Saturday, October 1, 2011
The impending apocalypse - film at eleven
Crazy hairy ants, massive bioluminescent blooms, reservoirs of blood (I know it was just bacteria but play along anyway would you?), never ending droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, pestilence and pillaging pirates must we go through these trying times every 50 or 100 years or so? Will we see that prosperity around the corner that FDR spoke of? At present I think not. I give my own personnel perspective on the matter. Some time back a bill was passed to help avert an economic downturn we all know as "the stimulus package". It was however way too small and a bit too late to change the snowball created by George W. Two wars and 4 tax breaks was all it took to bring down the economic engine to a near grinding halt. What did that hopeful package gain me? There was 120 hours of training which resulted in one job that lasted three days. But then several months later when my shoe leather was starting to look exceptionally tasty I was called out for an 8 month gig. Not exactly rebuilding the nations' infrastructure it did however pay the bills. But seeing as how this was tied to that bill it did at least keep the status quo at least for me. Was the money well spent in terms of new energy savings etc.? Not exactly because here's what happened. Much of that stimulus package required those using it to jump through government red tape i.e in the form of grants. As we all know or should writing a government grant request is no easy matter even for those with the experience. For the average homeowner it meant digging through government web sites and wondering if you even qualified. If you did you still weren't sure how much a grant would be until the process was complete. Then there was the deadline. It was only several months from the inception of the programs' beginning. And here's another fly in the ointment. Workers had not been trained and certified to do the work. So what was the end result? Intending to do thousands of homes in our area it landed up being a couple of hundred with much of the money never being spent.
It is now October and all of the package has expired. It may have kept several workers off the unemployment rolls but not as was expected. So now we have stimulus II before congress. I think we all know where one side stands and it's not with us. We don't have a spending problem, We have a revenue problem. Nearly all of the guys I worked with these last eight months hold outside part time jobs just to make ends meet. Maybe we should lower the salaries of congress and make them do the same. "Congressman you wouldn't mind waiting tables at night to make up for a 30% cut in pay now would you"?
One last thing about the economy before parting. This is the month where the adjustable rate mortgages hit their peak. Those that were unable to refinance at a fixed rate are screwed. And many of them are now upside down in their mortgages so they can't.
One final note: Should you see a guy at the freeway on ramp with glasses a mustache and no ass* holding an out of work sign treat him with a bit of respect would you? That just might be me.
*worked ass off years ago and keeping it that way