Small business financing still a tough sell
Mon May 18, 2009 8:16am EDT
By Jon Cook
[ . . . ]
Bloom said financing for small business has always been a hard sell, because owners typically don’t have the collateral to justify the risk to the lender: “There historically are no grants for small business or even for large business; unless you have the next cure for cancer or some other opportunity where scale is huge and the people launching it have a tremendous track record.”
[ . . . ]
President Barack Obama is attempting to keep his pre-election promise of increased funding for small businesses through his Recovery Act, which he signed into law in February.
The legislation committed $15.5 billion to help stimulate lending to small business, most of which was to be used to buy securities backed by pools of SBA loans sold by banks and other financial institutions.
The Obama initiative also upped the percentage of SBA-guaranteed loans from 75-to-90 percent and temporarily eliminated fees for borrowers on 7(a) and 504 loans, the SBA’s two most popular loan programs.
Recently, the SBA also announced it was broadening eligibility criteria for its loan programs to allow an additional 70,000 businesses to be able to apply for assistance. The rapid moves were meant to address spiraling small business loans, which had ground to a halt with the sudden collapse of U.S. capital markets last October. SBA communications director Jonathan Swain admitted that before the new provisions were implemented, the number of SBA loans had plunged by 50 percent.
[ . . . ]
Not everyone is convinced. George Cloutier, founder and CEO of American Management Services Inc, has yet to see any of the new money getting into the hands of the hundreds of entrepreneurs he meets every week.
The leading advocate for small business has spent the last few weeks traveling the country, speaking to entrepreneurs about how the economy is affecting their companies. “For the last four dinners we’ve asked the question: Have you got any money from the SBA at all? And it’s a total zero,” he said. “Literally no one has raised their hand out of a thousand people.”
[ . . . ]
NON-TRADITIONAL FUNDING ROUTES
Internet mogul Josh Baer, who co-founded the venture capital firm Capital Factory, is doing something a little less conventional to help entrepreneurs. He and a team of 19 other mentors launched a national contest to find five entrepreneurs to help fund and mentor. The winners all received $20,000 in seed money in addition to free access to office space and expert legal, public relations and financial advice.
[ etc ]
Saks Fifth Avenue –
My Note –
I posted the info about Saks Fifth Avenue above because it is isn’t typical for retailers, small businesses, restaurants and a variety of other businesses to be this open and inviting to the public.
From tv stations to science based products, there is an openness that invites a degree of participation by their audiences, their customers and the public at large.
But, for retailers – not so. For many small businesses – not so. For many banks and large corporations of different types – not so. But, what they do affects us.
And given any chance to say so, they want that interaction with the public and with their customers. It is strange that their actions speak otherwise.
I was looking for a number of different things and stumbled upon some job openings – some of them are jobs that would be really great to have. What I did not find, was any way to interact with anyone at any of the companies in any reasonable way. I understand that there are people hired whose only job is to keep people away from bothering the executive decision-makers.
It means that they are keeping themselves in a vacuum of information and then consequently, any feedback is tainted by proximity. People around these decision-makers are not in a place to tell them what they don’t want to hear or suggest the things that they can’t already see in the manner they want to see it.
If a product they have made, breaks the first time it is used – they don’t want to know that, but eventually their credibility in the market will suffer as people stay away from what they are producing, no matter how big their name and brand might be.
Customer service is not a place to defend the way they are already doing it, but many times that is what it has become. And, they don’t want to know anyway. No use in suggestions, no use in other information, no use in real-time real experiences with their stores or products or services and no use in any information that is innovative to what they are already doing.
When times are good – it probably doesn’t matter a whole lot. But, when times are tough and businesses are going bankrupt, left and right – everywhere anyone might look – then these opaque, exclusive, fortressed and evasive tactics to keep out public opinion and public interaction can mean the difference between continuing in business or not.
There are malls across the country that are in financial trouble. Right now, there are intermediate loans carrying them and their store owners across the hurdle. It might work. It might not matter what anybody says or thinks or could do to help stimulate their businesses and traffic to their properties. It might not even matter but then again . . .
[from SBA site]
“[e200] has given me the knowledge, courage, and access to experts and 19 other CEOs who face the same challenges I do. I highly recommend e200 to any business owner regardless of the size of the company or longevity.” (Kelly Sargent, president of Brainstorm Marketing, Des Moines, Iowa)
SBA Emerging 200 Initiative
The goal of the SBA Emerging 200 initiative is to identify 200 inner-city businesses across the country that show a high potential for growth—and to provide them the network, resources and motivation required to build a sustainable business of size and scale within a designated inner-city geographic location.
