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Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

A Lesson in Socialism

20 Nov

Satire?An email has been floating around the internet, intended as an attack on Barack Obama and the present administration. It’s no secret I’m not much of a fan of Barack Obama (really not much of a fan of ANY of the politicians in recent years).

Regardless of what you feel about the present administration, the lesson that follows is a wonderful opportunity to give some thought to where our country is headed. Some might argue the point but I feel we’ve settled for mediocrity for quite a while now. Recent generations, in my opinion, have this attitude of “entitlement” rather than the drive to get off their butts and work for what they want. Welfare is, in my opinion, one of the most dangerous programs we have ever dabbled in when it comes to politics. It creates a class of people who are unwilling to do for themselves (and the way it’s presently set up, it even rewards those who are willing to put an even bigger strain on the system by having yet more children). It’s classless and an abomination in my eyes—but I digress.

I may be registered as a Democrat but as regards some of our public policies, I much more readily identify with the Republicans. That doesn’t mean I’m either impressed by or that I intend to vote for the Republican nominee [again] in the next presidential election. (So for those of you reading who are much too conservative for my taste, don’t get so excited you make a mess all over yourselves. LOL) In truth, I’ve no idea who I will be voting for yet; I’m disgusted by everybody who is running for office at the moment (and don’t expect that to change by the time the elections roll around). Maybe I’ll write in the name of Ron Paul.


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Understanding the Plight of The Unemployed

20 Aug

Not every unemployed person DESIRES to remain jobless

It’s easier to find work if you already have a job; that’s what I’ve heard so often. I was out of work for nearly two years before landing a job that paid $20k a year less than what I’d made previously for doing the same thing. Ask me and I’d say it’s a pretty spot-on observation.

With unemployment rates on the rise, how do you feel about this practice?

Will allowing employers to continue to discriminate against a growing group of unemployed help our country to get back on its feet or does condoning the practice only help to ensure we stay stuck in a recession (or worse yet, head into a full-blown depression)? What justification does a company give for embracing the “jobless need not apply” attitude?

I’ve opinions on a great many things, to the point of being labeled an activist (by friends and by those who disagree with me – some days by both at the same time). I’m fine with that; at least I’m trying to make a difference with the life I’ve been given rather than just sit on my butt and enjoy the view.

I hope to find the time in the coming weeks to do a little digging around to find the ads/evidence (wherein this kind of attitude is blatantly displayed). Then I’ll do what I can to make certain I’m not actively supporting their business and their discriminatory practices! (Given how intertwined most business relationships are, I’m certain it won’t be easy but I think some pressure can be brought to bear on those involved in the practice.)

The easiest to deal with will of course be those who make a tangible/physical product (just refuse to buy their products). The more complex are those who provide a service other companies rely upon; companies with which you might do business but have little to no knowledge of who their sub-contractors are. One would have to identify the companies that work hand-in-hand with those who refuse to give an opportunity to somebody who is unemployed and then refuse to purchase their services (letting them know why, in hopes they will severe their own business relationship with those who actively engage in job discrimination).


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Posted in Economy

 

CALLING 800 NUMBERS (Please Read)

11 Jul

This is something worth sharing

Bring the jobs BACK to the USA!Any time you call an 800 number (for a credit card, banking, charter communications, health and other insurance, computer help desk, etc) and you find that you’re talking to a foreign customer service representative (perhaps in India, Philippines , etc), please consider doing the following:

After you connect and you realize that the customer service representative is not from the USA just say, “I’d like to speak to a customer service representative in the United States of America.”

(You can always ask if you are not sure about the accent but do so politely; this is not about trashing other cultures.)

The rep might suggest talking to his/her manager. Again, politely say, “Thank you, but I’d like to speak to a customer service representative in the USA.”

YOU WILL BE IMMEDIATELY CONNECTED TO A REP IN THE USA.

That’s the rule and the LAW. It takes less than one minute to have your call re-directed to the USA.

Tonight when I got redirected to a USA rep, I asked again to make sure – and yes, she was from Fort Lauderdale.

Imagine what would happen if every US citizen insisted on talking to only US phone reps from this day on.

Imagine how that would ultimately impact the number of US jobs that would need to be created ASAP.

If I tell 10 people to consider this and you tell 10 people to consider doing this – see what I mean…it becomes an exercise in viral marketing 101.

Remember – the goal is to restore jobs back here at home – not to be abrupt or rude to a foreign phone rep.

