The Economy and the Job Market – Searching For Growth in Troubled Times

The economy is clearly not in good shape. We may or may not currently be in a recession, and while conditions won’t get nearly as bad as the Chicken Littles of the world would have us believe, they most certainly won’t improve either. Well, dramatically, anyway.

The economy has been under a three-pronged siege of falling housing prices, rising commodity prices and an ever weakening labor market. And each aspect of this siege appears inextricably linked. What makes the current situation so difficult is that all three of these issues are and will continue to have meaningful impact on the average American’s pocketbook. Rising food and fuel costs coupled with lower wages yields a cash flow problem that we will not be able to ignore. That is what makes our current situation so different than that of 2001. That recession, spawned by the “.com” bubble burst, saw peoples overall stock portfolios and retirement accounts diminish or disappear. But in all honesty, who pays any considerable attention to that? Thanks to an increasingly innovative financial market and its willingness and ability to redistribute risk, lenders were right there to lend. And borrowers there to borrow. Consumer spending barely dipped, mortgage applications spiked, and we spent our way out of the 2001 recession.

It seems, then, that the current downturn is much more an extension of the 2001 disaster than a unique, separate situation. Can you ever really exit a recession if you borrowed the money to do so? Our economic doldrums have been a long time in the making, providing a solid base for what figures to be an extended period of zero to slow growth. And that’s why things don’t figure to improve too soon.

To exacerbate all this, the lumbering political machine in Washington has begun talking about the economy, and, more specifically, increased regulation of financial markets. This will only make things worse. It isn’t that taxes and regulations are altogether bad, it’s just that Congress has little, if any, idea how to brandish these tools. What we should expect is a weakened ability for different industries to tap into investment capital, inhibiting their ability to rebound from their current crises, and weakening the outlook overall in financial well-being for fiscal quarters to come.

So which industries stand to improve? To answer this question we need to think critically about what glaring problems the current economic situation has uncovered.

The most striking of these problems is America’s source of and need for energy. As mentioned, oil prices are high and should continue to go higher. China and India, with their burgeoning economies and swarming populations, are now dominant players in the international demand for fuel. And supply isn’t even constant; it’s falling. Our reliance on oil is clearly a very, very expensive habit. Setting aside environmental concerns (which are important), we simply cannot afford to rely on fossil fuels as we once did. The industry with the most long-term growth potential, then, is the renewable energy category.

Renewable energy is comprised of dozens of sectors, each giving rise to yet more sub-sectors. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric power are all growing, not just in the US, but around the globe. Bio fuel seems the heir apparent to gasoline (just look at Brazil), and carbon emission legislation stands on the brink of being passed. Each of these areas, and there are many, many more, represents tremendous job opportunities with long-term growth. And what’s more, they call for a broad spectrum of backgrounds.

Scientists and agriculturalists are obvious. It will become important to devote time and money into research projects, such as ethanol yield from various crops (i.e., corn, sugar, algae, etc.), and what type of return we could and should expect from each.

Carbon emission regulation would force big business to manage a certain number of “carbon credits.” Carbon credits are simply an accounting tool businesses will likely have to adhere to, by law, in an effort to keep their carbon footprint in check. Companies expecting to exceed their carbon credit limit must buy additional credits from companies willing to sell them – companies, of course, who are expecting a carbon credit surplus. Therein lies a marketplace, much like stocks and bonds, where finance and accounting professionals will clearly be in high demand.

Most importantly though, as it relates to career paths and job opportunities, small companies will be born to capture different pieces of this emerging world of renewable energy. And these companies will need the same things as any other company. Human resources, marketing, administration, law, and management are all areas that will see growth – so long they’re within the right business – as these are professional areas that will always be in demand. Exactly how much depends more on a specific company’s positioning within the greater economic landscape than it does the actual current economy.

For my money, any company with a business model that incorporates forward looking thought regarding renewable energy will fare well in the short, medium and long term.

Aiden was born and raised in northern New Jersey. He attended New York University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. He currently lives in New York City and works in the equities trading division of a large investment bank. –Aiden Quinn

Death Before Bankruptcy – No Way – Hope is on the Horizon

In today’s economic conditions death seem to be the only way out for many consumers who are consumed by over whelming debt. Although bankruptcies are up in filings for the third year since reforms went onto effect many consumers feel that their options seem hopeless yet they still plug on through the daily grind. For many alternatives such as the housing bailout seems like it’s to strict on its guidelines or to ambiguous in its terms to clearly point out the pitfalls and loopholes used to gain the upper hand in the situation by the mortgage lenders.

