Unemployment Rates Drop: Is it Due to Increased Job Creation or More Workers Dropping Out of Labor Market?

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

The debate continues about the unemployment rate, job creation, and the potential boost in our nation’s economy. The Los Angeles Times shares all sides of the debate in last Saturday’s business section.

Although the national unemployment rate is currently at 8.1% (which is almost double in Black and Brown communities) the L.A. Times reported that this rate is not solely because more jobs are being secured by workers —since only 115,000 jobs were added in April (after winter gains of an average of $252,000 jobs December through February)– but rather because more people are discouraged and dropping out of the labor market.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington was reported as telling the L.A. Times that workers are dropping out of the labor market because they no longer believe that there are jobs out there for them. In April the numbers shrank by 342,000 workers. That’s 342,000 that are reported to have lost hope in securing a job.

President Obama sees and reports things differently and more optimistically. He reminded people in his speech last Friday at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, that we are surviving the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, have created more than 4.2 million jobs within the last 26 months, and 1.6 million of those jobs were created just within the last 6 months.

Obama’s chief economic advisor, Alan Krueger told the L.A. Times that the jobless rate fell a full percentage point since last August, and that nearly three-quarters of that drop was due to increased employment. Dean Baker however said that some of the three-quarters was attributable to adjustments in the population.

Analysts claim that the warm winter weather we experienced across the nation has impacted the reported rates of job growth, as certain industries, such as construction—that were booming in December and January, have since seen no increase in jobs.

However, car sales are strong, manufacturing continues to perform well, there is growth in the demand for growth, consumer spending is up, and there is an improvement in the housing market that once was severely depressed.

The L.A. Times makes a point of reminding and educating readers that our country’s economy is vulnerable to various “shocks” such as high oil prices, China’s slowed-down economy, and the debt-strained problems of Europe. When the rest of the world is suffering, our country is hit hard also; and vice versa. We’re literally in this together.

Let’s also not forget that more than 90% of the companies in our country are small business enterprises, with less than 200 employees, yet maybe 90% of job seekers are applying mostly to large corporations—less than 10% of the businesses in the U.S.

Who’s helping to equip these small businesses with the resources to hire more employees?

Who’s reminding and educating job seekers about employment opportunities with small businesses?

Who’s bridging the gap?

We must realize that our economy is impacted by other world economies and “shocks”. We must focus more on the things we’re for and less on what we’re against, and then help to bring about a progressive movement towards solution rather than allow a spiraling effect that will lead to ultimate failure.

We should also be grateful for our country and the numerous resources here. Let’s consider if we lived in Liberia where the unemployment rate is a staggering 85%. What if that was our reality?

Let’s look for solutions rather than people to blame. Let’s look for business opportunities and leverage our strengths, rather than examples of our weaknesses and failures.

What can we do individually and collectively to bring about positive change and to be the change we want to see in our nation, and in the world?

What can you do to help with unemployment in the United States?

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Source: Don Lee. Los Angeles Times. Job weakness feeds fear of a slowdown. Business section. B1, B4. Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Foreman & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

7 Habits of Highly Frugal People

I ran across this article not too long ago that caught my attention. Simply titled the “7 Habits of Highly Frugal People”, it does an impressive job breaking down seven habits that everyone can do (if serious and committed) to become frugal in their spending and living. Living frugally means spending sparingly, scrimping, and skipping on purchasing simply because you have the money– choosing rather to save towards a purchase or investing in something with greater returns.

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, barely making ends meet, having more month than money (with only high-end clothes or gadgets to show for), or realize that your financial legacy may not be much of one in 50-70 years (or worse, 5-10 years), then this article is for you. I took each habit, highlighted key characteristics and then provided additional details and resources at the end. I of course also included a link to the article so you can read it for yourself. Let’s get started shall we?

