Monthly Archives: May 2017

Has the Economy Drained Your Relationship Account?

It’s absolutely no secret that the economy is in the pits. CNN reports America has suffered the worst job loss rate since 1945, post WWII. Fast forward to 2009 and the facts read as follows; over 6 million jobs lost, and the unemployment rate is 7.2%. So much for a “booming” economy… the bubble has absolutely burst!

We know how the downturn of the economy is impacting our savings accounts and 401k plans but how is this drowning economy affecting relationships across the board? STRESS is the strong emotion that surfaces when most people share the words economy and relationship in the same sentence. I’ll share with you what I know the economies impact on relationships in addition to sharing some “economical” tips to help your relationship through the recession.

The Married Life-

How’s the economy impacting marriages?

An economy in a recession can put extreme amounts of stress on a couple. If there is loss of one income in a two income household, the pressures of survival are magnified. If salaries are cut by employers, lifestyles are altered in addition to the “love connection” between two people. When the bills keep pouring in, love and love alone isn’t going to get them paid.

So how is the economy really impacting the world of relationships? Although, stress levels may be peaked in relationships across the country, divorce rates are actually decreasing. Due to a lackluster economy and unstable job security, couples are deciding to “work it out” in their marriages and stay together for “financial” support purposes. In other words, divorces cost money, and right now isn’t the time to take on the expense and added stress of dividing assets, time off work for court appearances, and of course you can’t forget attorney fees as well. The bottom line is that couples are realizing that their “bottom line” i.e., 401ks, shared money market accounts, shared real estate have been severely impacted by the downturn of the economy. It’s cheaper, smarter and less stressful to stay together and higher a Relationship coach to improve your relationship. The following are a few tips to weather the economic and marital storm you may be dealing with during a recession:

1. Re-connect and Re-invest in one another- At this point you may not be in the best position financially but, the situation may offer a silver lining for your marriage. It could be because you’ve been so disconnected from each other that you’ve forgotten how to meet ones mental, physical and emotional needs. Staying together for financial purposes could also offer you the chance to re-discover each other and start re-investing in the relationship you once had that brought you together in the first place.

2. Seriously…higher a coach! The situation you’re in is already stressful and now do to financial strains you’re forced to stay under the same roof. Perhaps getting support from a professional third party could be a great way to turn things around in your marriage. Coaching is a powerful practice and is solely used to move people forward in life in a positive, progressive manner through support, validation, acknowledgment of feelings and asking empowering questions. The answers are within you and a coach will help you pull them out.

3. You already know what you can’t do; now focus on what you can do during these tough times. The stock markets and the economy and the layoffs are all things you absolutely can not control. Stop stressing over it! Step back and look at the positives in your situation and focus on those. This will help you both relieve stress and anxiety over matter you can’t control and, gain confidence and appreciation for the successes (no matter how big or small) you have. Before you know it, the both of you could be smiling and again and on the upside of a 2nd chance at happiness with each other.

The Dating Scene-

How’s the economy affecting the dating scene?

It’s interesting to say the least. One might immediately believe that since the economy is deteriorating that dating would falter as well. I suppose it depends on the type of person you like to date or what you’re used to when you take someone for a date. For example, if you’re a person worked for Merrill Lynch and your standard date involves pricy cocktails, appetizers, a four star entrée, topped off with an evening of dancing and a carriage ride in central park but, now you’re in a two bedroom apartment with three roommates looking for work, dating may be a challenge for you at this time. If you’re a woman and you’re used to similar expectants, well, dating may a bit challenging for you too.

However, all things considered just because the economy is bad it doesn’t mean dating has to go out of the window. In fact, some sources report (marketplace.com) that typically when the economy is struggling, most people search even harder for a mate to connect with, someone who cares about them and their needs. According to eHarmony, Match.com and other popular online dating sites, business is booming. Some are seeing double digit growth in their business because of the recession. It makes sense, when the economy is flourishing everybody is working, so there’s no time to date. When people are being laid off on any given day, there’s plenty of time to date. In addition, online dating sites allow people to connect through various vehicles of communication i.e., chat, email, or via phone. There’s opportunity to make a true connection before you ever meet the person face to face. This cuts out all of the expenses of a typical date. Two people can match up online, make a connection, meet for the first time and rent a movie from Blockbuster. Sounds like a pretty good deal! Allow me to share with you a few simple and economical tips on dating during a recession:

1. Meet someone you like and just be yourself (not much explanation needed there)

2. Think outside of the box! Dating doesn’t have to be about fancy restaurants and bright lights. When you meet someone and the two of you have a nice connection, plan for a picnic somewhere the two you have never gone before. It’ll be a great way for your connection to get stronger.

3. Have fun! Don’t let reduced income or economic instability prevent you from living your life. It’s best to control what you can control and work with the finances and other resources that are available to you. Show your new friend a good time and include yourself as well.

