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Month: March 2012

Life Without Oil

Originally published in Flourishing February 2012 Today, it’s common wisdom – if that’s the right word – to think of our environment as something that starts out healthy, but that we’ve messed up. The worst thing we produce, it is alleged, is “oil”. That just drives me crazy, because it’s the inverse of my entire life’s experience. Yours, too. In the very early 1950’s, I attended kindergarten at Simpson Elementary School in Russell, Kansas. Our family lived in a rented house – a shack really – a few blocks away… Read more Life Without Oil

Web Tips

Originally published in Flourishing January 2012 Are you wondering how working while collecting Social Security will affect your benefits?  Are you having trouble managing all of your monthly expenses?  Perhaps you want to start an education savings plan for your child or grandchild, but are wondering which type is right for you.  To help with these difficult questions, Family Wealth Management LLC has a wealth of resources available to you on our website. Simply go to and click on Downloads in the Client Center drop down menu.  Available to you… Read more Web Tips

Faulty Lens Follow-Up

Originally published in Flourishing January 2012 In the November issue of this newsletter, I discussed the Occupy Wall Street protestors, saying that they were viewing the world through a “faulty intellectual lens”.  The point of the article was that many of the protestors are confused.  Among other things, they don’t understand the “capitalist function”, which is to provide financing for the improvement of the human condition. So, I was very pleased to read* about protestor Tracy Postert. Tracy has a PhD. in biomedical science, with a specialty in pharmacology.  Frustrated… Read more Faulty Lens Follow-Up

The Pessimists’ Dead-End

Originally published in Flourishing January 2012 In 1957, Bennett Cerf, then CEO of Random House, took a chance on a wildly dystopian and philosophically radical novel.  You may have heard of it—more than seven million copies have been sold, and many of its author’s personal papers are now housed in the Smithsonian—Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. I mention Atlas here, because its author is now widely perceived to have been incredibly prescient.  For example: One of the most interesting characters in the novel, Ellis Wyatt, had figured out how to… Read more The Pessimists’ Dead-End

Achievement is Not Normal

Originally published in Flourishing January 2012. Many personal attributes, such as height and IQ scores, are distributed “normally” throughout the population.  In most things, most people are near the middle of the range and very few are far away from the middle. The distribution is symmetric, which means—as in the case of height—that as many people are taller than average, as are shorter than average.  Almost no one exceeds the average in height or IQ by more than about 25%.  You could plot this on the “normal distribution” chart above.… Read more Achievement is Not Normal

Outwitting The Difficult Child

Originally published in Flourishing January 2012 The worst thing that can befall any parent is to outlive one of their children. In that regard, Linda and I have been very lucky, and a day does not pass, but that we give thanks. I believe that it’s equally sad when a parent or grandparent has given up on their child or grandchild. This is perhaps a more common tragedy. Thankfully, we have not had that experience, either; but at times, we have had serious communication gaps. I’m neither a psychologist nor family… Read more Outwitting The Difficult Child

A Notable January Birthday

  Originally published in Flourishing January 2012.  Vernon Lomax Smith was born in Wichita on January 1, 1927.  After his father lost his job as a machinist during the Great Depression,Vernon’s family moved to a farm in western Sedgwick County.  As a teenager, he attended my parents’ alma mater,Wichita North High School, graduating in 1945.  Vernon said that after high school, he wanted go to Cal Tech, but his high school grades weren’t good enough; so, he attended Friends University in Wichita to rehabilitate his academic record.  He then went… Read more A Notable January Birthday