Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This Christmas I am thankful for Ronald Reagan

This is a very busy time of the year for me.  Not because of last minute shopping (see two blogs ago) but because I have an eBay store that keeps me hopping.
This month I managed to buy some new ice hockey helmets on the cheap and have been re-selling them in my store.
Within the last week I have sold one to someone in Russia, one to a fellow in Belarus and one to a hockey player in....wait for it...Kazakhstan.  Kazakhstan!  I mean, do they even have ice rinks there?  I know they have ice, but....come on, man..
Amazing.  I also failed to mention the two pairs of ice skates I sold to a lady in Mongolia.
All of this got me to thinking about a whole lot more than the miracle of using a phone with an eBay App somewhere in Belarus to order a helmet from a stranger, while paying through satellites hovering the Earth that safely transfer money from his bank to mine.  That is mind-numbing in and of itself.
No, what I have been thinking about is how great it is that someone in the former Soviet Union is allowed to do business with me at all and that I go to bed every night wondering if someone in Moscow will send me money in the middle of the night rather than wondering if someone in Moscow will send a nuclear missle down my chimney.
For this, I am truly grateful to our 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
For you youngsters out there, let me tell you something important.  When I was a college kid there was a very real threat that my life was going to be snuffed out by World War III.  When I saw the original movie Red Dawn, you could hear a pin drop when it ended.  Every teenage boy in the theater that night left wondering if this was our fate.
The story of how Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union and sped up the rate at which the "Evil Empire" would die is one that is well known.  His vision for a world free of the fear of nuclear war led him to make bold overtures to the Russians, who eventually caved in, gave up on communism and began the process of moving towards an economy where people could afford really nice hockey helmets.
It is also nice to go to bed at night knowing that if President Obama gets his way before January 1, 2013 the top marginal income tax rate will be 39.6%.  In 1981, when Reagan was sworn in, the top rate was 70%.  That's right.  If you worked hard, served your fellow human beings effectively and made a ton of money, you kept 30 cents on the dollar.  By the time I left for college the top rate was 50%.  When I graduated in 1988 the top rate was only 28%.
Tonight, as I go to bed, I know that if I keep working hard, thanks to Reagan, I will not pay 70, or 50% of my money to the IRS.  He so fundamentally changed our view of taxes that Mr. Obama is fighting just to get it back to just under 40%.  If he said he wanted 50 or 70 people would storm the gates of the White House.  I would have to sell them hockey helmets as protection from the army.
So, here I sign off, in a world that has Russians doing business with me and my government leaving most of my money alone.
Thank you, President Reagan.  Thank you, indeed...


  1. Yes it is wonderful to have the opportunity to sell to other countries, and I am sure that technology had a great deal to do with it.
    You are truly an entrepreneur and I admire that greatly.

  2. Thank you. It is funny, the technology boom that began in the 1980s happened after people like BIll Gates went from paying 70% income tax to 28%. So even there, Reagan deserves credit for helping people like Gates have the retained earnings necessary to fuel research and development endeavors.

  3. Bill and Melinda Gates, their Foundation and co-trustee Warren Buffet have contributed so much. I imagine when you make so much money that you can't spend it in a lifetime, it is very rewarding to give back. I admire them greatly.

  4. They could accomplish more if they used the money to create jobs so people could be self-sufficent rather than give it away and not have people learn, or grow or become productive human beings. Charity is nice, but overrated as far as accomplishing good for society.

  5. Well the way I see it they can do with their money whatever they want to. No offense intended. They are helping societies that do not the advantages we have here. They are actually doing a lot more than just charities...