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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

       Donald Trump has resigned from the Trump Entertainment Resorts.  He allegedly says that if he can’t manage something, then it isn’t for him.  After he resigned from the board, the company filed a Chapter 11 bankruptsy protection proceeding…this is the third time that they have done that.

        Mr. Trump had allegedly wanted to buy the company and take it private; but, it appears that the bond holders chose not to go that route.  It must be frustrating to have a company that is known by your name, but, have very little control over their actual business decisions.  (more…)

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     I don’t know about you…but, I find it heartbreaking that businesses here in the US are dropping like flies.  Today, it was announced that Circuit City has gotten the go ahead to liquidate their assets, since they were not able to secure a buyout or a refinancing plan.  

     Five hundred and sixty seven Circuit City stores in the US are involved; and, that means that over 30,000 employees are now going to be unemployed soon.  The thing is that the merchandise will now be liquidated and it will unleash an ongoing picking of the bones of merchandise; until that merchandise is sold off to help offset Circuit City’s debt load.  There are always those who will take joy or glee from someone else’s misfortune; or find a way to benefit from it.   Just this past week, Osama Bin Laden released a tape where he appeared to gloat at the United States’ financial chaos.  That just doesn’t sit well.

        I hate to even hear about liquidation sales.  In theory, I don’t like the fact that people will flock to those stores to get “great deals” that most of them really can’t afford; but, can’t seem to resist since the prices are at “rock bottom”.   Often, they really aren’t…it is all in the perception.  Still, those kinds of sales feel like vultures are picking the bones of a carcass on the side of the road to me.   

     I’ve often thought to myself…if all of those people who flock to those liquidation sales would have shopped there previous to the liquidation sales; then, maybe they wouldn’t have had to file bankruptsy, and gone out of  business in the first place.  That might be a bit judgemental…but, it is my opinion…nothing more.    On the other hand, the stuff has to be sold to “help” Circuit City meet the financial demands of their creditors.  Therefore, the liquidators are providing a service to the owners and operators that is badly needed.

          It is still sad though that the stores involved in these situations, often even look like skeletons.  They have the heavy environment of sadness and depression.  The workers that stay- -stay because they need every day on the job that they can get, in this economy; before having to pound the pavement looking for a replacement job or filing for unemployment.  The stores begin to take on the appearance of a person who is terminally ill; but, is fighting to survive no matter the cost.  The shelves are bare in spots and the products are often sold without their boxes or original packaging; and, off of display shelves…meaning they are sold as is…with or without instructions, adaptors, cords, or add-ons.  It is terribly sad.  Eventually, there is nothing left to sell but display racks, shelves, registers and lighting. 

     All in all…it ups the pressure on those trying to steer the economy of the US, as it struggles to regain a foothold on the slippery slope to financial stability.  This sad news will add another 30,000 job seekers to the already saturated job market…and, add burdens to those families who are fearful and struggling to survive the financial woes of our country.   It is bad news to those who hoped that 2009 would be the beginning of  a financial recovery period for those who are trying to earn an honest living.   I wish them well.

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Ok, President Elect Barack Obama is suggesting people and businesses be proactive about the economy. He has suggested many things to help the economy and the environment. I for one am not in the position of replacing my home heating system. But, this I can do…i can replace my lightbulbs with the more energy efficient CFL lightbulbs.

I have tried it before on an experimental basis. I loved the fact that they last longer. I didn’t love the fact that they were more expensive than traditional bulbs. My family complained…loudly when the lights in the bathroom took forever to complete lighting up. They slowly go from dim to full lighting in a matter of a minute and a half or so.

While that may not be a problem for a lot of people, our bathroom has no window…it is completely dark without full lighting. So, I guess I will have to make a committment here. Either quit dipping my toe in the idea of saving on electricity/energy use or not. The light in the bathroom has a strip of lightbulbs over the medicine cabinet over the sink. It has four. So, maybe in that strip i will put in the CFL lights except in the space closest to the door.

The other rooms of the house will be easier as there are windows in every other room. There are several rooms with ceiling fans which have four spots for lightbulbs. Hmmm…does this mean four times the savings in energy use? Yes it does.

I think i will begin slowly replacing the lightbulbs with the CFL ones. It will initially take more money to buy the bulbs…but, since i need to buy lightbulbs now anyway…i may as well begin the switch. How about you? What will you do to help the environment and the economy?

