Picking a Candidate, The Gambler’s Way
In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a gambler. Beyond the casino, I also use my finely tuned gambling skills to make every day decisions. The upcoming political election is no different.
I’m not sure that Mitt Romney is the best person in the country to be president, but he is certainly a “Fresh Deck”. Mitt has an entirely different agenda than our current Commander and Chief. Just like when a deck goes cold in blackjack or poker, it’s time to shuffle up and re-deal. Switch the blue deck for the red deck. A new cabinet of people who say they have the solutions America needs. What many folks still fail to realize is that the president is only as strong as those around him. Whether it’s the House, the Senate or a slew of other regulatory agencies across the country, the President’s ability to make big decisions is often subject to the approval of others. It’s a good thing, checks and balances and such. Every card in the deck can change the winning hand to a losing one and vice versa.
Know Your Limits
Just like the Casino commercials tell you, you must know your limits. Decide before going into the casino how much you are willing to spend, and when it’s time to leave. A novel idea in government, eh? Knowing how much we can spend on programs, agencies and other government initiatives before they begin and also having a way to exit if necessary is vital. My credit card has a limit, shouldn’t Washington’s?
Stack the deck
Talent can he hard to find and even tougher to keep. Well educated, motivated people who start businesses and pay taxes, strengthen our communities and our country as a whole. Romney’s proposal? Granting permanent residency to qualified advanced graduates. It may be slightly different than our original plan of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This one goes more like “Give us your smart, talented people who probably wouldn’t have the same opportunities in their own country, and let them pay taxes and start businesses here.” Surely it’s not as selfless as the original but it definitely makes a bit more economic sense.
Some food for thought: One in six founders or CEOs of High Tech firms are legal immigrants.
It’s naive to think we have all of the smartest folks in the World here in America. We lack in some critical areas like science and math. I too would love to see us make up that ground, but in the interim, let’s not ignore the amazing potential of bringing in some outside talent and making them feel at home.
Bluff, but don’t be afraid to pull the trigger
One of the very first lessons I learned when playing Poker is to not be afraid to bluff. Even more importantly, don’t be afraid to go all the way with it. When I decide to bluff, I go in ready to get called down to the end with nothing but my high card. It’s a commitment. The cards are secondary to my intuition, even against a big time player. For example, let’s call our Shark “China”. “China” plays by his own code. If you want to play, you play at his limits and by his rules. Unfortunately, “China” is the big money at the table, and you have to play with him, and he knows it. If you show weakness, he’ll exploit it, every time.
However we, as a global player, need to be ready to walk away if the stakes continue to be too unfavorable.
Comps and Bonuses
Depending on how long you play at the casino, they’ll give you comps, or rewards. Usually free hotel nights, buffet coupons and the like. In the United States, we get Social Security. Based on how long you work, you are given a check at a certain age, as early as 62. Romney’s plan (and what I’ve said for years) is to raise that minimum age to reflect our increased longevity. Also, benefits should continue to grow to keep up with inflation, but at a slower rate for those with higher incomes. Makes sense as those are the folks who are likely saving for their retirement in other ways as well. Besides, your “High-Rollers” aren’t going to be impressed with your buffet comps anyway.
Speaking of “High Rollers”, it’s time we stop vilifying people who make money. Maybe you don’t think they pay their fair share, but life’s not always fair. Sometimes, some people just do better than others. Get used to it. They stimulate the economy with every lavish purchase they make, including their corporate jet. So relax, and worry more about the billions being wasted through redundancy in our Government, and not how we can’t continue to support it with more tax dollars. Most Americans have learned to live inside a budget, it’s time our government did the same.