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Byron McNutt

People Make the Difference

Byron McNutt can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521.


Referendum on statesmanship


By Byron McNutt

WITH THE GENERAL Election less than a week away, are you going to the polls confident the nation will elect leaders that can put partisanship aside and make us proud again by acting in a responsible and statesmen-like manner?

This election season has had an intense focus on the race for the White House while overshadowing the role played by Congress. After all, we are electing 435 members of the House and filling 33 seats in the Senate.

The experts predict the House will remain in control of the Republicans. The majority in the Senate could go either way with Democrats currently in control. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are in a very close race, with the incumbent with the advantage. Regardless who wins, he will have a split Congress.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:04 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:42 PM )
For success, stay positive

By Byron McNutt

THE LATE, GREAT newspaper, TV and radio personality Paul Harvey always said: successful people have one thing in common—they all practice positive thinking.

“The world is comprised in large part by two kinds of people,” Harvey said, “those who say it can’t be done, and those who go ahead and do it anyway.”

I’m sure many people thought “Fearless Felix” Baumgartner, the 43-year-old Austrian daredevil, was insane for going through with his dramatic skydive (free fall) from the stratosphere 24 miles above the New Mexico desert Oct. 14. He said it was a calculated risk.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2:41 PM
Spend it or lose it

By Byron McNutt

ABOUT 30 YEARS ago Avi Lank covered the actions of bureaucrats in city hall and the county courthouse in Milwaukee at close range. In the following article, Lank shares his observations about the Bureaucratic Imperative.

There is no greater defender of turf than a bureaucrat. A mother lion looking after her cubs is no more than a pussycat compared with a bureaucrat threatened with a cut in staff, budget or responsibility.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 3:08 PM
So Barry, how’s business?


By Byron McNutt

THE CONTINUING four-year economic recession isn’t the first one we’ve endured in our lifetime. We survived those previous slowdowns and we’ll eventually recover from this one. They are a normal part of the cycle.

About 30 years ago, there was a recession and everyone was concerned about our economic survival. When you met with a local businessman, it was common to ask about his well-being. With a tip of the hat to Lorna Sorenson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, here are a few translations to the ever-popular opening question, “How’s business?”

• “It’s been better.” Translation: We’ll be in receivership by the end of the week.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 2:41 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:44 PM )
Bar Stool Economics 101

By Byron McNutt

IMAGINE?A?COUNTRY with a tax system that maligns and vilifies people who legally pay more than $2 million annually in federal income taxes but sees nothing wrong with a sizable portion of the population that isn’t required to pay any federal income taxes.

People in this flawed system might owe $1,200 in taxes at 17%, or $2 million at 14%. When using numbers to state your case in a fairness debate, the context and the perception of the judges can make a big difference.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 4:18 PM
Innovation costing jobs?

By Byron McNutt

WE ALL KNOW?millions of good, middle-class jobs have disappeared in the U.S. economy the last 15 years. We can blame innovation, technology, robots, smartphones, computers, outsourcing, company mergers and the resulting bad economy.

Author and former hedge-fund manager Andy Kessler says it is wrong to blame innovation for the loss of jobs. Tell that to the 15 million Americans who are unemployed and the 20 million who feel they are underemployed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2:47 PM
Fixating on our performance

By Byron McNutt

HAVE YOU EVER celebrated your wedding an­niversary by conducting a performance review? Do you insist on doing some market research before you and your spouse produce another child?

If you have, you’ve been in corporate America too long. One of our trade publications, Publisher’s Auxiliary, once offered us this collection of answers to the statement: You’ve been in corporate America too long when:

•?You ask the waiter to describe the restaurant’s core competencies. You decide to reorganize your family into a “team-based organization.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 5:29 PM
Search for intelligent life

By Byron McNutt

COLLECTIVELY, WE are the most rational, the most logical, the most educated species in the history of nature. Yet, author and newspaper columnist D.L. Stewart from Joilet, Ill., says the search for intelligent life in our universe goes on.

Stewart made that observation over 21 years ago. With another presidential election just ahead, one has to wonder if we’ll ever find intelligent life in the political arena. It’s no surprise, I guess, because potential voters on Nov. 6 are from the same species that will:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2:17 PM
Glossary of political rhetoric
By Byron McNutt

EVERY FIELD HAS special words and expressions, and politics is no exception. About 26 years ago, economist Thomas Sowell offered this glossary (with a few tweaks) of political rhetoric used by politicians and the media.
Crisis: any situation you want to change.
Compassion: the use of tax money by Democrats to buy votes.
Insensitivity: objection to the use of tax money to buy votes.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012 3:29 PM
Maybe there’s still hope?
By Byron McNutt

“AMERICANS?CAN always be counted on to do the right thing?—?after they have exhausted all other possibilities.” In other words, it is not a good idea to bet against the United States.
The opening quote was made by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill about 65 years ago. Some sources say the second half of the quote was “after they have tried everything else.” Either interpretation works.
If it was true back then, is it still true today? Was the statement a backhanded compliment or a sarcastic take on our indecisive (spineless) political leadership? What might this observation about America tell us?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:11 PM

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