Tuesday
Nov102009

THE GREAT COLLEGE RIP-OFF: STUDENT LOANS = RISKY BUSINESS

THE NEXT GREAT CREDIT CRISIS: DEFAULTED STUDENT LOANS

The new class of 2009 college graduates will generate the next great American credit crisis -- massive default on student loans in the next decade. While the prime mortgage mess started the economic meltdown, the impending economic crush from the landslide of defaulted student loans by college graduates who are unemployed and underemployed, unable to repay the inflated cost of a college degree -- should not be ignored.

Student loans will now be risky business; the great crush of defaulted loans will begin and further destroy the economy. Tough Karma impending for the U.S. economy.

And who can blame these young people? Led to believe that college degrees were the path to meaningful, higher-skilled, better-paying jobs, most 2009 college graduates remain unemployed and underemployed. Finding themselves in lower-skilled jobs, doubting the worth of their college educations, the talk among my son's friends is: Why did we need to go to college? We could have gotten these jobs straight from high school, without owing all this freaking money!

The debt ain't worth it -- Tough Karma for 2009 college graduates.

COLLEGE GRADS 2009 BECOME THE MOTHERS & FATHERS OF INVENTION

One of my son's friends works at the local golf course dragging a boomer's luscious golf bag across the luscious greens. Another friend -- history graduate with honors -- now works at Staples Copy Center -- where he is demeaned daily by the angry hordes of customers who yell at him because they are mad at life. Another friend logs in hours at the front desk of a gym. My son works as a bouncer/host at the local beer brewery -- his hours cut back, week after week.

And this is the lucky crowd, they have jobs.Yet, they all live at home, as the money earned in these hourly lower-skilled jobs will never cover the cost of independence.... freedom from the parents.

. And this is before the school loans come due.

This generation got screwed by selfish boomers and yuppies who grabbed onto the overinflated real estate market and propelled bank loans beyond the worth of the marketplace, beyond the worth of the real estate products, beyond the ability of the borrowers to repay, essentially beyond the ability of the marketplace to withstand the banks' inability to recoup the loans.

This class of graduates must find a way in the new BIO tech industries, new green business technologies, research and development in cleaner transportation, medical discoveries, green farming and fishing technologies -- in other words, this group of graduates must become the Mothers & Fathers of Invention.

This group of graduates can then look us all in the eye, throw the proverbial finger and recoup their claim to the better life that America had previously granted to its proud college graduates.

Congratulations Class of 2009 -- Welcome to the Great College Rip-Off!

Sunday
Nov082009

TOUGH KARMA = DEPRESSION-ERA VIBE TIME

REALITY CHECK: UNEMPLOYMENT vs. ILLUSIONARY HEALTHCARE

While the nation hyper focuses on the House of Representatives Saturday night sneak passage of a meaningless healthcare bill -- diversionary politics -- unemployment continues to rise nationwide in the worse recession this country has suffered since the Great Depression.

Tough Karma = Depression-Era Vibe Time

The new watered down Pelosi-driven healthcare bill is DOA - dead on arrival on the Senate floor. It is an elitist government diversionary tactic to pursue healthcare reform and squander time and money -- while the economy continues to nosedive.

The real issue is the failure of the recovery economic package to real small busineses, the lack of new jobs creation, the need to extend unemployment benefits until the stalled hiring ends, to address the disengaged powers in our elitist goverment that are subjugated to Wall Street.

The elitist media follows in patronizing suit in discussing the growing unemployment numbers nationwide. Bloomberg News reported -- "For the first time, the average amount of time it takes fired employees to find a new job exceeds the length of their standard unemployment benefits."

REALITY CHECK - Unemployment is not for "fired" employees - but rather, those let go due to a crumbling economy, in this recession = the great unwashed. The Department of Labor defines unemployment insurance as "benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.... it is temporary income protection for workers who have lost their jobs and who are able to work, available for work and looking for employment."

