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Looking Ahead through the Rear Window

Uncategorized Dec 28, 2020

As I begin this post, Team LoCo has recently completed our first-ever offsite retreat - LoCo Advance we branded it, as we do not retreat!  But we did get away for a couple of half-days of facilitated strategic planning with the amazing Drew Yancey, to the foothills near Horsetooth Reservoir, for a masked and socially-distanced time together.  We were in-person though, which gave me some joy, and frankly, yours truly could have it no other way - I am zoomed out and I needed some time in the same room as my team.  

 

To be real, it’s been a long and not-joyful season for me, starting with the lockdown response to the pandemic threat, growing through the racial tensions of the summer and the divisive partisan discourse of the election (and post-election!) - and continuing through the loss of a beloved family member in late October.  As with many of us, this year has been tough.  Harmony and peace and love are what feed me, not this junk food we...

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Gratitude is an Attitude - Make it an Action!

Uncategorized Nov 30, 2020

There aren’t that many new things in the world and often the “new things” are a revisit from the old things.  Gratitude seems to be one of those new things that people have been talking more about the last few years.  Leading up to this writing, I skimmed some articles and watched a few TedX videos and although it’s an old notion, most of the stuff I found was released between 2017 and today.  Have gratitude, and find your why, those are the biggies - and get your hustle on!  

 

Gratitude is the antidote for fear and anger they say, or the key to releasing anxiety or to moving through depression.  Want to be happy, they say - be grateful! - which is good because it sounds so much easier to be grateful than it does to be happy.  

 

But it’s a super-old concept of course - we’re approaching Thanksgiving as I write this piece, so...duh.  And Thanksgiving Day sounds so much better than Happiness...

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Trick or Treat or Sacrifice?

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2020

Halloween, different this year, I reckon. But I’m sure the traditional costuming and seeking of treats will continue. Halloween has a very interesting (and some would say, disturbing) provenance.  Basically a merging of Celtic Pagen and Roman harvest festival traditions, this holiday is celebrated around the Western world and beyond, and as Americans we spend the second-most annually on this holiday, second only to Christmas.  As an armchair economist and philosopher, it holds a special fascination for me I have to admit.  In our time, costumed children wander the streets gathering candy from strangers - the treats - who provide them willingly lest they face the threat of tricks.  

 

To call a duck a duck, it’s forced handouts under threat of harm, amiright?  And this teaches our children what?  

 

I was musing on this notion the other day, as I considered my PPP loan forgiveness application and worked on contingency...

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Falling Into Recovery

Uncategorized Sep 28, 2020

 The typical human walk, scientists say, is really a controlled fall.  We twist our hips a bit and fall forward, but strategically place our foot in just the right spot to propel us along to the next controlled fall.  If we didn’t do it this way, we’d have to shuffle, and we’d all wear out our shoes much faster and go along our way more slowly.  

 

I think there are some parallels to be drawn with an economy from this perspective.  In regular times, it’s just cruising along in a controlled fall - jobs are created, jobs are destroyed - sometimes by market forces, sometimes by regulatory changes, but it keeps moving forward, one step in front of the other.  Children are born, they get big enough to do chores and then menial jobs, often fall in love and have new babies and get better jobs, and then they get old and consume lots of medical services and then they die, and the cycle of life and commerce rolls along. ...

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Good Debt Pays for Itself, Bad Debt is a Drag…

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2020

Top 3 Takeaways: 

  1. How to identify good debt and bad debt 
  2. To consider the history of government debt & why it matters
  3. The multiple effects of bad spending decisions

 

I thought we’d muse today on how presidential leadership and economic policy impact government budgets and deficits and ultimately, how our perspective on debt affects us as individuals, businesses, and the nation.

 

Donald Trump has been a remarkable President, in many ways, but I’ll limit myself to one area of focus today.  With a Presidency predicted by the Simpsons 16 years before Trump first took office, our national debt has grown at a ferocious pace, up to a new record for the good old US of A at 136% of GDP.  Of course, we just added a fresh $3T or so, to a whopping $26.5T.  (The T stands for Trillion, if you’ve been living under a rock).    

https://www.debtconsolidation.com/us-debt-presidents/

 

Prior to this point, Trump was...

