Tracy’s Random Thoughts, March 2009 Edition

You’re glad that my picture is blacked out, don’t you?  Anyway, on we go:

1. The Economy

It seems the Dow Jones (or for the real hard finance heads, the S&P 500) has rallied the past 4 days after possible doom if it would go to the lowest levels since the Great Depression.  To me, this seems short-lived since confidence n the markets can be shaken easily if there are any bad news.  Now, Obama’s finance team is on the move with interviews and pressers, which is good, but can it sustain?  I do hear most “experts” say the recession will end in the 3rd quarter.  It could be heading that way.  Now, this leads me to this:

2. Stewart vs. Cramer

I finally saw the interview between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer and I have to say that was cringeworthy.  Let me say that this was Jon Stewart’s best interview ever and since he’s getting near 50, he has change from jokes about the news to become the heir apparent to David Letterman.

 As for Jim Cramer, I think he knew that Jon was right about everything he said and was caught in the middle.  He can make all the apologies he wants, but it did give CNBC and other business networks the shaft. 

I would say though that CNBC did have reports about the markets failing (please Google Peter Schiff), but the big personalities overshadowed the people who should be trusted.  I did think Stewart was off that CNBC was the face of the financial crisis (you know who that would be), but I do think the other business networks need to step up and focus.

There would have been one solution to solve this: MORE BETHANY MCLEAN COVERAGE!!!

3.  How to improve the economy

Last week, Delaware introduce a bill that legalizes professional sports betting in the state.  By all accounts, Delaware can do this because they have no professional sports teams in that state.  The other states that have legalized betting are Montana and Nevada.  Then, New Jersey State Senator, Raymond Lesiak, is suing the federal government to overturn sports betting and make legalize nationwide.  In this case, he would lose because there are teams involved in the United States and that would cause huge chaos in the sporting scene.  

However, his thought process has brought me something that maybe states need to think about to improve the economy.  I remember people were laughing at the suggestion that Jesse Ventura  would legalize prostitution.  In a sense, that would of been risque, but with the economy in a downturn, why not.  

Hey, how about marijuana?  Apparently from a Phish concert, the police seized more than $1.2 million in value of drugs.  If pharmaceuticals were to hand out marijuana, would the economy get a boost?

Oh don’t forget Prop 8 and how it can open doors:

I’m not an advocate of any of the positions, but if the economy is troubling for your state, why not go after each person’s desires and hopes to help the state out?  Go after the perverts, the gays, the hippies, the degenerates, anyone can be fair game.  Also, if the religious right is very upset about this, they can move to Utah or Southern Virginia.  Hey, another money making opportunity for the state.  Time to open up, people.

4. The EFCA

Usually, I would do advice and case studies on my weekly HR segment, If I Was Running A Company.  I have discussed about the EFCA, but here’s my opinion of it by asking this…can we get along?

There are apparently two sides to this.  If you’re a Republican, you’re pro-business, hence the numerous pro-employer bills from 1995 to the last administration.  If you’re a Liberal Democrat, you’re more in favor of unions, hence the EFCA introduce in Congress last week.  Apparently there is no middle ground if you’re pro-business or pro-union, you dealing with a nasty rivalry that there is no end to it.  

My opinion of this is the bill is more what Donald Fehr would want…big favor to the unions, where they can step in to countercontrol the employers.   In that case, peer pressure might set in and productivity and culture changes for the worse.  However at this time, business does not have the leverage it use to because look at the news of what’s going on…corruption, incompetence, and undeserved bonuses.  Also, the Democrats have control of both the executive and legislative branches, so businesses lost that power.  

I’m also not kind of unions as well because there are instances the union leaders have more interest of themselves than the union.  The MLBPA was a great example of corrupting the system, as well as the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) where Alan Rosenberg is asking a lot of money for studios to pony up during these times, which is not a good sign.  

The problem is apparently, there’s supposed to be a winner and a loser.  Should that be only for games or all of life?  Right now, people are losing jobs because of the mistakes by both sides.  It’s time Congress, employers, and unions to collaborate on a deal that would be efficient for the workforce in the next generation, instead of bickering.  Sadly, I don’t see it coming and they’ll “compromise”.  

5. Facebook —> Twitter

It looks more and more that Facebook is not only trying to be Twitter, but are becoming like MySpace.  How that happened?  It’s called catching up.  Facebook use to be the cool kids on the block with their simple design and their independence.  However, the rise of Twitter and Facebook’s trouble outreach to the public, have them scrambling to update themselves.  By first look, I really like that they didn’t replace my statuses, but they took away the live feed and what friends have joined Facebook.  Facebook is still a good destination for friends, fan clubs, events, photos, and storage, but Facebook just became a tad late that people want to engage in conversations and like to jump in the conversation. For that, Twitter became the hot product now and Facebook is in a mid-life crisis.  Now the interesting part is how Facebook will react to the ever-quickly changing environment.  Seems Zuckerberg’s Billion Dollar status might be shot.

6. The 2009 NCAA Tournament

This is the most exciting time of the year and everyone is filling multiple brackets for their multiple pools (guilty).  Four matchups to look for:

  • Villanova vs. American- In Philly, or as I like to call it, the David Aldridge Classic.
  • California vs. Maryland – Maryland returns to the tourney and could be the only D.C. team advance to the 2nd round.  However, Cal can shoot the lights out from 3.
  • Arizona State vs. Temple – The best individual matchup between ASU’s James Harden and Temple’s Dionte Christmas.
  • Binghamton vs. Duke – The matchup I’ve been waiting for 25 years:  Tony Kornheiser vs. John “Junior” Feinstein.

That is all for this month.  I’m taking it slow on the blog because I’m trying to get new business (and Twitter), but next month, I got something in store for you.  Take care.

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