My sense of curiosity caused me to venture out into the rain yesterday. My taxes were already completed and mailed but I made my way to the Post Office on Frazier in downtown State College about 4:30. The crowd was there as promised; boisterous yet peaceful – no overturned cars and no burned busses. Just a large number of citizens attending our hamlet’s “Tea-Party”. It was the very first protest I had ever attended! I guess this is even more interesting since I went to college in the early 70s.
Since my work, including the radio show, can be summed as a lifelong quest to understand human motivation, I worked my way through the crowd asking the attendees some simple questions such as: “Why are you here?” “Do you think anything will come about as a result of this and the other Tea-Parties around the country?” Later, I watched some of the news shows to see if the answers I was receiving were similar across the country.
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The results cause me to believe there is a shift happening in the country. Although there was a fairly diverse mix of people, at least as diverse as we get in Central PA, I did not find the attendees to be completely joined-at-the-hip politically. Some came from as far away as Williamsport but included Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, and Republicans. All formed the base of the crowd which went against the common wisdom espoused by some of my more liberal friends who believed that some political group was “gathering forces” as a result of the recent electoral losses. Sure, there were likely some there with an axe to grind against the current regime but it appeared most people were there because of their concern for the direction of the country: the belief that somehow, the stimulus has to be paid for and it will likely be paid in the form of higher taxes. One common theme was from a number of business people I addressed: they believe they are competing with government entities for hiring the best and brightest as never before and they cannot offer the same level of wages and benefits. Does this make sense? We pay taxes for many reasons. One of which is to pay for those who will provide services that only the government should provide but should our government workers be paid well above the norm of local business employees? I know my reason for serving 20 years in the US Air Force was NOT for big bucks! Case in point, we once figured out during my flying days that we were earning about 75 cents per hour and shortly after submitting my retirement papers from the USAF, I was offered a similar position in the private sector for three times the money.
Many others offered that we each need to be responsible for our actions and decisions…imagine that.
Some might object that our “Tea-Parties” were a small sample of the American public. I was not able to complete a count but some estimates ranged as high as 10,000 (ok, so one of the organizers thought his little joke was funny) but I can tell you the people I met and talked with voiced their concern for the future of the country and these people included high school students, college students, local residents, business people, and retirees and they all had VERY similar concerns. What will be the outcome? Only time will tell but I’m glad I went to my first protest. Too bad I couldn’t stay longer but duty called. One of the non-profits I support had a board meeting last night and it was important for me to attend but it wasn’t nearly as thought provoking.
What do you think happens from here? Can we continue to spend our way to prosperity knowing that somebody has to ultimately pay for it all? Send me a note – through this blog or to my email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh – tune in Saturday to “Unlock Your Full Potential…Today!” We have a very informative debate on the Employee Free Choice Act. I learned lots and so will you.
Join me this and every Saturday morning at 9AM for "Unlock Your Full Potential… Today!”, the radio talk show that helps you learn to lead by example…by focusing on Life, Leadership, and Motivation in the Workplace. Our unique show allows you to call in and address any/all workplace issues – confidentially – we even have a segment named Speaking Confidentially – when you call, don’t name names, instead let’s work on and resolve the issues or questions you have. Unlock Your Full Potential…Today! is part of Coaches Corner, Saturday Morning Street Smarts, on Newstalk Radio, WBLF, 970 AM. Call in or send an Instant Message during the show: 814-272-9700 is the “On Air Live” studio number & WBLF970 is our IM address; send me an email anytime: email@example.com ; or simply respond to this blog! At Ki Visions, we help good people become great business leaders by helping them unlock and engage the entrepreneurial spirit. – ready to take the journey? Visit our website: www.kivisions.com
Ken Pasch, CHE
Your Leader & Business Growth Coach