My Note –
Aside from this and a couple small areas – the SBA website looks like a bank’s portal for GET A LOAN, HERE”S A LOAN, FIND A LOAN, HAVE A LOAN, this kind of loan, that kind of loan, get a loan, get a loan, get a loan and we’re only backing loans that are for those who don’t really have any need for them such that there is absolutely no risk involved in making the loans.
Look back into history – business happens when need meets with those who would satisfy it. There might be all of three pages on the SBA site about that and similar helpful things.
There are some great training modules, but their primary focus seems to be as a clearinghouse for loans and to support banks, financial companies and investment companies for those loans.
This has been the focus for twenty plus years – where the Small Business Administration was reworked by the Republican manifesto to be a free money source for the banking and commercial real estate industries. That is not what we need now.
If America is to support innovation, invention, inventiveness, direct free market capitalism, creativity, creating solutions, applying solutions, and encourage the marketability of those things – then it has to approach the problem differently than throwing loans at it to make money for bankers.
I was very discouraged to see the small-town mentality of our conference for the Small Business Administration sponsored, National Small Business Week. It reminded me of the small town news organ that describes “a good time was had by all,” and the taffeta table cloths that were so risque.
The webcasts were predominantly canned, the significant events were to give out a selection of awards rather than information rich and the attitudes of those hosting it did not include the 90% of America that needs it.
That is a really poor showing of a national agency with domestic and international standing. And, especially so, in a time of national economic crisis where there are over 20 million people who are under-employed, unemployed or in need of employment.
This is a time when we need the Small Business Administration and all of its sister agencies to get their act together with the people of the United States in every state of the Union – every last one. Every bank should be on board to help and especially since they have our money to do it.
To find out that only 25% of banks even participate with the SBA loan programs is pathetic and speaks directly to the problem banks have in concepting their participation in the community (until they come to get money from it and from taxpayers.)
There needs to be a real conference / small business tools convention that happens all over this country sponsored by the small business administration which walks us through the process – not of getting loans, but of building a business from scratch. It needs to be – A program that tells us how to find customers, how to match our talents, skills and knowledge with the needs in the marketplace, how to approach customers, suppliers and other businesses when we can’t muster the courage to know what to say, that shows our young adults and out of work employees and elderly alike – how to do the things involved in creating a successful business right now. This is not an academic exercise – nor does it need to be a bankers’ paradise for getting customers of their profitable commercial loans. That is so secondary to what the real needs are right now.
Last year, I wanted to create a show that would’ve done some of that and would bring the information hidden across agency after agency in our local, state and federal governments into the hands of the public. There are resources, we as taxpayers have already paid for information to be collected, for programs to be enacted, for resources that are available but most of them are nearly impossible to find or to use unless someone knows exactly what and where they are. Without the specific name of the program, it can’t be found. There are dates and deadlines that damn near can’t be found until a year or two later. It is ridiculous. (and just because I wasn’t allowed to make the show happen and couldn’t do it, doesn’t mean it isn’t needed or can’t be done.)
We need – A show that would tell people about these things – that would show them how to look up these things – that would put the information into their hands directly – that would walk people through the process of critical information for starting a business, finding and targeting the market, mating their skills and ideas with the needs in the marketplace, thinking in guerrilla marketing terms – and enhancing the internal flexibility to make it work.
The way the Small Business Administration has been operating for the last twenty – thirty years under the Republican direction is as an extended sales force and clearinghouse for commercial bank loans. It can’t be that anymore. The service to the community and to our national economy that must be satisfied by the Small Business Administration is to support the small businesses, the small business startups, the small business supports needed for sustained growth, flexibility and opportunity while strengthening their basic foundation in the fabric of America’s economic community.
– cricketdiane, 05-19-09
[from previous posts – ]
Fourteen places to make money –
Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008
1. Take the Area Occupational Wages pamphlet or from the Department of Labor online sources (by state) and use is to target potential customers making over $20 – $25 per hour.
2. Using this target audience, introduce products and services directly to them online through the websites, brochures, magazines, distributors and retailers already in place to reach them.
3. Customize products and services specifically to these niche audiences. Coffee cups having sayings, emblems and ideas suited to them are more likely to interest them, etc.
4. Find a target audience in person / on site by finding announcements of events in the area that are drawing them to participate. Using this venue, introduce the business / product / service using this opportunity. T-shirts can be sold appropriate to the audience, so can books and specialties.
