More Skills = More Pay

August, 2014

shamrock_skillsCongress and the President continue to focus on the minimum wage. They should be focusing on how to Increase the skills of the American worker!

Millions of jobs cannot be filled because workers don’t have the necessary skills. What’s the solution?

More technical training programs!

In metro Kansas City we are fortunate to have a number of quality programs at our high schools and community colleges where young men and women can earn certifications and degrees in highly skilled, high demand fields like manufacturing, health care, auto technology, welding, graphic design, culinary arts and more.

The Olathe, KS school district is a state and national award winner where the lives of students are being changed and the new face of the American work force is taking shape.

Here are just a few stories from the Olathe Career and Technical Education programs:

  • After being shot, a young man turned away from inner city gangs, found a new pathway in auto technology, graduated from the Olathe Advanced Technical Center (OATC) with multiple industry certifications, became the first in his family to go to college and is now earning over $60,000 right out of community college.
  • The athletic trainer for an NFL football team is a  graduate of the Olathe Sports Medicine Program.
  • Chefs graduating from the Olathe Culinary Arts programs have won national competitions, received scholarships worth millions and are now working in the finest restaurants in the U.S. and Europe.
  • Nearly 100 young men and women graduated, earned industry certifications and found well-paid jobs right out of Olathe high schools this year alone.

Industry representatives are literally standing at the end of the graduation lines to offer these kids jobs.

What’s particularly moving about these stories is that many of these students were ready to drop out of school before they found these hands-on, career training programs. Nationally over 75% of all kids who are failing in school are boys. On the other hand, over 90% of boys who take technical education programs at schools like OATC graduate with above average grades and go on to meaningful careers or success in college.

Programs like these prove that we can get a great return on our education dollars. Economic research shows returns of up to four-to-one on the cost of career and technical training programs vs. the taxes collected and economic benefits generated by these well-training and highly motivated new workers.

Nationally, there is talk of the income gap. I believe it’s an opportunity gap. When a person doesn’t have the necessary skills to do more than flip burgers, then they’re only worth minimum wage. But, if our schools and businesses can provide the training these people need, their skills will be magnified and their pay checks will grow accordingly.

Looking out over the coming decades there will be millions of new jobs available that require skilled training, industry-required certification and some post-secondary education. They’ll be in the health care, manufacturing and high-tech fields. But, the vast majority of these jobs will not require an expensive, four-year college degree.

Summary

Urge your local, state, school district and federal government leaders to focus on the solution to higher pay: Greater Skills!!!

Let’s not focus on the minimum wage. Focus instead on more skills for greater income and success!!

Fed Up

July, 2014

shamrock_ballotboxAs we celebrate the founding of our nation, the American people are FED UP!! with the Federal government, Congress and the President. Take your pick of polling data and you find the approval or confidence ratings for

  • Congress: +/-10% (the lowest since 1973)
  • President: 30-40%

The American people have lost faith in Washington and are frustrated over the lack of leadership they see in the Capitol and the White House.

Eric Cantor

People ask, “Why was Cantor defeated in Virginia?”

The answer is simple, “He was out of touch with the voters!!” The voters spoke and elected an unknown who ran on conservative values. He had little backing of the Tea Party. With a campaign fund of approximately $200,000 vs. Cantor’s $5 million, the people liked what he said and voted for him.

Regulations

According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute

  • More than 3,600 new regulations hit the books annually, a rate of nearly 10 per day.
  • Federal regulations cost the economy $1.8 trillion per  year; a hidden tax of almost $15,000 per household.
  • Last year Congress passed 72 bills but government agencies issued 3,659 regulations.

Let’s tear down these regulatory barriers to success!

Executive Orders

Congress votes down a bill dealing with immigration. The President signs an executive order implementing a policy rejected by our representatives in Congress.

The President continues to modify Obamacare to his desires.

It is Congress’ responsibility to pass the laws. The President’s responsibility is to enforce the laws…all of the laws, not just the ones he likes.
IRS

The most feared government agency—the IRS—is out of control!

