Oceans of Opportunity

Since 2008, this Blog has been a communications priority providing shorts, op-eds, and bramblings that communicate our evolution to ‘a new life in the sea’.

Contact us for content syndication opportunities. Dive in & enjoy!

Help us continue to bring you fresh Blog content!

on budget crises, and gettin’ $#!T done

'A New Life in the Sea' by Michael LombardiI’m generally incredibly hesitant to talk politics here on ‘a New Life’, but we are in a time and space where not one single person in this country can take for granted that the US is a great place to live and everything will be just fine…unfortunately we are as prone to the realities of life, injustice, and cash flow as the rest of the planet. We, Americans, are at great risk. So let’s talk about it.

Small Business For Dummies
I will boldy say that our system has failed us. I see it everywhere, and its saddening. Having just recently filed my 2010 taxes, some of these thoughts are fresh, so I’ll take the time to elaborate. All of this is of course critical as we consider our future…our aquatic future, where out of necessity (and driven by curiosity) humanity will extend its footprint beyond our coastlines. This needs to be better managed than our terrestrial failures.

OK, to start I have no problem paying taxes. In fact, I fully understand and appreciate that to take advantage of our nation’s infrastructure – roads, a national power grid, communications conduits, education system, and so on. I get it, I value it, and am proud to support it. Yes, many things don’t work, and that is why we have the power of the vote on local and national levels. There are flaws in that system as well, but that is not for discussion here. My point today is that our tax monies are clearly not being well managed. To even consider that the federal government could shut down for a single day is unacceptable. Clearly, the powers that be are overlooking the realities that the US needs to function like a business to stay afloat in a world economy. Businesses that cannot manage their money do one thing – fail.

I’m a marine scientist, mud-mucking diver, explorer-type; not a politician, and not a “business-man” by the suit wearing definition. However I’ve learned to manage various projects and small business ventures using some basic principles. Things like cash flow, operating capital, and just being financially responsible are the rudimentary elements to work with. It really can be that simple, and one would think that our mastermind business men in power could boil it down to the basics and ‘get it’.

Now, we – tax paying citizens – are at fault as well, as we are the worker bees on the ground who decided that living the American dream meant living in excess, beyond our means, on ‘credit’, and an underlying arrogance and ignorance that the US is impervious to a world economy. We are not…

I see our working class in several stages. This generally holds true across all industries and areas of study:

1. entrepreneurs: driving innovation and creativity to create opportunity for our country
2. managers: implementing sound strategies and plans to carry out the entrepreneurial vision
3. worker bees: carrying out well defined objectives and tasks on schedule, with accountability to the above managers

Each and every person on the planet has the ability to fall into one of these categories. There is no one better category than another, as we all have varying skills and abilities and motivations. But, in the end we are all working to keep food on our table, and contribute to the country that affords us the freedoms that we pride ourself on.

Now, I understand that social welfare is an important piece of the puzzle, and we absolutely should provide care and assistance to those who are unable to contribute to a working class for any number of reasons. Their contributions to our families and communities cannot be measured, and supporting them is so very important.

The problem is the corruption behind the unemployed. I have been unemployed in the past, and collected unemployment benefits for various blocks of time. In some cases, it was a lengthy amount of time – and I felt guilty for it.

In an economy where “there are no jobs”, why is the federal government giving free money to people so they can sit at home? Let the controversy begin!

I look around, and there is no shortage of work to be done to improve our nation’s infrastructure and community programs – the pieces that we pride ourselves on. yet, the federal government is paying people to stay at home. Mind blowing. Now, I am not advocating an expanded socialist regime, where we all become government drones carrying out menial tasks. What I am advocating is making good use of funds, and expertise that is not being used – it’s sitting on the bench, quite literally – and being compensated for it!

Let’s consider the future – where we are living the life aquatic in a big way. We ALL need to contribute to the community, or it WILL fail…in fact, many people would die as there is an ambient environment that needs to be more closely managed than we manage our terrestrial atmosphere (which we take for granted as self-sustaining when indeed it doesn’t). Anyway, in this closed model, we work together towards a common good, or we die. Period. Evil would have a means of self-policing for certain, and we would have no choice but to work together. To make it work, we need to understand sustainability in a big way – and that sustainability is far from even contemplated here on terra firma because we live in excess and with a sense of entitlement, and thrive on entertainment rather than the realities how each and every one of our role’s on the planet is a critical one. That big picture isn’t anywhere to be found, and the end is going to sneak up on us, and of course – it’ll be someone else’s fault.

I suppose I could ramble forever on this, but my point is this – the folks up in Washington need to take a stroll through America and examine the motivations of those working hard day to day for whatever their personal purpose may be. Then, leverage that, and leverage that well, to redefine America’s role in the global system. Chasing programs that don’t work, don’t make sense, and fit an antiquated set of dreams and ideals that does nothing but couch the talent, expertise, and resources that this country evolved to produce is so incredibly counterproductive, and coutnerintuitive.

What can you do? Send a copy of Business for Dummies to your local politicians with a polite request to start paying attention to the rest of us and to get $#!T done already.

Time for change.