Showing posts from 2010

Has anyone seen "19 Facts About Deindustrialization...?"

Have you received an email or noticed this very blogged post? I have inserted it below and have added my comments to it. To my knowledge, no one has bothered to respond; probably because it is riddled with hyperbole and does not suggest what to do about this doomsday situation. Hope you enjoy my rebuttal which is italics and bolded after each number... So what happens when the debt bubble pops ? The deindustrialization of the United States should be a top concern for every man, woman and child in the country. But sadly, most Americans do not have any idea what is going on around them. For people like that, take this article and print it out and hand it to them. Perhaps what they will read below will shock them badly enough to awaken them from their slumber. The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind.... #1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. About 75 percent of those factories employed ov

What is Youth and Youth Marketing?

What is youth? Why does it matter to marketers? The following article addresses both of these questions, and in doing so, will provide an introduction to some of the strategic brand thinking we do at Tangible Worldwide. This discussion is not about marketing to young people. Quite the contrary, we are exploring why so many brands targeted at adults consistently draw upon elements of youth to present their brands. So let us begin by considering what makes youth so appealing to adults. Why does youth have such a tremendous emotional appeal to all human beings? We are naturally drawn to babies or toddlers and even adolescents. We obviously love the real thing, but we are also drawn to images of youth, and are fundamentally moved by what we perceive youth represents. I believe there are five fundamental reasons why we are attracted to the image and reality of youth. These are: The innocence of youth Рalso known as naivet̩; the lack of sin; the curiosity and inquisitiveness of th

Ray Ozzie inpsires me!

I am in no way, shape or form a visionary like Ray Ozzie, but he has made me think about Software and Information Technology and what I see as the immediate challenges facing the space. 1. IPv6 or 128 bit code. I am running 64 bit for the first time on Windows 7, and I have had no problems, but 128 is up and I have not seen much progress. Interestingly I have heard many Venture Capitalists say that software is not being developed to fully utilize the capability of 64 bit (nor dual processors). This is a very big challenge as a potential gap could develop between hardware and software. 2. The portable device and the "cloud." The True Cloud is NOT a web server farm. The True Cloud is the linkage of open hard drive space on all web-connected devices. This Peer-to-Peer sharing of data and information -- with the necessary security features -- is a key to our affordable progress (energy and equipment). The problem is whether portable devices (laptops, notepads, phones) wi

Being a Dad

U.S. Immigration Reform

Requirements for Citizenship To become a U.S. citizen, several requirements must be met. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age (or be their dependents) and legally reside in the United States for at least five years (except for immediate family members of U.S. citizens, for whom the requirement is three years). In addition, the law requires an understanding of English (speaking, reading and writing) and the history, principles, and form of government of the United States, good moral character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution, and favorable disposition toward the United States. Ineligibility may be due to failure to meet any of the above requirements of as a result of opposition to the U.S. Government or U.S. law, favoring totalitarian forms of government, desertion from or refusal to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States or certain serious criminal offenses. Section 335 of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that "Before a person may be

Consumer Behavior & the Internet

For more and more aspects of our lives, the Internet is the "everyday answer." For travel, almost everyone uses the Internet over a travel agent or calling an airline directly. Surprisingly, financial services have overcome privacy and security concerns and now most people bank online. This follows the acceptance of the ATM in lieu of branch visits, so perhaps is not too surprising. We see that people are managing their careers online, whether with job search (careerbuilder) or resume management (linkedin). Even finding love ( or other relationships (craigslist or is more and more the mainstream. We read that most people buy goods in stores, but Amazaon and other shopping sites are generally accepted. Most people do not use Skype to call, but more people adopt it for one-on-one connections with distant friends and family. The power has certainly shifted over the past decade. Comfort with the Internet has grown dramatically, as fear has subsided. Usage is

