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Posts Tagged ‘businesses’

       Twitter is quickly becoming a way of life for many businesses and folks.  Anytime twitter shows a fail whale…(the symbol a person sees when trying to access Twitter and its service is unavailable) people quickly bemoan the fact that they can’t get on.   🙂  The fail whale doesn’t usually last long…I’ve only seen it a few times; briefly, when it was over capacity with Twitter users.  Twitter is a mini social site that is quickly becoming a large social media site; the idea is to answer in 140 characters or less the question, ” What are you doing?”.   Often, I hear other users say that they quickly become “addicted” to Twitter.   The service has spawned a bunch of books on Twitter etiquette….rules or no rules use.   Reasons for using Twitter is as varied as the number of people you ask…everyone has their own reasons for using it.  Relationships are built online…everyone has equal access to other users…both famous and non-famous users.   The latest controvery of this company which has been in business for approximately 3 years is…should they charge a fee for their services?

         So far, the Twitter service is free.  There is some discussion about whether businesses may be charged to use Twitter in the future.    People are still discovering Twitter and all that it can do.  Many people of course, use Twitter as a social networking service for their personal communication; others, are trying to find ways to use it to brand their businesses.

          Twitter has been uber successful in their goals of creating a mini social networking site.   At the end of 2008, Twitter rejected a bid for purchase by Facebook of $500 million.  To me, that means that they view their value as well over that $500 million; and it means to me that Facebook considers it a huge competitor.  Still, to stay competitive with Facebook as well as other large entities…Twitter will need to make money to stay alive and growing.

           Businesses have to make money somewhere to stay in business and pay their own employees.  Do they raise funds by putting advertising on their service, by charging for upgraded services for business accounts, or maybe charge a membership fee?  What do you think?  Do you use Twitter?  What are your thoughts on this subject?

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         Ok, I dont understand this whole financial mess…I admit that.  I am no financial genius.  However, I do know that if you keep spending money that you dont have…you go deeper in debt.  How in the heck is the government going to get money from people who dont have it to give?  From taxpayers….correction…from taxpayers who have JOBS.  What about all of those people who dont have JOBS  or will soon be loosing their JOBS?  The American family is in crisis.  Many dont have jobs or they have to have more than one part time job to make ends meet.   Some don’t even have homes because they have lost them to foreclosures.  Some of their family members dont have jobs or can’t make enough to pay their bills.  But when you are barely making it…you can’t help anyone else out in a meaningful way either.  The Government financial recovery plan (mess) is mirroring our personal lives…they just dont know it yet!  Still, some of the leaders are using fear to try to get people to put their stamp of approval on their plan of action; they are saying that this might not be the right answer…but we have to do something or else!

         Obama’s treasury chief has announced that this country needs 2 trillion dollars to save the banks.  This is on top of the bailouts that have so far shown little return on the investment for the average American citizen.  Where is this whole thing going to end?  Why not give the money to the citizens and let them dig themselves out of their own very deep holes first?   That in turn might just have the added benefit of allowing them to pay off their loans and homes to those banks and businesses that made the bad loans in the first dang place!

          We are being told that all of this lending and loaning may or may not work….that they might make mistakes.  But that doing nothing would be a catastrophe.  How do we know that?  Maybe those businesses and banks should go under.  After all….once this money is loaned to these businesses and banks…they are going to expect tax payers to go into debt once again with these banks and businesses to circulate the money.  Who in their right mind is going to create an even bigger debt load on themselves with such uncertainty hanging over this country’s head?

        After President Obama’s treasurer spoke the Dow Jones dropped 3.5%.  This is traumatic news to everyone.  Confidence is more than shaken….it has suffered severe trauma.  We may never recover from this extreme mess as a nation.  This isn’t some meaningless recession.  We are bleeding money and we dont have the confidence in our leaders, our banks, our businesses to recover from it. 

         Former Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain calls this plan “generational theft”.  He says we are stealing from future generations their hard earned dollars and laying on them debt of incredible proportions.   He is right.  Where will it end?

