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We often think in terms of upward as being the positive direction, the forward motion, the rise to success, and the achievement of goals. It seems we are presently in the midst of a paradox in terms. The only rising, or upward, statistics on the 'breaking news' banners now are the ones penned in red ink. Again, my mind wanders to the cause and effect laws of a circular Universe; the 'what goes up must come down' rule. The question running around in the minds of most these days is: when do we hit bottom?

I'm not an economist. I try to absorb a fair amount of information on CNBCs Money Matters shows, but I confess that little of it makes a lot of sense to me. One gentleman was attempting to explain the roots of the mortgage crisis as the result of lenders taking on 'risk' mortgages because they would then bundle and sell to larger investor firms who in turn sold to foreign investors. Or something like that. My simple mind wondered why a large investor, foreign or domestic, with stock holders and employee investment accounts to answer to would buy a bundle of bad mortgages in the first place?  Then I remembered Enron.  

No matter which rising statistic one could address at the moment, whether it be unemployment, profit margin decline, bankruptcies and foreclosures, or consumer price indexes, the mindset of profit and greed and instant gratification has traveled full circle back to the tax payers who are now being told the buck stops here, with us. In order to survive, we must bail out, excuse me, 'rescue', the very institutions and corporations that devised this mess.

Still, I heard this morning that 75% of the American people were against the bail outs, including the loan to the failing automobile industry. I'm wondering now if the majority of the people have resigned themselves to the fact that band-aids on major wounds will no longer work. Borrowing even more money and throwing it after bad is an effort in futility. When in a free fall, postponing the hit doesn't lessen the pain. Why not hit bottom, wipe the slate clean, and start the ascent side of the circle? I'd be interested in hearing some of your ideas on this issue.

I've always been of the principle that what's learned hardest is well learned. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. What's worked for is much more valuable than something handed on a platter. Maybe America needs to get back to basics. The kind of basics born of the first major Depression of the thirties. Families helping families, neighbors helping neighbors while the main impetus of the government was putting people to work. It surely was a generation of robust and determined people.

But, rising from the bottom will take patience above all else. Cultures are not changed overnight or even years; especially in a whole new era of global needs and diversity. Despite the technical and scientific advancements, the challenges are seven-fold by virtue of population and depletion of resources. No one ideal or one president or government or country is the most powerful in the world anymore. Ultimately, power does lie with the people in a basically collective goal. What we do with it is something else again. Either way, apparently, the buck stops here.  

Susan Haley, Author
RAINY DAY PEOPLE – A Novel
FIBERS IN THE WEB  

Susan Haley is the published author of two books, a Children's E-book, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, and the copy editor and book reviewer for Pepper Tree Press Publishing and book reviewer for AME Marketing out of San Diego. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, of which she is Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various E-zines and newsletters and local papers.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • I’m not sure if the bail-outs are going to accomplish anything other than drain our tax dollars. The banks are already holding on to the money they have been given rather than loan it out to help our economy. AIG was told not to spend our tax dollars on extravagant trips, yet they ignored that. There is talk of firing people who are allowing this to happen. Has that happened yet? Not as far as I’ve heard. Finally, the auto industry. Michigan seems to be the only area suffering as far as I know. Maybe they need to see what thriving plants are doing correctly and model them. Michigan workers want an instant solutions to their personal economy. These are tough times, no doubt. I can understand the desperation, however using our tax dollars to pay for retired auto worker benefits is not what I’d call a good bail-out plan. That is indeed a bandaid. If what I’ve seen is a sign of what is to come, I’m worried about the future of our economy.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joanne757 wrote Nov 19, 2008
    • Isn’t it interesting that 75% of all Americans were against the bailout, but weren’t allowed to vote for or against it!  Isn’t it our money after all?  As a business owner in the auto industry the buck seems to be stopping and very quickly. And we are forced to contribute even more of our tax money.  The state of Michigan has run out of money to pay unemployed workers.  So any employer who exceeds their paid in amount is now taxed per employee to pay back the federal government who loaned the state more money to continue paying the unemployed workers.  We have to pay this tax on each payroll for 1 1/2 years!  Where do you think the money for the bailout will come from?  Its has begun.  Soon government services will also start to feel the pinch.
      The auto industry problems are not only in Michigan!  There is a trickle down to every state in the nation and Michigan is not the only state with a huge unemployment rate! And the mortgage crises is another huge issue this country is dealing with.  We were warned this was coming.  Our government was made aware this was going to happen since 2004!  And they did nothing!  

