By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: I know that I normally write my blogs about business, but today it is about our spiritual needs of faith and forgiveness. Two vital areas of our spiritual life that makes us better people and leaders. I believe that in order to be good at whatever you do, especially as a leader, you have to have a spiritual base and path.
The concept of faith and forgiveness holds immense significance in various religious and spiritual traditions worldwide. It serves as a guiding principle for individuals seeking personal growth, peace, and reconciliation. Luke 6:37 beautifully encapsulates the essence of this profound connection, reminding us of the transformative power of forgiveness and the importance of cultivating a non-judgmental attitude towards others. The verse reads, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" There are three messages in that verse, but today we will focus in on "forgiveness".
Embracing Non-Judgment: When we refrain from judging others, we create an environment of acceptance and compassion. By recognizing the inherent complexity of human nature, we open ourselves up to understanding and empathy. This practice allows us to transcend our own biases and preconceived notions, fostering deeper connections and enhancing our spiritual well-being.
Abstaining from Condemnation: Condemnation can be detrimental to our spiritual growth and hinder our capacity to forgive. When we condemn others, we often fail to acknowledge their potential for change and growth. By abstaining from condemnation, we create room for personal improvement and encourage a collective environment that nurtures forgiveness and growth.
The Transformative Power of Forgiveness: Forgiveness has the power to liberate both the forgiver and the forgiven. It allows us to release the burden of anger, resentment, and pain. When we forgive, we let go of negative emotions that can poison our hearts and minds, offering an opportunity for healing and redemption. Moreover, forgiveness enables us to break free from the cycle of resentment, paving the way for healthier relationships and personal growth.
Prayer: A Pathway to Forgiveness: In our prayers, we seek forgiveness from a higher power, acknowledging our own fallibility and imperfections. We ask for guidance and strength to navigate the challenges of forgiving others, particularly when wounds run deep. Through prayer, we find solace and support, enabling us to extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us. It is in this sacred space that we cultivate the humility, compassion, and courage necessary for true forgiveness.
In your private times through your daily prayer, ask for forgiveness and ask that God will help you to forgive.
Embracing faith and forgiveness as integral aspects of our lives allows us to experience personal growth, healing, and reconciliation. Luke 6:37 serves as a profound reminder of the interconnectedness between the forgiveness we seek and the forgiveness we offer. By fostering a non-judgmental attitude, abstaining from condemnation, and striving to forgive, we embark on a transformative journey of compassion, understanding, and spiritual enrichment. Through prayer, we find solace and strength, enabling us to extend forgiveness to others and experience the liberating power of forgiveness in our own lives.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: Starting and running a business can be a challenging endeavor, filled with uncertainties and complex decision-making. In such situations, having a knowledgeable and experienced mentor by your side can make a significant difference. Hiring a business coach-advisor, particularly one with firsthand business experience, can provide invaluable guidance, support, and expertise. In this article, we will discuss the importance of hiring a business coach during the startup phase and when you're running a business, and highlight the benefits of working with a coach like Michael Lodge of Lodge and Company.
Expert Guidance in the Startup Phase: The startup phase is a critical period where entrepreneurs face numerous challenges and decisions that can impact the future success of their business. Hiring a business coach during this phase can offer several advantages:
a) Experience: A business coach with actual experience in starting and managing businesses has likely encountered many of the hurdles you're facing. They can offer insights into the best practices, potential pitfalls, and effective strategies for overcoming challenges.
b) Strategic Planning: A business coach can help you develop a comprehensive business plan and set realistic goals. They can assist in identifying target markets, refining your value proposition, and establishing a roadmap for success.
c) Financial Expertise: Understanding the financial aspects of your startup is crucial. A business coach can provide guidance on financial planning, budgeting, securing funding, and managing cash flow, ensuring your business remains financially healthy.
d) Networking Opportunities: A business coach often has an extensive network of contacts in various industries. Leveraging their connections can open doors to new partnerships, potential clients, and opportunities for growth.
Confidential Support for Established Business Leaders: Once your business is up and running, the need for guidance and support doesn't diminish. In fact, it becomes even more critical as you face new challenges and responsibilities. Hiring a business coach as a CEO, CFO, or manager can provide you with a trusted confidant to discuss ideas, solve problems, and navigate through uncharted territories. Here's why it's beneficial:
a) Unbiased Perspective: A business coach offers an objective viewpoint and can provide unbiased feedback on your ideas, strategies, and decisions. They can challenge your assumptions and help you see the bigger picture, ensuring you make well-informed choices.
b) Personal Development: A business coach can help you identify and enhance your leadership skills, communication abilities, and time management techniques. They can provide valuable guidance on personal and professional growth, enabling you to become a more effective business leader.
c) Accountability and Motivation: Running a business can be overwhelming, and it's easy to get sidetracked or lose motivation. A business coach will hold you accountable for your goals, ensuring you stay focused and motivated on your path to success.
d) Problem-Solving and Innovation: When faced with complex challenges or seeking innovative solutions, a business coach can serve as a sounding board. They can help you brainstorm ideas, evaluate options, and provide practical solutions based on their experience and expertise.
Michael Lodge / Lodge & Co.: A Trusted Business Advisor and Coach
One exemplary business advisor and coach with a wealth of experience is Michael Lodge of Lodge and Company. With a track record of starting and managing five successful businesses of his own and advising client businesses in various industries, Michael brings a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial journey. Since 1984, he has advised businesses in finance, taxation, business planning, compliance, management, and HR issues. Mr. Lodge has written five books - on ethics, how to build a business, mediation, kids and money for parents, and knowing how to manage. Books by Michael
To benefit from Michael Lodge's expertise and guidance, schedule an appointment online at www.lodge-co.com and if you have a business question, send it to: email@example.com
By Michael Lodge - The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: Across the United States, a growing sentiment of disillusionment and mistrust has taken hold among the American people towards their government. Citizens believe that politicians, once elected, frequently ignore their constituents' voices and pursue self-serving agendas that fail to address the needs of the people. Politicians ignore their oath of office to protect and defend the constitution. From unchecked government spending to questionable foreign policies and a perception of corruption, a series of grievances has eroded the trust Americans have in their government. This article aims to explore the reasons behind this lack of trust and the urgent need for change to restore faith in the American political system.
Disconnected Politicians: One of the primary reasons for Americans' waning trust in government is the perception that elected officials no longer prioritize the will of the people. Despite promises made during campaigns, politicians have been accused of disregarding the concerns and demands of their constituents. This disconnect between politicians and the public has left Americans feeling voiceless and disempowered, leading to frustration and a sense of betrayal.
Out-of-Control Spending: Another major source of frustration is the perception that the government continually engages in reckless spending. Despite public outcry for fiscal responsibility, politicians often ignore these demands, resulting in a ballooning national debt. Americans witness their hard-earned tax dollars being squandered on projects that do not align with their priorities or benefit the nation as a whole. This disregard for responsible financial management further erodes trust in the government's ability to make sound decisions.
After politicians are elected they go to their capitals and forget they have people they are representing, that they should be protecting by abuse of the pocket book. Instead they follow their political party and they spend on political issues, not what is needed by the American people. They create more debt and a financial burden on the American people. Americans do not want more spending, they have seen the damage it has caused during the pandemic and currently on bills passed that were lies to the American people. Inflation reduction act had nothing to do with inflation. Debt reduction act had nothing to do with reducing debt. These bills get passed and then the American people hold the bag for these things to get paid. These bills do not help the American people.
Questionable Political Agendas: A significant factor contributing to Americans' mistrust is the perception that politicians prioritize political agendas over the well-being of the American people. Citizens witness policies being pushed forward that seem to serve partisan interests rather than the common good. This divergence between the needs of the people and the actions of their elected officials deepens the skepticism and reinforces the belief that the government is not working in their best interest.
Foreign Policy Concerns: The involvement of the U.S. government in foreign conflicts, such as the situation in Ukraine, has also strained Americans' trust. When citizens perceive that their government is engaging in activities that do not directly benefit the American people, they question the motives and priorities of their elected representatives. The perception of corruption and the alleged acceptance of bribes by high-ranking officials further contributes to the skepticism surrounding foreign policy decisions. The country of Ukraine has even corrupted the Biden family, placing the president in a weak compromised position. We did not have an issue with Russia. Russia nor Ukraine are on our borders. Billions of dollars and war machines have been sent to Ukraine with no system in place as to how the money is being spent. Sending our own weapons and war machines has depleted our own military strength. Biden said the other day, stupidly, we ran out of bullets.
