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Posts Tagged ‘tim bryce’

THE WITCH HUNT CONTINUES

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 25, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The Democrats shift into overdrive.

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The Mueller investigation was wrapped up and delivered to Attorney General William Barr’s office this past Friday. As we all know, the charter of the probe was to see if any collusion existed between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Now, after 22 months, $25.2 million, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 500 witnesses, employing 40 FBI agents and 19 lawyers, the investigation found no evidence of collusion and obstruction. This is based on the summary released by the Attorney General’s office which also claims they will release full details soon. In a nutshell, “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Further, the A.G.’s office determined there was no evidence of obstruction of justice.

This was a thorough investigation which was instigated at the insistence of the Democrats and further politically polarized the country following a contentious election. Beyond that, let us not forget, the House investigation found no collusion, nor did the Senate investigation, nor did the FBI according to Lisa Page. All exonerated the President of collusion, but this will not stop the Democrats from chasing the President further for any petty impropriety. In fact, now that the Mueller investigation found nothing, the Democrats are ramping up to investigate anything and everything associated with the President.

Normally, a person is innocent until proven guilty, but under the Democrats mode of operation, a person is guilty until they have gotten their way (or have been voted out of office). This never was about justice, it has always been about politics and the 2020 election. The big question though is how this will play in Poughkeepsie, meaning how will most Americans view this attack on the President’s character?

The Mueller investigation alone was followed carefully for nearly two years and preoccupied the main stream media. Regardless of the story of the day, be it the Tax Reform, North Korea, a booming economy, immigration, the elimination of ISIS, etc., their focus remained on Russia. Frankly, the American public is tired of the story, admits Mr. Trump is the legitimate President, and simply wants to move along. They want to see the Congress tackle real issues as opposed to endless inquisitions. Unfortunately, this will not happen any time soon.

The Democrats are going to accelerate their investigations of the President to satisfy their far-left base and hope to discredit the President as we approach the 2020 election. This “get Trump at all costs” approach is an admission they have no viable platform other than to attack the President. This is also an attempt to push the Democrats’ Socialist agenda as they are trying to discredit everything the President represents, namely Christianity, Capitalism, and Conservative Values.

Basically, the continuation of the Democrats’ Witch Hunt is a smoke screen to distract the public from the radical changes the Democrats are proposing, such as the number and makeup of Supreme Court justices, elimination of the Electoral College, lowering the voting age to 16, giving Social Security to illegal immigrants, and undermining the Constitution of the United States.

If the objections of the Democrats sounds like sour grapes, it is. It also speaks volumes in terms of how power-hungry they are and how far left they have turned. No, this is not your grandfather’s Democrat party, nor your father’s.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

MAKING MATTERS WORSE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 21, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Going from bad to worse.

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People often ask me where I get the ideas for the topics I write about. Although most of it is from my own personal observations, I do occasionally get suggestions from my readership, such as today’s topic which was suggested by a friend in Finland who recently learned a difficult lesson, namely, “No problem is too big that you cannot make it bigger.”

In my friend’s case, earlier this summer he was surprised by his wife, whom he had been married to for twelve years, that she had filed for divorce and wanted to keep the kids and that he should move out of their house. This came at a particularly awkward time in his life as he was starting a new job and was still on probation with the company. Naturally he became depressed by the events, but instead of turning to alcohol he found solace driving his motorcycle each night after work, usually 200 to 300 miles every night, then arriving home after midnight exhausted. It wasn’t uncommon for him to drive over the speed limit, but to his credit, he did this on rural roads with much less traffic than the major highways. One night while going to meet his family and iron out the final details of his divorce, he was clocked on his motorcycle doing 75 mph in a 50 mph zone. Although he tried to explain his plight to the two Finnish police officers who stopped him, they were unmoved and issued him a ticket for $1,600 and suspended his driving license for four weeks. (Note to self: Finnish Police are not a sympathetic lot).

