Thursday, October 31, 2013

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-10

If there is any other solution besides this let me know since I am at a loss to find out how to increase the population other than immigration since the robots can only replace so much and you need humans to populate a country. And if countries with declining population don’t want to increase immigration to their countries then at least they can go along with control immigration where you can only allow people with certain skills and education level to come there to live and work. But again this is no easy answer because in time these new educated immigrants would want to bring in their families and extended ones when they sponsor them who may or may not be as educated as wished for in the host country's immigrant policy. How to enforce is this policy is to ban the immigration of not sufficiently educated family members. Now you there can be some family members who would not be that educated like parents or other older relatives so how do you reconcile your immigration policy with it, Either you can try to educate them on your expense (not feasible) or bar them altogether (again not feasible since the new immigrants would want their parents to be with them). And if you are only going to give immigration to the students who have graduated from your universities then what if they would want to marry outside the country and then try to bring spouses into their adopted countries, how is that going to sit with the immigration policy.

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-9

How do you keep the dwindling population of the developed world from vanishing in the annals of history? The one way that has been done is to give financial support and other incentives to the families to have more babies. It has been tried and still trying in Russia (to no avail), in France (with some success) in Germany and also in Japan but the culture in both Germany and Japan discourages mothers to be to work in a workplace. It maybe that the culture does not look kindly to women working when they have kids in the house or there may not be enough day care centers or people feel that the kids are not taken care of in the day care centers, whatever maybe the reason, this thing is not going to reverse the decline in population. The only other way if a nation with a declining population is to survive is to have more immigration. I know it is a big controversial topic which many natives are against but that is the reality of the future. For example as Japan population ages and people live longer there, in the near future there will be only two or three people to support one retiree and then the government will have to take more debt. Same goes with Russia whose once mighty empire is now struggling with declining population despite the government plan to increase by various means (not including immigration). It is useless for the native population to conjure up racist themes when the population is already declining beyond the level of replacement.

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-8

The legality or illegality of the immigration comes next. But since I am not a lawyer or a law maker I can only comment on it that immigration should always be legal and if people want to come to a certain country they should follow the law. But here is my dilemma what about those people who have been in the country illegally and have children born in that country, how do you want to treat them legal or illegal. How can one sent the parents back to the home country if they are illegal when their kids had no choice where they were born and have not seen their parent's country and don’t want to live there. It should not be the fault of the kids that their parents are illegal while they are not and so there should be some sort of pathway to citizenship for these people since the kids need their parents and it would be unfair to the kids to deport their parents while the kids are legal residents and citizens. Although immigrants have its negatives but the positives outweigh the negatives as some countries whose population growth is declining can bring in more people to support their economy and reverse the declining trend. But for that to happen, the natives should have an open mind and provide support to the newcomers so that they assimilate quickly and contribute to the economy of the newly adopted land. Instead of using emotions and fear about the unknown, you should be realistic about how the demographic of a country are changing and if it is better to hold on to a dwindling and aging population who will have to be supported somehow.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-7

I mean mixed in the since that not all the immigrants who come to their host countries have been successful and in fact some have relied on welfare for a long time. But to say that all the economic immigrants are that way and have not assimilated (whatever that means) into their newly adopted societies is unfair. There will always be tension between native born and the people coming from abroad as witnessed in the U.S. between the immigrant supporters and anti immigrants and also in the U.K. even between the British and the other European and Non European immigrants and similarly in Greece, France, Italy and Spain and other advanced countries. But some of the immigrants have become very successful and have created many jobs and it seems like if they were not there, we would not have been able to enjoy a technological revolution since the immigrants are inherently risk takers. Let me explain it clearly, by immigrating to strange lands and leaving their families and familiar surroundings behind and sometimes uprooting their families is in itself a great risk as you don’t know what you would encounter in your new environment. You may have all the knowledge in the world about your new adopted country but unless you are there and face ground realities you are treading in unfamiliar territory. With no family support (sometimes the families are there but they are already too financially strained to help you much) and no friends, these immigrants try to create jobs by themselves (usually). I believe it is the competition that the natives are really afraid off otherwise if it is truly the case then the natives would have been the best entrepreneurs and job creators (which they are anyway) and they would not fear competition.

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-6

And Jordan is not only shouldering the burden of Syrian Refugees but the Turks too have its share of the Syrian displaced citizens and also the Iranians have their share of forced out Afghans in their midst and so we can say that the people who have been forced out of their homes because of war, or persecuted due to their minority status are not immigrants but are victims of circumstances who in order to survive have become economic migrants too but long to go back to their ancestral lands once things become peaceful. But what do you call the people who leave their country for better prospects in other countries not due to war or other circumstances but only by economic gains. And they are exactly what they are economic migrants who because of one reason or another quit their native countries voluntarily, uproot their families and try their luck in their adopted countries and usually succeed there than if they would have stayed where they were before. And here is where the tension escalates, most of the natives of the host countries don’t want these immigrants because it is alleged that they drag down the average salaries since they take jobs supposedly meant for locals or if you can see the other side, take jobs that the locals don’t want or are hardworking enough to create their own space or are just not compatible with the local customs, religions, cultures and other things meant to be unique to that particular area or country. But do their really are that incompatible and do they take jobs from locals and other things that they are used to be blamed for? The answer has been mixed at best.

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-5

Let me give you some example that why immigrants and the economy is not a U.S. phenomenon but a worldwide problem. Let’s start with Pakistan where millions of Afghans have been refugees for last 30 or more years and they have kids who are technically Pakistani being born in that country so what do they do which will make them survive just not on the generosity of the host country and the United Nations. They will do whatever to survive and thus they have spread all over the country and have taken jobs sometimes not acceptable to the locals and thus have created some tensions in areas where they are now practically dominant in many trade and do you think that they will go back to the native country. And do you believe that once they have tasted the comparatively peaceful life in Pakistan they are going to go back to War torn Afghanistan. Their kids have been born in Pakistan and now they have become part and parcel of that economy. And it will be hard for them to leave everything behind. Next we go on to Syria where the refugees crisis and outside the country is becoming critical. And I was recently reading that the Syrian people who have fled the country to the neighboring Jordan are creating tension in one of the driest countries of the world where they are putting much pressure on the resources and with the local people as they are taking jobs from the locals as alleged by the locals. Are we going to call them economic refugees or people who have escaped war and are at the mercy of a foreign land where they have to feed themselves and thus create entrepreneurial opportunities and take jobs which they local population does not want to take?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-4

Economic migrants are those who want to better their lot and they cannot do that in their countries of birth due to flawed government policies and they tend to migrate to more developed ones where they talent and hard work is appreciated. But you know over time people who have been persecuted in their native countries migrate to other safer countries and they establish themselves as business people and soon the goodwill of the host countries turn to hostility because it is perceived that they are taking jobs from native people. Are they really taking the jobs from the natives? They may reduce the price of their labor but they are definitely not competing with the natives since they don’t know their language nor they have the skills but they can only do odd jobs or is said in many cases they take jobs which the natives don’t want to do because of manual and hard labor and low pay. But on the other hand the natives contend that the jobs are now being taken by high skilled people who come here on temporary job visas and take jobs with low pay and work in high tech areas thus replacing the native’s job prospects. There can be some truth in that but again if these so called economic refugees are here in the host country; they will have to survive against all odds since they are facing so much hostility so they will take whatever is available to them. And that usually means low paying and other jobs the natives are loathe taking in and you know what somebody has to do those jobs and if not the natives then the immigrants will step in.

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-3

It is just the circumstances that push people to migrate and the situation has be so dire that there is no other way you can do without immigration. And that is one of the reasons the natives don’t understand is that immigration can be forced or voluntary but most of the time it is forced by circumstances beyond the control of the immigrants. I can understand that the natives are afraid of the immigrants due to various reasons like taking their jobs away, different values and cultures, race relations, language issues and some not so great reasons like hatred based on race, religion, nationality. But now the biggest issue has become economic, with terrorism being close by since the non Muslim nations not wanting or scrutinizing the Muslim immigrants more closely. And these two issues sometimes collide head on since most of the Muslim population is poor and the natives usually think that they are just in their countries because of financial reasons. It is the failure of some governments or their policies that force people to migrate to other less hostile environments. But the native born population is not happy with the freewheeling policies of their own governments since they believe that the migrants steal their jobs, are not compatible with the local culture or are a burden on society. But are they really that much burden that hostility including violence is perpetuated against them in the name of defending your territory and your jobs. This is the issue which I must tread carefully because it ignites a lot of passion on both sides of the debate.

