A phrase that has become hackneyed is that government should be run like a business. I’ve done both and I think we need a different lens; perhaps people should be run like governments.
Living in the “Sunshine State” of Florida (where it’s been raining here in Daytona Beach), I should get into green energy by installing solar panels when I re-roof the house. Since I can get a 30 percent credit on next year’s income taxes, it seems like a good deal. Of course, I’ll need to pay for the job upfront without any 30 percent discount. Maybe I’ll just finance it and worry about paying for it later.
Investing in new technology seems like an important thing to do, as well. Since I just watched the Super Bowl on my old, large conventional television, I think now it’s time to get that giant plasma screen. Of course, I haven’t saved up enough “mad money” yet to go get it but I really do deserve it. I’m a good person and work hard so I shouldn’t have to wait for good things. Maybe I’ll just finance it and worry about paying for it later.
In order to get the full benefit of the new solar panels, I should certainly do my part about climate change and reduce my carbon footprint. The car and truck I have are scrupulously maintained and have been paid off for years. They look great and run great and sometimes folks ask if they are new. However, I think that I should get a modern car, built to satisfy the current standards. That new ZL1 Camaro is supposed to be the most technologically advanced model ever. Even though I don’t have the $55,000 MSRP on hand, I do have the trade-ins, just not the vast majority of the price. Maybe I’ll just finance it and worry about paying for it later.
I’d like to expand my business activities and I have space for two assistants. If the minimum wage is going up to $9 an hour, that ought to attract some really strong candidates. That’s $360 per week for each or $18,720 annually. If I staff both potential slots, that’s $37,440 and I need to figure another 35% for benefits ($13,104) for a total investment (we don’t say “spending” anymore) of $50,544. However, I doubt if adding two minimum wage workers is going to generate more than $50,000 in new contracts for me in the first year. Of course, there are Federal small business loan programs out there (if I can find a bank that is actually lending instead of hoarding cash). Maybe I’ll just finance it and worry about paying for it later.
My final concern is that the growth of the economy has been minimal, if not stagnant, for quite a long time. It might be that I won’t have a big influx of new revenue next year, when I’ll need to pay for the solar panels, plasma TV, Camaro and the two assistants.
Ah ha! I will follow the government model and use Quantitative Easing. Wait, if I just print my own new money to pay for my debts, wouldn’t that be counterfeiting?
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Dr. Ron Thomas, Jr.
Dr. Ron Thomas, Jr. teaches journalism and public relations in the graduate program at Full Sail University in Orlando, FL. He also heads Thomas Consulting Group, a consortium of experts in crisis management, media relations and leadership development.