So, in addition to paying for hefty legal fees related to the divorce and wrangling over custody and settlement issues, my friend now has to pay a stiff fine for speeding and make other arrangements to get to work. As he explained to me, just when you think a problem can’t get any bigger, it goes from bad to worse.

My friend’s situation reminded me of an old story that also exemplifies the point, one that is somewhat legendary. It also involves a motorcycle as driven by a teenager. While doing some basic maintenance on the bike in the garage of his home, he accidentally dropped the bike thereby causing gasoline to leak out of the gas tank and on to the garage floor. The teenager got some rags, soaked up the gasoline, and rung them out in the toilet of the bathroom adjacent to the garage. Unfortunately, he failed to flush the toilet. The teenager’s father came down to use the toilet, totally unaware of what had transpired. While sitting on the john he lit up a cigarette and, as you can imagine, was blown off of the toilet by the combustion. I believe he was left with a pipe stem and two raisins. The teenager called 911 and summoned an ambulance. The paramedics placed the father on a stretcher face down (for obvious reasons) and asked how this happened. As the teenager explained the story, the paramedics began to laugh, so hard in fact they dropped the man from the stretcher, thereby breaking his shoulder.

So I guess the lesson is obvious: Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they undoubtedly will.

First published: September 16, 2008

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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ASK ME HOW SMART I ARE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 20, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– We’re probably not as intelligent as we think.

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In the political world, people like to argue which group is more intelligent, particularly liberals. I’m not sure why this is, other than to presume it creates an air of superiority to suit someone’s vanity. I believe it to be a moot point as I know a lot of smart people on both sides of the aisle, but I never saw a big discrepancy one way or another. Come to think of it, such a boast probably denotes some hidden weakness by the person expressing it. The biggest difference between the two sides, as far as I’m concerned, are separate interpretations of moral values. We simply see the world differently and have different priorities.

In terms of pure intelligence though, I think I can count on one hand the number of true geniuses I’ve met in my walk through life, but aside from this I have met some truly intelligent people whom I greatly respect. Interestingly, not all possess a formal education, yet they exhibit signs of intelligence I admire and rely on for advice.

Some people believe a person’s vocabulary is a distinguishable characteristic of intelligence. It may be an indicator, but it is certainly not proof of intelligence. I have met far too many people who have a verbosity of bullshit cloaking other shortcomings in their personality. They may be able to speak well, but so can a parrot if trained properly.

There are those who believe intelligence is distinguished by a person’s ability to absorb and recite facts. I have trouble with this notion as well. To my way of thinking, the person has nothing more than a good memory which any tape recorder or computer can duplicate.

Years ago in an interview, author Truman Capote made the observation that actors and entertainers weren’t especially intelligent. He recounted his relationship with actors Sir Lawrence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud, two excellent and well recognized actors of his generation. According to Capote, both were nice guys, but he hardly considered them intellectuals. Both could memorize a script, but lacked problem-solving skills, and I suspect a lot of entertainers today fall into this category as well.

To me, intelligence is the ability to apply logic towards solving a problem. Knowing facts and possessing an articulate vocabulary is nice, but knowing how to put it all together to solve a problem or achieve a goal is the real measure of intelligence. From this perspective, I have met a lot of people with basic street smarts who are far more intelligent than a lot of college professors or savants I know. In other words, I have more respect for a person who can think clearly for himself, than a person who can do nothing more than parrot facts and figures.

Sometimes we confuse intelligence with experience. Under this scenario, a person who has lived through many experiences, and learned from them, can pass this knowledge on to others who may perceive the person as brilliant. Probably the only thing “smart” here was that the person learned from the experience. Conversely, anybody that fails to learn from experience, and repeats a mistake, cannot be very bright.

IQ scores don’t necessarily impress me either. I remember a classmate in high school who allegedly had a high IQ score. I found it rather amusing when he failed the written portion of his driver’s test on more than one occasion (I think he was looking for the meaning of life in a stop sign). I’ve also found a lot of people like this who simply want to be paid because they are smart, but don’t know how to work productively. In other words, they may know a lot, but have trouble applying it. Those who are perceived as “witty” tend to fall into this category. Most are entertainers who possess an aversion to real work.

