A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Young Brennan on the Moor

It's Tuesday evening and Janett's out, so I'm listening to the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.

My thought was to share with you some recent experience. I do accounting temporary work. My last three assignments provide an interesting perspective on the state of our economic society.

1) A developer/manufacturer of acoustic devices. Probably started out 40 years ago making hearing aids. Now sells a couple hundred million dollars worth of miniature devices to fit in headphones, but a lot of high tech stuff. The founder died 8 or 9 years ago and his wife inherited. She tried to manage the business in accordance with his wishes but found it beyond her abilities and (perhaps influenced by the fact that she'd walk away with a lot on money) sold the firm to a British investment company which is in the final stages of shipping the whole business (there were three plants originally employing maybe a thousand people) to the Peoples Republic of China.

2) An E-commerce business selling sports/entertainment tickets grossing maybe a hundred million a year, employing a couple hundred including a lot of programmers and software development people. Recently they leased a third office site to hold the overflow from the first two sites; meanwhile they're building a three-story home office building. The employees are probably hoping the boss takes the company public and offers them options.

3) Just started - an importer/wholesaler of consumer products. The owner is an idea man with a Chinese surname who develops product concepts, then contracts with plants in China to produce the goods which the company markets to retailers in the US, including you-know-who. This company has grown about five-fold in the last seven years.

OK, it's just one guy's experience, anecdotal in nature to be sure. But as for me, I think I see a pattern here and it doesn't look good.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

How time flies

That last post was supposed to be much longer. I saved the long version as a draft, then when I opened it again the last half was gone. I got discouraged. I wanted to finish on that topic but haven't felt like rewriting it. OK, so here's a brief of what I wrote, then I can get on to other things.

At the start of his first term, facing the great depression, F D Roosevelt made it illegal for individuals to hold gold, and confiscated private holdings reimbursing the holders at the old price of $20 per ounce. He then revalued the gold owned by the treasury at $35 per ounce. Since individuals couldn't own gold the revaluation was about the exchange rate between countries. It was like holding a 40% off sale to try to promote the sale of American stuff to other countries in order to keep Americans working. Foreigners could now buy $35 worth of American stuff for one ounce of gold when the day before they could only get $20 worth of American stuff for the same ounce of gold. Of course all the other countries wanted to sell more of their stuff and keep their people working so they all devalued their currencies too. Some would argue that competetive currency devaluations and protective tarrifs (the other tool the governments used to try to insure markets for their national output) hurt everybody ands made the depression worse.

The depression didn't really end until World War II put everyone back to work. At
the end of World War II, the US was in a position to implement the golden rule in trying to reestablish world economic order, promote trade and reinvestment in Europe which had been devastated by the war. You know, "He who has the gold makes the rules". The results were the IMF, the World Bank, and the Bretton Woods agreement.

More on this fascinating topic later.

My writers bloc after the loss of the previous post has kept me from being in touch regarding a lot thats been happening. Going to see Noah and Lauren in New York before Noah leaves for Afghanistan was a big deal. Noah loves me and I love him.

We've had bad news, then maybe better news about Crystal and Scott's little girl Emily's health. They've probably got a better connection to Our Father than I due to their faithful devotion, but we can all pray and every prayer counts.

My mother(Mommo) at age 92 grows smaller and weaker as time passes, but continues to radiate love and grace. From an Email from my brother Joahn, "Mom is a little like the Cheshire cat, and I think she is fading away until nothing will be left but a smile. I only wish I had or will have that grace."

Love to all.