Habit One: Be Proactive
**Taking the first step and claiming responsibility; telling others this is your goal and intended lifestyle; listen to yourself and your excuses for buying things**

Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind
**Visualizing effective frugality**

Habit Three: Put First Things First
**Recognize the effects of your finances and understand it’s okay to say no**

Habit Four: Think Win-Win
**Creating frugal win-win scenarios**

Habit Five: Communication
**How listening can help you to become effectively frugal**

Habit Six: Synergize
**Learning ways to be more frugal, and surrounding yourself with other frugal people**

Habit Seven: Sharpen the Saw
**Learning to frugally renew yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually**

To read the article in its entirety visit: http://moneyning.com/frugality/7-habits-of-highly-frugal-people/? There are also some other great things and resources to consider that were mentioned in the article:

1. There are six action steps to take when you are feeling financially vulnerable: http://moneyning.com/better-yourself/6-action-steps-to-take-when-you-feel-financially-vulnerable/

2. When building wealth, remember to think of the big picture too http://moneyning.com/investing/seeing-the-big-picture-in-creating-wealth/

3. Learn to embrace the positive influence of saving money http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/positive-influence-of-saving-money/

4. Frugality doesn’t mean having to give up all of your luxuries and things that make you happy  http://moneyning.com/frugality/are-you-tired-of-being-frugal/

5. Practicing frugal principles  http://moneyning.com/frugal-living/

6. Making SMART goals http://moneyning.com/better-yourself/add-an-s-to-smart-goals-this-year/

7. Consider these 25 ways to pay off your debt more easily. http://moneyning.com/debt/25-debt-reduction-tips-for-your-immediate-action-plan/

Copyright 2011.
Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman

Natasha’s Economic Quote of the Day 8.11.11

“I’m not sure about man’s economic climate, but God’s economic climate is beyond awesome…so I will stay focused on and rely upon His forecasts…”
-Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Trump the Chumps: Part Two

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Are you ready to pick up where we left off ? Let’s go!

First let me say…OUR President announced late last night that the U.S. has confirmed that they killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan after OUR President gave the okay to engage in combative measures to eliminate Bin Laden and his associates as a threat. So…uh Donald Trump and all of you small-minded morons out there so concerned with OUR President’s birth certificate, maybe now you can see what pressing issues that he found more important to follow up on instead of tracking down his birth certificate from the 60s. Now this is a perfect segue into part two of my post on Trump the Chumps…

I want to see Trump’s transcripts from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Matter of fact I want to see his transcripts from Fordham before he transferred to Wharton. I want to see his academic honors he claims to have earned while attending the New York Military Academy (when he was acting up as a teenager as his parents sent him there to get his attitude problem adjusted). I want to know what gives a person who comes directly from Scottish (mother) and German (father and paternal grandparents) roots the right to question someone’s heritage and citizenship.

I want to know what a person who claims to have an interest in the U.S. economy, jobs, business development, and competing in the global marketplace- and says that OUR President is doing an awful job (the worst of all presidents he claimed) can do anything to turn our country around when in 1991 he filed for corporate bankruptcy (and almost filed for personal bankruptcy); watched banks and bondholders lose hundreds of millions of dollars while he restructured his debt to avoid losing more money in court. What can this man say when in 1992 his Trump Plaza Hotel was forced to file a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Two years later Trump lost the Trump Shuttle, was forced to sell a parcel of his West Side yards to Asian developers without retaining ownership- only allowed to keep his name on the buildings that were built on those yards so a premium could be charged for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the breaking point when he became fixated on Asians, more specifically the Chinese as being enemy number one.

I want to know why Trump feels he’s qualified to run this country when in 1998 his Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts were profitless and could barely pay the interest on nearly $3 billion in debt; which kept them from making necessary improvements on the properties. I want to know how he feels he is capable of running our country and reducing our deficit when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought a financial-reporting case against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc in 2002 alleging that the company had misleading third-quarter 1999 earnings release statements. Then two years later the company announced they were restructuring their debt reducing Donald’s individual ownership from 56 percent to 27 percent, and giving bondholders stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt.

So who’s company had to file for bankruptcy November 2004? Trump’s. So who relinquished his CEO position but retained his role as Chairman of the Board? The Donald. So after re-emerging as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings in 2005 and appearing to be on the upswing even with legal issues who then had to file for Chapter 11 again on February 17, 2009 after the “Chairman of the Board” said he would resign from the board four days earlier? Trump Entertainment Resorts.

