Tags

, , , ,

Other ways to get money or create your own job or company –

I’ve been thinking about all those jobs that I’ve seen for people to analyze derivatives and other financial products like CDOs and mortgage-backed securities, bonds and other commercial paper.

And, the financial crimes units of the FBI, Treasury Department, Secretary of State’s office, and State offices of the same things, the SEC and whoever else is keeping up with all that would also have job openings for those that could trail those things. However, I have seen pictures of a couple people here and there who’ve appeared on the news in the last three years that have been doing those jobs and it doesn’t look like it favored their well-being. They had a genuine moon tan with such a stressed-out, sleep deprived blue tone that I wouldn’t guess the work or work environments were good.

Anything that could sell to banks, bankers or financial companies would likely make a business that could succeed since they have all our money. That, I’ve noticed anyway. There has to be software needs they have which haven’t been satisfied yet.

The best of what I’ve learned about business came from my children. With three dollars from their pooled allowance, two of them took candy bought in a large package of snack sized candy bars and sold at school one day for 50 cents per candybar. Their profits were something around a thousand percent. They had a very captive audience who wanted little else during the school day than a fifty cent candy bar. They sold them faster than they had expected and were ready to go back to school the next day with several bags when it was discovered what they were doing.

Unfortunately, schools frown on students bringing candy to school to sell. It isn’t the fact that it is candy. It is, (and was) the fact that it is against the rules for students to sell anything at school unless the school has made arrangements for them to sell it, such as the ticket books of buy one, get one restaurant dinners and greeting cards and booster cushions and $5 candy bars, or whatever else the school has been conned into selling to raise money. It seemed to me that my children had the right idea. They wanted more money. They knew what the other students wanted most. They sold it to them for a price that was reasonable to them, even though 50 cents for a snack sized candy bar made it possible to make a profit, the other kids were seeking them out to get one. That seems right to me.

There was a story on CNN yesterday about an elementary school that is teaching business and money things to their students (even first graders.) It makes sense. There are only about two things that every single student is definitely going to end up doing in their lifetimes one way or another – and one of those is parenting (even if it is no more than dealing with other people’s children) and the other is making money in some way. Everyone definitely needs to know how to do those things effectively. It does require math and science, among other things. But, our nation has changed from a need to understand how many bushels end up in a truck bed to having a need to know how to use the computer effectively for any job that could possibly be available. And, it helps to know how to balance a checkbook.

The needs that are still unmet are everywhere. As I watched the story about air quality in Paris the other day, it concerns me that there is all kinds of money to study, research, monitor and analyze air quality but little money sits available for implementing solutions. There are concrete products and paints now that are capable of neutralizing air pollution, but it is little used anywhere. The money to do that simply isn’t there. But, studying the air pollution for the fiftieth year in city after city, country after country even now can continue to provide proof day in and day out that the air quality sucks damn near everywhere. And, it is getting worse rather than better.

Where are solutions to that? When there are solutions that have been developed, who takes those into a manufacturing business and gets them implemented in those same communities where the air quality is known to be such a chemical stew? When do the funds get placed for implementing the solutions that have been found to these known problems across the US? I repeated a story in my last post about the man who engineered his car to get over 100 miles per gallon. This is the second record setting he had made with it for mpg. So, why don’t all our cars get that? Why can’t we do that? Would that be so hard?

I don’t have a car. But, if I were to have a car, it would be nice to have one that doesn’t get the air quality worse than it already is and has a hundred miles or more coming out of every gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel used in it, if that is the kind of fuel it is using.

After going over to the CNN site to try and find that story about the children learning business in elementary school, I remembered something about air quality and politics that could make probably a ton of money. Everytime I’ve turned on the tv, it is covered over in gossip about the political races. That must be the best money right there. To pass around the gossip about the politics about fourteen more times, probably has money in it. Personally, I don’t like it, but apparently there are vast numbers of people who do like it and want every juicy detail they can get. And, I still think somebody ought to get on the other side of the table with Rush Limbaugh and just fuss. That would be a good show, if they could hold their own with him at all. I’d probably not waste time listening to it, but a lot of people would love hearing it.

There ought to be better ways to make money than I posted the other day, but not one comes to mind. I had made a list earlier today, but really the only things on it are the derivatives analysis, financial crimes division jobs or subcontracting them as a business, DA’s offices which are covered over in paperwork since every misdemeanor for spitting on the sidewalk is being pursued probably need help and making a business out of building toilets made of gold for bankers are about it. Software and apps store stuff is still selling, much of which can be built at home on any computer with a bit of patience and putting up with tedium. There are tons of blogs with ads covering them which must be making a ton of money and tv ads for things that would only continue running if they were making money.