Life has a funny way of working things out. The economy at one point was shaking and moving, rocking and rolling, and because there were many things that were mismanaged, poorly handled, overlooked, and ignored it ultimately collapsed. Now, with hopes and efforts of rebuilding the economy to be better and stronger than before, most of the attention is being focused on it. The fact is, the economy will readjust and bounce back. Relationships are very similar. Often, people become consumed will all of the rocking and rolling so much that many things in our social lives and marriages get mismanaged, poorly handled, overlooked, and ignored until ultimately they collapse. Make your relationships “recession proof”. Take the time and readjust your life so you may enjoy it with the one you love for a lifetime.

Fiscal and Monetary Policy, and How They Affect the Economy and You

The key to a smooth running economy is having sound fiscal and monetary policies. We need policies that can be changed over time to better serve our economy as a whole. The United States economy has had its ups and downs, and the economy is definitely in a downward period now, but fiscal and monetary policies can be adjusted to fit what is best for the United States. To really understand the United States economy and understand the issues arising in the news lately, an understanding of the basic concepts behind fiscal and monetary policies is necessary.

Fiscal and Monetary polices are tools that the Federal Reserve Bank, and the government uses to help keep the economy running smoothly. The United States has had periods of hard economic times since the beginning our country’s establishment. The United Stated has had recessions, but our economy has always been able to come back relatively quickly. The Great Depression during the 1930s started as a recession and bank crisis similar to today, but because of an initial lack of government presence the recession evolved to a depression. This was a big turning point of the United States government when they learned that they needed more than just fiscal policies. The United States realized that monetary policies were just as important as fiscal policies. By having both fiscal and monetary policies it would help to prevent another disaster like the Great Depression.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the great depression was the run on the bank. At the time the government did not have any insurance on personal bank accounts like they do today. As the banks started to get in trouble and the economy was getting bad people started to get scared. People wanted to pull their money out of the banks. As more and more people pulled their money the more desperate the situation. Banks were not prepared to handle the withdrawals, and many banks had to closes their doors. After that the government created a law under monetary policies to insure personal bank accounts so that a run on the banks could be deterred in the future. If a bank goes bankrupt people do not need to worry, deposits are insured by the government.

Fiscal policies are also used by the government to influence the economy based on reaction to current issues and prediction of where the economy is going. The United States government needs to make these accurate predictions to adjust the money flow and interest rates. Increasing the money flow and lowering the interest rates spurs spending which stimulates the economy. When there is more spending there can be more jobs and the United States employment rate will increases.

To create some balance in the economy the United States created the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. These banks are controlled by seven governors and four rotating presidents. There are 12 divisions of the federal bank. This system is commonly referred to as the fed. The fed is independently run with no influence from other government agencies. This is good for the United States because it distributes power to provide a different view of the economy.

The fed has three ways that it can influence the economy. The first way is by buying and selling government securities. Second by setting a required reserve ratio which requires banks to keep a certain amount of cash in the bank at all times. Last is by offering a discount rate or lowering the interest rate. These three tools are very efficient at influencing the economy.

Influencing the economy by buying and selling government securities works through increasing and decreasing the United States money supply. When the fed wants to increase the money supply it buys securities from the banks. This stimulates the economy by increasing the banks money so that they con make more loans to people so that they will make more purchases. When the fed decreases the money supply by selling securities the bank pulls money out of the economy.

The Economy is also affected by the required reserve ratio because this determines the amount of cash a bank needs. The more money the bank has the more loans that the bank can make to their customers. The more loans the bank makes the more purchases that can happen. The more purchases, the more the GDP increase in the economy.

Another way that fed is able to adjust the economy is by the discount rate or interest rate. The interest rate is a big part of the economy and by raising and lowering the interest the fed can control the increases and decreases of GDP. The lower the rate, the more that people will want to borrow money from the bank. These types of loans are generally expensive purchases therefore raising the GDP. A side effect sometimes of adjusting policies can be inflation.

Inflation in the United States economy or any economy is not good. This means that the value of money or the dollar in this case will decrease making it worthless. An example of inflation is when a bottle of milk in 2002 cost one dollar and in 2005 that same size and kind of milk cost three dollars. Inflation creates a huge hardship for the United States government. The economy has to be stimulated successfully without bringing down the value of a dollar.

When inflation starts to increase by too much too fast the government has to slow down the economy. The line between an economy that is productive and one that is infected by inflation can easily blur. This means that it is hard to tell what is too much help is and what is too little help from the government, making it controversial to the average person. Some people say that taxation is the key to controlling the inflation, but others think that inflation can not really be controlled by the government.

Using these tools of fiscal and monetary policy the government can predict and help stabilize the economy in the United States of America. No one can see the future but the government can make educated prediction about the economy. As our society changes our economy will change as well and fiscal and monetary policies will change with it. There is no perfect system for stable economics but the more experience economist gain the more efficient our fiscal and monetary policies become in the economic world.

United Airlines Retains Economy Plus Seats on Flights

United Airlines will continue with the Economy Plus® seating arrangement on its flights. There had been apprehension over the future of these seats right since the merger plan was announced between United Airlines and Continental Airlines. However, it has emerged that United will not only retain these seats, but even install them aboard the aircrafts of Continental Airlines, which is projected to take effect from 2012. As of now, travellers can go ahead and buy a ticket with United for the spacious and comfortable Economy Plus seats.

