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Timothy Johnson / Clear, concise arguments and answers from leading thinkers / Eristical.com
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Timothy Johnson

After factors like quality education and family stability, I think it's a combination of the government understanding its responsibilities and free enterprise allowing us unlimited opportunities to earn an unlimited amount of money. It's not about what the government can do for me, but what I can do for myself and I ask that the government restrict itself to its constitutional responsibilities and allow me to go out and look for those opportunities. I want everybody to eat, I just don't want the responsibility of catching it for them. I would rather teach them them how to fish, so they can catch carp, they can catch bass, they can catch catfish or whatever they want to catch. I think we have a host of people who want you to catch it for them, clean it for them, cook it for them, and even feed it to them then wipe their face when they're done eating.

Entrepreneur and Chairman of The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson

If it's fair and equitable, that's fine, but I think we still have to be very cognizant that from a small business perspective, if every time I hire an employee, I have to pay this amount of wages it can be a Catch 22. I want to be an entrepreneur and I want to employ people, but if you're telling me that I have to pay $10 an hour in order for that person to work for me and be above board by paying my taxes and the rest of the mandates which are imposed on a business owner, it can be a stranglehold on businesses and business owners. All they are trying to do is operate fairly and make a contribution to society and in the long run if I can't hire anybody at that price, then the minimum wage doesn't mean much.

Entrepreneur and Chairman of The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson

I would like to see the government play less of a role because when the government gets involved, it creates failures and discourages rather than encourages people to be entrepreneurs because of burdensome regulation and taxation. I think the government tries to be all things to all people and subsequently takes away individual rights under the auspice of uniform rights. The challenge, as individuals, is that we find ourselves working hard for those who choose not to work and yet enjoy the same benefits . So I think government has to be very clear about its responsibility to not create a dependency system and to allow for each individual to really utilize their skills and judgment because what was intended as a safety net has become a disincentive to work. One of the challenges we have today is that we're creating a system where people become more dependent upon the government versus relying upon themselves.

Entrepreneur and Chairman of The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson

Workers unions can be a stranglehold on the economy where the only way you can hire labor is if you pay these astronomical figures which, to some extent, influences businesses to move overseas or to move to different parts of the country where unions don't have such an influence. I think the union movement was designed to protect the workers from mistreatment but there were a lot of people who played on the system. Having to play with the union, and you can see it with the teachers union, it's clear that we don't necessarily get quality because we pay top-notch money, so employees need to be responsible and not assume that they're protected by the union so that they can be slack workers, because then what you've done is strangle-held the business owner who has no recourse. So unions can be the death of an economy if misused.

Entrepreneur and Chairman of The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson

The reality is that those who have done research usually are the minority so when the majority have a good deal of the information through TV, talk radio, and so on, which plays to their emotions and is not necessarily factual, then you get ignorant passion. I have a doctorate degree but having an education doesn't make you smarter than anyone else. In a university environment you're supposed to be taught how to be analytical, to look at things in a critical manner, but I think over time we've discouraged people from being analytical, from looking at it from both angles and saying, for example, "If that was me, would I want to make $200,000 knowing that when I go above a certain threshold my tax bracket jumps up expeditiously?". Too often we get into the emotional responses, not factual responses. I would tell young people to get to know all that they can about a certain subject before making a decision.

Entrepreneur and Chairman of The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Timothy Johnson