Friday, November 7, 2008

Steel Yourselves, Ourselves

Here are the things that suck today:

1) As reported this morning, in 2008, the U.S. has lost 1.2 million jobs. In October alone, 240K new people were introduced to the unemployment line - 90K jobs lost from manufacturing, 49K in construction, and 16K in the leisure and hospitality industry. All gone, at least for now.

2) This morning, Ford reported a loss of $129M for the third quarter of 2008, but more importantly, cash burn of about $7.7B. Cash burn is more or less what it sounds like - throwing the cash into a totally awesome and very expensive fire and watching it evaporate. As I type this, everyone is also anxiously awaiting the 3rd quarter financial report from General Motors, including an expected larger loss than Ford with an even more significant cash burn rate.

3) Most of the brownies that I made on Sunday are gone. I'm not too upset about this because I made them to be eaten, but it is sad that brownies ever have to go away.

The top two issues are not cool when taken individually, but particularly uncool when taken together. Unemployed individuals will not have the capability of making any large purchases, resulting in a bleak outlook for pretty much any company selling anything to commercial customers.

So, as with all problems, we as a country and as Michigan residents have a couple of emotional paths that we can take. Path the first - throw your hands in the ay-yer like you just care a lot and are too depressed to do anything else. This path is completely understandable and we have all been there at some time or another in our lives.

Path the second - nut up and keep going. This is the Ken-approved approach. Things suck, job loss is terrible, and our state is currently in a world of hurt. We have been in a world of hurt and job loss for several years now, and you know what, we're still here. Things have been terrible in the past, and things will be terrible again at some point in the future. We must work individually and collectively to create jobs for our displaced workers, and not succumb to general defeatism.

If you're out of a job, think about expanding your personal abilities like learning a language. Go buy a Spanish-English dictionary or textbook and memorize it. Alternatively, use your access to the internet to learn about Java coding or web design or e-commerce. If you can not afford the internet, go to the library and check out a "How To...for Dummies" book or use the library's internet access. If you've pushed as many resumes as possible out of the door and you're still not finding a job and you've learned a new language and you've mastered all things computers, go to your local park with a pointed stick and a trash bag, stab garbage with your pointed stick, and place the garbage into your trash bag.

Every individual has the option of throwing in the towel or committing to kicking some ass and taking some names. There are myriad obstacles, many out of our control, that prevent each of us from kicking the ass that we desire, but we have to grab those things that are within our control and do something about them.

1 comment:

Peggy Brennan said...

Ken, Did you see our new poster at the Green Garage?

http://www.glgi.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Image:Keep-calm.jpg