Impolite Dinner Conversation stresses the need to discuss the topics we tend to avoid: politics, religion, war, economy, taxes, energy, unemployment, education, health care, abortion, immigration, environment, racism, and other issues that cause our blood pressure to rise.  Americans can no longer keep quiet and tiptoe around these issues.   A rational dialogue is needed…and the sooner, the better.  Today we are facing the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, we are at war, and solutions to these problems will impact our country for years to come.  My concerns are so great that I feel compelled to speak out.  This blog is an attempt to bring people together, to help us understand the issues, and to jointly develop solutions that we can all support. There is a better way to solve economic and social problems.  Why are we bound to a particular government solution just because our political party supports it?  No matter what party is in power, members of Congress craft all tax laws, and all regulations under the influence of special interests.  We, the people, need to become THE SPECIAL INTEREST.

You need to get involved without shouting me down, and I promise to listen to you.
A common mistake that some of us make when we discuss volatile issues is the false assumption that the other person doesn’t care.  Just because the other person proposes a different approach to solving the problem, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care as much as you do.  Like many of you, I am worried about the future of America. Freedom is eroding every day.  I don’t like the direction our country is going in, and am frustrated by both political parties.
I am tired of all the negative political campaigning, and am disgusted with political attempts to polarize and divide.

After some of the so-called political solutions to the economic crisis, I’m convinced that politicians don’t have a clue about the economy; how jobs are created; who creates jobs; how government action influences job creation; the importance of job creation on economic prosperity.
Most of us want the same things.  We want our country to be free.  We want all our children to grow up in a safe environment.  We want a quality education for all.  We want to end poverty. We want a legal system that is truly fair and just. We want a clean environment.  We want well paying, stimulating jobs for all workers.  We want our streets to be safe from criminals and predators.  We want to be protected from foreign and domestic aggression.   We want excellent health care for all, at an affordable price. We want citizens to be self-reliant and capable.  We want citizens to accept personal responsibility for their actions. We want everyone to pay his or her fair share of taxes.  We want an energy policy that ends our dependence on foreign oil, provides multiple sources of energy supply at low cost, and protects the environment. We want good government, efficient and free of corruption.
We can achieve these goals if we are very careful as we consider candidates running for political office.  My ideal candidate would have the following qualifications:
– A great communicator and inspirational leader.
– A positive attitude, a sense of humor, and an ability to laugh at himself/herself.
– A willingness to do the unpopular by placing the needs of the country ahead of the needs of his party.
– A history of listening to opposing views, learning new ways to accomplish goals, and changing when facts and reason prove the need.
– An understanding of the impact of taxes and regulations on economic prosperity, and job creation.
– A commitment to select colleagues, and subordinates based on ability, and experience rather than political affiliation.
– A fierce determination to cut waste, and improve efficiency.
– An ongoing process to measure government spending programs using cost-benefit analysis with the goal to change/eliminate the program if costs are greater than benefits.
– A motivation to preserve and enhance freedom.
– A compassion for those in need.
– A knowledge of economic history, including the ability to understand the failures, and successes of government action and inaction.

As we think about candidates, we should consider what we want government to be.  Too many people misunderstand a free government’s fundamental purpose.   They should read the preamble to the CONSTITUTION of the United States, where it is clearly stated: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Note that it says, “promote the general Welfare”, not provide the general welfare; and it says, “general Welfare”, not specific welfare to one party, or a favorite of any politician.
For decades, under both political parties, we have strayed from the principles of free government as enumerated in the Constitution.  Some of our most serious economic and social problems are urgent, getting worse, and government policies, no matter how noble, are not working.

17 thoughts on “Welcome”

  1. It’s hard to disagree with any of that

  2. Judy Holland said:

    Pope Francis recently said, ” I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth not ruled by it.. regardless of our differences in how to achieve this, we should all have this common goal.

  3. In order to elect the candidates which meet the standards you have outlined the electorate has to critically evaluate the candidate’s credentials and platform to reach an informed vote. I’m afraid too many take the convenient path of allowing their party or school of political persuasion make the choice for them.

    • Neither party can make the same mistake the Democrats made in 2008, and again in 2012. Every candidate must be evaluated for experience, expertise,etc. But the larger problem is an uninformed electorate that falls prey to the false promises of a slick, silver-tongued politician.

  4. Sandra B. Aman said:

    Sounds like your ideal candidate is Ronald Reagan, raised from the grave. It is not Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, or Jeb Bush. Where are the statesmen out there? Why are they not volunteering to serve their country, as our Founding Fathers did, when they pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to form this beautiful land we call The United States of America?

