Research Archives

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need – Obama Tax Philosophy

Obama unveiled his “deficit reduction plan” today

Obama unveiled his proposal for a deficit reduction plan aka jobs plan this morning:  His mantra of “tax the rich” sounded something like this:

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”

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Two Threats – Inflation and Taxes

I believe in America and the traditional american dream.  The dream that hard work can create economic opportunities and wealth.  However, there are two critical threats to that dream that truly scare me.

Inflation and Taxes

The twin tower threats of “Inflation and Taxes” are the dynamic forces that destroy wealth and undermine fundamental economic opportunity.

The American federal government spends more than it takes in in tax revenue.  Today, the US Senate begins debate to raise the legally authorized debt ceiling by 15% from 12.4 Trillion Dollars to 14.3 Trillion Dollars, an increase of $1.9 Trillion in two years!


Washington covers this spending gap through two methods:  it borrows dollars and the federal reserve “prints” dollars.

The US government has increased debt in the last two years by $3.62 Trillion – an increase of approximately 39%.

The federal reserve has increased the money supply in those same two years by $1 Trillion – essentially printing money.

The Economist magazine in 2009 wrote:

“Having spent a fortune bailing out their banks, Western governments will have to pay a price in terms of higher taxes to meet the interest on that debt. In the case of countries (like Britain and America) that have trade as well as budget deficits, those higher taxes will be needed to meet the claims of foreign creditors. Given the political implications of such austerity, the temptation will be to default by stealth, by letting their currencies depreciate.”

No matter how you look at it, this is destructive.  Every dollar that the federal reserve “creates” out of thin air reduces the value of an existing dollar.  The dollar has already lost 95% of its buying power since the federal reserve was created in 1913. 

The long term implications of the increase in debt, and the interest payments necessary to service that debt will require the federal government dramatically reduce spending, increase taxes, or devalue the dollar.  If current attitudes in washington prevail, there are no signs of future reductions in spending.  More likely are continued runaway spending.

That leaves the twin tower threats of inflation and higher taxes.

In 2005, 32.6% of all adult Americans paid no taxes (zero).  Today, that is estimated to have increased to approximately 50%.  This will force Washington to collect more taxes from the increasing minority of citizens who are actually taxpayers.

Is there any doubt about the risks of the twin tower threats of inflation and taxes and the subsequent destruction of wealth and economic opportunity?

The risk and the threats are very real.

Greg Watson

The 10-Point Ethics Checklist

Michael Fortin recent recently posted this blog post:  “The 10-Point Ethics Checklist” … it was submitted by a student of his Darrin Clement and since it is consistent with what I have been teaching for the past 17 years, I thought I would share it with you here.

I personally believe that it firmly supports the role of Ethics in a person’s long term business success.  Read my post on The Speed of Trust – Personal Ethics for a more detailed description of the power of Ethics and trust in the business equation.  Business typically calculates results as Strategy x Execution, but there is a Trust Multiplier that is an important factor in long term success:

(Strategy x Execution) x Trust = Results

Here is Darrin’s 10-Point Ethics Checklist, I hope you enjoy it!

  1. The Golden Rule: Would I want people to do this to me?
  2. The Fairness Test: Who might be affected and how? Is this fair to everyone?
  3. The ‘What if everybody did this?’ Test: Would I want everyone to do this? Would I want to live in that kind of world?
  4. The Truth Test: Does this action represent the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
  5. The Parents Test: How would my parents feel if they found out about this? What advice would they give me?
  6. The Children Test: Would I be willing to explain everything about this to my kids and expect them to act in the same way?
  7. The Religion Test: Does this go against my religion?
  8. The Conscience Test: Does this go against my conscience? Will I feel guilty?
  9. The Consequences Test: Are there possible consequences of this action that would be bad? Would I regret doing this?
  10. The Front Page Test: How would I feel if my action were reported on the front page of my hometown paper?

That is a wonderful list Darrin shared.

Greg Watson

The Speed of Trust – Personal Ethics

What is the speed of trust?

