Friday, September 04, 2015


Back in 1992 there was a candidate with a completely different message, and a completely different way of delivering it.
Ross Perot said:
"I don't have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don't have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else.”

Yes. We had a debt of 4.4 Trillion dollars in 1992. And gridlock government.  Its nothing new.
We also had high earners that complained about taxes.
What did Ross say?
“When you have been as fortunate as I have been you certainly can contribute more than people who are just trying to make ends meet. You bet.”  

Of course, we were sending jobs overseas, even in 1992.

“We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It's pretty simple: If you're paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor,...have no health care—that's the most expensive single element in making a car— have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement, and you don't care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking soundgoing south.”

He also said:  “I’m not going to rest until we’re shipping cars to Japan.” 

In 1992 I was a chef, and a pretty good little manager. I enjoyed his take on management.
“In many of our huge corporations we treat people like commodities. And people cannot be managed. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.”

“Money is the most overrated thing in the world.”

“Build an environment where the first guy who sees the snake kills it.”

But this post isn’t about pointing out Mr. Perot’s people oriented, sleeves up,  no bones style of management.
It’s about how I came to have 4000 “Ross Perot For President”  yard signs in my garage.
Perot had announced that he would run for president if all 50 states put him on the ballot as a third party candidate. His popularity began to surge and he led in the polls with 39% of the vote.
I liked Perot. And so did my buddy Larry who worked for a printing company.
Larry managed to contract with the Perot people, United We Stand America, and had yard signs for Mr. Perot printed up. There were 4000 of them in my garage, and one in my yard, and in my next door neighbors yard, and in Larry’s yard too, and anyone else we could talk into voting for Ross Perot. And Larry stood to make a nice chunk of change as soon as the Perot people took delivery of the signs Larry had printed up.

But then a funny thing happened. Perot dropped out of the race. He had received altered pictures of his daughter that were going to be released by an unknown party to the press. “You all know what`s going on, so let`s not pretend we don`t,” Perot said, and dropped out of the race.

Larry was freaking out. All thos esigns in my garage. The bill at the print shop was going to come due, and now Perot had left the race. No one was manning the phone down at “United We Stand” and Larry was out whatever the cost of printing those signs might be.

Then something even funnier happened.
The fiftieth state managed to get Perot onto the ballot, and dirty tricks crowd or not, he decided to get back in the race.
And then Larry’s phone rang. It was “United We Stand”.
“Do you still have those yard signs” they asked.
Larry was cool.
“I might.” Larry said. “I’ll have to check the warehouse.”
“Well, Mr. Perot is back in the race. We sure could use them”

Later that day, the only thing you could hear was the “giant sucking sound” of 4000 yard signs being removed from my garage and into Larry's truck.


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