Friday, November 14, 2008

The Economy finally hits home. Time for a new deal..

You know we have heard about "tough economic times" for at least the last 5-6 years. That message never really hit home to me - even when I quit my last job and was looking to find another. At that time - I seemed to be the only person who didn't have a job - so it wasn't really a "global" problem if you will. Now, the shoe is on the other foot - I have a job (crossing fingers now) - but daily I hear about people in my circle that are recently unemployed. That may not seem like much to you - but think about. Can you ever remember a time when at least once a day - EVERY day - you talked or heard about someone in your network of friends and associates being out of a job? I surely can't.

In a time of bailouts, stimulus packages, and "fundamental" differences on economic policy - I really don't hear any long term solutions. I mean think about it - they gave these large banks and lending companies a bailout in order for the companies to begin issuing loans again - what did they do with it? Horde it away. They put out the economic stimulus package earlier this year - what did we all do with it? Pay debt. No real positive effect on the economy at large as intended.

To me - really what it comes down to is a very unbalanced equation. There is a lot of $$$$ going to a lot of different people for little or no real return on investment. Let's be serious. What good does it do us to bailout the BIG 3 automakers so they can build more fuel efficient cars -if we really aren't going to buy them? Aside from some references in a few rap lyrics - fuel efficient cars still are far from being not only mainstream - but the preferred type of transportation.

I could go on and on about the problems - you all know what they are so there is no need. I think what we need as a country is something to produce - something that either we can sell/export to other places or that gives us a a competitive advantage here in world.

A long time ago President Roosevelt (FDR that is)

came up with a new plan called the "THE NEW DEAL" - where instead of just giving away money to the public to help them financially - he actually put them work! I think a similar plan could work here.

For example we keep talking about alternative fuels and energy independence right?
(BRACE YOURSELF). What if we stopped welfare for able body adults under the age of 60. Instead of giving money to people through welfare - we would start a program to build better mass transit systems (light rails, fast trains, etc.). The money from the program cuts could be used to pay the workers during training and through project completion. This way they are gaining valuable skills and work experience. In the global economy they may be even able to turn that page into a long standing job -internationally.

Before you say it - this is not an attack on the poor or homeless. I am just saying that money invested into the American people - they should get something back right? And I don't mean taxes - something that really helps us grow.

Not just singling the poor either.

There needs to be more safeguards to address all of the corruption and bad decision making out there. I am a fan of free markets as well - but if its broke fix it. Right now we don't have anything to make sure people are on the up and up or at least making good decisions for the long term. Stop these companies from playing Monopoly with peoples 401K.

Instead of sending these corporate level CEO-s to band camp for 1-2 years. Send them to

We all know thats not going to happen anytime soon. So as a family of friends we need to come together and really have each others back. Keep your friends on alert to any job opportunities that may come.

In the meantime - take care of each other.

1 comment:

EDH4 said...

I suggest you enlighten your blog readers to the following: Pick up this past weekends WSJ pages B14-B15 Mutual funds or Exchange Traded Funds: 98% of Mutual Funds managed by "smart money managers" are down 40-50% YTD, yet for non-managed ETF's 87% are down by equal amounts. Now ask each blog reader what investment options are included in their 401-K plan? Mostly mutual funds? Why? I bet 99% of your blog readers have no clue why this is the predicament their retirement investments are RESTRICTED to. Funny money economies yield phantom investment vehicles that implode under rigorous financial stress. Recessions are cylical periods of financial stress to purge capitalistic economies of bogus excesses that herd mentalities usher in as "don't miss opportunities (dotcom, daytrading, real estate flipping)". Tangible assets, risk arbitrage, and international diversification are 3 philosophies your readers might consider relevant if a mostly "Service Economy" begins to choke vs it's current sputtering. In the end capitalism is every man for himself, therefore competitive intellectual capital will be deployed without regard to social networks. If one can sell you something he/she/it have accomplished a capitalistic opportunity. If one sells you that item for an amount that exceeds it's tangible value, a profitable capitalistic event has occured. Unemployment does not equate to a persons tangible value. It equates to the risk arbitrage of a company's financial metrics. Good news to the unemployed: Never confuse the two! Why do I mention international diversification? If a 4000 Sq. Ft. home only cost $ 150,000 in Elkhart, Indiana or $ 125,000 in most of Rhode Island or just $ 100,000 in Detroit, why does it cost only 240,000 Rupee in Mumbai, India? Actually, only 5% lower than home values in Mumbai in 2007 yet with a 33% lower currency value vs the dollar! this year vs last year If you don't know why, you won't understand migiratory trends (and you haven't converted Rupee to Dollars) that might exacerbate this recession into a long-term cylical shift from US economic global dominance to perennial debtor nation status synonymis with import only activities... hmmmm we import oil, autos, consumer electronics, even money to finance our debts, and Walmart imports almost everything. We export? Our military & intellectual capital, and all those empty cargo containers being shipped back to China. What happens if there is no war to occupy our military superiority (where is OBL?)? Are exoctic financial products like credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, securitized real estate pools, or hedge funds the toxic intellectual tangible assets of 21st century USA? Your future & that of your children (my grandchildren) is in your hands to start getting dirty with. If your patent requires you to just protect it's sourcecode vs compete in global markets to endear consumers to it's routine benefit you will understand why 80% of the worlds population care less about a Blackberry or an Ipod, than about daily clean water or even just a few hours of stable electricity. Digging a well ain't pretty but an unemployed self esteem might be value adjusted after a thirsty child realizes he/she doesn't have to carry dirty water 5 miles twice a day just to end up with a preventable, developed world eradicated water-borne disease. International diversification might yield rewards that afford you the 4,000 Sq Ft home in Gabon or Suriname or Thailand, but then again there's no place like home, there's no place like me I've clicked my heels 1000 times and Oz is as real as it gets! Love Dad ps keep on enlightening!