I do the majority of my shopping online, and get cold chills at the thought of any kind of cyber-attack on the internet.
Today, I read several articles, all claiming that retailers are hurting in a very big way, and many major outlets will be closing their stores. If true, what will happen to the people who will no longer have jobs?
Several weeks ago, I stopped by Macy’s to purchase my favorite Clinque lipstick. As I rarely go into major retail stores, I was shocked at the high prices on the merchandise.
I headed to the Clinque counter and searched around for my lipstick. After about 10 minutes, someone finally approached to help me, only to tell me that the lipstick was probably discontinued. She wasn’t a Clinque lady, and appeared to be trying to oversee three or four counters at once. I saw no other sales people. After looking it up in the computer, she said that it showed there were three lipsticks of that shade, but had no idea of where they were. She said that they may be on the delivery truck, which was due in about three days. Out came a tiny piece of scrap paper in which to take down my number. I knew right then that I would not get a phone call when the truck arrived.
Understand this; I am in no way blaming her. Retail work is endless and hard. The store was understaffed, and for good reason. There were almost no customers.
After checking online, I ascertained that the lipstick could be purchased directly from Clinque, who gave me, as a first time online buyer, a $10.00 off coupon, and free shipping.
I also needed some makeup from Ulta. My last experience there was horrible. No one to help you find anything, and the makeup was completely disorganized due to customers pawing through it. I headed to Ulta online, picked out my products, and was also offered free shipping.
Lest you think I only buy makeup, the next example is from Walmart, where I hoped to purchase some Calms Forte, a natural sleep aid. It was out of stock.
I found the Calms Forte at Puritan Pride online, and purchased 2 bottles of 100 each for $13.98 with, wait for it, free shipping. The same amount of pills at Walmart would have cost about $37.00.
If your life-long ambition is to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, a college education is unavoidable. But what if you just want to earn a decent living?
Several weeks ago, my car was at the local dealership to have its timing belt replaced – something that is done at the 60K mark. The technician who had originally told the the service guy that my 2008 Hyundai had a belt rather than a chain discovered that the 2008 model year was split between belts and chains. My car was in the second half of the year and had a chain, which never needs replacing, saving me about $300.00. The dealership, bless their hearts, washed my car for me anyway.
When I picked up my car, I met the young technician who worked on my car. Scott was 28 years old, personable, soft spoken, and clearly loved his job. Okay – he was cute, too.
He used to work at a Hyundai dealership, but was caught off guard by that model year being split between chains and belts.
He’s been an auto technician for 8 years. I asked him if he went to school for his career and he named a well-known technical college. Never one to be shy, I further inquired as to the cost. Surprisingly, it was $28K for the entire course. That’s equivalent to what many people spend for one year in a 4-year college, often graduating with a completely useless degree, and as much as $80K to $100K in school loan debt. It’s takes a long time to pay off that kind of debt when you’re working as a barista at Starbucks.
So at the age of 20 or 21, Scott was already earning a very good income, while the future barista was still having the “experience of a lifetime” in a 4-year college. In terms of salary, Scott earned about $150K, not counting benefits, during those 3 extra years and was doing something he loved.
So why this insistence that everyone must go to college?
Mike Rowe, who runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades. He was also the host of the former TV show “Dirty Jobs”, and continues to try raising awareness of what we call “blue collar” jobs.
Just a few days ago, a person wrote a letter to Mike, deriding his approach to “work ethic”, calling it “right wing propaganda.”
Mike’s reply was epic.
A few excerpts:
You wrote that, “people want to work.” In my travels, I’ve met a lot of hard-working individuals, and I’ve been singing their praises for the last 12 years. But I’ve seen nothing that would lead me to agree with your generalization. From what I’ve seen of the species, and what I know of myself, most people – given the choice – would prefer NOT to work. In fact, on Dirty Jobs, I saw Help Wanted signs in every state, even at the height of the recession. Is it possible you see the existence of so many unfilled jobs as a challenge to your basic understanding of what makes people tick?
Last week at a policy conference in Mackinac, I talked to several hiring managers from a few of the largest companies in Michigan. They all told me the same thing – the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help, (aside from the inability to “piss clean,”) is an overwhelming lack of “soft skills.” That’s a polite way of saying that many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you.” This is not a Michigan problem – this is a national crisis. We’re churning out a generation of poorly educated people with no skill, no ambition, no guidance, and no realistic expectations of what it means to go to work. source
So back to my question: Why this insistence that everyone must go to college?
Obama would like everyone to have a free community college education, otherwise known as high school grades 13 and 14. Why? And who’s going to pay for this?
High schools also base much of their success on how many of their graduates go on to college. Why?
Who benefits by the student loan industry? Mike mentioned the staggering figure of 1.2 trillion dollars of outstanding student loans.
Our government, by backing these loans, is not only creating future generations of debt slaves, but making the cost of college skyrocket.
Don’t fall for it. If you’re a parent, teach your children skills that may inflame a hankering for a specific trade. Don’t denigrate “blue collar trades”, because when your plumbing goes south, your electric panel breaks, you need a new garage, or even a haircut, you won’t be calling that barista who has a degree in women’s studies.
Adrienne blogs at Adrienne’s Corner on any number of subjects – most of which she knows nothing about.
Before I get to the bad news, I do have some good news, indeed the best news though it is almost 2,000 years old. Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Have a blessed Easter.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report, and it was a stinker. The non-farm payroll increased by only 126,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the fewest since December 2013. More telling, the number of employed increased by only 34,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, with 96,000 people leaving the workforce.
The seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rate slipped by a rounded tenth of a percent to 62.7%, tied with Decmeber 2014, October 2014, February 1978 and December 1977 for the lowest since October’s 1977’s 62.4%, though each of those 4 months had a lower LFPR when rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. While the employment-population ratio remained at 59.3% for the third consecutive month, it was a weaker 59.3% as it slipped from 59.35% in January to 59.34% in February and to 59.31% in March.
Lest one believes that the Great Baby Boomer Retirement spree has started, ZeroHedge has the contraindicators, even if the more-shocking contraindicator is vastly understated. Those over 55 accounted for far more than the 34,000 increase in employment over the last month, with a gain of 329,000 jobs between February and March.
The understated portion is the comparison between the official start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and last month. I can’t duplicate his math, and the differing seasonal adjustments among the age groups make comparing different months of the year problematic, so I’ll use not-seasonally-adjusted numbers and compare March 2007 (the pre-recession March high) and March 2015.
In March 2007, there were 145,323,000 people employed, 119,838,000 of them between the ages of 16 and 54 and 25,485,000 of them aged 55 and older. In March 2015, there were 147,635,000 people employed, 114,375,000 between the ages of 16 and 54 and 33,260,000 of them aged 55 and older. While there were 7,775,000 more people aged 55 and older employed last month than 8 years ago, there were 5,463,000 fewer people between the ages of 16 and 54 employed last month than in March 2007.
If one thinks that is because there are fewer young people around, guess again. There were 816,000 more people between the ages of 16 and 54 in the civilian noninstitutional population last month than in March 2007. Yes it is true that the elderly comprise the vast majority of the population increase, with 18,231,000 more people aged 55 and older in the civilian noninstitutional population.
The employment-population ratio bears that out. In March 2007, that was 73.6% for those between 16 and 54 and 37.4% for those aged 55 and older. Last month, while it slipped to 69.9% for those between 16 and 54, it rose to 38.5% for those aged 55 and older.
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been missing in action the last few weeks. I’ve just been burned out. One can say the economy is, at best, stagnant only so many times before running out of ways to say it.
The biggest contributor to that growth is spending on health care (no, not health insurance, health care itself). Annualized spending on health care rose by $39.9 billion in current (not adjusted for inflation) dollars, and $35.3 million in constant 2009 dollars, to, respectively, $2,048.8 billion (current) and $1,836.6 billion (constant 2009). The +0.88 percentage-point contribution to the change in real GDP is the highest on record going back to 1959, and is also the largest positive single-component contributor to GDP change last quarter. It also marks the third consecutive quarter increased spending on health care contributed the largest percentage-point increase to the personal consumption expenditures portion of GDP change.