China is a threat to America and yet we have no strategy to deal with China. Biden says he knows the leader, has traveled with him several times, and yet the leader of china doesn't even want to talk to the United States. They see, smell, weakness and they are going to take full advantage of this weakness. And here we sit today with a threat of war with China. The Chinese saying is - muddy waters make it easy to catch fish, "-that is, that it's possible to use a crisis or period of chaos for personal benefit. China has muddied the waters and American leadership is falling for it. Americans see what is going on.
Protection of Political Elite: A prevalent sentiment among Americans is that the law protects the political elite while disproportionately targeting ordinary citizens. Instances where politicians seem immune to the consequences of their actions, while everyday Americans face legal repercussions, deepen the feeling of injustice. This perception reinforces the belief that the government operates under a double standard, where the powerful are shielded from the consequences of their wrongdoings.
Growing Social Issues: The deterioration of safety and security within American cities has only added to the erosion of trust in the government's ability to protect its citizens. Rising violent crime rates in many urban areas have left Americans feeling unsafe and abandoned by their elected officials. The lack of effective responses to these challenges further fuels a sense of frustration and impotence among the populace.
Politicians shout for gun control but never address the issue as to what is going on in these communities. They turn away from the problem and politically blame guns or other politicians. Instead of focusing on Ukraine, look at the problem in these communities of violence. Don't throw money, it never works. Find the cause and effect of the problems in these communities and then work on them. Instead of pushing trans rights, focus on the schools that need help, our students have fallen in their education. Because of the pandemic and lock-down, students are way behind and need help.
Economic Impact: The economic consequences of poor policy decisions, such as inflation resulting from weak economic policies, have significantly affected the American people. As they witness the diminishing value of their hard-earned wages and the rising costs of goods and services, Americans rightly question the competence and effectiveness of their leaders. The economic burden placed on the populace further amplifies the demand for change and fuels the growing discontent.
Even with the bragging from Biden on his bidonomics, the economy remains weak. High prices are still hurting the American family. Gas prices have started to rise again. Americans are having a hard time paying for their cars with interest rates so high and car prices are out of control. The price of cars are no longer affordable to Americans. Interest rates are too high for purchase a car, especially on used cars. Car repossession climbs daily, banks are taking back the cars they funded because American's can't afford the high payments. Then if we look at the commercial real estate market, banks are now calling in their loans for non-payment. Interest rates have risen so high that the payments grew, and commercial buildings are basically empty with no tenants to pay the mortgage. This is now hitting the banks and it will make them even weaker. Owners of commercial real estate are walking away, handing the keys back to the bank.
We can go on and list even more red flags that have been created by bad government. Congress has members who lie, create chaos, are socialist in belief, who push an agenda harmful to the American family and businesses. Americans see this, they talk about it at their picnics, they read about it on social media, they express their concerns, and they are not happy with the direction that America is going. If you remember the reason why America was formed was to get away from a over bearing taxing king. They came to America and started a new government. England said no, we want your taxes. America had taxation without representation. American's see that happening now, taxation without representation, and it is killing America. Americans are asking for change, they want their voice to be heard, they want government to stop spending and cut costs (Americans do it every day with their budgets).
Where will this mistrust of government lead us? America has revolted before, will they do it again? How close are we to that boiling point? That is the questions on American's minds.
By Michael Lodge - The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: In recent times, the rise of wokeness and cancel culture has sparked heated debates, heated arguments, across various industries. The entertainment sector, in particular, has been a breeding ground for controversies, with the recent controversy surrounding country singer Jason Aldean's music video for "Try That in a Small Town." The song is doing very well on the country music charts sitting at number 1 & 2, depending on what chart you read. It's a hit. Corporations such as Target, Disney, Bud Lite, CocaCola, CMT, and others have faced backlash for banning conservative authors from their book and music sales. This article aims to shed light on the ethical implications of wokeness and cancel culture, the potential damage they can cause to businesses, and why we should prioritize free speech and core business values.
The Alleged Racism Controversy Surrounding Jason Aldean's Video: Recently, Country Music Television (CMT) faced criticism for pulling Jason Aldean's music video, "Try That in a Small Town," after allegations that it contained racist elements. It is important to note that there was no evidence to support these claims, and both the video and lyrics were devoid of any racist content. The decision to remove the video based on unfounded accusations only perpetuates the harmful effects of cancel culture generated by the entertainment industry.
Boycotts and Consumer Backlash: Wokeness and cancel culture in corporate America have opened the floodgates for consumer boycotts. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the power they possess to influence the actions of corporations. When businesses succumb to cancel culture and make decisions based on ideological biases, they risk alienating a significant portion of their customer base. This can result in severe financial consequences and damage to their reputation.
The Case of Bud Lite and the Danger of Wokeness: One example that highlights the negative impact of wokeness on businesses is the case of Bud Lite. In 2020, the beer company embraced woke messaging in their advertising campaigns, which received widespread criticism from consumers who felt the brand was pandering to a specific political Trans ideology. As a result, Bud Lite faced a significant decline in sales and had to reevaluate their marketing strategy. This serves as a cautionary tale, demonstrating that businesses that prioritize social justice issues over their core products and values risk alienating their customer base and suffering financially.
Ethics and the Importance of Free Speech: Wokeness and cancel culture pose ethical concerns as they undermine the principles of free speech and open dialogue. While it is essential to address social issues and promote inclusivity, silencing opposing viewpoints stifles intellectual diversity and inhibits progress. Instead of focusing solely on social justice causes, corporations should prioritize their core business functions and the interests of their stakeholders, including investors, employees, and consumers.
Balancing Social Responsibility and Core Business Values: Maintaining a balance between social responsibility and core business values is crucial for corporations. Businesses should be mindful of the potential consequences of embracing wokeness and cancel culture without considering the diverse perspectives of their stakeholders. By fostering open dialogue, respecting free speech, and focusing on their primary business objectives, companies can create a more inclusive and sustainable environment for all. Business, focus on business because wokeness kills brands, creates conflicts with consumers and clients, and corrupts business ethics.
Wokeness and cancel culture have permeated various aspects of society, including the entertainment industry and corporate America. While addressing social issues is important, it should not come at the expense of free speech, ethical practices, and core business values. Nor should it create a dangerous conflict with their core customers. To create a more equitable and prosperous future, it is imperative that we strive for open dialogue, intellectual diversity, and a balanced approach to social responsibility. Business are to run as businesses. Their responsibility is to generate revenue for their investors. They also have a responsibility to look at the communities they have plants and offices in, what are the community needs. We have seen great success with mentor programs, food banks, special training, tutoring for students, and many more. These are the areas you can make a difference as a business. Wokeness and cancel culture will never get you to a place where you are making a difference. But it will create conflict.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: One of the parts of my job that I enjoy is sitting down with family, partnership, and other types of business and working through, mediating, the succession plans of businesses. It's like putting together the will, but in business form. Succession planning, often overlooked by businesses, holds immense importance for both small and large enterprises alike. It involves strategically preparing for the inevitable departure of key personnel, such as senior executives, business owners, or partners due to retirement, death, or other unforeseen circumstances. While family businesses have long recognized the need for succession planning, it is equally essential for non-family businesses to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. This article highlights the critical reasons why every business should have a comprehensive succession plan in place.
1. Maintaining Continuity and Stability: A well-designed succession plan ensures the continuity and stability of a business during times of transition. It enables organizations to seamlessly fill leadership positions when key executives depart, retire, or pass away. By identifying and grooming potential successors well in advance, a business can mitigate the risks associated with sudden leadership vacancies and maintain its operational and strategic momentum. With a clear succession plan, the business can effectively navigate through the uncertainties and challenges that arise during times of change.
2. Preserving Business Values and Vision: Succession planning allows a business to preserve its core values, vision, and culture. When senior executives retire or pass away, their institutional knowledge, industry expertise, and leadership acumen are at risk of being lost. By identifying and mentoring potential successors, businesses can ensure a smooth transfer of knowledge and values, thus preserving the organization's identity and strategic direction. A well-prepared successor can continue to build upon the foundation laid by their predecessors, maintaining the business's reputation and competitive edge.
3. Minimizing Disruption and Risk: The absence of a succession plan can lead to significant disruptions, both internally and externally. When a key executive departs without a designated successor, power struggles, internal conflicts, and a decline in employee morale may ensue. Externally, the absence of leadership can raise concerns among stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and investors. A well-executed succession plan mitigates these risks by ensuring a smooth transition, minimizing disruptions, and providing a sense of stability to all stakeholders.
4. Talent Development and Retention: Succession planning goes beyond identifying a successor for top leadership positions. It also involves developing and nurturing a talent pipeline throughout the organization. By offering growth opportunities and training programs, businesses can attract and retain high-potential employees who aspire to advance their careers within the company. A well-structured succession plan demonstrates a commitment to employee development and encourages a culture of continuous learning and upward mobility, fostering loyalty and motivation among the workforce.