5. Tailor whatever the product or service to the specific target audience or use the basis of common ground to interest them. While discussing meetings, coffee will be served and every one there is missing someone or something else.
6. Facilitate cooperation, analysis and brainstorming among participants involved in a common event, association or vocation / hobby / business. This helps create networks of consumers that provide a database of possible sales.
7. Go where money runs like rivers flowing into an event, mall, highly trafficked sports or entertainment venue, trade show or similar to approach participants with availability of some specific need during the show or that will make their life better after the show.
8. Use a theme of commonality, such as an interest – like, camping, love of animals, pets, hobbies, types of cars or activities to customize products and services. Then, target these audiences through events, publications and websites where they are involved or through stores that already attract them.
9. Provide a service needed by everyone at least once a year or better yet, once a month. This is the basis of sales for more items in the marketplace than anything else. People do want funnel cakes when at a craft festival and they will pay for something their children can do while there.
10. Create a convenience that doesn’t exist currently but is much needed. Anything that can save time for a reasonable cost will make people’s lives more organized and do-able. To target this audience, find stress free topics and stress reduction topics and contribute there.
11. Offices and industries are a captive audience with continuing needs, some of which are being served and some which are useful and not being served. This is a good target through online high readership, interactive forums and office product websites where goods are being sold already.
12. The most creative, personable character that touches the common thread of experience with most people can be the basis for entire lines of products, opportunities and uses. However, until this character has an association with people seeing it, getting to know it and kindling a response to it – the character has little value. Target any common-theme areas for application and audience.
13. Style creates sales, money and opportunities. To target a style to a specific audience, find the places where products are already being introduced to these audiences and either use them or by-pass them using off-shoot branches of these arenas. A tv show or sitcom can introduce a product.
14. How to tell everyone at once about a product, service or business? Use television broadcast / cable opportunities through existing shows and audiences, including news, new product shows, talk shows, sitcoms and reality shows. Then, know it has to be in front of those audiences more than once in order to work and be backed up by web access to it and a strong web presence along other avenues to be credible.
Written by Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, 08-09-08, USA
Cricket House Studios 2008
What would a person or a business pay $50,000+ to have?
Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 07-19-95, 2008, 1995
08-01-08 (typed, edited and enhanced)
Over the years, I became very weary hearing the same answer every time anyone explained what to do to get money when I needed it. Each time, the solution would be offered that I sell drugs, which I couldn’t do or play the lottery, which I wouldn’t do. At several times, I brainstormed some lists of things that would also bring money besides those two things. This is one of those lists that I created in 1995, then added to it when it was being typed up today.
