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Lemonade with Warren Buffett:

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There is an old axiom -- "If life throws you lemons, make lemonade."  It seems that many of us are facing an abundance of opportunities to make lemonade, I sure am and the nation is also presented with plenty of opportunities... perhaps we can all have a glass of Lemonade with Warren Buffett.

Mr. Buffett is well-known for his business acumen and the ability to make money. He also wants to do the right thing for our country and people around the world. For those of us who have studied him there is an underlying theme to many of his successes; investing in businesses  which are owned and run by highly effective if somewhat eccentric individuals that have two fundamental somewhat opposing qualities.

·         They are excellent business people with incredible analysis and control over the finances of their company--in many situations we might consider them controlling, anal, and sometimes even obsessive individuals--this comes from their analytic, controlling, and detail oriented side.

·         They have either adapted their business in a unique manner relative to their competition or come up with a somewhat unique business that provides a competitive advantage... this comes from their creative, eccentric side.

These types of individuals, possessing these somewhat opposing qualities, are difficult to find in businesses which meet his other criteria," a dominating presence in their particular market, strong sustainable growth, a fundamental product or service that is needed no matter what the economic conditions.

Our economy is in trouble and millions are under- or unemployed--I happen to be one of them.  Many of these people fit into one of the two categories--the highly disciplined and structured businessperson OR the creative/concept person--the doer OR the thinker."  So how does this relate to drinking lemonade with Mr. Buffett?

What if we could combine some of the unemployed/underemployed creative/concept people and their ideas with some of the phenomenal managers/doers also available, for the benefit of all of us...?

Let me give you an example from a classic "thinker" point of view, and this commitment." All profits from any proposed idea/company are to be pledged to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and/or the promotion of alternative energy within the United States.  I agree to relinquish all rights to the idea/business but ask to work on it, with a salary, that will have a cap--no matter how successful. I bet there are another million people in the country that would make the same deal. 

I refer to this way of doing business--socio-capitalism; new businesses to get our economy going and committed to both capitalism and the benefit of society--stick that in your pipe and smoke it Limbaugh.  Imagine hundreds of businesses, perhaps thousands, committed to this concept.

Just to give you a taste of how my mind works, imagine this concept:

I believe the largest landholder in the United States is the United States government.  One of the biggest costs in providing alternative energy is the availability of land--solar, wind, and geothermal all need it in large amounts.  

The other big cost is the capital investment in the equipment.  After these two costs have been satisfied, maintenance is minimal and the source--wind, sun, geothermal and waves--are free.

The long-term return on investment in clean energy is incredible-- in  many cases the capital costs are paid in-full within 6 to 10 years.  After that the earning potential is enormous and companies around the world are racing to capitalize on that earning potential--what if the US government entered into a co-operative agreement with private industry in exchange for a percentage of the profits from the sale of energy--for the life of the project?  What if we had universities from across the country provide studies on the areas within the country that could support both solar thermal and windmills at the same locations rather than pursuing different locations because the companies involved use only one technology; how cost-effective would that be? What if Mr. Buffett started a program for Green Bonds; people could invest in them, the money would be used for alternative energy projects, the savings from those projects would pay the interest on the bonds? How many people, businesses, public entities would be interested in participating in this? How many others would follow his lead?

I'm loaded with ideas. Mr. Buffett, care to join me for a glass of lemonade?

The doer and the thinker

No allowance for the other

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Joel Koman is the founder of website utilizing T-shirt contests,sales, and information for the promotion of alternative energy to benefit our economy, our military, our health, and our climate. He is convinced that (more...)
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