To me, the real distinguishing characteristic of an intelligent person is someone who knows what they are doing, does it well, and can be counted on to deliver solutions and solve problems over and over again (reliability). This is why I am so impressed with craftsmen who know how to produce fine work, even under extraordinary circumstances. It is a pleasure to watch such people tackle a difficult assignment, conquer problems, and produce a finished product of exquisite workmanship. They look at a problem, determine the method to follow and the tools to use, and complete the task on time and within budget. As far as I’m concerned, this is the work of sheer genius.

I have also found such people exhibit an insatiable curiosity about the world around them, not just a single area. As the Japanese like to say, such people think in terms of “360 degrees.” In other words, they are always looking at the bigger picture.

Actually, I wish people would be less concerned with being an intellectual, and be more driven by common-sense. I think we would get a lot more done. As one former president said…

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

DEMOCRACY VERSUS REPUBLIC

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 19, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Do you know the difference?

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One of my pet peeves involving politics is when people misstate our form of government. Normally, I would claim this as the fault of uneducated young people, but many politicians, members of the press, as well as grown-ups are also guilty of this faux pas. No, we most definitely do not live in a “democracy,” but a “constitutional republic” instead, as does most of the governments in the world.

In its truest sense, democracy means “Rule by the People,” meaning a system of government whereby the populace votes directly on each and every issue. When you consider the voluminous number of bills and candidates to be voted upon, this is simply not feasible, regardless if we had the most sophisticated computer software to do so. Time should be allotted to deliberate on each piece of legislation and, to do so, would require citizens to devote most of their time to such study, and not tend to their own business.

This is why we elect politicians, to represent our interests so the populace doesn’t have to vote on every bill, large or small, and explains why we refer to this as a “representative democracy,” aka “republic.” Here, the elected representatives are governed by a rule of law, such as a constitution, which defines the structure and responsibility of executive, legislative, and judicial tasks. Consequently, we call this form of government a “constitutional republic,” which is a more accurate description of our government than “democracy.” It should also be noted that under this form of government, the head of state is not a monarch, such as a King or Queen, which lends itself more to being a “monarchy” as opposed to a free-standing “republic.”

Every now and then, we hear a politician or member of the media proclaim, “This (or that) is a threat to our democracy.” This tells me they haven’t a clue as to what they are talking about. Instead, they should have said, “This is a threat to our republic.” Alas though, they do not.

The Democrats also have a problem with the name, particularly when they refer to themselves as the “Democratic” party. This too is incorrect. However, it is often difficult to describe the party, audibly or in writing, without making this common mistake. The term “Democracy” is so imbued in our culture, the Democrats try capitalizing on it to confuse the public, portraying the word “republic” as a constitutional threat to the country. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is now the largest socialist organization in the United States and aside from their far-left agenda, it is difficult to discern if they truly embrace democracy or a constitutional republic, I suspect the former.

Another commonly misunderstood area is the concept of the Electoral College in presidential elections, which is indirectly tied to the concept of “republic” as opposed to “democracy” by electing electorates (representatives) as opposed to a popular vote. By doing so, it provides parity between the interests of rural and metropolitan America. Frankly, the Electoral College is a testament to the sheer genius of our founding fathers as it encourages everyone to vote, not just large metropolitan areas.

Liberals believe the Electoral College is a threat to democracy, and it is reported as such by the press. In reality, they are correct as the College is intended to be used in a republic, not a democracy.

So, in a nutshell, No, we do not live in a democracy, in the truest sense of the word. We live in a “constitutional republic” and it is important all citizens understand the differences.

Following the writing of the U.S. Constitution, a woman approached Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the delegates and authors, and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” He coyly replied, “A republic — if you can keep it.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Government, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

THE BEST WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 14, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– And it is certainly not “please.”