1. Do pay that for a 30-second commercial on tv stations.
2. To buy some very small houses
3. To buy Cadillacs, Volvos & Vans to drive
4. To purchase some pick-up trucks
5. Paintings done by famous artists
6. Pave small stretches of roadway
7. Some computer systems, programming & software
8. Major databases & access to them
9. Small business real estate
10. Boats, motorcycles, very fancy bikes, yachts
11. Airplanes, helicopters, & ultra-lites
12. Collectibles, rare coins, gold, silver, antique autos
13. Some designer clothing – specialty fads
14. Office rent in a big building
15. Air conditioning systems for buildings
16. Copying machines, some camera & sound equipment
17. For equipment in hair salon / store fixtures
18. Large equipment used to build buildings
19. Franchise fees
20. Pay to some people to be on tv
21 Remodeling / refurbishing / retrofitting places
22. Schools equipment & facilities
23. Swimming pools
24. 18-wheeler semi-trucks & trailers
25. Payrolls for employees
26. Management of company operations
27. Transferring stuff to other countries
28. Shipping / exporting & importing
29. Information that is hard to get or hard to find, collect, gather
30. Building materials; marble, mahogany, steel; etc.
31. Big machines, industrial & manufacturing machines
32. Surveillance & security equipment
33. Ball players to play for their teams
34. To clean Statue of Liberty
35. For the windows in office buildings
36. Interior decorations of showrooms, stores & offices
37. Music stars, actors & actresses to perform
38. Attorney services, doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, legal fees
39. Winnebagos & other driving homes (custom), rvs, busses
40. Architects, engineering, designers
41. Royalty advances to franchise licenses
42. Syndication / broadcast / publication rights
43. Subscription fees for information systems
44. Information analysis, comparison & interpretation or evaluation
45. Production direction and organization
46. Executive, producers, producers, directors, principals in production companies
47. To appear in commercials to promote products and businesses
48. For some championship horses & racecars
49. Champion jockeys, race car drivers, fighters
50. Business packages – turn key operations
51. Some comedians, comedy material, rights to use
52. Some toy, doll, stuffed animal & product designs
53. For some photography & illustrations to publish
56. For plastic surgery, teeth & breast enhancement
57. Corporate & product logos and identity packages to Fortune 500 companies and others
58. For selling many of something at a small profit
59. For illegal drug trafficking & illegal entry products
60. For public relations and promotions
61. For political insider information & policy construct
62. Contract killing; espionage corporate & political
63. Sabotage of competitors’ market operations
64. Some landscaping projects
65. Broker fees
66. Software and software licensing fees
67. Authors for rights to publish
68. For certain intellectual property rights to be used
69. Hot air balloons and specialty vehicles
70. Solar panels, specialty technologies and alternative energy systems
71. Rocket propulsion systems
72. For sponsorships and the advertising that comes with it
73. For home theater systems
74. For musical and stage equipment, stage sets, props and performance staging and lights
75. Parties, weddings and elements in them
76. Parade floats and parade character balloons
77. Participation in trade shows and conventions
78. Sailboats, racing boats, speed and ski boats
79. Most levels of employees in every category
80. Accountants and attorney services
81. Honeymoons, vacations, cruises and retreats
82. Some insurance fees for homes, individuals and businesses
83. For certain specialty and collectible items
84. Some antique furniture and vintage or specialty cars and other vehicles
85. For interior decoration / interior design for homes, lobbies, businesses, restaurants, hotels
86. Some season tickets for VIP boxes at events – sports and others
87. Music distribution rights
88. Public speaking fees and honorariums
90. Golf, Country Club and other clubs and association fees
91. Professional association membership fees
92. Security systems for homes and businesses
93. Sets for televisions shows, talk shows and news shows
94. Stories, characters and story lines for tv sitcoms and movies
95. Licensing and royalty fees for characters and other brand items to be used
96. For wind turbines, some motors and engines, electric generators of size or specialized use
97. Mechanical equipment, bobcats, bulldozers, cranes, small dumptrucks
98. Electric vehicles for moving things around plants and factories, forklifts, some lab equipment
99. Some commercial buildings, commercial leases and retail store buildings and leases
100.Some patent searches and similar research
101.Rewards for recovery, information leading to recovery, bounty hunters, insurance rewards for information leading to solving crimes, arson and theft
102.Certain computer geek specialties, writing software, hacking and protection from hacking
103. Modification of existing vehicles into specialized categories, monster trucks, hot rods, etc.
104. Election, non-profits and religious campaign elements and persuasion
105. Mail-order catalogs to be created
106. Street lighting and parking lot lighting systems
107. For each foot length of a bridge to be built
108. For parking decks and skywalks to be built
109. For traffic signal systems, security traffic cam systems and other transportation signal systems
110. For certain shipping and moving of freight
Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, Cricket House Studios, 2008, 1995
If its broke – fix it – US policy makers – It is broke – FIX IT – Thanx – Cricket Diane C Sparky Phillips – 2008
Why are we using levee technologies from 150 years ago in America? How is it possible to believe that over a million tons of turbulent waters will be held in place by earthen levee systems? Reliability has failed, reality has shown that it doesn’t work and we have paid a huge fortune for research, research, research, study, study, study – but none of these efforts have resulted in substantial changes in the corps of engineers’ approaches nor in better systems for levees, dams, bridges, flood recovery after systems collapse nor useful updated systems. After 1993 flooding in the Midwest, how could the levee systems have not been recreated and restored to something that would work to prevent their collapse in 2008? Who decided the manner in which it was done and is about to be re-done the same way which will fail next time?
I also would like to know what specific individuals at FEMA were responsible for stopping those new goods in the warehouses from being distributed to Katrina victims in a timely manner. And, what specific individuals and chain of command decided to mark them as surplus, why the FEMA decision-makers and others in our government judged these supplies to be un-needed, and who specifically made that decision. It is our right to know why and how these decision-makers can be so completely “off”. Are they all doing drugs? Have they created a process by which they cannot make accurately based decisions? Do they not watch the news? Do they not go “on-site” before making these determinations? Are they living in some other country most of the time? Do the chain of command systems at FEMA and at the Corps of Engineers (and other agencies) form the basis for criminal negligence on a consistent basis?
