Monday, March 9, 2009

Bailing Yourself Out

It is frustrating to know that so many people have so much hope in the Government bailing them out. It seems like this is a new concept where banks are bailed out, but wait... I want to see us, "tax payers" being bail out. Why not? Instead, we are enduring higher taxes, people are being laid off, retirement plans losing their face value, and the stock market seems to be collapsing.

I disagree with millions of dollars being spent in so much stuff we do not need to reinvent the wheel on. Then, I get more frustrated, when I see so many people depending on Government assistance for everything. The only thing I can think of is - the governement becoming the BIG Brother, what else do we need?

Finally here it is Ben Stein... Again, he is so right about this new bail out concept that so many people are becoming victims of. I agree with him, there is only one way to bail yourself out, YES, DO it YOURSELF!

Here is some good news and some bad news. I'll give you the bad news first.
I was on a panel of smart, pleasant men and women last week, discussing the economy and, in particular, how it is affecting people selling vehicles with tires and wheels. I told the audience that the Federal Reserve, which has unlimited power to print money, had a program called the Term Asset Backed Lending Facility (TALF) that would help dealers restock their showrooms. I said I knew it hadn't started yet but I thought it would start soon.
A gentleman on the panel -- an intelligent, articulate, honest young man -- said that, as a Fed employee himself, he knew the Fed was straining every nerve to get the TALF started. He said they are pulling people off their trucks who used to work on delivering cash to banks. That's how hard they are working.
Friends and Internet neighbors, I felt like weeping. As I said to this man, "I know this isn't your fault. But the Fed has an unlimited budget. They could hire some of the tens of thousands of young bankers recently laid off on Wall Street to get this program started. It needs to be started YESTERDAY! Why aren't they getting professional bankers instead of people who work in trucking to do this?"
It's Called 'Government' for a Reason
The man pleasantly said that legislators were always criticizing the Fed's budget and so they had to be careful where they spent their money. This is an entity that has genuinely unlimited money. And people selling cars, trucks, and trailers are bleeding without that TALF facility -- and some will die.
Anyhow, as I listened to that man, I thought, "Hey, why am I surprised? It's called ‘the government' for a reason. It has its own pace and its own ideas of what's right and wrong.'"
Now that's the bad news.
You have been -- you are now -- bombarded every day with TV shows, radio news, and newspapers telling you of this government support plan and that government support plan and how they are going to rescue you. To which I can only say, when you hear the word ‘government,' in your mind, substitute the words ‘Department of Motor Vehicles.' When was the last time they rescued you? When was the last time they bailed you out of anything at all?
Look, I worked for the government for many years. The men and women I worked with were some of the finest people on this earth. But there are only a few of them and a lot of us. They have their hands full. Yes, they can help you by mailing you a check. They can help you by cutting your taxes, and I hope they do. They can "bail out" specific industries for a while, such as we just saw with Detroit.
They definitely help you by fighting for your freedom.
But to expect that ‘government' is a fairy godmother who will rescue you from your problems over any long period is just fantasy. Here's the good news: This country will be rescued by each of us doing what we can do in our own individual sphere of action as government works in its sphere of action. There are roughly 142 million men and women in the labor force. Their ingenuity, flexibility, energy, and confidence will make more difference than anything government does on an individual basis -- which is not to take away a thing from the effects of good policy.
In the free society, we rescue ourselves. I think in particular of a young man who graduated from Williams College in 1935. It was hard times, with almost 20 percent unemployment, as we now know.
The young man had no money and few connections. But he didn't know what he didn't have, and he didn't know how deep the Depression was. So he just went out, got a teaching job in Iowa, used the money to work and study at The University of Chicago, found a wife, and started a career that took him to fame and prosperity. He didn't count on anyone else to do it for him. He was a Phi Beta Kappa from a great college, but he didn't hesitate to wash dishes for a meal and a quarter.
That man was my father.
I think of Herbert Hoover, who graduated from mining engineering school in the late 1880s. Just as he was entering the labor force in 1893, a huge Depression hit. But he didn't know about it because there were few statistics, so he headed out West, started a mining enterprise, and became a millionaire.
Put Down the Paper and Get to Work
If you spend the day reading about how bad things are, you will never get out of bed. If you put down the paper and get to work, and then work twice as hard and twice as smart as you used to, and maybe take less pay right up front, you will get ahead.
Here is a lesson from my father: In every economic era, there is always a shortage of talented, creative, well-educated workers. Be one of those workers.
I think of my pal Barron Thomas, a talented salesman of airplanes and related items and services. Since the recession hit in earnest in the fall, I hardly get to talk to him. Why? Because he works all the time. He makes the deals the other guys are too lazy or short-sighted to make. If you absolutely, positively want it to be sold, if you want to buy at the best price, you go to Barron Thomas. The flight world knows it, and he gets sales. Plus, he doesn't get depressed, because he's working too hard to get depressed. He gets that endorphin rush, that glorious feeling of self-esteem one gets from working hard and being exhausted at the end of a successful day.
My point isn't to plug Barron. He's got a huge reputation already. My point is to tell you that the hard-working people will still get work. They will have money to spend. They will spend it, and eventually it will pull us out of this darned recession.
Earn Your Success
I think of Henry Luce, who started ‘Fortune' magazine when the Great Depression was well under way, or Bill Benton, who started one of the most successful ad agencies of all time, Benton & Bowles, during the Depression. They didn't expect a bailout. They expected to earn their success -- and they did.
Imagination, hard work, and persistence can conquer any phase of the business cycle. Imitate Mr. Thomas, Mr.Bowles, and Mr. Luce. Let other people get depressed by the headlines. Let other people wait around for Mr. Obama to rescue them. You go out and go to work, using every resource of energy and imagination you have. The DMV is not going to bail you out. By and large, and with a few exceptions, you have to bail yourself out.
Get to work.

