Tag Archives: economy

More Layoffs

WASHINGTON – It’s already been a lousy year for workers less than a month into 2009 and there’s no relief in sight. Tens of thousands of fresh layoffs were announced Monday and more companies are expected to cut payrolls in the months ahead.

[…]

The recession, which started in December 2007, and is expected to stretch into this year, has been a job killer. The economy lost 2.6 million jobs last year, the most since 1945. The unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent in December, the highest in 16 years, and is expected to keep climbing.

Associated Press

General Motors will lay off 2,000 employees in Michigan and Ohio and halt production at nine U.S. plants over the next six months.

NEW YORK – Pfizer Inc. is buying rival drugmaker Wyeth in a $68 billion deal that will increase its revenue by 50 percent, solidify its No. 1 rank in the troubled industry and transform it from a pure pharmaceutical company into a diversified health care giant.

At the same time, Pfizer announced cost cuts that include slashing more than 8,000 jobs as it prepares for an expected revenue crash when its cholesterol drug Lipitor — the world’s top-selling medicine and source of one-quarter of Pfizer’s revenue — loses patent protection in November 2011.

Associate Press

A word from President Obama:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says the nation can’t afford “distractions” or “delays” when it comes to the economic stimulus plan working its way through Congress.

Obama pointed to job cuts taking place at companies including Microsoft, Intel, United Airlines and Home Depot. And he said it means more working men and women “whose families have been disrupted and whose dreams have been put on hold.”

Obama told reporters Monday the government owes it to “every American” to act with a “sense of urgency” and “common purpose.”


Portland, Oregon

Mike and I have always planned to move out of Texas. We thought we would be doing it together, but in light of recent developments, we have agreed that now is definitely the time to go.

We’ve discussed this at length and considered several different places, but the conversation always comes back around to Portland, Oregon.

Although it rains a lot, the temperatures aren’t too severe, and the scenery is nice. They have good public transportation, and Portland is pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

The public school system has got to be better than it is in Texas, although I realize that’s not saying much.

Portland is also full of lefties like us, and Oregon has the fourth largest percentage of people identifying themselves as “non-religious” in the United States. Mike was excited to learn that, with twenty-eight breweries within the city, Portland is home to more breweries than any other city in the country.

They do love their beer!

I’m not going to judge the economy one way or another because it’s broken everywhere, although it seems slightly less broken in Portland, from what I’ve been reading.

I’ve been looking into housing and it seems to be quite common for people in Portland to rent space in their homes. I’ve already found tons of ads for people renting as little as one bedroom, to those who have converted their basements into efficiency apartments.

I think this kind of arrangement might work for us because we’ll have to travel light and leave a lot behind (kitchen items, bedding, etc.) With this kind of arrangement, we could move into a fully equipped home, so we wouldn’t have to exhaust our resources right away, buying furniture and other essentials. I could get my son enrolled in school, and start looking for work right away without worrying about having a pot to cook in.

Plus, we could be around other people. I’ve found several ads placed by single moms who want to share their homes with another single parent. A few of them have boys around my son’s age. Since I’m not planning to leave until the end of February (I want to give my landlord sufficient notice) I have plenty of time to start corresponding with people and try to get a feel for things.

Of course, any sort of house share would be temporary, but I think it might be a good place to start.

I’ll start putting out feelers there, as well as updating my résumé. I suppose it can’t hurt to start sending it out now.

I’m definitely open to suggestions and advice; this is going to be quite an adventure and I’ll take all the help I can get.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


Pondering The Auto Bailout

A CNN research poll showed that 61% of Americans oppose a government bailout for the U.S. auto industry:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — A majority of Americans oppose a bailout of the troubled U.S. auto industry, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, conducted by telephone on Dec. 1-2 with nearly 1,100 people, showed that 61% of those surveyed oppose government assistance for the major U.S. automakers.

[…]

A full 70% of respondents indicated that a bailout is unfair to taxpayers.

In addition to being unfair, the poll showed that a majority of those surveyed think a bailout would not help the economy.

CNNMoney.com

Before I say another word, I want to make clear that I am not claiming any kind of expertise in the area of economics. I wonder, though, if a simple, common-sense approach to this might be in order.

Let’s begin with the the concern that a government bailout of the auto industry would be unfair to taxpayers. I wonder if the people who oppose the bailout on these grounds have considered the 3,000,000 (three million) people who make up the auto industry. That’s 3,000,000 more people out of work!

Will those who are claiming that a bailout would be unfair to taxpayers be OK with those 3,000,000 people putting their children on Medicaid, receiving food stamps and government funded housing assistance, and a variety of other forms of government aid — all of which is funded by taxpayers?

For those who are concerned about the fairness to taxpayers, doesn’t it make more sense to support a one-time bailout which will keep 3,000,000 people working, out of the unemployment and “welfare” lines so that they have more to put back into the economy?

Yes, the economy. That’s the other concern. In addition to a bailout being unfair to taxpayers, those opposing it also think that it would not help the economy.