Also, there was a show that described a man’s thirty years of efforts to make liquid gas from coal and he has created a proven process and method for this – why aren’t we seeing this man’s work be brought into the marketplace to solve some of the gas and diesel fuel problems? Why isn’t the man’s efforts, also shown on public broadcast, to create an algae based farming for ethanol fuels being given to distribution for the marketplace and whatever is required to do that made available to him? Where are the total electric cars that were successfully created by our automakers and why aren’t we supporting these companies, including the tesla car – to get these cars into our hands right now/ immediately? They’ve already been created, they do work, they do solve the problem and they can be made affordable for us – what is wrong with doing whatever it takes to get these to us?
Our government bias to speak for oil companies that are using our national resources to make their profits – must change. It isn’t thirty years from now to get these things done with the studies, research and alternatives that have been being designed for over thirty years back from here. The status quo isn’t a practical alternative for thirty more years, not for even two more years and in fact, not even for six more months. The speculators are engaging in illegal and criminal gambling practices at our expense and the oil companies have over three hundred percent profiteering practices which is also illegal (considered gouging, opportunistic profiteering beyond what we allow to any other business or industry or companies of any size, and they’re using natural and American taxpayers’ resources and moneys to make these profits). Our US government leadership, decision-makers from all positions are engaging in favoritism, conflicts of interest and self-serving abuses of their power and position to further the agenda for oil companies and others that are fully capable of competitiveness without these unfair advantages.
Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, 06-23-08, USA, Cricket House Studios, 2008
On Common Demands for Consistency as a Judgement Guideline Used for People, Groups and Individuals
Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, 2008
Human beings are the only creature in the world that are inconsistent. They are designed that way. They are not driven by instincts. Animals are driven by instincts. Animals are consistent because they are driven primarily by instincts.
Human beings are driven by thought, learning, reasoning, free-will, creativity, choice, decision discernment skills and interpretations, sub-conscious drives – and instincts as only a part of all those things. Goal-driven and determination of the self are key factors in those choices.
Consistency is not among them. For the purposes of its survival, human beings cannot afford to be consistent, stagnant nor unchanging. That is why we are made this way – to be able to successfully compete in a complex and often changing environment, called Life on Earth. (and possibly, as part of the Universe.)
Written by Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, 05-18-08
Cricket House Studios, USA1 – 2008
“Creating the Tangible from the Impossible every day.”
About Lay-Offs and Economic Choices – 2008 – USA1
2008 Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips
Does it really make sense to get rid of 4,000 people in a company who did their jobs and keep the 20 at the top who didn’t?
Obviously, those decision-makers at the top engaged in shoddy, shady and shell-game style accounting and business practices. Why reward them when they’ve driven these companies to the brink of bankruptcy and extinction? These top twenty executives are the ones who damaged profits, profitability and threatened the very survival of the company and shareholders. These are the ones who didn’t do their jobs properly, ethically, soundly and honestly which has undermined the value of these companies both now and in the future. Why keep them?
Cricket House Studios – 05-17-08
I.) Steal – (not really – permanent borrowing when approved by owner)
J.) Buy New
K.) Buy Used
L.) Buy Auctioned
M.) Buy Discounted or Clearanced
N.) Buy or Trade Salvaged
O.) Buy or Trade Online
P.) Collectors Exchange
Q.) Hobby Trade and Exchange
R.) Opportunity Exchange
S.) Barter Platform Websites Exchange and Trading
T.) Specialty Convention Trading
U.) Co-ownership – Joint ownership (for tools and large equipment)
V.) Rental or Lease
W.) Sponsorship – Get someone to sponsor acquisition
X.) Rare acquisition sources, trade – barter – buy
Y.) Pawnshop, Impound, Impound Auctions, Alternate Sources
Z.) Extreme acquisition sources, trade – barter – buy (also find a good excuse for one-time use purchase by someone or some group and buy it from them after that.)
Written by Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, 05-02-08, USA1 – USAX1 – 2008 – [CD]9
“I rely on the people in a trade to credential a trade. Not through symposiums nor honors that are bestowed, but upon the word of respect given to them in quiet conversation among their peers, experts, and trade membership. Whether that ‘trade’ is science, engineering, business, economics, plumbing, auto mechanix, or anything else, the real truth about knowledge, expertise, conscientiousness and application can be determined by the facts witnessed from those knowledged in the experience around it – not by the politics, policies and perspectives created about it.”
– Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips Quote
and for the record, “Usually, I need no introduction (nor credentials although I have them) because, by the time I’m asked to be involved in a situation, people are up to their necks in shit and just real glad to see somebody that is willing to help.” – Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, quote and anecdote about my life.
