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Tariffs, Taxes and Tribulations

Firstly, let me say that I am not taking any political side in any discussions concerning anything to do with the White House, Congress, or tiddly-winks, as I group them in the same category- things I don't often talk or venture an opinion about. Now, with that said: much has been in the news lately about the President's decision to levy tariffs, or additional fees on imported items from certain countries. I'm sure he has his reasons that are far beyond the thinking of the ordinary man or woman, and as they say, above our pay grade. I do wonder though, how these issues relate to us as the commoner and how we can take the macro picture we are involved in, one way or another, and scale it down to our stature in life. Though it may seem miniscule in comparison, there should be a way to learn how this major issue can help us in our everyday life. Leave it to me to find it!

The tariff issue is about imbalance: one country reaping the benefits of items imported into or out of their country in a larger way than the other country, therefore benefiting in a more profitable way. If you are the owner of a small or mid-sized business (and if you're not a business owner, don't stop reading: I've got some ideas for you too!), have you looked at the vendors you work with, and does "one hand wash the other" as they say? Like most folks, when I need a service or product, I usually ask around from my friends and clients as to who they may have used to accomplish said need. Most of our clients as an example, come from referrals from existing clients and other professionals we have worked with throughout the years, earning our reputation and the referral. As a business owner, are you in the "referral loop?" It may behoove you to speak with the other vendors or businesses in your circle to discuss how you can benefit each other. Relationships should be two sided, and it takes two to tango, as they say. Don't be afraid to ask to arrange a referral arrangement- just be sure not to violate any laws or regulations pertaining to your profession.

Living in Rockland, most of us have gardens, either flower or vegetable. We give money to buy the plant, soil, water and love to bring the scraggly seedling into a bold plant that in turn gives us beautiful flowers or wonderful sweet vegetables. Life is about give and take, and should result in the satisfaction of getting back your version of equivalency. One of the laws of the universe is to give without expectation, meaning that giving should be a part of life without the anticipation of return: if it comes, it comes. It should not be the reason you gave. Philanthropy is a great example of this- those who have abundance in life passing some down to those less fortunate. You don't expect something back for making a charitable donation (except a receipt) you just do- or should be doing. Look in your closet for example: how many coats do you have in there that you have not worn in years? Newsflash- there are people out there who don't have even one coat, let alone so many their closets are bulging. Do yourself a favor- time to clean out your closet... there are an innumerable amount of people who will be very gracious to receive.

But I digress- tariffs, taxes and tribulations. We struggle with these three items daily in everyday life. Tariffs cause the price of every item you buy to go up or down. The average person works the first three months of the year just to pay their taxes. And tribulation... we all struggle with that every day with hundreds of decisions to make just to get through the day. Tariffs are not only tied to business- it's about what we put into a day, a relationship, a project or an objective. The trade imbalance is what you put in vs. what you get out. It's not always about money: it's about personal satisfaction and a feeling of self-respect. It's up to you if you feel satisfied that your checkbook is balanced as well as your life- take a good look. You may be surprised as to what you may find, or what you may change. Yes, it's all up to you. We all have to pay for the things we may want: what do you give back to make life equitable?

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