Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

One of the provisions in the pending tax law undermines democracy as we know it!

December 4, 2017

My friend Jason N. Cadwell, CPA/PFS, CFP® writes:

The proposed tax law will allow private foundations (set up by an individual, a family or a group of individuals, for a purpose such as philanthropy or other legal economic objectives) to own 100% of an operating business, and though that business has no relationship to the charity’s purpose, the business would pay no income taxes. (Reference House H.R. 1, §5104 Senate JCT Mod. 11/14: III.B.13).

Of course, this will put tax-paying businesses at a competitive disadvantage, but more importantly, the proposed law would allow individuals and families the ability to create a funding vehicle for their pet projects.

Essentially, they will be able to set up shadow governments through the fiefdoms they create, then “assess” their own taxes, and dictate how those taxes will be used. How long would it take Congress to realize that the deluge let loose by Citizen’s United has dried up? Congress would become irrelevant.

Can you blame the powers behind this proposal? Why go through the waste and inefficiencies of pouring millions and billions into political campaigns to buy influence with unreliable politicians when you can have direct control over policy? Why pay retail when you can buy wholesale?

I see the Koch brothers’ fingerprints on this provision, but I don’t care if the instigators are on the right or the left. I have no interest in turning over the function of government to a cadre of elites like some real life Game of Thrones.

If you feel likewise, please, contact your Senators and Congresspersons and tell them to stop the bill in reconciliation.

Bad Habits: The Costs and The Benefits

February 4, 2010

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  James Baldwin

It is often easy to identify the costs associated with a bad habit.  Let’s take the example of overeating, and poor food/beverage choices.  A poor diet will put us at risk for:

  • Being overweight, even obese
  • Becoming diabetic
  • Heart disease
  • Certain kinds of cancer
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Early death

(and the list goes on…)

But why, in the face of so much information about the danger to one’s health and well-being, do we find it so hard to change our dietary habits?  Because there are actually benefits to not changing.  Let’s list some of the possible benefits of a poor diet:

  • Get to eat and drink whatever, whenever
  • Enjoy the pleasure of great tastes
  • Get to suppress other feelings
  • Mood elevation from consuming alcohol
  • Can use weight as an excuse not to be active

(and the list goes on…)

If we were looking at a seesaw, with COSTS seated on one side and BENEFITS seated on the other, we often will find that the benefits outweigh the costs.  As long as we perceive the benefits of poor diet to outweigh the costs, we are not motivated to change, despite evidence of serious long-term health problems.  What would cause the seesaw to tip the other way such that the costs out weigh the benefits?  How about a heart attack?  Or the diagnosis of diabetes?

The fact is, humans often do not face the need to change until the status quo is so bad that we absolutely have to change.  However, by delaying the change, the fix may no longer work (see opening quote).  Or the fix is not as effective as it would have been if it had been done sooner, before we are faced with our own mortality.  For example:

  • There is currently no cure for diabetes
  • After surviving a heart attack, the heart is never as strong as it was before the attack.

The example of our eating habits and our health is not, at its essence, different from other choices we make in our lives, or choices that organizations face every day.  In the long run, the choices we make, or don’t make, have great consequences.  The willingness to control change, rather than be controlled by change, is a key component of great leadership.  Do you need help identifying or implementing the change that is needed in your life or organization?  Contact Randy at