While we are in these turbulent and chaotic times we need to keep out wits up, our spirits high so we can see clearly through the stormy and uncharted waters of our financial status. For many it’s all or nothing, the fight seems hopeless will I ever survive? Lawyers go for blood and prey on those challenged in tough times. Are they really giving you the best advice for you or for them?

If you have ever had to seek counsel for filing a bankruptcy you know it’s a gut wrenching and sickened type of feeling. You know you’re in for a life long time of hurt and suffering. However if you’ve exhausted all of your options and you can’t take the pressure of your creditors calling and demanding terms you are unable to afford then you need to seek shelter.

Seeking shelter doesn’t mean go hide, change your address and telephone number it means legal protection for you as well as your sanity. Stop the annoying creditor phone calls; get the debt goons off of your back and regain your sanity back to a time when life was a bit easier and more joyous for you.

Although finding an attorney who is both ethical and sensible to your needs is often an oxymoron in the true sense of the meaning of the word they do exist. When in doubt seek them out. This is when having direct access to a professional organization of seasoned attorneys who are both smart and compassionate to your needs is essential.

We’re not suggesting you seek out a well known discounted legal firm or county legal aid for your personal or commercial situation, we’re merely suggesting you have access to a knowledgeable professionals so that if you don’t like the individual your dealing with you have a back up or two or even three.

Consultations are usually free and can be very informative, although some firms may have a hidden agenda to get your commitment on the dotted line; don’t sign anything until you get all of your facts answered and you feel that bankruptcy will have your best interests covered.

If you have not sought out financial counsel this may be up your alley instead. Remember a professional’s whole status depends on the not only the advice given but the business received. Having a selection of more than one professional can make the difference in your outcome financially as well as mentally.

Get the facts you deserve and never jump to a conclusion, instead rely on a trusted group of professionals dedicated to your overall success, not theirs. Remember no matter where you are today there will always be a brighter tomorrow. Learning the options, facts and different solutions for you are your responsibility. Seek out a close friend or family member even a co worker if you have this type of rapport with the individual; ask them about their experiences and pitfalls.

Ask them about personal triumphs then ask them what advice you might need when consulting with an attorney. Once you have scoured your inquisitiveness and come up with questions you are now armed to tackle the interview. You’re confident and sure about your needs and desires.

Learn the secrets of saving money, making money and creating wealth by maximizing protecting and growing your income. Receive trusted, unlimited advice from our financial counselors, attorneys, and financial mentors that will save you literally thousands of dollars and tons of frustration. You owe it to yourself to seek out qualified advice. Stop walking around in fear and get empowered. Maximize your wealth today.

This is Why Bush’s 700 Billion Dollars Bailout Plan Will Fail

Not long ago, the President stood before the American People to make his case for the massive bailout plan that Congress is now working to approve. With the sincerity and the passion that characterize him, President Bush made it clear that “this time is an extraordinary period for America’s economy”. He then went on to explain why he is urging Congress to support his plan to rescue Wall Street.

According to the President, his bailout plan represents the best we can do to solve the financial crisis and stop the mortgage meltdown.

In his plan, the Federal Government would take over bad assets from Wall Street since these assets cannot be bought or sold. They cannot be sold because they cost essentially more than what they are worth.

In other words, when banks issued loans to homeowners with their homes as collateral, they also converted these loans into financial products called mortgage-backed securities. These mortgage-backed securities were then sold to other financial institutions, therefore allowing banks to get the funds they need to issue more loans. As long as this cycle was repeated, the financial market was moving well.

Then, homes’ values started to go down.

When homes’ values go down, they make mortgage-backed securities become less attractive. This is because the collateral against these mortgages is now worth less than what banks want to borrow or sale the securities for. Here resides the key to the financial crisis.

The President’s plan is to buy those mortgage-backed securities to allow banks to have more money.

The theory behind this is that if banks have more money and less risky assets, they will be more willing to lend to credit-seekers.

The main limit with this approach is that while the bailout may in fact put more money in banks’ hands, homeowners will not see their problem solved. They will not be rescued.

Backers of the President’s plan forget that we are in this crisis because homeowners defaulted. They defaulted because they could no more afford payments. At the same time, they could not refinance their mortgage to get better deals because their home was worth far less than what they owed. This created the feeling of insecurity that is now dragging our economy down. And there is even more…

Supposing that after taking over these bad assets Government allows homeowners to make lower and affordable monthly payments; the economy will still face at least one serious challenge:

Assets removed from the market by Government will still be worth less than their face value. The same will be applied to most of the other assets not necessarily concerned by this bailout plan.

As a consequence, most of the mortgage-backed securities remaining on Wall Street will be, in a certain way, less attractive.

Investors will then continue to prefer non mortgage-backed securities since they not only present prospects of better revenues; but they also provide the security that investors want. Examples of options with prospects of good revenues and security are commodities like crude oil…

And when that happens, our economy will collapse dramatically. This is because the housing market is at the heart of America’s economy.

