --which is based on my experience from Fortune 500 to becoming an entrepreneur after a layoff and negotiating in nearly 50 countries, I analyze how America got into this economic fix - who ran the ship on the reef - and more importantly HOW we get out of it.

Which policies will get those 3 million jobs filled by Americans? Check it out - the rest of the chapters will give you an idea why I might know what I'm talking about more than someone who never got out of Paint Creek or Texas, or the little town in Iowa were I was born.

My loyalty is to what is best for America and the American public. We can't make wise choices if we don't base them on the global reality -- and FACTS, not some gasbag radio pundit who beats up on young women or by watching a single TV news network that only presents one side of an argument. It's impossible to win the global competitive race by keeping ourselves ignorant of the truth, and by not preparing the next generation.

Global economics and the work skills of our people are basic math. We can't compete with math and science experts in the space age with high school dropouts and art history majors.

None of the Presidential candidates are offering any real solutions based on the world we live in. From Korea to Iran, I've seen it up front and personal....

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Sleeping Giants Among Us

I believe Latinos have an incredible power. Yet Hispanics remain a sleeping giant, much like the U.S. was before Pearl harbor. I believe we need a real immigrant policy that works. It's time we realize that no Americans are willing to do the work millions of illegals are. We should find a way to give them legal work permits.

I hope we can work together to make our country and state see all people as the same. After being in some 50 countries, it is my belief that God just gave us a different "paint job" at the end of the human assembly line. All people want opportunity, education and a future - and to be left in peace.

One of my book chapters in "Better Times Ahead: April Fool? describes a driving trip I made with an Hispanic friend into Mexico, in another Time Zone compared to today
...It ends with a chapter on how we got into this mess and more important, SOLUTIONS.'
I invite my Latino friends to check it out.


America is strongest when we embrace our diversity...