And putting 3,000,000 people out of work will?

Like I’ve already said, I’m certainly no expert on the subject. But I don’t think it takes an economic genius to figure out that putting 3,000,000 people out of work can’t be “fair” to taxpayers or good for the economy.

Am I missing something, or have these people not thought this through very well? Sure, there need to be restrictions and conditions on any sort of bailout. But, in the bigger picture, doesn’t it make more sense and benefit all sides to keep the auto industry moving and 3,000,000 people working?

As always, I welcome any and all feedback.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Odds and Ends

Besides having Mike here, there’s really not a lot going on at my place. It’s great having him here and I wish he didn’t have to go back next week.

Work is boring, but at least I’ve managed to hold on to my job during this economic crisis. It’s pretty sad when you’re thankful for a job that doesn’t make ends meet and health insurance with a premium that’s killing you. But I admit I’m still on cloud nine over the election results, and I believe Barack Obama will deliver change we need, as promised.

The situation at my son’s school seems to have greatly improved. A few changes have been made; my son is happy and performing well academically, so I am reconsidering withdrawing him for now. I’ll post a full update on this soon.

It’s finally starting to get cold in my part of Texas. We had a cold spell a while back and then it passed. It seems to be back now and I hope it sticks around. Autumn is my favorite time of year, and it doesn’t last long enough here.

I think we’re going out for dinner tonight, but I haven’t decided where. My son suggested “someplace nice” like Whataburger or Subway. Bless his heart. Just goes to show that we’re definitely not living high on the hog. But I think we’ll go somewhere even nicer tonight because… didn’t I tell you?

It’s my birthday!

Yep! I got a visit from my husband, an excellent report card from my son and the President of my choice. What a great way to turn forty-two! Now, I’m going to celebrate it all with a nice dinner someplace and no dishes to wash afterward.

Have a great weekend! I know I will!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Good News

With the election drawing nearer, I’ve been paying more attention to the television than I usually do. I actually switched it on this is morning, which I rarely do. Between stories about Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, John McCain running a nasty campaign, Joe Biden being unprofessional and Barack Obama being a Marxist — all of which is beginning to wear just a bit, if I’m honest — I also heard a story that was very uplifting. We can all use good news once in a while, so I thought that sharing it here would be a nice way to kick off what might otherwise be just a crappy Monday.

Woman buys back foreclosed home for stranger, by Monika Diaz | WFAA-TV

While the misfortune of others lured hundreds of bargain hunters to the foreclosure auction, Tracy said she came to find closure. The mother took her seat among a sea of investors and strangers to say goodbye to her Pottsboro home, which is located just west of Denison.

[…]

“She was crying and I asked her what she was upset about,” said Marilyn Mock, of Rockwall.

When Tracy’s home, “Number 73,” came up for auction, Mock raised her hand and bid. With no picture of the property in the auction book, Mock had only Tracy’s word on the home’s worth.

[…]

It was a second chance given to Tracy by a stranger.

Texas Cable News

I’m all choked up again. Stories like this make me think that maybe the world isn’t as cold and hard as it sometimes seems to be.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Pelosi Is A Big Meany: No Deal

For the good of the U.S. economy, our House of Representatives needed to reach a bipartisan agreement to bail out Wall Street. We are in dire circumstances and the petty bickering needs to stop, or at least be put on hold so we can find a way to minimize the risk of another Depression.

Republicans and Democrats alike will need to make compromises. Nobody will get everything they want in the deal. They knew this going in, and announced yesterday that they had come to an agreement. But when it came time to vote, Republicans didn’t keep their end of the deal.

Why? Because Nancy Pelosi hurt their wittle feelings:

Republican house leader John Boehner said: “We could have gotten there today had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House”.

The speaker’s words, he said, “poisoned our conference, caused a number of members that we thought we could get, to go south”.

BBC News

So, Mr. Boehner, you were all committed to doing what’s right for the economy, for your constituents, for America and the world, until mean old Nancy Pelosi offended you?

Grow the hell up, you bunch of sniveling cry babies! We’re facing the possibility of a depression at the moment, and you’re behaving like spoiled brats, throwing a hissy fit and holding your breath withholding your (promised) votes because Nancy Pelosi said something you didn’t want to hear.

Go home and pout all you want, but don’t take it out on us.

I’m beginning to seriously wonder if Republicans are trying to throw this election.

Update: U.S. House Republican Leader, John Boehner’s reaction to the vote:

At the end of the day this is not about the Democrats or Republicans – it’s about our economy and what’s best for the American people. And regardless of what happened today we’ve no choice in my view but to work together to try to find a solution to make sure that we save our economy and we save our constituents.

BBC News

Well, John, this doesn’t exactly line up with your sniveling about what a big meany Nancy Pelosi is. In fact, it confirms that you understand the magnitude of the situation, but rather than do the right thing, you and your party decided to stick your bottom lips out and whine: No fair! Nancy’s a big meany pants and we don’t wanna play with her anymore! Hmph!