Originally posted on plantfix:
Imagine that you are a Roman foot soldier battling barbarians on the northern frontier. Your army just won the day’s battle, but your arm has been pierced by an enemy’s blade, and the wound continues to bleed. As you regroup with your legion, you stumble across a patch of blooming , fern-like wildflowers. You recognize them from the wisedom of your mother who told you the name of these wildflowers: “Achillea” – the flower of Achilles.
You grab a bundle of the flowers, and pick a bundle of leaves. You chew the flowers into a poultice, while you stuff the leafy stems into the bleeding wound in your arms. You spit the poultice out of your mouth, and apply it to the top of the wound. Then, you wrap your wounded arm in leather, and know that you will live to fight another day.
Originally posted on Rivers of Hope:
What’s made the difference is that unemployment has dropped more sharply in several swing states than in the nation as a whole. A resurgence in manufacturing is helping the economy — and Obama’s chances — in the industrial Midwestern states of Ohio and Michigan.
And Arizona, Nevada and Florida, where unemployment remains high, are getting some relief from an uptick in tourism.
“The biggest reason for the president’s improving prospects probably is the economy,” says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The Great Recession of 2007-2009 hit several swing states particularly hard. Unemployment peaked at 14.2 percent in Michigan, where the auto industry faced ruin. It also hit double digits in Arizona, Nevada and Florida, which were at the center of the housing bust, and in North Carolina, which lost jobs in textile and furniture plants.
In 2010, the economic misery helped Republicans retake control of the House and gain seats in the Senate. But the GOP can’t count on a repeat when voters return to the polls — with much more at stake — on Nov. 6.
After an agonizingly slow recovery, several swing-state economies are finally accelerating:
— The job market is improving in Michigan and Ohio. In Michigan, unemployment fell to 8.5 percent in March from 10.5 percent in March 2011. And in Ohio, it dropped to 7.5 percent from 8.8 percent over the same period, putting it well below the national average of 8.2 percent. A Fox News poll released Friday showed Obama leading Romney 45 percent to 39 percent among registered voters in Ohio.
Many blue-collar workers in Ohio and Michigan credit the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler for saving tens of thousands of auto industry jobs, says Paul Allen Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University. The bailout began under President George W. Bush, but Obama expanded it. “There’s a feeling the administration went out of its way to protect jobs that are very important,” Beck said.
— In Florida, unemployment tumbled to 9 percent in March from 10.7 percent a year earlier. That was more than twice the nationwide drop of 0.7 percentage point (from 8.9 percent to 8.2 percent) over the same period. A rise in tourism is helping. “People who put off vacations or a trip to Disney World for two or three years got to the point where they feel safe in terms of financial security to finally take those trips,” says Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness.
— Even Nevada, a focal point of the real estate collapse, has seen some improvement: Unemployment dropped to 12 percent in March from 13.6 percent a year earlier.
— Unemployment is down over the past year in the 10 other states the Associated Press identifies as swing states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Still, political analysts caution that voter sentiment — not to mention economic momentum — can turn fast. A month before the most recent polling, for instance, Obama was running behind or neck-and-neck with Romney in battleground states.
“The election is not today; it is seven months away,” Quinnipiac’s Brown says.
A jobs recovery fizzled in mid-2011, so there’s no guarantee the unemployment rate will continue to fall this year.
Indeed, Romney was quick to pounce after the government said job creation plunged in March after three strong months of growth. Romney called the numbers “weak and very troubling…. Millions of Americans are paying a high price for President Obama’s economic policies.”
Higher gasoline prices, up 60 cents this year to a national average $3.88 a gallon, could also turn voters against Obama. Still, prices have dropped over the past two weeks, and analysts say they could fall further.
Political analysts also wonder whether voters will end up holding Obama responsible for the poor state of the housing market, even if the job market has improved.
Jonathan Ketcham, a marketing professor at Arizona State University who has analyzed voting behavior, says academic studies haven’t investigated how housing trends affect voters’ decisions. Housing hasn’t been a major issue in a presidential campaign before. But since 2006, a drop in home prices has wiped out $7 trillion in home equity, the biggest source of wealth for most families.
In Nevada, more than six in 10 homes are “underwater” — they’re worth less than the mortgages on them.
In February, foreclosures surged more in Florida’s two biggest cities — Miami and Tampa — from February 2011 than anywhere else, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosures are up partly because they were delayed last year by a legal fight over lenders that processed foreclosures without verifying documents.
Now, foreclosures are rising again in places like Florida where the housing bust did the most damage. That is worrisome for Obama, whose housing policies haven’t made much of a dent in the crisis, says Susan MacManus, a government professor at the University of South Florida.
Then again, state economic trends might not even make much difference. Political scientists who study voter behavior say most Americans tend to base their views about the economy — and their votes — more on what’s happening nationwide than on what’s happening closer to home.
The academic findings might seem to defy common sense. But reports on the ups and downs of unemployment, gross domestic product and other nationwide economic indicators appear constantly on television news, in newspapers and on the Internet.
So in some ways, ordinary Americans hear more about the national economy than they hear about economic conditions in their own communities, says Arizona State’s Ketcham. Ketcham also says it “could be that people simply understand that local conditions are beyond the reach of national politicians.”
The national economic trend favors Obama, too. Unemployment is down significantly from its 10 percent peak in October 2009. No incumbent president dating to 1956 has lost when unemployment fell over the two years leading up to his re-election contest. And none has won when the rate rose.
Unemployment was 9.8 percent in November 2010.
Last month, eight months before Election Day, the rate was 8.2 percent.
Source: YAHOO NEWS.
Originally posted on Katie Raspberry - Business Blog:
Starting a business is not an easy job. You need to make sure everything is in order and you %100 prepared for your estimated client base. Lately quite a few people have asked me for advice on the subject so here is how I ready myself for when I was starting off:
Start-up Costs + Monthly Expenses
Start-up costs are normally a one-time cost the amount obviously depends on whether you are a service provider or a merchant will depend on how high your COGS (cost of goods) will be. Most service providers will have to buy start-up equipment and from there they will use it until it deprecates and needs replacing; since a merchant needs to restock on a regular basics. Calculating your total amount of expenses will help you calculate your total revenue and break-even point. Here is a link that will help you calculate your start-up costs:
Originally posted on Restructure!:
New research from the University of Toronto-Scarborough shows that white people’s mirror-neuron-system fires much less, if at all, when they watch people of colour performing motor tasks, and I’m not at all surprised. For years, I just assumed that this was true, and that someone just had to do a study to prove it.
After the United States invaded Iraq and massacred tens of thousands of Iraqis, worldwide terrorist recruitment skyrocketed, as well as terrorist attacks targetting the U.S. and coalition countries. Terrorist leaders cited the Iraq invasion and the deaths of Iraqis as the reason for the attacks. However, White Americans did not buy it, believing it to be a smokescreen for some other reason. It must be Islam, they reasoned, as they grasped at straws.
I then realized that the vast majority of White Americans could not empathize with brown people at a very basic level. For most White Americans, the death and violence of thousands of brown bodies was just part of some abstract ethical argument to position oneself as morally superior to the United States. For most White Americans, brown people dying just meant flickers on the television screen about something happening far away. They didn’t feel the overwhelming anger and sadness they would normally feel when someone they know dies without reason. They couldn’t see the full reality of what death means, when the people who die are brown.