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Rich DeVos:The fabric of the American way (Election message)
#1

Rich DeVos: Recalling the fabric of the American way

October 31, 2010|By Richard DeVos | Guest columnist

In the 1950s there was a popular expression that went, "The business of America is business." The meanings behind that were many but one stood out: As long as Americans took a business approach to running their affairs—both on Main Street and on Capitol Hill—the country continues to move forward.

One need not look beyond Capitol Hill and our state houses today to see how far off that basic path we have fallen. And that is cause for great concern.

While some of us still maintain our sensible business foundation—you cannot spend what you do not have and if you do you're in trouble—others have forgotten that it was hard work and common sense that made this nation great. Yet our future depends upon returning to that principle.

It was in 1959 that my partner and I developed the person-to-person direct selling approach that we refined to give individuals the opportunity to build a business of their own without going into debt. That multi-level approach became the model for scores of direct-selling companies. Individuals could become successful because they offered quality products at fair prices, and were good business people.

They prepared budgets and tracked income and expenses. They knew that money is finite; if you spend what you do not have, your business is doomed. The company we started is Amway, and it is now in 80 countries with sales of over $9 billion last year.

This is not some dreamy, misplaced nostalgia for an earlier time, but an imperative about realizing that some things remain universal and enduring: Being a good citizen, a fair person, an honest and wise business person and a thoughtful, courageous political leader. It is what we need more of today.

When I became the owner of the Orlando Magic, my colleagues and I applied the same good business sense, as well as the same compassion for fairness, to make that franchise economically sound while building winning teams. That is the American way.

Our leaders need to follow our Main Street experiences. For decades, our federal government has spent money it did not have for projects it did not need. The federal deficit for fiscal year 2010 was $1.3 trillion — about 9 percent of the entire economy.

The states are not any better. For fiscal year 2011, states faced budget deficits totaling $125 billion. The recipe is almost always the same: Spending money they don't have for projects they don't need. States and cities find this easy to do, at first, because of federal grants. But, as the Mercatus Center at George Mason University reported, temporary spending is never temporary. When federal dollars go away, the programs stick and states or cities must pay for them.

This is turning the American way of entrepreneurship, common sense and carefully conducted business on its head. The fiscal disaster we now have before us is gaining momentum and coming dangerously close to being out of control.

Thirty years ago, my partner and I helped start the revival of downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., with an investment in the aging Pantlind Hotel. We were honored to help lead a group of hard-working, caring citizens to make our hometown prosper again.

My sons and others have taken that love for community to new levels. We all do what we can each year, always keeping the larger goal in mind.

That is what good leadership is about — whether in politics or business. Not deficit spending, but determined planning and capable leadership.

That is the American way.As I wrote in my book, "Compassionate Capitalism," a wise use of financial resources can help others help themselves.

We all need to follow those time-proven guidelines. Stop spending what we do not have. Stop creating programs we do not want or need. Stop destroying this country we have built. If we cannot leave our children a safe and sound country still aglow with opportunity, anything else we leave them will be of little benefit.


http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010...al-deficit
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#2
Awesome share. I Love Rich DeVos media!
It is in moments of decision that my destiny is shaped.
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#3
I agree with Rich' sentiments, but to be honest I struggle to take it seriously as he, and other known republicans, never seem to trott out this criticism when it's the republicans in power. Deficit spending has been far far worse under republican presidents than democrat presidents since at least Ford.

[Image: chart-usDeficit.gif]

That is an accurate graph, I've checked it. It gets worse the next few years.

Another way at looking at it -

[Image: fiscalshift_2.gif]

Furthermore, a balanced budget, whether in business or government, is about balancing both income AND expenses. Why hasn't Rich spoken out in support of letting the Bush tax cuts expire? Cut back your income, then clearly you're going to have problems!

the Bush tax cuts accounted for almost half the mushrooming deficits during the last decade and, if made permanent, over the next 10 years would produce more red ink over than two wars, TARP, the Obama stimulus package and the revenue lost to the recession combined.(source)

Too many people (and a large number of the Tea Party seem to fit this, which is bizarrely hypocritical) seem to want their cake, but someone else to pay for it.
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#4
ibofightback Wrote:I agree with Rich' sentiments, but to be honest I struggle to take it seriously as he, and other known republicans, never seem to trott out this criticism when it's the republicans in power. .


