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home : letters : letters May 26, 2016

2/26/2013 4:41:00 PM
Hank's story

To the Editor:

My parents, although very poor, had a strong desire to succeed and build a small business. Only 11 years after they were married, with only $500 capital and little education their business was founded and succeeded until they passed away.  I was 29. President Obama, of course, would say to my parents, “you didn’t build that business,” but I witnessed the contrary.

When speaking of business assets we generally think of cash, buildings, vehicles, and inventory. But employees are sometimes the overlooked but most important asset. Our business succeeded primarily because we hired good employees. Our employees were not the victims of our business as the left frequently characterizes them in their attempt to demonize capitalism. Anyone with at least a room temperature IQ would ask the obvious question: Why would a businessman abuse his most valuable asset? The answer is obvious; he wouldn’t, my parents didn’t, and I didn’t.

Following the untimely death of my parents in 1969, I followed the same code of employment regarding the employees. If you do your job you will never be laid off regardless of the economy. You will always be considered for advancement.  You will be paid as much as we can afford for the particular level of work to which you are assigned. If you aren’t efficient we will put you into a different job to which you might be more suited. You will be rewarded for the quality of your work and not what your co-workers are paid. A little known rule we had, which many of our employees did not know is they always got paid first, that is, ahead of the owners, ahead of the bank, and ahead of the suppliers. To always stay true to this, my wife and I mortgaged our home and bet our savings that we, with our employees, could survive and prosper. Believe me, there were times when even we, with our positive attitudes wondered whether this was indeed always true.

Because we were in a high cost labor market, we would sometimes lose an employee to a higher wage. One advantage we did have over other businesses at the time was our ability and commitment to advance employees in their job status and compensation. We were a relatively small business and were able to monitor our employees closely. With the exceptions of an engineer and our office manager almost all “new hires” advanced from their entry positions. This gave us considerable pleasure, and at the same time provided us an advantage over those who wanted to hire our employees.

Shortly before my parents passed away, a man four years my junior was advanced from the warehouse to the office staff. After my parents died “Hank” became my right arm and gave me tremendous support. We worked together for many years until the time came for me to retire and sell the business. “Hank” became the president of the acquired business.

Before I left the company I wrote each employee a personal letter thanking them for their service and friendship. No two letters were the same with the exception of my final sentence.  

It read as follows:

“My successes were the result of Hank’s advice; my failures from not taking it.”

This is not an anomaly. This story repeats itself millions of times in this great country. If we give a person a chance, more often than not by a very large degree, he will succeed and in doing so, will elevate those around him. Private industry produces not only wealth and jobs; it provides opportunities for those who have the drive to succeed.  

As a postscript to this story, Hank moved on and recently retired from managing the plant which produces WD-40 for most of the world. We are still close friends.

Gary Meinert
Boulder Junction

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich


Thanks for the explanation and clearing that up. Much appreciated. Too bad 'ol Gary seems to have disappeared from this one. Maybe he's waiting for some input from one of his many friends.

And I'm not going anywhere near a woman's big butt issue......no matter the race.

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Lepper

Tim, sorry if you felt I was implying that Obama was elected as a result of affirmative action. By saying Obama was elected president, I meant that affirmative action was no longer needed because America had voted for a black president. I apologize if it appeared otherwise. Lisa, on a lighter side, Mrs. Obama does have a big butt and it has nothing to do with her being black. Don't you think if she were white that her big butt could still exist.

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich

Good question, Lisa. I'm guessing a direct answer from Gary will not be forthcoming. Don't hold your breath.

As I alluded to in another forum, I am beginning to wonder if Gary is just another troll who is playing the role of a "conservative" to stir the pot around here.