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My company has been fortunate to have conducted business all over the world. Visiting the different cultures has afforded us the opportunity to learn a lot about their perspectives on life, not to mention their humor and speech patterns. Inevitably we often compare notes about the expressions and idioms used by people. For example, in Australia, I was somewhat surprised to learn that a “rubber” referred to an eraser. I went to a restaurant and discovered they didn’t have “doggie bags” but rather “pussie boxes.” I had to bite my tongue on that one.

When people from overseas visited with us, they were enraptured by our slang and colloquialisms. The English, for example, had trouble understanding the expression “G2” which I commonly use in my presentations. The term is derived from the military and used to express the performance of research and intelligence work, e.g., “Did you do your G2?” While most Americans understood the expression, it baffled the British. The point is, I tend to believe Americans use a lot more jargon than we are cognizant of.

There is one word in our vernacular outsiders particularly enjoy, Bulls*** (aka “BS”). In particular, the Japanese have a fondness for this word beyond description. Evidently, they have nothing comparable to it in their lexicon. They consider it the most versatile word in our language fulfilling many applications. It can be used to express intense displeasure with something, to describe a frivolous activity, to refute an argument, to cut someone off in conversation, and many other uses. It was made very clear to me by the Japanese and others, that in the business world, “BS”, is the best word in the English language.

Not surprising, I have heard it used in many settings; in Japanese companies for example, a manager may shout it out for inferior workmanship; in Brazil it is amusing to hear Portugese conversation interrupted by a booming “BS”; or even the proper English allowing it to slip inconspicuously into the conversation, “I say old boy, that truly is bulls***.” The Mexicans have, of course, adapted it to Spanish, “Caca de toro.”

I fear though, the expression is doomed to extinction as it is more identified with my Baby Boomer generation and not by others. For example, my son’s generation has no appreciation for the word and will seldom use it. It’s a pity too, as I’ve found it to be one of the best words I have ever used, both in business and personal settings. Perhaps the Japanese will maintain it for us until future generations in this country rediscover its value.

Originally published: Jul 20, 2012. Updated: 2019.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Posted in Communications, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

BREAKING IN NEW SHOES

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 13, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– A “sensitive” topic for all of us.

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I am finding as we grow older we gravitate to simple creature comforts. We are not easily impressed anymore as we have already experienced a lot and want to avoid anything that might complicate our lives. No, we don’t want to do more maintenance, we want to do less. For example, I have been mowing lawns for 55 years now, which I really don’t mind, but I balk at planting anything new requiring me to do any additional weeding or watering. I also know people who have removed their swimming pools as they no longer use them, nor want to maintain them. The mantra is “Simplify, Simplify.”

Along these lines, let’s talk about shoes. When my father-in-law passed away years ago, he must have had over a dozen pair of white Keds loafers. You know the kind, simple to slip in and out of, no shoestrings to tie, and afforded comfort. I thought it odd that he had so many pairs of them in the closet, all white, some still in the box, but the family knew this had become a part of his retirement uniform and wanted to keep him happy.

Last week I bought a new pair of dress shoes for myself. Men do not typically buy a lot of shoes, at least I don’t as I tend to take good care of them. My problem though is breaking them in. Ever since I was a lad, I would develop water blisters on my heels when I got a new pair of shoes, and it was likely caused by the stiffness of the new shoes. This is why I dreaded the approach of Easter as it meant my mother would be buying me new shoes for church. I remember developing a walk like the Frankenstein monster to minimize bending my feet and rubbing the painful blisters.

I developed a similar problem when I played football and bought new shoes at the beginning of each season. Again, painful blisters plagued me. Even though I tried to cover them with an assortment of bandages and gauze, it still took time for me to break in the shoes. As an aside, I remember one time when I accidentally rubbed some alcohol-based balm, used to relieve muscle soreness, on an open blister, resulting in me shooting out of my chair with a deafening war whoop. I am sure it was rather funny to my teammates, but it was extremely painful, very painful.

