Secure America’s            

    Future Economy



 Newsletter 65

                                                                               Spring 2012


    Budgeting 101    Politics are local
   A note to our readers    Conservative Manifesto
   Simple, neat & wrong    Social economics

Lessons from Madison Avenue – Have you read “How to Advertise Yourself” by Maxwell Sackheim.  In this timeless (1977) little book, a veteran advertising executive offers some interesting suggestions on how to promote products or ideas. 

To reach potential customers, you need to position the product in their frame of reference.  It is not what you think you can do for your prospective “customer” that counts; it is what your prospective “customer” thinks you can do for him! 

Be productive.  I suggest that you write at least one letter a day to a relative, a friend, a newspaper, a magazine, or even to yourself.  It will make you want to read more, learn more, think more, write more; and it will give you a you the gift of self-expression.

The public has many built-in defenses, notably indifference and inertia.  We [everyone] go through life with our minds usually only half turned on.  Our attitude, generally, about nearly everything is “so what?”

Always be honest.  Even if exaggeration or outright dishonesty does fool “some of the people some of the time,” the graveyard of hopes is filled with examples of products, ideas, and services that failed to make good their promoter’s false promises.

Unless prospects wind up doing something, if only to sign up for a commitment they can adjust later (Sackheim founded the Book of the Month Club), nothing has been accomplished.  That’s why SAFE’s blog entries often end with a call for action, if only “please let us know how you feel about this” or “spread the word if you agree.”

Budgeting 101, Bill Morris - When someone has spent the maximum possible on each of several credit cards, they have two choices.  One is to change their way of living drastically, save money and pay what they owe.  The other choice leads to bankruptcy, maybe losing a house, or even becoming homeless.

We have similar choices with our ridiculously high national debt.  We must cut federal government spending drastically, and start paying down the debt.  We must make significant sacrifices now, to avert much worse consequences later.

History tells us that the present policy of printing money and risking hyperinfla-tion can destroy the value of the US Dollar.  What then?  How do you feed your family?  How do you cope with the breakdown of law & order?

One serious part of the problem is the behavior of state governments.  They pander to desires of businesses and various organizations for government grants.  Every dollar from the federal government is a dollar increase in the national debt.

We must stop rewarding our members of Congress for helping to get money from the federal government, and start rewarding them for their efforts to cut federal spending.

As for the individual states, their proper role now is clear.  Rather than taking money from the federal government, they should be taking some of the load off the federal government.  An important move in this direction is to take over responsibility for Medicaid.

Some state government programs may need to be shrunk or even eliminated.  This may seem drastic, but we are in a dire situation.  There should be no more bribery of businesses to move to your state.  Instead, entice them by making it easier to do business in your state.

Taking control will allow individual states to do a better job without concern for rules dreamed up by federal bureaucrats.

The several states have been part of the problem.  We hope they will come to the rescue, and become part of the solution.


A note to our readers: This newsletter is for you, and we hope you will enjoy the content.  Here’s a tip that may help. For those who want to access some of the linked attachments, including a video re US presidents (page 4), clickable links may be found in the on-line version.

We would also encourage you to share the contents of the newsletter with others. There are many ways to do this, from the old standby of leaving read newsletters at your dentist’s office to sending copies of stories to people with possible interest.

Thus, here is a link to a story in the last newsletter about how to fight recessions. Some current policy makers might have done well to consider it.


HINT: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Nostalgia corner:
This will never come to pass
A back-seat driver out of gas
Burma Shave (1960)

Simple, neat and wrong, John Nichols -Most people understand that solar energy is unavailable at night or on cloudy days, and that wind turbines provide no energy when the wind isn’t blowing.  They also appreciate that these forms of energy may be comparatively expensive. It seems like simple math, however, that feeding renewable energy into the power grid will reduce the need for conventional power capacity – only that is not how a power grid works.     

Power system operators (like PJM in this region) must balance arrivals and departures of electricity. From long experience, they know approximately how much electricity must be scheduled to meet anticipated demand (which fluctuates considerably over a 24-hour cycle) and plan accordingly.  This is relatively simple with natural gas, coal or nuclear power plants, which can be run as needed except for maintenance shutdowns.  

