– Are Obama’s economic recovery plans radical?
* Mike: I’ll start today’s post with the latest salvo from Obama, which is what I had expected from him when he was elected. I think he tried the bipartisan route to no avail (no surprise there) and now he’s getting back to the Obama people elected (note: I didn’t vote for Obama). While the following story depicts Obama’s views as radical, what is truly radical about his plans? This is the only developed country without some sort of universal health care plan, so why is that radical? The plan doesn’t have to be in the same mold as our Canadian or Danish friends, but I believe it’s a vital that all citizens have access to affordable health care. Making companies compete for Medicare involvement is a step in that direction. Having some type of health care for all will take that burden off of US businesses, which will make them more competetive with thier foreign counterparts that don’t have to pay for health care directly. That should allow for companies to spend their resources on research and development and that should create more jobs.
Greener energy is also important since we send billions of dollars overseas, which could be put to better use in this country. And once the economy recovers in a few years the price of gas will spike back to $4 a gallon, so why not get a head start at addressing that issue before people start screaming again. These plans may seem radical to those who like everything the way it is, but any change can seem radical if you have that view.
And why wasn’t it considered radical to allow banks to create exotic and lethal investment instruments and assemble and sell unaffordable loan packages? Why wasn’t it considered radical to spend hundreds of billions on two wars and not report that spending as part of the overall budget? Why wasn’t it considered radical to pass a health care reform bill that didn’t allow for companies to compete? Why wasn’t it radical to increase the federal debt from $5 trillion to $10 trillion?
We as citizens will be the ones who determine if Obama’s plans are radical, not the paid-for, corrupt lobbiests that defile the halls of Congress.
* Some analysts say Obama’s proposals are almost radical. But he said all of them were included in his campaign promises. “It is the change the American people voted for in November,” he said.
Nonetheless, he said, well-financed interest groups will fight back furiously.
– Insurance companies will dislike having “to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that’s how we’ll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs,” the president said. “I know that banks and big student lenders won’t like the idea that we’re ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that’s how we’ll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won’t like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that’s how we’ll help fund a renewable energy economy.”
–Larger layoff announcements and ecnomic reports:
- California declares drought emergency
- California unemployment rate at 10.1 percent
- California paid for top officials’ free rides (Any wonder why CA is such a mess financially?)
- CVS Caremark to cut 230 jobs in Largo
- Economy shrinks at fastest pace in 26 years
- Yale announces layoffs
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* That possibility’s got the blogosphere all “a-twitter,” pardon the pun. Earlier this week, Google activated its Twitter account and all Tweets broke loose. As of Friday morning, Google had more than 26,000 followers.
The speculation is that, in a move similar to its purchase of YouTube, Google is interested in buying Twitter. Now, Google didn’t buy YouTube for its video capability—or at least not primarily. Google acquired YouTube in large part for its search tools. And it has paid off. Last summer, ComScore reported that YouTube’s search traffic for August surpassed Yahoo’s, which dropped some 5 percent in traffic from July.
* SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday declared a state emergency due to drought and said he would consider mandatory water rationing in the face of nearly $3 billion in economic losses from below-normal rainfall this year.
As many as 95,000 agricultural jobs will be lost, communities will be devastated and some growers in the most economically productive farm state simply are not able to plant, state officials said, calling the current drought the most expensive ever.
* New unemployment figures from the state of California are alarming. They show that one in ten people have lost their job.
* Carrie Lopez, director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, charged taxpayers to fly from Sacramento, where she works, to Los Angeles, where she lives, to attend a Justin Timberlake concert with her daughter. She listed the trip on her expense report as a meeting with the energy company that paid for the concert tickets. Lopez also billed the state for meals on days she received those meals for free from corporations, according to state records.
Rosario Marin, head of the State and Consumer Services Agency, blamed a miscommunication for her failure to repay $582 the state spent to fly her to Washington in July to speak at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an appearance for which she received $1,000. She reimbursed the state for the airfare after The Times inquired about the trip last month.
* WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy contracted at a staggering 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the country deeper into recession.
The Commerce Department report released Friday showed the economy sinking much faster than the 3.8 percent annualized drop for the October-December quarter first estimated last month. It also was considerably weaker than the 5.4 percent annualized decline economists expected.
* The Dallas Housing Authority cut several jobs Friday after going over its budget for administrative costs in recent years.
* (Rochester, N.Y.) – Bausch and Lomb is cutting around 30 financial workers. The workers are based at the optics Center on North Goodman Street.
* New Haven (WTNH) – Yale University says as many as 300 employees could be laid off as the University copes with the economic downturn.
