Saturday, May 17, 2008

Making a difference in the world.

On more than one occasion we have been asked "how much we get paid to do what we do?" The answer is nothing or "zero." Zero is a concept my three year old learned about 2 months ago. Funny how a three year old can understand the concept of zero but legislators, bureaucrats and educrats can't grasp the concept of zero.
The people who seemed most amazed that we do what we do for nothing are teachers. Let's face it most of them get paid extra for teaching an extra class, being a coach, proctoring exams, lunch duty or bus duty. So they have a real hard time grasping getting paid nothing for doing a lot of work. For the past five and half years we were paid absolutely nothing for working anywhere from 5 hours to 40 hours a week doing research, blogging, lobbying, community presentations, radio interviews, op eds, etc. Why do we do it? We do it for our children and the future of this country.

Government spending beyond their means by prior generations is hurting us today. The excess spending today will only increase the tax burden of our children and future generations.

I received the following letter from someone who gets why we do what we do and he suggests others do the same.


Hello Cathy,
Thanks for your message. Its good to see others digging into such older exams, as much can be learned. The key, of course, is to find all ways possible to improve the poor quality of today's education in America, especially when compared in math & science to those students in nearly all other nations.

I hope you find time to read all of the Grandfather Economic Report series' chapter called Education Report - as well as the many sub-sections there to - - such as on text books, class size, international tests, etc. In doing so should you have suggestions please pass them along - - as I think all want to help any way possible to improve education quality for our young generation as they face the largest international and living standard challenge ever.

I can't recall comparing education costs to the Iraq war, unless it is in the National Security chapter.

While there are many ominous trends facing our nation > What can one do?

Since we as individuals have not the means to change national trends this should be no excuse not to find a way to best develop plans for ourselves and our own family members regarding the future.

I have found that our mission should be to first educate ourselves about these serious treats as much as possible based on hard data and data trends. I think the Grandfather Economic Report series provides help in that area. Next, we can develop our own To-Do List regarding what we and our loved ones should do about these findings to better protect and enhance our own future - - (on the home page below, under its category 'Action' you will note a link to the chapter "To-do List for Individuals & Families " to help get you started). Next, we can do the right thing - - pass along to others what we have learned and try to move as many out of Ostrich Mode as we can - - to learn themselves and develop their own To-Do List. For example, while an individual can do nothing to reverse national trends in household debt, as individuals they can do something about that subject regarding their own lives - - like get out of debt.

What can we do? We can sit on our hands or try to inform our selves AND others - - with hope such helps others better direct their own lives. I believe that most can better develop their own to-do lists if they understand many macro trends. Of course, that requires they also invest time in doing so.

Since the larger macro pix emerges from reading more than one chapter, you are invited to read most chapters of this series, each listed by category on the home page below - - whereby each chapter employs hard data trend graphics to more accurately assist telling the story as to where we are relative to the past. I leave it to readers to do their own forward projection, but suggest each take some time to think more deeply about current trends and implications for their own lives, both personally and professionally.

This series has zilch to do with party X vs. Y. It is non-political. Its based on data, not politics. As one reviews long-term data on many subjects showing negative trends it is sadly realized that such trends occurred on the 'watch' of both political parties. Sad, but reality.

Like any book, it takes a bit of time to absorb - - but, I hope you find that 'trip' helpful and if so that you consider assisting others. It is my view that the more who use hard data to better form their views, the better. That's the objective of this work - - provide some of that data, including data-based ammunition to assist their engagement with others as they try to help remove them from 'ostrich-mode'. After-all, these trends happened on 'our watch.'

You might first start with the summary page and then to the below home page's index of chapters.

I hope this helps. I hope your reading of this series assists your deeper understanding of these important issues and helps you think about your own action planning - and, as mentioned, that you assist understanding by others as best you can.

Very best regards,

Michael Hodges
The Grandfather Economic Report - or - home page

Graphic presentation reviewing economic issues facing today's generation compared to prior periods,
on: family income, debt, savings, government spending and size, trust funds, education quality, social security, regulations, taxes, inflation, productivity, foreign trade and exchange, voter turnout, trust, celebration, national security, energy, and health care/life expectancy

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