You may even get correct answers, good advice, and solutions to your problem – in real English.

If you agree, please tell 10 people you know, and ask them to tell 10 people they know, and so on and so forth…

Snopes: False (but please read my comments in the box below)

I received the above as an email-forward from a member of my family. I didn’t really speak with a rep at a “call center” [tonight] but how many of us do call for assistance, for anything on any given day? Trust me, those calls go to call centers. Many of those call centers are located overseas because the cost of labor is cheaper while [some] call centers are even located here in the states and operated by prison inmates. (I know this to be true because my ex and I looked into contracting with one in the late nineties. I have video of the place stored around here someplace and will try to locate that later in the week and upload to YouTube but I’m getting off-topic.) At any rate and according to Snopes, there really is no federal law “requiring” companies to transfer you to a customer service rep in the USA at this time. That said, some companies have policies in place to do just that. I personally believe that we, the voters, should be doing two things. Follow the procedure described above and do a little bit of research to make certain that the call centers for the product you are looking to buy ARE located here in the U.S. before you make your purchase (I did this the last time I purchased a computer and I made it clear to those manufacturers whose call centers were located off-shore, just why I was not buying one of their systems.) I also believe we should write our elected representatives and “push” for just such legislation or some other form of deterrent for business to send jobs overseas. I understand that we live in a global world/economy today but that means NOTHING if you have no job with which to purchase what you want or desire. Our economy will not improve so long as we don’t start taking our future in our own hands and doing something about the situation we find ourselves in today. Just my $0.02 worth!

— Michael

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Posted in Economy

 

Special Privilege

23 Jan

Just a quick blurb to share a link to an interesting read by Vincent R. LoCascio; the book is titled Special Privilege and is available entirely in PDF format (you don’t have to buy it if you don’t wish).

As for myself, I haven’t yet read the book but plan on doing so. I just stumbled across the website while looking for something to use as the base/starting image for a new blog entry related to an email forward I just received from my brother. (More on that later.)

At any rate I wanted to share the book with others here. Let’s face it; our economy is in the crapper and our government is doing very little to make things better. In fact, they’re seem hell-bent on making it worse in fact … and have been so for some time now.

Namaste,
Michael

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The Fix

09 Jan

Received via electronic mail:

Montage of dollar bill with light bulbs and upward-trending graph 
There recently was an article in the St. Petersburg , Fl. Times. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on: “How Would You Fix the Economy?” I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President,

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the “Patriotic Retirement Plan”:


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Headed Down the Rabbit Hole

02 Jan

Cartoon: Wile E Coyote and US Economy spiraling down into the canyonI’ve been dogging the President of the United States in recent months and I have no intention of letting up on the man anytime soon. Put simply, “I’m greatly UNIMPRESSED and even though I myself did not vote for the man, I think that most who [did] will agree this wasn’t the change [they] had bargained for.”

Barack Obama isn’t a douche-bag because he is black; believing otherwise only belies a racist attitude and while I do have some prejudiced viewpoints (generally, with regard to those of Middle-Eastern descent and/or illegal aliens) I don’t consider myself a racist. No, he is (a douche) because he’s no different than so many of the previous leaders of the free world. His willingness to provide us with no higher a level of leadership and/or demonstrate a willingness to be any more HONEST and forthright with those he was elected to represent than his predecessors (i.e. George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Richard M. Nixon aka “Tricky Dick”). This is disturbing and goes against everything he professed to stand for while campaigning for the office.


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News from the Job Front

10 Nov

unemployment linesHave you ever become so tired of something that “if I never had to do this again, it’d be too soon?”

I had begun to feel that way about my job back in 2007 and 2008, then on Christmas day (2008) I was called up in New Mexico and told I had been laid off. In some respects it was like a blessing; in others, the beginning of a nightmare.

It’s unlikely that anyone in their teens, twenties or possibly even in their early thirties can fully understand but ageism is alive and well in this country. It doesn’t matter that those of us who’ve been around the longest have “experience” to offer, as well as usually haven reached the point that we’ve already sown our wild oats and are simply more inclined to live a much quieter life (which can benefit the employer, let me tell you). Nobody likes it when the young twenty-something comes in with a hangover and isn’t able to do his job because he was out partying the entire night before.