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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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        Here is a story that illustrates the breakdown of American business.  Jim Crosby and his sister Linette are in a fierce and immediate battle to save their family owned mint farm business.  They are to be foreclosed on, any day now…they need to sell bottles of mint oil to save their business.  They are located in St. Johns, Michigan.  Michigan is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the economy.  People here are struggling to hang on to the most basic necessities of life…this family only wants to be able to continue to provide a service to their customers…both old and NEW!  It is their dream to be able to continue marketing their mint oil.

         Their business has been owned by their family members since the early nineteen hundreds.  This is their legacy…and it needs an influx of cash, today.  You can visit their website ( http://www.getmint.com)  and help, to try to save an American owned business.   In a day and age where American business owners are moving out of the country left and right, to get cheaper labor and make more of a profit; it is nice to be able to support a company that has stayed in America while producing their product.  If you use mint oil for cooking, baking, tea, health aid, air freshner…or any other use…please buy from this company and help them stay in business…but, don’t dawdle…they need cash now to stay in business.  The bank that is planning to foreclose on them…could take their bottles of oil and they could take the equipment needed to continue producing the oil…thereby, putting them out of business.

         We have to make a stand for some kind of return to common sense…producing in America, selling in America and buying in America…this is how we build a strong infrastructure in the country once again.  You can build up business, jobs, and housing markets by keeping American’s working.  You want to strenthen the economy?  Stop buying everything from other countries (because it’s cheaper) and start supporting American owned and operated business that produce quality products.  The job or business that you save just might be your own!

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       There was a recent announcement that Colin Powell, former Secretary Of State, has given his endorsement of Barack Obama.  Powell has been a pretty well respected retired United States General.  He was once approached about running for the Presidency but he turned that idea down.  Powell is a respected Republican.  A Republican that is concerned with the direction that the party has been taking in recent years…he is not alone.  However, he not only says he is voting for Barack Obama…he has itemized his reasons for doing so.

       Powell says that Obama’s campaign is of an “inclusive nature”…and that Barack is steady, intelluctually curious and that he exhibits depth of knowledge.  This puts his stamp of approval on the Obama campaign.  In contrast, he says that he is very concerned about the negativity in the John McCain campaign…that it is inappropriate.

        This is America…and everyone has a right to feel strongly about their leaders in public office.  I think that Colin Powell will have a lot of influence on those who hear his expressions of support.  Is it right for someone who is so very powerful and famous to publically state their position?

         I think many people who have been staunch supporter of the Republican party has felt divided with the direction that the party has taken over the last 8 years.  It would be wise for the Republican party to take notice of the conflict of those who align themselves with the party.  Rest assured that the Democratic party is taking notes.

          I also feel that the media has been overwhelming supportive of the Barack Obama campaign.  This has helped to slant the political temperature in our nation, as well as several other factors.  The American public has been very unhappy with the course the United States has been heading since President Bush has been in office.  This is unprecedented…an all time Presidential lack of support.  It is sad; but why do leaders back themselves into a corner this way.  I think a candidate should run on it’s own positions…but then they wouldn’t get the kind of funding that they do from their individual parties i guess.  There is alot wrong with our system that spends so much money on negative advertising, up to 30 million a week, when this country is in the financial condition that it is in.  There should be a rising up of protest over such shennanigans.  That shows a lack of fiscal responsibility to me, right there!!!

          What is going to happen on election day?  Who knows.  Whatever happens…we have to find a way in this country to try to unite behind our leaders and try to correctly establish some stability, some respect within other countries for the reputation of the United States…and, we have to get the American people working, saving, living productive lives and re-investing in the society of the United States once again.  The alternative is frightening…divisive relationships, a broken economy, a weakened image, and a Congress that is locked in an ineffectual battle of positions that can no longer function and provide the American citizens with leadership that performs as it is supposed to perform; with integrity and a sincere desire to represent the public in how they vote.  Do you think this country will find a way to heal itself after this election?

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         Last Thursday, the McCain campaign decided to stop aggressively campaigning in Michigan.  This is a mistake, as Sarah Palin at least recognizes.  She has expressed a desire to come back to Michigan to continue campaigning.  I say to you Senator McCain…Michigan Matters!!!  Do not give up on Michigan. 

