Happy 4th of July!

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. There is no better birthday than to celebrate the continued life of what was conceived as a great experiment 234 years ago. We’ve come a long way in 234 years….

A quick refresher of the opening preamble of the Constitution of the United States:

We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

4th of JulySome Amendments we hear about daily – at least in Texas – right the bear arms, freedom of speech, but what about some lesser known amendments to spice up your conversation today . . .

10th Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United Statesby the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

16th Amendment:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on income, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Nothing beats our Declaration of Independence for stirring sentiments.

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of the Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect thier Safety and Happiness.

That is one long, meaty sentence. For my GMAT students, imagine seeing that one underlined…. Notice the parallel structure.

Enjoy!

Remember, we created this country and it is up to us to keep it alive and well. It is a choice we make each day.

Image courtesy of Matthew Straubmuller

Grandma Leadership – Democracy in Action

This is Democracy in Action! Adorable grandmother, Moni McCaslin, took to the streets to protest health care reform.

Agree or disagree, at least we finally have Americans engaged in some sort of dialog.

Feisty Grandmother takes to the streets
Feisty Grandmother takes to the streets

This particular grandmother is mine.

Notable and Quotable – Income Mobility Study

Income GapA tidbit most pertinent to those who live and die by the mantra that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer….

From an interview with Thomas Sowell on his new book, “Economic Facts and Fallacies.”

If we follow human beings instead of income brackets, perhaps we can find more meaningful information as to who is doing better and who is doing worse. Maybe? Think about that. Yes, the top end is getting larger and zero is staying the same as our economy shifts to more sophisticated skills and paying people more for those skills, but is it necessarily true that those making $20K annually will stay in the $20K income bracket over a decade? What about those making over $1M annually? Will they stay in their same bracket over that same decade?

“What happens to a bracket is an abstract question; what happens to the flesh-and-blood human beings is different.”

Here’s what gets interesting… The flesh-and-blood people in the bottom 20% of tax payers in income in 1996, their average increase of income over the next decade was 91%,” almost doubling their income in a decade.

So how about the folks who are in the top 1%, “The rich who are getting richer?” Thier average income declined 26%.

<<PAUSE>>

That is about as opposite as you can get from the blah, blah, blah our media outlets and politicians are producing.

 

Check the facts yourself: Treasury Department (this will open the pdf in your browser  – if you prefer, search the treasury website for Income Mobility Study http://ustreas.gov)

Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson