This editorial is a bit long, but really illustrates the story. Anne and I have never been TRENDSETTERS, but, like most people, we have been greatly influenced by trends, and unlike most people, we have become adept to recognizing them.
FORGET THE POLITICIANS . . . With very few exceptions they are the problem, not the solution, and will not make things better.
FORGET THE JUDICIARY . . . With very few exceptions they are the problem, not the solution, and will not make things better.
FORGET THE MEDIA . . . With very few exceptions they are the problem, not the solution, and will not make things better.
SO WHAT AND WHOM IS THE SOLUTION?
In the recent past, I have written repeatedly that the best thing we can do with the LEFT is to simply ignore them. Don’t debate with them because you can’t win, and besides . . . that’s what they want.
FORGET THEM. SCREW THEM. LET THEM DEBATE WITH THEMSELVES:
Just think about this for a second . . . I am an employer.
I have been an employer for just about all of my life. When I was 12 years old, not only did I have a full time after-school job working at a sporting-goods store fixing bicycles, arranging inventory on the shelves and washing the floors, I also had my own window cleaning “company”, where I employed boys older than me to wash ground level windows.
This is 100% true.
My primary function in this business was to go door to door in the community, SELLING window washing services at a really good price. And once I made the sales, I recruited older boys who went with me to wash the windows.
I supplied the buckets, the water, the rags, a stepladder, the cleaning solutions and a little wagon to transport all this stuff. And not only did I oversee the work; I also worked as hard (harder) as the older boys I employed. And when the job was done, I collected the money.
At the end of the day, I kept my share, which was half of the total, and divided the balance between each of the boys.
Even though each boy understood the deal, and the division of receivables going into the deal, not all of them were happy that I was taking more than them, even though I got the business by going door to door, that I supplied all of the cleaning materials, that I worked at least as hard as any of them, and that I collected the money.
One day, one of the boys was upset and threatened to quit, unless I divided our revenue equally. I DIDN’T, AND HE DID. And he took the other boys with him.
So . . . here I was all-alone with my window washing “company”, and not an employee to my name, which really bothered me, because I figured that I had a pretty good “business” going, which was now pretty much defunct . . . BUT NOT REALLY.
Even though the older boys quit and left me alone, I still had several window washing commitments to fulfill. So, I went with my little wagon and cleaning equipment to do these windows all by myself, and when the jobs were finished, I collected the money . . . AND GUESS WHAT?
I immediately discovered that I made MUCH more money by doing it myself. I didn’t have to worry about “employees” or their shares. And I didn’t have to charge more because the “pie” was being divided-up in so many more slices. But I also didn’t have to charge less.
SO HERE’S THE LESSON I LEARNED:
I didn’t need those workers nearly as much as those workers needed me. And at the end of the day, I was making MORE money with fewer clients by working no harder than I did with my “employees”, while now, without me, my former employees earned NOTHING.
LET’S FAST FORWARD TO MY GROWN-UP BUSINESSES:
When I first opened my advertising agency in 1979, I had a great job working for a Montreal Sunday Newspaper, where I was earning about $50,000 a year, which was really good money in 1979.
While I earned all of this money by selling ads, I also made some pretty good money on the side, by doing artwork for the advertising clients, which led to doing unrelated layouts like business cards, brochures, fliers etc . . . which I did at home, as I taught myself how to do this stuff.
BUT I AM NO ARTIST . . . in reality, I can hardly draw a straight line, so I found real artists who I could subcontract the work to. And as my side-business grew, I took a HUGE gamble to leave this stupendous newspaper job to open up my advertising agency, which I sold to my wife for $1 almost twenty years ago, as I became far more politically active. But that’s a different story.
Anne still runs the Agency, which still pays the bills. But, this Agency, which is thirty-five years old, went through trials and tribulations most people couldn’t endure . . . MOST OF WHICH HAD TO DO WITH EMPLOYEES.
After years of dealing with employees, MOST of whom (not all) proved to be unreliable, and in many cases dishonest with their time and our graphic supplies and equipment, we decided to simply pack them in . . . and turned 100% to contractors.
Dealing with contractors meant that we were dealing with independent business owners just like us, who understood that we were their client . . . and if they didn’t provide GREAT service at competitive prices they would lose us.
Not only has this business model worked-out GREAT for us, it has also worked-out GREAT for the contractors, where after decades, most of whom are still in business, and are still doing business with us to our mutual benefit.
Not that many years ago, Anne maintained two personal assistants, one to help her manage the day-to-day accounting . . . the other to help her deal with client services.
Even though we always paid much more than minimum wage to any of our employees, even kids who helped with the property (grass cutting etc), the LEFTIST Ontario government decided that the provincial minimum wage had to go up, which meant that we had to proportionately increase the hourly wage we paid to our employees.
And in the final analysis, it meant that we also had to increase the employer share of the taxes and other deductions at source we paid to the government, meaning, that it beggared an additional cost to us of more than $10,000 per year, which effectively came out of our own pockets FOR NO EXTRA BENEFITS TO US.
Our solution was simple: Let one of Anne’s assistants go, especially since advances in computer programming has already made one of their jobs somewhat redundant. So, we gave the raise to one, and made the other (reluctantly) unemployed.
BUT IT DIDN’T STOP THERE:
Not long after, the same government decided that in mid-February, all employees MUST have a paid day off (family day), meaning, that not only did we have to pay people NOT TO WORK, but we also had to pay their taxes along with their deductions at source for them NOT TO WORK.
