COLUMBIA - Democrat Ken Jacob is back in the election cycle once again. Jacob has run for office in every presidential election since 1982. He has served as a state representative and state senator. He has also run for lieutenant governor and United States Congress. He was executive director of the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and was general counsel for the state auditor's office Jacob graduated from the University of Missouri four times and is a registered lawyer. Here is KOMU 8's interview with him:
KOMU: Could you give us your name and what you're running for?
Jacob: I'm Ken Jacob. I'm running for State Representative in the 44th District.
KOMU: Why are you returning to politics after a long time away?
Jacob: I never wanted to leave in the first place. I was the Senate Democratic Leader in 2004 and term limits required me to leave. I ran for Lt. Governor and lost in the Democratic Primary to a better-known candidate and in 2008 I ran for Congress. That's the only non-state office I've ever run for. I got into the race late because I was working at the state auditor's office and by the time I got in the resources were available to me to run a decent campaign were already taken by two other candidates. It was one of those things where the timing was wrong and I just got in that race too late. But I've been in every election cycle since 1980. There hasn't been one cycle that I haven't been a candidate in....In 2001 when I was the Senate Majority Leader the Republicans were in control of the boundaries a decade ago and redrawing the lines and I lived in this house for 30 years. When I was State Representative before and I was Senator before I lived in this house. The district when I was State Representative ran south. It ran from this house all the way south to AC. Covered the entire campus and in 2001 the people who drew the lines, the Republicans, came down my street on St. Charles made a right turn on Richland road surrounded my house and re-connected down the line. Now they carved me out of the district that I represented before and so for the last decade even when I left in 2004 this was the 21st District. The 21st District is a district that includes part of Boone county, all of Audrain county, and part of Callaway county. So number one it wasn't a district in the past and for the last decade that I thought I wasn't the right person to represent because it wasn't the county I lived in. I didn't have any connection with Audrain or Callaway counties. So it would've been very difficult to win a race like that. So because of population growth, in 2012 the Republicans drew lines but they were thrown into court and the Governor vetoed them and the Judicial Commission drew the lines and kept this district 98.6% in Boone County and so it's an area I represented part of it in the House when I was in it for a decade and then it's all part of my Senate district. I had a connection with the people in northern Boone county. But I don't really have a connection with the people in Audrain county other than we all live in the state of Missouri.
KOMU: Why do you feel it's time for you to come back to the House and not U.S. Congress or state Senate?
Jacob: Well I can't run for the Senate. Term limits have kept me out but even though I've had 14 years in the House, my years in the house were primarily before term limits were adopted. So like Chris Kelly, I kind of fall through the loopholes and I'm still able to run again even though Chris spent 12 years in the house and I spent 14. Chris was still able to run and so am I and there are other people like Senator Engler is another former Senator who is running for the House. Why I don't run for higher office? I learned something from running for Lt. Governor and Congress that there are super PACs out there and unless you were a certain kind of candidate or maybe a certain gender those super PACs are not going to be available to you. You had to sell your soul to somebody before those PACs are going to support you and the reality is, and I don't like it and I want to change it, money determines who wins elections unfortunately. One of the things I've learned in 30 years of politics is that being a State Representative is a wonderful political office. It's a very close connection to the people. I've knocked on 5,000 doors, been to the doorstep of 90% of the people who are going to vote in the election, I've got a quick snap shot of the living conditions of each family and many of them were home and came out and talked to me and I got to know them. I got to know their families, got barked out by their dogs so there is very few political offices where door to door is going to determine the outcome of the election and where you actually know the people you're going to represent. I loved being a State Representative before, I thought I was very effective being a State Representative before; I could go through a laundry list of the things I've accomplished. It's a very good office and if you feel like you're a leader, leadership is needed in a variety of different environments and being a State Legislator is an opportunity to be a leader. You represent a small number of people. You have a very intimate relationship with those people and one of the things for me is I look at myself and I compare myself to all the other members of the General Assembly. I realize that when I go up there, I have three times more experience with the policy, with the process and with the people than any other member. The only member that will be somewhere close to me is Chris Kelly who we grew up together as politicians. I think Chris will have 16 years of House experience. I have 14 years of House experience and 8 years of Senate experience. And also being a floor leader is not an experience a lot of people get to have. When you're a floor leader you're there talking and debating and arguing and trying to press issues every single day on every single bill. When I'm elected to State Representative I'll look at myself and I'll feel my experience will make a difference broader than most people. I know from being up there before there is no substitute for experience.