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Best Buy, My Foot

13 Apr

I’ve run into similar problems with “Best Buy” so when I received this via email I couldn’t help but share it here with others. Beware! In these trying times, what with the economy being what it is and people’s dollars not going as far as they once did you need to be doing everything that you can to protect yourself from being taken in by policies that work against you. In my opinion that’s precisely what the return policy for “Best Buy” does; it takes advantage of the unsuspecting consumer.

BEST BUY, MY FOOT

 
Best Buy has some bad policies….

Normally, I would not share this with others, however, since this could happen to you or your friends , I decided to share it. If you purchase something from, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, JC Penny, Sears etc. and you return the item with the receipt they will give you your money back if you paid cash, or credit your account if paid by plastic.

Well, I purchased a GPS for my car, a Tom Tom XL.S from “Best Buy”. They have a policy that it must be returned within 14 days for a refund!

So after 4 days I returned it in the original box with all the items in the box (with paper work and cords all wrapped in the plastic). I returned it just as I received it, including the receipt.
I explained to the lady at the return desk I did not like the way it could not find store names. The lady at the refund desk said, there is a 15% restock fee, for items returned. I said no one told me that. I said how much would that be. She said it goes by the price of the item. It will be $45.00 Dollars for you. I said, all your going to do is walk over and place it back on the shelf then charge me $45.00 of my money for restocking? She said that’s the store policy. I said if more people were aware of it they would not buy anything here! If I bought a $2000.00 computer or TV and returned it I would be charged $300.00 dollars restock fee? She said yes, 15%.

I said OK; just give me my money minus the restock fee.

She said, since the item is over $200.00 dollars, she can’t give me my money back!!!

Corporate has to and they will mail you a check in 7 to ten days.!! I said “WHAT?!”

It’s my money!! I paid in cash! I want to buy a different brand. Now I have to wait 7 to 10 days. She said well, our policy is on the back of your receipt.

I said, do you read the front or back of your receipt? She said well, the front! I said so do I, I want to talk to the Manager!.

So the manager comes over, I explained everything to him, and he said, well, sir they should of told you about the policy when you got the item. I said, No one, has ever told me about the check refund or restock fee, whenever I bought items from computers to TVs from Best Buy. The only thing they ever discussed was the worthless extended warranty program. He said Well, I can give you corporate phone number.

I called corporate. The guy said, well, I’m not supposed to do this but I can give you a 45.00 dollar gift card and you can use it at Best Buy. I told him if I bought something and returned it, you would charge me a restock fee on the item and then send me a check for the remaining 3 dollars. You can keep your gift card, I’m never shopping in Best Buy ever again, and if I would of been smart, I would of charged the whole thing on my credit card! Then I would of canceled the transaction.

I would of gotten all my money back including your stupid fees! He didn’t say a word!

I informed him that I was going to e-mail my friends and give them a heads up on this stores policy, as they don’t tell you about all the little caveats.

So please pass this on. It may save your friends from having a bad experience of shopping at Best Buy

It’s true! read it for yourself!! Best Buys return policy

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An Open Letter…

27 Mar

Photo of Barack ObamaA member of my family (could just as easily have been anyone else) recently sent this email with a number of anti-Obama bumper sticker images. No problem; detractors of George Walker Bush, myself included, have done the same (of course, we had a much easier target).

The difference is Barack is barely in office and already those who oppose him expect “all of our problems” to have been resolved. We didn’t get into this mess overnight and I won’t pretend to blame George Bush for all of it (although in my opinion he’s done a considerable amount to stir the pot). It’s going to take more than eight weeks to put some distance between ourselves and eight years of “Moving America forward,” a failed road trip at the wheel of the previous administration. It will take considerably more than eight weeks to effect lasting change on an economy that is clearly in the toilet. It will take more than eight weeks to pull our troops back home from the Middle East.


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Posted in Politics

 

Stimulus Dollars Paving The Way to Foreign Interests?

24 Mar

Yes, you read correctly. It seems foreign companies and diplomats are lobbying Washington for a piece of the $787 billion stimulus program. Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia travelled here to lobby on behalf of Spain. (What? Spain can’t tax their own to raise funds?)

Do outside interests have a chance of securing any of this assistance? Perhaps and I’m of mixed feelings on the matter. After all, this is money raised at the expense of the American taxpayer and it ‘should’ be spent in a manner that consistently represents OUR interests; not those of a foreign nation. I mean, contrary to impressions given by the last administration (and their preoccupation with the Middle East) it isn’t my responsibility as an American taxpayer to take care of
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