Chickens, eggs and the middle out economy…

As a business owner, I get very frustrated with the econ-mageddon we face in this country. Economics and the free-market system must be very confusing to many Liberals.  I say that because they say they have the answer to the problem but are just plain wrong. While I make it no secret that I am not voting for Obama this election cycle – my reasons have to do with economics and the reality of things. The left would have you believe that the only way to grow an economy is by taxing the rich, growing government and then letting investment come from the middle class and government. The problem with this ideology is simple, the government is spending far more money than we could ever collect in taxes from both the wealthy and the middle class combined. That means the government would have very little resources available to invest in growing the economy without continuing to grow the deficit. The other problem, once there is no wealthy class – guess who the government taxes??? They tax those with the money – al-la-middle class is now the wealthy.

So, for the sake of simplicity I offer this analogy. We have chickens (they represent the wealthy), the eggs (they represent jobs), and the farmer (who represents government). As long as we have chickens we have eggs. If the farmer comes in and kills the chicken, that chicken can no longer produce eggs.  The more chickens the farmer kills, the less eggs we have. The less wealth we have in this country – the less we have to invest in jobs, technology, innovation and healthcare… you get the picture… And the less money we collect in income tax. At some point the farmer kills all the chickens – has no eggs to sell and now he needs to go borrow money from the bank so that he doesn’t lose the farm. Now the farmer is in debt and has no chickens or eggs.

The history of this country was formed on the backs of hardworking individuals who put hand to plow and built industries and employed people and grew this country from 13 colonies to one of the greatest nations in the world. All on the foundation of God, Freedom and Free Markets. The founding fathers, in their brilliance, created a nation where the opportunity to live, love, work, and build wealth was available for everyone – we call it life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pursuit means to go after – it does not guarantee success. What I do know about success is that it comes with many failures and difficult seasons. Something worth having is worth fighting for – worth working hard for. Success is hard work, but the pay offs can be immeasurable.  Rather than killing the chickens (or in our case taking all the money from the wealthy – the ones who invest and build industry) we must find a way to encourage investment and job growth again. This is not done with more government programs – this is done with less government intrusion. I am not saying we get rid of the laws already available to us for safe work environments and fair pay – I am saying, get out of the way. The more money people have – the more that is available in tax revenues… the less money (chickens) we have the less tax revenues (eggs) we have. Seems simple enough to me… but then again, I’ve invested my life in understanding the free market system and for a season worked for government. I’ve seen both sides of the pasture and can tell you – there is no prosperity in a government dominated economy.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Maximum Change, Inc. is a Leadership and Business Consulting firm located in Middle Tennessee offering business & leadership consulting, speaking and training. Philip Foster is a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization and Strategic Leadership. Facilitating change through the design and implementation of strategies, strategic foresight and strategic planning

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

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Project GO | Empowering the World Through Leadership Training and Mentoring

In May 2012 I had the pleasure of traveling to Bogota Colombia to lecture on leading and managing a small business. I was in Bogota for four days and met many wonderful people.

I have to say I was never one to think of myself as a missionary of any sort. I saw missionary work as going into the rain forest in a dug out canoe to preach the Gospel to Indian tribes that probably wanted to kill me. Not a very flattering or accurate view of what missions work is all about.  What I learned is that the world is hungry for information on leadership and building successful businesses. Since my return from Bogota I have longed to return to South America. In September I had the pleasure of hearing Angus Buchan preach at my church. Angus is the guy that the movie “Faith Like Potatoes” is about. I remember Angus saying in one of the meetings that God has placed a vision within you and you need to ask him to bring it to light and to help you GO and do it. That moment I said, “God I have a heart for South America, Africa, India and other parts of the world. If you will buy my ticket, I will GO.” Within less than 12 hours I heard from VISIONET, the ministry in Bogota that I originally traveled with. They asked me if I could come back to Bogota in December 2012 to teach a class on Coaching and Mentoring.  They also said that this was the launching of the Coaching School through VISIONET and there was a possibility to travel to Brazil, Peru and potentially on to Africa. My contact did not know of my prayer and so I knew this was what needed to happen. So, I will travel in December to Bogota to help them launch the Coaching school.

So, What is Project GO? Project GO is based on the Great Commission Matthew 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” I believe that God has gifted me with knowledge, experience and a desire to teach leadership and coaching to others. I believe that there is a great need for this training in other parts of the world. I believe my mission is to GO into the world and through the teaching of leadership, the door will also be opened to opportunities to share my story as well as the Gospel. Project GO is an effort to create sponsorships for this effort. I asked God to buy my ticket and so I am trusting that he will move individuals to sponsor my travels to the places God will open doors to.
If you are interested in sponsoring a trip or would be interested in going on a future trip, please contact me at philip@maximumchange.com. I am presently accepting donations for my trip to Bogota in December with other trips in the works for 2013. With your support and Gods direction, we hope to reach leaders and individuals in South America, the Caribbean (Haiti), Africa and India in the coming years.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Maximum Change, Inc. is a Leadership and Business Consulting firm located in Middle Tennessee offering business & leadership consulting, speaking and training. Philip Foster is a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization and Strategic Leadership. Facilitating change through the design and implementation of strategies, strategic foresight and strategic planning