5. Facilitating Partner Transitions: In partnerships and professional service firms, succession planning is crucial to ensure a seamless transition when a partner leaves, retires, or passes away. Without a clear plan in place, the departure of a partner can lead to disagreements, client attrition, and potential legal disputes. By establishing a framework that outlines the process for transferring ownership and client relationships, businesses can mitigate these risks and facilitate a smooth handover. A well-structured succession plan helps maintain client confidence, preserves relationships, and safeguards the firm's reputation.
Succession planning is a vital component of any business strategy, regardless of its size or structure. By proactively identifying and developing future leaders, businesses can ensure continuity, stability, and growth during times of transition. From family businesses to non-family enterprises and partnerships alike, having a comprehensive succession plan in place enables businesses to preserve their values, minimize disruptions, and have a plan for the future. Sit down with me in the near future and lets put a succession plan together.
For succession planning mediation, make an appointment by sending me an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or go online and schedule a confidential appointment at: http://www.lodge-co.com
By Michael Lodge - The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: Since taking office, President Joe Biden's economic policies, commonly referred to as "Bidenomics," have been a subject of intense debate. While democrat politicians argue that his approach aims to address income inequality and promote sustainable growth, Americans have expressed concerns over the negative consequences of his policies on the American people. In this article, we will focus on some key areas where Bidenomics has been criticized, including the depletion of oil reserves, excessive spending, rising inflation, and the impact on American households.
Depletion of Oil Reserves: One of the major criticisms of Bidenomics is the impact it has had on the country's oil reserves. The Biden administration's push towards clean energy and its commitment to combating climate change has led to policies that restrict oil exploration and production. While transitioning to renewable energy sources is essential for a sustainable future, critics argue that the rapid shift has come at the cost of depleting oil reserves that could have provided a buffer during times of crisis. This depletion has raised concerns about energy security and may lead to increased reliance on imports, potentially impacting energy prices for American households.
Excessive Spending and Lack of Benefit: Another significant concern surrounding Bidenomics is the immense level of government spending without commensurate benefits to the American people. The Biden administration has pursued expansive economic policies, including large-scale infrastructure plans and social programs. While these initiatives may have noble intentions, critics argue that the associated costs and potential tax burdens may outweigh the benefits. The increased spending threatens to saddle future generations with a heavy debt burden while leaving many Americans questioning the tangible impact on their daily lives.
Rising Inflation and Financial Strain: Bidenomics has also been the main reason of rising inflation, which has a direct impact on American households. As the government pumps money into the economy through stimulus measures and increased spending, the purchasing power of the dollar diminishes. This leads to higher prices for goods and services, putting a strain on household budgets. Food costs for households are being purchased with credit cards creating more credit card debt, wages have been short to pay these bills. Inflation erodes the value of savings, affects retirement plans, and increases the cost of borrowing, exacerbating personal credit card debt. Debt on cars have created a risk to the banks as Americans are 90 days late in paying their car loans and are losing their cars to the repo man. Credit to purchase cars has almost vanished as interest rates go up and some banks leaving the auto loan industry, it is harder to get credit to purchase a car and auto prices are out of control and inventory is not moving. The resulting financial pressure leaves many Americans struggling to make ends meet and diminishes their quality of life.
While the full consequences of Bidenomics are still unfolding, it is clear that some aspects of the economic policies pursued by the Biden administration have raised concerns and caused hardships for American households. The depletion of oil reserves, excessive spending without clear benefits, and the impact of inflation on everyday Americans have all contributed to a sense of economic uncertainty. It is essential for policymakers to carefully consider the long-term implications of their decisions and strike a balance between addressing pressing challenges and safeguarding the financial well-being of American households. Only through thoughtful and well-informed economic policies can we hope to achieve sustainable prosperity for all.
Banks have two things that will hit them hard. Auto loans and commercial real estate. Buildings are now being repossessed by the banks. With the increase in interest rates, owners that have loans are making the decision to just giving back the properties to the banks because loan payments are not supported by rental income, office buildings are empty. The work from home has hurt the commercial renting market. And with no one in downtown anymore, small businesses and major retail businesses are shutting down. In major cities where crime has become out of control, many businesses have given up.
When we look at the economic numbers of America, we have to look at the entire picture. It is not just the CPI, GDP or employment numbers. The economy is not just wall street. But there is a whole big world of economic data that all affect each other. It's easy to report just the good numbers, that may not be so good because there are other factors that affect the American economy.
Bidenomics has and is a big failure to the nation. That is why Americans do not support Bidenomics. Bad economic policies, a corrupt political agenda, Americans just feel a totally different economy then what the President is bragging about. Americans have had enough of Bidenomics.
By Michael Lodge - The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: The impeachment process is a vital mechanism within the United States Constitution that allows for the removal of the President, Vice President, and other civil Officers from office upon impeachment and conviction for specified offenses. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution outlines the grounds for impeachment, including treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. In recent times, there have been claims and allegations surrounding President Joe Biden, asserting his involvement in bribery and other misconduct. This article aims to explore these claims in light of the constitutional provisions for impeachment.
Understanding Article II, Section 4: Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution states, "The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." This provision provides the framework for initiating the impeachment process and outlines the grounds on which an elected official can be impeached and removed from office.
Claims of Bribery and High Crimes: Congress and the Senate have been able to show evidence through IRS and FBI sources, banking documents, and have accused President Biden of engaging in bribery by allegedly accepting bribes from Ukraine, China, and other countries. These claims also implicate his son, Hunter Biden, in arranging pay-for-play schemes during Joe Biden's tenure as Vice President and President. Proponents of these allegations contend that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have documented evidence of the alleged bribery schemes.
Assessing the Allegations: It is crucial to note that allegations of wrongdoing do not automatically equate to guilt. Impeachment is a serious and consequential process that necessitates a thorough investigation, examination of evidence, and adherence to the principles of due process. While claims of bribery and high crimes can be grounds for impeachment, the burden of proof lies on the accusers to provide substantial evidence of the alleged misconduct. In the various hearings before Congress they have accumulated bank records, shown FBI documents that stated bribery of several million dollars from Burisma/Ukraine, and other alleged sources of funds moving from Hunter Biden's LLC to LLC laundering money from various countries. Perhaps the Congress and Senate have the proof to charge bribery.
The Role of Congress: As the branch responsible for impeachment proceedings, Congress plays a pivotal role in assessing the validity and credibility of such allegations. The House of Representatives has the power to initiate impeachment proceedings, while the Senate holds the responsibility of conducting a trial to determine guilt or innocence. The process demands a fair and impartial evaluation of the evidence before taking any decisive action. They must also ask the question, is America compromised from the bribes taken by the Biden family? Has the President compromised the country?
The impeachment of a President is a significant event in the political landscape of the United States, and it should not be taken lightly. While allegations of bribery and high crimes have been made against President Biden, it is essential to follow the constitutional process and thoroughly investigate the claims before drawing conclusions. The burden of proof lies with the accusers, and Congress must act responsibly, ensuring a fair and impartial examination of the evidence. Only by upholding the principles of due process can the nation ensure that accountability is maintained and the integrity of its highest office is preserved. However, each day more evidence is found. More people keep coming forward.
The Congress can't wait much longer, if they have the evidence then present it to the American people in an ethical and legal manner. It is time to initiate impeachment. There can be no more political party, it is now based on the evidence and the constitution.
Concerns Arise as Some Academics Urge President Biden to Disregard Judicial Rulings: Is Biden A Threat to Constitutional Integrity?
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: Business requires a rule of law to protect contracts and other legal concerns of law suits from government on businesses. The Constitution is very important to small and all sizes of business, without it, we are unprotected. In recent weeks, a vocal group of law professors from liberal schools and political academics have emerged, urging President Biden to bypass the lower courts and Supreme Court rulings, effectively ignoring the constitution and established laws. This controversial call to action has raised concerns among Americans, who argue that such a stance undermines the principles of the constitution, the rule of law, and the delicate balance of power between the three branches of government. We have even seen members of Congress supportive of ignoring the courts and the constitution, even though they have taken an oath to support and uphold the constitution. While these calls have triggered heated debates, it is essential to evaluate the situation objectively and consider the implications for the nation's legal and political landscape.
The Constitution as the Foundation of the Nation: The United States Constitution is the bedrock of American governance, embodying the principles and ideals upon which the nation was founded. It establishes the framework for the separation of powers, ensuring a system of checks and balances to prevent the concentration of power in any one branch of government. The founders designed this system to protect individual liberties and guard against tyranny.