Predicting the “arrival” of solar and wind energy is an inexact science at best, even using weather reports.  And any energy generated in excess of system needs cannot be economically stored until needed.

Each unit of wind or solar power deployed must therefore be backed up with an equal unit of reliable energy.  Otherwise, the use of these alternative power sources will reduce the capacity value of the grid and impair ability to meet demand.

As alternative energy penetration increases (e.g., in Texas, which has the most installed wind capacity of any state), these problems will increase in frequency and severity – forcing the curtailment of demand. Renewable energy proponents understand this point, but they have not chosen to emphasize it.


Politics are local – In addition to focusing on policy issues at the national level, SAFE tracks related developments in our own backyard.  See the new “Delaware Chatter” page on our Website, which carries “microblog” stories like the following: 

4/4/12, A2: Ben Feller (AP) covers the president’s “stirring” speech yesterday to an audience of news executives, in which Republican leaders were accused of being radical and unbending.  The main subject of the president’s ire was the House budget, which the story characterizes as “doomed to die in the Senate.” 

The News Journal has provided essentially zero coverage of either (1) the House budget, which is quite constructive, or (2) the House of Representatives’ rejection (414-0) of the president’s budget.  Our 4/8/12 blog entry will provide an update. 

To stay informed about points that the News Journal may not be reporting, bookmark this link and visit the page often.


Riddle: Many have heard it, but nobody has ever seen it, and it will not speak back until spoken to. What is it? (answer at bottom)


Conservative Manifesto: Some readers may have heard of this 1937 document, which was issued in reaction to FDR’s ill-fated “court packing” plan and other perceived excesses of the New Deal.  The authors were Senators John Bailey (R-NC) and Arthur Vandenberg (R-MI). Wikipedia, New York Times.


Although the manifesto itself does not seem to be readily available, the ten points that it made are as listed below. North Carolina History Project.


1.  Immediate revision of taxes on capital gains and undistributed profits in order to free investment funds.

2.  Reduced expenditures to achieve a balanced budget, and thus, to still fears deterring business expansion.

3.  An end to coercion and violence in relations between capital and labor.

4.  Opposition to “unnecessary” government competition with private enterprise.

5.  Recognition that private investment and enterprise require a reasonable profit. 

6.  Safeguarding the collateral upon which credit rests.

7.  Reduction of taxes, or if this proved impossible at the moment, firm assurance of no further increases.

8.  Maintenance of state rights, home rule, and local self-government, except where proved definitely inadequate.

9.  Economical and non-political relief to unemployed with maximum local responsibility.                

10.  Reliance upon the American form of government and the American system of enterprise.

Hmm, the conservative points in 1937 look very familiar.  It is as if the same battle, or perhaps a different battle in the same war, is still raging 75 years later.

Further information is available in the New York Times archives for a price, but we have not chosen to examine it.


Ryan budget vs. president’s budge): Cut spending by next decade by $5.3 trillion; avoid a major tax increase; reduce 2022 debt vs. Gross Domestic Product by 14 percentage points.  Sounds like an easy choice.

Social economics – Reagan dialogs with his peers about the basic fallacy of Socialism. (video, 5-1/2 minutes)


Riddle (answer): An echo

SAFE Board

Andrew Betley, (302) 239-9679

Edgar Fasig, treasurer, (302) 999-0611

Dan Kerrick, (302) 658-7101

Steve McClain, (302) 998-3910

Jerry Martin, (302) 478-5064

Bill Morris, (302) 475-7060

Ryck Stout, (302) 478-9495

Bill Whipple, president, (302) 464-2688

For e-mail addresses see:

Secure America’s Future Economy (SAFE)

SAFE is a non-partisan, all-volunteer organization that was founded in 1996.  We advocate smaller, more focused, lower cost government, to be achieved by cutting spending, restructuring “entitlements,” simplifying taxes, and rationalizing regulations.

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