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marcfrey150As of January 2014, 20 million more people were on food stamps compared to 2007. The total number of recipients is now around 47 million, more than 15 percent of the population. The SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) is just one of many federal and state supported programs. I merely chose this one to drive home my point.

Granted, we lived through the second worst depression in modern U.S. economic history, but since then the economy has been making progress and unemployment figues have come down. Unfortunately, the amount of money spent on social welfare keeps climbing. The cost of the SNAP program is now 2 1/2 times higher ($74 billion) compared to 2007 ($30 billion). How can this be fied?

marcfrey150If your life is perfect, skip this column. Send me an e-mail sharing your secrets to a fulfilled life. If by chance you are one of the 100 million Americans that makes a New Year’s resolution or helps to fuel the 2.5 billion self-help industry, read on.

First know that according to surveys, a very high percentage of resolutions remain unfulfilled. If you are a cynic you might rightfully conclude that given the odds, it makes no sense to bother making one in the first place … unless you read this column, which is aimed at improving your chances of resolution success.

marcfrey150The news that Amazon, the largest Internet retailer, and the U.S. post office are collaborating to make Sunday delivery of packages a reality in an attempt to forever paint every Friday black (order on Friday, deliver on Sunday) might in itself seem trivial. Just another spoke in the wheel to make it possible to always shop, always consume, always be inundated with marketing plots, in a never-ending quest to squeeze out the last ounce of profit and the titanic fight for market share taking shamelessly advantage of our conveniencedriven habits.


We asked somebody much more qualified than myself that very question. Edward Jay Epstein is an investigative journalist and former political science professor at Harvard. He wrote 15 fascinating books starting with “Inquest. The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth” in 1966 all the way to his latest work, “The JFK Assassination Diary: My Search for Answers to the Mystery of the Century” (2013).

Here is his answer:

Here is my view on the surveillance state.

marcfrey150A few month back I wrote that we need BIG thinking and bold decision-making in order to strengthen our community and our brand.

T his month I want to call attention to three events that serve as prime examples of this kind of thinking, the kind that can propel a community such as ours from an ordinary seaside resort to a world-class community.

The three events are the Public Outdoor Art Exhibition at Honey Horn Plantation, Imagination 2013 at the same venue and the Concours d’Elegance, which this year is around the clubhouse at Port Royal Golf Club.

marc freyThree things: The envisioned outcome, a plan and the xwillingness to execute it over a long period of time.

Three years ago such a general road map was delivered to the town council and the public titled the “Mayor’s Vision Task Force Vision 2025.” A progress report contributed by Lisa Allen can be read on page 76 of this issue. If you are interested in reading the original document, go to www.hiltonheadmonthly.com/taskforce.

joya1It would be easy to allow oneself to become depressed, realizing that there are so many things that could use fixing in this world, complain about injustice or one’s own misfortune. Instead I remember a proverb one of my mentors taught me growing up. “It is better to light a fire than complain about the darkness”.

Focusing on the negative is not going to make anything better, but in order to find the daily strength to look at the bright side of life and do our part to turn things positive, we need a source of inner power and positive energy.

 

marc freyImagine standing on a plantation full of oak and pine trees, dotted with swamps, about 60 years ago — when our island was served by a drawbridge and a two-way road connector to Interstate 95 — and having the guts to imagine a planned community complete with roadways, bike paths, golf courses, tennis centers, marinas, playgrounds, shopping areas and a multitude of villas and homes.

It took BIG thinking to accomplish what we take for granted today.

marc-blogNO. It hits you right in the face! Every time I go to the beach, I’m greeted by a town ordinance sign that starts with a BIG red NO.

marc-blogFor once I resort to numbers instead of words to tell a story. Each of these numbers stands symbolically for something much larger and hopefully gets you to think about what it means or could mean. Send me your favorite number   by e-mailing me and I will make sure it gets posted.