KOMU: Your opponent has no political background. How does that help you and is there anything you want to add on that and how does that hurt you?
Jacob: It kinds of unusual to say but I don't really feel like he is a legitimate candidate. The House Republican Campaign Committee is the Godzilla of Campaign Committees. They have millions of dollars to spend and for them to spend $200,000 on any person who filed is easy for them to do. When they engage in this election and they will engage in this election, it will not be about him, it will be about me and it will be character assassination. It's not something I haven't watched for years. This is the way they operate they go out and attack a person. I just finished polling and my opponent had four percent name ID so it's very difficult to look at him and say this is the guy. He's on the ballot and he could win because of that $200,000, he would have no control over that money's spent at all. It would be a collateral expenditure and could be the beneficiary of a bunch of attack ads but you know just as far as... I walked up to Caleb when both of us announced we were getting into this election and I said that you know the relationship you have with an opponent is a very unique relationship. I've had many opponents. This is my 13th election. Counting primaries, you've had to throw in many other elections because in many cases I had to win a primary like he had to. So having run against so many people it's always hard to have a positive relationship because he is an opponent so it could be either good or bad. Just interpersonally it's been pretty between he and I. But when I look at him as a young man. You know my son is a year older than him. When I entered politics I was four years older than him. And my daughter is almost as old as him. I look at what I had done with my life in politics. I had a Masters degree and almost a second Masters degree. I had worked with troubled kids and ran a not for profit center for youth in crisis for twelve years. I took it from an agency of two people with a budget of $28,000 budget to an agency of 14 people with a half a million-dollar budget. I had been elected to the school board. I felt like I was very qualified to run for this office in 1982. I look at my own son who is his age. He graduated high school and did a lot of interesting things in high school like run the NASSAU program, he was in lifeguard Olympics and competed nationally and won a gold medal. He was a Boone County firefighter, he got a degree in political science and then he went to work in the House and started work as an aide and is now the Chief of Staff for the Minority Leader and then he's gone to law school and now he is an assistant Attorney General, he's on the Police Advisory Commission. I look at my son and I say here's a kid who's qualified to run for this office too. I look at Caleb and what he's done in his lifetime. He graduated from high school, went to MU for one semester and I don't know whether he finished a semester or dropped out but as far as I know that his entire college education. Being from this county which is the educational capital of the state and going to Jeff City, you better understand higher education. You better have experienced and you better have learned from the education you get from attending school. I tell you I look at all the other candidates who are running. You've got John Wright, he graduated from Hickman High School, he was captain of the tennis team and then he went to Yale and got a degree in economics and law. Graduated first in his class then went to Silicon Valley and then went to Wall Street and became a multi-millionaire at 35 years old. I mean I'd say he's pretty qualified to run. You look at Stephen Webber; Stephen's been coming to my office since he was 14 years old and talking to me about public policy. He has a degree in economics from St. Louis University, he did two tours of duty in Iraq and led Marines into battle and came back alive. He's just about finished with law school. You look at Fred Berry who had a lifelong experience in the military. You look at Chris Kelly who has an amazing background and you look at me and then you look at Caleb and you say what's missing here? And it's just his life experience has been...I'm not being critical of him it just is what it is. His life experience has been in a very narrow world. Here's a guy who even at this date after all that's happened during this election cycle maintains a picture of himself with Todd Akin on his Facebook political page. For somebody not to have taken that down by now...I mean that tells me he believes in the same things Todd Akin believes in and I know Todd Akin well. I served with Todd Akin for at least a decade, we were in the same room together for 10 years. I mean the guy is way way way out there so if you want to put your picture up next to him and keep that up. If you've been a guy who has been a band since he was young and traveled around the country in a bus and went to various church venues and sang Christian songs. When Caleb talks about his dreams, you know its almost like a child wishing and hoping that his dreams will come true without having the courage and experience to have those dreams come true. Whenever he's asked anything about any issue, I've yet to hear him answer an issue. He processes as he speaks.
KOMU: On your website you list two issues that you talk about: education and healthcare. Where exactly do you stand on the Affordable Healthcare Act as it relates to Missouri and the follow up to that is do you think Missouri should and will buy into the Medicaid program that is associated with it?
