Chinese Hackers hit US Chamber of Commerce, steal info on 3MM members: read THE CHINESE CONSPIRACY to learn what might come next!
Chinese Hackers hit US Chamber of Commerce, steal info on 3MM members: read THE CHINESE CONSPIRACY to learn what might come next!
THE ENTERPRISE--A HOPEFUL HOLIDAY
THE GROWTH IS STILL LUKEWARM, BUT…BETTER THAN NO GROWTH OR DECLINE
The growth in jobs is still inadequate to absorb the new entrants to the work force. The decline in the published (U-2) unemployment rate to 8.6% is artificial, caused by the dropout of 315,000 people who have given up looking. The hiring of recent dates has been at least partly fueled by holiday needs, and may not endure. The decline in the first claims for unemployment to around 380,000 is better than it was, but only by a few percentage points. BUT--what the heck--growth is growth. In many ways this is a lot like the GM bankruptcy. Both would have happened with no intervention from the government and Obama's Misguided Minions. In fact, his misdeeds may have actually slowed things down, but "whatever."
DON'T EXPECT ROBUST GROWTH TO OCCUR IN 1Q 2012…
According to the latest surveys by BIGinsight.com (formerly BIGresearch), consumers play to spend more paying down their debts in early 2012--and that means less on shopping. What will really matter is how "clean the cupboards" of retailers are come Jan. 1. If retailer inventories are modest, then January will be less of a downer. There is always a bit of a slowdown in ordering in Jan. since most retailers' fiscal year ends are Jan. 31, and they want clean balance sheets on that date. It is ironic that the campaigning to date has probably helped the growth a bit--because it forced President Obama and the Congress to at least hear many of the points being made by the GOP hopefuls. Clearly, Obama is listening, and cherry-picking the ideas he can stomach IF they will help his reelection campaign.
MANUFACTURING REBOUND: FROM TARGET--THE ASSOCIATION FOR MANUFACTURING EXCELLENCE NEWSLETTER:
Hopeful Signs Appear in Manufacturing
by Jeanette Spalding
Market reporting outlets from Bloomberg to the Wall Street Journal have covered the recent Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Manufacturing Report on Business that said economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 28th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 30th month in a row.
The manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) reached the 52.7-percent mark, which represents a 1.9-percentage point hike from October's reading of 50.8 percent, reported Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee
SO WHAT ABOUT THE CANDIDATES AND 2012? THE LATEST READ?
If you watched the Fox News sponsored debate last night--which most Republicans probably did, Independents might have and Democrats would have missed intentionally, you saw an excellent read on the candidates:
Obama's Latest "60 Minutes' Interview" By Cal Thomas 12/15/2011
President Obama doesn't suffer from amnesia, but apparently he hopes the public does. In his latest in a series of interviews on "60 Minutes" last Sunday night, the president took positions that are the polar opposite of what he was saying as recently as last spring. One wishes all of those "fact-checkers" who point out supposed mistakes by the Republican candidates were as committed to noting even worse flaws in the president's promises.
In his interview with Steve Kroft, the president said he always believed that reversing the culture in Washington "was gonna take more than one term." It's a "long-term project," he said, "not a short-term project." And then he claimed that during the 2008 campaign, he "didn't overpromise." Really?Speaking in Richmond, Va., on Oct. 22, 2008, Obama promised to put millions of Americans back to work; he pledged "real change." Instead, the unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. Or is it? Ed Luce of the Financial Times writes, "According to government statistics, if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent." Washington remains unchanged, as dysfunctional and gridlocked as ever.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since President Obama took office, the nation has lost 1.9 million jobs, prompting Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler to write that if the economy does not turn around, "Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era."In 2009, the president said on the "Today" show, "If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition." A few days later in Florida, there was this, "I'm not going to make any excuses," said Obama. "If stuff hasn't worked and people don't feel like I've led the country in the right direction, then you'll have a new president."The latest right-track, wrong-track poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that only 17 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction, while a whopping 75 percent think it's headed the wrong way.On CBS, the president said the 2012 election is about his vision, but as CBS News' Stephanie Condon reported last week, "Sixty-six percent of Americans say they do not have a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish in a second term. ... Fewer than half of Democrats say they have a clear idea of what the president wants to accomplish if re-elected." Don't we know? It's taxing "millionaires and billionaires" so the government has more of our money to waste.Is none of this Obama's fault? Can it all be blamed on Bush? Apparently, the president has decided that playing the blame game is good campaign strategy.The president blames Republicans for