The Role of the Judiciary: The judiciary, led by the Supreme Court, plays a crucial role in interpreting the Constitution and ensuring the constitutionality of legislation and executive actions. The Supreme Court's decisions are binding and have far-reaching implications for the entire nation. The principle of judicial review grants the court the authority to strike down laws or executive actions that are deemed unconstitutional.
Academic Perspectives: Questioning the Status Quo: Within the realm of academia, it is common for scholars to challenge established norms and propose alternative interpretations. Some law professors and political academics, primarily associated with liberal-leaning institutions, have argued for an approach that questions the authority of the judiciary, advocating for a more executive-centric interpretation of the Constitution.
Americans argue that this perspective is problematic as it undermines the authority of the judiciary, an essential pillar of the American legal system. By disregarding judicial rulings and the principles of the constitution, they argue that a dangerous precedent is being set, one that could lead to an erosion of the rule of law and the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution. This reverts us back to the old British rule where the king made the decisions and citizens had no rights. America was formed on the basis of the rule of law empowered by the constitution and the courts to be the last word in determining the law. Not the President.
The Need for Prudent Consideration: While it is important to engage in debates and consider alternative viewpoints in any democratic society, it is equally crucial to exercise caution when discussing potentially radical departures from established legal norms. The principles laid out in the Constitution have stood the test of time, providing a stable foundation for the nation's governance.
Impeachment: A Constitutional Remedy: The impeachment process is a constitutional mechanism provided to address concerns related to the conduct of a sitting president. If there are legitimate grounds to believe that a president has acted unlawfully or violated their constitutional duties, impeachment becomes a viable option. Article II, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. However, it is important to emphasize that impeachment should be pursued based on clear evidence and a constitutional process, not as a reactionary measure to differing policy opinions or interpretations of the Constitution.
Preserving the Constitution and the Rule of Law: The United States has long prided itself on being a nation governed by the rule of law, with the Constitution serving as the guiding document for its legal and political systems. It is essential to acknowledge the importance of maintaining the delicate balance of power between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Any attempts by President Biden to undermine the authority of the judiciary or disregard established legal principles must be approached with great caution and a thorough understanding of the potential consequences.
Calls from certain law professors and political academics urging President Biden to ignore the SCOTUS and the constitution should be deemed a threat to the rule of law. The President, any President, should be stopped. Congress needs to use their powers to challenge the President and uphold his oath of office that says, ""I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Every politician from the President, executive branch, the courts, the congress, all must preserve, protect and defend this great constitution. Not go against it.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: The United States Supreme Court, as the highest judicial authority in the land, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the fundamental principles upon which the nation was founded. With a total of nine justices, the Court serves as the guardian of the Constitution, ensuring that the nation's laws remain consistent with its guiding principles. An independent judiciary, free from political influence, is essential to maintain the integrity and fairness of the American legal system. This article explores the importance of a nine-member Supreme Court, its role as the third branch of government, and the significance of preserving its independence.
The Importance of Nine Justices: The nine-justice composition of the Supreme Court is vital for several reasons. Firstly, an odd number of justices prevents the occurrence of tie votes and ensures that a majority opinion can be reached. This enables the Court to provide definitive interpretations of the law rather than leaving important issues unresolved due to a divided bench.
Secondly, having an odd number of justices enhances the diversity of perspectives within the Court. Each justice brings their unique background, experiences, and legal expertise to the table (no politics), leading to a more comprehensive and nuanced analysis of complex legal issues. This diversity helps guard against biases and promotes a well-rounded decision-making process.
The Independence of the Judiciary: The framers of the Constitution established three separate branches of government: the executive, legislative, and judicial. The independence of the judiciary, as the third branch, is crucial to maintain the system of checks and balances that prevents an accumulation of power in any one branch. The Supreme Court, as the apex of the judicial system, must remain impartial and free from external pressures. Currently the Senate sits in hearings on mandating more ethics rules onto the court, politically driven, not constitutionally driven.
By design, the Court is meant to be insulated from political influence, safeguarding its ability to interpret the law objectively. Justices are appointed for life to protect them from the pressures of partisan politics and ensure their decisions are guided solely by legal and constitutional principles. This independence allows the Court to serve as a critical counterbalance to the other branches, acting as a guardian of individual rights and liberties.
Preserving Independence and Ethical Integrity: To maintain its independence, the Supreme Court must adhere to its own set of ethics rules, which govern the conduct of justices and protect the integrity of the judicial process. These rules prevent justices from being swayed by external forces, be it political pressure from Congress or the president, ensuring that decisions are made solely based on legal merit and constitutional interpretation.
Furthermore, it is crucial that politicians refrain from attempting to corrupt the Court with political agendas or partisan motives. The judiciary's integrity relies on the respect and trust it commands from the public, eroding that trust by politicizing the Court undermines its authority and impartiality. The Court's decisions must be guided by the Constitution and the rule of law, rather than the whims of political expediency. Political beliefs are not the law, the constitution and the duty of each Justice to protect and defend the constitution. The court must never be corrupted by politics of politicians and special interest groups. Hands Off!
By Michael Lodge - The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com I have spent the last two days watching two congressional hearings. The first was the IRS whistle-blowers and the second on the government silencing free speech on social media. Both times the Democrats in the hears attacked, brought up Trump, racism, and other subjects not even associated with either subject in the congressional hearing. They appeared angry, and hateful at everyone and everything. They attacked the whistle-blower’s integrity and then tried to censor RFK Jr. and lied about his statements. There was not one sign from the Democrats that they wanted to hear the testimony of the witnesses, instead they tried to trick them up, scold them, hamulate them. Democracy was not represented in the hearings by Democrat's.
Country Above Party: Kennedy was asked what happened to his party? It certainly is not the party of the Kennedy's. And he was right when he talked about his uncle’s inviting the other party leaders to his home and into his administration. They worked together for the betterment of the country, not the party. I will give you a good example of what he was talking about. Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican, lost his seat to a Kennedy in Congress. However, Lodge went on and served various Presidents on foreign affairs issues. Lodge was then a running mate of Nixon against John F Kennedy and lost. However, Kennedy invited Lodge into the Whitehouse to advise Kennedy on the UN and other foreign issues. Lodge also went on and served under President Johnson as Ambassador to Vietnam. The old Democratic party under the Kennedy's reached out and worked together with the Republicans on important issues, it was clearly a different time. Reagan worked with Tip O’Neal and had a good working relationship. However, today's Democratic party is angry and unable to work with people across the aisle. It seldom happens. There seems to be a party wall that divides cooperation. It needs to change. It's time to tear down that wall.
Animosity is not a policy. Henry Cabot Lodge. Both sides of the aisle need to start acting like adults and do their job for the American people.
In recent months, serious allegations have been made regarding possible criminal tax fraud and legal misconduct by Hunter Biden and President Joe Biden. These allegations have raised concerns among the American people, who are now demanding action, accountability, and a fair investigation into the various matters. It is vital that the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wholeheartedly support IRS whistleblowers and take measures to ensure that no retaliation is directed towards the investigators involved. Upholding the principles of the investigative process and the rule of law is essential to uncovering the truth and restoring public trust in our legal system. Moreover, it is imperative for Democrats in Congress to prioritize the facts over political affiliations and demonstrate ethical conduct when determining the need for action or improvement. The American people are calling for swift and transparent accountability, as their faith in legal fairness for all citizens has been severely shaken. The need for trust in our government, from top to bottom, is more crucial than ever.
Protection of Whistleblowers: Whistleblowers play an indispensable role in uncovering potential wrongdoing and safeguarding the integrity of our institutions. In the case of the Biden tax allegations, individuals who have come forward with information regarding possible criminal tax fraud must be protected from any form of retaliation. The DOJ, FBI, and IRS must ensure that these whistleblowers are shielded under existing whistleblower protection laws. It is imperative that these agencies guarantee the anonymity and security of these individuals, as it allows for a thorough investigation into the allegations and prevents any undue influence that could compromise the integrity of the process. Whistleblowers should feel confident and safe in their decision to come forward, as their courage and cooperation are crucial to upholding justice.
Respect for the Investigative Process and Rule of Law: Regardless of political affiliations or positions of power, it is vital to respect the investigative process and adhere to the rule of law. This principle applies to all individuals who are subjects of investigation, including Hunter and President Biden. The DOJ, FBI, and IRS must conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the allegations, ensuring that no influence or bias hampers the process. The integrity of these institutions is at stake, and any perception of political interference or favoritism could undermine public trust in their ability to carry out their duties effectively. To restore public confidence, these agencies must demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the rule of law by conducting a thorough and transparent investigation, free from any political pressures or undue influence.
