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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not stupid enough...

Why won't the economy get moving again?

Why won't businesses borrow and invest or the consumer borrow and consume?

Why don't us small people respond to the policies of our government and get stimulated?

In DC, both parties and their academic enablers and think tankers agree that it's because we don't (and probably lack the capacity to) understand what they are doing for us. When they get the policies dumbed down and sound bited enough for us poor little citizens too grasp we'll respond.

Problem is that those of us who don't know the difference between fiscal and monetary policy are not collectively stupid enough to buy any of their crap.

Maybe we're hunkering down because we realize that we've just witnessed at least 20 years of federal government economic incompetence and that the current gang is raising it to a new level.

Willy balanced the budget on the tech bubble while denying and even encouraging the terrorist threat with breaks to play with cigars and Monica. Somewhere in there they decided they could legislate wealth via subprime mortgages.

W fought a necessary and expensive war poorly and naively. Then he and the GOP forgot to pay for it. Cheap money kept the party going.

When all of this hit the economic fan, we picked the smart,cool Kumbayama over the stiff,fiesty if slightly erratic tough guy. I can see why this seemed like a good choice to some of us at the time. Since then he's added a trillion bucks worth of pork to the deficit while babbling(glibly) about how it's not their fault. He failed at the one task he had the experience for, running errands for the Daly machine(although he may have got the Bronze).

Of course,We could draw confidence from the GOP which offers no detailed ideas but is currently fronted by the deep voiced , suntanned Sales Manager Boenher. Many of us unemtired are old enough to remember him coming out on the lot in a white belt and shoes to close the deal on the station wagon.

If only we were stupid enough to have confidence.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Each Party needs it's own Economists.

Economists have proven to be a pretty useless bunch lately - but only to us "small people".

Many of us think that the leaders of our two great parties call on the best and the brightest economists ( many of whom they used to smoke dope with in the Ivy league)to help them direct the huge economy and make the SP feel bigger.

The leaders of the big 2 know that if you look long enough you can find an economist who will predict anything and will provide justification for just about any policy.( although there are a large number of economists who are now revealing that they knew what was going to happen prior to it happening).

The Dems,academics,Greenies and Kumbaya crowd love Keynes who I think said 'if things are bad- spend more money'. This means more vote buying ,dependancy creating,agency spawning,political debt paying,worthless research funding and other job creation for the faithful.Paul Krugman is the new bearded face for Keynes, and he hasn't ever said anything that I can believe.

The GOP,Wall Street,moneyed war monger crowd love the Supply side economists who I think say ' if things are bad, reduce my taxes, I'll spend the money and you guys can fight over it'. This theory supports more wealth and power for many and the hope of more wealth and power for the rest of the faithful(many now unemployed). Art Laffer is the leading supply sider although I have trouble believing someone with hair that has darkened since the Reagan administration.

I think the SP need their own economist.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

5 figures versus 7 figures.

Too rainy to ride my bike and too early for a nap. Another day of too much CNBC.

I've got FINREG reform all figured out though...

The Wall Street guys want to be able to help advance the US and World economy by trading vast amounts of assets in creative and complicated ways at lightning speeds while earning 7 and 8 figure compensation. They propose this is good for all of us.

The government wants to create new agencies to protect us from the WS guys while creating more votes for big government.After all, look how well the SEC worked. These people will earn 5 figures and will promise not to look at porn. However, they will think about how to get to the other side and make 7 figures some day.

There are some provisions that may actually work like you have to show what you are doing and that you can only gamble with 20 times your reserves instead of 40.

If we want rely on the 5 figure guys to outwit and control the 7 figure guys who they consider heroes then all we have to do is find very smart people that are not at all greedy.

Damn.. back to the Ivy League again.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hammock time..

The new hammock is now fully tested and qualified - the loft is just right, the swing is perfect and the supporting trees are fully leafed out and let in just enough blue sky. The heat of the last few days evenly surrounds the body and mind.

Time to ride...

That's when I start to miss the old career and start thinking about warm afternoons in a conference room watching Powerpoints about issues,challenges,new products, new ideas,sales projections etc all the while focusing on the left over donuts in the back of the room.

Ooh - management is about to speak to us about our challenges using analogies. He's starting to speak and I wonder - are any of the creme filled left and can I get to one without..being..notic...