           The Government thinks it is going to help everyone out by creating JOBS and bailing out banks and certain industry giants.  Helloooooooooooo…is anybody home out there?   How in the world are they going to do this?  By hitting the taxpayers out even more than they have already.  So far, no one has had a solution that has made a positive enough impact to change the direction of this massive financial failure!  What makes them think that throwing more money into the mix is going to make things better?  Can a government file bankruptsy…cause that is what it feels like is happening here…what is the old saying….borrowing from Peter to pay Paul?

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      With 2008 behind us…and the new year stretching out before us…many consumers are trying to figure out how to hang on to what they already own and trying to stretch the money that they have to meet their obligations.  As you can imagine…getting consumers to go out and spend money at a time when job loss is at an all time high and debt load is always threatening to tip the balance of the family budget is all but impossible.

        An automobile company has taken a new tactic…in fact…probably setting a new standard for other automobile companies in trying to get the public to strengthen their confidence in the economy by purchasing a new vehicle.  All of the old tried and true tactics such as 0% financing and cash back refund programs are not inspiring the consumers to run right out and add to their debt load in such uncertain times.  Sales of new vehicles has fallen since 2007 quite dramatically.  Hyundai has tempted the public to purchase through a new sales tactic; one that sort of tempts people to extend themselves financially.

        This is fine and good as long as the consumer doesn’t over extend their financial obligations.  I suspect other automobile companies to offer something similar to increase their sales.  The deal is this…Hyundai is offering to take the vehicle back without repercussions under certain circumstances.

        If the vehicle purchaser should lose their job within the first year after purchase…they can return the vehicle and walk away from their obligation up to $7,500.  Or if the purchaser should become disabled or lose their income involuntarily, the offer is the same…they can walk away from the loan and return the vehicle. 

         One thing is probably sure…this will more than likely increase sales…but, one would hope that the lenders have learned a little something-something from the financial crisis and make sure that the consumers that they extend vehicle loans to are in a position to purchase without overextending themselves financially.  This absolutely can not be allowed to contribute to the negative situation that this country has found itself in.  One thing we do not need is to find that the new deal allows people to put themselves into deeper financial hardship that results in an increase of repo’ed vehicles.   Will this sales tactic inspire those in a position to purchase and add to the consumer confidence that businesses and governmental leaders are desperate to see?  Only time will tell!  What are your thoughts on the subject?

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        How many of you have ever had knowledge of an emergency situation where someone is bleeding profusely?  Emergency training teaches to apply pressure; or, to use a tourniquiet to temporarily stop the blood loss.  It is no different with our financial crisis; yet, apparently in a move that goes against common sense…we are bleeding green…sending more and more money to problematic areas that are already bleeding out.

           What we need is a check and balance here…someone to triage…find out who we can afford to let go on to their great reward.  We can’t save everyone here financially speaking.  So, if we are going to attempt to try to turn the tide with this financial mess…we need to find the most effective way to pump money back into the economy in a way that is going to repair the situation.  Not prolong the agony.  Those companies that would abuse the help provided them should be held accountable.  The governmental leaders who are in charge should be held accountable if they fail to serve honorably; by not keeping track of the ebb and flow of the bailout plan.  It should be considered a crime to fail at accounting for each and every dime of the bailout money that does not produce a positive outcome on the economy.  It would challenge those who benefit from the rescue plan to strictly monitor the use of such money entrusted to them!

         Americans are angry about this whole situation.  They are struggling and there is no safety net waiting for them when they fail financially…so, their expectations of our leaders who are guiding the ship in regards to the bailout, are high.  Those expectations are not currently being met…and Americans have had their fill of leaders and organizations who abuse their power and influence over our society.  The impact of such irresponsible behavior is what has brought us to this place and time in history; it is unacceptable.

         Allegedly, reports have surfaced, twice now, on AIG as having pricey get-to-gethers since they have come knocking on the government’s door begging for bailouts to keep them from filing for a $150 billion dollar bankruptcy.  This is seen by many as an excessive fly- in- your- face disregard for the sacrifices that tax payers are taking on, by dolling out the $40 billion dollars that the treasury has set aside to help put AIG back in black.