Features of Economy Plus Section and Future Plans

The Economy Plus seats of United Airlines are very popular with passengers who seek cheap flights with the airline. These seats which are a feature of the airline’s cheap Economy Plus section are more spacious and comfortable.

  • United introduced Economy Plus seats aboard its flights in 1999. These seats increase legroom space by up to 5 inches.
  • Elite class Mileage Plus® members of United and OnePass® elite members of Continental do not have to pay extra charges and can avail the benefit on all flights offering Economy Plus seating.
  • Right now, there is no Economy Plus seating option with Continental, but the airline will be refurbished with an Economy Plus class in the future. However, Continental does offer its own version of extra legroom seats.
  • Presently, United passengers can also enjoy the Economy Plus benefits on their cheap flights with over 150 larger regional jets of United Express®. In fact, all the 359 mainline aircrafts of United are equipped with these seats and these seats are complimentary for Mileage Plus and OnePass Frequent Flyer members.
  • Economy Plus can be availed while buying tickets, at the airport, during check in, and while viewing reservations through the ‘My Reservations’ section of United’s website.
  • United has voiced plans to introduce Economy Plus on more than 700 mainline aircrafts, including Continental’s mainline aircrafts and the larger regional aircrafts. Once this multi year plan takes shape, United will have 40,000 Economy Plus seats, which translates as 122,000 Economy Plus seats everyday for passengers booking their tickets with United. Presently, no airline has this capacity.

What Experts Say

Mr Jim Compton, the chief revenue officer of United Continental Holdings, commented upon the occasion in the words, ‘Our customers value Economy Plus and the additional personal space that it provides’. He further said, ‘customers who sit in Economy Plus are significantly more satisfied with their travel experience, as are travelers who choose other options that enable them to tailor their travel to their liking’. Industry experts feel that United’s decision to retain Economy Plus shows that the airline is dedicated towards offering a customised travel experience and creative choices to its passengers.

Candid View About the Positivity in the Pakistan Economy

So here it is, the Crumbling Economy, The Insolvent Country, The Land of Inefficiency.

Really?

Looking at the size of the economy of more than 20 million people, it seems that around $300 billions Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or total output is way too nominal yet the dynamics of the Pakistani economy have to be taken into consideration before arriving to any conclusion.

Often looked over, the major part of Pakistani economy comprises of the undocumented or informal section. It has been a culture to do dealings through the spoken words / verbal promises and thus rarely involving any kind of receipts. Receipts are only involved by big companies / dealers for assisting in the auditing purposes. Thus a large part of economy remains informal and thus undocumented. Many experts are of the view that the actual amount of the Pakistan`s GDP triples if one takes the undocumented economy into consideration, taking the figures to near about a trillion dollars, which is the size of top emerging economies of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore combined.

The saving pattern of the country is whole lot different from that of any Western country. People prefer to keep a major part of their earnings at home for ready use. Banks are avoided by many because of the belief that the “interest” is prohibited in Islam, the religion of the masses. Also large amount of gold is held by many females in their houses or safes, to be bequeathed to their daughters on wedding ceremony.
Tax to GDP ratio is at the lower sides because of poor tax collection system and unwillingness of people to pay taxes yet collection of the charity remains incomparable. The existence of charity organizations like Edhi Foundation, Chippa Foundation and Sylani Welfare Trust remains an awe for many, as it is clear that they definitely requires millions and millions to operate daily. The continuation and ever increasing scale of operations of these types of trust is a bigger food for thought for many economists, as one do not expect such donations from people of a feeble economy.

If the Pakistani economy is so disturbing, why doesn`t the multinationals, the scrutinizers and forecasters of the economic trends, consider shifting their resources away from Pakistan! Or more importantly why aren`t they getting losses. It is a wonder that little or no multinational firm consider leaving Pakistan, once it starts its operations in the country. Take the Capital markets, take the banking sector, take the hotel chains, take the auto industry, take the FMCGs, multinationals are all over, taking large sums away as profits, each year.
And then they complain that Pakistan has an unstable economic system!!

Ever noticed the budget distribution of the country?
Around 60% of the budget is allocated to the Defense sector, the smaller half is being used in every other sector of the economy. Wouldn`t the development be unimaginable if we shift our focus and resources away from the defence sector?
Forget not the fact that many of the advance economies allocate as less as 1% of their budget to the defence sector.

The inflation of the country has been stagnant over the years unlike the economies of many other developing countries. This also proves that the Pakistani economy is not over-immune to the movement of the developed economies. The brilliant example of the adaptability of the country`s economy is the steady growth rate of the economy even during the Oil Price War between OPEC and Russians (2013 onwards).

