Thursday, December 18, 2008

In President Elect Obama’s news address today, he says that our economic situation is very serious. 533,000 more jobs were lost in November alone, than expected. Todd and I heard last night that Chrysler, who normally closes its plants around Christmas time, will be closed for a whole month! Last month Chrysler laid off 25% of their white collared staff. The month before they laid off 1,000 white colored salaried workers! According to Obama’s math that is “nearly 2 million people without jobs within the past year”. Does this include small business owners who have had to walk away from businesses and their homes? He didn’t say. Forecasters have NOT been very positive either:

Gerald Celente recently told Fox News that if something isn’t done about our economic situation by 2010, that the United States will be seen as any other “third world nation”. Except on the holidays instead of looking for gifts we will be looking for food.

Senator Chris Todd said back in October if we didn’t take care of the banks, that there would be riots from civilians asking ‘why’ are we taking tax payers dollars to fix the financial mess and not allowing lines of credit. He says he sees big bankers lining their own pockets.

In November Nouriel Roubini, leading economist said he foresees food lines like we have never seen them before because of the policies of the Treasury and Federal Reserve.

Associated Press reports that “Alan Reuther, the United Auto Workers' legislative director, said the union urged the administration during a meeting this week to follow the provisions included in the House-passed auto aid bill”. But there seems to be discussions over whether or not consumers will purchase vehicles from any car company that is in any bankruptcy status, Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. I know I wouldn’t!
The next question is what financial institution is going to carry the paper on an automotive loan, if they know the company may dissolve?

It was bad enough just asking for the warranty provisions during the boom period from stable car companies, let alone one that you know may be going out of business. There is even a question as to whether or not the government should own equal shares of the car companies. This way, when any profit is met the government would be paid first. But this is not factoring creditors who are now screaming that they aren’t getting paid or standing to go out of business because they won’t be able to pay their employees. Everyone wants their guarantee and so far the Big Three haven’t done that since Chrysler was in trouble years ago when Iacocca was running the store. So the real question will labor also be willing to be an equity holder just to keep the companies afloat? Labor of course having the most to loose and hoping the senators will have a change of heart. Meantime, Bush will follow through on not landing the automobile crisis on Obama’s first day in office. "I thought about what it would be like for me to become president during this period. I believe that good policy is not to dump him a major catastrophe on his first day in office," Bush said. How considerate of him, why didn’t Bush advisors provide insight long time ago? Who was minding the store?

Even my insurance sales material have captions to shore up fellow weary comrades: “Selling in controversial times”, another “sales in turbulent times” and “customer service during difficult economic climate”; the latter to say the least. However, it doesn’t stop them for selling those seminars with the “magic words” and “magic motivational actions” for less than $350 for one day, books, tapes, worksheets included or often extras.

Obama you are right, not only are we not at ease and wondering what 2009 will bring. We’re wondering what other fall out will we eventually hear that was part of Bush’s executive order.

We have heard in the past four days that Bush nor Cheney have any regrets on their directives to “water boarding and torturing” prisoners; invading countries and lying why we went, responding with a “so” and “so what” when the revelations of the weapons of mass destruction not being in Iraq, but now they say “Hussein had the capability.” Since when is someone capable, the same as having something? I’m capable of being a fine millionaires living in a fine mansion with fine custom made furniture, and a wait staff of five; maid, doorman, driver, cook and landscape artist, but I can’t afford my school loans. I am quite capable but I don’t have it.

Our retirement pensions are being raided, social security is said “gone” and that the economy can’t handle the numbers of baby boomers coming of age anyway, we are talking about funds that they have saved a lifetime to use. Yes, Obama we are out of control and the serious money isn’t there.

You’re announcing the SURVIVAL PROGRAM for 2.5 million people when you have a population of over 13,304,944 in Los Angeles alone? Seems like a drop in the bucket to me but perhaps enough to jump start the economy and the extenuating businesses that may capitalize off of these projects. Oh I of some faith only hope you can quadruple that number.