As for health insurance, there are continuing strong indications that, contrary to the claims made at the time PlaceboCare was passed, spending on health insurance also skyrocketed. There are innumerable reports of skyrocketing premium increases. Further, the larger “financial services and insurance” component of personal consumption expenditures added another +0.17 points to GDP change, after adding +0.35 points in the third quarter. The BEA should issue its estimates of net spending on health insurance in 2014 late this summer, and I’d expect another performance like last year, when it increased by $7.4 billion to $145.1 billion
The report also contains further evidence that much of the job growth over the last year would have been derided as McJobs a decade ago. Increased spending on food services and accomodations contributed +0.30 percentage points to GDP change, the third consecutive quarter it contributed at least +0.21 percentage points. The last time that category contributed more to GDP growth was the 4th quarter of 1999, and the last time the current level of growth has been sustained for at least 3 quarters was the mid-1960s.
My latest piece for Watchdog.org: Is President Obama ‘pulling a Homer’ on energy, or is he smarter than that?is now up:
“To pull a Homer”: to succeed despite idiocy.
In “Homer Defined,” a 1991 episode of The Simpsons, the Springfield nuclear power is going into meltdown. Homer Simpson (the inept lead character of the series) manages to save the day by choosing the right button to prevent the meltdown.
He is celebrated as a hero until it’s revealed that his choice of which button to press was just pure incompetent luck (eeny, meeny, miny, moe). This coins the term “pulling a Homer,” whereby a person without wisdom or skill succeeds in spite of their own incompetence.
This is an excellent illustration of what has happened with the economy, both over the last six years and in the past two months of the Obama administration.
Has Barack Obama succeeded, and if so why does he compare unfavorably to Homer Simpson? Well you’ll have to go to Watchdog.org to find out
I am a member of the American Middle Class. I work hard, I am devoted to my wife and family.
I listen to the news and try to stay informed.
From time to time I disagree with the news and opinion shows but that is what makes America great. The ability to disagree.
I have been pretty quiet as I have listened for a few years about how this economy is getting better (something I hear espoused from Washington DC regularly)…things are on the mend…unemployment is down…blah blah blah.
Let me introduce those news and commentators (aka uninformed talking heads) to a few facts.
I have gone to college, I earned several degrees, in Physics. My wife has multiple degrees in Chemical Engineering. The economy for people with our educational background is supposed to be ours for the taking. Jobs should be there. They aren’t.
I do have current employment. It is with a large company that has been becoming smaller over the last few years. In fact it has gotten smaller by around 15%. My wife, after taking a few years off to raise kids, is attempting to reenter the work force and found zero opportunity (even with a background in nano materials).
At my employer, in the last two years, I have received a 3% raise and a 0% raise the following year. I have worked uncompensated overtime, I have worked weekends, nights, whatever it took…I am told that I am no the only one in this position.
Ok, great I’m not alone…nice to know but doesn’t make life better as my family has to do less with more thanks to rising costs of everything from food to health insurance.
Perhaps I am not working hard enough you say?
In the last 5 years I have had 9 US Patents issued (my employer enjoys the rights to and they should as I was given a salary while working on those inventions), helped write 5 different successful proposals for my employer, authored 2 referred journal papers in my field, and written 7 books (including 2 that have entered the top 100 in their eBook category on Amazon), and pickup consulting work whenever I can.
Our family’s lifestyle has not changed for the better. Thanks to rising costs (especially healthcare, auto insurance, and fuel) our lifestyle is basically the same (if not slightly less) than what it was three years ago.
So, when I see the news and they say the economy is getting better because unemployment is down or the DOW is up, what do I think? I think yes unemployment is down, because people have stopped looking and other people have 2 jobs just to keep up with rising costs. The DOW is up? Sure people heavily invested are making money, those of us trying to save some money so we can invest are screwed. If you had money back when the market was down and put it in you have done well. If you wanted to make money to invest and have some of that same rise in your savings, you, again, are just out of luck.
When I talk to politicians (and I have) what I get told is, well the numbers show it is better. When I talk to my friends we are all in the same boat I am in.
So who is it getting better for? For whom does the NYSE bell ring?
My guess, in the eyes of these politicians, as long as the donors are doing well the rest of us can just ‘wait our turn.’
Well, you won’t hold me back, I am the American worker. I will work harder and longer if I have to in order to make a go of it in this country, and when I do succeed, and I will, I assure you incumbents beware….I’m coming for you…We know who messed it up and it is no longer a Republican or Democrat thing. It is the inside the beltway mafia staying in power thing.
We have had enough, and this economy needs to be the focus of every decision in that town. Sucking more money out of it, writing regulations that hurt me, or whatever else Washington is going to do to us must end. We will succeed, despite those people in Washington or I don’t deserve to be called an American.
President Obama may soon find out what how it feels to be un-upped by Canada in a hockey-style shootout.
Since his inauguration nearly six years ago, Obama has been dragging his feet in regards to approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline will bring much-needed petroleum from our friends in Alberta in Canada to the United States, which will lessen our need to import oil from hostile regimes such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. I can’t imagine America buying oil from the Islamic State, but more oil on the market means cheaper prices, which will of course harm ISIS and bolster our national security.
The northern segment of Keystone will pass through the Dakotas and Nebraska. There is a smattering of local opposition in the Cornhusker State and some legal obstacles, but let’s be clear: Obama, the man who bragged earlier this year that he doesn’t need Congress to make things happen because, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” would have found a way to break ground for Keystone XL by now if that’s what he wanted.
But Obama is of course more concerned about the needs of his wealthy environmentalist donors, who either believe that the era of fossil fuels is over or that the use of this Canadian oil will contribute to global warming. Obama, who once promised to heal the planet, is on the verge of being outmaneuvered.
TransCanada Corp., the mover behind Keystone, is strongly considering an-all Canada pipeline for the Alberta petroleum, Energy East, the terminus of which will be at St. John, New Brunswick on the Atlantic Ocean. The oil can be shipped from there to America or to western Europe, which will be welcomed with open spigots by countries fed up with buying petroleum from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Bloomberg News is reporting that the supporters of Energy East are very confident that it will be built. A proposed western Canadian pipeline could still be constructed, although that route faces opposition from some Canadian First Nations people.
But if Keystone is built, it will mean up to 40,000, good paying–and are you reading this Obama?–union jobs. If the new pipeline from Alberta never crosses American soil, those jobs will taken by Canadians. Meanwhile, we have to go back to the sad Jimmy Carter years to find a time where the American labor participation rate has been lower than it is now.
I can imagine Obama looking north soon, as Jay Gatsby did from West Egg at the green light at the end of Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s pier, at those thousands of new jobs north of the border.
The last words are for the environmentalists: Despite your numerous protests and your arm-twisting of Obama, that oil is going to be pumped from the sands of Alberta whether you like it or not. Your Canadian War is over.
The Republicans blocked a bill on Wednesday that could have increased the minimum wage. President Barack Obama and Democrats are furious, but Republicans are holding firm.
The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour; with an increase over three years, the wage would have been $10.10 an hour.
The rhetoric from democrats looking for $10.10 has been pretty steady including yesterday on Morning Joe.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said that she supports raising minimum wage in the state of California to $26 an hour, adding that she doesn’t think such a hike would hurt small business owners.
Speaking on CNN’s “Crossfire,” the California Democrat disagreed with Republican congressmen looking to keep minimum wage the same, or in one case, to be abolished as a whole.
While the left continues to use this issue to play the class war card this actually sets up the right for the perfect counter which was, ironically provided by by Democrat Governors in Maryland:
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) touted his state’s move to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and knocked Republicans for blocking a similar measure this week in the U.S. Senate during a speech to Nevada Democrats on Friday night.
HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers on Wednesday became the first in the country to pass legislation that would increase a state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, the same rate President Obama wants for the federal minimum wage.
The bill passed the General Assembly, which Democrats control, largely along party lines. It was approved 21 to 14 in the Senate and 87 to 54 in the House.
I think these are both incredibly foolish moves for their states but consistent with the right of individual states to go their own ways. In terms of the midterm elections and beyond I think the Republicans should highlight, promote and applaud these moves by the bluest of blue states.