          What is madness is that this kind of behavior seems to go without consequences except to the country as a whole.  We are drowning in poor choices, in excesses that failing business expect others to dig them out of.  If a small business owner took on that kind of attitude…there would be nothing but financial ruin in their future…not a reward of an all expense paid trip to a spa on the taxpayers!

           The average American is drowning as well.  There are no individual life rings being tossed to the middle class taxpayer.  We are being hit from all sides by the economy, taxation, educational funding, rising cost of living bills, home heating costs, gasoline, medical costs; and still, more and more people are loosing their jobs or their investments.  Home foreclosure is at an all time high.

           How in the world are taxpayers going to pay more to bailout anyone when they are barely keeping afloat themselves with the drain on their incomes?  If people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay taxes.  Common sense dictates that we examine closely where all of this bailout money is coming from; and, limit those who are benefitting from the rescue money. If some business or organization is not being fiscally responsible they should not then be given a blank check to continue the party.  

        This is not a free for all…We need someone in a position to regulate the flow of green; apply some pressure.  We are living in an unprecedented time of national debt…it just makes sense to be watching our bottom line.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little time to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision about the best way to tackle this mess.   Remember Russia and the collapse of their union?  Are we looking to make history as the next nation to collapse from the inside out?

          

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        Titanic, the US economy & rescue boats; what do they have in common?  Much!  Do you remember seeing the pictures of the Titanic ship as she prepared for her maiden voyage?  It was large, it was the ultimate in luxury and it was celebrated as “unsinkable”.  The US economy has sort of lived in luxury even if it has been on “borrowed/credit” monies.  I think many thought the structure of the US economy was unsinkable as well.  We now know differently because of the financial crisis that many have been working so hard to “rescue”.  It is common sense, if you live outside of your means to pay for it…you will loose it all.

          While i think we will probably be saved from the fate of most of the passengers and crew of the Titanic; there are some who will definately suffer.  This morning on the news programs it was announced that the biparisan effort to “fix” the economy has reached a tenative agreement on the way to do that.

           What we need to do is wait to see the methods that are employed in this fix- it solution.  Waiting feels a bit wrong because things are so very important and desperate for many Americans.  There has been suffering already.  Some of the suffers have already been in extreme situations…loosing their homes, filing bankruptsy, working more than one job trying to make ends meet; some have been successful in changing their financial direction and some were not.  Hearing that taxpayers are going to have to fix this problem with more taxes when they are already pushed against the wall is terrifying.  So, some quick explanations of this “bailout”  is very important to calming the fears of the public.

           It is going to be crucial to learn lessons from the Titanic experience.  Even now, knowing that it sunk, knowing that lives were lost…do you think that if the passengers and crew on that ship had each had a bucket and a will to survive that they would not have made the trip up and down the stairs to make an attempt, several times over, to try to bail out the water in the bowels of that ship?  Of course they would have. 

           Had that ship had more lifeboats (rescue boats in our case) would more lives have been saved?  Certainly.  So, What does the Titanic ship and the US economy have in common…they both needed rescuing, they both carried movers and shakers, people had a vested interest in saving them both, lives were and are at stake in both situations.  Can the US economy survive when the Titanic ship did not?  It is possible!

          Let’s pray that the bi-partisan plan has figured in enough rescue boats to save not ONLY the large banking systems, the mortgage companies, the credit card organizations; but, the people at the base of each of those situations…the taxpayers…the recipients of those services.  The little people who are drowning in the flood as we speak need their own rescue ships; or, the overall plan will fail. The future impact of this bailout is not only important to the US but to the global economy as well.

         We must not forget that any of those businesses cannot possibly make a comeback if the little people can NOT afford to make use of those services…and, they can’t do that if they are loosing their jobs, their homes, their families to the high cost of living!  We all want and need to survive…the will to survive is there; if there are enough rescue ships in this plan, we may just be able to keep the ship of the US economy floating long enough to make it healthy again.  We all may be traveling at a lower level than luxury or first class…but, that is alright…at least we will have the chance to recover.  We just have to adjust how we think and make choices in our day to day lives that are within our means to pay for them…what a novel idea!

