2014 really flew by…some thoughts on the year on a variety of subjects:
2014 has been a gratifying year for famous Names…we started shipping IBX, our new “baby” exactly a year ago. We knew from the field testing we did that we had a winner, but the market has to validate that. We are blessed to have a customer base that is open-minded, wants the best for their clients and are anxious to try new concepts. IBX has been a winner for us…we are so excited at the difference it has made for nail professionals around the world and look forward to more of the same in 2015. Thanks to our customers and distributors who have supported famous Names in 2014, we truly appreciate it and are working hard to be your partner in success! 2015 will bring some new excitement from famous Names and we look forward to further partnering with nail professionals around the world.
I have just learned this morning Vicky Peters has left us. It’s very sad and a loss for the professional nail industry. The “Vickers” was one of a kind and was forever dedicated to our industry. I have so many memories of good laughs, in-depth discussions on how to improve our industry and about life in general. I am so glad that I took the time to visit her in her salon earlier this year. RIP Vicki Peters, we will miss you and your smile.
Every year has its high points and challenge points. Through it all, it’s important to “smell the roses” along the way. Linda and I are blessed to have two fantastic daughters. I am so proud of them both. We are thrilled Niki comes home to visit us every chance she gets…she is going to be a real asset to the professional beauty industry and I look forward to her contributions. Carli was able to spend time with our UK family over the summer and continues dedicate herself to her studies as a home schooler this year. She has a business mind and that is what she wants to persue…maybe famous Names one day? Linda is amazing…how do you get younger each year in attitude and appearance? I am a lucky guy. I am also thankful for my “UK family”. The Sams and the entire Sweet Squared team are terrific. They are a pleasure to work with and it’s an honor to be their partner. 2015 will bring more thrills and challenges, but when you are surrounded by so many talented and great people, I know the ride will be filled with satisfaction and a lot of fun.
The midterm elections were held about seven weeks ago (seems like seven months ago!).
The final results were: Senate: Rep 54 Dem 44 Ind 2; House: Rep 247 Dem 188; Governors Rep 35 Dem 15. Some are calling this election a “sea-change”. I really don’t agree…midterm elections in second terms typically produce a change in the balance of power. I believe the magnitude of the change is above average. If you are a “Republican”, there was joy and jubilation. If not, indignation and resignation. It seems there is always a dose of fear and warning on how the world is about to change drastically for the worse after an election like this. One great example I saw is “the end of school lunches for the children was near”. I am quite sure there will be more school lunches served next year than this year. I wish school lunches are the worst of our problems. This next Congress has some major challenges facing it and I hope there is some intelligent governing that takes place…I know many of you are laughing out there at that thought. But we can hope, right?
Here are my thoughts on what needs to happen:
- The Keystone XL Pipeline is approved and work started as soon as possible. I cannot imagine a more obvious “no brainer”. Currently the heavy crude that the Keystone XL would transport is being moved via rail. Most of it comes from Canada. President Obama spoke this week coming out against the project stating that “Canada would be the main beneficiary of the project”. Here is what he left out: Over the last twenty years, the US oil industry has spent tens of billions converting refineries to processing heavy crude. There are two primary sources of heavy crude: Canada and Venezuela. Who would you rather see benefit? Our strong ally to the north or the socialist and unfriendly regime to the south? One other note: the majority of the rail system that is currently moving the Canadian heavy crude is owned by major democratic and Obama supporter Warren Buffett. Lets put the interests of our Country first over politics. Lets create tens of thousands of high paying jobs for Americans. Lets advance our energy infrastructure. This is a no brainer.
- Reform the Federal Corporate Tax Rate: The US has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world at 35%. The President and the Congress are demonizing companies for holding profits overseas and for doing corporate inversions (where tax domicile is changed from the US to other jurisdictions via acquisition). In a free market, money flows to where it is treated best. The US is not currently that place. Here is a solution: Put in place a competitive rate and the money will flow back to the US. I think a 20% rate sounds about right. In making this change, many (all?) of the special interest tax breaks would have to go away. Simplicity and Competiveness…all good for the US.
- Constitutional Respect: The balance of power envisioned by our founding fathers is being changed by the use of Presidential Executive Orders. PEO’s bypass the Congress and implement the agenda of the President. President Obama’s PEO size and scope are unprecedented and may produce very dangerous and unintended consequences. I have seen articles stating that the NUMBER of PEO’s is less than that of the last Administration and that would be correct. However, when looked at in the scope and impact on our economy, impact on business and the judicial system…this president has gone far beyond any other. A grid locked Congress is the excuse used…but that is how our system is set up. It is what the Constitution was built on: Separation of Power. I don’t want any President doing this, no matter the political party or how justified the agenda. I want to see some integrity in Washington and less “boundary pushing”. Our Constitution enabled the most successful country in the world…why are we risking our future because of one man’s (political) agenda?
I have seen many in the Republican arena trying to make a case for repeal of the medical device tax. I honestly don’t see it…the publicly held medical device companies have been amongst the biggest risers in a market that has gone up a lot. The tax appears to have been taken in stride. Innovation continues to flow.
Back to the topic of energy. I was reading an article this week that quoted the EIA that a grand total of 0.6% of total power generated in the US comes from solar power. Not much when you consider the tens of billions the current administration has “invested” in solar. The fact is that solar is the most expensive type of power generation. Wind makes up 4.7% of the total and is more economic than solar. Nuclear is the most cost efficient. America has a legitimate shot at being nearly energy independent…we need to wisely invest in making this happen (think Keystone XL along with wind, hydro and nuclear). We need to keep innovation moving forward…quality of life depends on it.
It’s snowing here in Vegas today, what a perfect way to say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in 2015. Our daughter Carli and her bestie Celine are cooking Linda, Linda’s Mom and I dinner tonight. Cant wait, what a nice way to spend the evening! 2015 will bring a lot of travel (so what’s new???) and to some new places…I cant wait! In signing off, I wish you and your’s a fun and safe New Year’s Eve and above all else, a healthy 2015.
Until Next Time-