In fact we should point to those states where the left has overwhelming unstoppable control like Rhode Island, Vermont and even Massachusetts to do the same saying: “Go ahead blue states, raise that minimum wage to $10.10, in fast raise it more.” If I was the GOP I’d even challenge California dems to follow Barbara Lee’s advice & push their minimum wage all the way to $26 an hour.
At the same time I’d encourage Red States like North & South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas to stand pat & let free market forces dictate wages.
And then lets watch the fruit of these moves.
If the left is right then these moves will create booms in their states, The whole New England region will have a renaissance! Maryland economy, already fueled by federal dollars and K-Street, will become even stronger. As for California, if they raise that wage to $26 and hour will become the new promised land.
We can watch business flock to all of these blue states to operate and bring prosperity, tax revenues and population will come with it. By the time of the 2020 census the left will reap the greatest of political rewards of increased population and representation putting them in the driver’s seat in the house for a decade.
The left will have cause to celebrate their good fortune.
But if they’re wrong, their states will further entropy. Small business will continue to flee along with tax revenues and population and only the need to feed and clothe those who remain and to support the bureaucracy will keep business there at all and the Red States will have a lock on the House that will begin to resemble the Democrat dominance that wasn’t broken till 1994.
If the left truly believes in what they are pushing, they’ll make that bet in every state they currently control. and if the right is smart they’ll prompt and goad them into it until they do.
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The Sterling case is still the big story in the media, and the administration is very happy about that, because the rest of the news doesn’t look all that good, such as:
here’s Carney insisting that the Ben Rhodes email that lit up conservative media yesterday, which listed as one of the White House’s goals before Susan Rice’s Sunday show appearances “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy,” didn’t necessarily mean Benghazi — even though the whole reason Rice was booked was because a U.S. ambassador had just been killed in the American consulate there. It’s basically his version of “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” Is it working?
I don’t think I could do a job where I had to life for a living.
Then there’s the question of Big money, Big Democrat money that is:
During a gathering here of major Democratic donors this week that has raised more than $30 million for liberal groups, questions about the party’s split personality on the issue were dodged, rejected or answered with an array of rationalizations. That is, when they weren’t met with recriminations or even gentle physical force.
You mean to say the Koch brothers are not the only source of big money in politics? Who woulda thunk it!
Meanwhile while Mr. Sterling has said some nasty stuff in private, a Democrat congressman is being a little more public in his racism and has an explanation for CNN:
Bash: Isn’t that a racially charged term?
Thompson:“For some it is, but to others it’s the truth.”
Bash:Because looking at that and hearing that kind of language, that certainly wouldn’t be appropriate if it was coming from somebody who was white.
Thompson:“But I’m black.”
Bash:That makes it OK?
Imagine if Cliven Bundy gave that “to others it is truth” answer, but as Allahpundit put it:
Look at it from his perspective: He knows he won’t be reprimanded, so why waste time cooking up anything more than pro forma spin?
Economic growth plummeted to a dismal 0.1% in the first quarter of 2104. They’re blaming it on the weather…
…Oh well, don’t worry. The economists who predicted a 1.1% rise assure us that a strong rebound is just around the corner.
a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that shows President Obama skidding to a dismal 41/52 approval/disapproval score. The poll contains other bad news for Democrats, e.g., by 53%-39%, respondents say it is more important to have Republicans in Congress to check Obama’s agenda than Democrats to support it. And the numbers on Obamacare are bad.
On the heels of the release of a Washington Post-ABC News poll which showed President Barack Obama sinking to the lowest approval rating of his presidency and Democratic voters displaying a lack of enthusiasm ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, a Harvard University Institute of Politics poll of young voters is set to further dispirit Democrats.
That survey of 18-29-year-olds found that only 23 percent of young Americans say they will “definitely” vote in November, a drop of 11 points from Harvard IOP’s last poll conducted in November, 2013.
And Wendy Davis has gone from Democrat heroine to Glenn Close impersonator
“The uninformed opinions of a Washington, D.C., desk jockey who’s never stepped foot in Texas couldn’t be less relevant to what’s actually happening on the ground,” Karin Johanson, Davis campaign manager, said in a surprising statement after Shumlin’s slight.
If the left is lucky all of this will continue to be overshadowed until a new meme can overwhelm the reality for them.
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Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked up by 0.1 percentage points to 6.7% as 264,000 people entered or re-entered the workforce and employment increased by only 42,000. That was not enough to move either the Labor Force Participation Rate or the Employment-Population Ratio from January’s historically-low 63.0% LFPR and 58.8% EPR.
Economists had expected roughly 150,000 jobs added with cold weather affecting the numbers, with those taking the weak economic news from the ADP payroll report and the ISM Services report into account predicting even fewer jobs added. Despite the stronger-than-expected toplines, Reuters didn’t disappoint the weather alarmists, blaming the cold for a drop in the number of hours worked.
Even though the toplines were better than expected, the report itself threw cold water on those who thought it was a great number (emphasis added):
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February. Job growth averaged 189,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
Further, Tom Blumer found the results wanting compared to history. On a seasonally-unadjusted basis, the 750,000 total jobs and 300,000 private-sector jobs represent the worst February since 2010, which was also the last month that there was a loss of jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
The phenomenon of a significant increase in jobs in February is a relatively-recent one, going back only to 1995. This February’s 0.52% increase, while a bit better than the mean average of 0.51% between 1995 and 2013, is in the bottom half of performances and worse than the median of 0.54%.
What isn’t a recent phenomenon is the February-June hiring spree Tom talked about. The number of jobs increased by an average of 2.70% in those months between 1948 and 2013. While the prior 3 years were a bit better than that, if things continue the way they went last month, the economy will be struggling to increase the number of jobs by 2% in that stretch.
No. If Duke had given me sufficient financial aid, if they had given me the proper resources and made college affordable for my family, I would not have done porn. I would’ve just gotten through college and been fine. The financial burden that Duke put on me was absolutely enormous and insurmountable with the resources that I had.
My question is: Why would you not?
In your interview you talk about how you like porn, how you enjoy your work and how there is nothing wrong with it as evidenced by the explicit XXX images all over your twitter stream.
You have indicated that you are being paid enough to cover the 47K a year shortfall in your financial aid. That’s a solid living, more than I was making working a 40 hour a week doing my tech job before HiWired folded in 2008, likely doing so with a lot less hours.
If this is true why would you only choose to take this path because of your college debt at Duke? If you took the full boat you were offered at Vanderbilt and did this as your part time job you would have nearly $200K banked allowing you to buy a home outright and start with a huge advantage at graduation?
As a person whose son paid 10x I did for the same education at the same college 25 years apart I certainly agree on the ridiculous cost for college (particularly given the return on a woman’s studies major) but I can’t reconcile your statements on how sex work is entirely acceptable but something you wouldn’t do unless you needed to pay for school. As Stacy McCain put it:
While Ms. Weeks is willing, behind a pseudonym, to boast of her enjoyment in doing what she is paid to do on camera under another pseudonym, neither she nor the editors of the Chronicle want to assist curious Duke students in discovering what kind of “empowerment” is actually involved: Fellatio, anal sex, lesbian orgies, bisexual threesomes and even the video enactment of violent abusive rape fantasies: “The Bad Decision video is great. She gets choked, slapped, and raped, all of which I obviously approve,” says one reviewer of a Belle Knox video.
As I watch the White House with the media behind them in absolute panic over the possibility that the federal government will not agree to go into further debt that we can’t afford I’ve been struck by the attempt to play the market.
Day after day the question on TV is “has the stock market tanked? Will it tank again?”
This need of course comes from the sun continuing to rise and fall without Washington, as Glenn Reynolds at USA today said:
The big lesson of the shutdown is that — in a time when so-called “draconian cuts” usually refer to mere decreases in the rate of growth of spending on programs — America was able to do without all the “non-essential” government workers just fine. (The same AP poll cited above says that 80% have felt no impact from the shutdown; a majority also oppose increasing the debt limit.) Turns out that most of those nonessential workers really are non-essential. And it’s a safe bet that some of those who stayed on the job — like the National Park Service people who chased veterans away from an open-air memorial — could be done without, too, in a pinch. Under the shutdown, new regulations also slowed to a trickle, suggesting that we can do just fine without those, too.
And that is the problem, if the country doesn’t actually need what Washington is selling how does Washington sell how vital it is? How does it scare the public to keep borrowing and feed the pig?