This is the reason why I think that the President’s plan to bailout Wall Street is a very risky plan that will only delay the collapse of our economy.

I believe that what this economy needs is a more efficient plan capable of solving this financial crisis at the root.

I propose a Program that will reduce homeowners’ debt to 80% of their homes’ market value.

How will this work?

On behalf of homeowners, Government will pay all amounts needed to reduce homeowners’ debt to 80% of homes’ market value.

These loans will be issued against promissory notes signed by homeowners.

Rescued homeowners will be required to make relatively low minimum monthly payments.

In addition to this, Government will be allowed to deduct a percentage of homeowners’ Federal and State tax refunds (if available) to help reduce loan balance. Agency in charge of this program will report accounts to credit bureaus on a monthly basis.

The destiny of America’s economy will be placed, once again, in the hands of those who are more able to make it work again: The American People.

Adopting this plan will do 3 things:

First, when Government pays back part of homeowners’ debt, Wall Street will eventually receive the funds that are so badly needed to continue fuelling our economy.

Second, homeowners’ debt will be reduced to 80% of their homes’ market value, therefore making them eligible, once again, to shop for better rates and affordable deals. Paying less for their homes will free some funds that can be used to purchase more goods.

Third, America’s housing market will be back on track, again. The market will be ready for new buyers and sellers, therefore sealing the revival of our economy.

However, this plan can only produce its best results if Congress complements it with a strong regulation that keeps the market under control. Otherwise, greed will once again destroy us.

Ben Modo is an Accountant, a Management Professional and a Financial Consultant. He has earned degrees in Business and Public Administration and he is the author of many published articles in economics and politics. Ben Modo was born in Cameroon and is married to Lydia. Together, they have two children, Stan and Dave Modo. Ben and his family live in the Washington metropolitan area.
Source

Forget Bailout – Here is My Plan

Anyone facing foreclosure knows that in most cases that they have been snookered. Funny how mortgage contracts will adjust for increasing payments, but none adjust down if the economy goes bad.

Now the government is going to give Wall Street a 700 Billion dollar bailout plan. Now this plan is suppose to help the homeowner. It does not address unemployment and loss of jobs, the adjusting of mortgage rates that are the root causes.

Let us think about this:

• Gas prices are higher than ever
• We spend billions of dollars per month in Iraq
• Unemployment is high
• Food Prices have increased
• Most homes have lost value leaving little to no equity
• Utilities such as gas and electric are higher
• Credit is scarce and refinance market is dead
• Average family income is down
• Bankruptcies are high

Who wins?

• Oil companies recording record profits
• Brokers, who have taken money from the stock and equity markets
• Retiring executives from most markets with golden parachutes
• Those who are operating the banks and brokerage firms

Those responsible will not suffer; the good old taxpayer is coming to the rescue. Okay, so we bail them out and have our government, buy the homes that have lost their value in many ways. Now the government will also have to absorb the cost in foreclosure. That is an additional expense.

Here is the major question, with banks and other institutions having dumped all their bad paper on the government, what is next? The answer to that is who knows.

Here is a solution, when you wean a baby off the bottle; you just take it away from the baby. That is what we have to do to the financial institutions. This has to be fixed in part by government but with a ground floor view.

If you want to help those homeowners and reverse the economy here is the plan

• A 6-month freeze on all foreclosures and those up coming for the next year
• A $ 10,000.00 grant to all unemployed homeowners that need to get back on their feet
• An audit on all mortgage companies that financed the sub-prime market
• Allow modification of mortgage contracts on all distressed property
• Allow 6 months for homeowners to get gainful employment (if they are unemployed)
• Invest 100 billion for new “green” energy jobs
• Invest 100 billion in full scholarships in community colleges for new high tech or “green” jobs
• Financial Institutions that hold vacated property will keep them
• Those pending foreclosures will be turned over to the government
• The government will then administrate the process of implementing the above points.
• The mortgagee when employed will modify their contract with the governmental agency.
• Let the private sector sell the vacated properties through auction or other means

This is what I call trickle up economics. The intention is to assist those who are facing financial distress in most cases this will allow the homeowner to pay off their real estate taxes, allow them to find gainful employment. They will also buy food, pay utility bills, and help offset the price of gas. It is a terrible thing when you must commute 20 to 30 miles and do not have any money for gas. You must go to where the jobs are.

There are three types of people affected here, the employed, the unemployed and the multiple dwelling homeowners. The employed would need a modified contract. The unemployed would need a moratorium and financial aid if not eligible for unemployment. Then there are those who have multiple dwelling units which the economy does not directly effect their primary residence.

