Friday, November 21, 2014

The Challenges of Leadership in Governance

Republicans cheered, last Tuesday, as late evening election returns informed all of the watchers and listeners of the imminent transfer of leadership in the U.S. Senate. As a result of these Republican wins, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), victor in his own long and hard fought Senate contest, will likely receive the nod to serve in the position of Senate Majority Leader. Of all of the questions about McConnell’s upcoming ascendance; arguably, the most important question includes: does he have what it takes to lead where we, as a nation, need to go.

Over time, people have come to basically define “leadership” as “… going out ahead and showing the way.” Additionally, for the past several generations, many authors have suggested that a vast array of factors contribute to or otherwise represent leadership. Some of the more popular factors have included concepts such as influence, trustworthiness, and vision. Of course, vision serves as the only one of these three that people have to employ, in order to actually lead. Influence and trustworthiness really represents what politicians or sales people have to do and create, during their campaigns; since the electorate won’t follow anyone or anything to whom or to which they’ve not already bought in. This becomes obvious when, during their tenures, statesmen or other service providers periodically stop leading, while they revert back to the politician or sales role, in order to shore up lagging support for their directions and their overall visions... Read more at:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Forced Redistribution v. Charity

In a recent article in Investors Business Daily (, Betsy McCaughey discussed the fact that President Obama has sought emergency funding for Africa, in the amount of $6.2 billion, ostensibly, to combat Ebola. In the article, Dr. McCaughey said, "helping Ebola victims is the right thing to do..." and I agree with her sentiment, at least at some level. However, somehow, it seems that some people have lost sight of the fact that the U.S. government's money does not belong to the U.S. government, per se. It comes out of taxpayers' pockets. Sure, people who make several hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year, probably won't miss the few hundreds of dollars per person that it will take to complete this charity work. But, every dollar that the government takes from hard working, lower middle-class workers (too patriot-minded to take government "benefits"), represents a dollar that they could otherwise spend on their own families -- and let there be no doubt that many of those families suffer through their own personal; day-to-day struggles; struggles for which no government, at any level will allocate or distribute funds to relieve. Don't get me wrong: I have no problem with charity and those people who want to contribute, of their own volition, toward completion of the cited efforts, should certainly have that opportunity -- regardless of their financial situations. I just don't think it appropriate for the government to compel people, through threat of violence, to provide charity. For example, Bill and Melinda Gates would be well served to donate $6 billion out of their personal funds, for these efforts. They would thereby receive the praise and adulation they desire; they would demonstrate the real meaning of charity; and they would set an example of philanthropic giving for the rest of the "one percenters," from across the globe.