As much as everything looks like only 9% of the jobs lost in our economy have been put back into place (as someone said on a news story yesterday), the fact is, either the financial analysts and some economists are lying again or the Recession ended last summer as they’ve insisted. And considering that only 9% of the jobs have been put back in place – I’d say they’re either lying or grossly mistaken and I’m not sure which it is. The other fact is, we live in a consumer-driven economy. That hasn’t changed but the wherewithal for consumers to use for driving the economy certainly has changed for the worse. It was only going to be a matter of time before that part showed how damaging it would be.

The other day, I was figuring up how long 99 weeks of unemployment would be if a person had been laid off in Spring or Fall of 2008. And, those lay-offs continued through 2009, so those 99 weeks for some people would continue well into next year. But, at whatever rate a person’s unemployment checks would cover of their original paycheck, and not having to pay for daycare or after school care for their children, the savings in transportation costs and not having to eat out for lunch everyday – maybe families (provided that at least one spouse is working full time and the other drawing unemployment for 99 weeks) wouldn’t even have noticed there is a real problem yet. My guess would be about three months after the unemployment checks have stopped and there still not being any jobs – people would notice something is very wrong. Just a guess. (which would be about now sometime.)

Oh yeah, that reminds me – looking at the CNN site again for the elementary school kids learning business story / video – that there have been a number of stories about US cities buying cameras for trains, buses, city streets, city and government buildings, etc. – again they are on another buying spree of goodies from the Homeland Security menus. If anyone starts a business in selling those cameras to them – or gets a job in the sales force of those companies with those cameras and software – they’ll make money right now. And, making a place for people to advertise for the adult stuff that was just taken off Craigslist – unfortunately will make a bunch of money for some enterprising somebody.

I still say that if prostitution, illegal drugs and credit default swaps were included in the GDP and taxed at 30% like everybody else is having to pay – there wouldn’t be a national deficit nor a revenues problem in the states’ coffers and that of the federal government. It is a fact. There is something like $600 Trillion dollars of credit default swaps in the world, no telling how much of that in the US or generated from the US. That is, Trillion with a ” T “. Not only are there premiums being paid on them which aren’t taxed with sales tax or anything else, but there are financial products being made which are not being subjected to the same taxes that anything else would be and all that money changing hands which is never touched by the taxman.

Hmmm……

Now, that’s just wrong. And, those people involved with creating the exotic credit derivatives and funky financial products are generally the same ones claiming that the deficit should be fixed. Okay – let’s fix it. Tax every credit derivative that is created for 30% of its value and put a tax on every premium being paid for it the same way that taxes are paid on every other property, product, sale, service, car, truck, horse and anything else that moves.

Place a tax on every sale of sexual service made and on every bag of dope sold from marijuana to cocaine and there won’t be a federal deficit anymore. Our nation doesn’t include most of the products that are being sold day in and day out by the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions per hour – by excluding financial products, prostitution services and recreational drugs from the equation. But, they are the only ones doing business on a daily basis – in fact, many times per hour. Leave it to Wall Street, and what do you get?

They want to fix it – let’s fix it.

There is not one reason in the world to require the rest of the nation to suffer any longer from the perversions and excesses of the egomaniacs at the top with their unfettered greed, sidestepping the tax bills the rest of us endure, providing not one thing to the collective good where they’ve harvested every last dime they have. And, when it is time to hire – they want to hire from somewhere else in the world where they can pay nothing or nearly nothing to get the same job done as any of us could do. They’ve hoarded their money and power long enough and to the detriment of us all.

Not one of them has worked any harder than I have or you have or anyone else has and most of them, have done the least of any human being I’ve ever met in my life. And, they’ve done the least good with it while they’ve had it of any human group since the Lucretia Borgia set was running things. If the tax write-offs hadn’t been available or some intrinsic power to be had with it, these same power-mongering, money-hungry bastards wouldn’t have ever given one single dollar to any charitable cause whatsoever. In fact, they are insatiable. There will never be enough for them to be satisfied. May as well tax their ill-conceived perversions while they’ve still got the money they cheated our nation to get.

Yes, that’s so harsh. But it is true. When they leveraged our companies to pay themselves ridiculous salaries and exorbitant bonuses, they cheated us. These weren’t the men who built these companies. They just robbed them and then robbed us. They robbed pension plans. They robbed company resources, assets and future earnings – and then had us bail them out while saying we all caused it. . . . fuck that.