THIS INFURIATED ME:
After all was said and done . . . that between the rise in wages, the PAID day not to work, and all the other FORCED employee benefits, we cut the working hours of Anne’s remaining assistant to half, partly because the computer also made her job somewhat less necessary, and partly because we were fed-up with being responsible for a perfect stranger, ONLY because we gave her a job and the opportunity to earn money.
AND FINALLY . . . Because of the 2008 financial CRUNCH, many of our advertising clients across Canada were pulling back substantially, which really limited our need for an assistant for Anne, which brought us to the conclusion that Anne could do well by herself, certainly through the summer when our business was always historically slow, which than extended through the winter and beyond . . . till the present time.
WE USED TO PAY A HALF MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN SALARIES:
Here we are now, years after meeting a huge payroll for a small company of $500,000 per year, more than 30 years ago, when A Half Million Dollars was REAL money . . . to no Payroll whatsoever. AND WE’RE DOING BETTER FOR IT.
Anne and I would never have reduced our staff to zero, if our staff had given back to us in effort and results . . . in proportion to what we gave to them in revenue. And if the government (all levels of government) didn’t PUNISH us with regulations and taxes as they do to all companies who give people an opportunity to make money
HERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF OUR COMMITMENT TO THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED FOR US:
Anne and I are not heartless: In the early years of our Ad Agency, business wasn’t good, and receivables weren’t coming in. It’s always tough to build a legitimate business from scratch. In fact . . . we were broke. BUT, no matter how tough things were, we still had to make our payroll. For which we had two options:
1 – Lay some people off until business got better.
2 – Permanently release some people and scale down the agency.
But either option would have deprived people who depended on us for a paycheck, which meant they couldn’t pay their commitments like rent, car payments, etc. But our conscience wouldn’t let us do that.
So, what Anne and I did, was borrow over $80,000 over several months on our credit cards, just to keep the people who worked for us employed.
The thank you we received for this sacrifice was to discover that some of our artists were using our equipment and supplies to do work on the side on our time, instead of helping us increase our own business that gave them a good check at the end of every week, while several others were trolling for better jobs as Anne and I struggled to keep them employed.
No matter how tough things were for us over the years of building our businesses, Anne and I NEVER missed making a payroll. We NEVER missed paying a commission check. We NEVER missed paying a bonus check. We NEVER missed paying a vacation check. AND WE ALWAYS PAID MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE.
Yet, with the rare exception . . . we never got back what we put in.
TRENDS . . . THIS IS WHAT IS INEVITABLY GOING TO DO-IN THE LEFT:
Fast-forward thirty-five years, and here we are in our mid sixties, still running our agency, but without any employees. And whatever we can’t do ourselves we job-out, which ELIMINATES the enormous costs, aggravation and stress of having full-time employees.
We don’t worry about labor laws, workers’ rights at our expense, deductions at source, paid days off where we are mandated by law to pay salaries, perks and taxes for people NOT to work. We don’t worry about paid sick days, and pregnancy leave, not to mention mandated leave for the fathers of newborns, much like employers have to pay for maternal leave.
We don’t worry about employees not doing their job as well as they can or need to. We don’t worry about employee theft. And we don’t worry about employees showing up to work late – OR NOT AL ALL.
In fact . . . after more than 30 years of running our businesses with lots of employees, we are finally in business for ourselves, and not for the government and people who demand far too much from employers like us, who sacrifice and risk everything to be self-employed.
HERE’S THE TREND:
As more people like us figure it out . . . more people will find fewer jobs and opportunities available to them. We have seen a huge erosion of jobs from big companies, who long ago discovered that they could manufacture, build, or assemble their products in countries where government regulations and employee entitlements are not impediments to their success.
And where their profits aren’t gobbled-up in a swamp of taxes.
But, the loss of jobs through huge corporations is really small potatoes in comparison to the coming job losses from the world of small to medium sized businesses, where the real job volume exists.
THEY’RE ALREADY DOING IT:
As the unions, regulators, politicians, bureaucrats and tax collectors put ever so much more pressure on small to medium sized business owners, these business owners will do exactly what Anne and I decided to do not that long ago. And just like us, when we decided to have fewer employees, we didn’t rehire. We just figured out how to do more with less.
AND THAT’S WHERE THE LEFT IS PUSHING THE MAKERS . . .
We don’t have to do anything to defeat them.
All we have to do is wait and watch, as the LEFT totally collapses under their own SOCIALIST weight.
The government can promise more food stamps and more FREE stuff, more unemployment insurance and more entitlements. But, without business, especially from small to medium sized businesses to employ the population and create tax revenue to pay for the FREE STUFF, they will have NOTHING with which to pay for their empty promises.
We Conservatives can scream all we want to. We can threaten the LEFT and the PRETEND-CONSERVATIVES (politically) to get off their ass and pony-up to the Dream. But that will have no effect.
The ONLY thing that will change the direction of where our societies are going . . . will be the total collapse of the system, which at this point, at least to me, seems all but inevitable.
And when that happens, the TAKERS will turn on everyone, especially on their enablers who cannot fulfill their empty promises.
And the MAKERS like Anne and myself . . . we will take care of ourselves. We will also take care of the people we care most about. And we will become even that much closer to other people who share our Conservative Values.
With every passing day, the day of the impending crash approaches. And when it does, all bets for the TAKERS will be off the table.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov