OK, I’ll be the first to admit, I have not read the recent measure which was supposedly going to provide $30 Billion for small business and was stymied by the Republicans in a 58-42 vote this past Thursday. Yet, I have been following the discussion for the past several weeks. What I find interesting is that neither side was willing to find a way to create a program which could help small business and in turn create jobs. We have become so polarized — one side wanting to keep all the Bush tax cuts in place and the other side determined that providing the banks with “incentives” would instantly have them start loaning money to small business that all that gets accomplished is making the political hacks happy. Jeesh. Get real!
For the past month or so, I have been watching the ongoing Texas vs. Feds fight. The gloves are now starting to come off as Governor Perry is playing a role in the disagreement between the Feds (EPA) and Texas regarding “polluting” companies. The spin from EPA’s Regional Administrator Al Armendariz is that they’re protecting the public from polluting companies, which have been given a free pass from the Texans. Granted, my experience is strictly with small businesses – but the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) requirements are far from “easy” on business. Continue reading
An article last week made mention that Wall Street’s banks had eased their credit terms to hedge funds and private-equity firms that borrow against securities and trade over-the-counter derivatives. To quote the great Yogi — “It’s deja vu all over again.” There is more cash sitting on the sidelines than there’s been in a long time, and these guys get more access to additional dollars so they can speculate. Wow, what a country!
Elizabeth Warren, who leads the congressional panel overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, said U.S. taxpayer bailouts helped Wall Street and not small banks. TARP “worked really well for the Wall Street banks, but it didn’t work well for the rest of the banks in the system,” she recently said on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop with Betty Liu.”
I hate to say it, but I think that our financial system is out of sync.
Meanwhile, the folks who make this country great, our blue collar workers and small business men and women are getting the short end of the stick. Our politicians are not willing to find creative ways to help businesses and people, get off the sidelines. There’s talk of more money for education, job creation, and small business lending. Why not just stop writing laws for a while and let the system move forward. Get creative with finding ways to support small and medium size businesses to get the money they need to start producing and hiring — and don’t expect it to happen overnight! Too many folks in our country don’t understand that business (and consumers) won’t start hiring/spending until they know what’s going to happen over the next 12-18 months. As long as the Administration and Congress keep talking about more laws and more deficit spending, more the reason folks will stop, wait and see. Not a good way to kick-start an economy.
If you are waiting for things to get better, it might be a long wait. There are too many unknowns out there and the folks in Washington aren’t making many of us in small business feel better. Thus, we wait for things to get better. The folks with money wait for it to get better. And we all sit and watch to see who’s going to blink first. Continue reading
I am continually amazed at the problems we run across in our industry because of unmet (or unrealistic) expectations. Why do we continue to assume that everyone is a printing expert and they know as much as we think we know? How often do we run across a job that is rejected because the four-color screen mix did not match a specific Pantone color? Or the job that was printed on a non-heatset web press did not match a much shorter run job printed sheetfed, or our digital equipment?
Is there a solution? Sure. Print providers must take the time to educate their existing and potential client base. Not an easy answer, and one many individuals find difficult to accomplish, but what are your options?
I just read Cary Sherbune’s article in Print CEO on Canadian Printer Magazine deciding to no longer use print as a method of distribution. Along with Electronic Publishing and Graphic Arts Monthly shuttering their operations, this poses an interesting question. Is it that print can no longer deliver the message, or is it that there is no longer a substantial market within the print community to support magazines? Or all of the above?