The hope for the Administration is, of course, to cause a panic in the Stock Market believing it will scare the GOP into giving the president, his party and the establishment, what they want, further spending on an unlimited basis.
Unfortunately for the White House, for panic to take place, the money has to be moved away from stocks but if it is where does that investment money go?.
The Euro Zone sill has Greece and bailout issues, the Arab nations are dangerous, China’s economy is built on consumption from elsewhere (including the US), Russia has a declining population and a man on top that can’t be trusted, Japan & South Korea have North Korea as a neighbor, Muslim insurgents are active in southeast Asia etc etc etc…
If you have money in US treasuries are you really going to divest elsewhere? Do you actually think that if the GOP manages to force some degree of fiscal responsibility on the White House your T-Bills will be less valuable? That the US will become a worse risk rather than a better one?
And what about Stocks? Aren’t you investing in business’ based on their own strength or are your investments in companies based on their ability to get taxpayer money, like the green companies that are folding left and right?
When those stocks are sold, are those investors going to take the money home and hide it under a mattress? Or are they going to invest in other companies? Even if one moves to precious metals, don’t those companies exist on the stock exchange? Won’t those companies buy equipment etc? Won’t they bring profit?
The money manager who panics deserves the Financial equivalent of a Darwin Award. I submit and suggest that any such fund manager is somebody who doesn’t belong handling your investments and if you are an investor ready to run based on what’s happening there are millions of Nigerian e-mail spammers just waiting to meet you.
“Why are Park Rangers who say they are disgusted with the order to make life difficult for vets putting up with this? Why are they doing what they know is dishonorable?”
Part of the answer of course is the culture, those supporting the administration may believe the ends justify the means, but for the rest it puts into sharp relief one of the lies we’ve been told for months by the media.
The lie of a recovering economy.
If the economy was really recovering if it was really producing jobs, don’t you think some of these rangers would decide it’s just not worth it? Wouldn’t they say: “I can do better than this and I’m not muscling a 90-year-old guy who fought at Guadalcanal so POTUS can get a photo-op for the media”
Or are they thinking in the Obama Economy their chances of finding something to make up for their pay & benefits are slim to none and an administration that is willing to audit their enemies will never work again.
Thus is both the heart of Obama & the lie of “recovery” visible for all to see.
Like park rangers I know what state the economy is in and I know where I make my living. I pay my mortgage & my bill when my readers decide what I do is worth it and 15 of them kick in $305 weekly to pay the mortgage (and maybe if I’m lucky a few bucks extra for the bills that come with broken thumbs.)
I wrote about the Boston Globe being saved from the clutches of those nasty conservatives a few days ago. Red Mass Group expands on why John Henry of the Boston Red Sox is the perfect buyer for the paper:
John Henry on the other hand is a long time Democratic donor and activist. According to his donation records Henry has donated over $1.1M to Democrats and special interest groups, while $1000 went to a lone Republican.
$101,500 special interest
Seemingly the New York Times Corporation may have not fulfilled it’s fiduciary responsibility to get the most money for an asset it was selling. Furthermore, it seems to be based on the politics of the bidders.
“We bid significantly more than Henry,” said John Lynch, the CEO of U-T San Diego, one of the Globe finalists. “At the end of the day, I’m certain our bid was higher and could have been a lot more higher if they had just asked. I’m just stunned. I thought this was a public company that had a fiduciary duty to get the most by its stockholders. … From the beginning, I don’t think they wanted to sell to us.”
Lynch said the Times laid out three qualifiers for the deal: price, capability to close quickly and ability to finance.
“We had the money in the bank, we had the highest price and we rolled over (Friday) and accepted all their terms,” said Lynch.
As recently as 3 p.m. EDT Friday, Lynch said, U-T San Diego had an army of lawyers working to iron out a deal with the Times, and didn’t officially learn it had lost until they received an email at 3:30 a.m. EDT — some two hours after the Globe announced the $70 million deal on Twitter.
Hey what’s elementary economics when there is a neighborhood to protect?
A final thought. The New York Times is the leading proponent of social and economic Liberalism in general and Barack Obama and his economic policies in particular.
If you wonder why democrats in congress and on the White House have been so willing to put their party before the actual economic good of the country then you simply don’t understand liberalism.
In Theory Amazon hasn’t purchased it but in terms of advertising he will basically be paying himself. If he integrates the business and we know Bezos is skilled at this, then again will conservative book buyers decide to spend their money elsewhere if Bezos becomes the liberal angel.
I must admit I have no idea how this will turn out but it’s interesting to note that both the Post and the Globe buyers are successful businessmen who have plenty of money to lose if they wish.
The question becomes are they businessman’s trying to expand to succeed in a new business or Angels who have plenty of money to lose in pushing a viewpoint?
That’s the $64,000 questions or should I say the $250 Million dollar question
Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other
As everyone knows I’m a big advocate of the Free Market. the Market free to make its own decision based on their own self-interest tends to create a stronger economy as all sides do their best to compete for the dollars of the customer base.
That’s why in the latest version of the great Demoulas wars pitting two Demoulas cousins, Arthur T, vs Arthur S against each other , I would, if on the board of directors vote with Arthur T.
Let’s look at the facts. what is the case for removing Arthur T?:
Arthur S. and his allies have argued in court documents that Arthur T. has mismanaged the company and ignored the authority of its board.
Well if that’s the case the nine shareholders who all happen to be members of the Demoulas family must be doing pretty bad and the 71 stores must be in horrible shape.
documents indicate that Arthur S.’s family has received roughly $500 million in dividends over the past decade
$500 million? That’s a hell of a chunk of change, but in fairness that’s over ten years, it’s easy to paint a pretty picture when you include the Bush years with the Obama years, how about right now in the worst economy that we have seen in our lifetimes?
In a recent interview, Arthur T. Demoulas said that Market Basket has performed well under his five-year tenure as chief executive, recording net income of $217 million in 2012 on $4 billion in revenue.
Do you mean to say that Arthur T as Chief Executive managed to produce a $217 million dollar profit last year? (over 5%). Can it actually be that during one of the roughest times in our nation Arthur T ran the company at a profit and managed to do so without massive debt? I’m impressed and apparently I’m not alone:
“First and foremost, if you see what the company has done in the last five or six years, it’s nothing short of remarkable,” said former state Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, whose two daughters work for Market Basket part-time when not in school.
“It’s hard to understand why they’d want to change leadership in the midst of all this success they’re seeing right now,” Panagiotakos added.
Well he must be using an iron hand to wring out these kind of profits I mean the employees must really be exploited…
While they were off the clock, Jake Barisano, 19, and Brent Gellerson, 18, rallied for Demoulas with posters, petitioning pages, and current articles on the family feud that has been stirring up recent headlines.
Since Saturday, Market Basket employees have been stationed outside the Somersworth store and as of Monday, 2,500 signatures had been gathered.
Market Basket staffers indicate they will be educating all who will listen until the decision is made this Thursday. Employees claim the removal of their current CEO will change their store, and its motto “more for your dollar.”
yesterday, employees outside Market Basket locations in Haverhill and Londonderry asked customers to sign a petition in support of Arthur T. Demoulas. A similar “Save Market Basket” petition boasts over 35,000 online signatures.
In fact I’ve seen the very same thing at the locations in Fitchburg that I’ve visited. Every employee I’ve talked to, NON UNION employes mind you, seem to be banding together to support their CEO.
This doesn’t seem to make sense, after all aren’t we constantly told that without unions employes are abused. Why would these people at all these locations be so wiling to go to bat for the rich owner? Why take sides in a family feud? Well in fairness there are millions of reasons:
The protesting shareholders have been especially outraged by a profit-sharing plan that they believe has enriched rank-and-file employees at the expense of the family. Indeed, Arthur T. Demoulas proudly declares that some employees retire with well over $1 million in their profit-sharing plans.
In one telling episode, one of the funds in which the profit-sharing money is invested suffered a $46 million quarterly loss during the 2008 financial meltdown. Arthur T. Demoulas says he insisted that the company immediately make up the loss to his employees’ accounts. That enraged his cousins, who maintained that no investment comes without risk.