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy-2

I am not going to go into detail about the immigrants history since then it will turn into something else which is the not the intent of this post. But still I will like to go through the immigrant’s history and why there will always be immigration and the efforts to stop it will be futile. Nowadays even when the war ravages and other incidents of violence are happening in some parts of the world forcing people to leave their place of ancestors, there are still some who want to immigrate because of economic opportunities in their countries is none or next to none or their honest existence is threatened by corrupt practices in their country and some of the countries are just generally welcoming of the immigrants due to their own low or declining population or other economic reasons. I will give you some examples of where each of the above is happening and why this trend is accelerating due to circumstances unique to each people. With the world in crisis, people are risking their lives to migrate to safer places but also the lack of opportunities to grow in some countries is so huge that people don’t want to wait for such time as conditions become ripe again to prosper and they are deciding that it is better to migrate to green pastures than to stay in the place of their birth. Just to emphasize that if you feel that I am leaning towards advocating the right of the immigrants, it is should be noted here that nobody wants to leave their place of birth and the place of birth of their ancestors and nobody wants to leave their extended families behind.

Monday, October 28, 2013

World of Finance: Immigrants and the economy

Am I pro immigrant? That is a tough question since I am for and against immigration too for various reasons. I don’t know that this is such a hot and sensitive topic and people' passion get the best of them and then it spills over to violence and it is not only the problem with the U.S. but other developed countries and even developing countries face this issue and it is not a onetime issue but ongoing and there is no way to solve this issue amicably. This is one of the reasons I was trying to avoid this topic but I know that it is not as easy as a black and white issue but a host of other issues crop up that are not pretty in detail. And I am not the first one to dive into this contentious issue and I would not be the last one either. Immigration is not a new issue but now it has become more hotly contested because of the visa regimes and xenophobia attitude of the locals and also there are economic issues that triumph everything else. Thousands of years and I believe since the start of human race, we have been on the move from one place to another in search of food, water, security and better living conditions. Immigrants don’t discriminate between developing or developed countries because the land they have immigrated to voluntarily is better than in the situation they were before. Most of the migrants are economic migrants but again most of these can and are people forced out of their homes, famine, wars, persecution and other various reasons.

World of Finance: Financial advisers and their fantasies-2

How can you access funds when you are unemployed and the only funds available are your retirement funds? I can understand that you need to save for retirement or even for your daily needs but what happens when your source of income is no longer there and you are unable to earn money for the loss of your job or if you are sick. How do the financial advisers deal with this kind of situation and accessing your own retirement fund is no crime. Although you will lose out on interest accumulated but your immediate need is to survive and that is most important rather than some elusive retirement fantasy that you are just dreaming off. I am an extensive reader but I have never come across an article where a financial adviser is suggesting ways to save money while you are unemployed. Are financial advisers only for people who are making money or are employed? I don’t know if any financial advisers will work for free for an unemployed person who can only promise him/her to pay once they are employed but in the meanwhile help them in obtaining funds and not touch their retirement funds because it seems like every where you read, the retirement is the holy grail of everything. There is no one out there who can tell how to save for retirement and other regular savings when you are unemployed. It would be nice if the financial advisers come out of their fantasies regarding everybody having full employment and saving like crazy and come to realistic expectation of the general population.

World of Finance: Financial advisers and their fantasies

I have written about financial advisers before and to be clear on this I have no animosity against them since I have not been to one and I just read what they say on the internet and newspapers. But are financial advisers catering to the rich folks or ordinary folks. By the looks of it they assume that they are catering to all clientele but do they are really take care of the unemployed or the people with limited means. And here my angers is directed at these people who are in their own fantasy world where the employment is perfect and everybody should be saving for retirement and have the right mix of investment portfolio. And they keep on emphasizing that we should save for retirement and have maximum amount put away in a retirement fund and all the financial advice that they can dole out to people who may not have the means to do it and then embarrass them for no fault of them. I have been unemployed two times and all I can hear from these advisers was that don’t cash out your 401k retirement funds since it is for your retirement. Well I did cashed out retirement funds completely and did pay the penalty because I was unemployed and when all the doors are closed and you cannot turn to anybody else what else are you supposed to do. This is my question to these financial advisers what should you do when you are unemployed, how do you save for your so called retirement when you are down on your luck and you don’t have money to put food on your table and a roof above your head and your families.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

World of Finance: In the comfort of others

What do I mean by the title in the comfort of others? It is not that I am talking about sleazy side of someone being in the arms of their loved and not so loved ones. It is about the ordinary people who are comfortable in their lives and just happy to let others do their work while they just show up and do their regular boring jobs. I know that some people love their jobs but again would they be able to do that job on their own if they get laid off. Would the comfort of their company being now vanished, how they would respond to their new situation. It is easy to love your job when you just have to show up and everything is ready for you like a desk, computers, phone, stationery, calculators, papers and even coffee is available free of charge and you don’t have to worry about the restocking of these supplies as it is done for you. And you think that by writing this I am not guilty of the above. I am with all these people who are comfortable with what the others are doing for them (although I should admit that with this blog and others things concocted from time to time by me, I am trying to be a little different). And by the looks for how many people are looking for jobs, this comfort in others will keep on going on since it is from the start that people have been made to realize us that working for others is better than trying something different and work for yourselves.

Women in ads-2

Maybe I am going overboard with my critic of using women in ads or maybe not. I would admit that the women that they pick up for ads are rather attractive but what does that got to do with the products themselves. Would somebody just buy the product based on how pretty the model was or would they buy based on the merit of the product. And is there any connection between how well the product sells vs. how it will sell without a model being advertised. And this blatant use of females is not only confined to products but to sports as well as you see female cheerleaders in basketball and football cheering and dancing to the beat of music. These cheerleaders train hard to be on their teams and feel privileged not only by them but also by the parents. Am I the only one who is just a bit curious about these thing or people just ignore this because it has become part of the culture? It is really hard to see any normal looking women in ads or in cheerleading teams if they should ever exist in the first place and why can't men be part of the product advertisement when the product is specifically about them. Even when it is not even remotely related to women products or just plain exclusive men products, there always tend to be women who are shown in the advertisement and this badge of honor is displayed proudly by these women. Tell me if this is not exploitation by men or not? Most of you will not agree since it is so culturally ingrained but this is done all over the world and consciously or unconsciously it has become part of the tradition in every culture and religion, the exploitation of women even with their knowledge and it is not about to end just because people don’t see it but is increasing just to make big bucks.

Women in ads

I know that you may have noticed how most of the ads have women in them. And this observation is not recently but I have been watching this for a long time. I know that many people will not consider this exploitation because all the women in the ads are of legal age and know right from wrong but why use women in ads when the ad is for men? For example long time ago there were cigarette ads where men were smoking and beautiful women looking them like they have hots for them. Another had a razor had with a women feeling the face of the man after he has shaved it with that particular razor. And the best one are the car ads where sometimes you see attractive women lying on the top of the hood or cheering the men behind the wheels. Anywhere you see you will find that majority of the ads have women in them. I see much exploitation in these ads, although you can see cheerful women in them being enthusiastic about the products but is there really a need for them to be there. Are they really selling cars, razors or what have you or women in the ads? If you have seen car shows on the screen or in person, you would have seen pretty ladies in attractive and sexy clothing standing besides brand news are just waving their arms and letting people know that the car is there. There is no information about the cars that the women would tell you.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Group Vacations-6

I do hope that you would not let yourself and your kids starve till lunchtime or dinnertime by not buying them or yourselves snack along the way. Ok I am not being cheap here but if you have lots of kids and the adults also wanting to get some snacks, you should probably step back and let each family or parent buy their own snacks. This way you can save money or you can just buy what you want to buy without bankrupting yourself. If you have been tasked by the families to do all the planning including the financial aspects of it then you would have money to buy these snacks. Once you are past these things you can be on your own to go wherever you want to go but there is one other thing that you need to know that you or some of your group members would want to shop for some souvenirs which can either be a delay or you can go your own way back to your hotel. All the above does not have to apply to you solely. For example if you are traveling to one place by car, you can do your own stuff also like going alone to certain parts of the park like entertainment areas and you don’t have to follow your group all the time. It is just a general idea of what you can expect when you are in a group like situation and going for vacation. Also some of the groups like family ones can be actually fun since you can interact and talk about things when you are not doing anything special or exclusive. But overall for me I would rather have a going alone vacation with my family then to be restricted by the schedule of a group.