According the Yale Daily News , those who lose their jobs during the next six months will recieve double severance benefits. The University is also looking to cut staff salaries.
* Faced with a 35 percent decrease in revenue, Selee Corp. laid off 23 hourly employees Friday.
It’s the first time since the early 1980s that the company has had to resort to layoffs, said President Mark Morse. The Hendersonville technical ceramics company specializes in the design and manufacture of porous technical ceramics and metals.
* LARGO — CVS Caremark plans to close its mail-order prescription drug operation here at the end of the month, eliminating 230 jobs.
*A manufacturing company is laying off employees at both of its facilities in northwest Iowa. Rosenboom Machine and Tool Human Resources Manager Jack Schreurs says the cuts include 12 permanent and 65 temporary layoffs in Sheldon and 19 permanent and 75 temporary layoffs in Spirit Lake.
* St. Cloud manufacturer Park Industries on Friday released statement saying it cut its staff but it wouldn’t say how many people it let go.
The company could not be reached for comment. The news release states Park Industries “would not comment” on the number of people affected by the cutbacks.
* Another 84 full-time employees will be laid off at three-hospital William Beaumont Hospitals in Royal Oak, according to a hospital statement released Friday.
* The Boston Herald said today it needs 20 employees, about 5 percent of its staff, to take buy-outs as the recession takes a toll on advertising.
* FOREST CITY, Iowa – Winnebago Industries is cutting pay and work hours in an effort to cut expenses and save jobs.
The Forest City-based motor home maker says most salaried employees will see a 3 percent cut in pay beginning March 1. Vice presidents will lose 10 percent of their paychecks, while Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Olson will receive a 20 percent salary cut.
The company also says workers must take a weeklong “unpaid leave of absence” in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, with most taking June 29 to July 3.
* Hearst said it should not be assumed the reductions will result in the layoff of one-fifth of the paper’s payroll, which would equal roughly 90 people.
“We are already moving toward that 20 percent (cost reduction),” he said, noting a recent cut in newsprint use, among other changes.
* Pearl River Casino Resort is continuing cost-cutting, this time reducing its workforce by 40 employees.
* The impact of the recession has caught up to Horizon, causing restructuring and benefit changes.
CEO Bill McKell confirmed Friday the company has had a reduction in mid-level management through both retirements and layoffs that included severance packages. The post-retirement benefits were eliminated for non-union employees, and the union recently voted to allow its post-retirement benefits to be terminated in lieu of layoffs.
* German tyre group Continental plans to close a French plant and cut some 1,500 jobs, the Europe 1 radio station reported on Saturday quoting labour union sources.
The lay-offs, if confirmed at a Mar. 16 extraordinary meeting of the works council, would be the biggest wave of redundancies in the French auto sector since the global economic crisis started.
* NEW DELHI – Software firm Sapient has laid off 300 employees at its offices in Bangalore, Noida and Gurgoan as a result of the global economic downturn, which has impacted several IT firms.
* Cia. de Bebidas das Americas will shut a plant in Sao Paulo and cut 146 jobs as part of a cost- reduction plan, O Estado de S. Paulo reported, without saying where it got the information.
* Edinburgh-headquartered firm Dundas & Wilson has announced a redundancy consultation with up to 50 people across its three offices at risk of losing their jobs.
* Britain-based BBA Aviation will cut 350 jobs this year due to the fall in demand for private jet travel.
BBA, which provides services fro businesses and commercial jets, suffered a 20 percent decrease in demand for private jet travel in the last quarter of 2008.
* Wegmans, the high-end grocery chain that has built five markets in the Philadelphia region in six years, said yesterday that it would hire about 600 workers for a store in Collegeville due to open in October.
Hiring for the new 132,000-square-foot store – which will feature what is being billed as the first pub in a Southeastern Pennsylvania supermarket restaurant – will begin this month, with interviews taking place the final week of March, said Blaine Forkell, a 26-year Wegmans veteran who will manage the store. (Application information is at http://www.wegmans.com.)
* It may still be snowing outside, but the Forest Service is getting ready for its 2009 field season and will soon hire temporary, summer workers.
While most temporary employees will not actually start work until late in the spring or early summer, officials will begin reviewing applications and selecting temporary employees by mid-March. The Forest Service is encouraging potential applicants to complete their applications as soon as possible.
Mike: I keep receiving this note in the comment box, so I’ll post it and hope that this helps a few of you looking for work.
About.com choose 3 websites where job seekers got the best results –
For those looking, good luck!
Mike: I’ll try to add more news as the weekend goes along…………..