About The Author
Mission and Vision
To make the world a better place through increased understanding.
To improve understanding by explaining the fundamental relationships established in the Economics of Choice.
To establish this understanding through a massive marketing effort that uses a variety of media including radio, TV, movies, magazines, books, and social media.
To break down barriers and increase cooperation by proactively seeking to be politically neutral.
My mission is to make the world a better place by bringing an increased understanding of the economic elements that affect our lives. The challenges that face Americans and people all around the world are a strong motivating force for me. I believe that mainstream economic thought does not adequately explain the relationship between natural resources, time spent at work, debt, and the opportunity to pursue happiness.
My parents are German immigrants. My mother has deep compassion for all people, animals, and plants and has little interest in business. My father dedicated most of his adult life to his ideal—he wanted a business that all family members could participate in. My connection with the natural world and understanding of business underpin the Economics of Choice economic model.
During my youth I spent much time outside building dams in the pouring rain, catching frogs, running through the woods with our dogs, gardening, doing chores, and playing sports. My first job, picking strawberries when I was 12 or 13, involved a 10 to 12-hour day (including the bus ride to and from work). Weekends I worked on outdoor projects at home with my family, took long hikes and occasional camping trips. Longer vacations were rare and limited to visiting family in Germany.
A typical summer day during high school included a four-mile bike ride before playing tennis at 7:00 a.m., a two-mile ride from the tennis court to Helac, our family business, and then a three-mile ride home after work. At work I swept the shop floor, built shelves, cleaned machines, and did other manual tasks. At age 16, I often drove into Seattle doing pick-up and delivery for Helac. Although I ran my share of stop signs, amazingly, I never got fined or had an accident.
In college I told my father that engineering might not suit me. “You have to do what you need to do,” he responded. End of conversation. I received a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Washington, worked on the B1-B bomber for Rockwell International in Palmdale, California, and joined Helac Corporation in 1986.
After my father’s death in 1995, I took over most of sales and marketing for Helac, in addition to finance and service. Shortly thereafter I was responsible for the construction of a 117,000 square foot manufacturing and office addition.
As an employee, I participated in productivity-improving lean events, travelled nationally and internationally, was deeply involved in product development, created sales and marketing plans, evaluated legal documents, and made staffing decisions. As an owner, I approved budgets, handled estate planning, endorsed the creation of a shell company for the purpose of reducing taxes, addressed the threat of a Chinese competitor who introduced a product that was sold for almost half of Helac’s price; and I approved the decision to outsource component production to India. I led the sale of Helac, which was sold in 2017.
I left Helac Corporation as an employee in 2007 with the objectives of doing more meaningful work and creating a political accountability system. An economic model was an important part of that system. I could not locate an economic model that suited my needs, so I began creating one. I read dozens of books and hundreds of articles related to economics, and completed four university courses in economics.
My knowledge of economics is rooted in business experience from my time at Helac Corporation. Those observations are central to the Economics of Choice model and some are delineated below.
First, there is a limit to the amount of time people want to work. It is hard to get people to work overtime for extended periods of time, even with overtime pay. Second, increased compensation, in terms of motivation, has a limited long-term effect. Third, the cost of producing a product declines significantly every time production volumes double. Fourth, Japanese companies, relative to American and European companies, paid far greater attention to detail. It takes significantly more time to successfully sell a product in Japan than it does in the United States or Europe. Cultural and societal values affect business and thereby economic output. Fifth, the rates of innovation and productivity improvement in U.S. businesses is probably greatest during periods of moderate growth. During periods of rapid growth resources are taken from product development and innovation and used to meet customer demand. During periods of significant economic decline businesses tend to cut all necessary costs, including those dedicated to innovation, to remain profitable or to prevent bankruptcy.