That’s a big chuck of change that normally would have been split among the 9 shareholders and they have a point about the normal risks of investments but what did that blip in the bottom line buy the company?
“This company has 25,000 employees working very harmoniously, who are happy,” Arthur T. Demoulas said. “Our customers are happy. Our vendors are happy. Then you have three or four shareholders who are unhappy.”
It would seem to me that if you have a company that is running smoothly, that is making a solid profit and has a loyal customer base and a loyal employee base. It’s pretty foolish to punish success.
But this company is not mine, it belongs to the shareholders I may have an opinion on the matter but I don’t work there, my sons don’t work there and it’s been almost 30 years since my wife was a cashier there.
So why on earth did I Mr. Free market sign that petition to keep Arthur T on the board? My own self-interest.
Update 2: Two notes to local readers, If you see a plump fellow in a Doctor Who Scarf and a hat, odds are it is me, additionally you can find me Saturday’s Noon till 2 EST on the Money Matters Radio network. WBNW, WPLM, WESO. Odds are we will discuss this subject (along with the return of Twinkies 1st hour)
On Friday my first post of the day talked about how the LOW figure of the Obama years that the left considers so draconian was an incredible increase in spending.
At noontime I pointed out that even if you adjust for inflation the low year of the Obama spending years (2010) compared to the low year of the Bush years (2001) represented a 34% increase in real spending.
However a REAL clever person of the left might look at this and say:
“You can’t fool me DaTechGuy, your figures are all before 9/11 and the war on terror, of COURSE the Obama years cost more because you are comparing them to a year where spending didn’t include all those horrible Bush wars.”
It’s a fair cop (and a point I often make myself) and yes I did it deliberately for two reasons.
1. I wanted to compare the low years of each president, and 2001 was the low Bush year
2. It’s a trap for you oh leftists
So let’s look at this using a different year, 2005, two wars going on, Bush re-elected and all that jazz. That 2005 spending adjusted for inflation comes up to
If we compare that adjusted for inflation figure with the smallest Obama spending year EVAH! $3,456 Billion dollars we find it is 83.17% of What Barack Obama spent.
That means Barack Obama in 2010 spent over 20% MORE than George Bush did at the height of two wars in 2005.
Ok all you 18-30 year olds that’s only 8 years ago. You were all alive then. If you were born in 1995 or later you can relate to this.
Are we 20% better off than 2005?
Is your government doing 20% more?
Do we have 20% more roads and bridges?
If the government doing 20% more to help you find work?
Have we managed to do 20% more in all those things?
And yet if we went back to that figure, as far as the president, the Democrat Senate and the MSM is concerned, we would be having cuts so draconian that humanity might not survive.
How stupid do they think we are? Pretty damn stupid, but the truth is we’re not stupid, just uninformed.
It’s Monday the $300 paycheck stands waiting to be filled. Can we fill it today so I won’t have to worry about it on my 25th anniversary tomorrow?
Nothing like a debt crisis to spur a run on security, and gold prices — which had lost more than 200 points off the October peak of $1,794 an ounce — have spiked up about $30 in March, as Cyprus has become the latest tip of the Euro-debt iceberg to break the surface.
Yesterday, the “good” news was an EU official saying that deposits in other countries would be raided if necessary to bail out Cyprus. Today, the “good” news is that officials are trying to prevent a run on deposits when banks reopen Thursday in Cyprus:
Hey if you thought Glenn Beck got people to buy gold that’s nothing compared to this.
With Control Towers closing, I would think that it would be a good idea to do what we can to save a few bucks to being a patriotic citizen and coming off my experience at CPAC I thought I’d give the government a hand in saving a buck or two the next time Joe goes to Paris.
As you might know CPAC this year was held at the Gaylord in National Harbor Maryland, the “discount” price for the hotel was $250 a night which was beyond my budget, so I looked for a closer alternative that would be within walking distance (since cab fare would easily eat up a price difference) but within my means.
Using Priceline’s name your own price feature I was able to find a 4 star hotel within walking distance of the Gaylord for under $125 a night!
Having just saved my own trip I thought lets see if we could re-create Joe Biden’s trip at a lower price and save the taxpayer some cash.
First I went to the site of the hotel he stayed at the Le Grand.
The question becomes how many people came with the vice president and how many rooms were necessary, I presume there are not 100 presidential suites in the hotel so lets guess 100 rooms or so. The junior suites go for $842 each so assuming 100 junior suites to house the entire Biden crowd you are talking $90k for the lot including Biden’s presidential suite.
But the job is to find a better price so I went to Priceline. Using their features I was able to restrict my choices to 5 star hotels in the area of Opera & Tuileries quarters and did a search for a single room on that same Fed 3rd date and put the Negotiator to work
After just a few seconds of furious negotiating here is what priceline had to offer:
As you can see the VP could have gotten a first-rate hotel room in a five-star hotel for as little as $510 a night, the most expensive price offered was only #1095.
And that’s without bidding. Can you imagine the deal he could have gotten if he named his own price and put the negotiation or his daughter to work for him? He could have saved hundreds of taxpayer dollars. Multiply that by an entourage of 100 or 200 and imagine the cascade of taxpayer dollars that could have been saved ON TOP of the already low prices at Priceline while still getting a 5 star hotel in Paris!
Think of the airplane towers and school tours that could have been saved he VP Biden just gave Bill Shatner a call before he traveled.
Now I’m sure the VP is a busy man so he might not have thought about this. I’m very proud to be able to give him and my country the benefit of my personal experience
Well our best week ever was followed by our worst week ever since starting the new “pay the bills” model
however today starts a new week so with 15 people willing to kick in $20 we can get right back on track
And if nothing else it’s a better deal than $500k+ for a hotel room for one night
Ask Not What your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country
John F. Kennedy Jan 20th 1961
Woman #1:‘I don’t need anyone’s help. My husband earns enough to take care of us.’
Woman #2:‘When are you going to learn?’
USDA Spanish Language Novela 2012
It’s near the renewal time for some of my annual customers and I was visiting them along with a few new potential customers for the radio show in its third year yesterday.
Central Massachusetts is a tough place make it today. I’m expecting a really bad economy over the next few years with perhaps a small bump in the middle (you can’t outlaw the business cycle but you can screw it up royally) so going to business’ and asking them to commit money for advertising.
Over and over people told me of issues. I spoke to one business that talked about the same problem everyone has, a lot of customers who haven’t paid yet, because they can’t pay yet, orders they want to pay but have to wait for cash flow. One person told me of their various plans to cut their overhead to keep the business going. A third told me he had to go over all his advertising before making a decision and a forth wanted to jump on but hadn’t paid himself in six months and needed to be sure the cash would be there.
In my 6 hours on the road yesterday, I heard many things, but one phrase never came up: “I’m waiting to see what the government give me?”
That’s not to say some business’ aren’t counting on the government. During my travels two years ago I talked to a doctor who declined ads saying his practice was driven by the Spanish on assistance under Mass Health.
Remembering my grandfather born in Sicily who ended up in court during the depression over refusal to take assistance, I remarked how it must be tough for him since the people on assistance must only come when they are REALLY sick.
On the contrary, I was told, at the slightest sign of illness or soreness they and their children are there for the fullest possible treatment and diagnosis, paid by the state and for the doctor, billed TO the state.
As I left I was told anybody in the area who doesn’t gear his business toward people on welfare and food stamps is a fool because this is the future of my city.
How many business’ out there have made their business model in the same way? How many people have decided that this is the way they will carry on.
How long before some electronics store sells an iPAD for $5 and snacks for $600 or till a Wal-Mart lobbies the government to allow that EBT card to pay for that iPad because access to the internet is a human right?
Perhaps I’m a sucker for not going on disability and getting on food stamps. Maybe as the doctor suggested I’m a fool trying to build a business, going door to door and shaking the tip jar to pay the bills with my writing and reporting.
The USDA asks: “When am I going to learn?” the answer? Not until I unlearn the lessons of my parents, grandparents and JFK that I hope to pass onto my sons.
When when the country recover? When we unlearn the lessons of Ted Kennedy and re-learn the lessons of his older brother.
One of the nicest thing about the entire “Fiscal Cliff” business is it focuses us on the change that is coming in the 2nd term for President Obama.