Because of this background, you can understand why I am sensitive to breaking in new shoes. In the latest chapter, my new shoes fit properly, but it was a little snug over the arches of the foot. Although my feet were comfortable in the morning, by the end of the day, they were in extreme pain. Realizing I had to somehow stretch them out, I inserted some old shoetrees into the shoes to expand them. It took about a week for them to properly loosen up and are now quite comfortable, even though they turned me into a crab for several days.

I also needed a new pair of knock-around shoes for the weekend. Remembering my father-in-law, I found myself looking for a pair of simple loafers that offered comfort. No, I didn’t want to bother with the hassle of laces anymore; I just wanted something to easily slip in and out of and be comfortable in. To this end, I bought a pair of Skechers. Frankly, I had never heard of them before but, after trying on a pair, I was sold. I actually like them better than all my other shoes, both dress and casual, and I find myself wearing them more frequently as they offer the simple creature comforts I was looking for.

My only concern is that years from now, my kids are going to find nothing but Skechers in my closet, with some still in the box. Just remember, “Simplify, Simplify.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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UNDERSTANDING TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 12, 2019

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Time to curb our use of personal technology.

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Recently, I happened to be driving near the local high school as it was ending the day. I saw a lot of students walking home alone or in groups. Interestingly, all were plugged into their smart phones listening to God knows what. At the gym later on, I experienced a similar phenomenon. It’s incredibly quiet there as people are plugged into their phones. I’ve given up trying to hold a conversation with people there, and it is pretty much the same in offices as well.

As someone intimate with the industry, I have always found technology addiction interesting, but I wonder if we have taken it to the sublime. I have a friend who moves automobiles between dealerships and is scared to death of the people plugged into their smart phones while driving, either talking, reading messages, texting, etc. None of this is new, but has it gotten too pervasive?

Day in and day out, I have been actively using computers for over forty years, but do not consider myself to be an addict. I started by using mainframes at customer locations. In the office, we used an HP-3000/MPE mini, and a DEC VAX/VMS (my personal favorite), followed by PC’s using OS/2 (which I still consider the best PC operating system ever invented), as well as Windoze. When it comes to phones, I use a simple flip-top to communicate with people, but I never had any interest in surfing the Net with it.

I have used computers for corporate planning, system design, data base design, project management, and a ton of writing assignments over the years, not to mention developing multimedia presentations. I’ve been on the Internet since the late 1980’s, including e-mail, web design, and FTP protocols. When I’m at work, I am on the computer from early in the morning until late in the day. So, Yes, I’m intimate with computers which explains why I want to “unplug” at the end of the day and have no trouble leaving it behind me. When I go fly-fishing, I look forward to the quiet solitude of the river. However, I believe I am an anomaly as I can leave it all behind, and many people cannot.

Through miniaturization, we have made it incredibly easy to perform normal computing tasks in the palm of our hands. Perhaps too easy. This includes all of the messages, e-mails, tweets, news bulletins distracting us during the day. When the phone rings or vibrates, people have been conditioned to respond immediately, not later. Sure, we also have access to games, audio and video, but more than anything, it is this easy access to information that is causing the addiction. It is analogous to the junkie who gives you free drugs to start your addiction.

Instead of turning off the technology now and then, people prefer leaving it on 24/7. This is where I differ with people. Even though I am imbued in technology, I have no problem walking away from it. No, I do not need to read every message, e-mail, or tweet that someone writes. I can look through them later at my leisure, and most likely, I will not respond. Unfortunately, others are less disciplined and find the urge to review everything irresistible. My question is, do we really need to jump for every message, regardless how frivolous it might be? Probably not.

This is all a matter of discipline and etiquette. For example, during dinner time with the family, No, it is not necessary to respond to a message. It’s more important, and courteous, to talk with people around the table. The same is true in a corporate setting where you are attending a meeting or training session. Leave the phone alone, and engage in the meeting instead. As an instructor myself, nothing is more irritating than to see someone reaching for their phone. If you have to answer a call or respond to a message, take it outside; do not distract others.

In other words, we can overcome some of our technology addiction by applying some simple common-sense discipline, such as:

1. In a social setting with others, turn the phone off or at least silence it. Do not reach for it while others are talking. Excuse yourself if necessary. Translation: Don’t be rude.