Group Vacations-5

Tagging along and making sure everybody is with the group is a big hassle. And if some of the families in the group want to do something else and others want to do something else, then you have to decide where to meet and at what time after their trip. And if one group of families comes on time and the others don’t then you have to wait for the late group. And then there is the issue with taking care of your kids. It is already stressful taking care of your own kids let alone make sure that other kids are also with the group. Because some kids can group together and go to some are of interest to them and the other kids to other areas and then you can find yourself trying to find and herd these kids back to the group even if they are not done. Then there will be some kid who will throw a tantrum and your whole group schedule comes to a halt. The lunch time is fun time as everybody orders for themselves or if somebody is bold enough to volunteer and have all the orders in place so that they order in one go, whatever is the case, it will be chaotic as you can well imagine. Everyone including kids want to have what they like best and if you have some kids with allergies then you have to be careful about what food you can buy even if you or your kids don’t have any allergies. If you don’t want to take charge, everybody can order for themselves and then there can less chaotic scene and confusion about the food order.

Group Vacations-4

Until now you have heard just the part where you are ready for your vacation and you can see my point of how much headache it is to plan a group vacation. But wait I have more to go if you are not convinced yet. Once you have started your vacation, you or everybody in the vacation has to make sure you stick together and nobody is left out and that means everybody is responsible for everybody else. And you think this is just a little issue, wait till you have somebody in your family with a baby involved. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies, babies and parents are the greatest thing in this world and I can understand that if you a baby and you don’t have somebody to look after that baby for whatever reason, you will have to take the baby with you wherever you go. Even if you have one baby in your group, the baby has to be fed by the mother and all the necessities that go with it and you have obvious delays. And once you reach your destination, you have to make sure that everybody is accounted for again and then if you are tired you have to plan what you want to do together or alone. I will suggest going it alone if possible because everybody has their own tastes for what they want to do at a particular place and you don’t want to infringe on other people's choices and preferences.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Group Vacations-3

Once the booking of the flights is done, you have to take care of the hotel bookings. In this you need to know how many people can the hotel allows you to be in one room, how much the room is and what kind of hotel it is. Now with the funds that you have collected from the families, you will have to work within it and choose a hotel that does not bust your budget otherwise there will be less of other things in the future to do. One thing that I got to tell you is that once one person takes responsibility for the booking and the planning of the vacation, he/she has to make a budget so that everything has to be in it otherwise you don’t want to start all over again with running after families for any shortfall in funds that you may unexpectedly incur or you can ask for more money initially and at the end of the vacation you can give it back to them if there is anything left. After this it is time to pack and go either the airport or meet in a common place to start your journey to your vacation. Here again you don’t have to be a boss and let other people come as they want to but deciding on a time that you will all meet at a certain time is important. And here once again you will see the futility of being in a group going on a vacation because I bet there will be some families who will come late and then your starting time again will be delayed.

Group Vacations-2

And after struggling to get consensus of where to go, then you have to go the most important part of the planning, the money. Money is a sensitive topic no matter what the occasion but when you are planning group vacation and you have to divide the money issue, then you have to firm on it that you get it right away before buying the tickets or whatever vacation expenses you are going to have upfront. Now this is the trickiest part to get families to contribute their share of the money because there maybe some who will say that they will pay later on or pay less than required and then you will be chasing them for the rest of the money. Never fall into this trap because it can ruin relationships between friends and even your siblings and other families. Get all the money required upfront right away without any excuses otherwise you can say that there will be no vacation. I cannot emphasize much on this aspect as the money issue can derail your vacation plans since you have only limited time to book your tickets or hotel bookings so everybody has to be on the same page money wise I mean. After this is said and done (hopefully without much hassle) then you can book the tickets and hotel lodgings if you have the responsibility to do so. Now the flight you will have to ask what time everybody wants to leave and if and when agreed you book the flight and hopefully there is no issue with the preference of the airlines.

Group Vacations

Have you ever taken group vacations? It just means that you are one of the families in a group of families planning and going to a vacation spot together. It can be a good or can be a nightmare depending upon your own experience. Even if you are going on a family vacation like with your sibling’s families or your cousin’s families, differences may crop up which can turn a vacation into a sour deal. Just start with planning, where do you all want to go and why. If one person says that he/she is going to take charge of it, then there can be others (even within your own family) who will say that I did not authorize that family member to be the boss or in charge of deciding where to go and everybody has an idea where they want to go. Even the kids of different families have different ideas where they want to go and they don’t want to go to some place where they do not wish to go. And after the whole delegation of who will arrange for the vacation, then you have to find out from each family where they want to go. And again you have to find a common ground so that all the families are happy with the decision. This alone can be stressful as the person who is designated to plan the vacation has to into consideration the sensitiveness, choices and preferences from each of the families. And I mean I have not even started yet with all the niceties about the trip yet.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On the lighter side-Travel-Six Flags® Great Adventure-4

The other one was the dare devil jump. In this they pull you up against a long rod tower and then they drop you from there with your own body to carry to as far away as possible with the strings attached, this was a bet I had with him for like 50k but he was not going to take my bait. Both of the rides were scary but onto the next ride we went, as it was getting dark, we went to another of the haunted horror trails arguing about whether to go in or not because the lines were so long that by the time you reach there it would have been one hour or so. Don’t have the patience anymore for these kinds of lines. And since it had started to drizzle a bit, we decided that it is best not to go for this rides which was not included in the price of admission as we had to pay USD 15 for six trails. But then my brother in law’s kid wanted to go to another ride and he went with my sister in law while we took my daughter and his daughter to paint their faces and then sat in an umbrella covered place which was a haven from the drizzle. After they came back we decided to head toward the exit but before doing that we made a quick pit stop at a souvenir store to buy some memorabilia. And then we headed for the exit. Although there were other huge roller coasters but nobody had the daring instinct to go on it and thus we skipped it. Being walking for several hours was exhausting even if you are used to it and when we reached home, it was time to go straight to bed. Since this park is in several states, you can go into any one of them if you have the time, energy and financial means to afford it just for one time purposes only.

On the lighter side-Travel-Six Flags® Great Adventure-3

Even buying a drink costs USD 4.00 so we had to save some money, we bought a big bottle for USD 16.00 with lemonade but with the added incentive to have unlimited refills of any liquid soda all through the park on the day of the purchase of tickets. So as you know we had to make the drink as cheap as possible we decided to have as much refill as possible. Now we were walking from one place to another and had out of three rides, two while standing in line had technical difficulties. It was disgusting that first we had to wait in line and then when we are all excited about the rides, there was a technical difficulty which just dampened our spirit and then we had to go another ride and wait there again. But after two technical difficulties, I had it enough and decided individually not to wait for any of the rides that I deemed would be appropriate enough for me. I saw two rides which I started to bet with my brother in law that I can bet him 30k that I can go in that ride which was called sling shot it was like two people in a two seats and they have send hurtling towards the sky like a sling shot and then coming back and he was asking for 100k and not even then he would muster the courage to go in and risk his life. By the looks of it when we saw it several times, it was really scary to go that high but for the right price (described above) I would have risked it.

On the lighter side-Travel-Six Flags® Great Adventure-2

I am not sorry to say that it is just a genuine injustice that to ask for USD 25.00 even if you have to visit for a few hours. Although I see a lot of people but still it is just so expensive to park the car that is why I went there after almost 10 years. And then when you approach the gate, you have to pay more than USD 60.00 to access the park. I have now noticed that they have metal detectors like you have it at the airport to screen you and your belongings for anything suspicious. Everybody was taking out metal stuff like their keys, cell phones and then going through the metal detectors. Giving them our complimentary tickets was no hassle and then we went inside. The theme of the park was the Halloween one with fright fest activities all over the place. Since I am not a roller coaster guy so most of our family wanted to first to Safari where we could see all the animals in their natural habitat. We saw elephants, giraffes, deer, lions, tigers, kangaroos, and other animals that I was not able to catch their names or forgot it completely. After this tour that was the highlight of our combined family fun, it was time for the kids to have some fun on their own rides. But before that we had to eat our lunch so we got a pizza pie which was also outrageously priced but had to buy it since their policy was no foods or drinks from the outside.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On the lighter side-Travel-Six Flags® Great Adventure

Last weekend we decided to go to Six Flags ® Great Adventure in South New Jersey but this time, we decided to go with my sister and brother in law and you may have known this by now how it works when you have a group vacation planned (a topic I will have a post on). Well, my sister in law won some tickets to the Six flags® and before it got too cold, we decided to go before the arrival of winter and started off by ourselves so that we can meet them at the Six Flags®. Bad idea that it turned out to be since the scheduling of the timing to meet was all messed up. We came there around eleven in the morning hope for them to come in 10 to 15 minutes but they came after an hour while we were there getting bored since we did not have the tickets to enter the park. Well after waiting for looked like an eternity to us and calling and texting every ten minutes, they finally arrived and instead of arguing with them, we let go of it and parked the car and started towards the entrance of the park. When we approached the gate to the entrance of the parking lot, we had the shock of my life that the parking was USD 25.00 (including New Jersey State Tax of 7 percent) prominently displayed on the booth of the parking attendant. If you wanted a priority and preferred parking which was relatively close to the park, it would have been USD 35.00 (including tax again). A complete rip-off I will assume.