Oh- they can't help themselves...LOL! yesterday I had a message on my answering machine - it was Dick DeVos (obviously endorsing a Republican somebody but I hit erase before he could say who) - somehow I was particularly offended that he would be such a shill......

But I'm sure all the DeVos family is happy because the people of Michigan sent a clear message that they've had enough of the Democrat party for 2 years. Time for the Republicans to mess things up for a while.
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#5
Here's my Facebook Status Update for the day:

For those in Cook County who voted pure party lines, you just elected a corrupt and compromised Assessor by more than 15 percentage points. Do your homework people!
Forrest Claypool ran as an Independent, rather than as the Democrat he normally is, b/c he saw the idiot Berrios running, and you ignored him. This party crap is bigotry as far as I'm concerned. It's going to come and bite you in your Democratic donkey's ass.
Like it hasn't already with Blago as Governor and Stroger as Cook County President. I can't *wait* to see who you elect as Mayor of Chicago in the next election. Oh goody, goody gumdrops.

I stay away from talking politics, but I just couldn't help myself. The lemming mentality is maddening. :glare:
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#6
Deb Wrote:yesterday I had a message on my answering machine - it was Dick DeVos (obviously endorsing a Republican somebody but I hit erase before he could say who) - somehow I was particularly offended that he would be such a shill......


My family and friends in California kept me updated of all the celebrities who graced their voicemails the last few days. Rolleyes
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#7
ibofightback Wrote:I agree with Rich' sentiments, but to be honest I struggle to take it seriously as he, and other known republicans, never seem to trott out this criticism when it's the republicans in power.
the Bush tax cuts accounted for almost half the mushrooming deficits during the last decade and, if made permanent, over the next 10 years would produce more red ink over than two wars, TARP, the Obama stimulus package and the revenue lost to the recession combined.(source)

Too many people (and a large number of the Tea Party seem to fit this, which is bizarrely hypocritical) seem to want their cake, but someone else to pay for it.


Rich DeVos, and other conservatives in the Republican Party, have been at odds with other factions in the party over deficit spending for years. The DeVos family (and the Van Andels) are very big supporters of the Heritage Foundation, which supports research with specific ideas to cut spending. They are also large supporters of the Club for Growth which is a politically active group that often challenges entrenched Republican tax and spend politicians.

For the record, Rich DeVos has been paying for a lot of cake with his tax dollars. Nobody is paying for his slice.
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#8
IBOFB,
I'm having a hard time reading your graphs. Could you make them a little bigger? Wink
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#9
Bridgett Wrote:The lemming mentality is maddening. :glare:


I'd frame this if the daily affirmation wasn't so counter-productive.... :thumbsup:
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#10
You are right that Republicans have lost credibility regarding limiting government spending.

The GOP held a tight reign on spending in the 90s when they held Congress and Bill Clinton was president. But once a Republican took the White House in 2000, they began spending like drunken sailors. (as opposed to the current regime that is spending money like a drunken sailor on crack cocaine).

But you cannot lump Rich DeVos and people like him into that bunch. It is his wing of the Republican Party that has been challenging the big spending Republicans for years.

Pennsylvania is a good example. Republican Arlen Specter had one of the worst records on spending. He was challenged six years ago by Pat Toomey for the Republican nomination. Conservatives lost. But this week Toomey became the Senator elect for the state and Arlen Specter is headed for the history books.

The fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party ousted long time Senator Bob Bennett in Utah and tried to do the same thing to Lisa Murkowski in Alaska (which is still up in the air). two senators with poor voting records on spending and regulations.

The bottom line is that it takes time to weed out the bad ones. Rich DeVos and others have been pushing fiscal responsibility for years. But it took an election like Tuesday for it to finally start paying off.

Now let's see how serious they are about it. Now is the time for them to put up or shut up.
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