Jacob: Based on what I know today and one of the things we all learn from experience is that the best information you can ever get is when you are an actual member. The amount of information that will be available to me will expand exponentially when I'm up there but based on what I know today...Yesterday I met with the lobbyist from the Missouri Hospital Association. I've never met a person in my life that's happy about paying federal taxes. Everybody thinks the federal government is too big, we pay too much money and every month when you look at your paycheck and you look at the amount of money they take out of it, I've never met a person that complains about it. Well here is a situation where we are paying a tax and we're not happy with what we are getting back from paying that tax and the federal government is saying Missouri, we are going to give you $1.5 billion dollars a year for the next three years to take care of the sick people who don't have enough money to pay for their own healthcare and they're the same people that when they get sick they go to the emergency room and they're unable to pay their bills so the cost of that is spread in everybody's insurance policy. Looking at a way to take care of the population of the United States and Missouri would've been something that the government at the federal level and the state level struggled with from the beginning of time and I would not have proposed the Affordable Care Act as the method to respond to that need and it happened. I ran for Congress that year becaus3 e I wanted to have something to say about that and I saw it coming but here it is and when I think Columbia being the healthcare hub for Missouri and Missouri getting a check for $1.5 billion dollars and I think about the jobs we will create, the economically stimulus that will cause, I'm going to have to really learn something that I don't already know. When the Missouri Hospital Association tells me the consequences of not taking that money is going to close down hospitals in Missouri, its going to be real hard to not take that money. Philosophically the concept I'm not really happy with. I don't like the mandate. I would've been personally been happier with just expanding Medicare, it works, its easy, people know, people like it. There's no new learning curve. It's not a work in progress. We could've just done that but they didn't do that. I ask many of my friends in Congress why they couldn't do it and they couldn't get the votes to do it.
KOMU: What are other ways if elected you will bring jobs to your district and the state of Missouri?
Jacob: The first and most important thing is to re-educate the general assembly about the value of higher education. Just before you came I was reading Governor Nixon's website and in there Governor Nixon talks about what's the best way to stimulate our economy in the future? It's by educating people for the math and sciences and creating high-tech jobs. There's only one way and one place and that's at places like this University. The University of Missouri is the only public, Carnegie 1 level University in the state of Missouri. There is two other private ones but this is the only public one where it is affordable for young people to go to. I graduated from there four times, I moved here to Columbia because that institution was there and since 2001 there really hasn't been any higher education policy in the state. There has been a few things that I don't want to discredit. I think the A+ program has been good to provide two years of free college to students who prepare for that to go to a community college. I know that affordability has been a major issue that Governor Nixon has been trying to work on. But the reality is that affordability has not happened. We've lost a whole generation of young people because of the cost of higher education and the ones who have gone to college like they're strapped with debts now that will prevent them from buying homes, from starting families to do all the things that young people need to do. So to me that was a tragedy and I was chairman of the Higher Education Committee I think longer than anyone has been in history. I hope to be a loud voice for higher education. I hope to make the other members of the General Assembly understand that. I hope they make it a priority. I hope they get away from name changes. That it's basically taking fur and pasting it on a duck and calling it a dog. That's basically been the policy for the last decade. Taking colleges and calling them Universities. They've done nothing really to prepare to upgrade them to prepare young people for the jobs of the current time and the future. One, we get more money for higher education there is going to be a local benefit as well as a statewide benefit as much as a worldwide benefit. The second thing is the healthcare thing. I'd say that's the thing that's right there on the table. You either take it or you leave it. If you take it, you're going to get a tremendous economic benefit from it. If you don't take it, you are still going to pay those federal taxes and your tax money is still going to go to some other state. The third thing that has a good chance of happening is the rebuilding of Interstate 70. The life expectancy of Interstate 70 is only 2030. Personally, I don't think it's going to last that long. I don't like to drive on it. I've making that trip from St. Louis to here since I was 16 years old and it was built for 60,000 lb. trucks, the trucks weigh 80,000 lbs. and the new ones are going to weigh 100,000 lbs. There is a lot more traffic on that road than needs to be. The world is changing from fossil fuels to electric cars. We have to plan for that so I want to see that road built since we are right in the center and the most difficult problems are right here in the 44th District so I want to be a strong voice for rebuilding that road and making sure the plan for is that strong for the future and not just relaying the cement of the past and building the same highway again. The next thing that is important to talk about is the Ameren UE project; the modular nuclear power generators. I think if that happens it will have a tremendous economic benefit locally and for the state and in other parts of the world. There is a hold on all of that until the nuclear regulatory commission decides that the storage problem of spent fuel rods is taken care of. That's been something that's been a hindrance on nuclear power since the beginning. I think that needs to be resolved. Hopefully that will be resolved and hopefully those power generators will be built and hopefully we will see a lot of jobs for that. The last thing that I think I should comment on is the tax credits. It's a very controversial thing. We need to get a grip on how tax credits are issued so that we are in control of them and they are not in control of us. But I've seen a lot of projects throughout the state that otherwise wouldn't happen if not for tax credits and I don't want to do away with them. I just want to get a control on them. We might have to cap them but a lot of people are saying do away with them. But there is a lot of low-income housing and there's also a lot of historic preservation that would not otherwise go on without them but they are an issue and there is no doubt about that.