It is well documented they are singling out conservative groups who request 501 c 3 or c 4 tax status. For over a year Congress has been trying to obtain key information. Now we find key e-mails have been “lost” due to a computer hard drive accident.

How dumb do they think we are???

Who will be the next group the IRS goes after? How sad that people are afraid of their own government!!

Middle East

The Middle East is now in flames! Iraq is divided along tribal groups. Oil supplies are threatened. Thank goodness for fracking in the USA or we would be waiting in gas lines again.

Energy

It is imperative that we continue to expand our own energy plus oil from Canada and Mexico.

We have been sitting on approval of the Keystone Pipeline for years. Canada is tired of waiting. They have now made the decision to build a pipeline to the West Coast to sell their oil to China and Japan.

We cannot afford to lose this safe energy source. Approve the Keystone Pipeline NOW!!!

Summary

We are the greatest nation in the world. Yet, due to lousy decisions by our government, we are losing our strength both domestically and internationally.

We continue to waste too much money; our deficits go up, while the value of the dollar goes down. Take a trip out of the country to see what your dollar is worth.

Elections have consequences. Get out and vote in August and November. Let’s return our great nation to the conservative values that built America.

Energy. Jobs. Politcal Power

June, 2014

shamrock_switchUnfortunately, too few Americans remember the gas lines of the early 1970s.

The Middle East stopped their exports of oil to the United States. Gasoline shortages occurred overnight. People waited for hours at service stations hoping to buy a few gallons of gasoline before the station ran out.

Does that have to happen again?

NOT IF WE MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS!

Every President since Carter has cried out for energy independence. What has happened?

  • Ethanol: Driven up food prices for all Americans. Environmentally a disaster. A product that harms engines.
  • Wind Mills: Noisy. Bird killing machines. Cost ineffective.
  • Solar Panels: Limited use, but valuable in certain climates and when used properly. Cost ineffective.

Fortunately, private industry has come to America’s rescue with

  • Fracking: Significant increase in oil and gas supplies and a profound job creator for our economy.

All of this has happened without government support. In fact, just the opposite. Between the EPA and the Endangered Species Act (prairie chickens, tortoises, lizards) the government is trying to shut down fracking.

It is imperative that we become energy independent in North America. We can do that between Canada, Mexico and the USA. We need to achieve this objective for energy security and the large number of jobs it creates.

Coal

Our government has declared war on coal, including “clean coal.” A word of caution. Coal is a major supplier of electricity in America. Before you close it down, what will you replace it with and when? Summer is coming with its hot temperatures. The supply of electricity in relationship to our use is “razor thin.”

China

China has searched the world to satisfy its rapidly growing energy needs. It is now the biggest energy user worldwide, passing the USA. It consumes 10.1 million barrels of oil each day–one ninth of the world’s total—while producing only 4.1 million barrels a day, according to a recent OPEC report. Meanwhile, China recently signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Russia to supply part of its natural gas needs.

Russia/Europe

Europe relies on Russia to supply the bulk of its natural gas. Germany has reduced energy production from nuclear and coal, therefore they will become even more dependent on Russia. Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Estonia and Finland all import 100% of their natural gas from Russia. Russia’s control of natural gas means more economic power for them. If Russia turns off the gas, or raises prices dramatically, you will see economic chaos! Think Ukraine!!!

Summary

The world is changing dramatically. China’s demand for energy will only increase. Russia has nearly 20% of the world’s current supply of natural gas. They will use this as a political weapon in Europe and elsewhere. The USA can’t and won’t do anything to stop them. We must develop our own natural gas and oil to be independent from the world wide chaos that can and will occur. Mr. President and Congress, we need a plan that provides energy security and creates more jobs!

  • Approve the Keystone pipeline
  • Open up ANWAR in Alaska for development
  • Quit attacking our energy industry with regulatory madness.

Let’s keep the lights on in America!!!