2. Adjust your priorities so that a live person is more important than a machine.

3. Do not allow the technology to dominate you, you dominate the technology. I say the same thing about guns when hunting.

If all you are doing is responding in a Pavlovian manner to a computer, you have got some real problems. Do yourself a favor, just turn it off now and then, the world will still be there when you get back.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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CAPITALISTIC CRABS

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 7, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Even fiddler crabs understand the basics of our economic system.

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I went to the beach recently with my wife where we planted our umbrella and chairs in the sand as we usually do. It was low tide so we moved down closer to the edge of the water. Interestingly, we found ourselves situated in the midst of a colony of fiddler crabs who were busy digging holes in the sand and filtering the granules for some sort of nutritious treasure, whatever that might be. Although there were dozens of them around us, they took care to keep their distance from us and quickly buried themselves in the sand if we moved too quickly or stamped our feet.

They appeared to be quite industrious in their work and quite amusing to watch. Each dug a hole and mined balls of sand from it which they patiently picked through for nutrients. I noticed there were physical differences in the various crabs. Some were larger and possessed one rather impressive pincer claw which made it look like it was playing a fiddle (hence the name). Sometimes the claw was on the right side, others were southpaws. My attention focused on a particular crab which I called “Lefty” who seemed to have one of the more prominent holes in the sand. I was genuinely impressed by the amount of sand Lefty excavated from his lair. He seemed to be very concerned with keeping the area around his den neat and tidy. If a neighboring crab came too close, Lefty would ward him off by flashing his pincer. Most of the time though, he would simply push them out of his territory before retreating back to his hole where he would continue in his endeavors. Most of the crabs I saw seemed to follow Lefty’s lead whereby they worked hard and enjoyed the bounty of their efforts. Although they were rather territorial in nature, they allowed neighbors on their property only if they respected his domain.

Lefty became bored with the routine after awhile, and decided to survey the world around him. Unlike others who remained at home, Lefty traveled far and wide looking for new opportunities (at least ten feet away). Inevitably, he would have to cross over the territory of other crabs who quickly rebuffed his advances, regardless of his size. Nonetheless, Lefty continued on his trek until he found himself outside of the colony. He eventually found a new spot on the beach which evidently had a better view of the ocean, not to mention nutrients in the sand, and began to dig a new burrow. Never satisfied, he moved on to another location after he exhausted the nutrients. Interestingly, the other crabs didn’t seem to have his adventurous spirit and stayed home while Lefty saw the world.

After studying the habits of the fiddler crab for a couple of hours, I came to the conclusion they were a perfect example of capitalism in practice. Everyone worked hard for their food; freeloaders were taught to work if they wanted to eat, but some were allowed to graze on private property if the tenant was so inclined. The crabs were also free to roam and explore new endeavors, as exemplified by Lefty who enjoyed the bounties of success after leaving the colony, a very risky proposition. I don’t think Aesop could have made a better analogy.

I found this all rather intriguing and wondered if I could simulate this phenomenon on a larger scale. To do so, I purchased a dozen sand shovels and left them on the beach near a group of children who eagerly used them to dig holes and make sand forts. Each worked merrily to carve up their small piece of the beach which they were all very proud of. At the end of the day, they left their shovels in the sand and watched as the incoming tide reclaimed their creations. Again, this was another fine example of capitalism as each person was allowed to work as hard as they wanted and enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

Next, I obtained a dozen trowels, along with four shovels, and placed them near a group of conservatives on the beach. They eagerly picked up the tools and started to create some rather inspiring structures, including a six foot high sand castle complete with turrets, bridges, a moat with water, and the inside was large enough to hold a small child within its walls. It was pretty impressive. Other participants sculpted some interesting shapes, including a sea serpent, a ship, and what appeared to be a submarine. They took turns using the shovels as there were only four of them. Although a few people worked independently, most paired up into teams to create their structures and some friendly competition ensued. At the end, they congratulated each other on the job they had done. It was so impressive, curiosity seekers stopped by to admire their work and praised them accordingly. All of the tools were cleaned off and returned to the spot where I had brought them.

