Dick Rowland Image We hope for you to work hard to assure that you enjoy the best year you ever had. For our part, we certainly plan to do that. Our point is this: you are in charge of your attitude, your efforts, not the year 2003. To say “Have a good year” implies you are helplessly at the mercy of whatever the year may bring — as if the year to come was your boss or controller. Not so; you react to events and circumstances, the year does not. So, make it a great year and let us know if we can help you along the way. Our fellow think tank, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Midland, Michigan, asked its staff of 30 or so to answer what they hope for in 2003. Below are some of their remarks which we found meaningful. See http://www.Mackinac.org Hope you get inspired. “I hope that we will make great strides in helping people realize that the state doesn’t have a legitimate right to exercise moral authority over their children by forcing them to attend failing government-assigned schools and that parents will begin demanding the power to choose their own schools. I hope that parents are given more control over the schools their children attend and the money to make it happen through programs such as vouchers or tax credits. Who knows the needs of and cares more for a child than his/her loving parent?” “I hope that the new governors and legislators across the country will understand that entrepreneurs and free enterprise is what makes everything else possible; that they are easily crushed by high taxes, over-regulation and infringements on property rights; and that those destructive policies can’t be mitigated by handouts or “incentives” for certain favored firms and industries.” “I hope people more fully realize how much government takes from them, which if left in their own hands, they could use to more directly, efficiently and effectively to help each other.” “I hope people realize that reforming the world begins by reforming ourselves, each and every one of us, one at a time, on a very personal level. Too many people want to meddle in the affairs of others and run their lives for them, even though their own lives are in need of vast self-improvement.” “I hope more people come to realize that anything government gives, it first took from someone by threat of force. Government robs Peter to pay Paul.” “I hope education improves for everyone. I enjoy learning and thinking. And more thinking and learning can happen if people embrace openness, competition and choice.” “I hope that everyone involved in supporting political campaigns will realize that even the best politicians act only within the confines of acceptable policy that have been determined by visionary advocates of new ways of doing things. When you give to a politician, you help somebody move around on a road no farther than the end of that road — not necessarily to your destination. When you give to a think tank like the Mackinac Center, you help somebody build a new road that extends to policies that were previously unreachable by mere politicians.” “I hope that America adopts a flatter tax system. The U.S. tax system is an embarrassment. We should follow the leads of nations like the former Soviet Union and Estonia and flatten and lower our tax codes to help create more overall economic growth for the nation.” “I hope the U.S. adopts genuine Social Security Reform through allowing citizens more private options. The U.S. should join other nations and reform their pension systems, just as other nations around the world have. Other countries with private retirement accounts include, Chile, Denmark, the Netherlands, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Uruguay, Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Latvia, Sweden, Hong Kong, El Salvador and Croatia (and coming soon) China.” “As a homeschooler, I really do hope states like Michigan start moving toward education tax credits this next year! I can hardly imagine how much richer of an educational experience my child could have if we spent even half of what our state spends on each child.” ”Make it the best year of your life …” ”Richard O. Rowland is president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. He can be reached via email at mailto:grassroot@hawaii.rr.com or by phone at (808) 487-4959. More information about the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii can be found at its Web site at” http://www.grassrootinstitute.org