Wealth & Democracy

We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the  hands of a few, but we can’t have both. Justice Louis Brandeis

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Housing Market in Cuba

For those of you familiar with Cuba, the words “housing market” seem like an oxymoron, but when Cubans and permanent residents in Cuba wake up on Thursday morning November 10, 2011 they will be able to buy and sell property for the 1st time since the beginning of the revolution. I have told my Cuban friends that they are often better off than many people I know in the United States, simply because many Cuban friends are broke where many people in the United States carry large amounts of debt that sometimes is connected to housing.  I have seen the joys of friends being able to buy  homes and I have seen the pain of homes disappearing under foreclosure. Being flat broke for many people I know has become the new rich. As many will wake up to new possibilities on Thursday morning in Cuba, may they learn from the mistakes of others so that they do not find themselves repeating many of the same mistakes that have left so many people under unbearable amounts of debt.  May the joys of a housing market be exactly that,...

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Job Creators Who Create No Jobs

An observation that I have had is that many entrepreneurs that I know don’t create jobs, at least directly.  They often create “value” which should not be confused for creating jobs. The overwhelming majority of people that I know that are in business would not hire anyone new even if you cut their tax rate to 0. Dana Milbank of The Washington Post writes that, “According to Small Business Administration statistics, based on 2009 Census data, 21.1 million of the 27 million small businesses in the United States are “non-employer firms,” which have no workers other than the owner. Of those, 18.7 million are “sole proprietors,” 950,000 are partnerships and 1.4 million are corporations.” The idea that we need to protect the job creators by lowering their taxes simply isn’t true by the numbers. It seems that a more appropriate question would be, what would it take to get people to create their own jobs.  What would it take for you to start your own business?  I have never met a person that has had a great idea that seeks to actualize that idea that has delayed their plans in hopes of the lower tax rate or because the tax rate was simply too high. It’s a great time for creativity and innovation.  It’s a exciting time to be an entrepreneur.  Facebook, Inc...

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