Archive for Economy

The Union Needs Jobs, Not Broken Promises

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2010 by raingeg

“It begins with our economy.” Those are the words that I, and I suppose a whole lot of Americans, wanted to hear in President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address. The overall tone of the speech seemed a bit deflated. It was self-deprecating at times, as he tried to be more personable and appeal to the American people as an empathetic president. Given those slight differences, there was not much that separated this from past speeches. He played the blame game and used the usual Obama style. As many have pointed out, this was not the speech that he wanted to give. I imagine he wanted to be saying something a little like this; we closed Gitmo, we passed meaningful health care reform, we passed cap and trade, unemployment did not go above 8 percent and we are on our way to a speedy recovery. That, however, was not the case.

On his promise to close Gitmo he’s not come through, though I don’t see the need to close down the prison other than to appease the left in America and around the world, it aids me in making a much larger point. Health care reform as we know it today looks pretty dead, though I’m skeptical. He pleaded for people to take another look at the bill, but I think its on the back burner for a while. He seems more focused on the economy and job creation, something that probably should have happened months ago.

“Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers”

Does he get his own message? Cap and trade doesn’t seem to be around in the near future, but it was mentioned in the speech, and it is still a fresh reminder of what this administration and the Democrats in congress have in mind. That, being the desire to create more bad regulations and a bad job growing environment, with bad “conditions,” through job killing legislation like cap and trade, trains to nowhere and “green jobs.” Which happily leads us to the issue of unemployment, where things have not gotten better or stayed the same, they’ve actually worsened. And while there have been some “saved” jobs that doesn’t account for all of the ones that were not saved and isn’t very consoling, all things considered.

I know that we were hit with a major economic crisis and the President is not the only one to blame for this mess. The “worst since the Great Depression,” I know all about that, if I have to hear that saying again, I’m gonna explode. But here is the much larger point that I mentioned earlier. I think many people walked away from their television sets tonight thinking one thing, “is anything going to get done?” And by “anything” I mean something that actually has substance, instead of the rhetorical message and symbolic appeasement to the American left that we saw throughout the first year of this administration. Gitmo, health care, cap and trade and green jobs, are all big ticket items of the leftist agenda, when put together they are not the issues that make up the vast majority of this center-right country.

What the president has to prove is that he is willing to go beyond the empty talk and symbolism and try for real bipartisanship, not the arrogant “we won, you lost” message that we had to hear for the last year from his administration and congress. How is there even any room for bipartisanship with that attitude? It is not bipartisan to say join us or die, we have a mandate. It turns off the American people, and it did just that throughout the health care debate.

Were there things in the speech that I liked? Sure, there were some, but far too few for me to jump up and down and be happy. The president starts talking about nuclear power and I’m supposed to be happy about that? Ordinarily I would be. Maybe a year ago, had he brought this up, I would have been happy. But now, the completely symbolic president that is Barack Obama is going to have to prove to me that he is willing to practice what he preaches in regard to real bipartisanship and completing actual work.

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Interesting Juxtapositions

Posted in Economy, Politics with tags , , , on July 9, 2009 by raingeg

The following is a video of George Stephanopoulos interviewing Vice President Biden on This Week on ABC. At first, by the tone of the interview you’d think that George is going to call the administration out on their “misread” of the economy. Not until he brings up Paul Krugman, who is pretty much a socialist, do we realize that he thinks the administration has not gone far enough. Krugman wants another stimulus package and it seems that Stephanopoulos might want one as well, the VP was very ambiguous not for or against another round of stimuli and even seemed a bit reluctant to say just how much money we’ve actually spent.

And here is President Obama saying “there’s nothing we would’ve done differently.”

Yes, sir, that is exactly what we’re saying.

This video is an ad angry with President Bush’s deficits. Don’t get me wrong, he spent way too much, but this is slightly humorous in hindsight, considering how much the current administration has spent.

And this video should put everything into perspective. Thanks to Political Math for this one.

Essential Living

Posted in Economy, Humanity, Politics with tags , , , on March 3, 2009 by raingeg

I am forced to dream as I continue living and living routinely, confined to this place, not allowed to explore the outside world and not allowed to move beyond Tucson for a while. This is because I am working and I am tied down. When I graduated high school in my heart I probably knew that I wasn’t headed to college, so I figured building a resume was the next logical step. If there is one thing I have learned its that if you’re willing to put yourself out there, there are many people that are willing to give you a chance. Once someone gives you that chance it then becomes your responsibility to prove them right

My philosophy:

In order gain respect and prominence one must first respectfully establish needed ties and prove ones responsibility. All in order to break the bonds that hold one down to a life of self induced poverty and operate in a world that no longer hinges on allowances granted by various entities, but allowances granted by ones self while being accountable only to God. That sets the bar high, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t accountable to other things like society, laws and your peers, those things will come naturally because you accountable to something much greater than all of those entities combined.

Essential living or the lack thereof:

When I talk about “self induced poverty” I am referring to people that don’t live on the essentials, instead they move ahead to the extras or the non essentials. For example, a while back when the recession was just picking up there was a news story about a struggling family. This family was at the grocery store buying food to feed their family. At the end of the story they showed the mother putting 12 packs of root beer in the trunk of their car. A 12 pack of soda costs about five bucks, if they didn’t buy all of that soda and settled for the much cheaper juice or water they would be helping their health and saving money. On no grocery list should soda be an essential item for a family on a budget to buy. That is self induced poverty, using money that you have for non essential items. Services like cable and the HBO package and having a big screen TV are non essentials. I am not trying to tell people how to live their lives I am simply showing you why we are in the mess we are in.