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

I would like all of you Fox News watchers to please watch the following clip from the Rachel Maddow Show....one of the only cable news programs I watch....and Gary I don't watch CNN ever. I like Rachel's program because she breaks things down and makes even the most complicated issues easy to understand. She constantly invites Republicans and Conservatives on her show, but very rarely do they accept her offer since she isn't willing to throw them softball questions like Fox does and she does her homework.
So last night I was watching her program and saw the most perfect example of why I hate Fox News and trying to discuss anything rationally with people who use it as their news source. Here's the link : http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/
Go to the video entitled "Israel honors Obama with highest award."
Gary, I seriously don't know who half the "liberals" you mentioned are, nor do I care. The last thing I heard about Geraldo Rivera was he was thinking about running for the senate as a Republican...so how liberal can he be? He's a boob and has always been a boob. I haven't taken him seriously since sitting through his two hour special to see what was in Al Capone's secret vault. So if he is who is representing the left on Fox...big whoop!
Gary, also in re-reading your posts...I'd like to ask you a direct question. And no it's not the taker question. I've asked that several times and you choose to ignore it or throw up a big smoke screen to avoid admitting you are now a taker in the eyes of your candidate.
So instead, I'd like to ask you how, seeing that your wife and daughter are teachers, you could throw your undying support behind Scott Walker who has demonized public workers. You are also a big supporter of the Lakeland Times so you must have noticed all the teacher bashing that went on and the horrible comments that were posted. Were you never tempted to come to your wife's and daughter's defense?

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich

Bob and Gary decrying the supposed use of the race card.... And yet Bob making a negative comment about affirmative action and implying that the president was elected due to it in the "GOP needs to understand...." thread. Interesting......and insulting to those who voted for him (of which I am not, BTW).

"Do as I say, not as I do" seems to be the motto for some here. Or, "Don't look behind the curtain. Nothing to see here."

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Hansen


I took your advice and read about the downfall of Argentina. As you can imagine, there are varying opinions on the reason it happened. All of them seem plausible to me. However, all the opinions seemed to agree that the military dictatorship preceding this crisis was a major factor. I don't believe we have a military dictatorship here in this country. Sean Hannity likes to call Obama the "annointed one," yet nobody can deny that Obama won the election. I think what truly bothers you is that a majority of Americans no longer think like you. It annoys you that a person would vote based on social issues when the economy is in such peril. My belief is that neither party has any clue how to get us out of our economic problems. Economists all differ on how to get us out of the problems as well. Therefore, I voted based on issues such as a woman's right to choose. I thought this was important given Paul Ryan's statements on the subject and his possible election as Vice President. Your response is to try and delegitimize us by calling us "takers." You like to label people after listening to them speak on a forum such as this, when you yourself chastise people for labeling you. The Republican Party is now in a state of trying to rebuild its image. Thank heaven it has finally happened. Now maybe I can get my party back from the Tea Party members that took it over. My hope is they will be a little more tolerant and inclusive of all people. I hope they will be a little more willing to compromise on issues. If they don't I believe they will continue to lose the Presidency.

In closing Gary, I read one book, and a couple of essays on the Argentinian Economic Crisis. I do not believe we are in lockstep with them so I will be expecting your apology.

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Lisa: I just sat down and wrote a short list of those Liberals who appear regularly on Fox. Perhaps you could name as many Conservatives who appear on MSNBC or CNN?

Joe Trippi, Susan Estrich, Bob Beckel, Mary Anne Marsh, Willie Brown, Kirsetn Powers, Juan Williams, Julian Epstein, Alan Colmes, Geraldo Rivera, Doug Schoen, Lanny Davis, Dr. Marc Hill and Mara Liasson (NPR). These and dozens more are Democrats and most have served Democrat Presidents, or have been strategists or pollsters for the DNC. It’s impossible to view FNN for more than 30 minutes without seeing a two-person debate with moderator discussing political topics. Both are given adequate time to make their case and “the last word” is given to either debater. This, Lisa, is how one learns...by listening to opposing views. You are far behind the curve.

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

Gary, one more thing, it doesn't matter how Chris and I read your posting...it's still wrong. Again, back it up...because you can't...unless it's a Fox News lie.
And thanks for explaining that black Hispanic thing. Have you explained that to them, because I'd be really interested in the response you got. Now if they spent a million dollars on a round of golf, they'd be called Obama's super base.
Are you ever going to answer the "taker" question, now that you are one according to your candidate? But in your case, the best defense is a good offense.

