The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I learned much during a recent trip to Washington – perhaps some that I would have preferred NOT to learn as well.  The random thoughts (and the reactions they generated) would include the following:

Welfare is no longer available to the American people.  The government has, instead, established the acronym TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), a new program that seeks to increase the minimum wage and provide a safety net for all.  Poverty related to PLACE (poverty due to an individual’s state because of short-term or temporary situations) is an issue that TANF should address and eliminate.  Generational poverty (long-term “handed down” from generation to generation) is a long-term issue that will not be eliminated through TANF as it must be addressed through yet to be developed behavioral transformation.
Can one legislate personal choice or mandate personal responsibility?  In our attempt to provide help to those “without,” are we weakening their resolve to become self-reliant by creating a dependency on the solution?
In regards to healthcare, 100% ACCESS with 0% DISPARITY does not mean we attain 100% EQUITY with no INEQUALITY.  We all have different gifts that, when utilized, result in different rewards proportionate to how much the individual contribution improves the whole.
We tend to focus upon the RESULTS without considering the IMPLEMENTATION.  We see where we are and visualize where we want to be BUT spend far too little time thinking about the ramifications of “getting there.”
When did individual and unalienable rights trump the requirement of individual responsibility?  Why must the few be required to provide for the many with no expectation of a fair and honest “return” on their investment?  How far will the “10% that pay 90% of the taxes” be willing to carry the increasingly heavy burden placed upon them without dropping the load?
I find it hard to understand the logic expressed by one of our elected officials when told, “we should not worry about the cost of the affordable care act as 97% will be paid by the Federal Government and only 3% will be paid for by the people.”  I found it more difficult to understand why such a statement received a standing ovation from the audience.

Perhaps the government should get back to its “workman-like” roots.  Saying “it is done” does not make it so.  Saying “it will be done” does not mean that it CAN be readily accomplished.  Saying “I will do all that I can,” however, and following through with the absolute best effort you can invest means all that could have been done was – that every possible avenue was addressed – so that even if the result is temporary failure you can move on with a clear conscience as the next mountain to be climbed is addressed.

This is an important year.  We have an upcoming National Election that may set the course upon which our nation will travel.  Regardless of your political beliefs, affiliations or leanings, take the time to learn about the candidates and their views.  Do not listen to radical conservatives or outspoken liberals as they express their opinions – study to form your own!  Take the next several months to immerse yourself in the information provided through electronic media and other readily available information sites.  Form your own opinion on each individual’s views and philosophies.

Do not vote for a party - vote for an individual’s ideals and beliefs.  Take the time to address some of the “issues” that have become talking points at most any social gathering by “talking with your vote.”  Whatever way you choose to vote, make sure that your voice becomes a viable part of the solution rather than simply a complaint about the results!