REALITY CHECK - Unemployment benefits are treated as taxable income = the government will tax the pitiable benefits as gross income -- the average unemployment benefit peaks out at approximately $350 per week -- this is the unemployment redefined by the government as a gift to the American worker.

It is time to let go of the time, money and resources wasted on this fruitless healthcare debate and focus on helping individual taxpayers and local small businesses, by cutting back taxes, releasing recovery funds, investing in growing bio, green and technology businesses. People need to get back to work = that is the real challenge in this crazy Depression-Era Vibe time.

Monday
Nov022009

ELECTIONS = REAL POLITICAL SPORT IN THE BAY STATE

TOUGH KARMA FOR BAY STATE BASEBALL FANS

The Massachusetts special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy is more exciting than the World Series for Bay State residents -- most could care less about the World Series except for the die-hard Yankee haters -- those dreaming that the Phillies will resurrect and hit the ball out of the park into the field of dreams grabbing the World Series in 2009 = Not Going to Happen./p>

Massachusetts voters were less involved with the Senate race early on because it was a foregone conclusion that the eventual Senator would be a Democrat with the synonymous positions of every other Democrat in the state -- within the Democratic field of candidates, the differences were marginal at best.It was numbing. Then Martha Coakley emerged as the winner, and the real election political sport took off when Scott Brown drove up in his pickup truck.

Tough Karma for Bay State Voters.

The reality is that most Bay State voters feel they do not make any difference in the status quo operations of politics as usual in the Commonwealth -- the last three Speakers of the House are involved in criminal indictments. This has numbed the electorate, who are overwhelmed with trying to survive in the down economy that should more properly be defined as a long-term recession. Moreover, the senate race debates were not really debates, the candidates never addressed one another directly but instead utilized the forum as speech platforms.

HEALTHCARE REFORM = SAVING COLLEGE GRADUATES

Leadership in the Bay State is sorely lacking -- among existing state representatives, where are the brave souls who would dare to bring fiscal restraint that will translate into the national leadership role of the Commonwealth in terms of healthcare reform? The system is definitely not perfect, but the Commonwealth program enables the new crop of college graduates who are having difficulty finding work that would offer health coverage -- young people in their twenties are no longer under the family coverage plans - yet need to live at home in this challenging economy.

In terms of gay rights -- Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to recognize that citizens have the right to participate in the benefits of tax laws and healthcare decisions guaranteed through marriage laws -- it is unreasonable in a participatory democracy to withhold rights from the gay segment of the population. While the rest of the country withheld marriage by the state, known as civil union -- the Commonwealth recognized that United States born citizens who pay their taxes and vote -- have every right to the same benefits of marriage as those sanctioned by religious entities.

Lastly, despite all the mutterings about our state education system, the fact is that our public educational system has produced the best public schools in the country - Massachusetts students receive the highest test scores nationwide in math and science; only Bay State students are able to compete in the international arena - with students from Japan, Germany and other top ranked countries.

While it was a foregone conclusion that the end of the Senate race would produce a Democratic senator, the best representative for the Bay State will be the candidate who is willing to stand on the floor of the United States Senate and take the innovations from the leadership role of this blue, blue, revolutionary state that challenges the presumptions of the rest of this great evolving nation.

Congratulations on making Election Time, Real Political Sport in the Bay State -- Scott Brown.

Saturday
Aug292009

KENNEDY DREAM IS FINALLY OVER......... 

KENNEDY LEGACY FINALLY LAID TO REST

Senator Edward Kennedy has finally joined his brothers, Jack and Robert - at Arlington National Cemetary - bringing the Kennedy legacy of youthful dreams and past hopes to rest.

The Kennedy legacy serves as the monumental transitional leadership from the heady, goofy believe in America anything is possible 1950s post World War II mentality to the rambunctious political realities in the volatile 1960s when the Vietnam War served upfront as the core battleground for Americans being asked to serve in a military for a war overseas that had no meaning.

The Civil Rights battle affected disenfranchised black Americans who were demanding their rights on many fronts standing equal.......... young black and white Americans from coast to coast were calling on their country to stop paying lip service to equality. Then came the assassinations.............. Jack, Bobby and Martin Luther King....... the dream was really over.