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

Gary, you do know people can look you up on google don't you? The Tea Party didn't seem to want their country back when Bush was running it into the ground did they? But then when the black guy gets in, the world is ending and they want the Government to keep it's hands off their Medicare and Social Security.....when the Republicans are the ones trying to end those programs. Brilliant!!!
And Don and Bob are you kidding me?? No racism?...tell that to the Birther's or the people who still insist he's a Muslim, born in Kenya, he's lazy, he's uppity, a socialist, marxist, communist, facist, his wife has a big butt, getting the white back in the White House, Michelle should grow cotton and watermelon instead of a vegetable garden, you want to go on? I didn't say EVERYONE who voted against him is a racist, but many are, otherwise do you really think we'd be treated to over four years of the crap above?
And please, when you guys make a claim, back it up and not with Fox News.

Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013
Article comment by: don myers

Lisa... how pathetic it is for us to endure your responses when the "Race Card" continues to be your first line of defense.

Lisa, did it ever occure to you that maybe...just Maybe your fellow Americans have a right and a duty to express their frustrations and major disagreements when it comes to Obama's agenda and policies?

No of course not, so lets vilify everyone who doesn't buy into your socialist vision of the world eh?

Believe what you will but stop using the race card... you haven't a clue about my or others views on that subject! For every example of a sucessful black liberal I can point to a patriotic
self made Black Conservative...so whats your point and who totals up the score I ask?

In due time this political pendulum will swing back from the left...it always has and it always will and it won't be long as Obama continues to overplay his position. By then he will finally be exposed and once again the majority of voters in America will say they've seen enough!

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Lepper

Lisa, when folks play the "race" card, it is usually in desperation and an act of last resort. You have in fact all but called Gary a racist and for that I feel you owe him an apology. Do you think it possible that all the opposition to Obama just might be because folks feel he is taking OUR country down the path to ruin? And by the way, I really do feel that spending over a million dollars of OUR money to play golf with Tiger Woods is an insult to those who are struggling to just pay their bills.

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Read more carefully Lisa and Chuck: "Spend more" than previous 9 presidents. NOT "take more time" as you both misread. Just like a Lib to play the race card. I don't give a hoot what color he is...he is a fraud of the worst kind. Merely from where I have lived most of my life I don't know many black people but the ones I do know are good people. As for Hispanics....I know and enjoy the friendships of many dozens. FYI, many Hispanic people are black! I'm a proud member of ALRC (Arizona Latino Republican Coalition) where I associate with Hispanics of both colors. Lisa, I believe it's a very sad sickness to leap to playing the race card. You help make the divide you seem to care so much about. Stick to the issues, not to what you want them to be. To both of you! Perhaps the inability to read is what causes Liberals to be so uninformed.

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

There's been a net loss of nearly 1 million public-sector jobs since Obama took office. Bush in comparison at this point in his two terms had added almost 1 million "lazy, worthless, government workers." So again, another Fox News talking point WRONG!!!! That Fox eggnog you chug is more like curdled milk....maybe a little skim would do you good.
Every recession under a Republican President in recent history was marked by high public sector job growth. As bad as W was for adding government jobs, Reagan was even worse. Without losing those public sector jobs due to budget cuts under Obama, we'd have under 7% unemployment.
And since you won't hear this on the curdled milk channel, here's some more depressing news courtesy of the obstructionist Republican Congress. It's been over a year since the President proposed the American Jobs Act and had it passed, here's where we might be:
–Moody’s Analytics estimated the American Jobs Act would create 1.9 million jobs and add two percent to gross domestic product.
–The Economic Policy Institute estimated it would create 2.6 million jobs and protect an addition 1.6 million existing jobs.
–Macroeconomic Advisers predicted it would create 2.1 million jobs and boost GDP by 1.5 percent.
–Goldman Sachs estimated it would add 1.5 percent to GDP.
And since you want to keep it honest Gary, almost everything you write is a Fox News talking point and there is nothing honest about that. But I have to hand it to you, you have a friend for every occasion and as an example for every point you want to make. Not only that, but all of them can golf!!! Who knows, maybe you'll run into Obama on the golf course someday, since according to Fox he's out there 24/7 and it costs the taxpayers a billion dollars a round.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Gary, Your answer to the "who" spent more time vacationing and golfing? "W" that's WHO! That guy was on vacation, even when he was in Washington.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

