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Which Presidential Candidate is Right for Automotive Dealerships?

The social media sites were hot last night during the presidential debate between Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and current President Barrack Obama.  Since the election of former President Bill Clinton, our nation has been evenly divided over which man is the best person for the job of leading our nation amongst the world.

As a small business owner who helps companies, specifically automotive dealerships, build their business and "Win Customers for Life"; I have some very strong opinions about who I feel should become the next elected President of the United States of America.  However, I will let the reader research and decide who I am for, and who I am against.  (James Schaefer) This blog is meant to encourage voter participation and look at one philosophical point of view of each candidate and who is the best person for business.

I will try to take a simple common sense approach and put forth the facts as if I were hiring for an executive position within my own company.  This essentially is what Americans will be doing in November when they go to the polls.  However, just like in the real world; some people would not make good business owners or managers, and some people need to reevaluate whether they are making the right decisions when they vote.  Now remember, I am writing this blog about one of the many issues that is very important to me and my company.  I am not writing this issue concerning healthcare, defense, or government sponsored programs.  Therefore, a truly informed voter should look at all of the issues individually and way them to how their interest would be affected by the outcome of this year's election.

The following point and position is described referencing Small Business and each candidate's position.  Hopefully, by laying this out in this format the reader will be able to ask questions of their own and vote for the best candidate that will help them and their interest.  This is why the United States is so great.  We all have a voice in who will govern us for the next four years.

Small Business:

The fundamental question is what is a small business?  My definition is a business that was started from an individual or a group of individuals that developed their company because there was a need for their services or products.  It is a business that is not financed by government or publicly traded on the stock market.  A small business is a private company, and how much money the company makes is NOT a factor.  The reason that I feel the amount of revenue a company makes should not be a factor whether the business is considered a Small Business or not is because the risk completely falls on the individual or group of individuals who have created the company.  They could fail if the business fails, but if it succeed they should benefit as well.  In addition, I believe that the higher the revenue the company receives, the more opportunities they are able to provide for future employees and other companies that provides goods or services to that company.

Now the government has a different definition of Small Business.  The Small Business Association (SBA) defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated.  It is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field.  Depending on the industry size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding twelve months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period.

Most Automotive Dealerships should fall under this definition of a Small Business.  However, until recently most dealerships were not classified as a small business.  The Recovery Act of 2009 reclassified 89% of automotive dealerships under the SBA; however, the gross revenue receipts were put at $8.5 million.  My contention is that this is not fair to the Automotive Industry.  There should not be a cap placed on any private business in terms of revenue received nor should a cap be placed on these automotive dealerships for profits gained.

The simple reasoning is that if an automotive dealership is successful; they employ sales people, service technicians, administrative personnel, accountants, parts specialist, and vendors (like my company).  Their staff brings in more income which they will spend stimulating the economy.  The vendors they employ are able to hire more employees and the cycle of economic growth will continue in a positive direction.

The candidates' positions:

President Obama believes that a Small Business is classified by how much revenue a company brings in.  He believes that a company making $250,000 or more should be taxed at a higher rate according to CNNMoney.com.  Under this premise, the government would be able to collect more taxes and thus be able to provide more programs for Americans.

Governor Romney believes that taxes are necessary, but tax breaks for Small Businesses would create more jobs.  He has stated that the 3% of the highest grossing revenue companies are responsible for 80% of the jobs that Small Businesses provide.  In short his method for creating more jobs is to give a break to these businesses and hope those companies will hire more people to help the business continue to experience growth.

I understand each candidates philosophical position on the issue and respect their and others opinion.  The president believes that a company which makes more money should pay more taxes to help the country and its government backed programs.  The governor believes that leaders of successful business will practice good ethics, and thus provide a piece of the pie for more individuals.

A new study by Ernst and Young projects that a tax rate hike will kill 710,000 small business jobs. Depending on who is elected will determine if this result comes to fruition.

I can tell you this.  The larger my company becomes, the more people we will be able to hire.  The more profit my company earns, the more benefits we will be able to provide individuals.  The more benefits we are able to provide to employees, the better our retention of employees become.  If we are taxed at a higher rate, our company will not be able to provide as many jobs otherwise.  It is true, I will put more dollars into my account if my company continues to be successful.  Contrary to the president's speach about small business "you didn't build that business" in July, I used my own money to start this company.  My family and our employees depend on the success or failures of this company.  I am sure many automotive dealerships will face the same concerns.

