Tag Archives: Wall Street
“Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day.
Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way.
Oh, Monday mornin’, you gave me no warnin’ of what was to be.
Oh, Monday, Monday, how could you leave and not take me?”
(“Monday, Monday” – the Mamas and Papas – 1966 – John Phillips)
Ah, Monday, the traditional start of the work week for millions of Americans. The song says, in its condemnation of Mondays, “every other day of the week is fine.” In popular nomenclature, it is known as “Blue Monday,” the day that marks the end of the weekend and the beginning of the drudgery of just another workweek.
In years past, that drudgery was something that the “working man” endured, week after week, so that he could make it to the weekend and spend sometime with his family. If he was lucky, he got a two-week vacation in the summer and took a road trip with the wife and kids to the mountains or the lake. That was his life, week after week, working for the same old company, until he earned his retirement and hung up his lunch pail. If he was relatively healthy, he might look forward to ten or twelve years of retirement before being laid to rest.
Life is no longer like that. For millions of Americans, there is no job to go to on Monday morning. Working for the same company for years is very unusual, given the plant closings and migration of jobs south and east. The company’s loyalty to the worker no longer exists and the worker’s loyalty to the company has faded over the years.
America is no longer home to the “working man.” It now takes two incomes to support a family and to guard against layoffs and job eliminations. The drudgery of the work week has been replaced, for so many, by the drudgery of endless and fruitless searching for a job.
America’s greatness has been the strength of our working class – men and women toiling in our factories and fields, putting food on the tables of their families and gold in the pockets of their employers. Now, the gap between the rich and poor is as great as it has been in decades and job security is a distant memory.
Where do we go from here? Are America’s best days behind her?
What is the next chapter for the American “working man?”
William Stephenson Clark
We have several PrariePops Authors gone into meatspace right now, so bare with sekan while we try to get through this. I know I’m not that entertaining. Rest assured that Iggy, fnord and others will be back! ~sekanblogger
These are hard times for debt collectors. After all, who can pay their bills these days? Not Wall Street, Detroit, millions of homeowners, the rising number of jobless folks – not even several states and cities.
But, wait – here are some lively prospects for debt collectors: the dead. Yes, there’s a boom in dunning the deceased!
We’re not talking about collecting from big time debtors who still owe several hundred thousand dollars on their yacht. No, these are workaday people who died while still owing maybe a couple of hundred bucks on their bank credit card, health insurance, or utility payment. It’s not possible, of course, to squeeze money out of a corpse, so the target becomes the bereaved next of kin. “Hello, I’m very sorry for your loss, but there’s this $211.36 balance on your mother’s Visa, and we wondered who will be covering this?”
By the way, there is no legal requirement whatsoever that the debt of those who’ve passed on must be paid by relatives out of their own pockets. Thus, what the industry calls “deceased collections” requires a delicate dance to cajole money out of the family without actually demanding it. The industry actually rationalizes its work as a service to those who have departed. As one insider asserts: “We want the dead to rest easy, knowing their obligations are taken care of.” How benevolent.
The actual work is done by a corps of specially trained agents working from cubicles in companies that specialize in this rather macabre fishing for cash. The job is so distasteful that about half of those hired quit within three months. Those who stick it out get such on-the-job stress relievers as yoga sessions, foosball games, free snacks and neck massages.
They tell us that we can’t escape death and taxes, but it appears that one more thing we can’t escape are debt collectors.
My grandparents married during the Great Depression and began raising their young family during World War II.
My grandmother would tell me stories about those times with pride. She couldn’t buy a car or nylon stockings. But she did save every bit of aluminum for the war effort, mended socks, and planted a victory garden. Though they had very little, when they could save ten cents, she would get another stamp for her war bond book.
As tough as those times were, my grandmother felt that what she did every day mattered for the country and her children’s future. Families across the nation took these same actions, and, together, they did indeed make all the difference. The victory gardens, the recycling, the $185 billion in war bonds raised by 85 million cash-strapped Americans (nearly $2 trillion in today’s dollars), and the retooling of Detroit for tanks and planes provided our country with the resources and capacity for the war effort.
Taken together, these actions gave the economy a whole new set of priorities—moving from a failing consumer-based economy to an economy focused on providing for the country’s future.
As a nation, we are again at this kind of pivotal time. We can choose to reprioritize the economy. And we know how to do it — we did it during World War II.
The steps this time around will look familiar to those who experienced these days. We need to embrace thrift as a fundamental value, and collectively shift our economy from one depending on consumerism, debt, and speculation, to one that spends its precious resources on what sustains health and well-being for people and the planet.
Like the economy my grandmother experienced during World War II, the consumer sector can no longer be the economy’s driver. But instead of a war effort, the priority now needs be to on economic activity and jobs that bring about a sustainable future—from energy efficiency, mass transit, and sustainable agriculture to education, health, and building resilient communities, that make sure no one is left behind. Continue reading
The credit industry is scared and willing to settle debts on the cheap right now. If you have credit card debt and they are hounding you, offer them 50% of what you owe IF they will settle the debt and close the account.
A 50% OFF SALE ON DEBT.
I’m not kidding. Be firm. Don’t let them dick you around. Offer them half and tell them if they don’t take it you are moving to the next person on the list.
I payed off my debt just like that. By the way that’s me digging in the garbage there. I payed off debt and got some used furniture free this week.
Do it now before congresscritters SELL OUT to the banking industry’s lobbyists. The fight on The Hill is starting already. I have a feeling the K street boys have plenty of money. If you can settle before they’re sure thay have Obama on their payroll, do it. NOW.
But many Democrats, particularly in the Senate, have balked at the idea, saying they prefer a tax that has some hope of winning Republican support. In legislation that could be unveiled as early as this week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is expected to propose a new tax on the health benefits that millions of Americans currently receive tax-free through employers.
Economists say taxing employer-sponsored benefits would help trim runaway health costs and force society to broadly share the burdens of reform. The idea also has bipartisan appeal. Former president George W. Bush and John Mc Cain (Ariz.), the 2008 GOP presidential candidate, championed a form of the tax; so did Obama advisers Jason Furman and Ezekiel Emanuel before they joined the administration.
The thought of this is an outrage, if the issue is affordable health care and to suggest taxing health care benefits? That is totally unreasonable, shall we be taxed after lung replacement on the air that is newly taken in? How about a tax on free speech, we do not have to pay to have the right of free speech so should that too be taxed? It would appear to be a Bi-partisan idea more though a Washington idea and the thought of someone so in a bubble that reality is created with Crayons and colored paper!
This is a idea of everyone having to share the cost? NO it is punishing those who have what you want everyone to have. I was once told that Colorado has a “View tax” if you own or buy land that has a scenic view you are taxed on the view. Idiotic! The Government does not have a RIGHT to tax everything in the name of the people. Nor is there a duty to do some as a form of punishment or atonement.
A tax should be a fair matter for all not singular for some, it falls into the age old argument of taxing the have because their are the have. In this case those who do already have health care would be taxed for having health care! Costello’s answer “How stupid do you want me to be?”.
Well you know that employers also provide toilet paper for the restroom used by the employees why not tax that too? Then there are the lights and the air conditioning least we forget there is also safety equipment for the safety of the employees. IDIOTIC!!!
He takes on big hitters, and the most controversial of topics! Agree or disagree, you can’t call him a coward.