After 14 hours in labor, my wife Grace gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy.
Matthew William Kelly Bedford is named after a dear friend of ours who was called home to be with our Lord not quite 1 year ago.
I only hope that this little man will grow into the true man that was, and is, Matthew William Kelly.
For those who like details. Matthew weighed 8lbs 6 oz, 20in long. He has a Bedford face but borrows his nose and mouth creasing from his mother. My dad says the nose is also his mothers.
He was very alert and inquisitive from the get go, earning an APGAR score of 9. He smiled for mother and will follow us with his eyes. He likes being sung to. And I was overwhelmed with emotion when he was born.
Something that struck me is how much birth must be like death: The womb seems safe and good and a nice place to spend your life, and birth is this scary thing. All of a sudden your senses are bombarded with light and noise and pain and… more. More than you’d experienced ever before.
The womb was good, but it was temporary. A place of preparation. Preparation for life.
Then life become comfortable, known, expected. Life is good enough, full enough, and not long enough. And we fear death.
Once we die, I believe we’ll experience sensations we’ve never experienced before. The sounds and sights, smells, and sensations we’ve experienced in life will seem like the dull sensations of the womb.
Life is good, but it is temporary. A place of preparation. Preparation for…
There are many misconceptions standing in the way of informed consent on the part of the American Electorate.
Bugbears and villains and bogey-monsters are trotted out each election cycle to herd the voting populace into the desired frame of mind.
One of the common scape-goats (ab)used by many is the spectre of “Big Business”. And not merely content to blame big business, the abusers often employ shake-down tactics when they need additional revenue.
After all, nobody likes their boss, and everybody knows businesses are endless sources of greedy men with far too much money, right?
Sticking it to “the Man” is the favorite sport in much of America, and it’s bred and grown in an environment free of logic and fact into a monster few can avoid.
Well, here’s one shot.
Business does good for people.
It’s not that they hold your hand and sing Kumbayah, or even that businesses that contribute financially to causes we agree with are good.
This is a blanket statement without conditions: The average business in America does good.
What is good?
Good is a quality of action or intent that brings about, supports, encourages some reasonable benefit to another.
Me winning the lottery is not good. Yes I get tons of money, but that money to one not capable of handling it wisely will with great consistency, harm me and cause me greater damage than were I not to have such largess.
Me working and earning a reasonable wage is good. I earn the money and therefore know its worth to me. I use that value to trade for other things of value which have greater good to me.
Now what just occurred? Each of the players in that last paragraph exchanged something for something else.
What is that called? It’s an economy.
Let’s look at it closer: The business I work for values my work more than a certain amount of money, so we trade. My work for their money. But I can’t live eating money or in a house made of money, so I trade the money for other things I consider more valuable than the actual cash, usually with other businesses such as landlords, grocery stores, utility companies, etc.
Each of us has something we can trade for something else and it is the constant trading and exchanging throughout America that creates the immense wealth we have.
If you think you have little and you live in America, you’re most likely very, very wrong. And this pernicious lie, that we have little, that helps fuel the constant badgering that businesses ought to do this and that and owe us one thing or another.
There are plethora ways the government inhibits business, and in each and every situation where regulation and restriction purport to keep businesses playing “fair”, it is the consumer, you and I, who are hurt most.
In order for you and I to survive we must efficiently and effectively trade what we have for what we need, hopefully increasing the value of what we have in order to trade it more efficiently and for more.
Education is one key way to increase our value. By increasing our skill, our versatility, our ability, through learning and practice, we increase our value to those we’d trade our abilities to. We make a higher wage when we have more skills.
Looking at our small economy described above, government inhibits the economy, making exchanges more difficult, by taxing. By taking away percentages of the money value being used in the trade, they lower the value of our abilities. When we give a business our labor in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of their money, government takes a significant percentage of that money given to us in the form of income taxes.
They also tax the business itself, not just our wages. In fact, America has some of the highest business tax rates of the industrialized world. The government takes around one-third of businesses reported Net Profit.
Do you want to know why businesses try to write off so many expenses? Because for every dollar they cannot right off as a valid business expense, the government will take 30 cents.
What would happen if the government took 30 cents of your pay check? Well, unless you’re making very little, the government very well may be.
So maybe a better question is: What if you made 30 cents MORE for every dollar you currently make?
Let’s say you make 40 thousand dollars a year now. What would you do with 52 thousand? $12,o00 extra per year would add up significantly. A house payment in just a few years, the kids in private schools (or home schooled, grin), a new business you start yourself.
Instead, the government takes it.
I don’t begrudge the government a fair share of money. After all, government is necessary in a fallen world. And government has reasonable and rational expenses. And they are immense, relative to each of our individual budgets.