Granted the new congress doesn’t convene until Thursday and the President’s new term is twenty days off but the fiscal cliff deadline has clearly been painted in media as a function of post-election the whole: “Obama won so congress should do X” meme.
I was trying to think of how to best illustrate what is coming in a second Obama Term and the more I think of it New Year’s Eve is absolutely perfect for the job.
Think about it:
New Year’s eve is a day when people tend to party to excess forgetting all their actual problems for one big smash of excess forgetting all their worries and then the next morning, what happens:
You wake up in bed with a bad choice beside you
Or In a cell if lucky with a big bill if lucky or a bad accident if not
or in a best case scenario you start the year with a splitting headache
with the huge credit card bills of December in the mailbox
and your federal tax forms in the mail.
This is America under Obama all over, a bender of spending that felt good, a bunch of big bills coming up, and a bunch of bad choices where the lady chooses the flashy guy, vs the steady one.
And we wake up to the 2nd term and suddenly here come the bills, the taxes, the Obamacare (with its taxes and rules), the companies finding it easier to drop hours and coverage than give you insurance, New regulations on the and the layoffs that will come from them and an Arab world with Islamists on the rise.
All of this is coming in the 2nd term, all of this we’ve done to ourselves.
Enjoy New Years Eve because the with the New Year comes the government we deserve, and that’s going to be the most painful part of it.
Update: I’m still $370 away from avoiding a personal 2012 defect. It’s too late for voters to stop the nation’s fiscal cliff but you can help me avoid mine.
NII Holdings, which operates mobile services under the Nextel brand in Latin America, announced that it is taking actions to realign certain resources and roles between its headquarters and market units in order to create a stronger and more agile organization, and to facilitate future growth. As part of this strategy, the company is reassigning select positions located at its headquarters to its operations in Latin America and eliminating certain positions at its corporate headquarters in Virginia (US). In total, the company will reduce its workforce at its headquarters by 20 percent.
An economic analyst invited by the State Department to brief a group of foreign journalists on the U.S. economy on Election Day responded to a question from a reporter from the Egyptian newspaper Al Wafd by predicting that U.S. Treasury securities—the means by which the U.S. government finances its debt–will be downgraded again.
Barack Obama may consider introducing a tax on carbon emissions to help cut the U.S. budget deficit after winning a second term as president, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.
A tax starting at $20 a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent and rising at about 6 percent a year could raise $154 billion by 2021, Nick Robins, an analyst at the bank in London, said today in an e-mailed research note, citing Congressional Research Service estimates. “Applied to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2012 baseline, this would halve the fiscal deficit by 2022,” Robins said…
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations helped move a controversial arms trade treaty on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after President Obama won reelection.
The Obama administration was widely blamed by treaty advocates for derailing the effort back in July when it asked for more time amid growing opposition from Republicans and pro-gun-rights Democrats who are worried the treaty would affect the sale of civilian weapons in the United States. Fifty senators — including eight Democrats — signed on to a letter at the time signaling their opposition to the treaty.
The U.S. Mission said the timing of the vote had nothing to do with the election. They said it was initially scheduled for last week but was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy.
Boeing announced a major restructuring of its defense division on Wednesday that will cut 30 percent of management jobs from 2010 levels, close facilities in California and consolidate several business units to cut costs.
Yesterday’s nor’easter proved too much for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s aid location in Tottenville, SI — which hung a sign reading “Closed due to weather” as the wintery storm blew into town.
Ten FEMA centers in the area reportedly suspended operations because of the storm, although the location with the sign at the Mount Loretto Community Center did open at noon.
Hey the President has been re-elected, Mission accomplished so all that stuff people have held back on, in the media, in the government, and everywhere else.
And BTW a reminder that you will be hearing from me a lot
The world’s biggest hamburger chain said Thursday that a key sales figure fell for the first time in nearly a decade in October, as it faced the double whammy of a challenging economy abroad and intensifying competition at home.
The two-day slump came in the wake of Obama’s re-election to a second term as investors turned their focus back to Europe’s problems and the so-called fiscal cliff, a package of tax increases and government spending cuts in the U.S. that will occur unless Congress acts by Jan. 1. Investors see it as a serious threat to the economic recovery.
“The thinking before the election was that it would remove some of the uncertainty, but it seems to have done the opposite,” said Tyler Vernon, chief investment officer at Biltmore Capital Advisors in Princeton, N.J.
Oh I think with four more years of Obama there is a ton of certainty in my mind as to were we are going.
Today’s Subscription video talks about Mitt Romney’s Secret Weapon, a factor that everyone seems to be ignoring:
It’s a basic thing that all the ads, all the media and all the spin can’t change, it’s real life
The full video is here. If you would like the code to seen the entire thing simply hit DaTipJar below for any amount
and I’ll send you the code as soon as I see the confirmation e-mail. If you don’t want to worry about ever missing a single video choose any subscription level
and I will e-mail you the codes every week as soon as the videos are uploaded and the posts are ready.
BTW let me remind you all about our DaTechGuy 100th show Celebration at Lago’s Ristorante on October 20th. We will be broadcasting live from 10-noon and then staying till 2 to eat and say hello to all the people who made 100 weeks possible.
If you want to come simply fill out the form below
…he (Union General George McClellan) brought greater forces to Sharpsburg, but he also brought himself
Robert E. Lee
It does not matter what armor or weapons you may have acquired, Turk. You are an idiot. I do not employ idiots.
The Kingpin (to Turk) Daredevil # 186
Yesterday’s answer to Victor Davis Hanson produced a plethora of comments, quite a few of them continuing the pessimism that Hanson expressed, from the “Obama wasn’t on the ticket” business to “they will cheat” business.
Both the left and the right live in a bit of our own bubble, but combined we are in a bigger bubble, the political bubble. We look a the news of he day and say THIS is going to make the difference with the people, or THAT will make the difference but we think that because we are paying attention to the daily political stream while the rest of the public is not.
What the public IS paying attention to every day is their own lives. Unfortunately for Mr. Hope and change and his re-election team, the worst economy since before World War 2 has been the daily reality of those lives since he has been elected.
You can spin this, you can rationalize this, you can give excuses for this, but you can’t pretend this isn’t true.
The Obama campaign can hit Romney on his record in Massachusetts all they want, they can scream “If Obamacare is a tax then Romneycare is a tax” on MSNBC, they can have their surrogates warn of “Weird Mormon and Magic Underwear” and they can pay the Brett Kimberlin & Co’s in the world to make mischief and they can do this with the help and cooperation of the MSM from July till October and it doesn’t MATTER.
None of it changes the fact that the people who don’t pay attention have been dealing with hard times and Barack Obama has been in charge of it.
Mitt Romney doesn’t have to sell the Obama years as a failure, the reality of daily life has done that for him, he simply has to portray himself as a viable and competent alternative and he simply REEKS of that.
Barack Obama has a much harder job. He has to either sell all these ideas
1. Things aren’t so bad OR Yeah things are bad but it’s not my fault
2. You should trust me to do the job even though I haven’t succeeded in doing it yet.
3. Mitt Romney can’t do the job better than me OR You should be scared of Mitt Romney.
Forgetting the fact that nothing at all in Mitt Romney’s persona says “scary” or “incompetent” which makes #3 very hared is the overriding problem:
The OBAMA has to sell the first two items to a public not paying attention before he can even start to sell the third.
Think about it. They have to convince people that their lives are actually better than they have been even though it directly contracts what they, their family and friends have been living every single day.
Here is my suggestion, put away the iPhone or Ipod for a week, walk away from twitter and when you are out in the supermarket line, or at the hardware store or at a local watering hole make conversation, don’t try to persuade them just listen to them talk about their problems and their lives and THEN tell me how Obama has this in the bag. If you do then I believe you will come to the following conclusion:
People ask why I’m so optimistic, I say why aren’t you?
The DaTechGuy Fundraiser is in progress, our goal is $3000. Any help is appreciated and my thanks to all who kicked in yesterday (I still haven’t finished going through today’s emails and I don’t do form “thank yous” so you might not hear from me till later today).
For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.
We have been hearing the MSM throwing the word “recovery” around an awful lot lately and we will likely be hearing it more and more as the president’s most loyal constituency does their best to send Barack Obama to a second term.
