As I see things, I have about twenty more years of productive life left in me. I want to create some goals that I can work on over that period of time.
I want these to be the biggest and most important goals I’ve ever created.
Here’s what I have in mind.
I want to have been a major influence in helping to create the strongest middle class America has ever experienced in its history.
To me, outside of the first truly functioning democracy, America’s greatest accomplishment has been the creation of the largest and wealthiest middle class in the history of the world.
To me, the middle class is the bridge between the poorest economic class and the richest. A person, in one generation, should be able to go from the poorest to the richest class by crossing over the bridge of the middle class.
In addition, a person should be able to count on being a productive participant of the middle class, resulting in an ever increasing rise in standard of living.
I believe we have to come to grips with the following numbers to achieve this. Right now the middle class is composed of anyone who has an annual income of $35k to $100k. This comprises 66% of the American population. Over the next twenty years, these annual salary numbers should double if the American middle class is to be as strong as I imagine it can be.
In other words, by 2032, 66% of America’s population (then somewhere close to 250 million) should be earning between $70k and $200k annually in 2012 dollars. That’s a 50% increase every decade, or somewhere around 4% annually. That’s very doable.
I believe this will be accomplished by creating a new American infrastructure composed of the following:
– A successful and affordable education system that emphasizes learning, learning, learning, and training, training, training.
– An effective and affordable healthcare system, that focuses on prevention along with innovative cure.
– A streamlined and affordable transportation and communication system which allows one to travel to and obtain information from any place in the world.
– And, a pension system which guarantees a robust retirement where one’s lifestyle is not diminished over time.
I am going to help accomplish this by supporting public policy at all levels of government (local, national, or international) which strive to pass legislative acts which enact programs that accomplish the numbers I have outlined. In addition, I will strive to be a major voice in my writing and speaking and business life, that moves people in the direction of this overall goal.
My parents and in-laws were products of national policies that allowed them to get ahead in life. They were able to obtain low interest loans to obtain affordable housing; they had access to free public education that allowed them and their children to flourish financially as a result of the education they received. They had affordable healthcare insurance that kept them and theirs healthy and full of energy. They drove on new freeways that allowed them the mobility to search further and wider for economic opportunities.
I’ve experienced the power of middle class living. I’ve benefited from it directly. As a result, I want to work to improve this process, but I want it to be done on steroids. I will spend the next twenty years in helping to create the strongest middle class America has ever witnessed.
I want to work to expand America’s influence and participation in the global economy.
Let’s face the facts. Our future is as the greatest global economic force in the world. Our economy is the largest in the world at close to $15 trillion, and stands to benefit as much as any country by continuing to be an aggressive global economic player.
No other country will overtake America’s global economic prowess.
For example, China is strong, but definitely not stronger than we are economically. That’s not going to change over the next 20 years. Our Individual “Purchasing Power Parity”(PPP) is seven times greater than what the average Chinese has. In “international dollar” terms, our dollar will buy seven times more than what the equivalent Chinese currency can buy. Our per person PPP is above $30,000. The Chinese per person PPP is somewhere around $4,500 to $6,000. They have far to go to match us, and will need many of our goods and services to meet the needs of 750 million Chinese who still have not tasted of the Chinese economic miracle. China can’t get to where it wants to go without our ability to provide them the products needed for a consumer class to be created.
Other examples abound. For instance, Saudi Arabia, a good friend of America notwithstanding all the flack it gets from ambitious politicians like Newt Gingrich, is in the process of building six new cities based on western capitalist models.
One of these cities (King Abdullah City) will create one million western style new jobs. This will require the adoption of western style education and lifestyle. This in turn creates a desire for western style products, which America will ship to them by the boat load. King Abdullah City will turn around and create hundreds of companies in America, creating thousands of new jobs for Americans.
I’ve helped one of the major corporations (Siemens-Saudi Arabia) create a strategic plan to develop the energy sources for these six new cities.
Everywhere you look in the developing world, there are examples of economic opportunities that will want what we have. If we are smart, we will be fully engaged in meeting those needs.
By 2032, I want to have influenced millions upon millions of Americans to fully and wholeheartedly support the notion of embracing the idea of being the preeminent facilitator of global economic growth in the world. I want this to become number one on the American political, social, and economic agenda.
Of course I will be influential in helping to accomplish this by continuing to travel, live and work in different places in the world. Also, I will aid in this effort by continuing to write and speak on the benefits of global participation, as well as continuing to personally invest in global enterprises.
I want to continue to support the effort of helping to create new business enterprises.
My family has an interesting history when it comes to creating businesses. There are four generations of family members who have launched independent, successful businesses. What’s interesting about this is that no two businesses are the same.
Irrespective of their particular backgrounds or educational pursuits, each generation has ended up creating some kind of unique entrepreneurial activity that has supported them as well as others financially.
Not all people need to start their own business, but for those who do, I would like to support their efforts.
In the case of my own family history, none of the business enterprises that were started, ended up becoming family businesses. Each was a unique startup that has had its own history and destiny.
That being said, I’ve become a believer in the power of each person being able to create the world anew with his or her own unique business creation.
My grandparents did this as immigrants from Denmark. My mother did this during the Great Depression. I did this. My children have done this, independent of one another, and, at times, in dramatic fashion.
Each person deserves to become their own person, with the right to make their own unique contribution to the world. Starting your own business is one of the best ways to do this. There is no better way, in my opinion, to become fully formed and developed as a person than by engaging in the process of creating your own economic enterprise. At least, that’s what I have experienced personally.
In addition, no activity creates new jobs faster than a startup company. For example, over the last three decades, new business startups created 40 million new jobs in America. This has accounted for virtually every net new job created in America over the past thirty years.
I want to improve on that.
By 2032 (twenty years instead of thirty years), 40 million net new jobs should be created in the manufacturing, retail, service, restaurant and technology sectors of America.
One of the ways this will be accomplished is by being an active supporter of strong public policy in this arena. For example, recently Congress passed a bipartisan bill that will stimulate the growth of business startups. It’s called the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act,” or the “Jobs Act.” It will make it much easier for startups to have access to capital. It also cuts down on a great deal of reporting that startups must go through in order to qualify for issuing an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The Jobs Act does such things as: allowing small investors to aggregate their capital to invest in new startups, and allows new startups to create an IPO at a much faster rate, and at a much smaller size. This puts much more capital into the hands of all different kinds of entrepreneurs in all sectors, not just the high tech ones out of Silicon Valley.
In addition to supporting public policy of this type, I most definitely should continue to be personally and directly involved in creating new startups. Since 1983, I have participated directly in creating four new businesses. I shouldn’t stop now. I’m just getting started. Over the next twenty years, I personally should double that effort.
Therefore, by 2032, I will have created eight new companies, all profitable and growing.
Well, that’s what I have in mind.
For the next twenty years, I want to contribute to building: a strong and prosperous middle class, a global economic powerhouse, and a powerful system of encouraging startup businesses.
In addition to encouraging startup businesses, I will continue to start new businesses myself.
I’ll be busy. I’d have it no other way.