Finally, I took the same utensils and dropped them near a group of liberals. Frankly, they weren’t too impressed with them. Having watched the conservatives work and the adulation they received, instead of building something new, they complained to the media who filmed them tearing down the work of the conservatives. They complained about the heat and the working conditions and fought each other over territory in the sand. They then sold the tools and pocketed the money, and blamed the conservatives for defacing the beach.

Frankly, I was disappointed with the results of my experiment. I hoped the liberals had been at least as smart and industrious as the tiny fiddler crab, but I guess I was wrong.

Originally published: June 27, 2012. Updated 2019.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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CAPITALISM VERSUS SOCIALISM: REFERENCE GUIDE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 6, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– What every young person should know.

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REFERENCE GUIDE

                                                              CAPITALISM                                SOCIALISM

WHAT IS IT? Socioeconomic system based on PRIVATE ownership of the means of production and operates for PROFIT.

Encourages independence and the rights of the INDIVIDUAL over the group.

The individual is allowed to try any endeavor, including the development, marketing and support of products and services for public consumption.

The individual is allowed to keep and enjoy the fruits of his/her labors.

Socioeconomic system based on STATE ownership of the means of production; not driven by profit.

Encourages state dependency and the rights of the GROUP over the individual.

The state dictates what products and services are to be developed, and who shall produce them.

Each person works for the state, not individually, and receives compensation in the form of shared wealth and free services.

A pseudo-Utopia.

ECONOMY Free economy; based on private buyers and sellers.

Competition flourishes and causes natural evolution of products and services through market demand (akin to Darwin’s “Natural Selection”).

Consumers free to choose the products and services they want.

Economy is controlled by the state; little, if any, competition.
Buyer has fewer choices to make.
CLASS STRUCTURE 3 levels – Upper/Middle/Lower classes.
Middle class powers economy through purchasing power.
2 levels – State/Worker classes (aka, “Master/Slave”).

No middle class, no economic engine, a redistribution of the wealth.

Workers become wards of the state.

THE INDIVIDUAL Independence encourages personal initiative and work ethic.

More earning power, but individual assumes risk.

Enjoys protection of Intellectual Property, e.g., patents, copyrights, trade secrets, etc.

Employment will experience ups and downs due to economic conditions.

Discourages personal initiative (“everyone wins”). No Super Rich.

Compensation is evenly distributed among workers.

Earning power is limited. Individual assumes no risk.

Intellectual Property is owned by the state, not individual.

Employment is guaranteed.

EFFECT ON GOVERNMENT Personal independence requires freedom and equal rights in order to function.

Requires less bureaucracy, smaller government.

Flourishes under a Republic with democratically elected representatives.

Creates dependency on state; Requires more bureaucracy (larger government) through regulation as the state controls everything, including food, education, housing, communications, health care, energy, transportation, etc.

Hinders rights and loss of liberty. Encourages autocratic rule.
Less freedom.

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Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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THE MIDDLE CLASS: SEPARATING CAPITALISM FROM SOCIALISM

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 5, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Why capitalism makes more sense.

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One of the fundamental differences between capitalism and socialism is in the area of class structure and, unfortunately, many people do not grasp this difference. Under capitalism, there are three levels: an upper class representing super successful people who have earned a fortune, the middle class representing John/Jane Doe who works diligently to put food on the table for their family, and a lower class representing the less fortunate of us. Influence is top-down based on the economic pecking order, thereby creating resentment by those lower in the chain.

Socialism, on the other hand, has just two classes: the ruling class, as represented by the state, and the working class where everyone is equal. I tend to refer to this as a “Master/Slave” relationship as the analogy to slavery is uncanny, where the Master micromanages everything and the Slave puts forth just enough effort to get by, but expects to be taken care of by the Master. There are many other nuances, but for the purposes of this article, the big difference here is the middle class.