While they have economists and figures provided by the government they haven’t apparently talked to the small businessman actually trying to make a living.
In the course of my regular travels I do this and what I’ve been hearing is not inspiring. While the government is talking about the a “jobless” recovery and while Deval Patrick talks of Massachusetts doing better than other states I’m hearing a different story.
I hear supply companies talk about business being down, I hear sole proprietorships talking not about hiring but how long they can hold out. I see small business owners working 10 hours shifts AND holding a side job, and still not surviving and I see the few who have weathered what they hope if the worst talking not expansion but building up their reserves.
And there are the small signs: the teacher whose customers are paying with ones and fives instead of tens and twenties the lines at the discount gas stations, the fast food joins selling big on dollar menus, to the local bakery thrift store whose sales just keep climbing.
And this is the Economy that Barack Obama has run for the last 3+ years.
If you’ve wondered why I’m confident about election 2012 while Carville’s scared, now you know!
Last night I attended a meet and greet at the home of former congressional candidate Tom Wesley. Yesterday he hosted Elizabeth Childs who is one of two candidates running in ma-4 for the GOP nomination.
I will be posting in more detail on the open house later today and will also be covering Tom’s meet and greet for Sean Bielat Sunday but there is something very important about Childs candidacy that needs to be discussed.
Take a look at this question:
You don’t even have to think once to know what I think about her Abortion position but this video actually speaks volumes on another matter.
We have been told from day one that Abortion is a killer for the GOP that if we just only dropped the pro-life plank in the party we would be in great shape, we have been told that women (as Childs did) were fleeing the party (never mind people like Ann Marie Buerkle, strong pro-life women who are in congress). We have been told that all of these issues are going to drive people into the arms of Obama.
Yet here is a woman who was so offended by the GOP’s position on life that she left the party during the Reagan era who has not only come back to the party despite it’s abortion plank, but is running for elective office as a member of the GOP over the economic positions of the Democrats in general and Barack Obama in particular.
and this is in Massachusetts!
How many other people like Elizabeth Childs are out there? How many people who might not so public as to run for congress who are angry? How many people out there who will not bother to change parties or who have not spoken out in public on this issue feel the same way?
I’m betting a lot, an AWFUL lot.
For all the “contraception” talk in the MSM, for all the talk about the baggage carried by all the GOP candidates the bottom line is Barack Obama is still going to be the Democratic nominee and that along is likely to be more damaging to the Democrats than a bunch of Etch-a-sketches or contraception jokes.
What does this mean, something I haven’t said for a bit:
Today on Morning Joe both Joe and Mika are absent and the conversation got…interesting.
I’ll deal with Mike Barnicle’s remarks about bloggers in my Under the fedora column at The Conservatory and the Minority Report but lets deal with the idiocy of Donny Deutch.
He commented that he knows a lot of rich people who don’t want to pay higher taxes and share. The idea that if I’m not giving my money to the government to distribute as they see fit I’m not helping anyone or creating jobs.
Let me explain how the world actually works in under 100 seconds
George Washington McLintock: Gave? Boy, you’ve got it all wrong. I don’t give jobs I hire men.
Drago: You intend to give this man a full day’s work, don’tcha boy?
Devlin Warren: You mean you’re still hirin’ me? Well, yes, sir, I certainly deliver a fair day’s work.
George Washington McLintock: And for that I’ll pay you a fair day’s wage. You won’t give me anything and I won’t give you anything. We both hold up our heads….
One of the things I didn’t understand when I opened my first business at 24 was this: Don’t do $10 an hour work when you can do $100 an hour work. If you are the man in charge and you can do work that earns your business $100 dollars an hour you are a fool to be doing stuffing envelope work that you can hire someone to do for $10 an hour.
The cost of that $10 an hour job is a lot more than $10 for the employer and the more the government taxes and regulates that employer the higher the cost of that $10 job (and the $20 & $30 an hour jobs) for that employer.
Eventually it becomes cost prohibitive to make that next hire, or that promotion and in a small business the $20 & $30 an hour people usually start as $10 an hour people who prove they can get the work done.
Most small businesses the ones that don’t have lobbyists at K-street work on very small margins you have people who work 75 hours or more a week and have responsibility to keep everything and everyone afloat. You would think Donnie & company would understand that, but I suspect they actually do, but this is MSNBC and there is a narrative to be supported.
China is a disaster waiting to happen. For all of America’s problems, they are solvable by our people who have the creative freedom to act. China simply can’t do this and remain the state they are. Economic reforms might have delayed the inevitable, but the inevitable is still coming.
Although China insists the carrier is intended for research and training, its use has raised concern about the country’s military strength and its increasingly assertive claims over disputed territory.
While the development of carriers is driven largely by bragging rights and national prestige, China’s naval ambitions have been brought into focus with its claims to disputed territory surrounding Taiwan and in the South China Sea.
But the really big news out of China that for some reason is not on the TV news screens is this:
For the first time on record, the Chinese Communist party has lost all control, with the population of 20,000 in this southern fishing village now in open revolt.
The last of Wukan’s dozen party officials fled on Monday after thousands of people blocked armed police from retaking the village, standing firm against tear gas and water cannons.
Why is this significant, well two reasons one explained in the story:
Although China suffers an estimated 180,000 “mass incidents” a year, it is unheard of for the Party to sound a retreat.
And the second is that this story is now getting legs first here:
A Chinese village hit by violent protests over land grabs in September has been under police blockade for days, with internet access cut and food supplies running low, residents said on Monday.
The village of Wukan has for months been the site of simmering protests by locals who say officials sold farmland to developers without their consent. Protests against official misconduct are increasingly common in fast-developing China, but the residents of Wukan have taken things a step further, erecting barricades over the weekend to keep police out and posing a challenge to the authoritarian government.
On Wednesday, the mayor of Shanwei city – which oversees Wukan, a village of 20,000 – threatened to take strong measures against those who instigated others to create trouble and damage public property, the official China News Service said.
Mobile phone pictures show the villagers have armed themselves with rudimentary weapons and are preparing to fight. One resident posted on the Chinese version of Twitter: “Even people coming to send rice and wheat flour into the village have been chased away by police but we will not give in to corrupt officials. We will protect our homes with our fists.”
Outside Wukan, life appeared normal with shops and markets open. Police erected a roadblock three or four miles from Wukan and checked cars traveling in both directions. They prevented a Wall Street Journal reporter from entering.
A press officer for the local government denied that any land grab had occurred, although he did acknowledge that villagers were angry over a land issue. He said the local government understood local concerns, and the situation would be resolved either this week or next.
“It will absolutely have a smooth resolution,” the official said.
Police have sealed off a village in Guangdong province, blocked people from fishing and cut food supplies to crush land protests involving hundreds of villagers, residents said on Wednesday….
There is even a Wikipedia page talking about both this incident and a previous one in September. Expect to see major editing attempts from the Chinese government.
More significantly these stories are now going beyond one town’s issues to general unrest Business Week:
The standoff is the latest in a series of demonstrations that have sparked concern among Communist Party leaders who have ruled China for more than six decades. Zhou Yongkang, a member the ruling Politburo Standing Committee and the country’s top law enforcement official, twice this month called for handling social conflicts with care.
“There is growing unhappiness within the Chinese populace at large about the behavior of Party members,” said Dean Cheng, a research fellow on Chinese political and security issues at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “The result is growing internal pressures at the same time that you have a leadership whose legitimacy is likely to be challenged.”
Walking further, I came across a rather farcical sight of some farmers digging a well next to a castle; a moment I will always savor as a photographer in a place like China where castles are not in huge supply. I explained this to the farmers and they just shrugged their shoulders, oblivious to a photographer’s happiness. I asked them what happened, and they simply answered the developers ran out of money, and they are getting back to doing what they do best. They are even slowly starting to plant trees and build shelters near the buildings, adding they think it is now safe to think the developers are never coming back. This I can believe, as the absence of any security (something very rare in China) leads one to think that even the developers have given up on what is already there.
I suspect the security focus is elsewhere.
These aren’t new stories, check out this video from 2009:,
I’m sure building these ghost cities gooses China’s economic stats, gives its workers something to do (see also: FDR and the WPA), and as the Australian item hints, allows the Chi-Coms to generate plenty of PR to entice useful idiots such as Thomas Friedman. But how many of these ghost cities does China have?
