Tag: November Election

Why Can’t We Create More Jobs in America? Too Much Dam Regulation!

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The true story below shows our government in action and crystalizes why there has not been more job creation in our country… Yes, this story has been verified in Snopes. First read the letter from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) – then read the awesome reply from the property owner.

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.09-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lansing, Michigan

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity.. A review of the Department’s files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated.

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations.. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2010.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action.

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

David L. Price District Representative and Water Management Division

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Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

Re: DEQ File

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.09-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lansing, Michigan

Dear Mr. Price,

Your certified letter dated 11/17/09 has been handed to me. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Lansing, Michigan.

A couple of beavers are in the process of constructing and maintaining two wood ‘debris’ dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials ‘debris.’

I would like to challenge your department WebdesignsSanAntonio to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking:

As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

My first dam question to you is:

(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or

(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. (Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

I have several dam concerns. My first dam concern is, aren’t the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation — so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.

The Department’s dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.

If you want the damed stream ‘restored’ to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers — but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers’ Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2010? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice by then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your dam step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

THANK YOU,

RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS

An open letter from the founder of the small business that employs you…

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To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges.

However, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I’m sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.

However, what you don’t see is the back story.

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I slept in that car when I made overnight business trips so I would not have to spend money on a hotel room. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70’s. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don’t. There is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child.

You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I’ve made.

Now, the economy is falling apart, and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes, business ownership has is benefits, but the price I’ve paid is steep, and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

  • I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes.
  • I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him.
  • Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time.
  • On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.

The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck, you’d quit, and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? That’s nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now!

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of “CHANGE” you can keep!

So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple.

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your Webservices-Sacramento, and your child’s future. Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I’m done. I’m done with a country that penalizes the productive, and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, shredded the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about….

Signed,

Your boss

PS – The moral of the story? Re-read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

The ‘Little Red Hen’ Shall Define the 2012 Election

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My wife, Tanya, and I were talking this weekend about the upcoming Republican National Convention happening this week in our hometown, The Tampa / St. Petersburg area, and who will win in November.

Tanya’s opinion is that the outcome of the election will be determined by where voters stand on the parable of the ‘Little Red Hen’. What? I was not savvy on the parable so she explained that The Little Red Hen is parable that teaches a lesson about respecting, valuing and appreciating hard work. She further went on to mention that she always tried to instill values of the little red hen in our three daughters.

In preparing for this post I ran across a version of the parable told by President Ronald Reagan in November 1976 on one of his radio programs. I think he does a great job drawing out the differences between members of our society that are “Little Red Hens” and those that want to enjoy the spoils without being part of the hard work necessary to “bake the bread”. See below for a link to a YouTube video where Reagan tells the modern version of this Russian parable. If you can not click on the video below – copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://bit.ly/LittleRedHen

By Ronald Reagan in November 1976

Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat.

She called her neighbors and said, “If we plant this wheat we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?”

“Not I”, said the cow.

“Not I”, said the duck.

“Not I”, said the pig.

“Not I”, said the goose.

“Then I will”, said the little red hen and she did.

The wheat grew tall and rippened into golden grain.

“Who will help me reap my wheat?’, asked the little red hen.

“Not I”, said the duck.

“Out of my classification”, said the pig.

“I’d lose my seniority”, said the cow.

“I’d lose my unemployment compensation”, said the goose.

“Then I will”, said the little red hen, and she did.

At last it came time to bake the bread. “Who will help me bake bread?”, asked the little red hen. “Oh that would be overtime for me.”, said the cow.

“I’d lose my welfare benefits.”, said the duck.

“I’m a dropout and never learned how.”, said the pig.

“Well, if I’m to be the only helper that’s discrimination.” said the goose.

“Then I will .” said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see. They all wanted some. And in fact demanded a share. But the little red hen said “No. I can eat the five loaves myself.”

“Excess profits!” cried the cow.

“Capitalist leech!”, screamed the duck.

“I demand equal rights!”, yelled the goose.

And the pig just grunted.

And they painted “Unfair” picket signs and marched round and round the little red hen shouting obscenities.

When the government agent came he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”

“But I earned the bread!” said the little red hen.

“Exactly!” said the agent, “That’s the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants, but under our modern government regulations the OrangeCountyDigiart productive workers must divide their product with the idle.”

And they lived happily ever after. Including the little red hen. Who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, I am grateful.” But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked anymore bread. I guess a lot of us have been wondering something like that.

The Best Way to Destroy the Recovering Florida Economy

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The best way to destroy the recovering Florida economy is to vote “YES” on Amendment 4 this November. Amendment 4 will cost jobs, raise taxes and devastate Florida’s economy.

The term “Hometown Democracy” is a brilliant marketing and branding move that will have the exact opposite result. Local governments will be crippled by the rules, regulations and litigation and the Hometown “disciples” will achieve their victory when no development ever happens again.

To quote Tampa real estate broker Eric Odum, “I am all about controlled growth, but this bill will send Florida’s economy in to a tailspin that would take decades from which to recover. Its funny how many hate construction and development, but those same people don’t want to pay for an educational system that would make our state more fertile for developing other industries. Face it. We are married to the construction industry in Florida and passing this bill would be a serious nail in the coffin.”

A local version of Amendment 4 has been “thoroughly tested” in the county where I live, Pinellas County. The small Florida town of St. Pete Beach has been a Hometown Democracy experiment turned bad. According to the normally left-leaning St. Petersburg Times, the measure has been “divisive, expensive and an impediment to much-needed redevelopment.” Since adopting a local version of Amendment 4, the citizens of St. Pete Beach have seen nearly a dozen lawsuits that have cost local taxpayers over half a million dollars in legal fees. When SanJoseWebservices voters approved four pro-economy changes to their comprehensive plan in 2008, Amendment 4 lawyers sued to overturn the election. More than a year after voting to change their comprehensive plan, the people of St. Pete Beach are still defending their vote in court. The St. Petersburg Times concludes that Amendment 4 “invites short-term thinking and frequent referendums that are even more susceptible to well-financed campaigns by powerful interests.”

I’ll be voting “NO” this November. Please watch this short video to learn more:

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