            

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            Wow, just as schools get out for the summer…travelers have been hit with a double whammy.  Not only do people have to plan their travel plans around construction zones…but, with all of the wild weather the central states have been experiencing, now they need to avoid areas hit with major flooding.  It is worth taking the extra time to reroute your trip to avoid putting any extra strain on emergency services in these areas.

            The national weather service has given warnings in 15 counties in Indiana because flooding is becoming a major obstacle for both residents and travelors alike.  In fact, residents in central Indiana have been being evacuated because of fear of dams failing.  This is massive flooding that endangers many people.

             In fact, major highways are being closed down because of flooding.  Highways, I-65, US- 31, and I-70,  all have portions of their roadways closed.  In Terre Haute, US-41 was the only option available and only one lane was open at that.  This is scary…where will that amount of people go for safety?  If in doubt contact the authorities if you are affected by flooding.

             To add to the confusion and difficulty, thousands upon thousands are without power in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan due to the storms that have been assaulting the area.  Businesses, hospitals, homes, nursing homes, and school buildings are all affected.

              This time of year it is wise to remind people of emergency safety precautions.  If possible prepare ahead of time.  Have available bottled water, blankets, extra clothing and non-perishable food items.  Keep medications and important documents in a handy place to make a quick exit if need be. 

             Also it is important to remind people not to go near downed wires.  Report any gas leaks immediately.  Never, never try to drive through areas where water covers the roadways; too many people end up stranded or dead from flash flooded roadways.  It doesn’t take much water to make a vehicle uncontrollable in these types of conditions.  Safety first.   Keep a cell phone handy to report any emergencies to the authorities.  Keep up to date on the latest weather conditions in your area.  www.nws.noaa.gov/.   Be safe everyone!

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       Raising children is one of the most important things a person can do.  It not only impacts a family; it impacts communities, businesses, organizations and individuals.  Raising children well; it is an art form.  In our world today, there are many things pulling at a family unit trying to divide it and conquor it.  It’s become the norm to expect families to break up; it is almost extra-ordinary to see a family survive all that life throws at it.

       There are those around us who struggle in ways that we cannot see.  There are stresses that are normal; and then, there are those which have the ability to wreak havoc on our inter-personal relationships. 

        Un-expected pregnancies are one such stressor.  Un-planned pregnancies, no matter the age or marital status of the parents, can overload those involved; due to financial pressures, health issues, as well as, the emotional well-being of the parents. 

        Making a choice to become a parent is an important step; whether you become a parent biologically, or through the adoption process.  Each life that is conceived is precious and full of promise.  A pregnancy should be cause for celebration; however, sometimes circumstances can complicate the miracle of life.  Those type of situations are when the adoption option becomes a lifeline for those affected.

         Organizations such as Bethany Christian Services are just, such a lifeline.  Of course, they offer more than just adoption services; there is counseling, foster care, estate planning, pregnancy counseling, post adoption care, orphan care, infertility ministry and embryo services.  They are all about building, healing, and restoring families here in the United States and around the world.

        If your heart if full of blessings…or if you have a need…go to this link and check them out.  If your heart has been burdened by the complications of life; and, you have been touched by something greater than yourself…can you find a way to give back?  Support Bethany Christian Services either through a financial donation or maybe just by volunteering your time.  Check them out here:  www.bethany.org.  

          Do you see the suffering of those all around the world and feel helpless to do anything about it?  Those who are lonely, without the basic necessities of life, poor, starving, homeless or just without someone to love them; they need help.   Many of us do see the conditions of the world and suffer a sense of guilt at our own good fortune.  Do you feel something within your heart calling you to make a difference?  We all do…don’t turn off that sensitivity to the hurts in the world.  You can make an impact!

          Maybe you already have the gift of making an impact; but, you wish to find ways of increasing that skill…may i suggest a book that will open windows into the system or skill set that will broaden your abilities to impact the world in a positive way?  It was written by Ken McArthur…a man who has felt the need from childhood to impact the world in a positive way.    The world is a big place with lots of needs.   You have a lot to offer, even if you don’t think that you do.  Find out what it is that you were created to do and be.  Read the book, make a commitment to channel positive energy into some kind of a lasting legacy…and make it happen!

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