Posted on: December 11, 2008 3:54 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 4:04 pm
The soap opera drama that is the auto bailout just keeps getting better and better. First the executives fly in in their big jets, asking for billions of dollars crying hardship. Then they put on the act of hardship, coming back before congress asking for yet, more money than before. Then Congress offers a reduced 15 billion dollars putting on the facade of saving the taxpayers 10 billion dollars, when all they are really proposing is giving away 15. The measure quickly passes in the House, but seems to be destined for death in the Senate. Do I sense a repeat of the banking bailout? A bill after getting shot down, resurfaces fattened with pork and suddenly wins approval. My honest belief, this was preordained. The auto makers and congress have been in negotiation right along. They asked for 14 billion, already knowing they would be offered 15. This way Congress can save face, and claim how they negotiated a better deal for the tax payer, and the Auto Industry gets their handout.
The argument for all of this of course is saving the 2.5 million jobs and 10% of our GDP ultimately tied into the auto industry. Which got me to thinking. If the 10% of our economy involved in the auto industry can't fail, what other vital component in our economy could be in peril. Then some figures were brought to my awareness. What component of our economy represents the most small businesses, employs the most working class Americans, and supports families in every state across the nation alike. The food industry. Restaurants, bars, pubs. Most a privately owned, employ less than 20 people, and are a direct reflection of our economy. Most depend on lunch crowds, after work crowds, Friday night out to dinner crowds. When the economy is bad and people spend less cash, what is the first thing they cut. Going out to eat. Walk into any restaurant you used to frequent for lunch right now, they are slow. Not just slow, but hurting. This causes layoffs, less waitresses on staff, less kitchen help, fewer bar tenders. In short, a large component of Americas working class not making ends meat, many of which trying to support families. Where is their bailout? Are they not entitled to one?
No they are not. You see they have no union to muster up political capital. Their struggles are not Washington's problem, because they can't deliver Washington any votes. The impact of their struggles is our local communities. The families we see when we drop our kids off at school, at the soccer game sidelines, in the checkout of the grocery store. Despite that fact that more people are employed in the restaurant industry than the auto industry, they are on their own. Sadly, when the really good Bar & Grill on the corner goes under, it does not raise the warning signs that Chrysler does. Only 15 people loose their job today. But when this happens across the nation on a large scale, combined with the suppliers now loosing their clients, we have a big problem. One that will never be heard on cable news. Certainly not be discussed on the Senate Floor.
Congratulations Ford, Chrysler and GM. You will get your money, despite not being able to manufacture a product America wants to buy. Instead, you talked Washington into buying it for us.
Posted on: December 1, 2008 2:10 pm
This past week I made a trip out to some stores. I was at Patriots place, along side Gillette Stadium to make some very modest purchases. And while I was there, strolling through the mall, Bass Pro Shops, the restaurants I could not help but notice the people. Lots of bags, boxes, packages. Waits to get a table in some of the restaurants. Some big money purchases at BPS. And while this is all good for the economy and Christmas spirit it just kept popping up in my mind. Morons, we are in a recession. Foreclosures, unemployment, lost investment revenue. Yet none of it seems to sink in. People are going about their business, charging up a storm. I won't even get into my chaotic experience at Tors'R'us. Yikes. Are people completely numb to the warning signs around them? The whole experience left me somewhat perplexed. Are things not as bad as we keep hearing? Or, more likely, are people spending had over fist money they don't have. Now I know the expected numbers for holiday spending are low, but being out this past week, it sure didn't seem it. I hope the best for all this Holiday season. May it truly be a Merry Christmas for all. But the overall experience left me a tad bit concerned about the American way of life, and where it may be headed.
Posted on: November 18, 2008 11:34 am
The big upturn in the U.S. economy was due to technology. Advances in computer and electronic technology launched a consumer spending boom. All of a sudden people saw amazing changes in computers, video games, phones, T.V.'s car luxuries, and everything else with an electronic component. With more money being spent, more jobs were created, stocks rose, in short prosperity.
Then globalized markets came. Jobs outsourced, China came onto the world stage, manufacturing stalled, and consumer confidence crashed. This was followed up by two wars, the Housing crash, and a subsequent stock market fall.
Today we face a new challenge. We have a 10 trillion dollar deficit, manufacturing makes up only 10% of U.S. jobs, we are tied down in two wars, have an energy crisis. China has become the worlds largest creditor, manufacturer, and boasts a 262 billion dollar trade surplus. Add to this the impending import of Chinese cars into the U.S. (the nail in the coffin for U.S. car manufacturers). And now China is poised to soon begin the construction and export of commercial aircraft.
