An open letter to the President: You’re right, we’re lazy

Dear Mr. President:

I am in complete agreement with the statement you made at the recent APEC conference in Honolulu: “We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.”

You have hit the nail on the head and here’s my analysis of why you are right.

We have become lazy. Laziness is subsidized through a myriad of government programs that make it easy and profitable to be lazy.

That’s precisely the reason we aren’t hungry. We can be lazy and still have more than enough to eat. Our number one health problem is obesity.

That’s why we take what we have for granted. People (like my grandmother who was a Polish immigrant) used to come here because it was the land of opportunity. That has changed though. Since 2008, nearly a third of a million illegal immigrants have left California alone for destinations outside the U.S. The unintended consequence of a job killing economy is that it has proven to be an effective deterrent to immigration.

And we aren’t out there selling America and trying to attract new business. It’s a tough sell because we have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world and saddle U.S. businesses with a myriad of onerous government regulations.

As a business development consultant I want to offer my services to our country pro bono. Here’s my solution. We should quit providing incentives for people to be lazy. They will get hungry real quick. We should quit providing businesses with incentives to leave the country. If we do that I guarantee that selling America will be easy. People will once again want to come here. That’s the way America used to be — and we took it for granted.

I want to work with you and Congress to take action on the initiatives I have recommended. I will encourage all of my clients and readers to join me in this cause.

Purposefully yours,

Jim Whitt

(Jim Whitt is an unapologetic people provoker. For more than 20 years Jim has provoked people and organizations to reach their full potential as a speaker, consultant and author. This piece was first posted on his blog, Purpose Unlimited.)

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