There is an old Chinese proverb that goes something like this: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Several Americans are now questioning whether we made the wrong turn by giving away fish instead of encouraging jobs and employment.
What has happened is that if you give a man a fish on Monday, he will expect more fish on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
This leads to welfare, entitlements and socialism.
That brings up another quotation, this time from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend.”
Unfortunately for us, she has proven to be correct.
Giving away all of those fish has proven to be costly for America.
In order to pay for those free fish the United States has had to borrow from several sources, our children and grandchildren, and even China.
Equally disturbing is the fact that those darn costly fish have caused our elected officials to raise taxes on business and jobs.
This, in turn, has caused a major reduction in job creation and jobs being outsourced to other countries where they are more welcome.
A recent article in Time Magazine suggests that it might take as long a 33 months for us to dig out of our current unemployment problem because so many American jobs have been outsourced.
It seems that no one wants to talk about the fact that on April 1, Japan reduced its corporate tax rate to encourage jobs and investment in business in their nation.
This move left the United States with the dubious distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate and of being the least competitive country for jobs and business among developed nations.
For at least 20 years, other developed nations have been cutting their tax rates to encourage business and jobs.
Countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) now have an average tax rate of 25 percent.
The rate in the United States is said to be 39.2 percent after including average state taxation.
The United Kingdom reduced their corporate tax rate from 28 to 26 percent in 2011 and plans are to reduce it even further to 22 percent by 2014.
Many Americans are questioning the wisdom of giving away fish instead of encouraging jobs.
What have we accomplished after years of giving away fish?
The people who get the fish have not improved their situation one bit while the United States had gone badly in debt and is struggling with huge unemployment.
What would happen if we gave away jobs instead of fish?
Ask the residents of the Principality of Liechtenstein, a small country in Europe.
Faced with little in the way of natural resources, their officials made the decision to encourage business and jobs by reducing the corporate tax rate to a maximum of 18 percent.
As a result, Liechtenstein is now the home of more than twice as many corporations as residents.
Instead of giving away fish, Liechtenstein gives away jobs.
Many residents of adjacent Switzerland and Austria commute into Liechtenstein daily because there are not enough Liechtensteiners to handle the number of jobs they have.
That sounds like a problem many Americans wished we had.
I suggest that it is time for you to call, write or e-mail your elected officials and tell them that giving away fish has not worked and has created major financial problems for America.
Instead, we need to reduce taxation and requirements in order to encourage investment in business and jobs in the United States.
Giving people jobs makes a heck of a lot more sense than giving them fish.
Driving safety program was successful
I want to thank everyone who volunteered and contributed to the success of our recent Street Survival teen driving safety program.
Serious car accidents involving new drivers have been an epidemic across the nation and especially in Ogle County.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens.
One in three teenage drivers is involved in a collision in their first year of receiving a license.
On April 14, 2012, 21 new drivers from Oregon High School and surrounding high schools participated in a one day driving safety course taught by professional drivers from the Blackhawk Region Sports Car Clubs of America (SCCA).
Contributions from many in our community and in surrounding communities allowed most of these students to participate in the course without cost.
Exelon Corporation and Blackhawk Valley Region SCCA donated scholarships to cover the cost of the Oregon High School students.
Jim Sigwards, owner of the Oregon and Byron Subways, donated sandwiches to provide lunch to the students, volunteers, and their families.
Exelon Corporation through the assistance of Paul Dempsey shared the use of the Exelon parking area and meeting room which were used for the driving course and classroom instruction.
The Blackhawk Region SCCA provided organizers and professional drivers to direct the safety instruction and facilitate the event.
The Byron Fire Department generously made their water truck available so that water hazards could be created on the driving course.
High school principal PJ Caposey was very helpful in communicating the availability of this event to the Oregon High School students and their parents.
With the continued generous support of our community, it is my hope that we can continue this event annually or biannually so that all new drivers interested can participate and increase the probability that these new drivers will return home safely when they leave the driveway.
If you have a young driver you would like to see participate in this event in the future, please call my office or send an e-mail and we will contact you when the next event is scheduled.
William P. Fearer III
Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) concerning Sentate Bill 741, which which would establish a national renewable electricity standard. that would, among other things, require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable sources by the year 2025. The bill is currently under consideration by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Conn is not in favor of S741
All I see in S741 is drastically increased utility rates that would hurt the people you represent.
If renewables are so good then why would not the utility companies do this without being forced to through legislation?
You gentlemen and women in Washington need to quit trying to protect us, because you’re really killing us.
The way to reduce dependence on foreign oil is to open up federal lands, off shore drilling, and build the keystone pipeline.
It is time that we tap our own natural resources which are in abundance.
In closing may I say that I did not contact your office in support of S741, I contacted you in opposition to it.
Why would I want to increase my utility rates?