Oh, for heavens sake people, get a grip.  Who exactly in the media suggested that Phil Michelson must apologize for having a personal opinion about how he manages his life and keeps his family secure?  It’s not my business.  It’s not your business.  It’s his business.  Period!

Phil-Mickelson-480_2There is no more decent person in public life, on or off the golf course than Phil Michelson. The man is a stand-up, do the right thing and be responsible, accountable kind of guy whom we should all want to emulate.  We should all want our families to be like his. Admire and applaud his success as a golfer, a business man and a human being, don’t demonize him.

Grownups are supposed to make responsible decisions and Phil is entitled to make whatever decisions are best for his family and for securing his future. We should all be inspired and encouraged to do likewise, rather than allowing control over our futures to be governed by others who really don’t care about us.

Phil doesn’t need to apologize to anyone for having an opinion any more than we should expect idiotic naysayers to apologize for their unfortunate opinions which denigrate the success of others.  In a logical, sane world, we would applaud the head of a family for making the right decisions that would protect the future of that family — to take care of them so that they will be safe, secure and not be dependent on others.  That’s all Phil is intending to do and frankly, it’s no one else’s business!  I don’t hear anyone grousing about another native Californian named Tiger Woods choosing to live in Florida…where taxes are much more reasonable!

In our household, we’ve had some very lively discussions about whether or not California has just gotten too expensive, not to mention the irresponsible way Sacramento  mismanages the money we already give them.  When there are other alternatives out there, why wouldn’t a wise and thoughtful person consider the cost of living in one state if it’s less expensive than another one?  Is that any different than deciding to buy a more reasonably priced vehicle that offers a better value?

Why wouldn’t people who are contemplating the future of their business think through all the ramifications of:  payroll taxes if hiring employees; sales tax if goods are needed to run the business; property tax if requiring a building to house your business.  Phil Michelson is a business and he hires employees who depend on his making good and wise decisions that contribute to his success; he needs an office, he buys products and services and contributes to the local economy.

If a business person has X-dollars and the cost of doing business exceeds that money, will that business be successful?  NO.  If it’s not successful who gets hurt?  Certainly the business owner, but that’s the risk.  What about the employees who accept jobs with that business, only to lose them because the owner didn’t PLAN correctly for how much it would cost to keep the business going.  And what if he couldn’t plan correctly because the government kept changing its mind about how much tax money it was going to expect from the business? Do you think planning is important to anyone making decisions?  YES INDEED!  And that is exactly what Michelson is doing.

When I owned my business, I had upwards of fifteen employees.  Ultimately I was responsible for their livelihoods.  They were depending on me to manage the business responsibly.  To be wise enough to anticipate my expenses.  I was the last one to get paid.  If we did well, I did well.  If we didn’t do well…then I didn’t do well.  In most businesses, the owner is the last one who gets paid.  Not the first.  We’ve been fed a whole litany of demonizing examples based on the shoddy behavior of a greedy few business people who do behave reprehensibly.  KNOW THIS: They are the exception, not the rule.

RockwellFourFreedomsOur country was founded on the principle of equal opportunity.  If we want something, we have the opportunity to work hard to get it.  Yes, there are many obstacles to overcome like unfair playing fields or unsavory characters.  So we have to be smarter and work harder.  For 237 years many, regardless of race, color or religion, succeeded.  Was it hard?  You bet it was.  But are we proud to succeed based on our own efforts?  Without a doubt!  And out of extraordinary successes came exceptional Americans and amazing innovations.  Those successes lifted our country out of poverty and gave America its great middle class. Achievement was and is the goal.  Success is defined by outcomes and with it comes the freedom from want and worry – whatever that means to the individual.

Just like Phil, we all make decisions based on what is a reasonable price for goods or services — unless of course, we are spending someone else’s money.   Then perhaps we don’t care so much about the cost.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s not our money – we’ve got no stake in the game.

Very few people value what is given to them.  The value comes from earning it and achieving that success.  Successful people are the ones who create jobs, hire people, bring about innovation,  send taxes to Washington (to help those truly in need,) write checks to charities, sponsor little league teams, purchase goods and services from other small businesses and keep the cycle of prosperity going – locally and globally.

Why is it that suddenly success, achievement and prosperity are being demonized?  Who is it that is perpetuating this false message?  When we, as a society are a little more skeptical of messages that don’t ring true, and are willing to become better informed by checking the facts before emotionally spewing false generalities, there will be less polarization and more interest in all of us working in a positive way to solve our problems rather than hurling blame at others.  What a waste of time.

We really do need to get back to our own knitting.