Things to do before one die-2

I never intended to make a bucket list of what I want to do as I am everything in my head to do what I want to do. I have some of the things on my head like swimming, horse riding, traveling around the world, but not all places. Surprisingly if you have seen my blog, I write many reviews of movies but I have no inclination that I really have to watch a certain movie. If I get the chance I will watch it otherwise it is just not a priority for me. And I need to retire from my job to enjoy my bucket list or God forbid have a life threatening situation that will so dramatically alter my view of life that I will do everything which I intend to do put in turbo gear. If you really have a bucket list of things to do, do it at a younger age rather than wait for retirement, because with the economy nowadays you never know if you will ever retire. Do not wait till the time you are old to get to you bucket list since every moment of your life counts and if a chance arises to avail one of the things on your bucket list, use that chance to check mark that thing. Bucket lists are you wish lists and if you have it one place and do one thing out of that list each year, then you will achieve your goal. Don’t make it too long and it should be a must to do things not the things that are not achievable financially ever because you can do better things before that and if that is the last of the things on your bucket list then you don’t have to despair if you have not achieved it since life is not perfect and you cannot have hundred percent of the things in life. So make realistic list of things to do and stick with it.

Things to do before one die

Also known as Bucket list, it is what you have not done before but wants to do it before you die. Although nobody wants to think about dying but it is a reality that must be faced by everyone one day. And to be prepared for it and not worry over it, you should at least have a list of things you want to do before that inevitable day arrives and you don’t want to regret that you did not do such and such thing just because of some excuse. And I am sure some of the people may have just done that and not when you are sometimes certain you would not survive after a certain time. I have not made a bucket list but I am starting to think that I should at least have some of the things in my mind before I go to the other side so that I don’t have any regrets that I did not do such and such because of this and that. So what is your bucket list? Have you made one, do you intend to make one, is making a bucket list on your list of things to do, do you believe in a bucket list or just do things as time goes. There is a series of books in the market which goes like things 1000 things to do before you die and then you can add movies, places etc. Although I have not read any one of them (and don’t intend to) but you can get some idea of what it is like to make some kind of listing or wishes that you have that you want to do before something happens to you that will make it impossible to do that stuff.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-Dead in Tombstone (2013)-Danny Trejo, Mickey Rourke

An outlaw gets shot in the head by his half brother and makes a pact with the devil to sell his soul in exchange for exacting revenge on this half brother. Actions galore in this western. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Internship (2013)-Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn

Good movie about two out of work salespeople who starts internship at Google and become successful while dealing with their bosses who are half their ages. Funny, enjoyable and delightful. Highly Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Conjuring (2013)

Paranormal investigators break up myths about paranormal activities but when they try to help a family get rid of their haunted house, they have to fight for their and the victims lives in this entertaining horror movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Only God Forgives (2013)-Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas

A guy who runs a boxing club in Thailand is pressurized by his mother to find the killer of his brother. Very brutal and unpleasant. Not for all tastes. Recommended with caution

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sense of responsibility-2

And this sense of responsibility extends to your girl/boyfriends as you have to take into account their sensitivities and needs and wants and also feel accountable if you don’t do certain things as demanded by them or the relationships. If you are a kid, you have a responsibility towards your parents, teachers, elders, your siblings, friends and relatives to treat them with respect and listen to their advice. Once you enter your adult life, your responsibilities does not diminish but increases more since you have to take care of your job responsibilities and the things that are assigned to you and you will be held accountable for it in order to get evaluated, promoted and get paid accordingly. Then you have responsibilities towards your neighbors and fellow citizens to be nice and courteous and take care of your house and dealings with your neighbors. Your responsibilities do not end with human beings but it also extends to your surroundings and the things you have in your possession. If you have a pet you have to take care of its food, well being and all the things associated with taking care of human beings and if you have to take care of some stuff like your car, your garden, your computer and other things to make sure they work when you need it. Some of this sense of responsibility comes from internally and some is imposed by society but whatever it is if you don’t have responsibility you may as well live in a jungle isolated from the civilization and your human beings and other creatures and live carefree (but even then you will have the responsibility of taking care of your own needs).

Sense of responsibility

What is responsibility and the sense that we are responsible for something or somebody. It just means that morally and legally the society expects you to take care of the person or stuff that you have in your possession. Being accountable for the thing you have been tasked with is what sense of responsibility means. But do we take our responsibilities seriously? For the most part we do but it is debatable that as humans we do hundred percent of it if nobody is seeing us. But let's start with our responsibility as a parent and taking care of our kids. For the most part (and I mean most) we do take care of our kids and take very seriously about what happens to our kids. From the time that we become parents to our little bundle of job our whole life as being a carefree single (or married with no kids) changes drastically. You cannot escape now with the fact that another human being which you have help bring to this world depends upon you for everything and you are entirely responsible for his/her upbringing and raising him/her to be a good person and citizen of the country. Every financial and any other decision you make have to put your kid in mind because it will affect you and your kid. Even when you are talking in general terms to your spouse (or partner), you have to be careful not to utter any word which can be repeated by your child.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

U.S. government shutdown is over for now or is it?-2

Even without the health care law, which was the biggest issue, they want spending to be cut, but what to start with. Even with hard core and far right wing extreme conservatives, they don’t want to slash social security, defense and Medicare but they are will to cut Medicaid and other poor specific and oriented programs. And the conservatives are already getting their strategy drawn out for the next battle which will happen in January when all this drama and suspense will be played out again and this will be the fastest sequel to any realistic thing that will be played out. But as I mentioned in my other blog why do they get rid of the thing called debt limit ceiling, what is the purpose of it and why do we have to deal with every few months? Is this really necessary to have this drama played over and over again and the debt keeps on climbing up in spite of this? As I have written it before, that the parties want to have some leverage in their hands in order to make sure they get what they want in terms of spending cuts or raises or any other project they want it for their constituency and their causes without taking it account the overall general obligations at large. I usually blame both the parties and the U.S. public for this dysfunctional politics that we have witnessed recently but here the Republicans are to be blamed since they forced this shutdown and did not achieve anything in return. If there was some return, I would have been glad to give them credit to stay their ground but ultimately they did achieve anything and their popularity has declined. Let's see if the elections next year will bring any change since the voters will be the one who will determine how much the party did damage to them.

U.S. government shutdown is over for now or is it?

So after 16 excruciating days of government shutdown and the threat of default hanging over the U.S., the U.S. Congress finally pass the bill to extend the doomsday again for a few months at the eleventh hour and the world heaved a sigh of relief and also disgust at what is going on in Washington D.C. So before everybody starts congratulating that the accomplished this don’t expect that this won't happen again since the next default deadline is February of 2014 and budget deal before that. So what was accomplished during these pathetic 16 days? If you see the history of these days, nothing was accomplished except that according to one estimate; U.S. lost USD 24 billion for achieving nothing. Not only there was nothing achieved but it damaged the U.S. economy and make a laughing stock of the U.S. due to its inability to compromise for the sake of its citizens. The main problem was the Republicans wanted to defund the Obama care and that is why they try to stick to their guns without even caring about what it would do the economy and the chorus of speeches coming out from them that default is not a bad thing just shows how far these Republicans are away from the mainstream. Just to make sure that people accuse me of being a democrat or a liberal. I am neither a registered voter nor am I a liberal or conservative or any other label you want to tag me in. It is just my opinion that enough is enough with this hatred of health care law (which happened to be passed by Republican representatives too).

