Steve Stroud, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty, gave the following ‘perspective’ at the 26th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference held on January 12th at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC. This is Part II of his remarks.
“My parents, and their generation, never complained to the government, and never asked for anything but an opportunity. They rolled up their sleeves and went to work, and they made the most of any opportunity that was afforded them. They belonged to a community, and that community looked out for one another. There was nothing exceptional about their circumstances, or their resolve to raise a family with a deep sense of personal responsibility and a respect for this country and what it stands for. They were a typical North Carolina farm family of the 1940’s and Fifties. Their values were hard work, and thrift, and belief in God and family. Their values had not changed one bit from those of our Founding Fathers.
This was not so long ago. A single generation, in fact. So where did we go wrong? And more importantly, what can we do to get our country back again?
First, bring back statesmanship . . . . in Washington DC, in our state capitals, and in our city and county governments as well. We need to stop electing politicians who know how to campaign but know nothing about governing. We need to quit the earmarks and eliminate the gerrymandering that creates congressional districts that look like somebody spilled a bottle of ink on the map. Both parties have been guilty of the same thing.
Second, get rid of bloated government. Lately it seems that the only jobs being created have been government jobs. On the day that the Federal government employs fifty percent of the population, plus one person, then our democracy will cease to exist.
Third, bring integrity back to our electoral process. The right of every legal, registered citizen to vote must be protected. And we must recognize that if people who have not earned the franchise are allowed to vote, that hurts the legitimacy of the whole democratic process. Bring back the process where voters need to show their voter registration card, or some other form of official ID. Right now it’s too easy to cheat. In fact, the instructions on how to do so are published on the Internet.
Finally, we’ve got to fix the relentless taxation that seems to be aimed at punishing those who make the most of their opportunities and achieve something in our society.
In some twisted fashion the achievers have become the enemy, to be seen simply as a source of tax money that is then re-distributed. And when the bill comes due for this incredible level of deficit spending, who do you think is going to be asked to pay it?
(Part III, the final portion of Steve’s remarks will be posted next week.)