The United States is in peril. "Our", and I use the world painfully, newly elected president needs to focus on the task at hand, and not social justice. People are hurting, but things are guaranteed to get worse. Throwing a Band-Aid on the wound is not the answer, we need to change the entire course of the nation. The United States needs a long term policy change on economics. Globalization has been the death to American Industry. What The United States needs is a Nationalization of American pride. Re-imposing of tariffs on imports. Harsh prosecution of white collar crimes. And the removal of U.S. troops and dollars in non-U.S. interests. American needs to follow, in part, the example that China showed us. That is a United States First policy to rebuild our economy and strengthen our financial security. Anything less is a waste.
Posted on: November 12, 2008 12:58 pm
So we moved from mismanaged Banks, investment firms, now automakers. Why not the Raiders, or the Tigers, or the Royals?
I mean, really, what would people rather see? More retirement packages, vacations, quail hunting trips for execs who have sunk their companies or saving sport franchises in their cities? These companies failed themselves, and should not be saved with tax payer money. Let them sink and new companies, new competition, take their place. Use the bailout money and buy some of these franchises that are dying due to mismanagement. I mean after all, wouldn't buying the Royals be a public interest. I don't think those poor fans can take another 100 loss season (sorry Royals fans). Maybe even buy up lots of tickets to be distributed in local communities. Put the scalpers and ticket agencies out of business. Make a trip to the stadium affordable for the kids of America.
I think you can pick up my sarcasm here. But we are just throwing good money away with these bailouts. If we are going to piss it away anyway, why not save a franchise? Save a fan? Save a team?
P.S. Some teams may be beyond saving, sorry Cubs Fans, LOL, Maybe next year.
Posted on: November 6, 2008 10:38 am
Congratulations President elect Obama. I will never support you, but you won in an electoral landslide, and that is an accomplishment in it's self. The real Loser here is John McCain (both literally and metaphorically). Watching his campaign was like watching a disturbing video of a crime being committed. This Blog would have to be 10,000 words in include all the tactical blunders along the way, but worse, there seemed to be no strategy for winning. A few of the gaffs along the way however included his public address of how the economy is sound, the day before it was revealed to the world it wasn't. But this from I presidential candidate who said while on the trail the economy is not his strong point. Some advice, never publicly admit a weakness when running for president. The people don't want to relate, they want to believe in their candidates ability to lead. Lets also not forget his run back to Washington for the bail out debates. The day any conservative puts his name behind a $840,000,000,000 government handout, we can not even pretend he is still a conservative. And enough with Joe the Plummer. It made a good impact at first, but when you over play these issues, they lose their effectiveness.
The real blunder and failure was Sarah Palin. Although not the blundering idiot portrayed to us by the media, she was completely unqualified for the office of Vice President and not up to speed on both domestic and foreign policy issues. She accomplished the goal, capitalize on the Hilary independents, and gain more votes. But McCain failed to grasp the obvious, the popular vote is meaningless. Obama only captured 52% of the popular vote, but cleaned house on the electoral map. Sarah Palin did not deliver one single state to the McCain Campaign.
McCain should have been a better scholar of History, following the path that other presidents lead in tough elections. Lincoln chose a bipartisan ticket in choosing Andrew Johnson (Democrat) as his running mate. Kennedy chose LBJ, despite the fact that the two loathed each other. Reagan chose Bush 41 when it appeared he did not have the republican base locked. Bush 43 chose Cheney to give his ticket experience and credibility. And Obama chose Biden, despite the harshly negative comments Biden lashed out towards Obama during the Primary. McCain should have chose Mitt Romney. His experience, credibility, and business knowledge would have brought tremendous gain to the ticket. Plus Romney was strong with independents in key battle ground states.
In the up and coming months, McCain will try and reposition himself as the "Maverick" senator, and we will see much of the blame thrown on Palin. But truth be told, McCain chose his VP. McCain put together his campaign staff. And McCain is the one to bare the tag of loser. When a republican candidate for President loses the vote of a die hard conservative like mine, does he really expect to win undecided votes?
Posted on: October 24, 2008 4:05 pm
Almost fell off my chair when I read this one. Weld was one of the best Mass Governors ever and a true conservative. It does not make me support Obama but still a huge endorsement for him. Could be the fork in McCain.