How is Donald John Trump, Sr. qualified to be the President of the United States? Does he think it’s because he knows how to say, “you’re fired” and he thinks that shows signs of a strong leader? Maybe it’s because while he was a student at the New York Military Academy he was the captain of the baseball team in 1964 and received the Coach’s Award that same year. Or maybe it was because his senior year there he was promoted to the Cadet Captain-S4 (Cadet Battalion Logistics Officer). For those of you who don’t know what this title means- The Donald was “responsible for the maintenance, security, record keeping, issue, and turn-in of all U.S. government property (except ordinance).” That is definitely grounds to claim a stake at the presidency isn’t it?

His attack on OPEC and belief that as President he could force them to do what we say and “stop robbing us blind” is supported by what experience exactly? Does he think his real estate career has laid the foundation for dealing with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries?

Maybe Donald thinks he’s better suited for the Presidency since he knows the viewpoints from all sides since he’s been a supporter of the Reform Party, Republican Party, and the Democratic Party. Donald needs to choose a party first, commit to it, and I would suggest having had experience voting in primary elections- since according to an April 23rd report by New York-based TV station NY1 (and confirmed by a city board spokeswoman) Donald hasn’t voted in a primary election in New York City for 21 years.

I want to see Donald’s tax returns for the past four years. I want to see his academic achievements highlighted for verification. I want to see the report his “people” gave him when their intel said that OUR President’s birth certificate did not exist and then eluded that it was because he was Kenyan born.

I mean seriously, Donald’s foreign policy concept is imperialistic and pimpish. I thought our country is pushing an anti-bullying movement with our children- but we’re still saying, “do as I say not as I do”. He told CNN last week that we should have told the Arab League that we would go into Libya and take Gaddafi out of office for $5 billion and then we could go in there and get their oil. He then also found a way to attack China and place some blame their way because they haven’t sent their military troops to Libya.

Yes, China’s cleaning our clock economically and academically- how is that their fault that we got caught slipping on innovation and education? Donald why don’t you invest in our schools, bring in more textbooks and supplies, fund before-and-after school programs (in underserved and underrepresented cities) that offer tutoring as early as 6am and as late as 7pm during the week, and weekend programs open from 8am to 6pm?

I would also say this- the man who is so concerned about our economy, jobs, and competing with China whom he calls our country’s “enemy” should take the $100 million he offered to donate to the White House for a stinking ballroom and instead inject that into our economy for a booster shot and job creation. If he’s so concerned about jobs and says OUR President is incompetent at creating jobs, then The Donald should start hiring U.S. citizens in all of his companies, and since he has the money supposedly, why doesn’t he open more businesses to answer the supply and demand needs which will help to trigger positive consumerism trends in those states?

Let’s be real shall we…Donald Trump is the epitome of the capitalist that people detest- he is all about money and how he can acquire more only for himself, and not concerned with job creation except to help him achieve and maintain his financial wealth. I want to know as he’s attacking OUR President about our country not having enough U.S. based companies and U.S. made products, how many of his employees in Dubai, Turkey, South Korea, Canada, Scotland, and Canouan Island are U.S. citizens? How much of the generated revenues from these locations are being re-distributed back into the U.S. economy? I want to know what U.S. products he is helping to produce that are being exported to other nations to help boost our economy and help to pay down our staggering debt?

Let me say in closing that I see that Donald’s son Eric has a foundation- The Eric Trump Foundation for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital- but where’s Donald’s foundation? I researched and discovered on Trump’s website that “The Trump Family is proud to participate in and provide support for…” The Eric Trump Foundation, Girl Up United Nations Foundation, New York City Police Foundation, Operation Smile, and The Police Athletic League (PAL)…I will let you reflect on that for a moment and not to diminish the contributions made by and to these great organizations but just ask yourself where the support of education and job creation is present by the Trump conglomerate!

Then I want you to think about this…OUR so-called “incompetent” President has done something no other President before him has been able to do and that was whoop up on, defeat, and bring back the body of Osama Bin Laden snatching that magnet of fear out of the world. You may be able to huff and puff, and fire a bunch of people Donald, and Sarah Palin may be able to hunt deer and elk in Alaska but NONE of you fools have what it takes to deal with ordering the elimination of Bin Laden while being under attack from hate mongers who question your patriotism, nationality, citizenship, loyalty, and religion every single day; while also trying to bring up the spirits of the country, rebuild our schools, produce jobs for the unemployed and underemployed, and deal with back-to-back crisis situations affecting our country domestically and abroad- while raising a family and trying to be a loving and attentive spouse. Let’s not discuss your family lives and careers!