Friday, May 21, 2010

$3.33

Governments both ours and around the world have been tossing around bigger numbers lately, where we used to say "oooh" at a billion now we say what is a trillion anyway?.

I know that they are government supplied numbers and in the case of projections are based more on principle and concept than mathematics (we're lucky if they get the plus or minus part right) but we should try to get a sense of the individual impact.

Whether your a tax payer or a tax taker the amount of burden the government places on the wealth creating parts of the economy effects you.
The tax payer implications are obvious, for the tax takers you may think "great more for my side" . Either way this may help.

With 300 million citizens , we can roughly calculate that each billion is $3.33 each.

Even more convenient for the head of a 3 person household, your share is a sawbuck.

The stimulus package,( Nancy and Harry's porkaplaooza )cost you about $2,600 bucks. In a family of three that's about 8 grand ( don't worry the kid, kids have a revolving line of credit for their part.). Don't ask me where your $8000 is , ask them.

A predator drone costs about a million bucks, that's only a third of a cent each.( Give me a bucks worth!)

Your part of the Greek bailout , through the IMF, is about $27 ( $84 for a family of three.) We could do dinner and a movie for this and really stimulate the economy.

Government spending can be fun as long as you remember your piece!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Voting guidance..

Our governments and associated institutions have driven the economy into a ditch and demonstrate little understanding of how it happened while still assuring us that the latest plan they've come up with will work.

They've spent us deeper into debt while telling us that engorging the health care system with 30 million more people without any credible operating changes will save us money.

Buying our votes with our own money is understandable as their way of keeping their jobs and power, what's really thought provoking is that they think we believe this crap.


The voters have sense enough to know that they can never sort out the details ,spin and gibberish to find out what's really going on and will just vote against any encumbent. That is a blunt yet powerful and somewhat effective tool for selecting candidates to favor.

I have an additional decision making tool...

DON'T VOTE FOR ANYBODY FROM HARVARD OR YALE.. or from the rest of the Ivy league if possible.

This came to me while drinking cofee in bed watching CNBC this morning.

Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Professor and economic adviser to Barama ( Columbia/Harvard) couldn't seem to understand why our money for small business loans pushed out through the banks was having little effect. Don't small business owners wake up every morning thinking " I hope i can borrow money today?" Do bankers start the day saying " I gotta find small business guy to borrow money whether he wants it or not?
Obviously not understanding banking or small business, Prof Warren, despite her professorship couldn't run a 7 eleven and would bring down a McD's in 6 months.

This same group of Ivies who were sure that that the plumber or dry cleaner or flower shop owner would add an employee because of a small tax credit. They assume that Joe the plumber would forget the fact that business was down and he didn't know what his health care would cost, would add an employee because they were "on sale".

In the Bush ( Yale/Harvard) years the "best and the brightest" said to us ' I know your house price and 401k have fallen and you're afraid of losing your job but here's $650 of your taxes back - Go party!.".

In my business career, I called on and met with thousands of people at many hundreds of small and large businesses and can't recall dealing directly with anybody from the Ivies.

Long ago I dated a girl whose father was an expert consultant to the government on education ( he was an intelectual and an Ivy), he didn't know what the muffler on his car did.

I worked for a family owned company run by a Northwestern Grad, who would have been worse except NW is on the fringes of the Ivy league and he spent most of his undergraduate years on Rush street.

They leave the Ivies confident they know whats' best for us and that they are destined to manage the broad sweep of history and then spend the rest of their lives hanging out with others like themselves while taking care of us.

Give me somebody from State U or Community College who knows their ass from a hole in the ground and who can dig the hole if necessary.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

..and SOMETIMES Y ..dammit!

As Americans all focus on tax day and forget the plight of the people of Kyrgystan,the problems continue and the story of the Kyrgyzites moves to the back of the newspaper.

As a good community organizer, I think I can help.

First is that they have to do is recognize the problem... a lack of vowels.

It's bad enough that the country name ends in 'stan'. No sensible outsider will ingest anything or believe anything that comes from a " ' stan".
The consonants in front of 'stan are unpronounceable and therefore can't be spelled.

If you can't be spelled you can't be googled .If you can't be googled you don't exist.

The ideological leaders of the USA ( Cable talking heads,fading actors and singers and academics) always afraid of mispronouncing something, are just moving away from the Kyrgz story faster than the Health care reform story.

That's the problem, here's the solution...

