Thursday, February 26, 2009

1) Attack Democrats. 2) ... 3) Profit!

(CNN) “I tell you, that moment was not our best moment,” he said. “It would have been our best shot at winning the White House a chance to offer a true authentic, conservative choice rather than a big government echo, rather than a meek, ‘me too’ way of doing things.”


... and what choice would that be? *crickets chirping*

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Now, don't get me wrong. I expect the Republicans to attack anything the Democrats do, regardless of outcome. After all, the Democrats do the exact same thing.

No, what annoys the crap out of me is that GOP never seems capable of backing up their words with a coherent solution that isn't just a redmeat filled soundbite.

If you have a worthwhile idea, then present an alternative that reflects the problem. The issues facing our country are complex and require a degree of critical thinking and sacrifice. So, don't present a solution that could have been hastily written on a cocktail napkin.

Developing economic strategy in a manner similar to the Underpants Gnomes from South Park isn't exactly a winning solution, nor reassuring that you are competent enough to be handed the reigns of government again.

IMO, the Republicans are on a trajectory for remaining in the wilderness for a few more years. They are doing their best to sound like the Democrats in 2002. ie, ideologically bankrupt, reactionary, and completely and totally irrelevant.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Your suffering is my opportunity. Vote for me.

I couldn't help laughing when I read the following editorial on Politico.
Some Republican governors, who normally like federal tax bucks, now want to turn them down. Why? Because they aren’t just tax bucks, they are “Obama-bucks.”

They are bucks from President Obama’s stimulus plan, and if these bucks put people back to work and let people hang on to their homes, he and the Democrats might get the credit.

And that would never do.

...

Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana who often has “rising star” and “presidential hopeful” attached to his name, also said he didn’t want some of the federal money.

But under questioning by David Gregory on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Jindal seemed to wilt a little when it came to explaining why.

“Well, let’s be clear,” Jindal said, not being clear at all. “The best thing that Washington could do to help Louisiana and all of our states with our budgets is to get this economy moving again.”

Gee, thanks. But don’t get him wrong. While some people see these times as filled with pain and suffering, Jindal sees them as an opportunity. A political opportunity.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Save! Save! Oh crap! Spend! Spend!

TOKYO — As recession-wary Americans adapt to a new frugality, Japan offers a peek at how thrift can take lasting hold of a consumer society, to disastrous effect.

The economic malaise that plagued Japan from the 1990s until the early 2000s brought stunted wages and depressed stock prices, turning free-spending consumers into misers and making them dead weight on Japan’s economy.

...

Japan’s aging population is not helping consumption. Businesses had hoped that baby boomers — the generation that reaped the benefits of Japan’s postwar breakneck economic growth — would splurge their lifetime savings upon retirement, which began en masse in 2007. But that has not happened at the scale that companies had hoped.

Economists blame this slow spending on widespread distrust of Japan’s pension system, which is buckling under the weight of one of the world’s most rapidly aging societies. That could serve as a warning for the United States, where workers’ 401(k)’s have been ravaged by declining stocks, pensions are disappearing, and the long-term solvency of the Social Security system is in question.


Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/business/worldbusiness/22japan.html


My 401K has been hammered... but I can't look at my retirement investments in the short term. Right now they are in the tank, but I'm not going to be touching that money for at least another 30 years. In that time, the U.S. will go through multiple booms and recessions before I retire. I feel for all the people who are looking to retire in the near future, however this is a huge warning/reminder for people to slowly shift their investments out of the stock market and into more secure funds the closer to retirement age you go. People that ignored this old advice (or just didn't pay attention their investment) ended up gambling with their retirement funds or assumed that the bubble/boom time wasn't ending anytime soon.

This sucks right now, but at least I can give thanks that I have a stable job and it's not the end of the U.S.

Fast Times during a Down Economy



It's interesting seeing that despite the rollcoaster ride, I'm insanely busy at work... and have very little time to check the net, Facebook or the blog. We went from a dead period for a few months, which we were busy trying to complete all the task we've ignored since we were last busy. After the calendar year changed, most of the clients we deal with started issuing RFPs and RFQs, and so we went from zero to seven proposals crossing my desk in no time flat. Of course, virtually every submittal has the envitable presentation preparation section, where I make posters, animations, power point shows, and where I practically live in Photoshop working with aerial photography.

So, while I'm working late nights, I'm watching news of the economy going south... and I consider myself a very lucky guy to have a stable job with a firm showing signs of growth. Heck, my company is flying me out to their corporate HQ next week, so I'll have a night or two running about Manhatten having a good time.... like having a hotel room about two blocks from the Complete Strategist, a game store in New York. :)