KOMU: Missouri is having some money issues. Public education as a whole and more specifically towards secondary, how would you fund public education since the state is in a bind moneywise and where would you pull money from to fund that?
Jacob: Anybody who says to you that there is money to pull from somewhere else and put somewhere else does not understand the budget. The budget sounds very big but it really has to be sliced up into 3 pies. The general revenue portion is somewhere between $7 and $8 billion dollars. Most of it goes into education already. Other than correction, there are some proposals already that will take non-violent offenders and people who didn't pay child support and take them out of prison so we don't increase our prison population but really if you took all of that money there would still be an issue. The way to get money for education is to do those things I was talking about before. To broaden your base, to make your economy stronger so that more people have jobs and more people have revenue to spend. That's just the only way to do it. It frustrates me to hear politicians talk about I'll take a close look at our budget and decide this is a priority and we're going to take this magical money and put it into education when you ask any politician and they will put education as the number one priority. But the reality is here we are. And right here in this report you can see where we rank compared to other states. It's just a matter of where we want to be. If we want to be in the middle, it's pretty easy to be in the middle. If we want to be at the top, it's a little bit harder. But to me we should always strive for the top. A lot of people like to broker small deals and a lot of people like to champion great causes. I'm one to champion great causes and I look at Missouri's economy and I see a great deal of potential. A lot of things can happen that should've happened that didn't happen because of poor leadership really in the general assembly.
KOMU: Talk about the Missouri College Guarantee and what that means to you?
Jacob: The Missouri College Guarantee was the best work that I ever did. It was a vision at looking at what was happening with the cost of going to college and how to make that young people didn't have the money to give them to go to college even though they had the brains to go to college to make sure that they were able to go to college and not leave there with great debt. That was what the Missouri College Guarantee was set up to do. And it was set up on a smaller basis to begin with the expectations that every year it would grow and since I left what's happened instead of making the priority public education, the money that was used for public education is now being used for private schools. Its just they had a very strong lobby and they were able to unravel the Missouri College Guarantee and put the money somewhere else. What you have is fewer kids going to expensive schools and getting money to do that as opposed to the masses of young people not having the money to go to public schools and missing out on the opportunity to reach their full potential because the money's not there. It was a real tragedy for the Legislature to have changed that. That's what term limits does. You can't ever make good policy if you have a revolving door of policy makers. You can't have people like Caleb. To come in there and not know his way around the building, not know the policy, be completely by the process and not have any relationships with the people up there and think that in eight years he's going to make any kind of contribution at all. It's just not going to happen. And you know it's a funny thing, the general public does not tend to like politicians. They tend to like their politician, but they don't like other people's politicians. So things like term limits get passed because the steaming feeling of the moment is we need to do this. But here we are and I don't know how many years they've been here but if you look at any indicator and here they all are and say are we better off before? Are we better off after? You can't really find any indicator that things are getting better. Once again I'll say there is no substitute for experience. When I first came to the Legislature you had to spend three terms in the house before you could be chairman of a committee. It wasn't a rule. It was an unwritten rule. It's just how things operated and at the end of three terms when I was there. Out of 48 new members, there were only two people given chairmanships: former Governor Bob Holden and myself. So it's a major issue and its something I hope to see changed in the years that I'm up there.