Supporting Facts and Ethical Decision-Making: The responsibility to uncover the truth lies not solely with law enforcement agencies, but also with elected officials. Democrats in Congress have a duty to prioritize the facts presented before them, rather than blindly following party lines. It is essential that they support a comprehensive investigation into the allegations against President Biden and his son and on the issue of censoring of Americans by Government. By doing so, they would demonstrate their commitment to ethical decision-making and show that they prioritize justice over political expediency. Upholding the principles of fairness, transparency, and accountability is crucial to restoring faith in our legal system and ensuring that no one, regardless of their position, is exempt from facing the consequences of any wrongdoing.
Demand for Action and Accountability: The American people have lost faith in the fairness of our legal system, and rightly so, given recent events. To rebuild trust, swift action and accountability are necessary. Investigations must be respected by members of Congress, Senate, Executive Branch. If it leads to a criminal issue, it must be resolved through the legal channels. Congress refers it to the Justice Department, and they have the ability to impeach a President. But do it non-politically because the American people have had it. They see Americans being charged for lesser crimes but serving time, and when politicians or the elite are in criminal trouble the American people see nothing happening. The American people have had it and their frustrations are running high. The government has to stop playing politics and enforce the rule of law at every level of the government.
IRS Whistle-blowers Testify Before Congress on Hunter / Joe Biden: Concerns over Treatment and Political Distractions
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: In recent congressional hearings on July 19th, 2023, two IRS whistle-blowers came forward to testify regarding allegations concerning Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. While their testimony shed light on important criminal issues and national security matters, it is equally crucial to address concerns regarding the treatment of whistle-blowers by their managers at the IRS. Whistle-blowers play a vital role in exposing wrongdoing, and it is imperative that they are protected under federal law and not subjected to mistreatment or degradation. Additionally, it is disheartening that some members of Congress chose to prioritize political statements about Trump rather than focusing on the serious subject at hand.
Whistle-blower Protection and Federal Law: Whistle-blower protection is enshrined in federal law to encourage individuals with insider information about misconduct or illegal activities to come forward without fear of retaliation. The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) provides safeguards to ensure that whistle-blowers are shielded from adverse actions such as termination, demotion, or harassment. This protection extends to various sectors, including federal agencies like the IRS.
Concerns over Treatment: The treatment of whistle-blowers is a critical aspect of maintaining the integrity of the whistle-blower system. It is deeply concerning that the IRS whistle-blowers in question reportedly experienced mistreatment by their managers or fellow employees. Such behavior not only undermines the courageous act of whistle-blowing but also creates a chilling effect, discouraging potential whistle-blowers from coming forward in the future. The protection of whistle-blowers is not merely a legal obligation but also a moral imperative. The IRS needs to bakeoff these two whistleblower that are acting within their legal rights to report what they view as a crime. They need to be treated professionally and fairly by management. These are two good employees that the IRS should be proud of.
There were members of congress that attempted to degrade these IRS professionals. Instead of addressing the issues, asking professional questions of these two members of the IRS, members of congress tried to make them look unfit, they disregarded the Whistle-blower Protection act. Instead of asking questions on the subject at hand before the committee, they made it a political statements on Trump. This worthless actions by members of congress shows to be only political instead of address a crime and national security issues.
Respecting the Whistle-blower Protection Act: When whistle-blowers testify before Congress, it is essential that lawmakers respect the Whistleblower Protection Act and treat these individuals with the dignity and respect they deserve. Congress has a responsibility to create an environment that encourages whistle-blowers to share their information openly and honestly, without fear of being subjected to political grandstanding or personal attacks. The focus should be on the substance of the testimony and the national security implications it potentially holds.
Political Distractions and National Security: Regrettably, some members of Congress in the recent hearing chose to divert attention by using their allotted time for political statements about Trump, rather than addressing the serious criminal and national security concerns raised by the whistle-blowers. This kind of behavior undermines the importance of the hearing and distracts from the core issues at hand. National security matters should transcend political affiliations and party rivalries, warranting genuine and focused attention from all members of Congress.
The testimony provided by IRS whistle-blowers regarding Joe Biden and Hunter Biden is a matter of national significance that warrants careful examination. It is crucial that the treatment of whistle-blowers within the IRS aligns with the protections provided by the Whistleblower Protection Act. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that whistle-blowers are respected, supported, and shielded from retaliation. Furthermore, it is imperative that lawmakers prioritize the substance of the testimony over political distractions, recognizing the gravity of the national security concerns at hand.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: The scorching heat of summer has arrived, and with it comes the perfect opportunity to indulge in one of the most refreshing and invigorating activities known to mankind: swimming. As I recently embarked on my summer swim program at the local community pool, I discovered just how transformative this simple act can be for both the body and mind. Let me share with you the incredible benefits I've experienced and why I believe everyone should embrace swimming as a regular part of their lives.
When I glide through the water, all my stress seems to melt away. The weightlessness and soothing embrace of the cool water create a serene environment that allows me to escape from the chaos of daily life. Swimming acts as a therapeutic balm, washing away the worries and tensions that accumulate in our minds. The repetitive motion of moving my arms and legs in sync with my breathing brings a sense of rhythm and calmness that I can't find elsewhere.
Not only does swimming alleviate stress, but it also leaves my body feeling rejuvenated. The water's buoyancy reduces the strain on my joints and muscles, making it a low-impact exercise suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. As I move through the water, my entire body gets a gentle yet effective workout. The resistance of the water engages multiple muscle groups, improving strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance.
Swimming acts as a natural form of meditation, allowing me to be present in the moment and fully focused on the sensations of my body. The rhythmic breathing, the sensation of the water against my skin, and the sound of my strokes create a harmonious symphony that drowns out the noise of the outside world. This meditative state promotes mental clarity, relaxation, and even sparks creativity. It's no wonder that some of the greatest minds in history, such as Albert Einstein and Friedrich Nietzsche, found inspiration in the water.
Starting my day with a swim has become a ritual that sets the tone for the rest of my day. The energy and revitalization I experience after a morning swim are unparalleled. It's as if the water washes away any residual fatigue or sluggishness, replacing it with a fresh burst of vitality. The newfound energy propels me through my daily tasks with greater enthusiasm and focus, making me more productive and fulfilled.
If you're yet to discover the joys of swimming, I urge you to find a pool for the summer and dive in. Whether it's a local community pool, a private club, or even a natural swimming hole, there are countless options available. Make a commitment to yourself to be consistent, allocating dedicated time each day to swim. Treat it as both a physical and spiritual practice, nurturing your body and soul simultaneously.
Swimming is an activity that transcends age, ability, and background. It's a universal language that unites people from all walks of life. So, grab your swimsuit, goggles, and towel, and embark on a journey of transformation. Immerse yourself in the water, move your legs and arms, and stretch your body out. Discover the pleasure of gliding through the water, the serenity of a stress-free mind, and the invigorating energy that accompanies each stroke.
This summer, let swimming be your elixir of life. Embrace the pool as your sanctuary this summer, a place where you can find solace, strength, and a renewed sense of self. In the water, you'll swim, be refreshed, and ready to face any day. Dive in and wim.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: In last couple of years, the prices of Ford and Jeep vehicles have skyrocketed, causing concern among potential buyers and industry observers alike. The automotive market has seen a notable shift towards higher price tags, particularly in the pickup truck segment. As Ford attempts to address the issue by announcing price reductions, it is clear that more needs to be done to make these vehicles accessible to debt-ridden Americans. Additionally, the sluggish sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and growing inventory levels demand a comprehensive reevaluation of pricing strategies and incentives in the auto industry. But let's be truthful, like myself, most Americans see car prices way out of line. Those that bought new cars during the pandemic when government was handing out free money, now are in default of their auto loans and we are seeing more bank reposed cars up for auction.
What has helped the car industry is fleet sales. All the car rental and corporate cars that were sold off are now being replaced.
The Rising Costs: The escalating prices of Ford and Jeep vehicles, especially their popular pickup trucks, have raised eyebrows and left many potential buyers in disbelief. A $70,000 price tag for a pickup truck is undeniably stupid steep, and it's understandable why some would argue that pursuing such a purchase might be financially reckless. Wait, don't buy now, these prices are going to have to drop.
Debt-Ridden Americans: Given the economic realities faced by many Americans, it's no wonder that consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to afford these vehicles. With stagnant wages and rising living costs, the burden of debt has become all too familiar for many individuals and families. In such circumstances, committing to an exorbitantly priced vehicle could potentially exacerbate their financial woes.
