A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recession or Depression in a nation with no direction?

We keep hearing that we are in a recession rather than a depression.

We are a nation of no direction.

The above chart shows that financially our nation has been in the same place for the last six months.  This chart is not the Dow, NASDAQ or S&P.  It is a mix of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and a cross section of our economy.  What is not shown on the chart is the rise on unemployment, rise in home forclosures, the increased number of people on the street.  Union Rescue Mission is the oldest and largest mission in Los Angeles and the largest in the nation.  In the last year their services have risen over 40% while their donations have fallen over 20%.  The vertical scale on this chart spans such a small range that it is insignificant.  We have not moved.  The only reason we have not come crashing downward as a nation is that for every event reported which is bad news our Government can reply in moments with an explanation or proposed plan to limit the possible effects of the bad news. 

I have posted numerous stories on the American workforce, unemployment, growing numbers of homeless living on the street, the economy and more.

I have watched the food lines grow over the last year.  I have seen the change in the makeup of the population of the homeless.  There are more homeless families than there were a year ago, more educated people who were productive individuals with a home.

During the Great Depression we did not have the Internet.  The government could not have the Fed change an interest rate or policy where word would be spread across the globe quickly.  America took care of itself and was a self sufficient nation.  Global issues, short of war, had less effect on America.  Today news spreads like wildfire.  Our government works with certain segments of the news media to respond to every issue that shows a downturn in the economy based on the stock market.  This works for them in the short term.  Each week or two the market goes up and down, up and down.  Arranging deck chairs on the Titanic? 

Above:  This is not the Great Depression, this is a shot taken one year ago in front of The Midnight Mission where people are in line for food.  The lines are now longer than they were a year ago.

Our nation has no direction.  This is a bit worse than you may think.  The longer we have no direction or valued leadership the more people grasp at anything that works. 

When there is no direction people are not comfortable.  Look at what happened in Italy just prior to World War II.  Do I even have to bring up Germany and how their population jumped on the bandwagon in an attempt to solve their economic crisis?

Today we have people looking for direction from anywhere and everywhere.  The Tea Party?  Recent news of Sarah Palin running for President in next election.  I try to stay away from political issues in some areas but really, Sarah Palin?  The news media allows news to spread in regard to the state of the world but it also allows the population to learn more about an individual.  Stepping outside of Democratic or Republican views and values I look at statements that Sarah Palin made during the last election and things were bittersweet.  Bittersweet?  Yes.  Like comedy and tragedy.  Sweet and sour.  In Sarah Palin's case things were sad but laughable thanks to Tina Fey.  Hell, get Tina Fey to run.  She is articulate, educated and can look just like Sarah Palin.  Maybe that is an option. 

Sarah Palin?  I am planning to go to Europe next year with my two boys.  I do not want the same looks of pity I received as an American when the last Bush was in office from so many people in so many countries.

We are going nowhere as a nation.  People are unhappy.  I posted a story the other day on facebook where armed guards were now deployed in an Employment Office in middle America.  There were violent altercations.  People are coming to the end of their rope to coin an old phrase.

The longer people are unhappy the closer they come to taking an action that may not be able to be stopped.

An addition to this post from 12/2/10, a local story:

Jobless deluge EDD with questions, crash phone service

December 2, 2010
Los Angeles Times Business

As unemployment benefits for thousands of Californians start to expire, the jobless are deluging the Employment Development Department with phone calls, essentially crashing the phone service.

Calls to the California EDD support number are met with a message that the department is receiving more calls than it can answer. Some calls are then disconnected.

Jeremiah Johnson, 25, called the EDD support line 236 times on Wednesday. He was trying to reach someone at EDD to ask why he hadn't been transfered to a separate benefits program, as a counselor told him he would be. His extensions ran out last week.

None of his 236 calls got a response, so the Santa Ana resident drove to a nearby EDD WorkSource Center for help. The representative there told him to call the EDD support number, he said.

"This is one of the most outrageously frustrating things I have ever come across in my entire life," said Johnson, who is looking for a job in database management in the education field. "We're being put into a loop."

EDD spokeswoman Loree Levy said that every time unemployment benefits run out, the agency is flooded with customer calls.

"In many cases, they want to know when extensions will be available again and that's something the EDD simply cannot answer," she said. "The continuing availability of extension benefits is up to the U.S. Congress to decide and states to implement."

The EDD is encouraging customers to follow it on Twitter so they can follow any updates about extensions. The department's website is also frequently updated, Levy said. Finally, Levy advised customers to e-mail the EDD on the Contact EDD feature on the website. The department will get back to customers within three days, she said. "We really would like [customers] to avoid the frustration of jammed phone lines," she said.

"We fully understand the anxiety that can be created when people may encounter an end to their available benefits much sooner than they had anticipated," she said.

Johnson said that anxiety is adding to the frustration of his unemployment. He's been out of work since May, and says that since his checks have expired, he'll be behind on his rent, car payments and other bills.

"I've been looking for work but it's really difficult to find anything," he said. "I'm depending on those checks, for now."

12/3/10 - Four million Americans set to lose unemployment benefits even IF Congress passes extension - 

Myles Rose is the founder of Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting which provides support services and training for touring bands and individuals as well as blueprinting services.   You may contact me from the link.  My direct contact information is provided as well as links to two of the Internet forums where I answer technical questions.  You may also ask questions in any post in this blog by using the comment application on each post.

When I am not doing something related to music I do what I can to support the homeless of Los Angeles either directly on the streets at night or through my good friends at Union Rescue Mission.

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