KOMU: How does the Student Debt Financial Bill factor into your campaign and education in general?
Jacob: First of all, I always tell people this. If you have an idea as a Legislator the first thing you have to do is reduce it to writing. And you have to talk to a lawyer to get that done. It's nice being a lawyer because you can write your own bills and understand what they mean. If you're not one you have to talk to a lawyer to write the bill. The only people who write bills are really lawyers. And then I understand that any idea I have, I have to get 82 votes in the House and 18 votes in the Senate and a Governor to sign the bill. My current idea is to provide some kind of a tax credit. Let's say that a student graduated within a certain decade and the student is working. Or maybe not working. And they're debt is x or double xx. Who knows how much money or how much money that will be. But possibly to give them a tax credit to allow them to not pay as much taxes so that they're more able to pay off that debt to get rid of it quickly. To me that will allow young people to do other things, the things I mentioned earlier. The two things that everybody wants to do. You get out of college there's certain things that happen. Usually you end up getting marrying, starting a family and you usually end up buying a home. And those things that are not being done by a generation of young people because of the student debts they incurred. You start out as a small child and mom and dad say what are you going to do when you grow up? And you say I want to be a journalist and immediately you start thinking about what steps you have to take to get there. And one of them is coming to the University of Missouri and one of them is learning how to use the cameras and all the equipment, learning how to write and you know when you leave you're going to be strapped with a debt. That just has to be corrected where that overburdening debt cannot continue to exist for our economy to be strong. College in a nutshell has to be affordable.
KOMU: Besides the Ameren project, what are some other renewable energy ideas we need to look into?
Jacob: When I come home and drive in my driveway, I cut a tree down outside my house. I went to Menard's and bought a bunch of soil lights and I took rope and I made this thing where I wrapped it around my old, dead tree. As it turns out the tree is stronger than I thought, it's blooming still. But there's lights that provide illumination to my driveway every night because of the sun. Obviously the sun is renewable energy. It's going to be here for a long time. We need to learn how to capture that energy and use it in our homes and be able to send what we don't need to a grid and sell it. Which is going to require a tremendous amount of investment. If you look at any energy source, particularly fossil fuels, the amount of money that had to be invested, the amount of subsidies that had to be given to develop the electric light bulb, to develop the airline industry. Any fuel powered industry required the efforts of government to make sure that happened. And that's what needs to happen with both solar energy and wind energy. To me, I would love to drive across Northwest Missouri and see a bunch of windmills, you know the winds are strong up there, they can capture and store it. And put it in a grid. It's a matter of the infrastructure being built over time. There is also household energy efficiency. Just this year I paid someone to come into my home and do a energy efficiency check and afterwards I found places in my house where I was paying for energy but losing it. I had my house upgraded so I wouldn't waste as much energy as I was. I think everybody should do that. And the other thing, there was an initiative passed in 2008 by 2/3 of the voters to set energy standards for power companies. They pretty much went to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and driven a truck through that statute to where it's almost meaningless. You can't really blame them and they are in the business to make money and the more energy they sell, the money they make. But they are good corporate citizens so they need to be brought to table and they need to understand however they're getting their energy now whether it be by coal or nuclear power that the future also includes wind and solar energy and we have to start moving in that direction. The same is with vehicles. At some point gas powered cars are coming to an end. I don't know if it will happen in my lifetime. I was just reading about the Tesla vehicle the other day. Nice looking ride. $80,000 and you just plug it in and it can travel 300 miles without being refueled or re-plugged in. You have to champion these causes in order for these causes to happen. Many Legislators go to the Legislature and they want to pass a small little bill, which is okay. I say they're brokering small deals rather than championing great causes. There have to be some people up there who have the vision thing.
KOMU: What's the main change since you last served in government?
