Since this whole blogging thing (for me) started off as an adjunct to my recent bout of unemployment, I remain interested in things associated with the topic. That’s why an Associated Press story in Thursday’s New York Times caught my eye.
According to the article, “the Labor Department said Thursday that the total unemployment insurance rolls fell last week by 148,000 to 6.76 million, the largest drop in more than seven years and an indication that layoffs may be easing.”
That’s good news, especially if that means the people who fell off the rolls are working again. There are still way too many people not working in this country. It’s unrealistic to assume that everybody will be able to find a job doing exactly the same things they were doing before; but there’s also the fact that it seems that the businesses in this country just don’t make things anymore. I doubt the country will survive if the only jobs available are service jobs.
Manufacturing is cheaper outside the U.S., and companies do have a responsibility to their stockholders to make money, so that has led to a lot of jobs going away. But isn’t there a responsibility to the towns, cities, states and areas that helped those American-based companies grow into what they’ve become?
Anyway, I put my last unemployment check in the bank a week ago. I hope it’s a process I never have to deal with again.
Delivering Bad News
I don’t talk much about my former employer. Part of that is due to a legally-binding agreement that prohibits me from saying much about them, particularly their internal operations. Still, there’s no restriction on commenting on public information. And since I’m already talking about the economy, I’ll mention the fact that the delivery company I used to work for just released its quarterly financial information. It’s on the front page of the business section in the Commercial Appeal and in the Memphis Daily News. The company lost $876 million in Q4, but still managed to earn a profit for the year of $98 million.
I don’t own stock in the company, and I don’t work there anymore, so my financial well-being isn’t tied to how well it does. Still, as someone directly affected by its previous cost-cutting efforts, I have to say I’m happy for the people still working there that no new cuts were announced along with the losses. Stay safe guys.
I kinda have plans to hit a party on Beale Street Saturday night. “Kinda,” because the host is kicking things off around 10pm… and many of these fêtes he holds run well into the morning. When I was in my 20s and 30s, that wasn’t such a big deal, but now that I’m a card-carrying member of the AARP, I find that I fade a lot earlier than I used to.
Anyway, I don’t worry too much about crime in the entertainment district (there are cops everywhere). Still, I was pleased to see the story that the businesses on Beale are banning firearms, even though the geniuses in the Tennessee Legislature think it’s a good idea to allow firearms in establishments serving alcohol.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not one of those people who think all guns should be banned. I know a lot of hunters and a few crime victims. There are legitimate reasons to own guns. It’s just stupid to allow them in certain places. If the lawmakers who think it’s a good idea to buy the NRA line and expand where guns can be carried, they should put their money where their mouths are and allow firearms inside the Tennessee State Capitol — during legislative sessions. There are already bullet holes inside the building from previous shootings (it’s history, look it up!).
Where Credit is Due…
And finally, a little housekeeping. John Branston’s City Beat blog looked at the problems downtown Memphis is facing because of the economic bust, which is similar to the middle section of my blog from yesterday. I commented on his blog, and included a link to my blog, to demonstrate that others shared his view. It caused a huge spike in visits to this blog, so I want to thank everyone who clicked through. I also had a number of visitors come over from Joe Larkins’ blog, so thanks to all of you too.