  5. Bill, I’m a conservative leaning independent and I consider you a friend. Personally, I think our problems are far more complex than “drill baby drill” and while I’m a dyed in the wool capitalist, unleashing big business creates as many problems as it solves. One needn’t look farther than the mortgage crisis in 2008 to see the impact of pure greed on the system. I think we need a new metric. How about seeing how many times a republican works with a democrat to get something done or a metric on how many times somebody crosses party lines to support a bill or works on a bill sponsored by the other party.
    I just finished reading Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power. Now there was a leader.

    • Chip, Thanks for your input. I agree that our problems are complex, but big business is not the problem. Please read the “Role and Impact of Government” which is featured in Past Topics. Pure greed was not the root cause of the mortgage crisis, and pure greed did not cause the Great Recession. Misguided Government interference in the mortgage market caused credit standards to be lowered so that millions of loans were made to people who could not repay the loans. These loans were called “subprime” for a good reason. Before the government got involved, no bank would approve a loan to someone who could not pay it back. The problem began with the “Community Reinvestment Act” when Jimmy Carter was President. Check it out.

  6. Bravo to you, James, for taking a stand and making your voice heard. Our world is full of whiners who shout and moan and do nothing more. Your taking action in beginning this blog is an inspiration to us all. Good luck!

  7. We need a leader who does not create programs where they need votes. Does not campaign for what people want to hear but instead runs the country as one would honestly run their own economics. Decisions are made and money is wasted to get votes regardless of whether it is good for the sound growth and future of our country. How do we find honesty, a sense of sound experience and judgment and a desire for the future of their own children and not the moment they are in.

  8. Joan Burchell said:

    I like your list—WOW, it is clear that you gave this a lot of thought. I would add something about protecting the environment and natural resources for future generations. Although I am not sure that you had an order in mind to your list…I would have liked to see compassion listed before regulation & taxes.
    I would like something that ensured that the next candidate had a healthy and realistic view of the international situation, not only today but looking further into the future as the roles of developing countries such as China and India play a larger and larger role in the world. Evaluating the role of the United States—should we be a “nation builder”? must we be the greatest military power? Etc. This is for another time.

    • Joan, Thank you for being compassionate. You back it up with action. I believe that regulation reform and tax reform will stimulate compassion. Americans are the most generous people in the world, especially when they have the means to support the needy.

  9. Judy Holland said:

    >A List of 291 Accomplishments by President Obama so far… With Citations
    Many have done nothing but complain since the day President Obama was inaugurated in 2009. Basically, they scream because he’s not perfect, and sound like petulant children; adults don’t expect perfection. But when they claim he’s no progressive, well, that’s just an outright lie. What do these folks think “progressive” means? The root word is “progress,”…

    This is in response to your most recent blog. By the way, these accomplishments, like them or not, surpass the lack of actions by the 535 members of our “Do Nothing Congress”. In any case, it seems clear that more discussion on term limits is of paramount importance. The problem, of course, is that the ” Do Nothing Congress” would have to take action to put that in place.

    • Judy, I must confess that I am unaware of the list of Obama’s accomplishments. Do any of these accomplishments enhance Freedom? Do they provide incentives for businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs? Do they make our country safer? Do they unite the country? Do they reduce the debt? Do they improve race relations? Do they improve the quality of health care? What good is an “accomplishment”, if it is bad for the country?
      You mention the “Do Nothing Congress”. Are you aware that after 2010, when Republicans became the majority in the House of Representatives, when Harry Reid was “Dictator of the Senate”, he refused to consider any proposed legislation passed by the House. He also refused to allow amendments to any legislation proposed by the Senate. He even refused to allow votes on the federal budget for three years! Of course he blamed Republicans for being obstructionists…

      • Judy Holland said:

        The article I passed on about accomplishments had the sources with them. This should help you evaluate the accomplishments in terms of your questions. I am well aware that the gamesmanship in Congress has been practiced by both sides. In my view, this is a crippling process. I do believe term limits could be one very important step to getting us moving again.

  10. Jim,
    Good to run into you today….glad I did!

  11. Charles Graham said:

    I see you and your wife are a patron of my wifes’ shop in Winchester, Bluebells, Seems we are on the same page. Hope to meet you sometime. I have a FB page if you are interested. Charles Graham chasgraham@outlook.com

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