Jacob: It's the people. The policy issues have not changed. The process has only changed because people are unfamiliar with the process and it is harder for them to weave a piece of legislation through the process. It's the people. The Legislators who are there tend to be younger and more inexperienced and have no institutional history. Have no sense of history as to why things were done a certain way. I was up for the opening day of session. The floor leader to start the session has a little notebook card and he is reading from it to kickoff the session. Well if you have to do that, it's only going to get tougher every step of the way. I think if you ask anybody. I don't think there is anybody in the state that understands the rules and the procedure and have watched them work more than myself. I think I'm very unique in that situation. There are other people who have those experiences, they're just a lot older than me and aren't in as good of health as I am. But I was lucky. I went to the Legislature young and I got to serve for a long time and then after that I got to be a judge for a very short in the government and then after that for a couple of years I got to represent employees of the government and then after that I got to be general counsel for the state auditor and that was a great education to go out and examine all the things we had done in the two decades before to say what worked and what didn't work and what tweaking could we do to make things work.
KOMU: What are your thoughts on the SEC move?
Jacob: The last really big bill that I passed was the $30.5 million dollars that went into the $75 million dollar deal that built the Mizzou Sports Arena. At that time as I stood there with a shovel in my hand with the other people who played a part in that I knew that we were headed somewhere. I wasn't exactly sure where we were headed but I don't think without that building and I don't think we would be in the SEC and I think the SEC is a good thing. I think it's a stronger, better conference. I think the transition for our sports teams to enter it are going to struggle as we've seen so far. And of course no one likes that but over time we'll fit in very well. I think we'll be able to compete better. I think there are a lot of things we need to do with the football stadium. It's amazing to me. I watched Oklahoma State play, I can't recall who they were playing and I was sitting on that couch there and watching that game I just noticed the difference between their stadium and our stadium. Their stadium reminded me of the stadium where I go watch the Rams play. Our stadium really hasn't changed much since I came here in 1968. Just personally it's hard for me to sit in there. It's very uncomfortable. I don't have the access to the better seats in the luxury boxes but just as a fan it's hard for me as a fan to sit there on those wooden benches and it could be more comfortable. It could be expanded to have more people. It could become a better place for us to win in. There's the home field advantage and I'm not sure our stadium provides that for us. The SEC is going to be fun. I remember the last time Mizzou played Alabama under Al Onofrio, we went down there and you know surprisingly wiped them out. I can't remember the score. It was 40 something to I don't know. Mizzou was a giant killer. They'd lose to the teams they were supposed to beat but they'd beat the teams they weren't supposed to beat. I think we'll do better in basketball in the SEC. I think the basketball team right now is a little more advanced. Of course we've had trouble with quarterback injuries and misconduct of players and coaches. There's been two of them in court for drinking and driving...As I look back over the years I've been in politics when I first was elected most of my constituents were students and the big bill that they wanted passed. They wanted to have a voice in their own education and in the governance of their own education and the student curator was the big bill for students that bill had been languishing in the general assembly for a decade. I passed it in my very first year and my point of this it was a very bipartisan cooperation to get that bill passed. Governor Kit Bond signed that bill into law and then shortly after that who was Governor Ashcroft, definitely he and I have very divergent views on a lot of things but he was the person who signed Bright Flight into law and here we are today. Bright Flight has received somewhere around $350 million dollars since that bill was passed now that's a big thing. To make a comparison, in the 22 years I was in the Legislature, I can't remember the exact number of buildings or renovations on this campus but my fingerprints and Chris Kelly's and Roger Wilson's are all over those buildings but that was about $280 million to build all those buildings and to look at Bright Flight that came up with even more money than that. But that was something I did with John Ashcroft. And then with Governor Carnahan, we were able to remove the state sales tax from food so every person in the state of Missouri when they go to the grocery store to this day they save a nickel per dollar for every dollar they spend on food and if you take that nickel and think what does that do for me over the course of a year I'm not exactly sure but it's probably a month of free groceries and also during Carnahan's administration we cut the income tax for every single person in Missouri by decreasing the personal deduction. We decreased the income tax for families with children and dependent seniors and also cut the franchise tax, which is now eliminated, and we cut it in half for small businesses and we also provided a tax deduction for seniors who have high prescription drugs. With Governor Holden who followed we built the sports arena here. I think the sports arena, if you look at all those 27 buildings; the sports arena was three times the size than any other expenditure on any other building so it was a major expenditure. It probably is the reason we are in the SEC and it probably changed the whole vision for Mizzou sports and it's the same kind of vision that should be viewed with the University. We have to look at the whole University like we want to be in the top athletic competition in the world but we also should be academic institutions in the world. We are one of the top 100 Universities in the world but we are near the bottom and we should strive towards the top and people need to be out on the floor and talk about that.