Ford's Price Reductions: Ford's recent announcement regarding price reductions is a step in the right direction, signaling an awareness of the affordability concerns surrounding their vehicles. However, it remains to be seen whether these reductions will be sufficient to make their cars and trucks accessible to a wider range of consumers. More comprehensive efforts are needed to ensure that the average American can realistically consider purchasing these vehicles without plunging into overwhelming debt. Ford is going to have to do better, their prices are still way to high.
Need for Lower Production Costs: Automobile manufacturers, including Ford and Jeep, must take a hard look at their cost of production. By identifying areas where efficiencies can be made, they can potentially reduce the overall price of their vehicles without compromising quality. Streamlining manufacturing processes, optimizing supply chains, and exploring innovative cost-saving measures can help bring down the prices and make these vehicles more affordable for consumers.
However, let's be honest again, Jeep wanted to change their business model and price their cars at luxury brand cars. So their prices went crazy because they now want to be known as a luxury brand. Go out and check their prices.
Creating Incentives and Discounts: To encourage sales and alleviate inventory build-up, auto manufacturers should consider implementing robust incentive programs and discounts. These could include cash-back offers, low or zero-interest financing options, and lease specials. Such initiatives can entice potential buyers by reducing the overall cost of ownership and making the vehicles more financially viable. However, really, the only thing that will help them sell their cars - significant price reductions, and you are going to have to change your business model. Government isn't handing out more free money, and Americans bank accounts are drained. Maybe it is time to go back to the old days when Ford said, you can any color that you want as long as it is black.
Addressing the Electric Vehicle Challenge: Apart from the issue of high prices, the sluggish demand for EVs poses a unique challenge for automakers. As the industry transitions towards sustainable transportation, it is crucial for manufacturers to find ways to make electric vehicles more appealing and affordable to a larger customer base. Lowering the prices of EVs, expanding charging infrastructure, and increasing the availability of government incentives can help drive demand and reduce inventory levels.
Now is not the time to purchase a car or truck. Prices have to start dropping as cars become inventory sitting way too long on the car lots. They have to move them, but not with their current prices. If you buy now, you will have purchased a car, taken on more debt, and the value of the car as it leaves the lot puts you into an upside down financial position. Don't be stupid.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: Over the course of my business years I have started five businesses. From bottom - up. At this point in my life I would look for an established business that is in the area of business that I know and have the love for. When it comes to entrepreneurship, two primary options are available: starting a brand-new business from scratch or purchasing an established business. Both approaches have their own merits and drawbacks, and understanding the key differences between them is crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs. This article aims to compare the advantages and disadvantages of starting a new business and buying an established business, focusing on the ability to start fresh, client base considerations, and cost implications.
1. Ability to Start Fresh:
Starting a New Business: One of the most appealing aspects of starting a new business is the ability to build everything from the ground up. Entrepreneurs have complete control over the vision, brand identity, products or services, and operational strategies. This freedom provides an opportunity to innovate, implement fresh ideas, and create a unique market presence. For you to build a successful business you must love what you are building. If you are just doing it for the money, you will fail every single time.
Buying an Established Business: Acquiring an established business offers the advantage of hitting the ground running. The new owner inherits an existing customer base, established brand reputation, and operational systems. This can save significant time and effort that would otherwise be required to build a customer base and establish market credibility. However, it may also limit the scope for radical changes or rebranding. Again, as in starting fresh you must buy a business that you would love doing, to bring your expertise into the business to enhance it's direction.
2. Client Base Considerations:
Starting a New Business: A new business typically starts with no existing customer base. Entrepreneurs must work hard to identify and attract their target audience, build brand awareness, and cultivate a loyal customer base. While this can be a challenging and time-consuming process, it allows for tailored marketing strategies and the opportunity to shape the customer base according to the business's vision.
Buying an Established Business: Acquiring an established business means gaining immediate access to an existing customer base. This can provide a head start in generating revenue and cash flow. However, it is important to thoroughly evaluate the quality and stability of the client base before making a purchase. A troubled business with a declining or unreliable customer base may present unforeseen challenges and require considerable effort to rejuvenate.
3. Cost Comparison:
Starting a New Business: Starting a new business typically requires a lower upfront investment compared to buying an established business. The costs primarily include market research, product development, marketing, infrastructure setup, and initial working capital. However, it usually takes time to generate revenue and achieve profitability, making financial planning and securing funding crucial.
Buying an Established Business: The cost of buying an established business can vary significantly depending on factors such as industry, profitability, brand reputation, assets, and intellectual property. While the upfront cost may be higher, there are potential benefits such as immediate cash flow, an existing customer base, established supplier relationships, and trained employees. However, it is crucial to conduct thorough due diligence to assess the true value and growth potential of the business.
Part of the process of starting a new business or buying an existing business is leadership. I have written a book on the basics of leadership call, "You Can Lead." You don't need a degree to lead, but you must know the basics of leadership and build from there. Find a good business mentor that can lead you through both processes of leadership in business. Books by Michael Lodge
Both starting a new business and buying an established business have their own advantages and challenges. Starting a new business allows for complete control, fresh ideas, and tailored customer acquisition strategies. On the other hand, purchasing an established business offers the benefit of an existing customer base and operational systems. The decision ultimately depends on factors such as personal preferences, risk tolerance, industry dynamics, and available resources. Regardless of the chosen path, careful planning, market research, and a solid business strategy are essential for success.
Michael Lodge - The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: I have the two following business podcasts. I like them because they tell a story and get to the heart of the subject. It's not boring like my podcast, did I just say that? lol But I enjoy these two and I listen to them at night and I always learn.
How I Built This: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/1317-how-i-built-this-with-guy-28457179/?autoplay=true
Business Wars: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/272-business-wars-28868089/?autoplay=true
Assessing the Changing American Economy: A Call for Comprehensive Solutions and a Huge Concern For Small Business
"The economy that the government is reporting is not the economy that Americans are feeling"
Michael Lodge - The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: We have gotten off track and have focused on areas that have nothing to do with the economy or running businesses. Political leaders have focused so much on nonsense that they have not focused on the Economy. The economy has been ignored by the President on down to the local governments. Even in the corporate world they have not paid attention to how fast things now move in the economy, new ideas in other currencies, without regulation, environmental and social scoring, that the art of business has been destroyed. The reporting that is done by government is now bad data in and bad data in, in fact it is so bad that they can't make good decisions. We need a change.
The American economy has undergone significant transformations over the years, leading to both advancements and challenges. Today, we find ourselves grappling with a range of complex issues, such as the acceleration of money movement, soaring government debt, surging individual debt, outdated financial models, incomplete economic data, and distressing trends in sectors like commercial real estate and the auto industry. It is crucial that we examine these various facets collectively, rather than focusing on isolated fragments, in order to make informed and effective decisions for the future.
1. The Speed of Money Movement: One notable change in the American economy is the rapid acceleration of money movement. Technological advancements, particularly in the realm of digital payments and global financial transactions, have made it easier than ever for money to flow across borders. While this has undoubtedly facilitated international trade and investment, it has also introduced new challenges, such as the potential for increased economic volatility and financial vulnerability. With the fast movement of money it hurts the reporting and analyses of the data because the numbers change rapidly. The quality control on the money has been corrupted.
2. Rising Government Debt: Another significant shift is the alarming rise in government debt. Years of fiscal imbalances, coupled with factors like tax policy, increased spending, and economic downturns, have contributed to mounting levels of public debt. This trend poses long-term risks, including reduced fiscal flexibility, increased interest payments, and potential constraints on future economic growth. All levels of government have become so political and against each other, they refuse to work together to accomplish a goal - stop spending and creating debt. We never talk about the individual loans and debt created and what can be paid down. Starting with the smallest loans first and paying them down, instead the government keeps adding onto the debt. No one has gone through and sat down with the lenders and renegotiated terms. We see no plans out there from any form of government to address and attack the nations debt. Debt can destroy a family and it can destroy a government.
3. Escalating Individual Debt: The American economy has also witnessed a surge in individual debt levels. Factors such as easy access to credit, rising healthcare costs, stagnant wages, and a culture of consumer lower spending of consumerism have fueled this concerning trend. High levels of individual debt can hinder economic mobility, limit investment opportunities, and increase financial vulnerability for households.
Americans credit card debt has gone out of control because of the pandemic and inflation. The average American credit card debt is concerning. Generation X - ages 41 - 56 - has the highest average credit card debt at $7,070. Gen Z and Millennials saw their average credit card debt increase from 2020 to 2021 - by 11.5% and 5.2%, respectively - while averages dropped for those 41 and older. In total, Americans have an absolute mountain of credit card debt - $986 billion! This is a red flag for banks and could, or will, hit their bottom line. If bank do not become more aggressive in managing this risky debt, they will be hit with huge losses.