Hope to see you at the polls in November.

Views: 183

Tags: Automotive, Business, Candidates, Dealership, DeliveryMaxx, Election, James, Media, Presidential, Schaefer, More…Small, Social

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Comment by James Schaefer on October 5, 2012 at 6:08am

Thanks Ralph...I appreciate the kind comment.

Manny, thanks for joining the discussion as well!  (Wish you would have left out the vendor comment...lol...actually that helps open doors)

Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 4, 2012 at 9:17pm

Mark, I think the potential roles are reversed... When YOU run for office, I will manage your campaign, and you WILL get elected!

James, one thing I should have posted in my first comment, I respect the way you did not get negative in your assessments and your style and tone is what made me think "why have we seem to have lost this sense of respect for democracy that James is showing..." I do respect the tone of your statements and wish there could be more sincerity in the political dialogue.  I cannot adequately describe the frustration I feel when I ask somebody about which presidential candidate they are supporting, and then why... And their response is something idiotic and disrespectful like:

"Cuz the other guy is going to turn our country over to the oil industry and the wall street types..."

"Cuz the other guy is an Islamic terrorist and hates all Americans..."

"Cuz he is a Mormon and we all know Mormons can't lie..." (Obviously hasn't met my LDS friends)

"Cuz he went to Harvard and is smarter than the other guy..."

It just pains me to hear some of the reasons why some people cast their vote one way or the other... BTW, I have already voted here in Arizona on the early mail-in ballots.

Comment by Mark Dubis on October 4, 2012 at 8:35pm

I still like the quote from Robin Williams in the movie, Man of the Year when he ran for President.  He said, "Politicians are like diapers,they both need to be changed frequently for the same reason."  

Ralph, we always got your back, and if you run for office, I'll be your campaign manager. 


Influencer
Comment by James Schaefer on October 4, 2012 at 6:08pm

Ralph & Mark,

Thank you both for reading and responding to my blog.  I enjoy seeing how people respond when others opinions are expressed.  Early in my youth, I had the opportunity to work for our oldest Congressman (he was of a different party than I am affiliated with now) as an intern, and then after college I was afforded the opportunity to work for our Governor who later became President.  It was an experience I will never forget. Hopefully, those who read the blog closely, they will see that I did not slander nor disrespect either candidate. I shared their views, and wrote a blog about how their decisions will affect our business that puts food on our table.  My son just ran for his 5th grade student counsel and was elected.  Luckily, the kids in his school are not as rude as some of the parents who still don't know how to accept other people's differences.

 

Thanks again Mark & Ralph for reading and commenting on my blog!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 4, 2012 at 4:42pm

Great comments... I definitely see the wisdom in NOT alienating half of a dealership's potential customer base by taking sides in either politics or religion... However, I also understand what Mark Dubis is referring to, all too well. Taking a stand for what you believe in is morally respectable and certainly something we admire in most people.  The problem with the current political atmosphere in the USA right now is the 200+ year old tradition we have had in respecting each other political (and sometimes religious) beliefs has seemed to have fallen to the wayside.  I made the mistake of expressing my opinion on Facebook last Spring that disrespecting the position of POTUS with slanderous and untrue vitriol was neither politically smart or morally acceptable and I was blasted within 15 minutes for being a member of Al Quaida, along with several other personal insults... It pains me greatly that we cannot have political discussions any more which are based on explaining differences of opinion and why we hold them, instead our political discussions have descended into the realm of British Soccer Fans beating up anyone who does not support their particular team.

Anyone who knows much of my background probably knows that i was directly and intimately involved with politics for the ten years I lived in Pennsylvania and had the great joy of being a political operative for a man who I helped become governor against all odds.  Those were heady days and I would never want to give up those wonderful experiences of working with a first term congressman that i was assigned to as a board member of a PAC, then being a VIP at his inauguration at the PA Governor's mansion 6 years later.  Today, I no longer recognize that political party, which has become so ruled by extremists and zealots that all manner of sensible reason seems to be rejected in favor of intolerance to any form of collaboration or compromise with the other major party.  Since when did the enemy become ourselves?

