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Your Views: Ga.s road map to recovery includes 4 important steps
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The road to economic recovery doesn’t begin at the national level; it begins locally. The states ultimately hold the key to recovery and through four small steps we can redefine Georgia and provide a roadmap to national recovery.

Step one: Make running for office more accessible. In Georgia, independent and third-party candidates are discriminated against and forced to produce a large amount of signatures to get on the ballot while the main parties only need pay the qualifying fee. This is a daunting step that prevents a lot of participation in the system.

Step two: Change the way we view small businesses. The failure or success of a business affects everyone not just the owners. If a business fails we fail, it hurts the job creating business owner, the single mother without a job and the economy.

Therefore, I propose a one-year income tax respite for all new businesses and expanding businesses. This will encourage people to start that business they have always dreamed of or expand the business they have. This temporary reprieve may initially cost the state but it will secure future gains and create jobs. Focus on long-term not short-term.

Step three: Promote the importance of skilled labor. Civilized nations need electricians, plumbers, carpenters and construction workers. For too long, we have defined a successful person as someone who goes to college while downplaying the importance of skilled labor. These professions are absolutely vital to maintaining a civilized society and should be encouraged and rewarded.

It’s also imperative that we re-evaluate how we treat public servants like teachers, firefighters and police. These people dedicate their lives and sacrifice a lot so that we can enjoy the comforts they afford and they need to know that we support, respect and value them. They should never be first on the chopping block.

Step four: Vote for true representatives. For too long we have let our elected officials go unchecked. We’ve given them enough rope to hang us all and it’s time to rein it in. When we vote for a candidate based on their political party, they assume we mean they should constantly press that group’s agenda.

Instead of listening to the people, they pick sides based on nothing more than ideology with little regard for what their constituents actually want. The end result is a stagnation that has nearly crippled us. This cannot continue, and we need to send a clear message to our elected officials that we will not reward partisan warfare. We can’t expect things to change if we continually vote for the same people who did nothing in the last office they held. We must demand results.

The time is now. Let’s take back our state and set an example for the rest of the nation. Support an independent candidate or run as one yourself. The road to recovery starts with you, so stand up and you will be amazed by how many people stand with you.

Richard Fearn

Regional events