4. Outdated Financial Models: The fast-paced nature of economic change has outpaced the adaptability of traditional financial models. Many of these models were developed based on historical data and assumptions that no longer hold true in today's dynamic landscape. This has made it increasingly challenging to accurately predict and manage risks, leaving us susceptible to unexpected shocks and systemic failures.
5. Incomplete Economic Data: Accurate and comprehensive economic data is crucial for effective policy-making and decision-making. However, concerns have been raised regarding the accuracy and completeness of economic indicators such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and unemployment reports. Inaccurate or incomplete data can distort our understanding of the economy, impede effective policy responses, and erode public trust.
With bad data going in you get bad economic policy going out. We can't continue to look at these government reports on the economy because they have been corrupted by politics, no real economic value comes out of these outdated reports. Let's be honest, the unemployment number bragged about by government is so badly reported that it is not telling Americans the true unemployment picture of the nation. Will government try and fix it? Probably not, they really don't care.
6. Commercial Real Estate Challenges: This is a big red flag for the banking industry. The commercial real estate sector is facing significant headwinds, with increasing defaults and foreclosures. Changing consumer behavior, the rise of e-commerce, and the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted the traditional brick-and-mortar retail model. The need to repurpose or reimagine commercial properties is becoming increasingly urgent to prevent further economic losses.
7. Auto Industry Troubles: This is a big red flag for the banking industry. The auto industry has experienced its share of difficulties, with rising loan defaults and repossessions. Factors such as subprime lending, stretched consumer finances, and economic uncertainty have contributed to this trend. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that includes promoting responsible lending practices, supporting consumer financial literacy, and fostering a healthy and sustainable auto market.
To navigate the complexities of the modern American economy, it is imperative that decision-makers adopt a holistic approach. Addressing bits and pieces of the economy in isolation will not yield sustainable solutions. We must acknowledge the acceleration of money movement, tackle rising government and individual debt, update financial models to keep pace with change, and to build to build new financial strategies based on good data.
The other area that government has failed at is in supporting small businesses throughout the United States. The government during the pandemic destroyed the existence of small businesses. Government policies and taxation has closed many businesses, their lack of enforcement of law on retail crimes on small businesses have destroyed the inner city business communities. Instead of protecting the business community and lead the attack on small businesses by allowing crimes to continue, no arrests made. This is not the fault of police, it is the fault of the leadership of city governments and bad district attorneys. Small business has been completely ignored by all levels of government.
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, contributing significantly to job creation, innovation, and economic growth. However, in recent years, many small businesses have faced an uphill battle, grappling with increasing failure rates, bankruptcy filings, and a lack of access to adequate funding. Understanding the underlying factors behind these challenges is essential for policymakers, financial institutions, and the business community to develop effective strategies and support mechanisms. Let's look at other issues small businesses are facing without any concern by government.
1. Failure Rates on the Rise: The small business landscape has witnessed a troubling increase in failure rates. Numerous factors contribute to this trend, including fierce competition, changing consumer preferences, inadequate market research, and insufficient business planning. Additionally, external shocks like economic downturns, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic have further exacerbated the vulnerabilities faced by small enterprises.
2. Bankruptcy Filings and Legal Challenges: Mounting financial pressures often force small businesses into bankruptcy. Bankruptcy filings can stem from various causes, such as overwhelming debt, declining revenues, operational inefficiencies, or legal disputes. The process of bankruptcy can be complex and costly, leaving business owners with limited options and often resulting in the closure of the enterprise.
3. Limited Access to Funding: One of the most significant challenges faced by small businesses is the lack of access to adequate funding. Traditional lenders tend to view small businesses as riskier ventures, making it difficult for entrepreneurs to secure loans or lines of credit. This limited access to capital hinders business growth, restricts investments in technology and infrastructure, and stifles innovation.
4. Insufficient Financial Management: Inadequate financial management is a common issue plaguing small businesses. Poor bookkeeping, inadequate cash flow management, and limited financial planning skills can lead to significant challenges in sustaining operations and meeting financial obligations. Without a solid financial foundation, small businesses become more vulnerable to economic downturns and unexpected disruptions.
5. Regulatory and Compliance Burdens: Small businesses often struggle to keep up with the complex web of regulations and compliance requirements. Complying with labor laws, tax regulations, licensing requirements, and industry-specific regulations can be time-consuming and costly. Navigating these regulatory complexities diverts resources away from core business activities and can overwhelm small business owners.
6. Limited Technology Adoption: In an increasingly digital world, small businesses that fail to embrace technology risk falling behind their competitors. Limited technology adoption can result in operational inefficiencies, reduced productivity, and difficulties in reaching and serving customers effectively. The lack of technological infrastructure and digital skills among small business owners can hinder growth and limit competitiveness.
7. Lack of Mentorship and Support Networks: Small business owners often face isolation and a lack of guidance. The absence of mentorship programs, business support networks, and access to experienced advisors denies entrepreneurs valuable insights, opportunities for collaboration, and the chance to learn from others' experiences. Mentorship and support networks are critical in helping small businesses navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and foster resilience.
Conclusion: The challenges faced in this economy and by small businesses in the United States, including increasing failure rates, bankruptcy filings, and a lack of funding, demand urgent attention and supportive measures. Policymakers, financial institutions, and the business community should work collaboratively to alleviate regulatory burdens, enhance access to funding, provide targeted financial education and mentorship programs, and promote technology adoption. By addressing these challenges, we can foster a thriving ecosystem where small businesses can flourish, create jobs, and grow.
Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor - www.lodge-co.com: In recent years, concerns have been raised about the state of the economy, leading many individuals to question whether it is wise to take on additional debt. Rising car prices and auto loan interest rates, soaring home prices, and high mortgage rates have prompted individuals to reevaluate their financial decisions. In this article, we will discuss why having a conservative approach to personal finances, including paying off school loans and budgeting wisely, is crucial in an uncertain economic climate.
The Fragile Economy
The economic landscape is subject to fluctuations, influenced by various factors such as market conditions, government policies, and global events. While current economic indicators may suggest stability in some areas, it is prudent to acknowledge the potential vulnerabilities that exist in the bigger picture. Rising interest rates on auto loans can burden consumers and strain their monthly budgets, making it challenging to meet other financial obligations.
Similarly, inflated home prices coupled with high mortgage rates can discourage potential buyers from entering the housing market. This scenario can lead to a slowdown in the real estate sector, affecting both homeowners and the broader economy. Consequently, individuals may find it more sensible to delay purchasing properties until they are more affordable or until mortgage rates become more favorable.
Paying Off School Loans
One area where individuals can exert control over their financial well-being is by focusing on paying off student loans. These loans often come with varying interest rates and repayment terms, and carrying them for an extended period can restrict one's financial flexibility. By prioritizing the repayment of student loans, borrowers can reduce their debt burden and free up funds that can be redirected toward other financial goals.
Just remember. You wanted to go to college / university. You could not pay for the expense of school by yourself, so you asked the school for help by taking out debt, known as a student loan. You signed on the dotted line. You made the decision to accept this debt. You signed a loan contract. This means you have debt that is your responsibility. It isn't your fellow American, or the government, but it is your personal obligation and now you have to live with it. Now it is time for you to sit down and put together your budget. Money coming in, and money going out, and then stick to the budget until 100% of it is paid off. The ethics of signing those student loan contracts, is ethically you have to pay the loan off.
Budgeting and Financial Conservatism
In times of economic uncertainty, it is essential to adopt a conservative approach to personal finances. Creating and adhering to a budget enables individuals to monitor their income and expenses, prioritize essential needs, and identify areas where unnecessary spending can be reduced. By living within their means, individuals can avoid excessive debt and build a solid financial foundation.
Moreover, maintaining an emergency fund is crucial in protecting oneself against unexpected financial setbacks. An emergency fund acts as a safety net, providing enough liquidity to cover unforeseen expenses without resorting to additional debt. It is generally recommended to save three to six months' worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account. Start with $1,000 and build on that. Put it in a bank accountant that is not associated with your checking and savings account. This becomes a bank account all by itself.
Investing in oneself through continuous education and skill-building can also be an effective way to navigate a fragile economy. By staying updated with industry trends and enhancing personal skills, individuals can increase their employability and potentially secure stable jobs or promotions, even in uncertain economic times.
Do not create more debt. Now is not an economy that can support any debt. It may be a few years, so stay focused.