America has been and will hopefully continue to be about people having the right to have a choice between self induced poverty and self induced success. I am afraid that as our government controls more and more of the market we are being forced to relinquish that right.

The political aspect of the economy:

Many politicians want you to feel hopeless, like you have no control over your own life, and the only friendly entity you can turn to is the government. So here’s how they do it. They keep poor people where they’re at. All of these government programs aimed at “helping” the poor really do nothing for the poor except keep them content, and they hold them hostage in their own sector of society and make them keep thinking that the American dream has passed them by. They are buying the poor vote, at the expense of the wealthy.

Just take a look at these “tax cuts” that 95% of the country is supposed to get. Factcheck.org says that the number is closer to 75% because the unemployed and retirees will not be eligible for a tax credit. But that is not the real problem, wait for the kicker.

From Factcheck.org “It is also questionable whether all of the tax refunds can properly be called ‘tax cuts.’ The credit is refundable and, therefore, is going to many who earn so little that they pay no federal income taxes in the first place. The White House calls them tax cuts, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office officially scores the bill’s refundable credits under ‘direct spending.'”

So basically the government will be handing out money in the form of “tax cuts” to people that don’t pay federal taxes. So what exactly are they cutting, invisible taxes? And that my friends is how they keep the poor brainwashed into thinking they need to come back for more.

Not only does this system hurt everyone, even if everyone doesn’t know they are being hurt, it forces people to try to garner joy or happiness from things that don’t last. For example, one might get slightly happy from buying a big screen TV, but if it puts them in debt, in the end they will just end up unhappy because you have to deal with the stress of being in debt. But on the other hand if someone is responsible with their money they will more than likely have longer lasting joy because they have the ability comfortably live with out debt hanging over their shoulders. This too is skipping over the essentials and going for the non-essentials, at a time when you simply don’t have the ability to do that. When people are unhappy with their lives they feel hopeless, and that’s just where they want people to be.

Observations On The Government Assisting the Auto Industry

Posted in Economy with tags , , , , on November 15, 2008 by raingeg

I’m no expert on economics, nor do I claim to know everything about the current situation that we’re in, but I do know that it is not good. This is an open invitation to correct me if I am wrong, but I think I have a grasp on the situation. That said, when it comes to the government bailing out the automobile manufacturers, I say no!

There are three reasons why the automobile companies are going under right now. First, one of the smaller reasons, the government has put so many environmental regulations on vehicle’s and the gas that they consume, that it hinders the companies ability to make vehicles that give the people the most bang for their buck. Many car and truck owners will buy a new vehicle and mod it to get better gas mileage. When it comes time to send the car to emissions they just put the stock parts back on so they can pass the ridiculous test. A test that ends up hurting low income families, because generally low income families drive older cars that require the test, while the newer, more expensive cars don‘t.

So what keeps the environmental problems from plaguing the foreign automakers? I’m glad you asked. They were already used to making cars that got good gas mileage, plus its not that taxing on the company to endure some regulations from the EPA because they are so far removed from the other issues below.

The second, and larger reason why these companies are failing is because the quality of their product does not match that of their foreign competitors. Many moons ago, when Nixon and Carter were in office our country went through some tough times, arguably tougher than these day’s and people had wait in long lines for gas, if you don’t believe me watch that movie “Miracle” you‘ll see the gas lines in the movie, anyway, that put a light bulb over the heads of the foreign automobile makers. You see, as I said, they were already making small, more fuel efficient cars, and given our fuel situation at the time they figured selling these cars to America would not be that hard to do. And it wasn’t! The people actually liked the cars and that forced the American companies to make a decision, either we make smaller and better cars or keep going where we’re going.

The third reason that I recently learned about is union involvement. One thing that separates some of the foreign automakers from the domestic automakers is their lack of unions. According to an article from cars.com, about foreign automakers in Indiana, when the energy crisis hit in the 70’s, as I said earlier that opened the door for the foreign automakers to come in. Later on the Japanese automakers started building in the U.S. “but with lower costs, using non-union plants to keep the cost per unit-produced below the cost for domestic-made cars.” The problem is that the unions have the domestic manufacturers tied into to tons of deals that they are required to pay for. When the automakers are forced to pay their dues they go into debt doing it. In an article published a year ago, annalists estimated that Ford owed around “$31 billion in future retiree health-care costs”, these are things that were promised to their employees after being negotiated in by the unions. It seems to me that when there’s an extraordinary emphasis on the wellbeing of the employees of a company and not the company itself you are bound to run into problems. It doesn’t make sense to risk the company to make your employees happy.

Before I go on let me say that any one of these problems alone is not enough to do the damage that has already been done, it is the combination of them all that really hurts the domestic automaker.

According to the article from cars.com the employees of foreign automakers that build in Indiana have not seen any reason to unionize. The company keeps the people it employ’s happy. The article also said that the automakers build factories in right-to-work states, which makes it difficult to unionize.

In the article Joe Phillippi of AutoTrends said that “When the Japanese interview workers here for jobs, it’s not that they screen potential hires for their anti-union feelings,

But they do screen them for their pro-teamwork attitudes. When they needed 1,000 to 2,000 workers, they had 10,000 to 20,000 people coming in for interviews. They had the pick of the litter from those who, while not anti-union, were at least not readily receptive to a union.”

I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about my thoughts on the subject. I like American made products, but as an American I am a capitalist as well and if someone makes a better product I see no problem with buying it. The next thing that I am going to look into is bankruptcy, because a lot of people are saying they’d prefer the domestic automakers file for bankruptcy before the government spends anymore money.

UPDATE:

Read this article by Charles Krauthammer from The Washington Post. This better explains the ramifications of a nationalized automobile industry. Its not good a sounding future if President Elect Barack Obama goes through with this.