Friday, June 17, 2005
US Postal Service Update
The United States Postal Service wants a rate hike. Have you ever heard that before?
A recent report by the AP(“Postal Service Execs Pocket Moving Money”) shines more light on one reason the Postal Service should NOT be granted a rate hike. As outlined on the Capitalist Chatter blog of the Small Business and Entrepreneurial Council...
The Postal Service provided executives with moving expenses ranging between $10,000 and $25,000, and did not require any receipts, while allowing employees to keep any leftover cash.
And so it goes. Small business should defend their interest by calling or writing to their congressperson. I would advocate for privatization of the Postal Service. If we gave each citizen one share in the new private Postal Service, Inc. (A Delaware Corporation) we could decide for ourselves to sell, keep or even buy more shares. And Postal Service, Inc. would be free to compete against DHL (The German Post Office) and carriers like Federal Express on an even playing field.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Social Security Update
The staff here at Delaware Intercorp, Inc. is fairly young. Our average age is 35 (Thanks to "you know who" for bringing the average down).
So we are also concerned about Social Security. None of us see a bright future of collecting on the public dole when we get to retirement age, whenever that might be.
Two of this authors favorite sources are now predicting that President Bush's plan for Social Security reform will go down in flames. This makes us all a little mad.
The CATO Institute, quoting the Washington Post in the Daily Dispatch reports that Senate Republicans are looking for a way out of Social Security reform:
"Senate GOP leaders, in discussions with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and political officials, have made it clear they are stuck in a deep rut and suggested it is time for an exit strategy, according to a senior Senate Republican official and Finance Committee aides."
The Wall Street Journal Opinion Page Editors write today, "Howard Dean observed recently that he hopes to "galvanize the Democrats into being the party of individual freedom and personal responsibility." That's a wonderful idea - just the kind that would put the Democrats back on the road to national viability. But that leaves unanswered the question of how a party that opposes voluntary personal accounts for Social Security, school choice for parents, tax and welfare reform, free trade and limited government broadly defined can sell itself as the freedom and responsibility party."
It is understandable that younger workers would feel frustrated by the Democrats obstructionism and the Republicans lack of fortitude.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Free Online Business Plan templates
One of the most important things that we do here at Delaware Intercorp, Inc. is to try to take care of our clients needs. Many times, we are asked to provide resources to business that can help them to manage and operate their company. We sell items like corporate kits, and forms CD's for that very purposes.
Can corporate kits be a great tool for entrepreneurs? Absolutely. But sometimes when you are starting a new business cash can be hard to come by.
Alan pointed out in his post yesterday that sometimes you can find templates and forms online for free.
I wanted to follow-up the link he provided you to business and legal templates with another one within the same site that takes you directly to free templates for business plans.
All of the downloads are for free, and run on various Microsoft programs like Project, Excel, Word and Power Point. You can find several worthwhile documents for beginners here like Break-even analysis charts, a business plan for startup businesses, and even a business planning checklist.
Several of the templates and forms been provided by a great mentoring organization called the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE®). I'll talk more about SCORE® and what they do to help small business and entrepreneurs in my next post.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
More internet resources for legal and business documents
At Delaware Intercorp, we try to keep you up to date on where to find templates and examples to help you run your business. Every year about this time I bring up what I think is the most overlooked resource on the net. Microsoft provides a number of useful templates for Word, Access and Excel to organize your business.
Most people don't think of Microsoft as a resource for anything other than fixes for their software, but they do a lot of work that can really help you out.
Commentary from the CATO Institute on Social Security Reform
Since it looks like the Democratic Party in America is going to kill any attempt to reform Social Security, I thought it would be interesting to examine thier motives. I don't have any affirmative answers, but this is enlightening.
A quote from the CATO Institutes' Brooke Oberwetter that originally appeared in Reason Online on June 13, 2005:
As it has evolved, Social Security has attempted to provide American workers and their families with three things: retirement benefits, disability insurance, and survivor benefits. Those are solid liberal goals. But because of the program's age, aspects of Social Security discriminate against many modern families, particularly gay couples, unmarried couples, dual-earner couples, and divorcees.
Fully one-third of all marriages end before the 10 years necessary for spousal benefit eligibility—among blacks, nearly a half of all marriages end in divorce within 10 years. Considering that many women take time off from work to raise children during those first 10 years, they are unable to make Social Security contributions of their own yet not eligible for spousal benefits upon divorce. Women who do remain married beyond the eligibility period but divorce later not only have a lower earnings record (if they raised children) but are forever tied to the earnings of their ex-husbands and are ineligible to receive the possibly higher benefits available from a subsequent marriage that doesn't last a full 10 years—this feature can be particularly harmful to older Americans who wish to marry.
Even on the rosier side of marriage and commitment, Social Security discriminates. Dual earning couples, for example, often end up subsidizing the benefits of single-earner families. This is because workers are entitled to either their own benefits or the equivalent of one-half the benefits of a higher earning spouse—but not both. Women who work for a number of years but who would do better by accepting one-half of their husbands' benefit level don't see any increased benefits for their payroll taxes; those women lose the 12.4 percent of income that was taken from them during their working years. The money goes to subsidize the benefits of a single-earner couple.
Consider also the bias against couples who for whatever reason are unmarried. Gay couples and heterosexual co-habiting couples are unable to share the benefits of their status as workers protected by the Social Security system. An unmarried couple that has decided on a single-earner structure cannot take advantage of survivor's benefits or spousal retirement benefits in the same way a government sanctioned married couple can.
The overwhelming support for the status quo from the political left is shocking, and should be appalling to members of the Democratic Party or anyone who holds the liberal values that Wexler extols. Bringing the system into solvency through tax hikes on labor and productivity will do untold damage to America's economic growth in order to protect a system that systematically discriminates against core constituencies of the Democratic Party, a system that disproportionately benefits white women who have never worked a day in their lives over all other groups. Is that a status quo that the Democratic Party wants to be associated with?
While the Democrats demand that Social Security's current structure be maintained through plans like Wexler's, millions of women remain tied to their husbands' earnings and millions of non-traditional families are denied access to the system. It doesn't seem out of line to ask, why aren't the Democrats taking the lead on transforming one of America's most discriminatory programs into a program that treats individuals as equals?