On the lighter side-Movies-Alyce Kills (2013)

Also known as Alyce is a psychological horror movie about a girl who accidentally pushes her best friend off a roof in a drunken spree and spends the rest of the movie descending into a mad hell of mental anguish and degradation. Be forewarned the last half horror is pure horror and not for the squeamish. Brutal and gory. Recommended for horror fans but others stay away.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-Butcher Boys (2013)

Violent and brutal horror movie about four friends who at one night out are lost in a bad part of town and end up being chased by urban normal looking cannibal who will eat humans dead or alive. Not for all tastes and I had a hard time to watch because it becomes boring after a while. Not Recommended

Unreliable and known sources

I was reading a story and this thing came up regarding the known and sometimes unreliable sources that you see on the internet and in the newspaper and I started to think why they use these terms. Why not come out and tell us who the source is otherwise the public is in suspense of how he/she got the news and is it really reliable enough to believe it. Maybe the reporters who are reporting it are not sure themselves if the source is reliable enough or they want to protect their sources or they have not verified it and in order to be the number one or the exclusive one to report a breaking news, they come out with it without putting the name of the source. Ok if the source is reliable we will still want to find out how they did get the news. And how are we going to believe that the source is reliable. Do we have any mechanism in place to know if the sources are reliable and credible enough? I really hate it when these people say that we have received information from reliable sources or some unknown sources that this or that really actually happened? I can understand the secrecy but until I can see where the source of the information is coming I remain skeptical. And until the sources are revealed there should not be any rush to come out with a story which does not credit the sources. If we have waited long enough we can wait for more to find out the story with credits

On the lighter side-Movies-The chronicles of Narnia: The voyage of the dawn treader

If you have not seen the first two chronicles of Narnia movies then you should in order to understand the third part as the teenage king and queens’ venture on a quest to save Narnia from dark forces. Sprawling and expansive movie with good special effects but not too long. Recommended

Friday, October 18, 2013

Maturity and Immaturity

Who is mature and who is immature that is the question I want to ask and seek an answer to. Is that people act mature in some case and show immaturity in some cases. Mostly it is projected in the media that how men show more immaturity and behave in an immature manner but do men have the exclusive domain of acting as immature. There can be girls who may act like that but it is true that men do show more immature behavior. And there is no age limits typically to act like one. When you make decision which are not based on some rationality you are acting as immature. But there can be people who may act immature in some decisions and mature in some decisions. And an adult can act immature or a young boy can act as mature in some cases. I am talking about a boy because most of the girls do make mature decisions. And being mature or immature also happens to be when somebody is in a state of mind where you cannot make rational decisions and this includes both male and female. So although being mature and immature usually is associated with male species in our society but it is not their exclusive domain and you will find females too who may act mature or immature based on some situation. I have been guilty of being immature but when I do some act it does shows that I am being mature. So folks you can be mature and immature at several points in your life and both the genders are guilty of it.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Heat (2013)-Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy

Great funny buddy movie about a Straight laced FBI agent and a Boston Police Department cop who team together to bring down a drug lord in this blockbuster and satisfying entertainment. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Pacific Rim (2013)

Giant man made and operated robots fight monsters coming out of the sea in this big budgeted extravaganza which should really be watched on screen. Great action sequences. Recommended

Thursday, October 17, 2013

World of Finance: Car buying-6

Once you are done your research, you can go to a dealer and see the car you want to buy, test drive it and then start negotiating for the financing and the amount you are going to pay for it. And just a note of warning don’t ever fall for a salesperson’s gimmick and his/her slippery tongue because I have done that and it was not good since I fell for a car which gave me a lot of trouble later on. Salesman/woman work on commission and they will make sure that they sell you a car before you leave the showroom and thus you should stay firm in your dealing and your target price and don’t budge on it if you have a strong credit score or if you are going to pay all cash for it. Car buying is like playing hide and seek with the salesperson and you and you have to win this game. And don’t worry if you cannot make a deal, you have to not fall into temptation of buying a car under the dealership’s terms. If you have done your homework and if you have target price in your mind and all the relevant information in your hand, you should stick to your guns and get that price and if not just walk away and go to some other dealer. This is the beauty of buying a car with all the information you have in mind before entering the dealership and it can be fun to get in and out of the dealer within three hours if everything works according to your schedule and if not just leave and come back next time to another dealer.

World of Finance: Car buying-5

Minivans are not my type although I see that if some families become bigger they tend to buy it since it is more about space and I have sat in one or two of them and I don’t feel it is comfortable. I am more of an SUV guy since they are big and to me more rugged. Anyway my preferences set aside, it up to you and your budget what you decide to buy since there are so many choices, models and makes that it is hard to choose which one to buy. I suggest that the starting point should be on the internet since all the major car manufacturers have their websites on it and they make it easier to build your own car right there and give you a price based on your specifications, be it a car, SUV, minivans or big trucks you can access your choice right in your home. Once you have decided what make or model you have to buy, start doing research on it like price and where you can find the best deal. If your credit score is not that great then you should try to improve it when applying for financing, but if you are paying for all cash then you can eliminate this step. Again do your research before embarking on buying a car because it will save you a lot of money and time when you finally enter a car dealership. Now you are able to access the price and the deals and financing terms that you can get right at home on the internet and then you can go and buy the car with the information you have.

World of Finance: Car buying-4

Ok let’s see where do we start, aha when you decide if and when to buy the car. The if and when decision comes when you see your budget and see that your car is nearing the end of its life or if you are first time buyer than the decision becomes when to buy the car and what is the right time to buy. The first time buyer does not have to wait for the right time because if you have to travel everywhere just to get your groceries and other necessities or places to go then you have no choice but to buy the car at whatever time of the year. But if you already have a car and want to replace it with or want an additional car then you have to see your budget and also the timing of when to buy because that is what it will matter in the end. So even if you are a new buyer or are going to replace your car with a new one, you are going to need to do some kind of homework in order to stay ahead of the car dealers. The first place to start is obviously which car to buy. It all depends upon how many people you have in your family and what kind of car do you need. There are several kinds like cars, compact cars, sedans, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), minivans, and big trucks. I have seen people who have big families tend to have a minivan and a small car.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World of Finance: Car buying-3

The third time when we bought the car, it was certified pre-owned but we were fully prepared as my wife had done all the homework, research to buy that car. Since that car was only available at that particular lot and she had a definite price that she was willing the pay. It was not as bad as we just traded in the first car and whatever the price came out for the trade in price, we just put in the new car. The process was a breeze as compared to looking and checking several cars, test driving and then haggling and if you don’t like it, you just to go another dealer and the whole process start again. This whole process was expedited due to the fact that internet has made the search of car buying a lot easier than before. Instead of buying a newspaper and search for cars in a certain geographical location by driving to the dealers and waste a lot of time, now it is easier to research on the internet and then go to that dealer to buy the car you want. So this is what we did when we were buying our cars from the manual and coercive version to the latest tool of the internet to get your dream (or car in your budget). Now I will let you through the process based on the internet technology that how you should go about the process of buying a car. Although some of the experiences will be the same for all buyers but there may be some who will have a different experience than what I am describing but there will still be some steps in general that every car buyer has to take. I will as closely and as truthfully let you through the process.

World of Finance: Car buying-2

It has been 12 years since and I still don’t know what prompted us to venture into the first Dealership that was nearby although there are many around too. It must be the salesperson at the dealership that may be to blame (never fall them ever). But whatever was the case, we were lured into it just to have a look. As they were introducing new compact car at that time, we decided finally to take the plunge and bought the car with 36 months zero percent interest financing. Although I was not married but at the time I did not consult my fiancé (bad idea) and went ahead with the deal. But that car sucked and I vowed never to buy car from the company (name withheld). Before I bought the car, I took it for a test drive and since it was within my budget range and also it was a starter car I got it. But the second car, since I was married and my wife did most of the research, we went to two, three dealers to see the car. Although we had already decided what car to buy but ultimately got another bigger size SUV and put up almost 33 percent of the car amount and with all the financing done and interest rate determined, we bought the car. The interest at the time was very high even for people with excellent credit scores. But since we wanted a second car and we wanted to keep our monthly installment at around 400 dollars, it was okay.

World of Finance: Car buying

I know that most of the people have cars and have gone on car buying expedition once or twice in their lifetimes and have many unique stories to tell about it. I have also gone to some car buying experience and here is my take on it and how it should be done more or less. Some people may have a fun and adventurous time at the car dealership and some people may stress out and get frustrated with the whole process. But you don’t have to be frustrated and stressed out if you have prepared yourself in advance and know what you exactly want and if not just walk away from the deal if it does not suit your requirements. If I can do it, you can do it too and make it a fun filled adventure (until the time you have to pay for the car that is). So here it goes that the first car I bought was a mistake and it just happened that I was naïve and not internet savvy. At the time, internet was at the top of the heap with all the dot com boom going on in early 2000 and then September 11 happened and the deals came for interest free financing for three years and the end date was nearing so I rushed in and bought a car, needless to say the same deals are still here after 12 years and may not go away soon. Since my father was alive and I was not married, so I took my father for car shopping. And since I did have a car to go buy one, I and my father travelled on a bus to the dealer’s lot.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-The Colony (2013)-Bill Paxton, Laurence fishburne

A group of survivors struggle against nature and cannabilistic group of people as they survive underground forced by the new ice age in this not that great horror/sci fi movie. Not recommended

World of Finance: Branch Banking-2

For example I live in a small town in New Jersey with less than 13k people but I have access to eight banks from where I can get loans, open an account and do all kind of activities since they are not just ATMS but full fledged branches because the people in my town (not me) are upper middle to rich class and that is why we are overbanked in our town. Do we need all these banks no since it is less than five square miles but again the business goes where the money is and that is how since I came to this about six years ago, there has been all this growth of bank branches. Although I know that all these branches are making profit but what about the people who are in towns where it is hard to find enough banks in proportion to their population. I believe that there are still certain segments of society who feel the need to have face to face interaction with a live person and this will go away anytime soon or maybe never. We may see the decline of branch banking but not completely vanish from our landscape. As cost cutting continues to grow and as more and more people do banking on the internet, you will left with ATMS in small towns and for more involved banking like loans, big deposits and other investment activities there will be banks only in big towns where you would have to travel.

