Monday, October 24, 2011

Hello, again, everyone.  Not much going on here.  Enjoying the moderate weather before another cool front comes in mid week.

I like this story--a lot.  I am not a technophobe or luddite--but I am not a technophile either.  We depend on technology way too much and for things the technology may not be suitable for or for which the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.  We habitually adopt a technology without really considering the harm it may do until that harm rises up and bites us our collective asses.  Or we try to adopt a technology only to find that it really doesn't fit our lives.  It took me a couple of PDAs to realize I work better with paper and pencil.


I started this on Sunday but didn't post.  If I hadn't found the above story I would simply have deleted the start and begun another post.  Let's see what I find today (Monday).

A thought, as I read this article:  we seem to be expecting far too much of politicians, especially our Presidents.  Unfortunately, the campaign so far indicates that that will continue to be the case as each of the contenders out line what THEY WILL DO for us.  As we have, or should have, found out over the last three years is that no President can do anything without cooperation from the legislators we send to Washington.  The article does indicate exactly how divided both expert and political opinion are on the economic problems is and how complicated the issue is.  As long at that opinion remains divided nothing will get done and, as long as hard line political positions remain in place along with an unwillingness to compromise, no one will be able to untangle the messy skein of economic problems affecting us.

The CNN news had teaser alluding to the 'image problem' the banks have and how little faith ordinary Americans have in the banking/finance system.  Well, I remember reading about such image problems going back almost 200 years.  Andrew Jackson killed the National Bank by refusing to re-charter it.  He thought that banks should be local and that a National Bank had an unfair advantage over local banks while discriminating against local borrowers.  Even local banks had an 'image problem' by the Civil War. I remember a scene in the movie Gettysburg where a Confederate general compared the British to the banks.  The British would come in on the Southern side only when their help was no longer needed just as banks would only lend when the borrower was no longer in debt.  A major part of the Populist and Progressive movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries involved deep dissatisfaction with two vital institutions seen as distant, unfair and unresponsive: railroads and banks.  Any of that sound familiar?

I absolutely love this article at MSNBC and hope the movement grows.  The only thing I disagree with is the notion that the banks are turning to customers to cover the costs of maintaining their accounts after regulations kicked in to cap overdraft and swipe fees.  It isn't to maintain the accounts; it is to maintain the profits their shareholders get and the fat compensations for the top execs.

This story is annoying, frustrating, and angering on a number of levels.  First, I don't think we should be giving government loan guaranties of any amount to any foreign company or to any American company for any operation in a foreign country.  Second, if the company is right and there are no contract manufacturing facilities in the U.S. that can do the job that is an incredibly sad assessment of the state of U.S. manufacturing and perhaps they should have required that Fiskars establish such facilities in the U.S.  And, why aren't the Repthuglican idiots in Congress rising on their hind legs about this?  They are all so incensed at the Solynra deacle but handing out money to a foreign company?  At least Solyndra is American and hired Americans.  Fourth, I am getting extremely tired of all of the promises of companies (U.S. or foreign), and politicians (Repthuglican or Damnocrat) who excuse any harebrained expenditure on the exaggerated claims of jobs.

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