Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Brilliance

I was preparring to run this as the next post, but Investor’s Business Daily picked it up and ran it in their Monday edition. Please click the link to see it. It is high time someone shout loudly from the rooftops that “The emperor has no clothes!”

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/545302/201008271806/How-Brilliant-Can-President-Obama-Be-.aspx

We can’t stop this spigot of insanity until 2012, but we can pinch it down considerably if we change control of Congress this November.

Semper Fi,

Jeffrey S. Howard

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Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President: 

 In today’s dangerous world, we need a President with experience, leadership, and courage. Unfortunately you have shown us little of those traits. Your childhood and younger years denied you the opportunity to grow up as an American man, and that is no fault of your own. Unfortunately, your lack of empathy for and experience of a traditional American upbringing has left you out of touch with those of us who grew up learning the traditions and work ethic of our predecessors. You have never accepted the honor of military service, nor held and survived in any sort of entry level working position. You are bereft of many of the basic building blocks of a true American personality and world view. 

You have never experienced the icy fingers of fear caressing your gut during a firefight when your very survival from second to second depends on your luck, wits, fellow troopers, and the grace of God. You have never sweated out a payroll when your receivables are late. You’ve missed the rewarding feeling of flogging a loaded truck all night to deliver a load 500 miles away at 7:00 AM. You never shoveled cow manure for less than minimum wage to earn enough for a rattletrap car. You missed out on greasing dump trucks on the night shift, and never had the opportunity to start out cleaning restrooms and sweeping floors in a factory. 

 Your education was in the law, and you ignored any opportunity to absorb the lessons of history or the theories of economics. You have never experienced the ecstasy of success or the lash of defeat in the private sector. While you play golf, basketball, and surround yourself with “the swells” enjoying concerts in the People’s House, those of us in the general public dine on Spam and Costco burgers. I can’t put my wife on a 747 and send her to Spain so she can be ready to spend 10 days on Martha’s Vineyard when she gets back. She works 7 days a week and so do I – spreading 4 full and part time jobs between us to make ends meet. 

 I watch in pain while my business venture slides into oblivion and my small IRA erodes as your economic policies push the nation into a double dip recession. This economy is locking up again, and you cannot blame former President Bush. The great construction jobs I created are ending while you pour trillions in borrowed money into the public sector to buy votes. I blame you personally for appointing the ship of fools you have as cabinet officials and advisors for this. You are repeating the gross mistakes of Japan in the ‘90s and the Roosevelt Administration in the ‘30s – both of which failed and lengthened severe economic problems for a decade or more. You are intentionally smothering our private sector with regulations, taxes, and mandates at the same time you squander the wages and futures of our children and grandkids. 

 I deplore your continued efforts to divide the greatest nation of immigrants in the world along race and class lines. Pandering to various groups and attempting to set them against other Americans is demagoguery at its worst. I sincerely hope such actions end up damaging you in the end and not our country. 

 You will leave office with a big pension, Secret Service protection, and gold plated health care for life. I may well end up with 40 years of hard work down the drain, living in a mobile home in the backwoods. I do not resent you for your good fortune – you worked hard to become President and won the election fair & square. I do however despise your policies and the horrendous damage they are visiting on our nation, its economy, and our future. I have dedicated my remaining years to fighting you, your policies, and protecting our children’s futures. 

 I may well end up destroyed financially from the results of your misguided and dangerous actions – but you will never break me psychologically, nor crush my spirit. I am a Marine, I have a wonderful wife and family, and last but not least, I live in the greatest nation in the world. I shall work to my last breath to keep it that way, and you sir, shall fail to destroy that dream. 

Jeffrey S. Howard

Redmond, Washington

Got Jobs?

To paraphrase a well known quote: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” Two of my friends are out of work and it seems to be a long term deal. Both are highly qualified and experienced. I have personally lost a great night job I held for years and have not been called in to work since August, 2008. How are you and your acquaintances doing these days?

Opportunity in America starts with a job. Without one, there is no security, no earnings or savings, and no satisfaction and self-esteem of contributing to ones future or society. Official unemployment stands at 9.5% and if those who are under employed are added in, it becomes over 17%. Here is a short clip about how onerous regulations hurt the economy. It only touches on a couple of the several items mentioned below:

Do we want our jobs back? – YES! OK, just how can this goal be accomplished?

Business creates new jobs when it expands. Most large firms are sitting on their cash because they are uncertain of the future. In fact – several big companies that have announced expansion plans have been savaged by the stock market recently instead of rewarded. Investors are not confident that growing business is a smart move at this time.

Small business is fighting the combined headwinds of low demand, burgeoning new regulations, and great difficulty obtaining financing. This sector of the economy which traditionally creates the most jobs is stalled.

The Obama Administration has passed or is pushing legislation that has emasculated businesses large and small, putting great fear into owners and investors and hampering economic recovery. If we want our jobs back, these monstrous legislative overreaches must be rolled back. Here they are:

$867 Billion Stimulus: This program borrows nearly a Trillion Dollars from China and others against the future earnings of all Americans. It was promised as a method to initiate “shovel ready” infrastructure work. Instead most has been spent on the state level preserving government jobs.

Health Care: This massive takeover of 1/6 of the entire economy has created unintended consequences of huge proportions. It threatens to crush small businesses’ health plans and drive workers into the government system. The true long term costs to both business and individuals cannot be accurately calculated, and the implied costs were buried deep in the overall effort to pass the Bill.

Financial regulation: The Dodd / Frank legislation supposedly regulates financial practices while ignoring completely the malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed so greatly to the 2008 meltdown. Draconian rules and regulations will trickle down to the smallest mom & pop business and stifle initiative and productivity with reams of reporting requirements, paperwork, and red tape.