American Polity and Politics

My facebook page has been the home of some wonderful debates about our nation and our President. I would like to offer some thoughts about some fundamental "truisms" that seem to be at the core of the challenges we face today. My overall point is that the majority of Americans oppose big and growing government. They oppose high taxes to support big government. Why? Because we value freedom and competition. 1. America is a capitalist and consumerist society. People make choices everyday in a very competitive marketplace for the products and services they want and need. In my lifetime, competition has exploded in every industry -- transportation, food, technolgy, financial services. As consumers and capitalists, the majority of Americans do not believe the federal government provides good value for money. To be very clear, the majority of Americans do not believe that the taxes they pay are effectively nor efficiently spent to provide services they need and want. Inde

What Caused our Global Financial Crisis?

The U.S. Housing market became a "bubble" for the following reason -- people who could not afford the down payment nor the mortgage payment of the home were allowed to borrow anyway. Banking institutions then packaged these mortgages and sold them to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So how did this happen? The United States Government -- Executive Branch since Clinton, and the Legislature -- has promoted home ownership by lowering the financial requirements. In the 1980's, over 80% of homes had a 20% cash downpayment required with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. By 1992, with the Community Reinvestment Act, Banks were not just ALLOWED to accept 15%, then 10% then 5% then no downpayment, then were told they could generate the loan and then sell it to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Let me go further...Banks were now only allowed to offer variable rate mortgages, but they were encouraged to market products which ASSUMED home price appreciation and a growing economy (because it

You think you had a tough year!

President Obama's first year: Promise to close Gitmo in a year, but don’t People accuse you of not being born in the USA You give Gordon Brown a box of DVDs in NTSC format Pass $787 billion stimulus bill and promise unemployment below 10% Authorize the use of deadly force against Somali Pirates Air Force One buzzes Manhattan Administration creates hysteria over Swine Flu Arizona State won’t give you an Honorary degree at Commencement speech Administration takes over ownership of General Motors Cash for Clunkers benefits Toyota most of all You have a beer with Sgt. Crowley after calling him “stupidly” Joe Wilson shouts “You Lie” The “Tea Bag” movement begins and involves 2 million people You promise Olympics in Chicago and fail You threaten Fox News and back down You win the Nobel Peace Prize and no one (including you) thinks you deserve it Wall Street wins and Main Street loses You lose Virginia and New Jersey governor’s mansions You decide to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in NYC and

People don't like Obama because he's just like Bush!

1. The majority of Americans (hereafter "we") wanted to exit Iraq because it was not clear what we were doing. It is still not clear and there is no certainty of exit. 2. We wanted to get out of Afghanistan, but we now have another Bush/McCain “surge" of 30,000 troops. Even Jon Stewart believes there is little difference between the two on National Security. 3. We did not trust President Bush because he had a very small inner circle of advisors. See Barack Obama is even worse. Now there are calls for the ouster of Axelrod, Gibbs, Jarrett and Emanuel. 4. Related to #3, we all felt that Bush was a huge disappointment in NOT being bi-partisan. But Obama is even more partisan than Bush! When was the last time President Obama criticized Congress? Not the Republican Congress, but Congress in general? When was the last time he said he support

So where are investments headed in 2010?

There are four investment issues on my mind as we start this New Year: 1. Commodities and specifically gold . I believe that there are macroeconomic supply and demand issues which will continue to press commodities higher over the course of this year. Soft commodities, like coffee, tea, sugar, all increased over 25% in 2009. Metals in general had a very good year, and food as a whole should continue to rise. The one glamour play (pun intended) which confounds me is gold. I must admit that have successfully invested in gold this year via GLD, but now wonder if we are at the top. What would make gold go up? Not demand -- industrial and jewelry demand is sated. One reason would be a weak dollar (see below). General fear could drive gold higher. And then there is everyone sees the new highs and rushes in. What could make gold go down? No real demand, stable to appreciating dollar, no fear and fewer fools rushing in. Gold is sideways to down in 2010. 2. The U.S. Dollar . The doll