To my readers let me say…you know that I await your feedback!

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

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Trump the Chumps: Part One

By Natasha L. Foreman

We are a nation birthed on a land not originally ours. If you are not a native American who once was called an “American Indian” then you have no true birthright to call this land yours and you have no right to tell people to “go back where you came from”. I understand that the laws of the land were established to protect those citizens either born or legitimized through official channels here in the United States; what I don’t understand is why the land of the “free” where all people are supposed to be recognized as equal happens to be a nation filled with so much fear, hate, and ignorance.

We have taken our rights of freedom of speech to attack through libel and slander, anyone and everyone and for more than three years now, OUR President- not just my President, and not in the words of Donald Trump- “the Blacks” President, or Hawaii’s President- but OUR entire nation’s President; the President of the United States of America. I have researched and asked my elders and various scholars have they ever heard of a U.S. President being asked (even after being fully vetted and elected) to prove their citizenship? They all have said “NO”. It also wasn’t a big hoopla to anyone that Senator John McCain who ran for President was born in the Panama Canal- why? Because in 1936 is was “under U.S. control”.

Let me quickly say that I get urked when I see Sarah Palin’s face and cringe when she speaks because in my opinion she sets the advancements of women back several decades. Glenn Beck and others are embarrassing. Michele Bachmann just needs to stop while she’s ahead.

The Tea Party well what can I say, there were some people of color and newly arrived immigrants back in the day who didn’t fully understand that the White Citizens’ Council (Citizens’ Councils of America; and the Council of Conservative Citizens as they were later called) did mean harm when they said and did cruel things to non-white and non-Christian men, women, and children.

Let’s not forget that the WCC and its offshoots did not focus its tactics on direct violence and terrorism like the Ku Klux Klan, but instead focused mostly on economic reprisal and holding leadership positions in civic and political organizations so they could bring about change on their terms and within the grey shaded areas of the law. They were referred to as the “white collar Klan” and the “country club Klan”- swapping those sheets, hoods, and burning crosses for suits, ties, and the power to legitimize their discriminatory practices aimed at non-whites and non-Christians.

People convinced themselves that the WCC was a reputable movement of concerned, patriotic U.S. citizens who simply wanted the best for their families, their communities, and their country, and that they were concerned about jobs, education, and the economy. Sound familiar?

So how can it not be deemed a form of racism and bigotry when you create, post, and circulate pictures of OUR President as a caricature of a chimpanzee, a monkey, a snake, Osama Bin Laden, Hitler, and other things that reduce him from OUR great leader to nothing more than a four-legged creature or hate-filled extremist?

I have to wonder how much hate and bitterness is in the hearts of so-called U.S. loyalists who swear an allegiance to our country and claim to love the land that brought their immigrant ancestors here (some as late as 50 years ago). I have to wonder how much hate, ugliness, bitterness, evil, and darkness fills the hearts of people who would rather tear our country apart because OUR President achieved something that they could not, than to work to bring our country together so we can compete against the rest of the world and reclaim our position as an economic and academic force.

There are some chumps out there that claim they aren’t bigots and racists; that they aren’t accusing OUR President of being a “closet Muslim” and that they aren’t placing all Muslims and Middle Easterners in a category as “terrorists”, all Mexicans and Latinos as “illegal immigrants”, “border jumpers”, and “illegal recipients of health and welfare benefits” and to be approached by law enforcement accordingly; and all Chinese immigrants as “the enemy”, and clumping all Black people into the categories of “welfare recipients and frauds”, “drug dealers”, and “gang members”.

I then wonder why it’s necessary for us to see President Obama’s college transcripts from Occidental after the man graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude…and was the president of the Harvard Law Review. Let me make this perfectly clear to Donald Trump and any other chumps who want to question OUR President’s academic achievements and level of intelligence-OUR President’s name is Barack H. Obama II, not George W. Bush- he could not get into Occidental, Columbia University or Harvard Law School as a C-average student, and you definitely can’t graduate magna cum laude!

We’ll pick up from here tomorrow…

Of course as always I look forward to your feedback.

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
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