       We need term limits on fat cat self serving Senators who have too much power and greed and only care about lining their own pockets instead of taking care of the people who put them in power to begin with.  The longer their in Washington the less they care about the people they’ve sworn to protect!  We need to stay informed about what our government is doing at all times and let our representatives know what we will and won’t tolerate.  And don’t stop talking about it!  Its our government-we must take it back.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Nov 19, 2008
    • The economy is suffering everywhere. It’s not just businesses that are suffering. The state of Nevada is looking at a 30-40% cut in education next year.  That is in addition to what was cut last year. It’s possible class sizes will be through the roof and that we will be facing lay-offs. Our children are going to be the ones that suffer from this economic mess. I’ve been in this state for nearly two decades and this is the worst it’s been in that time. Las Vegas isn’t profiting like it was for so many years and now we‘re all suffering. Yes, the trickle down effect is moving full force ahead.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • You know many large companies have survived or did not during times of economic problems.

      I see it as a survivial of the fit.  If a company is fit to survive it will, reviving it may not be the natural order of things as it may just prolong the death.

      I say, let the companies work it out on thier own.  I own a company and Ive survivied 911 and many other economic hard times when my competitors did not.  Im not saying its fair, Im just saying the fit companies will rise above, the ones meant to die will not.

      Bailing them I dont believe is the answer.

      AIG has been spending like crazy on 450.00 spa treatments per person and they want more money.

      Im considering having to cut out our monthly supervisor meeting at my company where I buy dinner and that is only about 500.00 per meeting.  Really, these people need to get down to earth to the real world.

      Annie you may have a point, but I am one of the 75% that dosent agree with a bail out.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Great comments ALL. I really enjoy the discussion my little ol’ column is able to raise.  

      I’m also a Michigan girl. Was born and raised there and GM was the livlihood of our family. I’m almost ashamed of how power and greed took it over. Now, they whimper and whine about standards and the Japanese have been meeting them for years. Greed, irresponsibility, and short sightedness from all sides has destroyed the capitalistic system in this country, I think. Although I shudder to think of the hardships on the horizon for most of us, one of the most valuable lessons my dad taught me was “you dance be prepared to pay the fiddler.” There’s been a lot of dancing going on and the fiddler will be paid. It’s really the only way to come out of this stronger. Survival of the fittest is a Natural Law of the Universe.

      As for term limits, I’ve fought for them for years but the Congress will never pass anything that will cut their own noses off. It’s up to us, the voters, to limit the terms by watch-dogging every vote they cast. America needs drastic change going into the new Milennia and it’s going to be painful. We just have to stick together, be creative, and stand firm. In my opinion, anyway. No more rewarding the corrupt and non-productive. It’s all a joke anyway as the money isn’t even there. Only more deficit. It won’t be long before we are foreign owned if we aren’t already.

      Oh goodness . . . I’m ranting. :)

      Susan



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joanne757 wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Those corporate heads own those jets!  Bought and paid for with the enormous bonuses they receive each year.  What we aren’t hearing is the fact that the auto industry has government funds available to them right now!  Why aren’t they using that money?  I suspect the government has limited the way the money is to be spent.  If the auto industry receives money from the “financial bailout fund” they don’t have to be accountable for how its spent.  Just like AIG is getting away with their spa treatments and vacations!  Are we ranting?  Absolutely!  And lets not stop until we‘re all “ranting and raving” and we are finally heard.  Our government is corrupt and the politicians justify it by saying “this is how its always been done“.  One hand washes the other-I pat your back and you pat mine.  Millions of Americans keep their jobs-and the corporate heads get their luxurious vacations, penthouses and planes! What kind of democracy is that?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • I heard about the private jet flights on the news as well. They all must think none of us are paying attention!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • The spa treatments. Thanks for mentioning that Greeneyedlady. How can AIG even justify that as a reasonable business expense? Reckless spending is what got all of these companies into trouble. Not staying competitive is another problem. Do the higher-ups in these companies feel so entitled that they can just spend our money in such self-serving ways? How does an expensive spa vacation help the company flourish? I’d sure like to know how they justify the frivolity.



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