not allowing him to accomplish anything, but says nothing about his own failure to get things done (other than the health care bill, whose constitutionality the Supreme Court ultimately will decide) when Democrats controlled Congress for the first two years of his administration. And what about Senate Democrats who have rejected every House bill seeking cuts in wasteful spending to bring the budget closer into balance? Not a word.Shall I continue? The president's housing programs received $50 billion from Congress to help stem foreclosures on 9 million homeowners. As The Washington Post reported in October, only $2.4 billion of that money has been allocated, helping just 1.7 million people avoid foreclosure.Imagine what Democrats and their acolytes in the media would say if a Republican president had a similar track record. One doesn't have to imagine. With a lower unemployment rate and less debt in the Bush administration, Democrats were relentless in their attacks, promising improvements. Barack Obama assured us he would make things better.Democrats didn't improve anything and nothing has been made better. According to President Obama's own standard, and contrary to what he said on "60 Minutes," he does not deserve a second term. That he thinks he has earned re-election brings to mind the World English Dictionary definition of "hubris": "Pride or arrogance; (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition ... ultimately causing the transgressor's ruin."
1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. --John Adams
2. If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. -- Mark Twain
3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain
4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. --Winston Churchill
5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. -- George Bernard Shaw
6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy
7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. -- James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)
8. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. -- Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University
9. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -- P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian
10. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -- Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850)
11. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -- Ronald Reagan (1986)
12. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -- Will Rogers
13. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free! -- P.J. O'Rourke
14. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. --Voltaire (1764)
15. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you! -- Pericles (430 B.C.
16. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. -- Mark Twain (1866)
17. Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it. -- Anonymous
18. The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Reagan
19. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. – Winston Churchill
20. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. --Mark Twain
21. The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
22. There is no distinctly Native American criminal class...save Congress. -- Mark Twain
23. What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. -- Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)
24. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -- Thomas Jefferson
25. We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -- Aesop
FIVE BEST SENTENCES
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for...another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!
Ban use of Teleprompters for 2012 Presidential campaign. See:
----------------------------------EXCERPTS FROM: The Columbus Dispatch Friday November 25, 2011 11:46 AM By Tim FeranThe earliest opening of Black Friday — at the stroke of midnight — appeared to be a rousing success at local retailers. Starting late Thursday and continuing through early this morning, shoppers lined up by the thousands to cash in on doorbuster sales that offered discounts of 50 or 60 percent and more. When the action began late Thanksgiving night in the Columbus area, parking lots that normally would have been empty at such a late hour were packed, and traffic was as thick as on any Saturday afternoon."The huge discounts are worth the wait." "We don't mind waiting," said Daniel Briscoe, who had been among the first in line at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.Down the street, there were even larger crowds queueing up at Kohl's and Target, with the vast parking lots at both stores almost completely filled.At Target, the line of waiting customers extended all the way north to the end of the shopping plaza, turned a corner and ended up at the back of the Faslube on Sawmill.The most intense shopping occurred early on. The relatively warm temperatures and lack of rain or snow may have helped boost the crowd numbers overnight. At the very least, the good weather was appreciated by Murphy and others who have camped out for Black Friday deals in the past. “I started yesterday,” said Paula Russell. “We went to Old Navy, then we tried Target, but the line was too long. I think it’s fun. I look forward to it.” After buying silver friendship bracelets for her daughter and her daughter’s friend, she planned to drive to Big Lots, then Toys R Us. By the time JCPenney opened its doors at Polaris Fashion Place — at the now-almost-leisurely hour of 3:30 a.m. — hard-core shoppers had made several stops.----------------------------------
Put me in charge . . .