Pakistan is considered so important globally, that it won`t be wrong to say that Businesses throughout the world secretly admire operating in Pakistan. The “China Pakistan Economic Corridor” (CPEC) is a most recent example of it. The Chinese firms will be investing on projects of more than 46 Billion Dollars within Pakistan, which will surely give a sharp push to the so called lethargic economy. Not only this, but employment would get a go as well. Local industry would also boost without doubt. And most importantly the CPEC would set an example for the whole world by unveiling the true potential and scope of Pakistan`s economy.

About the economic factors within, Pakistan is enriched in Gas, Coal and other natural resources that need to be explored and bring to use.
Perhaps the are being sustained for the future, so they may get the best price of it, once the whole world gets depleted in their resources.

The major population of the country comprises of the youth, and prominent of those are the ones who are pursuing their higher education. Yet it remains a dilemma that they are intentionally or unintentionally being trained to work for others, rather than starting their own ventures. However trends are starting to change, the unemployment has started leading the lot towards taking risks and getting out of their comfort zones. Time is not far when Entrepreneurship becomes a trend within the youth and the emigrants starts to come back to Pakistan.

The political scenario has matured a lot. People have started believing that Democracy is the only solution to the country`s pain. Army is withdrawing its political intentions gradually. Each government is completing its lawful tenure and thus implementation of the economic policies to a medium to long term is becoming much more possible.

Pakistanis are also renowned for their outstanding talent and intelligence They somehow find one way or another to do the things they desire, given the least of the resources. This ability of Pakistanis has made many scientifically impossible things, possible for Pakistan.

Thus it is now clear that Pakistan is not as weak an economy as it is blamed to be, yet it is just the difference in underlying forces of the Pakistan’s economy that disguise its true power. If not an Asian Tiger, than Pakistan is no less than an Asian Horse, whose real strength and position can only be visible when one considers the facts rationally and by looking at the ground realities.

The condition of the Pakistani economy depends on the way you look at it. You may see the doughnut or you may see its hole.

A Centrally Planned Economy – By Definition There Is No Success Allowed

As you might imagine, a centrally planned economy is one where the government plans everything related to the economy of the nation. In a very loosely centrally planned economy, this will include the government becoming a partner of the key businesses in the country. In a very tightly centralized economy, each individual’s occupation is chosen by the government. The question we will answer in this article is; can a person become successful in a country whose government centrally plans the economy?

The way the Soviet Union operated was it controlled everything and all the people in the country, entirely. Not only did the government control all business activities but it also controlled people to the point where it told them what jobs they would fill. In this system, no one was allowed to have any aspirations. It is easy to see, a tightly controlled centralized economy does not allow ordinary folk freedom of any kind.

Another type of similar government is fascism. In fascism, the government controls all industry. In other words, the government is the corporations and the dictators of the government are the CEOs of these corporations. In a non-fascist, loosely controlled centrally planned economy, businesses do exist but the government oversees them and persuades them to do what it wants them to do by giving them tax breaks and punishing them if they do not follow certain regulations. In a tightly controlled centralized economy the government controls business simply by using brute force.

The most important thing to realize about tightly controlled economies is they leave no room for individual freedom. If individuals were free, they could potentially cause a problem for the government because they may assemble and voice their grievances against the government. This would mean the government would have to shut these people up in one way or another or risk losing control over the entire population.

An economy where individuals are free to invest and strive for success is called a free market economy. Only in a free market economy are all people not only allowed but encouraged to become successful. In such an economy, a person is allowed to succeed or fail without government interference. If a person fails, he or she can try again. In this system, many success stories have been written and usually mainstays of such stories are perseverance and belief, whether this belief is in one’s self or a higher power. Having the right to fail is part of living in a free nation.

Living without freedom and without the right to a say how the government will treat its people is living under tyranny. Tyrannical governments and centrally controlled economies go hand-in-hand. In fact, a problem we all should be aware of is the fact tyranny can spring up in any country. It can start when the government tries to control some of its industry, even if it does so without using threat of force. Another sign would be if the country’s leaders openly voiced objection to any group or faction of law abiding citizens.

It is for this reason, we in the United States of America must insist our government treat all of its citizens the same. We must strive for true equality. Rich and poor should pay the same rate of tax. Everyone’s religious rights should be respected and there should be no corporations receiving special favors.

In a truly free nation, the government would not treat any member of any political party, whether Democrat, Republican, Federalist, Whig or Tea, any differently. If the government of a nation were to try to stifle one particular faction from voicing its grievances, it would be very troubling. Of course, this would never happen in the United States; would it?

The point is, a centrally planned economy is not consistent with a free country. Likewise, freedom and opportunity go hand-in-hand. To the extent one exists, so does the other. It is for this reason all freedom loving people, by nature, reject centralized economies.

Your Place in the New US And World Economy

What is next for the economy? The economy defines the boundaries within which all businesses must operate.

Like the lines on the edges of the road, cross at your own risk. All businesses – and therefore all jobs in the private sector – must operate within (“length” and “width”) of these boundaries. Business failures occur when companies fall behind the times and are too far ahead of consumer demand. Likewise, most business sectors have a relatively narrow range of successful operations. It’s hard to survive if you are either the most expensive or cheapest in your market.