Cap & Trade legislation: Currently passed in the House and stalled in the Senate, whispers have it that a lame duck session of congress after the November election may pass it in the Senate anyway. This myopic and hysterical “solution” to a problem that has not been proven as fact would saddle business with huge energy cost increases. It would drive literally millions of American jobs overseas in a pen stroke.

Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all lowered taxes in the face of a recession. All three saw a spurt in economic growth and jobs as a result. The Obama Administration intends to raise taxes at the end of 2010 by allowing the current cuts to expire. Raising taxes punishes investment, expansion, success, and hiring. This scheme is a recipe for prolonging the worst recession in 75 years.

The Obama Administration has caused more damage to the US economy in 18 months than Jimmy Carter managed in 4 years. The only way to have a prayer of turning things around for the better is to change Congress this year so opponents can block funding and implementation of some of the more destructive aspects of the Obama agenda.

For you, your friends, your neighbors, and your children: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIMES.

Ray of Hope

Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times did a wonderful follow-up story on a kennel cleaning job that went to an 18-year old kid. (Link Below) Nearly 300 other people had applied for the job, some highly experienced and educated. The young man realized that his family couldn’t pay the bills. Giving up his leisure hours of computer games, soccer, skateboarding, and hanging out; the lad stepped up and applied for jobs until he was accepted. Now his days in high school are followed by evenings and weekends at the kennel. He and every other person who tried for that cleaning job are truly inspirational. They are examples of what made this country great and what will emerge as the glue that holds it together.

Somehow, over the past 50 years, Americans have gotten the idea that every kid has to go to college and end up as some sort of professional big shot. Dilbert cartoons and The Office TV show should give us a clue. Many young folks would be financially better off and much happier driving a truck instead of sitting in a cramped cubicle for a living. Today’s parents and kids think that manual trades such as laboring on a construction site, running a forklift, or driving nails in new homes are beneath them. Most kids these days live a life sheltered from any sort of hard, rewarding work. Parents provide their offspring with all their desires, drive them to and from sports events, feed and clothe them, buy them a car at 16, and often provide funds for higher education whether the child is suited for it or not.

Those whose parents are unable to provide college are urged to take on huge student loans that cripple them financially for years after graduation – if they manage that. Being pushed into college often leads to ineffectual majors like Folklore or Gender and Women’s Studies instead of mathematics, engineering, or science. How many times do we see rudderless graduates with esoteric degrees moving in with mom & dad awaiting their inheritance? We end up with “boomerang kids” who were raised that way by “helicopter parents.” These young people ended up that way because the work ethic was not instilled in them at a young age. The burning desire to succeed was extinguished before it could ever become a strength; replaced instead by a warped sense of unearned self esteem and entitlement.

Why do we have over 12 million illegal aliens doing the jobs “Americans won’t do”? See the above. You won’t see young Americans plucking chickens, milking cows, digging ditches, or pounding on factory doors willing to start out sweeping up and cleaning grease pits. All this while willing immigrants, from around the world show up, do what they are asked, and don’t talk back. Legal or otherwise, we have to admire these people for their grit and determination, and thank them for contributing to our economy – because many of our young adults will do neither.

Democrats badly want an immigration reform law that will turn aliens into voters. Business owners want the same because they need manual labor to do the tough jobs young Americans have been bred to avoid. Until we disabuse ourselves of this dangerous and asinine idea that every American kid must go to college, the immigration problem will be with us

How long since you have seen a native born American standing outside Home Depot looking for a day job? Here is a spoof on that situation you will enjoy:

Here is the link to Danny Westneat’s great Column:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2011695103_danny25.html

Generation Zero

“The current economic crisis is not a failure of capitalism, but a failure of culture.”

This is an apt description of this documentary that every American adult should see – perhaps twice. It moves fast, with many vivid images interspersed with narration from a number of individual experts in finance, government, culture, and history.

It basically demonstrates the truth about how the Boomer Generation was raised, matured, and eventually became leaders in government, finance and academia. Not discussed is the fact that this generation split along cultural lines in the 1960s. Here is a trailer from the movie. The generational split is discussed below:

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A vivid cultural division occurred in the ‘60s between those who were raised with almost anything they wanted by doting parents and others who grew up having to work hard for nearly everything they got. Millions of young people were sent away to college fully financed by family money, safe from the draft on student deferments. Once away from home, they rebelled, rejecting the values on which they had been raised and embracing the counter- culture of pleasure, drugs, free love, protest demonstrations, and contented living in filth.

These individuals eventually outgrew the hippie lifestyle, cleaned up their acts, embraced materialism, and matured into yuppie types. With their education credentials, they moved up in the ranks of academia, law, finance, and government, eventually attaining leadership positions as the old guard who had experienced the great Depression and WW II retired. Their main flaw was a lack of experiencing any hardship, and a narcissistic expectation of good times and easy money forever. They became prone to taking huge risks with other peoples’ money; blindly ignoring the potential devastating consequences.

The other half of the Boomer Generation entered young adulthood without the advantages of family money, could not afford college, and millions ended up serving in Viet Nam. Their work ethic enhanced by military discipline, they returned home despised by those with whom they had grown up who had avoided service. They tended to drink heavily for years; self medicating against what is now called PTSD. Most eventually settled into blue collar jobs, raised families, and maintained the value system of the middle class.

Generation Zero aptly lays out the journey of the privileged from childhood to DC and Wall Street; focusing on the root causes of the present financial crises. It is a very compelling examination of how America went from the prosperous ‘50s to the present economic contagion.

Please order and watch this movie. Share it with those you know. This is a story that every responsible American must understand. It will be the most informative $25 you ever spent. Understanding how the economy got to this point will arm you with the knowledge of how to safeguard your future. The link to the site is below:

http://www.generationzeromovie.com/