Subject: A Great LetterTo All My Valued Employees,There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job.What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. Of course, as your employer, I am forbidden to tell you whom to vote for - it is against the law to discriminate based on political affiliation, race, creed, religion, etc.Please vote for who you think will serve your interests the best. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interest. First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story.This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You saw my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don't see is the back story.I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's.My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business --- with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5 pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, ****, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to me like a 1 day old baby.You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made. Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail out all the people who didn't.The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don't understand .. to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the mud of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine.Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep. So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more. Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire.You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.While tax cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don't forget the back story: If there is no job, there is no income to tax. A tax cut on zero dollars is zero. So, when you make decision to vote, ask yourself, who understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of saving your job. While the media wants to tell you "It's the economy Stupid" I'm telling you it isn't.If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the Constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me in the South Caribbean sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about.Signed, Your boss,
Location: This is a real letter
Michael A. Crowley, PE is the owner of Crowley & Associates, Inc. and was President and an owner of Crowley, Crisp & Associates, Inc. and Michael A. Crowley, PC. As President of Crowley & Associates, Inc., Mike is a lead designer of water supply, treatment and storage projects, regional sewage lift station design, and residential and commercial site development projects and is responsible for the management of the firm. Mike’s industry background includes over 20 years experience in the civil engineering field inclusive of executive level responsibilities in Marketing and Project Management. Prior to founding Michael A. Crowley, PC, Mike held positions with several engineering firms in North Carolina and Maine. Mike holds a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering from University of Maine and a Master of Business Administration from Boston College. Mike is a member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and holds professional registrations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Indiana, Maine, Tennessee, Australia, and Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies. Mike is a native of Norridgewock, Maine. The Crowley family resides in Wake Forest.
Benefiting from a hint from an article titled "Is Harry Potter Making You Poorer?" written by my colleague Dr. John Goodman, president of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, I've come up with an explanation and a way to end income inequality in America, possibly around the world.
Joanne Rowling was a welfare mother in Edinburgh, Scotland. All that has changed. As the writer of the "Harry Potter" novels, having a net worth of $1 billion, she is the world's wealthiest author. More importantly, she's one of those dastardly 1-percenters condemned by the Occupy Wall Streeters and other leftists.
How did Rowling become so wealthy and unequal to the rest of us? The entire blame for this social injustice lies at the feet of the world's children and their enabling parents. Rowling's wealth is a direct result of more than 500 million "Harry Potter" book sales and movie receipts grossing more than $5 billion.
In other words, the millions of "99-percenters" who individually plunk down $8 or $9 to attend a "Harry Potter" movie, $15 to buy a "Harry Potter" novel or $30 to buy a "Harry Potter" Blu-ray Disc are directly responsible for contributing to income inequality and wealth concentration that economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman says "is incompatible with real democracy." In other words, Rowling is not responsible for income inequality; it's the people who purchase her works.
We just can't blame the children for the unfairness of income inequality. Look at how Wal-Mart Stores generated wealth for the Walton family of Christy ($25 billion), Jim ($21 billion), Alice ($21 billion) and Robson ($21 billion). The Walton family's wealth is not a result of ill-gotten gains, but the result of Wal-Mart's revenue, $422 billion in 2010.
The blame for this unjust concentration of wealth rests with those hundreds of millions of shoppers worldwide who voluntarily enter Wal-Mart premises and leave dollars, pounds and pesos.
Basketball great LeBron James plays forward for the Miami Heat and earns $43 million for doing so. That puts him with those 1-percenters denounced by Wall Street occupiers. But who made LeBron a 1-percenter?
It's those children again, enabled by their fathers or some other significant male. Instead of children doing their homework and their fathers helping their wives with housework, they get into their cars, drive to a downtown arena and voluntarily plunk down $100 for tickets.
The millions of people who watch LeBron play are the direct cause of LeBron's earning $43 million and are thereby responsible for "undermining the foundations of our democracy."
In his Nov. 3 New York Times column, "Oligarchy, American Style," Krugman lamented: "We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only."
I'd ask Krugman this question: Who's putting all the money in the hands of the few, and what do you think ought to be done to stop millions, perhaps billions, of people from using their money in ways that lead to high income and wealth concentration?
In other words, I'd like Krugman to tell us what should be done to stop the millions of children who make Joanne Rowling rich, the millions who fork over their money to the benefit of LeBron James and the hundreds of millions of people who shop at Wal-Mart.
I'd like to end this discussion with a bit of a personal note. The readers of this column know that I never make charges of racism. Rowling is an author, and so am I. In my opinion, my recently published book "Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?" is far more important to society than any "Harry Potter" novel.
I'd like to know what it is about me that explains why millions upon millions have not purchased my book and made me a billionaire author. Maybe Krugman and the Wall Street occupiers have the answer.