Scattershooting in Feburary

This past month saw interesting press releases from two of the industry’s biggest equipment manufacturers – Xerox and Heidelberg.  Of the two, Heidelberg’s concept of a mixed-media machine may have more of an immediate play; although ink jet may be the long term solution for print providers.

On an industrial relations note, there are some interesting things going on with unions in the public sector, where practically all of the unionization growth as occurred over the past 25 years. With states talking about cutting and restructuring, union leaders are becoming  very nervous and are talking about unleashing $25 million to counter the  efforts of the states – who are doing the right thing to protect their taxpayers.  As most folks know, I’m not a proponent of organized labor.  It’s not that labor should not have a voice.  The problem becomes when compensation/benefits become institutionalized and when the business/government entity needs to make changes to survive, the labor institution would rather kill off the host.  There must be a better way.

Speaking of jobs.  The recent Republican budget proposal to cut $61 billion this year is an eye opener.  Which raised a comment, a valid one, from the Dems.  These cuts could represent upwards of 800,000 jobs.  So one must remember that cutting the deficit/government spending will create some nasty side effects.  Are we as a country willing to do what we have to do?  Do the politicians have the moxie to do it?  It could very well cost them their jobs.

And for you monetary/fiscal weenies (thanks for the article James), check this article out in WSJ’s Market Watch. I think the author addresses many of the issues which have created the imbalances between Wall Street and Main Street.  Although I tend to vote red, I do have a concern with Congress’ un-willingness to deal with many of the issues which got us in this mess.  I for one would like to see a new Glass-Steagall bill enacted – and we can thank our fellow Texan Phil Graham for the original bill’s demise.

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