The utopian dream of equality for all was shaken, peace on earth would not reign. Elvis Presley could shake his hips and drive teenage girls wild into delirium and the Beach Boys could sing great harmony, but the war and the assasinations had changed the soul of America; we were now fragile, vulnerable - just as every other nation on earth.

When the Beatles came to America in 1964, the boys dressed in coordinated suits and stayed on the script that manager Brian Epstein had approved for the interviews, nothing political, nothing controversial. Eventually, reality struck - the boys went off script commenting on the war and the religious fervor of Americans - hell broke loose and the greatest band of all time was fractured.

It is the same with the Kennedys, their good looks and great wealth opened every door but their political confrontations into the civil rights arena, and challenging Cuba rendered the greatest price of all, the end of their lives.

Ted Kennedy, evidently a warm and compassionate uncle, had to live in the shadow of his brothers' deaths. It was a role no one would desire to play, the father figure to his numerous nieces and nephews, yet he would remain the unabashed uncle. Always his personal ambition was compromised by self doubts and fears, the crushing blow came with his failure to notify authorities about his car accident at Chappaquiddick Island that cost Mary Jo Kopechne her life.

It is the sorrow and the pity.......... the stuff of great drama unfortunately played out in reality on the national stage. With the death of Senator Edward Kennedy the dreams of the end of racism, the end of war, the end of political indiscretions, is finally really over.

Thursday
Aug272009

REMINESCENT IN DEATH........... THE CAMERA FOLLOWS DIANA

PRINCESS DIANA & SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY

It is almost twelve years to the day - August 31, 1997 - Princess Diana was killed in a horrible car crash within the walls of a Paris underground tunnel. Her chauffered car was mishandled by a very drunk driver in a high speed attempt to avoid the paparazzi that would not leave her alone. She died alongside her new love, Dodi Al Fayed - son of Harrods owner, Mohammed Al Fayed - making the story even more compelling - an English princess and an Arab prince.

 

Yesterday, Massachusetts citizens lined the streets of Boston to say good-bye to the man who had led their fate in the Senate for over 47 years..... the "Liberal Lion" who fought the fight for the hometown constituent with the same vigor that he opposed the Vietnam War, the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, and the segregationist laws, fighting for Civil Rights for black Americans. All day, Massachusetts residents paid their respects as Senator Kennedy - the "Liberal Lion" - lied in state at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library - ironically, the death of Senator Kennedy may force the healthcare discussion into the compassionate spotlight with his vigorous but losing battle with brain cancer.

The deaths of the Princess Di - the "People's Princess" and Liberal Lion Kennedy are linked by the relentless glare of the media, television shows, morning, noon and night - albeit 24 hour cable news shows coverage.... the melodrama fed endlessly as every moment is interpreted for inexhaustible meaning. The same media players that bid the princess goodbye - lamenting Princess Di's funeral procession winding through the streets of London, stood on the streets of Boston - as Senator Kennedy's entourage journeys through Cape Cod up to Boston. The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN News, MSNBC, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, even Larry King - having just finished his never-ending interviews related to Michael Jackson's mysterious death, were encircling the John K. Kennedy Library seeking those who wish to pay homage to the Senator from Massachusetts - it is all show business, all the time.

Television feeds on the frenzy because it needs the never ending imagery to transmit - some version of events must be created for the media to exist, it is tragedy embroiled in opportunity ratings. Television shows gliding between visions of the Kennedy clan - the famous trio of brothers - Jack, Robert and Ted - in their youth playing football at Hyannisport, then in black and white stills at the White House belaboring monumentous decisions dealing with Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, and of course, Castro and Cuba.

Reminescent of the People's Princess who lost her life trying to escape the media frenzy that hounded her in life - we now witness the media personalities showcasing their appearances at every venue remotely related to the Kennedy legacy.

May we bid Senator Kennedy a restful journey to the promised land - may he join the celebrity Princess Di who hopefully has found some peace.