World of Finance: Branch Banking

I was reading on the internet as to how small towns in the U.S. are struggling with having no branches of any major or local banks in their neighborhoods and how it is hurting the communities. It is not a new phenomena but it has been happening over the years. If you pick up the statistics, the U.S use to have more than 12 thousand banks with thousands more in their branches like 20 to 25 years ago when the internet was not widely available. But with improving technology coupled with rising costs, the number of banks is decreasing with mergers, acquisitions, closings and consolidations making up the bulk of it. And other thing is that all these banks are not being replaced by new banks only some new banks have been opened online and that is a big if they are going to work or not but for now few people are flocking to it since they are not sure if their deposits are safe. I remember the when I was trying to change jobs and I sent out my resumes to small community banks and other small regional banks with branches only in one state and now if you see they are either merged, closed down or sold to bigger banks and this all due to economic circumstances. But while some towns are losing banks and their branches and they have to go further to do their banking activities, some of the richer towns are getting crowded with branches because there is actually where the money is.

Monday, October 14, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-Up in the air (2009) - George Clooney

Good movie about the lonely lives and travels of an executive who is an employee of the company hired by different companies to fire their employees. I like the premise and it is most relevant to our economy where the corporations are firing people here and there without regard to their experience, their length of work service and the effects it have on them and their family. Highly Recommended

World of Finance: Interviewing for a job-6

Once you are called in or maybe the person who is going to interview you will come and get you. Again it is useless to say that but I will, shake his hand firmly and smile and make eye contact. Then you maybe led to a room with two or more people or with only one person. He/she may ask you how were the commute and how you have been just to break the ice. But then the questions start with resume in his/her hand the first question maybe like this tell me about yourself and you can answer it in any way you want like in where you started from and what you have been doing all along, If you are changing jobs then you can tell them what kind of jobs responsibilities you and how you are managing the work flow. But if you are unemployed then you have phrase your story in such a way that you should seem to appear busy and not just sending out your resume via internet. Then after the interviewer is done, you may be interviewed by other people or you may be told that they will let you know the next steps. The type of questions that the interviewer may ask varies, the first one I told you on top, the other ones can be some scenario where you will be called to make a judgment call, where you see yourself in five years, what kind of software you are have/ or are using and other questions and when it is time to end, they may ask you if you have any questions for them and depending upon how much you know the company or just being curious, you can ask or not ask questions. When interviewing, don’t be nervous, stay calm and if you don’t understand the question, just ask again or say that you don’t know the answer as surely they will understand that you may not know the answer to every question they are going to ask. But sometimes they may ask questions relevant to your skills or about the job that you are seeking to fulfill. Another very important question that may be asked is that why should they hire you and what are you going to bring to the company that other candidates don’t have and here you have to think hard and prepare well in advance because this question sometimes makes a difference between you getting hired or not. Although I understand that job interview is a stressful process but if you are prepared then you would not have to worry a thing. Just do your best and be yourself.

World of Finance: Interviewing for a job-5

So now you have made yourself beautiful, handsome, presentable and what not, you ready for your interview (I believe dress wise). On the day of the interview, don’t stress yourself out and be cool and calm and remember to do your best and even if you don’t get the job after their reply in a few days or weeks maybe, you should not be disappointed and treat this interview as part of the learning experience and reflect upon what you did right and what you did wrong and then improve upon it. Usually the experts say that don’t go in to early before your appointment time and don’t go in too near your appointment time. The first reason being it may disrupt the work flow of the interviewer and he would be hard pressed to call you in and you will also feel uncomfortable sitting in the office with nothing to do and you want it to get over with. If you come too late, you will not have enough time to relax, catch your breath and do any formality that you have to do in that office before the actual interview. I usually go 15 to 20 minutes before the interview, which gives me enough time to calm down think positively about the outcome of the interview, rehearse the questions that I am going to ask them and what they are going to ask me. Since everything you do when you enter the office will count towards your interview, you should always greet the receptionist or any other person that you encounter who can be relevant to the interview with a smile as the interviewer may ask other persons who work in the office about how you gave your first impression. Did you laugh, were nervous, anxious, sad, angry, bored, not interested etc.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

World of Finance: Interviewing for a job-4

And since you are reading all the material, you should make up some questions or concerns you may have about the company so that when it is time for the interviewer to ask you if you have any questions, you can ask them since you will be prepared for it. But before I go into the whole interview process, your preparation for it is important. Needless to say that you should dress to impress but still some people don’t and that is why I am emphasizing. Usually a suit for men and business dress for ladies would be okay but here you should dress conservatively if you don’t know what kind of business dress policy the company is implementing. You will see lot of people nowadays in most companies with suit or tie but since you will be interviewing, don’t even make the mistake of going like that. Although it sounds like a broken record but sometimes people go into interviews like they don’t really care about what happens to the result. Whenever I go to an interview, I always wear a suit usually navy blue with white shirt and red tie or sometimes black suit with blue dress shirt and red or blue tie. I would not worry about the color of the socks or the shoes as black or brown both will do. An executive black bag to put your resume and other things that you think are relevant should be in the bag. A watch on your hand and proper haircut with groom hair is important. Although the interviewer would not judge you if you are a little off the mark but since you are there as you the whole package, you don’t want the interviewer to have any excuse not to like you.

World of Finance: Interviewing for a job-3

Now by some luck, you get a call from a company that they liked your resume and they want to set up an appointment to meet them at their office. Now what you do? Sometimes the companies want to screen you out and they set up a call with you to chat with you and then they will call you in their office and sometimes they just call you directly. If you receive a call from the recruiting office, then you are sure to go to the company office and have some interview. The companies usually screen with the recruiting agencies because they know that the preliminary work for screening out the applicants has been done by the agency and they just have to interview the person. Or if they call you directly then the process of interviewing you can lengthen depending upon how many people are going to interview you. But before you go there, you need to prepare yourself of selling "you" to the company in which you have been called for an interview. There are so many books on the market, besides material on the internet and even companies dealing with how to go for an interview that you don’t know where to start and which material to use. But the first thing you do for an interview is to read as much as possible about the company you are going to be interviewing with. There stock price, any recalls of products, any lawsuits, products they have the origin, their current trajectory of where they are headed to the future, anything and everything that seems relevant to the company you should read it.

World of Finance: Interviewing for a job-2

But after going through a lot of material reading, you can say that the various reasons that the companies don’t reply are some of the following: your skills did not match the job description, you just randomly sent out the resume without reading the whole description, you were over qualified, there was an age discrimination (never will they tell you this, it can end up as a lawsuit), you applied for a job just for the heck of applying, you did were not qualified, you entered the key words in the software program which were not matched by the companies, you had some employment gap, you have changed jobs faster than usual making you unreliable, there was some grammatical mistakes in your resumes which shows that you don’t care for details, you are applying for a position where your skills are way more than required (also called overqualified in other words), although sometimes a cover letter is not needed but companies want you to send one anyway and you did not send one. Also maybe your name is foreign sounding (again a base for discrimination if they reveal it for rejection) and many other reasons that you can think about. As I mentioned before, you should always send out a cover letter with your resume detailing in one or two paragraph what you want to achieve in a company, why you should be hired, your skills and a little bit of experience so that the employer can have a synopsis of what you want out of that company before he/she looks into your resume.

World of Finance: Interviewing for a job

Now once you have sent out your resumes, the waiting game begins. Sometimes you are lucky enough and you get a call for an interview and sometimes you don’t and you have to wait for a long time and even have to call yourself to find out the status about your resume. But if nobody is calling you for a long time, it just means that you have not been selected for even an interview. Another thing is that don’t just send one resume and wait for the call, you should keep on sending out resumes since you don’t want to waste your time waiting for a call which may never come and you lose out on other opportunities. Waiting for an interview call is a very patient game and if you don’t receive a call within a reasonable time (maybe five to seven business days, sometimes more if it is a popular company ) you can either call the company to inquire about your resume status or you can just move on to your next target company. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear from your targeted company since there can be several reasons for this, none of which they will tell you since they are afraid that they may end up violating some law. I am gone through this process and believe me it is frustrating but there is nothing you can do about it. They can say that you will hear from them in due time and if not selected, your resume will stay in their system for one year and if some suitable job arises that matches your skills you will be called but it rarely happens.