The 2010 book from David Wiedemer, PhD, Robert Wiedemer, and Cindy Spitzer entitled “Aftershock” examines the events that created the financial meltdown. In this book and the previous book, “America’s Bubble Economy” the authors make the case that the U.S. economy was an illusion, only the interaction of “bubbles”.

A bubble is created when an asset temporarily booms. The former (pre-2008) U.S. economy was comprised of bubbles in real estate, personal loans, credit card debt, the stock market, and consumer spending. On their own, each bubble can rise independently. But in combination, the bubbles accelerate and reach unnatural levels!

The financial meltdown felt around the world is the consequence of these bubbles popping, or as the authors describe it, a “Bubblequake”. The first stage of the financial meltdown included the fall of the real estate bubble, private debt bubble, stock market bubble, and discretionary spending bubble. On their own, each would have been significant. Combined, these popping bubbles lead to “The Great Recession”.

Amidst the economic turmoil, the U.S. government tried to intervene. Bailouts of automakers and investment banks were designed to compensate for “toxic assets”. Then the government pumped billions into the economy as “stimulus” to try to offset the funds lost to “money heaven” as bubbles popped and wealth simply evaporated.

Looking back, we now know that such efforts were ineffective. The results were a dramatically inflated money supply and a devalued dollar. The aftereffect was that the government soon reached the “National Debt Limit” as a result of spending nearly twice as much as incoming revenue.

The authors label this current stage as the “Aftershock”, defined as the popping of the dollar bubble and the government debt bubble. Their conclusion is that current economic conditions do not simply represent a down market cycle or a typical recession. The difference is the multi-bubble economy, with these inter-linked bubbles ALL on the descent.

The authors also conclude that inflating these bubbles again is simply not possible.

Instead, they predict what is called the “triple double-digit” economy:

 

  • Double-digit unemployment
  • Double-digit inflation
  • Double-digit interest rates

 

All in all, these make up some dire predictions. So what does this mean for you? How will you earn an income in the new, post-Aftershock economy.

The “Aftershock” authors predict:

1. Decreased demand for capital goods, including cars, construction equipment, and major industrial equipment. Lower demand means fewer viable firms and fewer available jobs.

2. Decreased levels of discretionary spending. This affects fine dining, entertainment, travel, fashion, jewelry, art and so on. Less total spending means fewer stores and fewer employees.

3. A decline (just not as drastic) in the “necessities” sector including health care, education, food, and government services. Even these areas will face some pressures to downsize because they are highly dependent on tax revenues. A smaller economy simply produces lower tax revenues. Some programs will simply need to shrink, regardless of the level of “necessity”. Many jobs will be retained, however the wage growth and benefits will necessarily be constrained.

Conclusion: as many as 50% of businesses in some sectors may simply disappear. This means that job losses will be staggering after the dollar and government debt bubbles pop, and there will be a mad scramble for those jobs that haven’t been destroyed. For most people it will be increasingly difficult to find a job – any job – regardless of your qualifications and experience. And for those lucky enough to be employed, keeping a job will mean putting up with less desirable working conditions, benefits, hours, and pay. In fact, as competition for jobs greatly increases, most wages will surely fall. After all the bubbles pop, people will accept wage cuts in most jobs for one simple reason: if they don’t, somebody else will.

By necessity, the government will be forced to live within tax revenue limits. The world economy will not allow unlimited printing of “funny money” to allow for unlimited deficit spending. The quantity of currencies injected by numerous countries will have already added to inflation on a global scale. Too many dollars, yen, euros, etc. will be chasing a declining quantity of goods and services.

The OLD economy is gone; the NEW economy is here.

In 2011 the federal government is overspending revenue by 40%. Even a 10% decrease in the size and scope of the federal government would add hundreds of thousands of additional people to the unemployment roles (including government positions and supporting private suppliers and contractors.) This does not consider the same cascading effects facing state and local governments that have never had the ability to simply print money.

So one of the defining characteristics of the post-dollar bubble economy will be a shortage of jobs. Unemployment levels will be much higher, and people will remain unemployed for much longer. At the same time, businesses will be forced to reduce wages and benefits to remain competitive. Millions of Americans will accept cuts in pay.

Especially hard hit will be younger workers and older workers. Prospective employees under 30 will find it hard to compete against older, more experienced and proven workers. Likewise, workers over 50 will also face extremely high unemployment levels.

At the same time, loss of tax revenue will force the government to tax more and tax deeper. Remaining businesses and employees will be taxed harder! Most will rationalize that 50% taxation is better than not working at all!

Different people will look at the same facts and draw different conclusions. So what do you think? Do you believe the bubbles will miraculously re-inflate and good times are on the horizon? Or do you believe (as the authors of “Aftershock” have detailed) that the old bubble economy is gone and a newer, leaner economy is what we can expect?

I concur with the conclusion that we are now experiencing the “aftershock”. I always knew that an economy based on 20% appreciation in housing values, pensions exceeding 100% of wages while working, whole shopping centers selling completely unnecessary novelties and decorations, and unbridled government deficit-spending had to “pop” eventually.