Cricket House Studios – USA1 – 2008
We are sitting on one, very small, round, floating dead rock called Earth in the middle of this moment in history and in the midst of infinity – uselessly you fight the realistic in fact – we are existing in an infinity so vast we are unable to even fully consider it. There is a sad fact that exists as a truth – we have no other place to live in the entire universe and no way to get there.
Stonewalling the progress of things that might help change the situation for the better or make it most likely to accommodate the needed changes is also not being done in isolation. History will record what you do and what you do not do during this time, in many internationally recognized interpretations of those results.
From where I stand, it looks like many in Congress are forestalling, stonewalling, hindering, slowing, distracting, falsely interpreting with intention, disseminating false and distorted information with intention, unethically barring or obstructing, and attaching riders to bills and legislation that are in no way appropriate to it and doing things to strategically bait and switch.
Those wasting our time and resources in this way for any reason need to be censured to stop its aggravation and unnecessary use of resources.
This use of our national resources including time, efforts, knowledge and audience with our Congressional leaders, staff members, aides, and everything around them in the nation including press resources, administrative resources in our government, academic resources in our nation among other things simply to serve the political gain of these individuals at the expense of us all must stop. It is no longer “business as usual.” The situation has changed and time is critical now.
Time is not on our side any longer in any area of concern. When you have served the influences and reality that is immediately evident around you up until now and done so to secure your own advantages, we all know it and have known it – and so has the World community. For each of those choices, you will be accountable sooner or later, that is a fact by nature of the responsibility inherent in the position of power and influence you accepted and hold.
Now, right now, we need you to do what you went there (to Washington) to do. Stop playing games of politics and “business as usual” tactics of power. Get done whatever it is that you as a person of conscience intended to do and get it done right now – as quickly and efficiently as it could never be done before.
know this – to play political games with your position is costing all of us dearly in precious time, resources, actions and wise decisions you could make.
Your position and your use of it is costing all of us – each and every one of us – here in the United States and around the World in precious time, resources and decision-making that we must use wisely right now. And, that we must apply and implement right now.
It is in your power and your abilities to do and to accomplish for us all. You are positioned to do so. I’m asking that you do whatever it is that your conscience would guide you to do about these matters, do it intelligently and do so now.
Team USA Needs To Be Solving Problems –
by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 09-04-08
When we sent people to Washington, we sent them to be our Team USA. There aren’t “two sides of the aisle”. They are sitting in official buildings we own and are all part of one team. That is why they are there.
We sent them there to spend our money wisely, to work as a team to serve our best interests and to accomplish what we alone could not. Our Congress, our Executive and our Judiciary are the Team USA that we placed there to fight the real enemies of our nation – not each other.
The real enemies are on our door steps. Evidence of these enemies is obvious. A capitalist nation cannot survive without a strong economic foundation. Our foundation and the structural tenets of that economy are crumbling. We are in danger of the harm which will come as a result. This is certainly a real enemy of our nation.
We are so completely dependent on gasoline as fuel that it is now a matter of national security. Any world power could shut off supply to our country in any great measure leaving us with a complete halt to life as we know it. Everything moves in our country by some form of petroleum. This, too, is a real enemy of our nation’s well-being and security.
Our national business assets are being sold off to foreign interests who may or may not favor us later. We will not be able to rebuild these. The jobs that were lost will not be reclaimed nor replaced. Competing with them in the marketplace, once these businesses belong to foreign interests, is unlikely. In every arena, our own businesses now owned elsewhere are competing against us for the same market shares. Since this undermines our employment base and our opportunities to realize business profitability, it is also an enemy to our nation’s sustenance.
Made in America has become known for shoddily made and overpriced. Too many recalls and unjustifiable harms, even deaths have come to those who bought products made in our recent profiteering environment. The real cost of our business interests making poor ethical choices for good profit reasons has dropped our global credentials to a pathetic level. This is definitely an enemy of the USA.
The cruelty, viciousness and complete disregard for others pervades every facet of American society. Lack of tolerance for diversity and differences has led to a land of terror for many, rather than of freedom. This has created abuses of civil and human rights everywhere in America over many years and increases each year. Clearly, this is an enemy worthy of fighting, too.
These are our real enemies. All of these items and more await on our doorstep. We elected leaders from among us to work as a team against these common enemies. What we have is a bunch of bickering demagogues who are fighting amongst themselves for their party’s interests and their own advantages.