World of Finance: Nationalization vs. Privatization-5

I don’t believe in nationalization since it is now an outmoded system which does not achieve anything except fill the jobs with corrupt and inefficient people and also destroy whatever incentive people have to invest in the economy since they are afraid that their investment will one day be taken away from them in the name of national security. Instead of nationalization perfectly good running companies why the government don’t just regulate them so that there is no need to nationalize in whatever name they are nationalized for. Why does the government not create new industries or at least give incentive to people via their fiscal and monetary policies to come forward and create jobs through investing in new companies. It is not the government job to run industries but to create an atmosphere where innovation and creativity thrive so that people can create jobs by building new companies. Nationalization is a legacy of a bygone era which is not feasible anymore in any country whether rich or poor. I believe in private enterprise and I can understand the hesitancy of some people to embrace it since they believe that entrepreneurs and capitalists exploit people but you can have private industries where people can work according to their ability and if there are some who cannot compete for whatever reason, then it is government’s job to provide jobs or train them in skills which are high in demand so that they can stand on their own two feet. Economy thrives on private enterprise, so stop nationalizing industries and get out of the already nationalized industries because government has no business to run business.

World of Finance: Nationalization vs. Privatization-4

Why the workers have no incentive to work is because they know that there are unions and they can exert pressure on the government to keep pumping money into these loss making industries and also blackmail them at the time of election. Furthermore, the government have no incentive to sell it back to private hands because they have to provide jobs to their party workers and so they fill these industries with so many inefficient workers that it becomes a loss making industry but at the same time it becomes a part of the patronage that the government gives to its party employees. And with this patronage, other opportunities come in and make sure that the nationalized industries are never sold back to private hands. Inefficient and rampant corruption destroys these companies but the government cannot do anything about it because of the fear of loss of jobs if they sold it to private hands not to mention loss of votes and sometimes violence. The intentions initially of the government nationalizing some industries maybe sincere but it ultimately hampers competition and innovation since all the jobs are secure and people are getting paid for only showing up. And the exercise of just pumping more money into industries begins and whenever government wakes up to the fact that they have to get rid of these money gobbling institutions, they face resistance not only from workers but also the opportunistic politicians who want to do politics on these institutions and strikes and riots result which just delays the inevitable that these industries have to be sold to private investors and government has to get out of the way.

World of Finance: Nationalization vs. Privatization-3

So when some industry is nationalized the initial celebration becomes a chance to become complacent since the workers know that their jobs are protected and that is the biggest issue with nationalization. Most of the people are afraid to lose their jobs and rightly so and they use every tactic in the book and outside it to be avoid being sold to private investors who may come and start taking decision which may be in the interest of the business but not necessary in the interest of the workers who more or less may feel threatened about the change. I have seen in industries which have been nationalized that they are less efficient and the workers take their own sweet time to attend to the needs of the general public. It is not in all industries but some really become dinosaurs and become a drag on the economy as the government has to put money into it to sustain them to barest minimal levels in order for the workers not be thrown out of a job. If you see and have visited any government place not necessary for some law requirement, you see that how slow the function works. It is because that the people working there don’t fear of losing their job and also believe that people will come to them anyway because they don’t have anywhere else to go. But if you see some industries where there is the slightest bit of competition, the places which have been nationalized have the least productivity and the workers have no incentive to improve upon the productivity since their jobs are secure.

World of Finance: Nationalization vs. Privatization-2

And if you see the history there have been number of times that the governments have intervened claiming to act in their national interests to act and saying that when things are right they will withdraw their share and return it to their rightful owners but again history is the judge that once it is nationalized it is hard to get rid of it because people have vested interests to be part of the government and spend other people’s money. Once the Euphoria around the government takeover is done, then you see the productivity going down. Although I am not saying that it happens always but there are some industries where it is not efficient for a government to run a business since the government has to take into account the votes it has to win so it sometimes makes decision which may not be the optimal one for a business. But don’t get me wrong sometimes the government gets it right and they do create reputable and respectable institutions which are the envy of the people and people want to have them as their first choice of employment. But in these cases, merit is strictly followed and whoever is at the helms fight for the institution reputation every time some new government comes up with a bright idea to change sometime for the worse or in their own image. But still nationalization is not always the answer to run a business. I really believe that business decisions should not be on a government list of priorities.

World of Finance: Nationalization vs. Privatization

I have been meaning to write about it for a long time and maybe out there in my blog I may have dwelt on it combining in different posts but this is purely dedicated to this topic. I know some Americans may not know about it since we have so many things which are in Private hands but so many we have which are still in government hands and some recently were secretly nationalized in the name of saving them and you know what in mean, like the Car making companies, some insurers, banks and some mortgage companies. In fact, some companies actively seek this government backing since they believe that it will give them unlimited amount of government backing (read: Tax payers) and then there are some which don’t have any choice and have to give in to the tax payers money and go public since they cannot get loans, private backing or whatever you want to call it for keeping in private hands. So what is nationalization anyway, in the U.S. it may be a dirty word but in most of the part of the world, it is a way of life and actually people like it and sometimes demand it. Nationalization is roughly when governments in the infinite wisdom think that an industry cannot be handled by private people or it is some strategic industry where the national interests are supreme than private matters and they take our that industry sometime with compensation but mostly just take over without compensating the aggrieved party which may or may not kill the incentive to start something new because the fear is it may also be nationalized.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-After Earth (2013)-Will Smith, Jaden Smith

Sequel to I am Legend and set in the future uninhabitable Earth where our hero crash lands his ship on Earth along with his son who needs to grow up in order to save their lives. I would avoid it as it is not the classic Will Smith that we are use to. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Curse of Chucky (2013)

That devil doll from the 90s is back in this good horror movie. A wheel bound chair receives a doll after the death of her mother and soon finds out that it has murderous tendencies. I enjoyed the movie since it was like the old fashioned movies of yesteryears. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Purge (2013)-Ethane Hawke

Good movie about a futuristic U.S. society where the government gives its citizens one 12 hour period where all crime is considered legal and in this time a family tries to defend a man against radicalized citizens out to kill him. Recommended

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Consumed by hatred-3

Now my question is that all this hatred being consumed by individual in the name of race, color, national origin, religion and sectarian healthy for any society let alone an individual. Does GOD really care what color, race, national origin you are when you will be judged by your deeds? And why this violence in the name of hatred. If you don’t like somebody just keep it to yourself and let the other individual be what they are, since it is not in their control what and how and where they were born so why you keep on insisting that you should not tolerate them in your midst. If they are doing something wrong, then you can call the police and let them handle it, but why you have to a self appointed guardian and take it upon yourself and spew out venom against innocent people without any cause. If you don’t like somebody just because of certain characteristics, just leave them alone. A person consumed by hatred just keeps on hating and trying to make sure that the other person does not have a chance to prove them. And in this consumption of hatred, the ability to think on other things get impaired and you are enveloped by this self consumption that you are not able to see where you can profit from other "out casters" and this is the loss you will have even though you think that you are winning, you are losing on so many opportunities other people can offer just because your hatred has restricted you to a very narrow scope of people who may not give you much benefit. So although I am sure this hatred will never die but at least keep it to yourself since it will hurt you in the longer term.

Consumed by hatred-2

Another example I can give you is how people hate somebody who is not like somebody based on race or their skin color. And if you have read it over the years this kind of hatred has consumed numerous millions of life like in the World War II, Christians were killing Christians and the Asians were killing Asians just because they belonged to a different nationality or race. Even skin color was part of this hatred like in South Africa and in the South in the U.S. and this type of hatred has more casualties than others. Because some people can't stand to be with other races, it just destroys the fabrics of society and leads to discrimination when it should not happen. There should be tolerance in this case and you can see that it still is going on in every part of the world since some people feel superior to other races just because they were born in a certain area. Another type of hatred that is emerging again after being dormant for a certain period of time It is sectarian hatred, this has been going on for thousands of years with catholic against protestants and Hindus and Muslims and now with Buddhists with Muslims and even when are a Muslim living in a Muslim land, you may not be the right kind of Muslim (whatever that means) or does not follow the majority's beliefs and are hated for that. You are discriminated in every form possible so that you are living at the fringes of society, afraid for your loved ones and trying to just survive.