And yet I am also believe 100% in the viability of the free enterprise capitalist model. So I going to make some suggestions:

First, if you are under the age of 30 or over the age of 50 you are in danger of becoming a statistic. You either need to make yourself invaluable to your current employer or prepare yourself for the high possibility of a layoff.

Second, identify some necessary service or product that you can get excited about!

You have arrived at a “fork in the road”. You have two choices, plus a combination. You can take the wide road and do whatever it takes (training, cross-training, adult education, apprenticeships, etc.) to become superbly trained for the job you have or would like to have. Remember, there are going to be too many people seeking each job. You are going to need be impressive in every way and probably over-qualified to get noticed.

The second option (the “road less traveled”) is to design your own occupation. Now this can be a retail, service, or skilled occupation. Each has its attractions to certain people. My personal choice is to provide a product or service on a nationwide (or even global) basis. Again, these offerings should fall in the category of “necessities” rather than novelties. Luxuries offer a much smaller but profitable niche if you can cater to the affluent.

Even in tough times, fortunes can be made by satisfying needs. The time-proven formula for success is to identify a problem and provide a solution. In the post-bubble Aftershock economy, providing alternative income opportunities is one legitimate solution!

Now owning your own business includes the hassles of regulations and structure that you completely avoid if you stay in the employee category. But your own business also provides a degree of freedom not possible as an employee. The single biggest benefit is that you have no cap imposed on your income, especially if you are selling a product or service and not your efforts by the hour. Operating a business also allows you to deduct expenses before taxes. A higher potential income and tax advantages results in a win-win.

And then there is the combination of the two options, and this may be a viable option for the majority of Americans. If you have a steady job there is added security in building a part-time business on the side. You gain income and can offset a portion of your expenses that are now cutting into your after-tax personal income (such as a home office deduction, travel expenses for errands, office supplies, etc.) You also gain the security of a income cushion if your regular job evaporates or you face a cut in wages.

Of course, many small businesses eventually grow into large businesses. You then have the choice of making your part-time business a new full-time profession, hiring some employees to manage the extra work, or selling the business outright at a profit. Again, many advantages and few disadvantages (if designed with some forethought.)

The “road less traveled” provides increased potential rewards for assuming personal responsibility. At the same time, millions of Americans have learned that “job security” is a contradiction. We have entered the new age of job insecurity in an increasingly lean and competitive global economy.

So where do you start? Here are my recommendations for the ideal business:

1. Unlimited income potential. This is only possible if you are selling a product or service. If you are selling your time, you are limited by the number of hours you can work each day, week, and month. When you stop working you stop earning, and this is true even if you can bill your time at $200 per hour. Also, you want to have at least some products or services which generate repeat sales – unless what you are providing is incredibly profitable in the initial sale. Likewise, if your business allows you to leverage the efforts of others to provide additional streams of income, so much the better!

2. Time and location freedom. The ideal business will take advantage of current technologies and allow you to be located anywhere, and sell to anyone. These technologies will also allow your sales to recorded 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Some products or services may have limitations which restrict the sales area to one location. But many products and services – especially digital products – allow sales to be made on a worldwide basis instantaneously!

3.Small initial investment. While many downsized employees have bought franchises and other fixed location business opportunities, I can not recommend this option. For one, the start-up costs can be very high, literally hundreds of thousands of dollars with no guarantees. Then you are faced with the reality that you have assumed the job of full-time personnel director and you spend all your time either managing employees or hiring their replacements. Instead, I would recommend an opportunity with a low start-up cost. This allows you to begin

part-time. It also means you won’t have to qualify for financing, which may be next to impossible for a new business in the post-bubble economy.

In my opinion, network marketing fulfills all these criteria. There are literally thousands of products and services that are marketing by networking. Combined with the power of the Internet and social media, networking has entered the mainstream and is a viable option for a full-time or part-time business.

Millions of Americans have used network marketing to produce extra income. The company provides all the support functions, from billing and credit card processing to accounting for commissions. Networking includes the creation of a downline that produces additional income. And consumable products provide residual income, often from several generations of customers that you have never even met.

There are no restrictions based on age, experience, location, or net worth to join a networking company. People from all walks of life – including unemployed – have become successful in network marketing. In fact, many thousands of networkers are literally unemployable after experiencing the freedom and income potential of network marketing.

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Indian Economy Poised for Growth

The Indian economy, for long, had been in a limbo. While many had termed the Indian economy as a sleeping giant, many others had doubted the country’s capability as an emerging economic power. The reasons were myriad. The economy of India was mired in poverty and various other problems that were detrimental to its growth.

For years, the economic growth of India was much subdued. Most of the big companies of the country were owned by the government. This was mostly because of the fact that the country was ruled by the Congress government for most of the years following independence in 1947. Congress was a party that was known for its socialist tilt. As a result it preferred the state to wrest control over most of the manufacturing and production companies. These companies were known as public sector undertakings (PSUs) and usually a bureaucrat was appointed at the helm of all affairs.