Terry Munoz and Mike Macini from Nielsen say that we need to also take into consideration that in the evaluation of the population we need to consider the influx of:

1) large land areas, 2) booming suburban rings, 3) widespread affluence, 4) an increasing Hispanic population, 5) diversified employment, 6) long commutes and 7) the presence of lifestyle shopping centers.

I think this is interesting because if you have been to the mall lately, suburban rings aren’t booming, some are like ghost towns. Shopping this close to the holidays may be pretty tame almost relaxing experience, but everyone knows this is odd, not normal. You run into a few people with ample time to gaze and look around. Yes, I have a few friends who look at shopping as some sort of spiritual event, even the Merry go round was playing classical gospel and church ballads and I don’t mean Christmas caroles either. Personally, I never cared for shopping. Give me a credit card and access to a computer website and I’ll find in in 3 minutes or less. Parking is a lot easier and the sale teams seem more attentive than usual they even volunteer to “go look in the back” for your size. Could it be their commission jobs are on the line also? As for widespread affluence, I can say I have seen our population dwindle in affluence, but the fast food joints don’t seem to be hearting for lines, went to Denny’s for breakfast, there was only two other couples. Three months ago, we’d have to wait at least 20 minutes before seating.
Now as far as the Hispanic population goes, I don’t know how this affects a true evaluation but the Hispanic population where I live are trying to make it like everyone else. Haven’t seen any looking for a handout, they speak, they wave and they stay to themselves. Why does it seem like some folks always have to dump on another race or group of people, just to feel good about themselves? How is that for shallow?

The long commutes. Well if you live in Southern California it is a given. Thank God for the Saudi’s at least gas is still $1.46 per gallon but how long will that little gem last or was that a “Bushes are our friends” deal? The last element in observing the population is the lifestyle shopping malls and I believe I covered that already.

A Wall Street and Main Street address to rebuilding the United States infrastructure sounds promising and I agree we need to reduce our dependence on oil. Not throwing more money on top of bad promises seems to relief the headache. Still can’t tell why it was OK to just hand over money to the financial wizards and take the Big Three through “hell” for 1/8 the amount we spend on the two wars. Maybe this will put other industries on notice, no plan, no pattern of following through, no apparent respect that you have your hat in hand when you come seeking and twirl for the media all seem like good ideas at this time. To be competitive with the rest of the world seems a bit premature considering the whole world seems to be in this financial fix. However it seems Federal buildings utilizing green energy efficiency standards would be a plus; new investments in highways, bridges, and roads. OK. I wasn’t sure if the states must match the funds necessarily as the investment in their ½ of the state funds. Does anyone know the answer to this one?

Upgrading schools so that they are habitable I believe is a plus. I can remember substituting at schools with broken, wet, stained, aged tile roofs, faulty electrical wiring, ancient 380 and 420 computers, lousy flickering lighting, and non insulated rooms. We won’t even get into the too tight desks, rickety chairs, chicken wired windows, dated books, low on supplies, teachers sponsoring science and art projects from their personal pockets and PA systems “that use to work”. I believe the wideband adoption is very necessary to improve many schools computer technology. I can’t believe we are the 15th nation in the world and we created the technology.

Connecting libraries with other libraries is a plus. Maybe if we will know where the books are we could have a better inventory. We could have more to share with the children and students. Hospitals w/new medical record technology, who have databases that are current and connect from one hospital to another, will increase accessibility and ability to diagnose patients quicker and saving lives in the process.

Who would have thought that simplicity is where to start?
But this doesn’t mean more financial bailouts and ignoring the main street guy in the new house which is 1/3 to ½ the cost it was when he originally signed his mortgage with the hidden triple interest increase. Maybe American Express Credit Card Company won’t continue to increase their credit interest rates to keep people from spending.

But I believe that is something Obama you really need to look into, because if these companies are benefitting from our tax dollars, the least we can do is be able to utilize the credit unless they know that we are inevitably falling down and there is no stopping but hope.