I routinely integrate the subject of Ethics into every thing that I do.  A person’s true character eventually will always show through in the manner in which they conduct themselves in every aspect of their life.  Personal integrity is all that a true man has once the thin veneer of a surface showmanship is stripped away.  Yet it is this reality that many fail to truly grasp as life’s bumps pierce the thin veneer of their life exposing the character beneath.

Covey says that the Speed of Trust is one of the most powerful forces of life.  Stephen Covey does an excellent job of discussing the life effect of one’s ethical charcter in his book titled "The Speed of Trust" available at

In his book, Covey talks about how trust flows throughout our lives and directly impacts our relationships in everything that we do.  I consistently choose to live by the rule that integrity, ethics, and honor are the root character of who I am, and that those characteristics are demonstrated in the actions and successes that I experience.  Covey argues that this essence is integrated into your personal and professional life and is largely responsible for your succcesses and failures.

Covey adds the variable of "trust" to illustrate this impact in business success.  Covey states that business success is traditionally illustrated with the formula:

Strategy x Execution = Results

Covey illustrates the role of ethics or trust by adding Trust as a variable to that equation:

(Strategy x Execution) x Trust = Results

The illustration drives home the point that no matter how good your strategy and execution may be, if you are missing that personal characteristic of ethics and trust – your life successes will be reflected in diminished results. Read the rest of this entry

Liquid Clothes Remover

Today, national news reported on a card marketed by Hallmark to benefit aids in Africa.  But the news report didn’t cover the benefits and contribution Hallmark is making to help people living with aids in Africa.  8% of the net wholesale proceeds from the sale of their new (Product) Red line are contributed to the Global Fund to help fight aids.

So what was the focus of the news report today?   A greeting card!

The outrage reported is about a card that appears to be offering a glass of wine with the following message:

Front Message:  Pardon Me

Inside Message:  Would you care for some Liquid Clothes Remover? Read the rest of this entry

YouTube Referrer Stats – Competitive Research

You Tube Referrer Stats

Would you like to know who the Top 5 sites are who are sending 280,261 people to watch your competitor’s video?

Video is one of the hottest new viral marketing tools that we use to drive traffic to our websites.  For every video that we create for use on one of our websites, we also create a second version that we publish on YouTube.  If you can create a unique and entertaining video, it quickly can acheive a viral marketing effect as friends share it with their friends.

YouTube is giving you the referrer stats to your competition’s top referrer’s … Read the rest of this entry

US Entrepreneurship is the Third Largest Global Economy

US Entrepreneurship and small business represent the third largest global economy.  Today, small businesses with 500 or fewer employees employ more than 50% of the all employees and produce approximately one-half of the total private non-farm GDP.

If we were to compare the size of the small business economy with the rest of the world, the US entrepreneurship and small business economy would rank third in the world behind the US medium and large business economy and Japan. Read the rest of this entry

“Obama Factor” to win Iowa with 45% new voters

Obama will win the Iowa democrat caucuses tonight.  The fascinating factors are the overwhelming number of first time voters brought into the process by Obama.  45% of the voters in my precinct were first time voters – having never registered to vote before – the Obama Factor.

The Iowa Caucuses are begining to wrap up and the Obama factor is driving Obama to a win.

Statewide Obama is getting 37% … but in precincts where the Obama factor kicked in drawing stunning numbers of new voters into the process, Obama won 50% of the votes.  A powerful factor that can not be ignored as the canidates move to New Hampshire and beyond.

Disclosure:  I did not vote for Obama.

Alex Mandossian and “How We See Things”

While reviewing some preliminary study materials for a consulting call with Alex Mandossian, I stumbled upon a quote that was quite insightful!  Is your marketing message based upon how you see your market as?  Or is your message based upon how your market sees themselves as?

The quote is from Anais Nin:

We don’t see things as they are.  We see things as we are.  
                                                               Anais Nin (1903 – 1977)

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Is Kenya the #1 country for Entrepreneurship?

The Kenyan Ambassador to the United States recently stayed at our house.  It was a delightful privilege and honor to host Ambassador Ogego and his wife Rose.  I grew up in Kenya, under the leadership of President Kenyatta.  It was fascinating to discuss the economic transitions from President Kenyatta to former president Moi to the current President Kibaki.

Greg Watson and Ambasador Ogego

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