All that changed dramatically in 1991 when the economy of India was thrown open to foreign investors and entrepreneurs. This marked the entry of multi-national companies, popularly known as MNCs in the Indian economy. It was the Congress government that ushered in the change, in a marked deviation from its largely socialist policy.

Today, India is one of the four emerging economies of the world, the other three being China, Russia and Brazil. The GDP of the Indian economy is poised to beat all expectations and predictions for 2013. Experts are of the opinion that the economy of India would exceed all expectations in the next year. There are signs that the policymakers of the Indian economy are about to spring some surprises.

The economy of India is still one of the most intricate of the four emerging economies. The country’s demographics lend it the possibility to garner the best GDP growth rate. The experts, at the same time, have cautioned about the country’s inability or reluctance to introduce effective policy changes. This has remained a persistent source of disappointment. But the experts are upbeat about the prospects of the economy of India. The capital markets are something to be really excited about, they have remarked.

Studies by several research groups on Indian economy have revealed that inflation is already showing a downward trend and is expected to reduce in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal i.e. January-March, 2013. As the government announces the mid-quarter policy for the economy later in December, 2012, the growth-inflation trajectory would be factored in and the monetary policy would be calibrated accordingly.

The GDP of the economy of India was 5.5 per cent in April-June quarter of the 2012-12 fiscal as against 6.7 per cent during the July-September in the 2011-12 fiscal. But that’s expected to be bettered in the next quarter, experts have predicted.

The Economy of India: An Overview

India, traditionally, has been a predominantly agrarian economy and gradually embraced an open market economic policy when it opened up to global competition in 1991. The Indian economy has taken a quantum leap from thereon and is today identified by mostly free market exchange, investment by foreign companies and liberalized foreign trade.

A significant shift in the economy of India has been observed since the 1990s regarding external trade regulations and investment strategies. Of late, India has emerged as an economic power not only in South Asia but over the world as well. Several economists have predicted that the Indian economy would be a major force to reckon with in the coming decades.

Over the last three decades, the agro-based economy of India has made the way for a market-driven economy with enough investment opportunities in retail, finance, telecommunications, insurance, infrastructure, information technology, manufacturing and others. Besides, significant improvement has been noticed in the human capital index of the country with more skilled workers finding employment.

The Indian economy is among the top five countries with regard to purchasing power parity (PPP). In the 2010-11 fiscal, the PPP of the economy of India was $4.06 trillion and $1.54 trillion as per the official exchange rate. The GDP of the Indian economy also grew in double digit with the dominance of the tertiary or the service sector. This is evident from the fact that this sector contributes 55.3 per cent of the GDP in the 2010-11 fiscal as against 28.6 per cent of the manufacturing sector and 16.1 per cent of the agricultural sector. However, of the total workforce of the economy of India, the agricultural sector employs 52 per cent of the total labour.

The Indian economy is one of the leading food grains producers of the world. Wheat and rice are the two most important crops of the country. Millets and maize are also produced in enough numbers and oilseeds and lentils also make a substantial contribution to the economy of India. Tea, jute, cotton and sugarcane are the four most important cash crops for the country. India, again, is the forerunner in the production of all these crops.

Among the industries, chemicals, textiles, ship building, steel and engineering goods are the traditional large-scale industries. Other than these, cement, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and automobiles have emerged as the sunrise sectors of the economy of India. Because of the huge buying power of the people, the Indian economy has grown as a major investment destination for both international and domestic entrepreneurs and investors. The country mostly imports crude oil, chemicals, fertilizers etc. Over the years, the imports have decreased and exports have increased. This is an indicator that the economy of India is pursuing a healthy growth trajectory.

Central Banks and Global Crises – Who Really Controls the Global Economy?

The worldwide credit crisis that began with the collapse of the housing market in the United States in 2008 was just one of many crises that central banks and other financial authorities have had to deal with during the first part of the 21st century.

But the enormity of the 2008 financial collapse required government and central bank intervention never before seen in the global economy. After Lehman Brothers, one of America’s biggest investment banks, was allowed to go bankrupt, the Federal Reserve was required to bail out AIG, the world’s largest insurance company. The $85 billion bailout was, until then, the biggest bailout in American economic history.

When banks began failing across the globe- primarily because of bad investments in U.S. subprime securities, but also because of the freeze in interbank lending- it was clear that a full- blown worldwide crisis had arrived. Stock market declines of more than 50% in some countries presaged a global economic meltdown. The concerted action of the world’s central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan, helped calm things down for a while. But when countries began failing-Iceland and the Ukraine were the first of many national economies that had to be bailed out- it was clear that the fallout of the 2008 crisis would last for years to come.

The key to finding the right solution to economic crises is to somehow solve the immediate problem without making things worse in the future. Some say that the reaction of the Fed to the meltdown of the dot- com sector at the end of the 20th century- increased liquidity and drastically lower interest rates- set the stage for the meltdown of financial markets several years later, with massive defaults of mortgage holders who probably shouldn’t have been given home loans to start with, but were lured in by artificially low interest rates. The result was a recession that was much worse than that which the central bank was trying to avoid.