***

Can you imagine how much money the state of Georgia could raise if they taxed every single pill of Ecstasy that is being sold on any given day in this state? There wouldn’t be a budget shortfall – in fact, I would bet this state would have a budget surplus in a very short period of time at the rate these one single kind of pills are being bought, sold, distributed, re-sold and finally purchased by somebody that is up to no good and doesn’t really need it to be giving to any woman anywhere anyway. At colleges and universities alone, our state would make up its deficit before the football season is over if every pill of Ecstasy were taxed. For what is sold at Harvard, there would probably be enough money in taxes on it to pay off the next two years of the Federal deficit, for that matter.

See, what I don’t get is – why would we tax tires but not tax illegal drugs that everybody is buying on a daily basis across this country? It doesn’t make sense.

Why do I have to buy a business license to sell three pieces of art at an art show for a day, when there are business men making credit default swaps for millions of dollars in premiums and valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars who don’t have to have a license to do that, or pay sales tax on it or any damn thing else? Why is that? What makes sense about that? And, I’m the reason our nation is in trouble?

They don’t even have an inventory tax the way other businesses do that manufacture things out of thin air. They get to create some complex financial instrument that is worth millions of dollars without ever paying one dime to the government for creating it, manipulating it, selling it, maneuvering it, trading it, re-selling it, profiting from it, borrowing against it, receiving money from it quarterly as premiums are paid, and when it loses money, the taxpayers’ treasury is covering those losses. What kind of shit is that when I have to and you have to – go down and get a business license and a permit to even sell shoelaces on the corner or in a festival or at a storefront? How is that right when our nation is bankrupt and every state budget has been cut to the bone from revenue losses?

Honestly, hedge fund managers that have made over a billion dollars last year, got to pay 17% for their income taxes by maneuvering. How does that fix anything? Obviously, they haven’t and their friends up there at the top with them haven’t put money into the businesses of our national economy coming back around or it would be back around already.

In fact, these same people as investors in any business, won’t put their money into it unless they can be damn well guaranteed to get 3- 5 times their original investment back out of it within two to three years. Most businesses don’t even break even by the three year mark – but these guys have to have their money back times 3 or times 5 before the business can even get some standing in the marketplace. That isn’t investment in the future earning of America. That is some barbaric game of gouging the businesses and start-ups in the same way that traditional loan sharks would do to individuals during years of racketeering and crime.

I actually didn’t know those things until looking at some of the solar businesses and business startups in the raw materials used in solar cells and solar panels. It seemed odd that so many of them would go bankrupt two years out from their start until I noticed in a news story about the investors pulling their money out right at the same time. Then, I was on a site about venture capitalists, seed capital and angel investors where the national associations have their membership and information.

Across several of these places, there was information about what investors wanted back out of the deal for putting their money into it and at what point they expected an “exit strategy”. Although none of these sources that I read, including some business magazines’ information about it – called the return on those investments a loan interest of 30% – 50% for the borrower, that is still what it would be if the investors expect a return of 3 – 5 times the amount they put in to be returned to them 2-3 years later. From the assets of the business that has not gained its full market share, that would be devastating and apparently, it cuts a path straight to the bankruptcy courts all over the US and the world every single day for these businesses. That isn’t funny and it isn’t okay. It also isn’t making any real foundation for any national economy.

Nor is that manner of using money, creating anything but failure, bankruptcy, short-sighted economic wastelands and desperate unemployment where there could have been prosperity and opportunities for many. But those investors, hedge fund managers, and brokers made out okay doing it that way – they are doing it that way even today – so what if a tidal electricity generating project is made bankrupt by it and companies bankrupted by it that manufacture the raw materials to make solar panels economically feasible and accessible in the marketplace?

So what if its destroyed America’s competitiveness in the world marketplace and taken away our ability to successfully innovate, invent or create viable companies. That isn’t going to matter to the people who are lining their pockets with the money, that are buying our legislators and politicians with their lobbyists and campaign donations, and who are regularly sidestepping our tax laws with every trick in the book despite having hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars. They are the only ones that can afford to buy solar panels right now as it is – but they are proud of the amount of gasoline their cars use and the bragging rights to how much electricity they can use in their massive homes and offices where only one person lives. So what if they pay less than minimum wage to their landscapers, house servants, maids, chauffeurs, cooks, yacht crew members, stable hands and gardeners because they are illegal immigrants?

That’s the American dream, right?

Well, I might as well rant about it and get it out of my system . . .

Between the short selling against stocks with nothing put up on the deal in the first place, the gossiping every little tidbit of financial insider opinion and calling it “the news” and the buying of the ratings agencies that are supposed to be basing their evaluations on objective criterion to the use of investment capital to raid a company of its earnings and its opportunities to succeed in the marketplace (in fairly short order) – I think there are vast problems with the economic foundations of our nation regardless of what the economists and financial “experts” are saying.

