I'm still incredulous about how last week's election went, and not about the winning candidates but the close to home issues that directly affect our lives. I thank Bill C. and Scott K. for putting me straight on the S-corp tax. Now I only have 2/3 of the angst.
Anyway, as I think about the schools, I remembered a plaque I saw at Ohio University when I visited Athens a few months ago. I thought that it would be a nice reminder to the rest of us:
What we do in college is to get over our little-mindedness.
Robert Frost- October 25, 1938
Leave it to a poet to get to the heart of it all.
Last night was an active evening for a recluse like myself. I stopped by SPACES for an open house by Jim Kukral. I have known Jim for a couple of years through blogs, comments, and email exchanges but never actually met him. This was my chance and I was not disappointed. Jim is as intelligent, civic minded, and witty as he seems in his blog. Which goes to show that a good blog is an authentic blog that is a reflection of the personality that writes it.
Also at the open house was Wendy Hoke, the bright writer on writing and occasional commenter who I have not seen for a year and a half. She loved the idea that Jim and I had never met and that blogs were a way to connect ie her recent post to Brewed Fresh Daily. The connection was as strong as ever with both.
Later I drove to Kent to listen to Zen poetry. After getting lost in the dark (twice), I was fortunate to hear a few unfamiliar voices. One extremely talented poet and Kent St. grad was Tony Trigilio from Chicago. During the reception, I asked him if he belong to a sangha in Chi-town and he said he was a member of Jewel Heart. Lo and behold we had many mutual aquaintances and we bonded right then.
This got me to thinking that the key to good networking is not to find and make connections. That the connections already exist and we have just open our eyes to see them.
They will have 9 out of the 30 poets in the book in a very intimate setting. This should be a very moving experience and well worth the drive out.
See you there.
Good networking isn't about you. It's about the other person... For years, one of the things I have loved to do is connecting people, being a catalyst for relationships, partnerships, business ventures, etc.
Curt points out that one of the biggest assets is "a network of people who like and respect you." I know a lot of people here that are part of that asset and certainly deserve that asset, but don't know how to get part of that asset. It is like the Tibetan analogy of a poor peasant using a rock to sit on to worry about how to get money, when if he scrubbed the soil off the rock it is really a big lump of gold.
That network doesn't just come from being born with a sparkling personality (but it helps). It takes the intention in the above quote. Certainly Cleveland could use a crash course on networking to eliminate what Curt calls the incorrect impression of a "sleazy, what-can-you-do-for-me activity." I do know a number of people that can teach that course. You know who you are, GN, JR, VK, AK, & HH.
Is it really any surprise that Ohio is in the economic dumper and Cleveland is the poorest, city in America? Are we really that blind to not see why? How come we whine and cry about our predicament, looking outside the region for the reason and more importantly look out there for our solution?
Well the real reason for our dismal state is right in front of us with yesterday's election as the most recent example. We do it to ourselves! Call it reaping what you sow, karma, Steinfeld's even-steven, whatever, but the responsibility is Ohio's intensely stupid and myopic attitude. Three cases in point is shown in this election, and no, one of them isn't which clown won the three ring circle we call a candidate election.
First, Cleveland did not pass the operating levy for the schools. Though still pitiful in performance, the momentum of the progress of improvement is stopped dead. The thing is that it will probably take four or five years to undo the damage of every single year of education on the cheap and during those recovery years (if we get any) we still lose a generation of potential contributors to our society. Apparently, we still seem to like our citizenry dumb so we can make votes like this and maintain the steady decline that we enamored with. Cleveland simply could NOT afford to NOT pass this bond. We might as well start engraving a headstone because the hole we're in now just turned into a grave for our economic hopes.
Second, Ohio passing prop 1 was not as much an indictment of same sex marriage, as an indictment of tolerance for differences. Richard Florida, the guru of the creative class, doesn't say we need more gays to have innovation and economic growth, but that we need tolerance for new and different ideas. Ohio just said that they don't want any different ideas. The argument that this "preserves marriage" while the success rate, without this law still hovers around 50% is ludicrous. Same sex unions already face discriminations and obstacles, without the help of this legislative intolerance. We might as well get out the "No Irish Need Apply" signs and reinstitute restricted hotels and restaurants because intolerance is a virus and spreads quickly and it kills ideas and economic growth. Welcome back, Jim Crow.
Finally, the biggest bonehead move of the entire region, deciding to institute an S-Corp corporate tax. Many cities in northeast Ohio decided to add this suicidal move in their desparation for money. S-corps are a form of incorporation that passes the profits through to the owners or shareholders of the company, much like the LLC, limited liability company. The S-corp is a favorite for new and small businesses. So this new municipal tax is anti-entrepreneur and anti-small business! The cities just drove out the best bet for creating business, creating jobs, and creating an engine for economic growth!
Though I have been talking about the danger of this tax through my NEOBio work, no media or other entrepreneurs picked up on it. Where was the mighty and rich Jumpstarts, Nortechs, BioEnterprises, NEOSAs, and the other supposed entrepreneur networks? Little NEOBio with its Dilbert escapee director and two thin dime coffers couldn't do it alone.
Why are we poor? Because we shoot ourselves in the foot so often that we think limping is a normal gait.
No road leads the way.
The road follows behind.
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