America: A Nation of Self-Made Men (and Women)!

April 18th, 2013
in Op Ed, syndication


America is deeply in trouble. Our national debt is sky-rocketing towards $17T (i.e. $54K per person for every American, babies included), and the official unemployment rate has been stubbornly staying at 7.7% or above throughout the past four years, while the real rate is close to 20%, if not more.

I believe I have the most accurate diagnosis for America, as well as the best solution. To best appreciate them, we must know, or re-learn, who we are as a nation!

Among the many definitions of America, I like this one the best: “we are a nation of self-made men”!

Follow up:

The notion of self-made men was perhaps popularized by Frederick Douglass (pictured above), in an article published in 1872 (Self-Made Men). Since then, there have been numerous publications on self-made men. Two examples:

  1. Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made Man.

  2. 25 of the Greatest Self-Made Men in America History.

As a weekly columnist at Global Economic Intersection, I have decided to start a new series called “Self Made Men (or Women) in America.” It will feature many articles, each of which will tell a story about one self-made man (or woman) in America, focusing on three aspects as follows:

  1. How did he (or she) start his (or her) own business?

  2. How successful is his/her business today (e.g. revenues, profits, and the number of employees hired)?

  3. What’s his/her interpretation of the notion that “there is no success without succession”?

This is especially important today, since not only do we need to know who we are as a nation, but we must also end the on-going class warfare against the rich, which, if left unchallenged, will inevitably lead America to communism!

Three notes:

  1. Few, if any, of the subjects I will write about are in the top 1%, widely despised in the U.S. today. But they are successful Americans. Let’s cheer for them and, more importantly, learn from them!

  2. All of them worked hard for the success they now enjoy.

  3. Few of them would be successful without being Americans first. They are all grateful just to be Americans and they all love America dearly!

I will start with the scale industry, because that’s primarily my business. But I will expand into other industries over time.

The first subject will be Walter Young (pictured below).

Walter is a 91-year-old senior citizen, currently active as the CEO of Emery Winslow Scale Company, headquartered in Seymour, Connecticut.

Walter noticed me in 2009, when I led the scale industry to fight against an anti-competitive regulation called VCAP (Verified Capability Assessment Program). He and I have been good friends since then. As a matter of fact, Walter is a father figure to me (and he is actually two years older than my late father), and we chat about everything, from business to politics, without any constraints. For example, I have been constantly advising him: “retire today and find something better to do, such as reading and writing”. But he has yet to listen …

It is quite an honor for me to write about him. Stay tuned for his story …

The three subjects following Walter are shown below:

They are (from left to right):

  1. Jon Stimpson, Owner and President, National Scale Technology (Huntsville, AL)

  2. Fred Herrmann, Owner and President, Indiana Scale (Terre Haute, IN).

  3. Jim Bradbury, Owner and President, Kanawha Scales and Systems (Charleston, WV)

Oh, in case you are unaware, all of them have contributed to my book Saving America, Chinese Style, from Foreword to Book Review.

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