Last month I was asked by John Siggins to substitute for him as host on "The Town Square" on WJTN in Jamestown, New York (News Talk 1240 AM). WJTN is a well established station serving Western New York (Chautauqua County) since 1924. It's forte is news and talk radio, hence John's "The Town Square" which provides a handy venue for locals to discuss events of the day. His show airs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:30pm - 3:00pm. John gets an interesting cross-section of listeners representing people from all walks of life. The station also streams its programming over the Internet thereby expanding the scope of its audience. John and I have known each other for quite some time now. Last year, he began running my "Bryce is Right!" segments on his show which seems to be well received. Although there are still people in Florida who haven't heard of me, I seem to be doing quite well in Western New York (as well as other parts of the world).
This was the second time John asked me to sub for him, which I can do remotely from my office in Florida. This time I wanted to do something different. Instead of taking random calls, I posed an assignment to John's listeners on the preceding show, something I wanted them to think about prior to calling in, namely how to get the country back to work. We have all heard what the politician's have said on this subject, but I wanted to ask John Q. Public specifically:
"What should we do to put the country back to work? What would you do to fix the economy, create more jobs and improve prosperity?"
I wanted to avoid political rhetoric as much as possible and just listen to the common man or woman as to how they would fix the problem if given the power and opportunity to do so. I was concerned we would get a lot of whackos calling in with inflammatory statements, but with the exception of one, we didn't. True, some people were more articulate than others, but I was pleasantly surprised by the candor and insight of my callers who seemed to appreciate the question I posed to them. They had listened to politicians long enough and wanted to tell them a thing or two over the air.
What follows is a listing of the major suggestions submitted to me during the show, and in no particular order. Keep in mind most of the callers were from Western New York, but there were also callers from Ohio and Michigan.
* Cut spending and taxes to create jobs.
* Create financial incentives for companies to develop certain industries.
* Establish as our national objective - energy independence.
* Eliminate Obamacare - nobody understands it and companies are panicking over it.
* Seal the borders and get illegal immigration under control.
* Balance the federal budget; make it a law to do so.
* Stop the president's environmental policies; e.g., position on ethanol.
* Minimize foreign aid and divert it to our use at home.
* Stop policing the world.
* Halt futures markets as they are artificially inflating prices; e.g., oil and diamonds.
* Curb outsourcing.
* No more stimulus or bailout programs; they don't work.
* Consider a flat tax or Value Added Tax instead of income tax.
* Provide incentives to buy or hire American.
* Redefine the rules of lobbyists; eliminate their influence on government.
* Eliminate property tax.
* Eliminate capital gains tax.
* Eliminate payroll taxes for one year only.
* Reduce entitlements - "We're becoming a welfare state."
Obviously, there were some duplicate responses, particularly in the areas of immigration, energy independence, minimizing foreign aid, and balancing the budget. There were other comments made during the course of the show, but they were outside the scope of the question I asked.
Afterwards, when I had a chance to review my notes, I was impressed by the responses to my question. They were honest, sincere, and forthright. In a strange way, the show seemed like a confessional booth where people were allowed to finally unload their feelings on someone who wanted to listen to them. I do not believe politicians understand the pent-up frustrations of the citizens of this country. It's at a boiling point and they would be wise to listen to the people.
I believe I can safely say all of my listeners realize drastic decisions are required to get the country back to work. They know it is going to be hard and painful, but that doesn't bother them as much as not knowing where we are going as a country; that we are a ship without a rudder and the people are getting tired of driving in circles. They all understand the severity of the crisis, they just want the Congress and the President to plot a proper course of action. I also believe this applies to people outside the WJTN listening audience.
I want to thank all of the people who called in that day, and to John for letting me sit in for him. Anytime you need a sub, you know where to reach me.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.