Bleeding jobs

This feels like I’m blogging for the first time. Anyway, I picked the most action two weeks since the election to not blog. The list of things I haven’t blogged about – The Obama Inauguartion, the first 10 days, Rod Blagojevich, Rush Limbaugh?

What brings me out of my shell are layoffs. They’re everywhere – hitting very close to home for all of us. One thing that has bothered me is the massive number of layoffs and location closings hitting the news. Starbucks, Circuit City, Home Depot, etc. A few years ago these companies couldn’t find a location they didn’t like. Across the street is another Starbucks? No problem.  The growth of these companies during the last 10 years has been dizzying.  Their growth has also been foolish.  

Here’s the analogy I’ve been using –  Say someone bought a lottery ticket and won a thousand dollars.  Good right?  What if this happened the next month and the month after that?  Excellent huh? Here’s the question: What would you say if that person, looking at their recent track record decided that the winnings had to coming month after month, and buys a bigger, nicer home based on the belief that these winnings were coming month after month?  You’d think that person was a fool.  Well this is essentially what many companies did.

Instead of growing at a sustainable and manageable rate – they grew thinking the good times would never end.  Fueled by a low interest rates, cheap money, an insane real estate market, these companies grew without any regard for the future.  Shouldn’t companies grow at a rate that allows them to withstand the bad times without upsetting the apple cart? Didn’t these have a responsibility to be there for their employees?  But greed won out and all they could think of is more, more, more.

All this is too late – people are losing the jobs, over 100,000 this week. The people in charge should be in jail, but they’re living off of their crazy bonuses.  One report had Wall Street bankers taking in $18 billion in bonuses last year.  How much is that?  Enough to give the automakers the bailout they asked for plus an additional $4 billion to “buy something to make themselves pretty”.  It’s enough to employ 300,000 people at $48,000 a year and pay for their health insurance for their family of four.  It’s enough to buy every Major League Baseball team and have enough left over to buy 10 or 11 NFL teams. In other words – it’s a lot of money.  I don’t want to get on a rant here – but maybe these guys didn’t need a bailout.  

I hope this ends soon – I fear that it will bring us all under.  But part of me wonders if that pain wouldn’t be good in the end. Maybe the past two hundred years  we were the  caterpillar  (the insect, not the company that has cut 22,000 jobs). Maybe when this is all done, we’ll be a pretty butterfly.

Or maybe Bernie Madoff will still be smiling?

Lynching Illinois

blago2This will be short and quick – it’s late. It’s hard to be disgusted by politicians in this world of “Barack the Magic Negro” – but Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has taken it to new level. He has nominated Roland Burris to become the Senator to replace Barack Obama in senate, ignoring the pleas from everyone, in and out of his party to not do so and yet here he goes.   He doesn’t want us to base our decisions on Blagojevich’s issues, but on Buris’ own resumé. Illinois Democrats are brazenly bringing up race to goad the Senate into approving him. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill actually said “I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer and separate the appointee from the appointer.”   We are being told that there are no black senators so we need a black senator.   As a black American this notion is appalling – that just any black man will do. Just as Sarah Palin isn’t a replacement for Hillary Clinton – Roland Burris is no replacement for Barack Obama.

I know I don’t know him – but earlier this month he had the following to say:

“I certainly applaud her actions,” he said of Madigan in a December 13 press conference, according to WBBM. “Illinois is too important to its 18 million citizens to have a chief executive who is now incapacitated.

“The evidence that’s been presented is pretty appalling, should that come out to be the case of what our governor is attempting to do,” he said, according to WBBM.

Today he said he has “no opinion on the governor’s problems.”

Wonder what changed – oh yes, now he’s been nominated to be a Senator. I wonder what passed hands.