Regardless of my own personal opinions or political affiliations, I would like to recommend that we each look to the American founding father's concepts around political tolerance and workable compromises that allow our country to move forward.  Let's show some respect for people who have a difference of opinion... For example, my man, the guy I helped become the Governor of Pennsylvania was a strong advocate of school vouchers which would allow parents to redirect a portion of the taxes they paid for schools to the parochial schools they chose to send their children.  This was a widely Unpopular stance in Pennsylvania at the time.  In a conversation had with the governor about his position on school vouchers and how it may hurt his chance for reelection, he told me something along the lines of "I respect the opinions of all those voters, but i also know in my heart of hearts that the voucher program is the right thing to do... If standing up for the right thing is going to cost me my next election, then so be it... I can live with that." he never did change his unpopular support of school vouchers, yet he was reelected to a second term as Governor.  That is the type of character that drove my intense loyalty to that particular political leader, but what I never saw from him was a lack of tolerance for those with differing opinions. Yes, he stood his ground, but he never accused those who were against school vouchers of being terrorists, un-American or any less patriotic to the USA than those that agreed with him.

Comment by Mark Dubis on October 4, 2012 at 3:04pm

ADM Members: 

The nature of these networks for auto professionals, by their design will never really discuss the exact items that should be discussed because we all want to be politically correct, not offend anyone, and work our individual agendas which include getting more business from dealers, finding a good job with a vendor, ingratiating ourselves with an OEM, positioning us or our company as an "expert", etc. etc.

It's a shame in this country that most of us can't be honest with our opinions unless we are able to be anonymous for fear of retribution from some unseen (or seen) segment of the industry.  

James, thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions. I am of the belief that if you don't stand up for something, you'll fall for anything.

I'm just glad we have Ralph Paglia around to speak his mind from time to time, even if it gets him in hot water occasionally.   You don't need to agree with everything someone says, but you should at least give them the respect they deserve. And, that's why I like being a member of this community.


Influencer
Comment by James Schaefer on October 4, 2012 at 10:52am

Kevin,

Thank you for reading my blog.  Your mentor was exactly right when he told you to leave politics and religion inside the car.  As an advocate for dealerships- I encourage all to look at the facts and choose the best candidate that will help their company.  I didn't take a side on who I will vote for.  I simply stated this issue with small business is very important to many of us.  If we keep politics and issues that we feel might offend some to ourselves then those of us who didn't speak up have to live with the results when laws are passed that negatively affect this forums way of life.

My agenda is to look at all of the facts at what is important to each individual, and please vote.  If that makes half of the companies not like my personal opinion not want to do business with me then that is their right.

The other part of my agenda is do publish content to create dialog.  As you have shown, we are doing that.  Our company creates this opportunity for dealerships and we are very good at that.  I would never recommend a dealership to publish something like this to their customers.  However, if an issue was as hot as the Presidential Debate was last night (do you remember when the seatbelt law came out or when the speed limit changed from 75 to 55 and so on?)- not everyone agrees, but if presented in certain forums it can create business.  DeliveryMaxx doesn't provide the content.  We create innovative ways to get dealerships messages out.  Your comment helps prove this point.  Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog. 

Comment by kevinkelly.it on October 4, 2012 at 10:29am

As with anyone in the U.S., you certainly have the right to your opinion and the right to express it. For me, This forum, inside a dealership or any place a potential customer may be put off, insulted or disagree with your opinion is the wrong place to express it.

My mentor in this business taught me many years (decades) ago to leave all your agendas in the car. We all have agendas be they personal, political or whatever. While you are driving into work in the morning get all those agendas out, the second you open the door, you have only one agenda and that is the success of your dealership or any other business. Leave all other agendas, problems and believes in the car.

With the U.S. so evenly divided, your political agenda just alienated half your customers that read ADM. It doesn't matter what your political agenda is, if expressing that agenda costs you just one customer. Agendas, like offensive language should be shared with close friends and family, never ever near any customer. There is another part to this and that is how many dealerships are now thinking if James is willing to risk potential customers simply to push an agenda, do I want that in my dealership? Kindly take this with all respect. This is social media and your customers can hear you. Leave it in the car and your only agenda is your customers.

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