Implementation can be administered by HUD, the first action that needs to be taken is an instant moratorium on all forecloses and real estate tax liens.

• Set Up Special Temporary Branch under HUD to implement program
• HUD takes all the recorded default notices
• This program will be voluntary to homeowners
• Residents affected will contact a 1-800 number for the financial grant
• HUD will verify the information given
• Homeowner will fill out application and send to HUD via internet, fax or mail.
• HUD will release half of the $ 10,000.00 grant and in 30 days release the other half.
• If Homeowner is collecting unemployment benefits HUD will reduce the scheduled unemployment benefit amount from the HUD payments for the 6 month period
• Homeowner has 6 months to find gainful employment.
• Within the 4 month period Homeowner will contact HUD for mortgage contract modification
• Homeowners who are employed will contact HUD for assistance in mortgage modification
• When mortgage modification is approved by HUD then the Homeowner will start making payments to the mortgage holder of record.

Mortgage holders are not bailed out, but will be allowed have the distressed properties temporarily moved off their balance sheets into a holding company account. This will relieve their balance sheet on a temporary basis, which will allow them to qualify for appropriate credit. They will report to the SEC (if a public company) and HUD the information on the holding company, with complete details. No other transactions other than that of distressed real estate are to be post to this holding company.

When a homeowner starts to make payments on the modified mortgage contract the mortgage holder will transfer from the holding account the original value back to the mortgage holder’s original balance sheet.

In this way everybody wins, the mortgage holder, the homeowner and the government. This plan will result in more jobs; mortgage holders’ credit restored and distressed properties relieved. Of course, there are more details to work out but overall I believe my plan can be implemented in very little time.

John Tebar Certified Life Coach, Author and Entrepreneur sign up for weekly Ezine at http://holisticlifeplanningandresearch.com

Crush the US Dollar and Increase the Debt?

I asked in one of my earlier posts if the US Dollar has bottomed or will the US Dollar crash? What I find fascinating… is that common logic …that the US Dollar should have gotten crushed over the weekend. Well it is 5 am and I am drinking my coffee and looking at the CME Globex…and yes the US Dollar is down…but not CLOBBERRED?

Aren’t we all in this together? Isn’t Western Europe having the same issues as the US? One can’t miss the news and see that Russia closed their markets…eventhough they rebounded almost 25% with last weeks feel good rally.

I assume the US Dollars problem is everyone’s problem.

It is clear the Fed is trying to restore confidence, but it is not rocket science to realize that spending $700 billion dollars on tainted all flavored mortgages and $400 billion on money market funds will boost the national debt even further and put us more into debt.

It is PRINT AND TAX time!

Isn’t or Wasn’t the US Dollar the BASTION of security? Maybe it still is regardless of the fact of all our economic problems. It is extremely unsettling that people who paid their bills ..Saved their money in US Dollars and now stand the potential of losing purchasing parity due to the GREED of Wall Street and the banks.

Where were the regulators restricting banks from lending to speculators who would buy a house with no money down…and look to sell it to potentially other investors?

Ok …let’s say the regulators missed that… which is possible… If someone wants to make a stupid loan… Ok great…that is their issue.. But why should we the tax payer, the hard working saver have to bail the banks out for their GREED?

The dollar fell against 14 of the world’s most-traded currencies on Sept. 19 when the FED unveiled their restructuring plan. The feel good rally of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of 4 percent maybe was just that.

FEEL GOOD!

Confidence building!

But for who?

I will feel good once we have a strong nation again and a responsible govt who supports the US dollar instead of bailout for the most stupid bankers of this century (probably all time).

How many of you realize that this unprecedented government intrusion into the markets will increase the US debt ceiling by 6.6 percent to $11.315 trillion.

Another nice thought in order to protect our money and hoping to get a return of money……not a return on money.. …that just by putting our money in short term US govt interest rate vehicles we are losing money due to inflation and taxes.

Will the Feds plan end the US Dollar rally that began in June and drove the U.S. currency up 10 percent versus the euro, 2 percent against the yen and almost 13 percent compared with Brazil’s real? I have no idea…However. I would not be surprised if people start looking at the Brazilian Real which has a higher interest rate and in many ways a self sufficient economy.

Andrew Abraham

Unemployment and Housing Data Point to Bleak

Existing home sales fell to 4.86 million units, about 2.6% below consensus estimates of 4.94 million units. The report also cited a huge deterioration in median home prices, down to $215,000 or down over 6% from last year. This highlights the bleak outlook for the housing market, as the housing market has yet to find a bottom. With mortgage rates set to only head higher in the coming months, I would expect more defaults on mortgages as there seems to be no slowdown in the turmoil of the housing market.