         The voter’s in Michigan can make a big difference in this Presidential campaign; every vote counts!  Remember the fierce contest between Bush and Gore?  Please respect the voters who haven’t made up their minds by understanding that many of them are on the fence; give them a reason to support your team.  For those who choose to support Obama-Biden…it gives them an unfair advantage to influence the voters; who may feel abandoned by half of the Presidential nominees.

         We are a unique state, in a lot of ways.  We are also mavericks.  We have overcome alot.  Many of us, those who have continued to stay in Michigan despite the economic difficulties, are strong willed.  We have been overlooked in the primaries…our votes were cut in half.  Do you think that is ok with us?  No!  Now we are being told that you aren’t thinking that we are worth your time to campaign here; because, some stupid polls are saying that Obama is ahead in numbers?  Come on…give us some credit for making our own decisions politically.  Polls don’t always transition to winning votes when push comes to shove.  Your decision to exclude Michigan from further campaigning is going to carry some serious impact on the outcome of the election.  Every votes counts…are you willing to gamble with the votes that you have already gained by ignorning those who haven’t made up their minds?

         With your history of heroic action in the military…i didn’t figure you for a quitter.  What if your country had given up on you?   Your running mate doesn’t appear to give up easily!  If you trust her decision making ability, you will reconsider the decision to stop campaigning in Michigan.  I say to you…when things look the bleakest…that is when the most amazing things happen; things miraculous! 

         Take a stand, send Sarah; matter of a fact… come back yourself.  Even the runt of a litter that gets picked rewards it’s caretaker with loyalty.  This state has a history of turning things around…we’ve done it before…and, we are going to do it again.  We have gone through difficulties with businesses closing up and moving out of state or, out of country; we have had the automobile industry take some hard hits…we have struggled to survive.  We are going to be on the forefront of the alternative energy field…we are going to turn the economic predictions for Michigan on it’s head.

         We don’t forget those that stick by us.   Maybe it is time to remind you that Detroit, one of the biggest cities in Michigan, has been RECENTLY scandalized by Detroit’s former mayor, DEMOCRAT Kwame Kilpatrick and his behavior.   We want a candidate for President who respects the citizens of this nation and has their best interest at heart.  Is that candidate you?

         Michigan remembers the bullying tactics that Kilpatrick’s team allegedly used to try to stay in power…Republicans could use that behavior in their favor; as they try to win this state in the Presidential election.  Come on, refocus on the voters in Michigan that have been feeling neglected, abused and in-validated over the last year, in the tug of war for votes.  It is time to remind the world that Republicans understand that, every vote counts!

        There is a grass roots effort to get 100,000 signatures on a petition to bring the McCain-Palin campaign back to michigan here: www.fightformichigan.com  Make your voice heard!  If you only hear once side of an argument (or campaign) how do you think that will influence the outcome?  There is another organization that is going to try to express the opposition to the Obama-Biden campaign message www.ourcountrydeservesbetter.com by spending up to $500,000 on advertising a Stop Obama campaign.  People can’t make informed choices if they are only given one choice…all we ask is give us options in our choosing!

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        Well, the powers that be have failed to pass legislation to authorize the “bailout” of the economy.  Now, we have all been told that something has to happen before the financial meltdown of the economy takes place.  With the failure to pass some kind of resolution, the DOW plunged 777 points as it became increasingly understood that the plan was not going to pass.

         Of course, there is the typical finger pointing on both sides of the aisle…Republican-Democratic each blaming the other.  Get over it, get back to work and get this mess figured out.   We don’t have time for those stupid games that politicians play.   The public is scared, they are angry and they are nervous…this is only going to make the situation worse. 

          The thing of it is..the longer this situation goes on…the worse the situation becomes.  Even those movers and shakers who WERE going to vote for this bailout plan…were saying how awful it was.  You know what that means…none of us are going to like it.  We are going to be hit where we hurt.  Many Americans are already living in the financial equivilancy of a critical care unit. 

           I am imagining it somewhat like a cancer patient who is told…that their disease is going to kill them.  But, aha…there is a treatment for you…it is dangerous, it is painful, it could have serious side-effects that no human being wants to endure…but, maybe, just maybe “You would like to give it a try?”

           What are we to do?   It is time to get back to the drawing board and fix this situation in a way that more House and Senate members can get behind…and soon!   Someone had better get back to work figuring this out…or the election in November is going to take on a whole new significance.  It might just be the election that no-one wants to win; as it could be like being told you get to be the captain of the most elite ship ever built…but, the name of that particular ship is called “The Titanic”.    Who wants to take on that legacy and have their name tied to it for all of eternity? 