Article taken from: Yahoo. Finance.

Advice for Fresh Graduates During Tough Times

These are some good suggestions, being aware of your priorities is always the best way to go. I am just sharing some insight. Take care.

Taken from: Yahoo! Finance
By: Ben Stein

One of the great pleasures of my life is speaking to college and university students. My speeches are rarely political and mostly just the sharing of my experience, strength, and hope, to borrow a famous phrase. Lately I have been speaking a great deal about the economy, about which I know a bit, since I am an economist in real life as well as in movies and on TV. In my youth I also worked on economic policy matters in a small way at the White House.
As you might guess, the main issue today's students have in mind is what they can do in the currently difficult -- very difficult -- job market. What do I recommend to them to trump the problems so many young people are having getting started in the labor market?
Herewith, I offer a few suggestions. These are taken not just from my experience but from what my parents and their friends told me about graduating from college in the middle of the Great Depression, when unemployment was incomparably higher and times incomparably tougher than they are right now.
Learn a Genuinely Useful Skill
First, learn a genuinely useful skill. Abstract art and conceptual sculpture are great if your parents are wealthy. But if times are lean, as they are for most of us, learn to do what people need done: medical care of all kinds (the shortage of nurses gets more acute every week, and wages are skyrocketing), accounting, engineering that is used in defense, and any kind of work connected to the criminal justice system (crime is an ever-growing menace).
Second, and closely tied to the above, learn who is hiring. Right now, the main eager employers are in health care, education in urban and extremely rural schools, and above all, government. During the Depression, the main employer was government. Under the Obama administration, there will be immense new hires in most areas of federal government, but especially in the areas Mr. Obama has picked as his favorites: "green" power, education, and environmentalism.
Tailor your education and your skills to where the hiring is. You can always change your skill set and move to another area if you do not find government work or some other form of work appealing.
Never Enough of the Best People
Third, be the best at what you do. This is vital. My father often told me that, even in 1935, there was a shortage of top flight people in almost every field. "There are never enough of the best people," he used to say. If you are at the top of your class, you will have a vastly greater job vista than people in the middle or at the bottom.
I know some smart aleck will now say, "Well, Ben, we cannot all be at the top of our class." True enough. But you don't have to worry about the others. Just worry about yourself right now -- and have the best record you can have.
Learn great work skills. Learn to show up on time, to look neat and well-groomed, and to do whatever is asked of you with a willing attitude. Be up to date on all relevant computer skills and happy to learn new ones. Have a super positive attitude. Now is not the time for troublemakers and whiners. Your job is to produce some value for your employers greater than the cost of employing you. Make sure you do just that and do not create "negative utility," which means you destroy more value for your employers than you create -- by complaining, distracting workers, not getting your work done, and requiring a lot of supervision.
The Value of Thrift
Be thrifty. You will be far ahead of the game if you can live on much less than what you earn. Then you can have savings and build them up for the time when you move to a new city or a new job and require "starting-out money." It is just a great feeling to not be desperate.
Make every good connection you can. Almost all good jobs are gotten by who you know at least as much as by what you know. When people are hiring in both government and the private sector, a recommendation from a friend or colleague means more than test scores. Make and expand your web of friends and colleagues from the earliest possible moment, including high school. Your colleagues are a form of capital as real as money, even if not as liquid.
Imagine you are an employer looking at your whole college class. Would you hire you? If not, make yourself better. You can be a rebel later. For now, do what you need to do to get a job.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A guide for New Immigrants in the United States

I was searching for some information from the Departmen of Homeland Security. Yeah, The Immigration Department in the U.S. You know, my legal side is always working... so, I was reading the new immigrant guide that they have put together in Spanish. This guide helps new immigrants to access local, state and federal services, and shows immigrants about how they can participate in the politics of this great country. It is grammatical correct, which is a difficult thing to do for non-spanish speakers, so I should say they did a marvelous job.

Guia para Nuevos Imigrantes en Los Estados Unidos de America , Version en Espanol http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/M-618_sp.pdf

Immigrant Guide, English Version http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/M-618.pdf

Please enjoy!

Discussion of Intellectual Property

My friend Anthony sent me this article. I thought It might benefit some people, especially if you are the author of intellectual property, and you might benefit from getting royalties for your work.

Be sure to read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/books/04google.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&emc=eta1