The Year 2013 and the World Economy
In this digital world most of us have the ability to gather information and make decisions small or big that is if one is in the position to do so. In other words, we have a few making drastic decisions for millions just because they are in a position to do so. Those that do not have the real power must create a niche.
Recently, I did something I have been meaning to do for a long time. I travelled to Europe with something in mind; to meet people in the know - some knew me and others knew off me. The result; was when we discussed the economy; local, national, international - the result was unanimous. All of them strongly felt that the United States had a lot to do with the spiraling world economy.
On this site we have spoken much of the big financial institutions - JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs; the larger banks Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi Bank. Their actions speak volumes and it all exposes something we all know; lack of enforcement. These entities used good faith and got money and buy in; then turned around and used sub-prime loans, algorithms, hedge funds - to destroy the financial lives of millions of innocent, hard working people - all over the world. Millions of homes are in foreclosure and millions more under.
Since I work with young people - I questioned the young folks mostly less than twenty four years; as to how they felt about job opportunities and how their future looked. It varied, from nation to nation. In Italy they truly do not see any future. Plagued; by immigration and other policies - such as cuts in benefits and pensions - led by a government that is not strong and tethering - on the brink of collapse and riddled with utter corruption.
The Austrian experience show some hope and the youth looked to working hard. They too see the role of the United States where the banks controlled by the Americans are playing havoc in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. The youth are well read; cautious in their arguments and once they find out that an open debate goes somewhere good - they open up. The youth work hard and find ways to work in Austria and places like Germany to make a better life.
In Germany be it in Nuremberg, Berlin or Frankfurt - there was a keen suspicion as to why I wanted to know. Once I assured them through my friends that I just wanted a frank opinion. Hopefully; I could address the issues as for all to read.
I saw the system in Germany unlike anywhere else offering sound apprentice jobs; where the German Government invested thousands; as much as $150,000 a year, per youth - and many of them stayed put in the companies that trained them. There were immigration problems too; this time the Turks seemed to be the main topic. Fanatics; not all of them, be it a small percentage - trouble makers and their actions very disturbing to the German youth in large measure.
I stayed at Plus Berlin in Berlin. A combination of students living in a hostel within the complex, tourists like myself in a hotel, and accommodations made for the youth - visiting from countries all over the world. A brilliant concept by a Professor; and a melting pot for discussion and art; many of the art works displayed in the corridors and in the open spaces. Bartering work for a living; to study and team with students from all over the world.
It is this type of setting embracing students from all over the world; sharing ideas; creating leaders, who are exposed to the current turmoil, seeking and creating solutions; more to prepare themselves for the future.
I lived in Nuremberg in the early 1970s and so it was easy for me to seek friends and make small talk and draw in a focused conversation on topics linked to the economy. The Euro was strong so the youth; well read and following the current trend of thoughts - saw some hope on the horizon - and hoped to strengthen their nation - Germany.
My last stop was Frankfurt where I stayed in a nice hotel outside Frankfurt. I would talk to those that were friendly mostly young people and ask them the same questions about the economy. The hotel I stayed at was close to the OPEL plant that makes some sound cars and the paradox is - it is operated by General Motors. There is talk of closing the plant that employs thousands; with General Motors focused to keep the Research and Development Section intact.
OPEL makes good cars and I saw the large statue of Mr. Adams Opel who besides cars invented sewing machines and of course the famous brand Opel cars - that are produced here and sent all over the world. In Australia they are called Holden - they run well and give one good mileage.
By far I spoke to the youth but on occasion I tacked the elderly and they seemed to think that life will not be so good for them. One shot back; how is life in America? I told them the truth and as we know, the 2008 economic collapse hurt Senior Citizens more than any other segment. In Germany the Seniors are well supported by Senior Housing; may I add good Senior Housing. The Seniors; get the best benefits from the German government unlike here in the United States. Many Seniors, cannot eat well, many seek good accommodations to live; and others do not money for the upkeep of their health and medication.
In Frankfurt I had the opportunity to share some ideas and have a discussion with my good friend who I had not seen in 32 years. He has been to the Middle East and worked there, has worked in India, and travelled extensively - which gave me an opportunity to have a wide debate on the economy. The economy is slowly making some headway and hopefully in Europe - it will first gain ground in Germany. Right now the Euro is strong - Greece has been stabilized - Spain is being put back on track and hopefully the Europeans will be on some stable platform and bring some solace to America.
In San Francisco we have created two projects - which we have thought out well. We want to create a niche because the local government is corrupt and if we reveal our projects in detail - the "thugs" will cease it all. So far we have given many opportunities to the youth. Our certified companies make the pay roll, pay the insurance, tackle workers' compensation, and deal with the things that make it good - for mostly disadvantaged youth.
Our disadvantaged youth have not been given opportunities; they have been lied to. Our local Representatives the likes of the sell out District 10 Supervisor grins a lot; and has not lifted a finger to help the growing unemployment. In many areas, in the Southeast Sector of San Francisco, hotspots forty to fifty percent - unemployment. In any nation; local or nation such nonsense would not be tolerated. Here in San Francisco someone is endorsing such nonsense.
In Europe the average percentage of unemployment is about eight percent. In the United States more like 10 percent; in San Francisco in some areas forty percent and no one worth the salt is doing anything. There is a lot of hot air; diatribe and there it stands - stagnant, foul, putrid, and volatile - waiting for the worst to take place.
Some of us will make good stuff happen that is as long as we are not stopped. We are a force to reckon with and some of the San Francisco Commissioners have seen the light of day. The Legislative Branch in San Francisco the SF Board of Supervisors are clueless. The Executive Branch has been cooperating but it is too slow to make an impact; lack luster - dreaming of things that are beyond them and slow to help those that know - better.
We are here to stay and to make the year 2013 the best ever.