It is hard to obtain good data in China, but something is wrong when the country’s Homelink property website can report that new home prices in Beijing fell 35pc in November from the month before. If this is remotely true, the calibrated soft-landing intended by Chinese authorities has gone badly wrong and risks spinning out of control.
Decision time is coming and as is usually true in all authoritarian nations when it hits it will hit fast and all at once. For all of the posing in the media the fact remains that China is a communist dictatorship and it can’t go beyond it’s limits without loosing its grip, which it can’t do and keep control.
So what will it be, concessions, or a Crackdown? My guess is a crackdown on the assumption that the rest of the world is too worried about their own issues to care. I’d say it’s a pretty safe assumption.
Update: Great minds think Alike, Ladd Ehlinger opines notes US inaction after Tiananmen Square and questions the inaction of Time’s people of the year:
For those in league with the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring, a question for you. Why aren’t you helping these poor people out in Wukan? Anonymous and Lulzec: occupying Wall Street isn’t quite the same as occupying Tienanmen Square, is it? If any of you cared about freedom and liberty, you’d be all over China like smell on dead fish.
Instead, you try to shut down the ports of Portland, Oregon (economically hurting countless American workers and yes, even union members), when you’re not busy putting 91 people out of work at the Milk Street Cafe.
That’s because they won’t end up dead for killing jobs in NY or Oregon. Our leftist friends will always fearlessly oppose those who will avoid doing fatal harm.
Update 2: Stacy McCain wants this to go viral, I hope it does. The contrast to the occupods is striking. It reminds me of the contrast between the death of Lady Di and the death of Mother Teresa the same week.
“Everyone has to understand the consequences of their actions,” he said. “I have 90 plus people who put their faith in me. I feel horrible.”
HE feels terrible? He was the one who provided those jobs. Let’s not forget what the story was just six months ago: June 23rd 2011:
The Milk Street Cafe filled with eager lunchtime customers just an hour after opening its doors on Wall Street Thursday morning.
The international food hall — which offers kosher, vegetarian and gluten-free options — won rave reviews from residents and workers who called it an improvement on the Financial District’s drab lunch scene.
At the time the city government was anxious to be involved
Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith helped ring the restaurant’s opening bell earlier in the day and said he was glad to see the 120 new jobs the eatery brought to the neighborhood.
“I’ve heard of spending your way out of a recession, but not eating your way out of one,” Goldsmith joked. “This is a great investment in lower Manhattan.”
I guess lower Manhattan wasn’t that great an investment after all. I wonder if anyone from the city will be available for a door locking ceremony?
I suppose you can also blame Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the owners of Zuccotti Park for allowing it to go on for as long as it did.
There is no “suppose” about it, actions have consequences and the loss of these 90+ jobs are among them. I suspect the mayor’s decision to not enforce the laws certainly shaped the answer Marc Epstein gave when asked if he would ever open a restaurant in New York City again:
After watching his “great investment in lower Manhattan” of six months of time and effort (actually much more, it takes time to open a restaurant) along millions of dollars of capital go up in bad-smelling smoke who can blame him? More importantly, what potential restaurateur would consider even consider replacing him?
That the occupy movement, making a difference for the “99%” 90 workers at a time.
The media meme today is the economy is getting better and Obama’s numbers are improving and it doesn’t matter what is actually happening at Whirlpool:
Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. said Friday it will cut 5,000 jobs, about 10 percent of its workforce in North America and Europe, as it faces soft demand and higher costs for materials.
But…but the numbers look at the numbers
Whirlpool also cut its 2011 earnings outlook drastically and reported third-quarter results that missed expectations, hurt by higher costs and a slowdown in emerging markets.
The company, whose brands include Maytag and KitchenAid, has been squeezed by soft demand since the recession and rising costs for materials such as steel and copper. The company has raised prices to combat higher costs, but demand for big-ticket items like refrigerators and washing machines remains tight.
Not those numbers the stock market’s from yesterday. The new GDP numbers, that’s the story we want to report.
I was on a conference call with Rep Paul Ryan this afternoon a follow-up to his speech. He talked about the change of direction in the administration’s message from one of hope and optimism to one of fear.
He fretted that an attempt to encourage class warfare and resentment will hurt the country as badly as the actual policies of the administration. He stressed the idea of upward mobility as the goal, her referred to different growth rates as something that simply fuels agendas.
He stressed that “…conservatives can’t be afraid to take on this divisive rhetoric or the policies that derive from it.”
He took questions after his initial statement. I asked him about the Occupy moment if it was an expression of the president’s policies and will it blow up in their faces?
He answered that like the movement he was upset about concentration of wealth in two big to fail bangs and suggested the protesters show like him be upset and opposing Dodd Frank. He noted the big difference between this movement and the tea party, is you didn’t see arrests, tear gas and mess with the tea party protests, one was peaceful and controlled, while the other (occupy moment) doesn’t have those characteristics.
On my way home from my door to door stuff I remembered that we needed bread and hamburg buns, since my last stop of the day was next to a thrift store I stopped in.
One of the best measures of how an economy is how thrift stores are doing. How many people are willing to settle for day old bread, devil dogs at a discounted price in order to save on the basics.
I spoke to the clerk who has been in charge of the place for years. In conversations last year he talked of how sales were up tremendously when I asked today if there was any change, he answered to the contrary sales continued to rise through the roof.
The MSM can report what it wants but as the clerk told me this afternoon. He will know when the economy has recovered: “…as soon as my sales go down.”
With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.
Al Gore is on the list of customers waiting to receive their Fisker Karmas, having put in his order before the DOE signed off on the company’s half-billion dollar loan. Oh, and by the way, it just so happens that several major investors in the company are also major donors to the Democratic Party. And here’s information on John Doerr, an advisor to President Obama who is also a major investor in Fisker Automotive. Can you say, “crony capitalism?”
Hey President Obama if you wanted to employ Finns you should have had the car built here in Fitchburg. We have so many Finns we have a Finnish consulate.
Can someone explain why any Republican is worried about the 2012 election again?
The New York times reports on a golden opportunity for the Occupy Wall Street Crowd complaining that they want to work:
with tough times lingering and a big jump in the minimum wage under the program, to nearly $10.50 hour, Mr. Harold brought in only two-thirds of his usual contingent. The other positions, he figured, would be snapped up by jobless local residents wanting some extra summer cash.
$10.50 an hour, hey this sounds like a great way for this crowd to make some cash.
“It didn’t take me six hours to realize I’d made a heck of a mistake,” Mr. Harold said, standing in his onion field on a recent afternoon as a crew of workers from Mexico cut the tops off yellow onions and bagged them.
Six hours was enough, between the 6 a.m. start time and noon lunch break, for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard.
That in this economy people are unwilling to work for $10.50 an hour speaks says a lot more about our culture, and none of it good.
But… okay, you’re a thirty-something lawyer with nine years of experience in the field. Surely, there are jobs out there that would pay you at least the $20/hour you get for taking your clothes off for strangers, right? Rather than having a family who is “proud” of you for doing whatever needs to be done to make ends meet, shouldn’t that family open up a home? (Not that I’m a fan of thirty-somethings boomeranging back home, but if it’s that or letting strangers gaze at your naked breasts for money, surely, the spare bedroom in the parents’ house is a sensible solution.)
Thoughts, dear readers?
Such a post wouldn’t be complete without a conservative feminist rant, so here it is: the government thought that it was being “compassionate” and giving everyone an “opportunity” by funding generous, virtually unlimited student loans. Unfortunately, it didn’t repeal the law of economics at the same time, so the influx of easy cash created a bubble in the higher education market. Economists have estimated that universities raise tuition concurrent with raises in available federal financial aid. Moreover, schools have an incentive to accept as many students as possible, training them in whatever fields they desire, even if there isn’t a market for those skills. Thus, young people have an easy time getting loans, but the loans are for such huge amounts of money, often in very crowded or low-paying fields, that they become difficult or impossible to pay off. So we’ve gotten to the situation in which young women’s best prospects for financial solvency involve selling their bodies – the exact situation which easy student loans and access to higher education was supposed to prevent, but one that sets women’s advancement back to the nineteenth century nonetheless.