September 29, 2011:
No, this is not about Mobile applications and the next Angry Bird version ;-)
Recently my father and I took what is turning out to be an annual Harley ride into Northern California. On the ride, while listening to the historical tour guide provided by my father via our headsets, it occurred to me how far the dialogue on the national theatre of economics and political rhetoric has shifted away from working hard. As we rode through the countryside, I noticed the things we often take for granted now. Incredible engineering accomplishments like aqueducts’ diverting water from northern to southern California, railroads and tunnels carved through the Feather River canyons, power-lines, and of course the very roads we were motorcycling along that help bring goods to the remote towns scattered across rural America. These accomplishments took an amazing amount of work and vision and are only a few examples of the great accomplishments people in our society made in the past and in modern times of technology with software and electronics.
Today, we constantly hear how evil business, capitalism, and the free market is. It continues with how we need to take from the rich and give to the poor. More focused on accusing others vs. how to do more for yourself and those you care about. Is it any surprise then that entrepreneurialism has been on the decline in the last 20+ years here in the U.S. and why small businesses have not helped lead the way out this time around. With this decline also goes the job creation
. 99.7% of all employers in the U.S. are small businesses (entrepreneurs exercising their freedom to take risk and pursue their dreams) and are simultaneously the biggest contributors to job creation. Most, if not all, would agree with a social safety net to catch those who stumble or hit hard times but why are we focusing on that and class warfare? Taking from someone and giving it someone else is the wrong conversation for job creation and growth. A generation of children has been taught that business, capitalism, and a free market is bad and now they are entering the workforce as the boomers begin their exodus and GenX is trying to hire motivated and engaged employees. Sadly, I believe this comes at a time when the playing-field has never been more level and ripe, historically, for citizens of all races and gender to better their human condition regardless of what the media tells you.
It made me curious whether as a society we agree anymore that having the personal freedom to do the work we want and reaping the rewards of that labor is a fundamental component of being in a free country? Today, I am often surprised how little our educators, national politicians and economists spend time talking about the free market and recognizing the wonder that it is, and what it has accomplished for our country. At the root of a free market is “freedom.” We have to remember that statistically it takes lots of small businesses to eventually grow medium and big companies. See other stats here
on small business contribution to our economy.
The ability of citizens within a society to improve their situation is what academics and economists often reference as mobility. Do contributing members within a given society have the ability to move and improve their own economic situation based on their individual drive, skills, abilities, competencies, etc.? Our government has historically been pursuing the creation of ‘as level ‘ a playing field as is possible for people to do that. However, I fear our government as a whole has lost its way. The drum beat is wealth redistribution and closer to Marxist ideology than key attributes of individual and personal freedom espoused by our founding fathers rooted in the combination of John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government
and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations
economic philosophy . We are moving in the wrong direction. That direction unfortunately is towards a massively in debt centralized government and not the mobility and job creating society we started out building so many years ago. I hope that as a society we don’t lose future mobility for our children and the next generations by losing sight of the proven values of opportunity, hard work, risk-taking, and reward.
September 29, 2011
We are now 4 weeks into the College Football season and it is time to revise our Pac 12 Power rankings, as EnGn was a bit off on our pre-season predictions. Let’s start out by talking about the obvious; Oregon and Stanford remain the strongest teams in the Pac 12. Oregon suffered an expected loss going up against the mighty SEC. However, can we all just agree that LSU’s defense looked like it could compete on Sundays? The LSU Tiger defense was large, physical, fast, and intelligent and they now hold the #1 ranking in the AP poll. Enough about that game, let’s talk about the Cardinal out of Palo Alto. We believe they have the top QB in the land and also have a very decent running attack to compliment Mr. Luck. They don’t appear to be missing Coach Harbaugh as they are undefeated thus far, but it is early.
The winner of the Oregon v. Stanford game will win the Pac-12 North with ease. Now on to the rest of the Pac-12.
#1. Oregon Ducks- As a Portland, Oregon based Technical full service recruiting firm we may be a bit bias on this pick but it looks like the team from Eugene is gaining steam and momentum (www.goducks.com). LaMichael James rushed for 288 yards against UofA and is now the nation’s leading rusher. Offensive line, our biggest concern in our first blog, is taking shape. A lot of work needs to be done on the defensive side of the ball, but getting Cliff Harris back after his suspension for impersonating a NASCAR event on I-5, should help.
#2. Stanford Cardinal – Steady coach, power game, and the best QB in the land helps the “tree” get our #2 slot. Oregon has to visit Palo Alto this year, which will be interesting.
#3. ASU Sun Devils – After a slaughter of the once mighty USC Trojans, we must pay our respects to Coach Erickson and probably the scariest linebacker in the Pac-12; We aren’t ready to jump on this bandwagon just quite yet as ASU is still up to their usual tricks (penalties and turnovers), which will ultimately cost them a key victory in 2011.
#4. UW Huskies – This “high” power ranking pained me, but UW looks to have playmakers on both side of the ball. Polk is a monster in the backfield and their receiving corp. has major speed and possession type talents. I look for the Huskies to hold onto the #4 spot with their remaining schedule and some big matchups in Husky Stadium.
#5. USC Trojans – Despite a brutal loss to ASU and a weak defense (compared to their title teams), we like the Trojans to end the year strong with heavy gun slinging by Matt Barkley. USC is at risk with Kiffen at the helm, he has called some very questionable games and this will continue to hamper USC’s development.
#6. Cal Bears – Tedford has a very young and inexperienced team on his hands, but he has playmakers and a strong running game again. I see Cal as an up and comer and don’t expect them to rise above #5 on our Power Rankings.
#7. Utah Utes – Don’t know much about them yet as they have yet to play anyone of any significance. This #7 ranking was a complete assumption. However, Utah is led by one of the nation’s top coach’s and we have to respect that.
#8. UCLA Bruins– If you read our first blog, we had UCLA as our #3 surprise. Surprise and joke is on us, the team is absolutely lost at QB and their Coach is on the hot seat – not a good combination in the “League of QB’s”.
#9. Arizona Wildcats– Stoops, need I say more? But I will! Bad defense, horrible defense, and small defense. However, in the Wildcats “defense” they have played three straight top ten teams.
#10. WSU Cougars – Getting better, but a weak non-conference schedule has taught us nothing. Star QB is out with injury, but upon his return I can predict that WSU will pull off some upsets. Watch out Kiffen.
#11. Colorado Buffaloes – Soft, should have moved to the WAC.
#12. OSU Beavers – Winless and lost at QB. Riley on the hot seat, nope, he signed a 10 year contract. I wonder what the buy-out is.
Michael "Cosell" Korn, VP of Sales