Monthly Archive for August, 2010


Immigration Plan

August 3rd, 2010 | tags: Board Services


I was about to write a blog about immigration, when I remembered to check out my son’s proposal from 2006. I still like his slant on the issue. As the politicians get ready for yet another round of amnesty, I wonder if the Democrats would be so supportive if there was only a path to a Green Card and no path to citizenship for anyone here illegally. In other words is this all about increasing the number of Democratic voters?

Here is the Alexander Muse Plan:
“I have written about my ideas for immigration on several occasions including an original plan in April of 2006 and then again in October of 2007.  The main idea is to apply common sense to immigration.

First, I think there we need a special program for anyone who is well educated, has connections or has significant resources.  Immigration doesn’t need to be fair.  If you have a lot to offer we shouldn’t wait for you to request permission to come to the US, instead we should ask you to come.  We need more smart people in the US.  Our country was built by immigrants.  We shouldn’t assume all of the smartest people are already here.  Why are there more cab drivers from Africa here than engineers from India or China?

Second, there needs to be a plan for those immigrants who aren’t well educated, who don’t have strong connections or resources.

The concept behind my solution is to recognize that workers from Latin America are here to stay.  My plan allows anyone from Latin America to work and live freely in the United States under the following conditions:

  • They register as a non-citizen worker before entry.
  • They must pass a criminal background check before entry.
  • They receive a non-citizen passport issued by the U.S. before entry.
  • They must obtain a U.S. based bank account.
  • They must obtain a U.S. drivers license in order to drive in the U.S.
  • They must not vote in Federal, State or local elections.
  • They must not apply for or receive welfare.
  • Their children may attend public schools.
  • They may use public healthcare facilities as long as they pay the medical bills within one year.
  • They must not commit any crime.
  • They do not have to pay taxes on the first $35,000 of income per family per year (no SS or Unemployment).
  • They must return to their home country if they are unemployed for more than six months (stay at home mothers/fathers exempt if spouse is working).

Workers are only half of the solution.  The other half will be employers:

  • Employers must conduct instant checks on each newly hired non-citizen and recheck those non-citizens each quarter.
  • Employers must report non-citizen employment, and income.
  • Employers do not need to withhold any taxes.
  • Employers do not need to provide health insurance.
  • Employers must not pay more than $35,000 per year to non-citizen employees.

The penalties:

  • Make it a felony (mandatory jail time) for employing a non-registered worker.
  • Make it a felony for working in the US without registering.
  • Expel workers who commit crimes, do not pay medical bills, or remain unemployed.

The carrot:

  • Allow non-citizen workers who have lived and worked in the US for more than five years, have a clean record and have paid their bills to move to the head of the line for citizenship (they will, of course, lose their tax free status).

Let me know if I missed anything. We can make this work.”

Advice on NDAs From My Son Alexander Muse

August 2nd, 2010 | tags: Board Services
by Alexander Muse

Everyone in Dallas seems to be building a mobile application and lots of these people call or email me to share their ideas with me. More than a few of these entrepreneurs ask me to sign an NDA before they are willing to ask for my feedback and/or advice. The quick answer is that I don’t want to sign your NDA. Feel free to solicit free advice from me, but please quit asking me to sign a contract.

Anil Dash wrote a pretty good post titled, “One more time: No NDAs“. Anil points out that a lot of people feel the same way. His reasons were pretty good and worth repeating:

  • When you ask me to sign your NDA, you’re basically saying, in writing, that you don’t trust me. It’s your prerogative to say that, but it’s a pretty lousy context in which to ask for a favor.
  • I have to pay a lawyer to review a document without having any idea why I’m making that investment. No, I won’t “just sign it” without having a lawyer look it over, because it’s a legally binding document whether a lawyer reads it or not.
  • If your idea’s that good, it’s probably not that rare. I hate to be the one to point it out, but protecting your idea in general is a fool’s errand — good execution is hard to find, but good ideas are cheap.
  • I could get screwed through no fault of my own if some other random person walks up to me and blurts out the same idea that you’ve had. Being exposed to the risk of a lawsuit even if I haven’t done anything wrong sucks.
  • If I couldn’t be trusted with your idea, you’d already know about it. There are folks who don’t like me, or who are annoyed by me, but if I’d broken somebody’s trust in regard to their work, I guarantee it’d be just about the first thing you’d find when you Google my name.
  • The biggest value I can probably offer you is that I would talk about what you’re working on. If I honor your NDA, and I meet a great investor or potential employee or valuable partner for your new venture, I wouldn’t be able to tell them about it.