Weekly unemployment numbers also came in worse than consensus estimates, at 406,000 for the week ending July 19th, 2008. This can only mean bad things for the overall July unemployment numbers that come out next Friday, as some analysts expect the overall unemployment rate to head higher from the 5.5% that was posted in May and June. If you do not remember what happened the last time unemployment increased, just look back and you will see that the Dow lost well over 300. If we really are in a recession, it is also important to note that unemployment during a recession has always hit at least 6%, if not more. Being that the unemployment number is a leading indicator, it seems as though a recession could be imminent, if we are not already in one. That being said it seems even more likely that we will head into a consumer recession as consumers struggle to receive a consistent stream of income without a steady job, which they have become accustomed to over the past few years.

Spending habits will clearly have to adjust for this change in net income per household, which should weigh negatively on the economy, especially for discretionary companies. The further deterioration of the housing market will continue to weigh negatively on financials and home builders until there is a clear sign that there is a turn around in the hosuing and mortgage industry. It also does not help that commodities have had a huge run up in the past year, weighing on corporate profits along with food and energy prices on the consumer. I would continue to recommend staying in traditionally defensive sectors, such as Consumer Staples and Healthcare, as they seem poised to weather the current downturn since over 70% of Staples and Healthcare companies have reported earnings better than analysts estimates. With the strong possibility of a consumer recession, sticking with staple stocks such as Proctor and Gamble PG, Wal-Mart WMT and medical suppliers such as Becton Dickinson BDX, should continue to prove a beneficial strategy as these companies offer dividends and reduced volatility in one of the most volatile markets in years.

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Outrage Fatigue Seems To Be Settling In As Chronic Condition

www.latimes.com

Mortgaged to the House of Saud

Robert Scheer

August 9, 2005

THE ONLY EVIDENCE you need that President Bush is losing the “war on terror” is this: On Sunday, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia said that relations with the United States “couldn’t be better.”

Tell that to the parents of those who have died in two wars defending this corrupt spawning ground of violent extremism. Never mind the ugly facts: We are deeply entwined with Saudi Arabia even though it shares none of our values and supports our enemies.

Yet on Friday, Bush’s father and Vice President Dick Cheney made another in a long line of obsequious American pilgrimages to Riyadh to assure the Saudis that we continue to be grateful for the punishment they dish out.

“The relationship has tremendously improved with the United States,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal told a news conference in Riyadh. “With the government, of course, it is very harmonious, as it ever was. Whether it has returned to the same level as it was before in terms of public opinion [in both countries], that is debatable.”

Well, score one for public opinion. It makes sense to distrust the mercenary and distasteful alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. We protect the repressive kingdom that spawned Osama bin Laden, and most of the 9/11 hijackers, in exchange for the Saudis keeping our fecklessly oil-addicted country lubricated.

Yes, it has stuck deep in the craw of many of us Americans that after 9/11, Washington squandered global goodwill and a huge percentage of our resources invading a country that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, while continuing to pander to this dysfunctional dynasty. After all, Saudi Arabia is believed to have paid Bin Laden’s murderous gang millions in protection money in the years before 9/11, and it lavishly funds extremist religious schools throughout the region that preach and teach anti-Western jihad.

“Al Qaeda found fertile fundraising ground in the kingdom,” noted the 9/11 commission report in one of its many careful understatements. The fact is, without Saudi Arabia, there would be no Al Qaeda today.

Our president loves to use the word “evil” in his speeches, yet throughout his life he and his family have had deep personal, political and financial ties with a country that represents everything the American Revolution stood against: tyranny, religious intolerance, corrupt royalty and popular ignorance. This is a country where women aren’t allowed to drive and those who show “too much skin” can be beaten in the street by officially sanctioned mobs of fanatics. A medieval land where newspapers routinely publish the most outlandish anti-Semitic rants. A place where executions are held in public, torture is the norm in prison and the most extreme and expansionist version of Islam is the state religion.

It’s hard to see how Saddam Hussein’s brutal and secular Iraq was worse than the brutal theocracy run by the House of Saud. Yet one nation we raze and the other we fete. Is it any wonder that much of the world sees the United States as the planet’s biggest hypocrite?

As insider books by former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, journalist Bob Woodward and others have recounted, punishing Saudi Arabia in any way for its long ideological and financial support of terrorism was not even on the table in the days after 9/11. Instead, within hours of the planes hitting the towers, the powerful neoconservatives in the White House rushed to use the tragedy as an excuse for a long-dreamed invasion of Iraq.

Meanwhile, after two wars to make the Middle East safe for the Saudis, wars that cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of American lives, the price of oil is soaring — up 42% from just a year ago. Good thing we just passed a pork-laden energy bill that will do little to nothing to ease our crushing — and rising — dependence on imported oil. Federal officials project that by 2025, the U.S. will have to import 68% of its oil to meet demand, up from 58% today.