But when the government tells us it knows, better than we ourselves do, how to do things which could either be left well enough alone or by private industry and a knowledgeable populace. Then coerces us into giving it an exorbitant amount of money to perform those services. That is not right. And it hurts us.
A business must, by nature, make more money than it spends. It must be profitable in order for it to stay in business. When people talk about windfall profits and how we ought to tax businesses making more than there fair share, they illustrate only how imbecilic their own level of understanding is regarding the economy.
When a business operates effectively and efficiently and makes an immense profit, those large profits entice other businesses into the same market. When multiple businesses operate in the same market, they must give reason for their consumers to choose them over their competitor.
Competition drives prices lower, as this is the most visible way to differentiate ones product. Competition also drives quality up, as a second, very visible differentiation.
So because a market was allowed to become lucrative, the consumers have better access to cheaper and higher quality products. Sounds great to me.
And it’s not just looking on the outside, at the balance sheets of the business and on the store shelves, at the price tags.
Those businesses that make more profit are able to employ more and more skilled workers to further improve their products.
Sure, this is a sunny picture. But in the market, averages work out in favor of the sunny picture. Your job may indeed suck, but have you tried looking for one that doesn’t?
It may not be the best time, in the present economy, with government ham-handed handling of the economy stifling the recovery and prolonging this downturn. But there are still companies looking for workers.
Maybe leaving the big city, with is stifling regulation on top of already onerous federal meddling causes most businesses to fail or move away, to a smaller city which is more willing to lower it’s regulation and encourage businesses to build and hire is what needs to occur.
But when you hear a politician or government bureaucrat tell you that businesses must pay “their fair share”, remember that business may be employing you with the money the government wants to take.
And what the government takes, it does not give back readily.
Business Friendly means employee friendly.
Employee friendly means you have a job. A good job. One where the employer has the means to take care of you and compensate you well.
As for me, I’m already paying my fair share and more, and I’m getting fed up.
In every generation there is a Golden Age. A time where the generation is most passionate about its beliefs, best equipped to achieve its goals, and most free to do the impossible.
Unfortunately, very few generations ever achieve their cause or are able to promote it successfully. Many attempt have been tried, but few have succeeded. The reason, each generation is given only a small time to achieve their goals. After, a generation achieves the point of maturity where they can do something on their own, there is instantly a time limit set on their peak effectiveness. They have few worry, little concerns, and large amount so freedom. The people in the generation are able to do more and be more than they ever have been before or ever will be again. Each day that passes brings the generation closer to the point of more responsibilities and more constrictions.
Each generation is given this very small portion of time to achieve their purpose and many of them miss this opportunity.
Unfortunately, I and my generation’s time is almost up. With in the next 1-4 years responsibilities will take our time, bills will demand our attention, and commitments will steal our freedom . . . however, I do not stand ashamed for my actions.
While it is not yet a time for retrospective, I do have to look back.
I remember hearing my generations purpose only a couple years ago. We had the call to lead a revival. Our parents had built build building as praise offerings from their hearts, but the buildings soon became idols and coffins. Then our older siblings started to notice the hypocrisy of the church and started to define their own passion filled, heart directed course. However, they were not to be the ones who would redefine the church.
That was my generations responsibility. We were to start the next revival and change the church. At this point, we have not achieved total success. We have challenged the church, but have not changed it. We hold a different radically different mindset, but have allowed it to be tempered by the rigidity of tradition.
We have only a couple measly years left to achieve our purpose. Only a couple years to make the change that we have not made yet. We stand in danger of failure.
However, I am not ashamed. I have done as my Lord has commanded me. I have answered His call. I have tried to lead others to this call and have succeed with some and failed with others. He has blessed me with a peace in my life that cannot be explained in anyway and the support needed to fill my few small responsibilities.
However, I still weep over what may become a lost opportunity. Soon, those I have grown up with will no longer be the ones with the special commission, but we will be the ones commissioned to grow, train, and support those who come after us. Those who, like my sister, have a desire to learn and grwo and are only 15.
While this commission is wonderful, it hardly achieves our special commission. But as for me and my house, we have served the Lord and we seek to glorify his name in all we do.
It is a right to potential, not a promise to payoff.
And any government or organization or person who takes away my right to try it denying me the basic dignity of humanity.
Obama, his philosophy, and his government, are trying to do just that. The socialist doesn’t believe in the right to struggle. They are many people who believe that pain never accompanies merit and that the stench of sweat never surrounds the worthy man.
I would rather be left free and die trying, than to perish slowly in the ignominy of a cage designed of good intentions and built with hope and change.
…to be doorways to intimacy with Him. And the best kept secret about obedience in the face of hard temptation is that there is a blessing waiting on the other side. Satan doesn’t want us to know that. He would prefer the usual succumb-and-repent routine.”
~Andree Seu, No Glib Utterances, World Magazine, July 18th 2009