"In my years on this earth I have NEVER seen such hatred for a president as this one." (Wow, that couldn't be because he's black and the people who now want their country back are racists? Please, please try to tell me that has nothing to do with it and all about those black people that are your best friends and spend time on the golf course with you and your Hispanic friends) "What kind of president when times are tough would spend more on vacations and golfing than the previous 9 presidents combined" (As usual, you are just plain wrong, Fox News wrong!!! President Obama in his first four years has taken 131 days, dividing his time between Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard and Camp David.
George W. Bush, racked up 1,020 vacation days in his eight years in office, including one five-week vacation, the most of any president in 36 years)

Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/ad-lib/2013/jan/7/president-obamas-back-hawaii-how-many-vacations-ha/#ixzz2NMJ7oA00
Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter You are so full of it and

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Richard: For the record, my wife was a school teacher and my daughter teaches special needs children. I NEVER criticized those you listed. The problem is that this administration demonizes anyone who made it on their own and has increased the number of GOVERNMENT workers beyond any sensible need. Walk into any court house or post office etc. A time and motion study engineer would go nuts watching them work...with exceptions, of course. The problem we face is too many NON JOB PRODUCERS and TO FEW PRODUCERS due to over handed government intrusion on every phase of business. What oversight do those government workers have? A dear friend is one of those workers and he explained it this way. "I do virtually nothing for the first two hours I arrive and then we go to work. We do so little that it gets boring but they can't fire any of us". (I put quotes around that sentence but it is paraphrased). This man worked for me before I sold my business and he was a great worker. THAT FRIENDS IS WHAT I'M CONCERNED ABOUT. Don't put words in my mouth...keep it honest. Obama is the biggest narcissist we have ever seen. If his grades were even above average don't you think he would have allowed them to be known instead of blocked? It should bother Americans that we know nothing about his years in school, his friends etc. One of his law professors from Harvard wrote an op-ed in the WSJ saying that "this man must be stopped" etc. etc. I'm sure you all read it.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Richard Collins

Chris . . . thanks for your response to Gary. you summed up Gary very well.

To him, anyone who never ran a business is worthless. Business owners are the only people who contribute.

To him, anyone who gets a government check is a "taker." Teachers, nurses in public hospitals, city and county employees, I guess even the military . . . they're all takers. In fact, in his previous screeds, Gary has trotted out the old chestnut of the "47%", although that figure includes the military, veterans, and Social Security recipients as members of the hated "taker" group.

Gary's comment about Obama's academic performance is typical. He says Obama was an "unimpressive student" and says that that opinion was from "most accounts." As usual for Gary, he does provide a citation for his dubious charge. Thanks for calling him on that.

In the past when I've challenged Gary he immediately flies into a tantrum about "liberals." My suspicion is that we'll see that same reaction from him

Thanks again for being of voice of reason.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chris: Personally I think calling Obama a Socialist is letting him off easy. Here's a quote for you to think about: "Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday." --Letter from L. DAVID ALINSKY, son of Neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Come on, Joe. Try to be civil. It only causes us to just skip over what you have said.
Chris: Obama has said time and time again that the person who molded him to what he is and what he believes was Frank Marshall Davis, a devout Communist. Obama's actions demonstrate easily that he is driving our country into a Socialist state. I'm sure you have seen each of his staff's backgrounds. The great majority of them are extreme left wingers. For you guys maybe that's a good thing. for me it certainly isn't. I would urge you to pick up a book on the history and downfall of Argentina. We are in lockstep with that country now and we will end up the same. PLEASE just read it and if you don't agree we're heading in that direction I will apologize and go play some golf. In my years on this earth I have NEVER seen such hatred for a president as this one. He has divided the country and we will suffer for it. Sadly, he will be golfing in Hawaii with his mega millions of dollars when our workers are worse off then before. Take or leave it....that's what I fear and I hope I'm wrong. What kind of president when times are tough would spend more on vacations and golfing than the previous 9 presidents combined? He didn't earn where he's at...he was nurtured and provided for since he got into Chicago Politics. His future was cast many years ago.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Thompson


Your twisted, one sided viewpoints, along with your lack of ability to think introspectively are part of what's wrong with America. Your fantasyland of a clear separation of conservatives and liberals is nothing more than incoherent babble.

Keep digging that pit, you will fall in it soon.

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