And, meanwhile – solutions that might be enacted aren’t. People’s lives that could have been made better and more secure lay in ruin. Dismal consequences from unabated global ecological changes are unfolding. The opportunities for the US economy to be righted are missed. And, worst of all, the Team USA continues its bickering in every position from local and state governments all the way to the US Congress and the White House. Its as if it doesn’t matter as long as each party wins out over the other.
Now, our real enemies threaten to overtake us. We have solutions for many parts of them – these simply need to be placed into use. Together, we could work out the rest as we go.
When it is a matter of national security, fairly broad extensions of immediate, timely and appropriate uses of power are available.
What is more an issue of national security in a capitalistic nation than an economic foundation that is crumbling daily before us?
Exerting these powers in measured thoughtful response to this crisis is appropriate use of them and they encompass a broad spectrum.
The what to do may be in some question but the ability to do it, is not. We have paid many years of billions of dollars for the research already completed in a number of key areas, especially in alternatives for fuel and energy. These sit idling on shelves and fail to be brought into the play of our “free market” economy.
Why not bring them into play now, if indeed competition is an integral and relevant part of our economic system? We did give aid, incentives and subsidies to our oil companies that they could thrive. Why would we not do the same for these others from pond scum farming for ethanol to coal into gas / liquid fuels to the use of kudzu and chaparral oils for conversion into fuels?
Some of the options available to exercise remedy in the current marketplace, US and Global economies are:
- Market closure
- Price caps
- Specific price freezes
- Profit caps of critical commodities
- Suspended trading on commodities and futures
- Re-establish subsidies to market oil’s competitors in energy / fuel distribution
- Enforce accounting practices standards
- Enforce regulations on NYMEX and SEC standards of practice
- Stop allowing leveraged buys in stocks, futures, commodities and speculations
- Re-establish manufacturing grants and subsidies
- Create stop-gap measure for trucks, shippers, air freight and fishing industries
- Enforce fair trade regulations in profit margins of reasonable versus gouging and unreasonable
- Have embargo on export of any and all national crude assets / gas and byproducts, and especially diesel fuel
- Make low cost loans and grants to truckers, airlines, shippers, rail lines, and other industries affected dramatically by the high fuel costs currently impacting them
- Stop talking about ANWR and use our Alaskan oil being sent out elsewhere to stay here in the US – we paid for it
- Stop playing politics with our economy – the real lives it destroys will never support a government that caused or allowed it
- Enforce sanity of accounting and true balance on our financial sector and all other corporate entities
- Stop bailing out your friends that sit in the top one percent of the economic echelon – they are loose cannons that will serve no one but themselves in the long run and can afford to live in any other country they choose any time and for any reason.
- Establish “easy start up” programs for businesses. Drop fees required, drop the difficulties required and reward those who will employ and profit immediately to rebuild our economic infrastructure.
- Create a return beyond inflation to those using their funds to back these business ventures that are immediately attractive in real money rates.
- Stop allowing countries to heavily tariff and tax our goods and services there, including the UK and the European Union.
- Give us an office that can facilitate international sales, requirements and other necessary options that is predictably easy and straight forward to use – no more complicated than a first grader could use.
- Force down our natural gas and electricity prices, whatever it takes (fed ceiling on or subsidies with regulated price caps). Not only did our taxpayer dollars build their facilities, power lines and maintenance of them, we need the prices brought down before Americans die as a result of the prices.
- Do the hydrogen bull later and immediately sponsor funding for all – electric / battery power cars – let’s get them on the road – make it affordable by grant or subsidy or tax savings to own it, to buy it and get us some batteries (lithium ion, etc.) into our market, make them affordable and sponsor car companies willing to do it with incentives –> they probably have product designs on the shelf.
- Find a low cost air travel fuel alternative to use in our planes, a cheaper alternative particularly coal to gas process or pond scum ethanol for all government vehicles / military vehicles, ships, trains, etc.
- Make it legal to use electric cushman vehicles, off-road vehicles, golf carts and similar vehicles for trips on the sidewalk to the grocery and other less than five mile radius jaunts.
- Make connectedness possible to cooperate within specific industries – not for monopoly but to create new structures of cross-over alternatives and their access to distribution channels
- Get our farmers out of the “till Under” method of getting subsidies – we need the growth capacity of all of it to meet needs. Things are different now than they were forty years ago.
- Make it impossible to add a rider to any bill that doesn’t directly pertain to it – that is costing effectiveness of our House and Senate / all governing bodies in all levels.
