Focus of Family, Community and Business
A person’s time is their most valuable asset. What a person does with their time can determine their success and happiness, both at work and in their home life. It’s been said that time is money and, if so, why is it that so much time is spent commuting to jobs that are far from our communities? People shouldn’t have to go far away from their community, spending precious hours on the commute, just because there aren’t any good jobs where they live. Jobs should go where the people are, not the other way around. And that process starts with Bringing Back Main Street.
The time a family spends together on a daily and weekly basis is what builds structure, social skills and moral integrity in children. The more time a family can spend sitting around a dinner table together, the more those children will get to learn from their parents. If mom and dad don’t have to drive 2 hours each way for work that’s more time they can spend with his family at breakfast and at dinner. Then there are the kids’ schools, part of what ties a family together with the community.
Good jobs and good schools shouldn’t be found only in certain communities, they should be available in all communities. A mom should be able to drop her kids off at a good school not far from home and then drive to the center of her community to get all the errands done. The grocery store with affordable prices shouldn’t be a long drive from a good bakery and coffee shop or the bank or dry cleaners. All of these merchants should be found at the heart of a community, on Main Street, if you will. A strong community produces capable, productive citizens and a strong community starts with business.
Strong business is the driving force behind the success of a community. A community comprised of well-run small businesses at its heart is bound to be strong and thriving, certainly more so than a community that lacks good small business. Where there is space and opportunity large businesses can offer jobs to a large number of people, strengthening the community through stability and economic growth. America was built on the principal of having a main street lined with the businesses essential to the community and it was a model that lead to incredibly strong families, communities and businesses. If we don’t bring back main street we risk losing these pillars that have made and continue to make American life so great. To keep our way of life alive and strong we need to Bring Back Main Street.
Michael Scott Carter is a proven voice for Main Street conservative values.
Michael has been a champion for those values to audiences on TV and radio shows across Illinois, as well as in England and Europe. He speaks about issues that matter: families, communities, and small businesses, the places people work and live, and the things that make their lives meaningful.
After a successful career in corporate finance, funding projects in England and Europe, he returned to his home state of Illinois to serve as the Chief Economist for the Chicago Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center. Michael is also a member of the Advisory Board of Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka and the Lead Group for Innovative financing with the United Nations.
Michael is currently returning to his entrepreneurial roots, launching local businesses to bring private-sector, market-based opportunities to neighborhoods that have not seen too much private sector success. He is opening centers to help inner-city children learn the skills they need to succeed, with a program centered around music education.
Michael Scott Carter grew up in a middle class neighborhood, in a community where he knew his neighbors. His family ran a business – and they shared a farm in the summer. They ran a neighborhood drug store, and everyone from the neighborhood came into the store. He had firsthand experience with his mother’s and his neighbors’ worries about their health, quality of life and the cost of living. He grew up living with worries about meeting payroll and paying taxes – firsthand. He and his family wrestled with real, Main Street problems, the same problems everyone wrestles with over the kitchen table – and they managed their problems by living conservative values. Family. Community. Hard work. Marketplace solutions. Sacrifice for the sake of a better future. The principles of conservatism became very real to Michael earlier than they should have. It wasn’t because of anything political: one warm summer night, when Michael was a thirteen year-old at summer camp, he got a call. His mother had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His family didn’t know how long she would survive. Those were tough years. Michael’s mother’s health issues dominated their life, and soon they had money issues. His high school life revolved around going to school and going to the hospital; he barely had the energy for homework. Nevertheless, Michael finished high school early and, shortly before his mother passed, he went off to college.
Without money, Michael soon left school to join the Navy, entering the program leading to being a Navy SEAL – when he injured his knee, receiving an honorable discharge. Unsure of his next steps, a friend suggested he study in England, which he did, attending the prestigious Buckingham University just outside London.
As a foreigner, Michael did not qualify for in-state tuition, and student loans were not available for students studying abroad at that time. He had to work his way through a premier British college, and he did so by starting e-commerce businesses.
In doing so, Michael discovered that conservative principles were not self-evident to his classmates. The working-your-way-through-school culture was not the norm in England at this time. Michael had to explain himself and his ideas, and soon he found himself appearing on news shows and commentary programming, articulating common sense conservative positions, and becoming a strong voice for the value of conservative principles leading to better quality of life for everyday people.
Today Michael is running for Illinois State Treasurer, in order to champion those same bedrock conservative values, to make a better life for the people of Illinois and to become the voice for the future in the Republican Party.