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Pockets and other earnings season musings

This is hittingthesweetspot’s abbreviated and summarized quarterly earnings report:

During our first quarter of operation we’ve seen healthy increases in reader interest, hits and comments. I think more of us are smiling here, too, if only wryly.

On the other hand, companies like Apple and Facebook are crying the blues during this earnings season.

Boo hoo.

Both tech giants still made enough money for CEOs Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg to keep their jobs; Wall Street just punished their companies’ stock prices for failing to meet estimates.

To the average Joe, earnings season doesn’t mean too much.

We check our 401k ledgers (if we have one) and figure if they haven’t gone down too much or mostly stayed the same, our retirements may still be possible.

Most of us have inadequate savings supplementing our 401ks, however, and only the lucky few will be able to retire “part-time” while working part-time—again, if they are lucky.

For the rest of us, “retirement” is every day we’re above ground, scratching out a living and still managing food on the table, clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads.

We’ve had to lower our standards, generally speaking, on a lot of things, not the least of which is what we’ll come to consider retirement in the 21st century: an unrealistic, unfulfilled dream. We can raise our glasses in toast to the global economy for this.

I read a ridiculous article the other day from a think tank about how offshoring (outsourcing) is good for the United States. Offshoring, in addition to being the death of 20th century American jobs, also means entry into new, foreign markets for multinational corporations.  So, it’s great, if like Messrs. Cook and Zuckerman, you live in oblivious, wealth center vestibules I like to affectionately refer to as “pockets.”

You say things will get better and I hope they do.

I am an optimistic, positive-thinking-kind-of-guy, but I draw the line at sticking my head in the sand like a lot of folks who reside in pockets. Consequently, it’s a lot easier for pocket dwellers to remain positive. One thing I’m definitely positive about is that we need to hold our CEOs and politicians responsible for the negative, deplorable and deteriorating state the overall U.S. economy and its average citizens, are in.

As the speculators’ world known as the stock market continues to rage ever mostly upward this summer (in anticipation of further quantitative easing measures I might add), once again candidates flinging their distractions in the form of attacks on one another, draws attention away from the fact none of them–not a single one, has any new ideas or clues how to right the ship that is the sinking U.S. economy.

People enjoying life in pockets are not worried, nor should they be.

Pockets are those places, those communities, those shrinking few regions scattered across the country, where copious consumption and the good life are largely still in play. Pocket dweller area restaurants are filled to capacity, local sales tax coffers are healthy and the present remains as the past, pre 2008 Lehman Bros. crash days for them, even now.

Those living in pockets are oblivious to the strife, pain, struggles, frustration, and yes, desperation that is everyday life, when your wages are stagnant, you’re underemployed or worse, and you’re knocking on the door of the impoverished.

The House recently passed Ron Paul’s “Audit the Fed” bill. If we as citizens could wrest away, or at least make transparent the Federal Reserve’s activities on behalf of monetary policy, it would be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the bill is considered DOA in the Senate as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada promises not to put it to vote.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

We really need the “next big thing” but unfortunately, nothing appears on the horizon.

In the meantime, I suggest that in order to create something great again for more than just a few, to actually generate innovation and provide better lives for all with real living wage jobs, we need to return to actually “making” things again in this country, even if only on a select and limited basis. Those nations who are manufacturing (read creating and building) are the ones who are innovating and on the rise.

The people of the United States are left to fight over $8-11/hr. service sector jobs that are the global economy’s reward to the masses who gave our CEOs and politicians a pass, when we allowed them to offshore all our manufacturing and the lion’s share of our technology jobs.

This has never helped America or its people.

Its multinational corporations, however, and the CEOs who run them, will surely enjoy a better quarter next time; after all, the iPhone 5 with iOS 6 will be out by then with better social media integration, too—just what we need as we struggle with higher food prices, to keep us smiling! Hooray for the Apple-Facebook diet!

 

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