In an economy characterized by fluctuating interest rates, soaring home prices, and uncertain market conditions, it is crucial to approach personal finances conservatively. Prioritizing the repayment of student loans, creating and adhering to a budget, and building an emergency fund are all sound strategies to mitigate financial risks. By adopting these practices, individuals can protect themselves against economic uncertainties and establish a solid foundation for their financial future.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor, Greenville, SC www.lodge-co.com: During the pandemic Joe Biden sent you a lot of stimulus and unemployment money and you got greedy. You were encouraged by banks to go into debt. You took out car loans on over priced cars, with huge markups, with high interest rates that you could not afford.
19 - 29 year old consumers are now 90 plus days late in paying their car loans. They are now in default and walking away. Cars are now at auction with prices still too high.
Banks who were this greedy and stupid have hurt consumers. The consumer was also stupid for taking on cars and loan debt they could not afford. Now they are in a position where can't can't refinance it, they are upside down. They can't buy a lower cost car, their credit score is screwed up. They don't have money to put down on a different car, they have used up all of their cash.
There will be no soft landing for consumer auto debt, just a big thump. And quite frankly, both consumers and banks will suffer as more and more cars become repossessed by the banks. Banks are now trying to get rid of their defaulted inventory of cars. These late payments will build and it will have to addressed in the financial reports submitted by banks. It has to be addressed, it is a big red flag.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor, Greenville, SC www.lodge-co.com: Over the past few years we all have been watching our world and the unethical side of it. It feels that the spiritual side of our lives have been taken over with the bad side of government, the unethical side, the political side, and the inability for some to make ethical decision. Their work ethics has been polluted by social media that promotes a political agenda of some kind. We have lot sight of our spiritual need to make good decisions, ethical decisions. God speaks a lot about how we should conduct ourselves in business, how we should treat others, and to be diligent in our work.
In the world of business, success is often associated with hard work, determination, and strategic planning. However, from a biblical standpoint, diligence in business goes beyond mere financial gains. Proverbs 10:4 states, "Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth." This verse reminds us of the importance of being diligent in our work, not only for personal prosperity but also for the greater good of society. In this article, we will explore the significance of diligence in business as per God's teachings, emphasizing ethical work practices and the responsibility to help others.
1. Diligence as a Virtue: Diligence is a virtue that encompasses commitment, perseverance, and industriousness. From a biblical perspective, it is seen as a characteristic pleasing to God. In Colossians 3:23, it is written, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." This verse encourages us to approach our work with a sense of dedication and integrity, recognizing that our efforts are ultimately directed towards serving God.
2. Ethical Work Practices: Diligence in business involves more than just achieving financial success; it encompasses conducting our affairs with honesty, integrity, and ethical considerations. As Christians, we are called to maintain high moral standards in all aspects of life, including our professional endeavors. Engaging in fair trade, respecting the rights and dignity of employees, being transparent with customers, and adhering to legal and regulatory requirements are all crucial components of ethical work practices.
3. The Responsibility to Help Others: Businesses have the potential to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities. Diligence in business should not only focus on personal gain but also on how we can use our resources and influence to help others. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous references to generosity, compassion, and the responsibility to care for the less fortunate. By practicing ethical business conduct and actively seeking opportunities to aid others, we can contribute to the well-being and prosperity of society as a whole.
4. Building Trust and Reputation: Diligence in business fosters trust among stakeholders, including customers, employees, and partners. When we consistently demonstrate a strong work ethic, deliver quality products or services, and prioritize ethical considerations, we build a reputation of integrity and reliability. This reputation becomes an invaluable asset, attracting loyal customers, skilled employees, and potential investors, leading to long-term success and sustainability.
5. Balancing Diligence with Rest: While diligence in business is crucial, it is equally important to strike a balance between work and rest. God's design includes a rhythm of work and Sabbath, where we find rejuvenation and spiritual nourishment. In our pursuit of success, we must prioritize self-care, maintain healthy relationships, and honor our personal well-being. By finding this balance, we can sustain our diligence in business and avoid burnout.
Diligence in business, as per God's teachings, encompasses more than just financial prosperity. Ethical work practices and a commitment to helping others are essential aspects of conducting business in a manner that aligns with biblical principles. By embodying the virtues of diligence, integrity, and compassion, we can create a positive impact, build trust, and contribute to the betterment of society. Ultimately, through our diligent efforts, we can glorify God by how we conduct ourselves, our businesses, and in working with others.
By Michael Lodge, The Business Advisor, Greenville, SC: Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides individuals and businesses with financial relief when they are unable to meet their debt obligations. Unfortunately, recent data suggests a significant surge in bankruptcies in the United States during the first half of 2023. This article examines the rise in bankruptcy filings, comparing the statistics of 2022 with the current year. In particular, we analyze the substantial increase in Chapter 11, small business bankruptcies, and individual Chapter 13 filings. Additionally, we explore the underlying reasons behind this alarming trend.
Comparative Analysis: 2022 vs. 2023: The bankruptcy statistics for the first half of 2023 have revealed a sharp rise in several key areas compared to the previous year. Notably, Chapter 11 filings have increased by a staggering 68% in the first six months of 2023. Chapter 11 bankruptcies primarily involve the reorganization of businesses, allowing them to continue operations while developing a plan to repay creditors.
Furthermore, small business bankruptcies have surged by 55% during the same period. Small businesses often face numerous challenges, including economic uncertainties, market competition, and limited access to capital, making them more vulnerable to financial distress. The significant rise in small business bankruptcies indicates the adverse impact of these challenges.
Individual Chapter 13 bankruptcies, designed for individuals with regular income, have also seen a notable increase of 23% in the first half of 2023. Chapter 13 enables debtors to develop a repayment plan to satisfy their obligations over a specific period, usually three to five years. The rise in individual Chapter 13 filings indicates that individuals are struggling to manage their debts and are seeking legal protection to address their financial difficulties.
Reasons Behind the Surge in Bankruptcy Filings: Several factors contribute to the surge in bankruptcy filings observed in the United States in 2023. These include:
1. Lingering Economic Fallout: The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting impact on the economy, with many businesses and individuals still grappling with the financial repercussions. Loss of income, loss of jobs, reduced consumer spending, and increased operational costs have taken a toll on businesses, leading to higher bankruptcy rates.
2. Supply Chain Disruptions: The global supply chain disruptions and shortage of critical components have negatively affected various industries, resulting in reduced productivity, increased costs, and diminished revenues. Businesses unable to adapt or recover from these disruptions may resort to bankruptcy as a means of addressing their insurmountable financial burdens.
3. Rising Inflation and Interest Rates: Inflationary pressures and rising interest rates can significantly increase the cost of borrowing for both businesses and individuals. This burden can become unsustainable, leading to financial distress and bankruptcy filings.
4. Evolving Consumer Behavior: Changing consumer preferences and increased online shopping have placed additional strain on traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Businesses unable to adapt to these shifts in consumer behavior have faced declining sales and profitability, driving them toward bankruptcy. Consumer have also cut back on their spending, making tough choices on how to use their available cash.
5. Accumulated Debt Burden: Years of accumulating debt, including personal loans, credit card debt, and student loans, have reached unsustainable levels for many individuals. The burden of mounting debt, coupled with stagnant wages and limited job opportunities, has contributed to the rise in personal bankruptcies.
Americans continue to charge on their credit cards to cover cash flow problems from wages being eaten by inflation. They are almost at the $2 trillion amount of debt. U.S. consumers now owe $986 billion plus. That a 17% plus jump from a year ago, a record high. Credit card interest rates are also playing a role in the higher total debt, reaching their own record highs this year. The average credit card APR recently soared to 20.92%, higher than at any point since the Federal Reserve began tracking annual percentage rates in 1994, according to a study from WalletHub.
The surge in bankruptcies observed in the United States during the first half of 2023 is a cause for concern and needs to be part of looking at the economy as a whole. Americans are extending themselves to increased debt is out of control. Biden economic policies set into motion the inflationary economy that has hurt all Americans. The White House needs has individuals that have advised the President on extreme actions that created financial hardships on Americans. Over government spending continues, the Congress and the White House has not been proactive in lowering the cost of government and raised the debt ceiling that is not ethical in the world of finance. Even though inflation has come down in a small amount, it is nothing to rejoice about because there are too many red flags in the banking industry, commercial real estate loan defaults, car loan defaults and repo's. The green new deal mentality has also infused a red flag economy. The electric grid is not even close to support all the EV's that Biden wants on the road, and the price of an EV is too high for most Americans to afford.
America is now in the red flag zone where anything could happen to disrupt the economy even more. When it will hit, no one knows, we just know it is coming. Americans, always be prepared, be financially conservative, keep to your budgets. We will make it through this nonsense.
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Michael Lodge is a Nationally Certified Professional Mediator specializing in business disputes, as well as family conflicts. He has written three books and hosts an international podcast on IHeartRadio and other podcast media stations.