The K leaders need a ballot intitiative to come up with a new national name that addresses the search problems. Suggestions include "Springfield",
" Naked" and " George Clooney" ( no f***king ""stan").

Getting a more search friendly name will take a while but there are immediate things that can help..

- get the most credible ideological leader, the Coach of the Duke Basketball team to say he's from there and speak on their behalf.

- Launch "Vowel-aid". This should engage and provide good exposure for the celebs/greenies and academics. ( the academics could explain the whole vowel thing). Concerts could be given and books will be written. ( It's always for the general good that these groups be occupied).

- Promote the national sport of Ulak Tartysh, a combination of rugby and soccer played on horseback with a headless goat as a ball. We could export
a good part of PETA with this idea and maybe displace some poker and fishing from ESPN2.

-President Obama could announce that he won't attack them with Nukes

It's a big problem and this is just a start, suggestions appreciated.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hammock Time!

New Hammock arrived today.

Initial setup is complete.

Ride height (loaded and unloaded) swing smoothness and droop tension have been set to initial specifications. All done using a combination of the supplied hardware and my custom tree connection system.

A little cool and breezy for any serious testing today. When the weather gets warmer we'll do some final tuning and setup before the maiden snooze.

Final commissioning will follow in early May.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Auto show?

You wouldn't think that after the hammock incident put a big hole in the CAPEX budget ( that new 3 pack of boxers planned for in June may be delayed)that I'd be going to the Autoshow.

Well, the wife and I are both "car guys" and thought this would be harmless fun. Also, good research for the unemtired lifestyle.

One of my ideological favorites is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which allows you to travel at 150mph+ on bad roads, while listening to great tunes and carrying mulch home from the garden center all for the price of a condo. Now , if you don't know what you're doing at 150+ ( you don't, if you did you wouldn't be driving one of these)the Cayenne will protect you with an incredible array of computers and sensors that will save all except for the truly suicidal ( the reason for this is so that you can live on to buy another one).

No one likes to drive fast more than me and I study and practice as much as I can, just as golfers spend hours putting or chipping. Driving fast and well is one of those useless manly arts that is just plain fun.

I'll bet that no one at the Autoshow at a given moment could drive any of the vehicles on display costing $30K or less to its limits. Any of the fancy vehicles costing more than that are either living rooms on wheels or 4 wheeled Rolexes.

I used to aspire to be the guy driving the sleek Benz or BMW. Now, when I see someone go by I wonder how many hours a day do they spend in the car going back and forth from the place where they make the money to pay for the car?

If I wanted to I could easily have one of these cars, but it would mean I would have to work. So in some sense, I'd be working for the car.

How many times would one be willing to hear an alarm clock or spend a summer afternoon in a conference room to travel 150MPH with a load of mulch?

For less than $30K you can have all you need in a car that works for you. Above that you work for the car and your ego.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dealing with crisis....

To be successful at anything, one needs to deal sudden turns of fate and adversity.

Yesterday at a critical moment something happened that strikes at the core of my new beliefs and existence. Normally, I wouldn't labor to post two days in a row but in this case I need to.

At about 4pm EST - my hammock failed.

Hammock napping is is right up there with coupon wrangling ( and a few other things that escape me right now) as an important part of my "new normal".

www.hammock.com

Researched and ordered a replacement within 30 minutes and by next week I'll be riding high and this will be just a memory.

( had to nap on the couch but still got it done).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dress guidelines for retirement interns.

Back during dinkhood ( organizational life) dress was a means of fitting in and setting your status within the group, both things neccessary for you to feel comfortable with your fellow dinks.

To be comfortable with our new status (or lack thereof) we need a dress code so we are fittingly attired for every occasion.

Someday this will be a fashion trend but for now here's a few basics -

- don't care what you look like, you're not going to impress anybody anyway and that's the key to low cost. I haven't spent a penny on clothes since June of last year ( when I bought 2 pairs of jeans and a pocket tee for less than $20). I'm living out of inventory in my closet ( including the years of corporate Logo shirts with meeting slogans on the sleeve - if only they had corporate logo underwear and socks!)

- Dress like a slacker college student except for more pockets ( glasses, coupons and medications) and better footwear ( our feet can't walk very far in flip flops, besides they get cold).

- You've got to have attitude. Carry yourself like a runway model for the fashion house "kiss my ass".