          What is going to be the impact of this failure to direct some kind of stability in the financial well being of the United States of America?

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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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         What a stinking mess we are living with.  Fear smells up a place…we have a huge financial crisis, a huge political crisis; and, it could be a privotal moment of rescue or a plunge into the abyss and truthfully, the whole thing could go either way!

          Huge meetings are taking place in Washington…panic is like a throbbing headache…it is there making it presence known…threatening to turn into something much worse than a mere pain.  Into the frey, we have a bailout plan that was possibly agreed upon, until some say McCain derailed it with the House Republicans who disagreed strongly with parts of the plan. 

          Throw on top of that…a debate that is scheduled for tonight between Sen. McCain and Sen. Barack Obama.  Battle lines have been drawn, in a somewhat blurry manner.  Sen. Obama says he will definately show up for the debate…McCain says…we should reschedule the debate and focus on this immediate crisis with a plan for the financial stabilization for our country.  Our leaders have been in financial denial too long to let this negatively impact our country any longer.  It is time for commitment to understanding the problem and taking action.

          Who is correct…Obama says the debates are important to help the people understand how the Senators would handle things if they were the chosen one for the Presidential office.  McCain says, these meetings in Washington are critical and that they should be involved in them.  This whole thing is larger than a difference of opinion.  Does it say something very basic about Obama’s nature to hold to the plan for the debate when all of the rest of the country is focussed on this crisis?  Does he feel set apart from it all?  Or is he making a statement by letting the others take the action behind the scenes?  Is he right to stay out of it?  Or should he be more involved? If he doesn’t get involved in the planning of the bailout…will he understand best how to run the country if he should win the election?  Will Obama will the voter’s approval in November for not going to Washington at this time? 

        Is McCain right to be in the middle of things?  Should he be in there fighting for the things to be included or excluded in the bailout plan?  If he wins the election will it help him to run the country by being involved in the planning of the bailout?  Should he back out of it and go do the debate?  Will McCain’s involvement hurt his chances for election in November?  Or will he be seen as trying to make a difference?  Does his involvement help or hurt his chances for election?

          What i don’t understand is why they both can’t be right?  Why can’t the debate be moved to Washington and take place there…while the rest of their time could be focussed on the meetings to keep current on what is happening behind closed doors.  Those meeting are going to not only impact the country in deep and profound ways…but, will also impact whoever does end up in the Presidential position!  This is real, this is so much bigger than either of the candidates and they both need to understand that the American people are going to have their decision made for them by the end of this crisis!

          This is no time for game playing, no time for political mud slinging, no time for experimentation…this country is looking for someone to take the helm of this country and be proactive in guiding the ship to a safer, less rocky course than it is on at this very moment in time. 

          Wall Street is in turmoil, the American tax paying public is in no position to fund a bailout when most of it’s residents are barely surviving as it is.  Banks are collapsing, housing is bottoming out, businesses are busting out all over the place, people’s investments and retirements are in jeparody…this is shaky ground; reminescent of what happened in Russia just a few short years ago. 

          Other countries are getting nervous as well.  Beware of the person who says they have all of the answers…because no one possibly can.  This is uncharted areas of expertise.  The last thing we need is a knee jerk policy…however, we need to start doing some major corrective action or things will not be able to recover. 

           Anyone with half of a brain knows that you don’t make crucial decisions when everything is imploding…because you need to make rational choices.  How in the heck did we get this far gone in this country before the “experts” in the markets and financial infrastructure sent up a red flag or a flare?  Couldn’t they see this coming down the road early enough to start changing the direction of this disaster?

           People’s very quality of life is slipping through the cracks of our governing body.  Something has to be done…but, who knows best?  Who do we trust?  Are we going to waste time having a political showdown between the two very people who could possibly be running the government in less than two or three months?  The sky is falling people…the sky is falling…for real this time; we are not crying wolf when we say…we need an immediate comprehensive plan to stop this country from disappearing into a black hole in the universe!  It is time to pray for the leadership of this country and ask that they be given wisdom in their decision making!!!  update:  Breaking news…McCain now says: he WILL attend the debate this evening in Oxford, Mississippi!

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