There are those who argue that the best rationale for invading Iraq was to ease our dependence on Saudi Arabia’s massive oil fields, which might allow for a more rational or moral relationship. Yet the dark irony is that with Iraq in chaos and its oil flow limited by insurgent attacks and a bungled reconstruction, Saudi Arabia is now more important to the United States than ever.

It’s scary, but these gaping contradictions don’t seem to trouble our president a whit.

As the drumbeat of devastating terrorist attacks in Baghdad, London and elsewhere continue, Bush prattles on — five times in a speech last Wednesday — about his pyrrhic victories in the “war on terror.” This is a sorry rhetorical device that disguises the fact that the forces of Islamic fanaticism in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the world are stronger than ever.

Someone Stole My Country

I recently was sitting in the Atlanta International Airport with a (2) hour lay-over. I had some time to just think and look back on my own life. I had read the newspaper and was tired of surfing the net, when a couple of our “warriors” passed by and sat down a few rows away from me.

This kind of choked me up to the point that I think I had a tear in my eyes. Theses “warriors” in their fatigue uniforms looked like “little boys”. Hell, half of them didn’t even have to shave. But, the look in their eyes told a story and that prompted me to sit down and put my thoughts on paper.

Here was the “little boy” from next door that you never thought was a “trained” specialist in warfare, walked into dark unknown buildings, knowing that the enemy was just waiting for him so he could “kill” him in the name of some “kockamaney” idea of being brainwashed into “killing all Christians”.

This little guy from down the street went to Iraq or Afghanistan or Somalia or wherever he was sent to give all of those displaying “hate, fear and terror” the opportunity to do that without fear of any reprisal. What a country. This young “warrior” also gave the twisted minds of the media a chance to sell space by sensationalizing views of what they think sells print and NOT giving the American people the real story.

I asked one of these kids, “What are we doing over there to make those folks like Americans”? The answer was not what I expected, nor would I read it in the New York Times or any other bottom line media enterprise. The answer was this. “Those people in Iraq want America to succeed, because they want their children to be able to go to America”. Put that in your pipe you “mis-informed journalists, politicians, bureaucrats and any other idiot” trying to hypnotize, US, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Since America declared its independence this country has always been the “hope of the world” as a place to provide the dream. Things have not changed from over (200) years ago. America’s young men and women have always answered the call to defend our liberties all over the world and the pride that we all have in our hearts for today’s hero’s is no less as fierce as that which was evident during both world wars.

Now, lets look at reality. Here we are a land of sincere, hard working honest and God fearing people. I read on the Internet about the words “etched in concrete” THAT are embedded into the entrance into our supreme court. “In God We Trust” and there is also an image of “Moses with the ten commandments”.

I also read about a message that sits on top of the Lincoln Memorial that talks about our founding as a land based on Christian Ideals. None of the activists can scale the Memorial to deface the message and I would venture to say, none of them even know about the contents.

Latest surveys show that over 87% of the American people want the flag displayed in schools and at all public events. The survey also emphasized that “In God We Trust” MUST remain on our currency. Hell, no one can trust the “fun house” in Washington. We all know the secret to winning an election. Just surround yourself with enough losers and you become a winner. Tell them what they want to hear, tell them what you told them and finally tell them what you want to tell them. “Paralysis from analysis”.

So, with those numbers, IF I WERE PRESIDENT, I would follow the lead of the folks in Australia. They simply told EVERYONE, English is our spoken language, you are free to enjoy our country. BUT, if there is anything that you don’t like or cannot learn our language, you are FREE TO LEAVE.

IF I WERE PRESIDENT, I would let ALL of the media know, without restricting the “freedom of speech” that “behind the scenes” advertising dollars from big corporations that enjoy the “coziness” that they have with both the Democrats and Republicans will be scrutinized unless they direct some of their dollars to those media outlets that “let the American People” know the truth.

Call it “arm twisting, extortion” or whatever. But the “monkey house” in Washington has been “twisting arms” for hundreds of years. What else is different? I would also bring the leaders of our educational institutions into one big “backyard barbecue” and let them know that their “alumni dollars’ would be VERY highly scrutinized by the IRS as that tool has been used appropriately in the past to acquire results.

Now, for those activists that seem to crawl out of the cracks like “cockroaches” with their message of “hate America” I would, as your President arrange for an all expense paid trip to the vacation spot of their choice. To, the land of “no free speech” and a chance to “enlist” into the army of hate that they so willingly want to support.