When you're out, people might think you're an old fat college student but more likely they'll think you don't much care.

Bingo.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Financial Crisis Solved!

During an unscientific but limited canvassing of Obamacare supporters I happened upon a solution to the nations financial crisis.

Anybody that believes that the legislative and executive branchs can predict the economic impact of a bill that they themselves don't understand so precisely that they can forecast a savings 10 or 20 years in the future should like this.

If they believe that ,then they can buy up all of the current "underwater" mortgages at full value. Then, if everything goes just exactly right and as predicted they can make a small return in 8 years. If this was done today, the economy would rebound and we could go back to $5 lattes.

Caution - this is not for everybody, if you think as some do that the estimates may off by a trillion or so (in the wrong direction), then you are not ready to serve your country.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

taxes for your health....

We should be thankful that our NY state government has taken time out from dealing with a $ 9 billion deficit to be worried about obesity and our health.

I'm sure these public servants must be frustrated that they don't have the institutional power to eliminate obesity and protect citizens from the effects.

Relentless in their fight for us - they use what means they have.

They impose a tax.

When I heard the Governor say that just a few cents tax on a soda can have such a positive impact on obesity, I was hoping for even higher taxes so that more of us could have six pack abs

But I'm thankful that the tax tool is in the highly experienced hands of our state government because only they have the skill to use it with the precision needed.

Imagine the effects if the tax was too high ... skinny people stuck in storm drains and blown into traffic on windy days, anorexia?

Thank you Albany.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Message from the Congress....

We're all whores... aren't you?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Career Advice

Don't trust anybody that uses the word "problematic".

( NOTE; I heard Charles Krauthammer use it once - he 's on probation).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Expert political Opinion....

While adjusting the Food/shelter/yuks coordinates I've realized that political and economic commentary are a natural fit for the Unemtired community.

What?

First of all, it's cheap and a lot of fun. When you have the time to sit around and watch MSNBC/CNBC/FOX etcetera the news begins to resemble an infinitely complicated and variable spectator sport, with constant innovation,exciting plays, trash talking, deception and expert analysis that is 50% incoherent and 90% proven wrong.
Think of a neverending NFL season with an infinfite number of teams, loose rules and stakes many believe to be greater than those on American Idol.

Many if not most of the Unemtired spring from the 55+ organizational purge of the past few years. In addition to living through a lot of history we've known every mutation of the backstabbing,ass kissin, suspender wearing,people person,team playin',synergistic weasel yet bred in the organizational ooze.

Finally, we are not in politics or media and therefore have no financial stake in the final product.

Oh yeah, we are connected to the real world as we think we percieve it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Costs of work....

Universally, the first reaction when losing one's career is to internally scream " HOW AM I GOING TO SUPPORT MY LIFESTYLE"

What lifestyle?

If you're an excorporate dink like me, you'll soon realize that you had it backwards.

Your lifestyle was supporting your career. Not only financially but emotionally and physicaly.

Accept that your carreer is lost and start enjoying everything that you lost with it.

Drink only with who you want.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

unemtirement

Initially startling and disturbing but gradually mellow and satisfying for the lucky and perceptive.

Suddenly the organization that's been paying you for filling your box on the Org chart has cast you aside and you've met the first condition - you're Unemployed.

Before one can consider a retirement internship (unemtirement)one has to determine one's coordinates on the Food/Shelter/Yuks grid.

If you're covering your food and shelter with money you don't have yet and your yuks are neccessary to help you deal with that fact, you're not ready. There are numerous retirement blogs/websites that will help you put off that first can of 9lives.

If you're fortunate enough to have the situation under control with the debt load reasonable, you can use the unemployed situation to understand and adjust your FSY coordinates.

My personal hope is that during my internship I can adjust my coordinates so that I reach my spot on the grid and retire.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Retired, unemployed or both?

Am I retired?


A year ago I was a small pond semi bigshot BMW driving, expense account dining 6 figure late fifties dink.


An initial diagnosis of "carreerus interruptus" has progressed into "premature emancipation" and overall this has been my best year since 1975, when all I had was a beautiful girlfriend and a Sportster.


Having time to think is one of the hazards of being unemployed but if you don't let it scare you some insights will come.


After some initial spasms of trying to mount the beast again, I decided that unemployment was not a condition but really a qualification for my new calling-


Retirement Intern.