And, these things are not going to get fixed by anything they’ve done so far, in Washington or London or in the European Union or in Germany or anywhere else for that matter. Japan is reeling from it. Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland are reeling from it. The US is still reeling from it. The England I’ve read about is still undermined because of Wall Street, and its “players” and the bankers and the financial “wizards” doing things this way – and so are the rest of the economies in the world who are almost all, still being impacted in negative ways by the Wall Street investment community money games-playing bullshit.

We’ve got commercial properties sitting on the books and being leveraged against, for values that might have been true three years ago – but not even close to accurate for the market values of the last two years. And, if they had to sell those properties today or next week or even next year, those values wouldn’t even satisfy a third of the notes against them for the most part and certainly wouldn’t get the full value as it appears on the books nor even the value on the loan papers when the loans were made. Half or more of the residential real estate in the United States costs more than most people could make to pay for it and many of those properties sit vacant without buyers in communities utterly destroyed by financial games that have been played with them in the investment and finance community.

The foreclosure process has even made money for some of those people holding the mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps against them while people are losing their homes, their livelihoods, their children’s schools, their churches, their communities and the equity they had put into every hard earned cent and effort of it. How is that okay? How is any part of that right? And, then I heard the real estate roundtable folks in Washington discussing in an interview a few months ago, that they just need to find foreign investors and families from elsewhere to come buy these houses that are supposed to be our homes. We’ve invested in these communities. We’ve paid taxes. We’ve worked to make our lives and our families successful here. We’ve spent time and effort in doing it and in being good citizens and decent neighbors and decent human beings and good Americans. How dare they sell the very shelters available for our citizens to have a place to live out from under anyone in our country owning them?

I don’t think that the people in Wall Street, or in the investment and finance community get up in the morning and say, let’s see who we can screw today. But, after watching the Enron story several times, maybe they do. Maybe they get off on it. But, I also can see that they don’t know what to do to fix it, even if they see there is something wrong with the way things are being done now. In a normal market economy of supply and demand, the house prices would’ve gone down to reflect the amount of wages available to pay for those homes. In a normal market economy, when the marketplace values fell for commercial real estate, those values indicating an oversupply of commercial and office space in the marketplace, would have gone down. The wages for employees in companies doing well would have increased across the board rather than getting rid of everyone that was doing a good job to hire someone with less experience, less education, less ability to get up to speed because of just walking in the door and less able to do the job as well as the one that was let go – simply to cut costs and put those funds into the pockets of those at the top.

In a normal market economy of supply and demand, investors would put their feet down into a company and put in roots for the long haul of fifty or a hundred years – not two or three – with income generating from it for a long, long, long period of time for themselves and everyone in it. In a normal market economy, companies would not be able to leverage their assets against buying open stocks, buying into hedge funds, buying bonds and default swaps or any other freaky financial procurement strategy to cover losses that are going out the front door when sales are slim. They would have to meet the marketplace with genuine innovation instead.

That builds lasting companies. Treating employees as a strong tangible asset with an investment and loyalty to them over a long period of time, costs far less than trading in the well-seasoned and capable for those walking in the door with no idea of what works and what doesn’t, just to save a few thousand dollars over the next six months. Executives that are getting all the money from the companies’ revenues and even shareholders doing that, are robbing the companies’ employees of the natural sequence of being well-rewarded for loyalty to the company and a job well done. It is no wonder that our companies failed and our communities lay in waste.

Perhaps it is like I watched on the Apprentice the other day in their season opening segment – that everyone is expected to be operating as cut-throats against one another in order to win – even while calling it “working as a team.” Maybe to be on the Donald Trump show, as much as I like him and admire the businesses he has built, means not to learn any more than how to be a candidate for Jerry Springer or tear down everyone around you. But, maybe that is how business in corporate America and Wall Street is. Maybe they expect that everyone else is doing it that way too – or should be doing it that way, if they’re not. So far, the only thing I’ve learned from the Donald Trump Apprentice show is how shitty people can be to one another.

Oh, wait – no, I already knew that. I have family that is like that – and a few neighbors that have been that way, and had friends like that – and I don’t waste my time around them anymore because it is an absolute waste. It isn’t interesting or entertaining and certainly didn’t teach me about business, or success or accomplishing something amazing nor was it anything enjoyable. Was the lesson supposed to be, how to work as a team when everyone on the team is slitting each others’ throats and intentionally thwarting the efforts of the team in order to make someone else look bad? Is that how it is in corporate America today? Is that why our companies can’t function as well as they might, because they are an internal war zone of people vying for each other’s throats? And that is acceptable?

So, our society is teaching poor people (and women) how to be assertive and teaching business people in corporate America to be aggressive to the point of killing each other while our competitors in the real world are walking all over us? Yeah – good move. Whose plan was that?

– cricketdiane

***

Advertisements