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Liberty = Freedom + Virtue (On Virtue)

Uncategorized Jul 29, 2020

I’m a liberty-minded guy.  That phrase, give me liberty or give me death, has particular resonance for me.  I struggled mightily during the initial lockdowns, and I confess that the recent statewide mask order felt a bit heavy-handed to me - because it’s a big and diverse state, and many areas have seen little covid.  Ten counties in Colorado have seen fewer than 10 total cases to date (with one county at 0, one at 1, and one at 3), and yet they’re asked to be masked up at the local farm elevator or the 4 table local cafe - which can now only have 2 tables.  And I would hazard to guess that mask order adherence in those places is likely minimal - and they are probably taking an acceptable risk based on their situation.  But here in Fort Collins, I tend to wear my mask as prescribed out of responsibility to others, and to avoid being the cause of any unnecessary fear - there is far too much of that in the world already.  It still feels...

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The Delicate and Beautiful Diversity of these United States

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2020

Four thousand, seven hundred and seventy-eight miles!  That’s the approximate distance my beautiful and wonderful and trusting wife Jill and I travelled along with our adventurous and soon-departed foreign exchange student Ola earlier this month.  In a 31-foot Class C RV no less, and with our little dog Tucker!  It’s a good thing gas is relatively affordable, because we burned A LOT of gas!  Spent our whole economic stimulus debit card, and then some.  But we crafted many great memories and were able to show Ola 10 BIG states, of which 9 were new to her.  

 

This blog post may read more like a travel log, but it’s hoped there are some useful make-you-think items along the way, about business and life and the beautiful and hopefully stretchy fabric that ties this nation of states together.  I’m realizing as I tell people of our travels, that the “Great American Road Trip” is a rare thing for most...

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May We Make Lemonade!  

Uncategorized May 26, 2020

"Things are tough all over" was the first line that came to mind when I started this month’s blog post, and then I immediately wondered where that little nugget came from?  Do you know the pop-culture reference?  I didn’t either, so I looked it up, and it’s Cheech & Chong!  It’s the title of a movie, one I watched at a birthday party in about 1985 - wow, that was a deep nugget!  

 

The 1982 episode of the classic series features the stoner comics partnered with an oil-rich Arab who owns the car wash they’re working at to make ends meet while their hoped-for music career takes off.  Like other episodes in the series, this one features all kinds of hijinks by the likeable duo, full of twists and turns and near-death or near-jail experiences, and then a dramatically positive finish (I’ll not spoil it for you).  

 

I want to say that’s a pretty good descriptor of how many of our stories may...

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The Fixers Take Center Stage

Uncategorized Apr 28, 2020

April is among my favorite months - so much change in the air.  Our days are longer, the song of birds is in the air, the weather is totally unpredictable - and oh, yeah - we’re still living in Covid Nation.  I don’t have to tell you that life is different today than it was at the beginning of March, and I think we all wonder what it’s going to be like this time next month, or in the fall.  I found myself thinking about the passage of time as I entered into this months’ blog writing session - of the inevitability of the seasons, the rising and setting of the sun.  A clockmaker may measure this passage, a photographer may capture a bit of its beauty, writers and historians might take note of major moments, but the world keeps spinning round and round.  

 

I would submit that there are two camps, largely speaking, as to how people see the role of government in the world.  There are those who see the inequalities of the...

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March forward, as Saint Patrick would have done.  

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2020

I spent some time earlier this month researching Saint Patrick, who we all know banished all of the snakes from Ireland, had a shamrock farm, and invented green beer.  BUT IT’S NOT TRUE!! He likely did none of these things, but the life he lived was amazing, and I’m going to share a little bit of that history. And then I’m going to write about viruses and fear, and indecision.  After that I intend to tie in some economics, and at the end I’ll give you a charge, an encouragement if you will - and then you’ll go about your day. Sound good? 

 

Saint Patrick first came to Ireland as a captive slave, kidnapped by pirates at the age of 16.  He was the son of a decurion and a deacon in England, or perhaps Scotland or Wales (he’s famous so they fight over him - and it was a long time ago - 432ish AD).  His father was thus holding both a powerful local government role and a powerful role within the church hierarchy. Patrick,...

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