Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unformated, Stream of Consciousness Rambling

I type this from the business center in a Courtyard Marriott in Dublin, Ohio.  I have to mention that because who ever monitors this computer for them might get mad that I have monopolized this computer for too long and I have to give them a mention so I can continue to type.
I am in Dublin on business.  I am away from my family, friends, and comfortable home.  The Marriott (keep me plugged in) is not a bad place to spend your days, but I always miss home. 
The business I have in Dublin is training for the position I hold.  I am, for lack of a better word, a middle manager.  I am not a high level executive, nor am I just a sales rep.  I am in the gray area, where I have the responsibility to grow sales numbers as a person, and also as a team.  Before I get off track, I am here to learn how my Multi-Billion dollar company wants me to train the employees that work under my direction.  I am also here to learn how the business works and more specifically, how our company is different than the competition in the way we decide to conduct business.
Today was the first time I learned something new in a training class.
Today I learned that our CEO, wants us(read: every single person who works for the company) to be business people first, and sales people second.  He wants us to see that big picture.  He wants us to see where our money comes from, what we do with our money, and why we do it. 
The bottom line in business is always money.  The more you have, the more stability you have.  The more stability you have, the more control you have over growth. 
Now I am not an expert in business by any means.  I am just a humble pawn in a very very large game of chess.
I am energized by this class, and makes me want to put together the mechanism for a successful business for myself.
--switch gears for a second--
The economy.
This financial crisis has us all in a worry.  I used to think that this crisis did not affect me.  I thought it only affected Wall St. and very, already, rich CEO's.  I am finding more and more that this crisis affects me a lot. 
I am trying to secure financing for my condo.  My credit is just ok, and my income is just ok.  When it comes to a bank to loan me money, with this credit crunch, they are going back to make sure I am going to pay it.  I have money in the bank, but they want to know where that money came from.  I have defaulted judgements, and they want to know why they defaulted.  They want bank statements, W-2's tax returns, and verification that I have a job. 
This doesn't sound different from before the crisis?  They wanted all this stuff?  Yes.  But what banks were doing was accepting other forms, like plan B documents.  Can't get a canceled check for that deposit?  Fine, then we can take the statement saying it cleared your bank. 
Unfortunately now that they are really strict, this makes my situation even harder.  I have to get all this, what I think is stupid stuff, and give it to them, for them to give me money.  I meet all the criteria for the loan, but they just want to know how I got to this point.  Awesome.  The bank just wants the loans they give back.  But when did it start to feel like the Spanish Inquisition? 
--switch the subject again--
The debates last night did nothing to help me solidify my decision for president.  Through the debates I only heard McCain talk about challenging his own party, and Barack only blame the Bush Administration for the problems we face today.  The both of them were asked to outline the plans they have.  Neither candidate did.  I didn't hear Barack tell the audience that his action plan to fix health care was to do "x,y,z."  I heard, "Health care is something that is important to all Americans.  I feel that insurance companies should cover pre-existing condition's, and that everyone should have Health Care.  I feel that Americans have the right to choose who provides them Health Care."  That's really great Obama, but I see your vision, but what I don't see is your steps to get there, so your vision means shit to my investment dollars.  Unless I get a return on my investment, take your vision and shove it up your ass. 
Tom Brokaw asked a direct question to each candidate about who they feel would be their Treasury Secretary.  John McCain was the only person who gave names.  Obama did not.  Obama said that Warren Buffett would be great, then he went off and said that the Bush administration is to blame for our hard times. 
So based on what little I know about their plans, they both suck.
--full circle--
After taking this class, it gave me the big picture on government, business, and finances. 
If we were keeping track of our budget, then we need to see America's financial statements.  We, as American Citizens, need to view the statement of our government and give it a good look over.  I want to call the IRS and ask to see the last 2 years of Annual Reports for America.  I bet you they would never give me that information. 
I want to see how much America is bringing in with TAX dollars, and how much it is making in investments.  I want to see what I can do to help our economy.  I don't want to be told what I have to do, I want to find out for myself.  I want to take the control of our money out of the hands of my government, and into the hands of me. 
Why do we put the trust of our money into the hands of those who are not educated about economics.  If we are just going to give it to someone who has a degree is politics, then I would rather I take the Budget of America to my accountant and have him look it over. 
Let's take a look at the cash flow statements, balance sheets, and profit/loss statements.  I can tell you that if more Americans learned how to read those kinds of documents, like I learned today, we wouldn't be where we are today.  But government seems to be in the business of keeping us stupid and in the dark.  It seems like it is in the business of telling us what is a good investment and a bad investment. 
I just want to know where my money is going so I can call my representative and tell him how I feel.  I want to become part of the process.  I never had a member of Congress how I felt about anything.  Even if he did ask me about a program he wants to support, I wouldn't know about it. 
I need to stop being so ignorant!

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