If, I could, I would restore the MANDATORY taking off of your hat (males) at all public events. I would make it a law that when the national anthem is played, EVERYONE either salutes the flag or places their hand across their heart, just as our warriors do every morning and every night living thousands of miles from the comfort of their home. Everyone would have to stand during the playing of our national anthem. The only ones that cold sit would be “old folks” and “disabled veterans”. Hell, most of them that I know would stand out of “patriotism”.

Now for this religious extremism that is “rampant” because it is very easy under our constitution to express “freedom of speech”. My old accountant once said ” If someone wants to make an ass out of themselves, DON”T stop them.”

As our youngsters are taught the “real history” of our country, the pledge is restored into our schools and the national anthem resounds through ALL the halls of public gatherings then and ONLY then will sensibility survive. No longer will the media feast on “negatism” but by DEMAND have to report on the emergence of national pride.

Yes, someone STOLE MY COUNTRY, and I want it back. I don’t care how many people don’t like my country, I just want those that love it to stand up and let the world know “what a wonderful country the USA is”.

Respectfully, Regis Sauger

Regis Sauger is a licensed Mortgage Broker in Florida, an author, lecturer on credit awareness. He has conducted seminars for underwriters, attorneys, mortgage lenders, realtors and the general public. http://www.foreclosurewatchdogs.com/

The Real Reasons the “Mortgage Meltdown” is Happening

Today, I read an article in the paper that stated HUD was going to implement new rules that would protect home owners from the big bad, predatory lenders. I have been seeing this kind of drivel in the papers and on the evening news for a while now, and I have had enough.

Every good story needs a hero and a villain, and in this case mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers are being made out to be evil, predatory, foul and untrustworthy. Now that is not to say that there are not bad people in the lending business, because every industry has their share of pirates and crooks. People who conduct their business in any other fashion than honorably definitely need to be driven out of the business at a minimum. But, I can attest to my experience over the past 17 years, that the people I have worked with and know in the financial services are good, honest hard working people who truly care about their clients and work very hard to help them.

So, rather than be complacent and not speak the truth, which most people don’t want to hear, and the major media don’t want to discuss. I would like to share what I believe to be the REAL reasons of the so called housing crisis. Stand back, because here it comes, (this has been brewing for a while)

Lack of Jobs, Loss of industry, ridiculous taxes on businesses and payroll, insane gas prices, a lack of domestic oil production and refining capacity because of weird and wacky environmentalism, food costs going through the roof, inflation numbers that are cooked to look good, credit card debts that are out of control, credit card payments that were doubled in 2007 by the governments own rules, a banking industry that could care less about the damage it creates; much less be held accountable for it, repeated Fed rate increases to stop inflation (which according to them wasn’t really happening but could happen), Alan Greenspan recommending adjustable rate mortgages be offered by mortgage lenders in greater numbers, recommending that lenders offer the chance to own a home to people with damaged credit, a mindset that the American public is too dumb and cannot make good decisions about their own finances and therefore, should not be held responsible for any of their decisions, and last but not least…

Drum roll please….. a government that is so out of touch with the people, it is utterly ridiculous to think they can solve the problem when they have actually created it. The national motto is “In God We Trust” but no matter how pious you are, the Almighty didn’t cause this mess and chances are, he won’t be the one to fix it. Rather, we are somehow supposed to make the leap, once again, that the government can stop their own carnage and solve our problem(s). The truth is that they ARE the problem or at least the largest part of it.

The image of the Department of Housing and Urban Development riding in on a white steed, frantically waving additional regulations to save the day, is enough to make a person wretch. Call me silly, but to me, it is tantamount to letting a convicted thief come in to your home and charge you to explain how HE would rip you off under the guise of helping you to protect yourself. He still got your cash, the question is how you feel about it once it is done. Closing the barn door AFTER the horse is out is not exactly foresight.

The truth is, we need to return to a common sense approach to our money, our government, and taxes. My grandfather lived to the great old age of 99, and was the wisest person I have ever met. He once told me as he sat in his favorite rocking chair, “You know, common sense just ain’t all that common these days.”

I wonder what he would think about what’s going on. Somehow, I think he would tell us to get back to basics. Pay cash, don’t borrow, get the government out of your pocket and solve your own problems. It is a mistake to think the government is going to actually solve a problem. If you look at most of our problems as a nation, education, retirement programs, medicare to name a few; it is because the government is involved that you actually have the problem. “We the People” are the solution.

The first thing we need to do is buy back our country. We don’t actually own the companies that made us a great nation anymore. Most of us might own shares in mutual funds or 401(k) plans where we don’t actually have voting rights. But we are not active participants in our own economy other than to borrow, borrow, borrow some more. So, decisions on manufacturing operations that affect real Americans and their livelihoods are based on getting the highest level of return. Whether or not it is destroying American families and this country is irrelevant. It is all about the almighty dollar and not the Almighty, in whom we have placed our trust to protect us. We need to protect us from ourselves. The bottom line is that we created a great country once, and I believe we can do it again and we better get started pronto.

