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Posts Tagged ‘homes’

         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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       As a person living in the midwest, in one of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last 25 years…i have to say i was irritated when i read that since President Obama moved into the White House the thermostat has allegedly gone up.  For a man who made it part of his campaign to encourage Americans to sacrifice for the world environment and to take on a personal responsibility regarding climate changes; I am offended by an article that i read today that says the Oval office is like a tropical hot house, warm enough to grow orchids in.  Someone needs to hold this administration accountable in these types of areas…turn down the heat on President Obama.

       Across our nation right now, many Americans are without electric or typical normal heat sources because of an ice storm, that is going to take weeks to fix.  This is during some truly challenging temperatures as our country transitions between winter and spring.

       Part of the perception of the recent, more relaxed environment in the Oval office…meaning that visitors no longer have to wear suit jackets when they enter in like the former administration; is really more about personal comfort levels.  It isn’t mainly about being relaxed in that room as much as it is about it being warm; so that wearing a suit and tie would be really uncomfortable.  While I applaude the more informal feel to this Presidency…I have to say that even the White House staff and aides have commented on the temperature change; including his chief of staff, David Axelrod who  allegedly, made the statement about the orchids growing in there.

         The article I read said something to the effect that even though President Obama comes from Chicago…he was born in Hawaii, and he likes being warm.  Well, no fake…most of us don’t enjoy being colder than is comfortable…but , what about that personal sacrifice he was talking about before?  I dont want to bust his chops on this or any other issue just for the sake of it…but…this subject is a little close to home when my own family has to keep the furnace set on 58-60 degrees because of the necessity of the high cost of heating our home.

        Another, more important reason this is so maddening is that in my home state…there have been several people who have frozen to death.  A man by the name of Marvin E. Schur, 93 years old, froze to death recently in Bay City, Michigan because the electric company put a limiter on his electric service and his home power was shut off…effectively causing his heating source to stop working.  He died…come on…was that President Obama’s fault….no!  However, when i hear polyanna remarks justifying his higher temperature on the thermostat in the Oval office; it makes me angry to know that others are SUFFERING AND DYING when there are others who have so much and are wasteful with it.  It is not right.

        So please President Obama…you have so many other more important things on your plate…turn down the heat in the White House so that your actions match your words and your call for personal responsibility.   That way, those who would otherwise be inspired by you and your goals of helping our nation turn towards more green living and a more positive use of our energy sources can get on board without having to defend your conflict of words and actions!  Be an inspirational leader so that you can have a powerful impact on our country with responsibile energy use.

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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        The Sky is falling…the sky is falling…does anyone remember that saying from the children’s story…Chicken Little?  That is how I am feeling today about the hysteria surrounding the money markets.  The more that the warnings go out…the more hysteria that takes place, which then makes the markets more unstable.  The dow is beginning to resemble a roller coaster ride.

          I fell for it…and i am sure there are others who are biting the bullet as far as the panicked feeling.  Everyone is panicking.  Other countries are panicking too.  Because of it…the instability is contagious.  Everyone needs to stop….take a deep breath and let things settle for a few days.  Don’t sell out of panic…don’t buy out of panic…just stop and let things settle into what they are; do what you normally would do.

          I know the need to protect what you have worked for, i know the need to keep your personal finances bubblewrapped to the best of your ability, i know the fear that won’t let you sleep because you may not be able to send your kids to college, retire, or live without too much heartache with your daily spending.  Truth is, most of us needed to tighten our belts and live the way we were taught which is to save up to buy what you want…not overextend yourself with credit and pay as you go.  This is common sense.  It is also common sense to establish some credit…but you must be vigilant and pay it as it comes due…not let credit become the disaster that it has become.

          Businesses, banks, real-estate companies all are in the position that many of us regular people have been in.  The problem is that they can’t operate if their customers can’t pay.  We can’t pay if we don’t have jobs or homes to live in.  It is a vicious cycle.  Everything needs to stabilize long enough for an honest evaluation of where we are at.  At the moment, it is like a lake that has had a boulder fall from the cliffs into the center of the lake; there are ripples that are still rocking the boat floating on the surface.   The shifting that keeps taking place is definately keeping the extent of the damage unclear.

         Putting measures into effect to try to “correct” the market is just going to continue to keep things out of control.  This whole financial crisis is scary as heck…i won’t deny that.  But, we have no accurate way to measure the actual scope of the damage.  There is something to be said for an old adage such as, moderation in all things. 

         The people & companies that put us in this situation are going to have to make better decisions, they have to have consequences for the mistakes that they have made, and they are going to have to put procedures into place to prevent repeating the same mistakes.  The housing markets, the oil companies, the credit card companies and the banking industry all need to take stock of how they have each added to this disaster, and do a review of business 101.  Make more than you spend, lend less than you can afford to lose, and build trust and relationships with your customers!  What a novel idea…we can all learn from those practices.

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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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       With all of the economic shake ups taking place in the United States…i was just wondering…is anyone else feeling a rising, fearful sense of dread and panic?  It has building for the last year and a half with the mortgage crisis, rising costs of food, gasoline, home heating fuels, foreclosures, and job downsizings.  Now on top of all of that…we are seeing the fall of the major financial instutions in our country.

       Some Americans, in portions of our country, have been seeing and feeling the economic sense of dread and panic rising for quite some time.  It started with many job markets closing down or moving out of country (outsourcing) and then we started to see the domino effect from credit card lapses, missed mortgage payments, vehicle repossessions and then, foreclosures of homes that probably never should’ve been financed in the first place.  It has been, and continues to be, a chain reaction.

       The culture of over-indulgence, and pay later, mindset has decided to reveal it’s consequences.  There was no safety net in place to cushion the blow.  Once again in America, our quality of life is being threatened in a way that has the potential to bring our country to it’s knees; similar to the Great Depression that we all studied about in history class as children.  It has gone beyond a wake up call and moved to a place of drastic correction.  How are we going to deal with that as a nation?

      Tonight, President Bush is going to be speaking to the American citizens on the economic crisis that this country faces.  Minutes ago, Sen. John McCain made a statement saying that he is suspending his Presidential campaign to go to Washington to help deal with the historical financial crisis; McCain is calling on Sen. Barack Obama to put the campaign aside for the time being to focus on a bi-partisian solution.  Now is not the time for political game playing.  Anyone who dares go there…will loose the election for sure just because of it.  A commitment must be made to work on the issues that we are facing and stop playing word games and power plays to get attention.

        Time is of the essence at the moment; the impact has the potential to deconstruct the global economy.  Not only are our citizens watching and waiting to find a solution…other countries are doing the same.  Is there any possible way that we can as a nation and as individuals recover from this mess?

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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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