I need to get this gobbledy gook out of my gray matter and on to yours for insightful comments. So much to take in in this changing world in which we live (how’s that for four “ins” in one sentence?).
1. Florida recently passed a law that requires mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. Would that be a liberal or conservative approach to ensuring taxpayer dollars are being put to appropriate use and that people getting aid from states are drug free? Who cares? In this country today (U.S.) everyone is labeled for their stance on one side of the aisle or another offshoot. Can we please begin being logical instead of political?
2. Prices are skyrocketing for durable goods and consumables. I’ve begun my own cost consciousness in the area of foodstuffs. I’m speaking with moms in the dairy section as I see them buying the store brand of yogurt, for example. When she tells me her kids snarf it up, I put back the more pricey Dannon and Yoplait brands and opt for the Kroger brand. I’ve already made the switch to Kroger bagels — six for $1.89 versus the Thomas or Sara Lee brands — 6 for $3.98. Really? My kid can eat Kroger bagels.
3. Warren Buffett recently bailed out (if that’s possible) Bank of America with a major cash infusion to the tune of $5 billion. Is he aware of something we’re not? Should investors flock to the big banks that are drowning in mortgage crises, etc., and buy their stock? What does Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, know as hit sits on top of the world with boatloads of cash?
4. My kidlet just put $100 cash into her savings account, and then I got the bank statement. She’s collecting .01 percent on that money. It’s not even worth it, but where else should her money be saved? Where should all of our savings be saved? It’s a terrible conundrum; I’ve decided to reduce debt rather than sock money into my portfolio this year. Let the market play with what it already has of mine, and I’ll be saving money by reducing the inexcusable finance charges on credit.
5. As China’s economy becomes more prosperous and its citizens become more oriented to material goods (and it’s happening), my opinion is that U.S. business will begin to pay more money to produce outsourced goods manufactured in China. When that happens, the economies of scale will not be as profitable. U.S. companies will want to manufacture again at home, but guess what? They can’t! Our manufacturing infrastructure is gone — outsourced and off shored. Can the U.S. ramp up again to be “made in America?”
6. Remember that blog post I wrote last week about buying a vacuum cleaner? I did a social media search for manufacturers of sweepers and could only find Miele USA, a German manufacturer, on Twitter. In the comments section, I “took heat” from two independent resellers in local markets, and one suggested I buy local and support family-owned businesses. Someone on Facebook also suggested that. So, I went to the local indie reseller in the hopes of buying that Miele brand I’d never heard of. Instead, I was sold a Riccar — a U.S.-manufactured top-of-the-line vacuum no one has ever heard of. There is no advertising, social media, or marketing campaign to push the Riccar brand. It’s strictly sold by independent retailers, and “the money is spent on the product.” The salesman told me he services Dyson the most (every day), and Miele is not as strong in quality as they used to be because they off-shored manufacturing.
7. In this week’s BusinessWeek (I know, it’s Bloomberg BusinessWeek), there is a graph “Graphing the Recession’s Impact” suggesting the “latest recession resulted in more lost jobs and output than any recession in the last 50 years…no other post-war recession has been as severe.” I’m not an economist, but can we please stop comparing the 2010 decade to 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago? We’re now in a global economy; no one has seen this type of teeter-tauter on the world stage ever — so, can we please start graphing this bunk based on today instead of yesterday?
8. Also in BusinessWeek this week, a frightening headline, “The Slow Disappearance of the American Working Man.” Apparently, only 81 percent of men ages 25-54-years-old held jobs in July 2011. Ouch. Could part of this slide be affected by #5 here?
9. And, lastly, we’ve seen the end of an era. I commend, applaud, admire, and wish peace upon Steve Jobs — the man who brought Apple into the limelight among the world’s consumers. Congratulations, Mr. Jobs; you are a revered and respected innovator. Thank you.
Whew…what musings are clogging up your brain cells? Please share and comment to any of the above!