James Setters

DebtMasters, LLC

jimsetters@debtmastersllc.com

debtmastersllc.blogpsot.com

Politics And The Economy

The most crucial question in the minds of many Americans and people around the world today is: Who will be the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States this election year? Will it be Illinois Senator Obama, or will it be New York Senator and former First Lady Clinton? Whosoever it is, history is about to be made as Americans are gearing up to elect either the first woman President, or the first African American President of the United States of America.

Let there be no misunderstanding, the Democratic ticket will be Obama-Clinton, or Clinton-Obama. The Democratic Political Strategists would be silly and simply idiotic not to have this ticket to defeat the smooth, seasoned and polished Senator John McCain this November. Let us hope that these two Candidates (Obama-Clinton) will put their egos, self interests or personal aggrandizement aside and embrace what seemed to be a well needed shift in the political culture and socialization in the United States. The mandate of the people has spoken across this Nation. There is no doubt that the American people are ready to embrace change. What is most noble of our democracy is the fact that America’s laws and its people are an evolutionary process and one that is base on necessity. We are always trying to be better. What a country! With a Constitution just over 200 years old, the American people have demonstrated that the color of a man’s skin or one’s gender is of no more significance. What a breath of fresh air to see this young and brilliant African American and woman running for the White House. However, the question still remains, will it happen?

Let us not get carried away by celebrating any victory for the Democrats too fast. We still have those closet racists who still believe in this 21st Century that one’s pigmentation is a factor. How they will vote, we do not know. Then again, we have the black pessimists who still utter words like: “America is not ready for a black President.” How silly. We have the Hispanics who can be very unpredictable. We have the older voters who are set in their ways and generally make up the majority of our voting population. However, with a surge of young voters, will it make a difference in November? Can Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama pull it off this fall?

One thing for sure, the American people are galvanized by this shaky economy, anti war sentiments in Iraq, lack of healthcare, high gas prices at the pump, etc. People are losing their homes and jobs across this Nation in the millions. Those that seek the American dream through diligence are fed up and lost faith in their government. We have seen our noble Veterans begging in the streets and middle class jobs outsourced overseas. It is time to take care of the American people. Let us take care of home first then help where we can in the world after. We cannot afford to boast in our arrogance that we are the greatest Nation on the planet, yet we cannot provide basic healthcare and decent jobs to our citizens. We cannot afford to cast a blind eye to the world however. Let me remind those with short term memories what took place in Germany many years ago. We turned a blind eye to some disgruntled and ignorant folks in Germany at that time called the Brown Shirts. They became a formidable force known as the Nazis under Adolph Hitler that led to the destruction of over 5 million of our Jewish brothers and sisters lives. So while we should take care of America first, we must keep an eye on the world so that something as horrible as this will not repeat itself anywhere again on this planet.

As for Senator John McCain, the Republican Nominee for President of the United States, his service to this Great Republic is first class, invaluable and second to none. I applaud him wholeheartedly for his service to this Nation. I admire his impeccable character and the fact that he is not the conventional politician. He is a “straight shooter.” Senator McCain will say the same thing to people in 10 different rooms. You can rest assured that what he says in Room number 1 will be consistent throughout Room number 10. I like that about him. No one can ever question the veracity of Senator McCain’s words. Undoubtedly, he is the best qualified for Commander in Chief. However, timing might be a factor for this great American Hero. Senator McCain will have to unequivocally convince the American people that he will revitalize the economy, provide healthcare, deal with this immigration issue, create jobs and restore the middle class in order to win this election…straight up. While many Americans are concern about the war on terror and those that want to kill us for our freedom, the American people are crying out for jobs, healthcare, and to save their homes. Owning a home is the core tenet of the American dream. We must restore the American people and promulgate laws that prohibit corrupt banks, mortgage companies, brokers, etc., from taking the American people for a ride.

Come this November, invoke your constitutional rights and vote. Remember that many of your ancestors died for that privilege. Go into that polling booth and vote your conscience. One thing for sure, whether it be Obama, McCain or Clinton, the American people are ready to sacrifice and work with our duly elected President. May God continue to bless the United States of America.

Patrick Pearce is Founder, President and CEO for Southeastern Development & Consulting Group, Inc., a Florida Corporation.

Patrick Pearce earned his BA degree from the City University of New York and his law degree (JD) from Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, New York.

Patrick Pearce works as a Consulting and In House Attorney with various Law Firms and Government Offices.
Website: http://www.sdcg1.com
Blogs: http://legalconsulting.wordpress.com