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

Recession and the Aging Workforce

Global models are used to help reduce uncertainty by generating alternative scenarios against baseline forecasts (Hughes & Hillebrand, 2006, p 1). A recent article in U.S. News focused on retirement age which states in 2011 a Gallup poll noted that Americans expected to retire at an average age of 67 (U.S. News, 2012). It is believed that this trend is a result of financial insecurity due to a majority belief by workers that they won’t have enough money to live comfortably in retirement (U.S. News, 2012). Secondary to the issue of an aging workforce is an increasing number of college graduates entering the workforce (Foster, 2012). An aging workforce could equate to increased costs through prolonged funding of retirement accounts; increased healthcare costs due to a larger pre-existing conditions pool of coverage; higher wages for more senior employed individuals; and increased costs in training for emerging technologies (Foster, 2012). Using the IF modeling software, we explored the connections and interdependencies among components of the problem: an aging workforce and growing inventory of younger human capital. Using a working scenario: the Labor Retirement Age Multiplier in the IF modeling software, we explored what the impact would be if the retirement age continued to rise over time (Foster, 2012). We asked what the impact of a 33% increase in retirement age might have on several key areas through 2030. A 33% increase in effect moves the retirement age from 67 to 87 (Foster, 2012). This analysis seeks to determine what kind of impact an aging workforce might have on the labor market, consumption ratio to household income, and deaths (Foster. 2012). It is estimated that by 2030, the United States will see population grow by 18% or 55.1 million people, bringing total population to 364.758 million (Foster, 2012). In dealing with an aging workforce, we felt it important to understand the impact of mortality on the workforce itself (Foster, 2012). The results of this analysis were somewhat surprising in that there was a slight decrease in the mortality/deaths of those individuals who remained working over the current base analysis (Foster, 2012). Using the Labor Retirement Age scenario it is estimated that 58% or 211.3 million up to age 87 would be in the workforce by 2030 (Foster, 2012). Finally, using the IF modeling software we analyzed Consumption (household) Ratio to Household Income (Skilled/Unskilled) and found a slight increase in the consumption ratio to household income with an aging population in the workforce (Foster, 2012). This trend is easy to understand as more individuals in the workforce making income will typically translate into more resources available for consumption (Foster, 2012). Using the International Futures model, we are able to take these scenarios and begin to create interventions that deal with the results of given changes in the base or status quot.

References:

Hughes, Barry B. and Hillebrand, Evan E. (2006). Exploring and Shaping International Futures. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.

USNews (2012). “The New Ideal Retirement Age: 67.” Retrieved on September 27, 2012 from http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2012/05/08/the-new-ideal-retirement-age-67

USNews (2010). “Why the Retirement Age Is Increasing.” Retrieved on September 27, 2012 from http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2010/11/15/why-the-retirement-age-is-increasing

Foster, Philip (2012). “LDSL 718 – Major Project 1: Policy Structure Diagram” Assignment for Doctorate in Strategic Leadership, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Maximum Change, Inc. is a Leadership and Business Consulting firm located in Middle Tennessee offering business & leadership consulting, speaking and training. Philip Foster is a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization and Strategic Leadership. Facilitating change through the design and implementation of strategies, strategic foresight and strategic planning

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

A CASE STUDY – Assessments and Tough Changes

I often get the question: “What can Maximum Change do for my organization?” Here is a case study to help answer this question.

In early 2012 an organization engaged Maximum Change to assess the issues with their organization. The organization was losing money and they wanted to stop the financial hemorrhaging. We knew very little about the circumstances before going into the company. Our approach began simple enough with observations, interviews and an OCAI (Organizational Cultural Assessment Instrument). In less than a week we had identified a key problem within the organization and developed a strategy to deal with it. We went to the stakeholders and informed them that there bottleneck was with a particular employee and that our recommendation was either 1) spend $50,000+ to train them and bring them up to standards or 2) let them go. The company, having already lost a significant amount of money would end up spending much more to bring the one employee to standard. The stakeholder immediately told me that they would not let the person go and that we had to find a way to make it work. A little over a week later we received a call from the organization asking that we come in to help with a dismissal. I told the stakeholder that if they went through with this that I guaranteed they would begin to see a change in revenues and processes. In seven weeks the company cut expenses 18% and saw revenues increased by 38%! The organization has many more challenges that we must still deal with. For one, the stakeholders need to look at the deep core reasons why they make the decisions that they do. Since this process, the organization has hired at least one more person that eventually was let go for non-performance reasons. This organization is a work in progress and their revenues are on the mend. The organization is poised to continue growth into the foreseeable future with the help of Maximum Change and other strategically placed consultants.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Maximum Change, Inc. is a Leadership and Business Consulting firm located in Middle Tennessee offering business & leadership consulting, speaking and training. Philip Foster is a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization and Strategic Leadership. Facilitating change through the design and implementation of strategies, strategic foresight and strategic planning

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667