- Make possible the use of emissions cutting technology to be applied in the refineries and in new refineries so we can build some new facilities up to par and clearly non-polluting.
- Force moratorium of use of foreclosure as a process of acceptable loss against taxes required from companies and they will start working with homeowners to get their money rather than pursuing foreclosure as a method of lowering their tax liabilities.
- The natural resources (including oil, natural gas, electricity generated by public projects and others) belong to our nation and to her people –> not to profit driven companies – ultimately that will be the deciding factor and it will become a new landscape regardless – the resources never belonged to these corporations in the first place. Not oil, minerals, water, electricity created by publicly paid projects, not any of those and others that are national resources, ever could actually be leased to anyone for profit at the expense of the American people, no matter what has been done with it up until now.
- There are some interesting alternatives for fuel sources including carbon dioxide in solution taken from the ambient air, using the toxic components present nearly everywhere as a conversion into a fuel source, cogon grass and its oils, chaparral and its oils, kudzu and other out of hand fast growing and heavily oxygenated plant materials, early steam engine propulsion dynamics and early electric motor-driven vehicle options. There are also suggestions that at one time the Japanese had developed a water-driven engine which used water as the fuel source – quite possibly a similar design exists within the r & d of many Detroit automakers and others. Incentives could bring these and other designs out of the closets and into operations within six – nine months.
- Establish a preliminary safety procedure that would be very inexpensive for protecting a design prior to patent application and lower patent application fees as well.
- There can be incentives, encouragement and payments made to anyone that retrofits their existing vehicle to run on vegetable oil, or be retrofitted into a total electric configuration. Some states are using penalties, imposing fines and discouraging these changes when the exact opposite should be occurring given the current and continuing circumstances in the energy sectors.
And one other thing, along a personal note –
Everytime I hear anyone use the current situation to instigate drilling in ANWR or anywhere else (at our expense while tearing up the territory and charging us obscene prices for gasoline and diesel fuel, etc.) – the first thing I know is “HOW DARE YOU BE THAT SHITTY and GREEDY and INSENSITIVE and UNCARING and filled with CONTEMPT for the American people?” Why would you even start to consider opening your mouth and saying something like that? “Who do you think you are?” Does it occur to any of you that the damages you’ve already done – you have to fix?
How much more do you really want to have to fix BECAUSE – BY GOD – YOU’RE GOING TO BE FIXING IT!
Maybe some of the ideas listed above will inspire some other ideas or be joined together such that solutions can be enacted very quickly. Let me know, if I can be of any further help . . .
Written by Cricket Diane C “Sparky” PHillips, 2008
“Creating the Tangible from the Impossible every day.”
Cricket House Studios, USA1 – USAX1 – [cd]9 – USA
*** **** *** *
[Just a thought – ]
Focal Point Sun Collector –
Energy Source Possibility –
Created by Cricket Diane C Phillips 072208
fine point upon confined space
typical use of magnifying glass for concentration of light source
air in – heats by sun
Increased pressure by expansion
Increased heat from sun’s energy
air intake = one-way valve
heated air expands when collected sunlight envelopes cavity below collector and bounces around mirrored surfaces (shiny metal interior surface where focus has brought in collected sunlight and heat).
Expanding heated air forces out along narrowed corridor through expansion valve which only opens at a specific pressure point –> creating nozzle bursts of heated air
vacuum thus created sucks in more air to be heated = will result in pulses of air bursts for useful powering / energy to use as propulsion, mechanical motion and to turn generator mechanism for electric power generation.
** another possibility could use the physical expansion of the heated air to convert into motion using a bladder type apparatus that would inflate and act as a bellows or physically move a unit of mechanical system
Written by and created by Cricket Diane C “sparky” Phillips, on July 22, 2008, USA
Cricket House Studios, 2008
(I swear I saw an ad for a “solar lighter” that looked just like what I described here last year. The ad played last night during a show on the country music channel – on 05-18-09 in the evening, I think I was watching a movie when it came on and I wrote it down somewhere to check on the company and patent – sunlighter is the name of the product which supposedly can provide a flame in windy conditions from directed sunlight – I didn’t post the design but theirs looks an awful lot like the one I drew out. Interesting. Glad to see it works.) No telling how long ago their design was made, but apparently it was good thinking about it I had last year and it does work. – I can’t wait to see it on a larger scale for a solar powered energy producing turbine from the same focused flame source using the sun’s direct energy. Very Nifty.