A sizable middle class represents an economic engine for a country. Capitalism encourages people to work, to invest and to spend their money, allowing a country to collectively compete. The average person wants nothing more than to earn a respectable livelihood, so they can enjoy life and raise a family unencumbered by overbearing government regulations. As President Calvin Coolidge observed, “After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. I am strongly of the opinion that the great majority of people will always find these the moving impulses of our life.”

Do people truly understand the power of the middle class? I think they’re starting to overseas. We may not have invented the concept of a middle class, but we sure perfected it, and everyone wants to emulate it. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, countries around the world have been re-configuring their economic policies in order to remain competitive in a global economy. In case you haven’t been paying attention, new middle classes have slowly emerged in such places as China, Belarus, Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, and among South African blacks. People in these countries now have spending power thereby causing a demand for products and services, not to mention a call for construction of new houses and businesses.

In order for capitalism to work, you need to be allowed to have certain freedoms, such as the freedom of expression, the freedom to innovate and invent, the freedom to choose your own path, the freedom to conduct legitimate business, etc. This is why it is rather ironic how some of our former communist foes are now embracing capitalism. Under socialism, there is no protection of intellectual property, such as patents, trade secrets, copyrights, etc. Everything is owned by the state, not the individual.

In the absence of a middle class, you have just the rich and the poor (the “have’s” and the “have not’s”) which lends itself to being a feudal state controlled by dictators or monarchies. Such a state does not operate harmoniously, corruption is rampant, and unrest is common. The “have not’s”, which is a sizable majority, have little to earn and spend. Consequently, the economy sputters and stagnates which our communist friends discovered the hard way.

As mentioned, in order for capitalism to work, certain freedoms have to be permitted to allow a person to work, earn, and save their money, not to have it redistributed to others by government decree. This means there is an explicit relationship between freedom and capitalism. Implicitly, it means capitalism requires a certain amount of democracy to allow the citizens to participate in how the government runs, which means capitalism cannot work under a dictatorship (see Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, et al). As an aside, it is the middle class who elects government officials, not the upper or lower classes. The upper class may support politicians economically, but it is the middle class that casts the votes.

When someone asks me about my political leanings, I tell them I am an unabashed capitalist. This of course means I believe in liberty, and the right of the individual to lead a meaningful life, and I abhor any attempt by government to alter this or forcibly redistribute the wealth earned by the individual. I can understand government monitoring the legality of someone’s occupation, but aside from this they should not hinder a person’s right to earn a living.

Capitalism is our greatest export. It represents the seeds of freedom and economic prosperity. If it spreads, it could lead to world stability and peace which, of course, certain tyrants and crackpots openly reject. For example, Iraq will be an interesting experiment in capitalism. If Iraq succeeds, freedom and democracy will succeed, which is why Middle Eastern terrorists desperately want to see it fail as it represents a challenge to their authority. It’s not so much about religion as it is about control. Capitalism is a genuine threat to feudalism, a system which has no regards for the rights of the human-being and respect for the human spirit. Make no mistake, feudalism is barbaric.

To summarize:

1. In order to effectively compete in a world economy, you need capitalism.

2. In order for capitalism to flourish, you need freedom and democracy.

3. A byproduct of capitalism is a sizable middle class with spending power.

4. Therefore, any attempt to change capitalism is a threat to freedom, democracy, and the middle class.

No, I am not a proponent of government sponsored bailouts, stimulus packages or the creation of artificial jobs. Such devices does a disservice to capitalism and is unnatural. It is not government’s role to tamper with capitalism, only to establish the environment for capitalism to flourish, namely assuring freedom and protecting rights, serving its constituents, and providing incentives to encourage new avenues of business.

I am also of the belief that capitalism is very much akin to Darwin’s “natural selection” whereby goods and services evolve and improve in order to effectively compete. Under socialism, there is no competition as everything is controlled by the state. From this perspective, it is not “natural.” In other words, capitalism recognizes change through competition; in order for it to succeed, you must allow for the right to failure. By doing so, you assure our right to succeed.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Economics, Politics, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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