Just as the speed of an engine is regulated by its fuel supply, a country’s economy is controlled by regulating its money supply- and each country’s monetary policy is the responsibility of its central bank. In Britain, it’s the Bank of England; in Switzerland, it’s The Swiss National Bank; in the United States, it’s the Federal Reserve; in the euro zone countries, it’s the European Central Bank; and in Japan, it’s the Bank of Japan. These quasi- public institutions are set up by governments, but are then given the independence needed to keep an economy under control without undue interference from dabbling politicians. Despite the tendency of the media to concentrate on the latest economic statistic, there is no one single indicator that tells us how fast an economy is growing- or if that growth will lead to inflation down the road. And, unfortunately, there is no way to know how quickly an economy will respond to changes in monetary policy. If a country’s central bank allows the economy to expand too rapidly- by keeping too much money in circulation, for example- it may cause “bubbles” and inflation. If it slows down the economy too much, an economic recession can result, bringing financial turmoil and rampant unemployment.

Central bankers, therefore, need to be prescient- and extremely careful- keeping one eye on inflation, which is the product of an overheating economy, and one eye on unemployment, which is the product of a slowing economy. In the 21st century economy, however, regulating money supply has become a much more difficult task. With the amount of capital flowing around the world dwarfing many countries’ money supplies, it’s almost impossible to know with certainty what the effect of any monetary decision will have on a local economy-let alone on the world.

Inflation and unemployment have become the yin and the yang of the 21st- century economy. When one rises, the other tends to fall. Although neither is perceived as good, in recent years, inflation has become the dominant preoccupation of economic decision makers. It used to be that reports of a surging economy brought euphoria to the markets. If factories and businesses were producing at full capacity and everyone had a job, the markets would greet the news with approval, confident that in a booming economy, everyone would be better off. However, after the severe inflation scares of the past decades, with prices rising out of control in many countries, leaders realized that an economy growing too quickly can be too much of a good thing. Reduced unemployment means that companies are forced to pay higher wages for scarce workers, and prices of goods and services need to be raised to pay for the increased cost.

In a booming economy, inflation can grow quickly as consumers and businesses begin to compete for increasingly scarce goods and services- and scarcity leads to higher prices. The result is usually a vicious circle of wage and price increases that end up hurting almost everyone- especially those on fixed incomes, who see their buying power decline when prices rise.

The international markets watch each country’s inflation rate carefully- always on the lookout for signs that an economy is stalling or overheating. International investors, including gigantic pension funds, hedge funds, and international banks, move billions and sometime trillions of dollars, pounds, euros, and yen around the world on any given day, looking for the best return on their investment. When a country’s economy looks like it is growing too strongly, and inflation is about to rear its ugly head, international investors can move their money out of an economy at a moment’s notice, preferring to invest their funds in countries with more stable economic growth and low inflation.

Just as a prudent driver keeps an eye on the road ahead, a country’s central bank tries to keep the economy on a steady course. Central bankers need to look at all the economic data, such as factory orders, housing starts, consumer credit, retail sales, manufacturing, construction and employment figures-some of which are leading and some of which are lagging indicators-in an ongoing effort to keep the economy from overheating or sliding into recession.

The Basics of Any Economy

In a traditional economy, how the resources are distributed is predicted by the habits and traditions practised by the society. Here, the Basics of Economy is guided by a pre-determined force and everyone automatically knows where they fit in. Occupations are distributed according to heritage and there is little room for growth and innovation as new ideas are usually scorned and perceived as a threat to a way of life.

In the traditional economy, there is stability and predictability and entrepreneurs are rare thus, the standard of living is significantly low. The government plays a lot of role in the command economy. Instead of allowing tradition and habits to dictate the economy, a central government is elected or appointed to dictate the Basics of Economy. Everybody is then obliged to follow the economic decisions made by the government or their interest groups regardless of their differing or preferred stands.

The Market economy on the other hand is controlled by the forces of demand and supply. What to produce, for whom and needed quantity is all left in the hands of the market, the people. This economy permits growth and change based on the various needs of the consumers. The distribution of wealth in a market economy is often not balanced since it is tallied to the wavering needs of the market forces.

Communism captures the command economy. A central unit owns all and attempts to redistribute the wealth equally to all. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach weigh each other out. Capitalism works well with the market economy, the direction and growth is left to the consumers and business owners. By promoting competitive living, it takes the resources of any society and puts it to good use thereby promoting efficiency and flexibility. A major setback however could be the insensitivity of this type of economy to a balanced distribution of needs.

The Basics of Economy is similar in today’s major economies, most practicing socialism attempt to mix the command and market economies. In this arrangement, a central unit controls essential public demands while non-essential demands are left to compete with the harsh forces of demand and supply. Mixed economies takes the best of all the other economies, combines them in order to meet the demands of any society on a much larger scale.