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Monday, March 29, 2010

Division is Subtracting the Addition of Multiplication

3-29-10 Apex

Confused... So am I.

I cannot remember when our country was so divided politically. There are very, very clear sides. The "Progressives" and the "TEA" (Taxed Enough Already) people just do not have a lot in common right now. And let's just think of a Republican loving a Democrat and vice-versa. Just look at Facebook and other social media; we see people every day lobbing the right and left bombs that create unpleasant thoughts in multiple categories.

Here is the main multiplier. The government simply is not earning public trust right now... And I mean politically. I am just completing my taxes and really dragging my feet. I do not want to give Washington and Raleigh any of my money right now. The violation of law is the only thing I have motivating me. I am an honest citizen. But we leased a new car in December and now we cannot deduct the sales tax because we did not "buy" it. What? Why would I take out a 60 month loan on something that depreciates as soon as you sign the papers? But again, division; the leasees nope, the buyees yep... I tried to stimulate the economy and get kicked for it. A payment is a payment danged it... That sales tax I still pay!!

As my darlin' wife said as she walked out this morning, "They got us again!" It never ends...

With over 11% unemployment here in North Carolina, and know this; if we add the people who gave up and are not receiving unemployment we are easily at 15%, man we still got issues bringing tissues.

How about foreclosures? How about the way too high price for gas? Too many things to list out here. And are you now doing the work of two people because of the cuts at work?

If we would just focus on every level and fix the economy with job stimulation, people would get health care from their new employers. I like simple. Now it will be way more complicated with a trillion dollar health care bill, I simply cannot read or comprehend. No matter where your political thoughts lie, you just have to be a touch worried.

I am very weary of both high level politicians and commentators with personal agenda on any side!.

But bouncing Obama and Congress makes as much sense as having Limbaugh move to Canada. It is not about those people here. It is not about Nancy or Harry. It is about US! We are who they work for... Yet, we are affected big time as we try to pay our bills and pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

Please Mr. Obama, make us feel better about our future. Make us feel better about our economy. Stop the taxing and more taxing and still more taxing. Keep your campaign promises. But alas, the hits just keep on coming.

Have you looked at your grocery bill lately. There are as many as three separate taxes on it. And is this tax money used like it really is ours? Like it belongs to the people? Just walk into an ABC store to see our tax money efficiently at work.

Stop corruption at the local and state level. The Governor still has a lot of explaining to do. Stop the backroom deals in Washington, and start working for the people again. It is the only way we head in the right direction... or the left direction... Gosh I am so divided! But as Americans it adds up to our growing commonality. We all are getting the short end of the stick.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Issues of Bureaucracy

Apex, NC 3-5-10

As a native Detroiter, I take no solace in the fact that Toyota is in deep doo-doo. It hurts the entire industry. Slow moving reaction to customer issues is not untypical of any vast bureaucracy. Back burning an issue until it goes away is a common strategy in these organizations. Slow reaction is usually successful when issues need to go away. I know. I have a Master’s Degree in Organizational Communication and my grad thesis was on this very subject.

Do not get me wrong here. Detroit has screwed up in the past too. There is no perfection in the car business. You want perfection you have to look WAY up. The Ford Pinto, pick-up trucks with misplaced gas tanks, and Firestone tires are a few examples. But today, news flies at web speed. There are no places to hide information. It is in on blogs and on TMZ before you realize it.

We have a 2003 AWD Vibe in the garage that features an engine that river dances; the tach sticks at 1800 RPM. It then shoots up and back down to 550-700 RPM. Gunning it for the split second in neutral to get the RPM’s down simply does not work. It has a mind of its own. And that is never good. My guy at the GM dealership says possible vacuum leak. I am not so sure. But I do now how to brake slam and I can go neutral in a split second and I can shut off the engine with lightening speed. I have practiced this maneuver. I have only one life to give. And it is not in the driver’s seat of a car with Stephen King novelistic tendencies.

Toyota needs to fix what is broke. Remember the Pontiac is not even a complaint car. But how many more vehicles have a mind of their own? You must wonder. This story of over eight million recalled vehicles is a lesson, a case study, in not doing it this way again. My Dad told me years ago, you mess up; you fess up. Delays serve no purpose.

Toyota is changed forever. Their reputation for quality and safety took a major kick to the fanny. No one in the business disputes that. And you can bet that on the 12th Floor in Dearborn, over at the Ren Cen, in Auburn Hills, and across both ponds in Tokyo, Seoul, and Stuttgart; there have been formal white boarding sessions going on left and right on a daily basis.

Over time the industry and Toyota will recover. But understand the throne Toyota has been on is packed away and replaced by a desk chair. It is now more than time for them to get back to work to save the lives of their customers. A Congressional Hearing is very serious business. And there have been three of them. Remember that bureaucracy is always slow to change. But I know Toyota will do the right thing. It has to or it is the end of Toyota.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It is not by Accident

I wanted to announce to all the salespeople, managers, and F&I producers I helped train over the years, as well as to all my friends who I met when I did sponsorships last October, that I have joined Woomer Insurance Group in Historic Downtown Apex NC. As an Account Executive, I now have NC Insurance Licenses in Property, Casualty, Life and Health. I hope to help a number of families and businesses over the next several years as I build my client base.

I still will do sales training and career services and, I still will teach at the University of Phoenix here in Raleigh. This gives me a brand new avenue to help others. And I believe that is why we are on the planet.

Call me at 919 290 6000, and drop me a line... jim.vogel at

Go on for a free quote!