Odds & Ends from South Florida

Western HemisphereWelcome to this month’s odds and ends from sunny South Florida. This month’s column is an eclectic mix of news.

Right off the bat, it was reported how the U.S. government recruited various students from Latin America to go to Cuba in order to create a “Cuban Spring.” This report makes me wonder why would the Obama administration do such a thing, given their support for lifting the embargo? Is this a case of the Administration of supporting a regime before overthrowing it? Or is it because the Castro administration was not progressive enough for the Obama Administration and a regime change was necessary? We’ll have to wait and see.

Immigration was the major topic in Washington in the last couple of weeks. The flood of immigrant children to our southwestern border should give us pause. The question that I have and no one seems to address is what would possess a father or mother in Central America to put their young child on a train with complete strangers, not even a friend of the family. You cannot compare this to Operation Peter Pan which happened in Cuba. The difference was that the Catholic Church was taking care of the Cuban children when they arrived from Cuba. Here, these children are at their own or at the mercy of a federal agency.

The immigration issue is a multi-faceted issue that requires leadership. This is not about “tolerance” or “multiculturalism”, but rather crafting a solution that goes beyond the sound bytes. I have written about our immigration situation in the past and there is no need to repeat it, but the links to my earlier postings are here and here.

The only thing I would add to what I previously written is that I would love to see Speaker Boehner make the following proposition: “Those who came into the country illegally, can only obtain resident status with no possibility of citizenship.” This would be the perfect compromise. They would go to the back of the line, pay their fines and their application fees, and wait like every other legal immigrant in this country. Those who are here illegally can become part of our society, if they choose to stay. For those complaining that this is amnesty, the permanent residency would take away the fear that the illegals would automatically serve as new voters for the Democrats. This will also reveal whether or not the Democrats are interested in protecting the poor or are they looking to find ways to get more votes.

Speaking of leadership, kudos to Larry Kudlow’s recent article on National Review Online. I would encourage you to read it. It is in the same vein of where is the GOP leadership, but instead of immigration, he focuses on the economy and other domestic issues. Far too many Republicans think leadership is just say, “No.” It is not. Leadership also involves sticking your neck out and offering alternatives, challenging your critics to come up with a better plan, and working towards the betterment of our country. As the old saying goes, “Good policy makes good politics.”

Finally, I would encourage you to read an article titled, “To Grow Let A Thousand Checkbooks Bloom.” The article discusses the role that angel investors play in our economy. Angel investors are the initial investors that invest their money in startups. According to the SEC, angel investor are considered to be accredited investor. An accredited investor, according to the Angel Capital Association is

“Accredited Investor” as defined in the Securities Act of 1933 for individuals means a natural person who has individual net worth or joint net worth with the person’s spouse that exceeds $1 million at the time of the purchase,” OR “a natural person with income exceeding $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year.”

Recently, the Security Exchange Commissions is reviewing whether or not they should increase the minimum amount to “$400,000 or net assets of 2.5 million.” If the SEC agrees to this regulation, it would disqualify a majority of current angel investors and not allow them to serve as investors. Such an action would have a devastating effect on our economy not only on a national level, but on a local level. For instance, here in south Florida, angel investors are playing a major role in allowing startups to be formed so that they could not only serve the market here locally, but internationally in South America. It is my hope, that if you have the time and if you are familiar with investing, to write to the SEC and tell them to leave the current standards for an accredited investor.

Until the next time.

  • Frank Argote-Freyre

    Very proud of you work cousin Arthur, even if we don’t agree on many issues politically. Glad to see that you are trying to make a difference and contributing to the debate that is at the core of a civil society.

    • amfreyre

      Thank you for the kind words. I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments in future postings.

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