Consumed by hatred

Why we are so much consumed by hatred and I may say that I am too sometimes but not always. Why would you be consumed by hatred is just human nature, you are not supposed to like everything or everybody but this hatred just keeps on not only affecting you physically and mentally but it can escalate into violence sometimes or can make decisions which are not rational by any method. For example I may hate something like some TV show and I would refuse to watch it or I would not go to a destination because I hate it out of some incident that happened there or some bad memories associated with it but when this hatred involves human beings then it gets out of hand completely. For a material thing you can just ignore it or not use it and no harm will to anybody else but with hatred for humans, it is a whole different game. Let’s start with some examples, the top which is being played out in the halls of power in the capital of the U.S. It is the hatred of the affordable health care also known as Obamacare that the Republican party don’t like it and wants to delay into that has led to impasse over a budget deal and hence the shutdown of the government. Now this hatred of the law is so much among some Congress people that they are willing to shut down the government and harm people rather than tone down their views and follow a policy of accommodation.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hangover Part III (2013)-Bradley Cooper

This part was not as funny as the last one but if you want to complete the trilogy, you can take a look. Although funny but again not as much as the first one with no hangover in sight. Not Recommended

Government shutdown: Who is to blame?-2

I know that at the time of the passage of the health care law, there were many dissent but it was passed eventually and the Republicans have been trying their best to repeal them. But you know to shut down the government just because you don’t like a law which was passed by your fellow congressmen/women with majority is not democratic. And there will be some people who would say that I did not for certain people in Congress so why I am getting hurt in this shutdown. My answer is that it is part of democracy maybe forty percent of the people did not like the candidate but the rest did and eventually were elected. And winner takes all in our kind of democracy so whether you like it or not, these are our elected officials until the next election and these are the ones we (voter and non voter) send to congress to represents our interests. So it is most of the time our own fault that we are in this situation. And I believe that we will be like this because there are still people who believe they can buck the trend and vote no on some laws and some yes but nobody is hundred percent behind a certain law and so we get gridlock. If you don’t like the person who voted for some hated law, you should wait for the next election to vote them out. And this goes for all the people around the world who believe in democracy and vote to wait your turn and vote people in or out if you don’t like the way your country is headed too. Yes I know there will be frustration until that time but in a civilized society we have to wait our turn for our voices to get heard.

Government shutdown: Who is to blame?

So by now the world knows that the U.S. government is shutdown due to the gridlock in Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of people have been furloughed till further notice and there is no end in sight to this craziness. No side of the two parties is ready to budge and bring this shutdown to a finish. Everybody is sticking to their guns since they are getting paid while millions of people are being affected. When people say that Democrats are to be blamed and Republicans are to be blamed and then the surveys keep on coming that say that the people have the lowest expectation from their congress and they are fed up with the dysfunctional Congress hurting them, I start to think that if the people are really to blame for all this mess. Now some of the readers will be astonished to say that why people are to be blamed since they are not in congress making decisions. But if you look closely everybody but overwhelming majority are the voters who are to blame for this mess. We send these congressmen and women to the Congress to represent our respective areas and our preference for your policies and now that they have shut down the government, why this hue and cry. We wanted a divided form of government so that we did not want to give one party the total control of our government and look even if it is divided we are at a standstill because we don’t like some part of the law that was previously jointly passed by both parties.

Monday, October 7, 2013

On the business path: What to do-11

And this part is very crucial because if you always thinking and doing other human stuff only about your business be it on the internet or physical store, your family must support your endeavor. Because if you are not making money initially, they will be skeptical about it so in order for them to support you and take anything taking up your time in other chores and activities, then you will have to bring them onboard. Even a little money will make your house a happy household and your family will chip in whatever way they can to help increase the revenue. On the internet you can either conduct consultation business or just create something which people can download for a few dollars, but in order to do that you will have to convince people that you have experience and are trustworthy. Because reputation factor is extremely important on the internet, you should be careful what you post it. I will get back to the reputation factor later on but for now even if you are doing it for a few hours, you don’t want your customers to perceive you are dishonest or deceiving since that is how you will have to build your clientele and your business and if your part time business gets hit with bad reputation then it is hard that people will care about your full time business. But your reputation gets hit once, you can still recover and again I will come back to this topic later. By now you may decided what to do and if not then I will further give details about how to go about establishing a retail or internet business in general terms.

On the business path: What to do-10

And if you want to start purely as an internet company, you will still need some space and work time allocated to your business. You will need a printer, and apart from a desktop computer, you would need a laptop on the go. Then you will need to have a domain name and hosting (which I guess you will have to do it too if you are planning to sell some physical goods). A cell phone and dedicated email is needed, although initially you can work with your personal cell phone but when the business grows, you need to be professional and have a dedicated cell phone just for your business. Although businesses on the internet are open 24 hours a day but since you will be doing this part time initially, you can set the time when you want to work. But it is easier said than done. If you are only going to do some selling of the merchandise and nothing more for a few hours a week or just on the weekend it is just to make a few extra money. But if you want your side business to become full time business and hopefully to replace your current day job, then you will have to work more hours than you are currently working now. But make no mistake once you are starting taking charge of your business, you will need to be there days and nights and on the weekends. You will be thinking, walking, sleeping, dreaming or any other activity you are doing will be just how to grow your business.

On the business path: What to do-9

But let’s get to the location scenario later and concentrate on what you want to do in the internet. If you want to start part time, as I said internet is the way to go to experiment with your desire to be an entrepreneur. If you want to sell stuff other people make there are many ways you can buy cheaply like going to flea markets, yard and garage, estate and rummage sales, charity organizations and churches and other religious institution where they have monthly sales of donated items. On the internet you can contact closeouts; wholesales and second hand goods market or just open the phone directory and search newspaper ads to find stuff that are cheap and interested enough to sell easily. I will not go into details much about what to buy since it is up to you to decide what sells or not, but once you decide to buy something you need to know how much and many to buy. Buying what and how much will depend upon how much money you have in to spare for this venture and how much you are willing to risk it. If it is a small amount and small numbers then you will be okay but whatever you buy, you will have to have a space where to store it. And the merchandise stored in place where it is not damaged by rain or other natural calamities. It is not only the storage of the merchandise but also the packaging and other supplies that you will have to use to send it to the buyer's destination that you need the space specifically for your business. It needs to be accessible easily without any hindrance. I will get back to the merchandise supplies part in my later posts, but for now you may have an idea about how the physical goods are similar in the case of physical store and your house.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

On the business path: What to do-8

If you are planning on working on the internet, you can easily start part time and sell some stuff on the weekends to see if that works from you. You don’t have to genius in order to see what you can sell. Any stuff that is not in use or maybe you can buy cheaply from somewhere and sell it at a higher price on the various internet flea markets that have established their business on the internet to help ordinary folks, who don’t have the time or money to make it a full time job. Internet gives you the perfect venue to try different forms of business without investing too much time and your money and still keep a family life and also earn some money. You don’t have to worry about leases, security, utilities, insurance, employees or the hours you want to remain open due to some outdated regulation. The best part about the internet is if you have a successful business, you can see that even when you are sleeping, you may be earning money which you definitely cannot do with a physical store. The flexibility of internet business is that you don’t have to spend too much money and don’t have to spend all your time on it since you are not concerned with your store being opened all day for certain times. You can work at your own pace and test the waters before you go full time. On the internet location will matter if you are on the first or second page of the internet search engines.

On the business path: What to do-7

Physical stores carries lot of risk like leasing it and if it does not work out, then you have to pay for breaking the lease or if not then incur additional rent charges every month. Since the commercial leases are long time beyond one year so you have to be very careful before even venturing out on this part of business. I will be detailing more on this in my later posts. Suffice it to say right now is doing something part with a physical store in not feasible. Now before you get disappointed with this option which needs upfront lots of cash, you can opt for an internet business which is relatively easy and does not need you to be on it full time initially. If you have been reading my blog from the start, you may see me come across as being in favor of the internet most of the time (okay all the time). You can reverse whatever I said in case of the physical store and then apply it to the internet but still you can find some similarities which you cannot escape when starting a business. The biggest one is that you will still need to allocate your time and finance aspects need to be sorted out, because even if you start on the internet, you need to pay for an internet connection, computer, printer and software programs to handle your site. Also the domain name, hosting, antivirus software, a table and a chair besides a quiet place where you can work are also need. But some of the costs you can eliminate, like noise, opening hours, rent, regulations of the city and the state and the cost of bring physically the customers to your site.

On the business path: What to do-6

Going for a physical location is good and in fact it is happening now in the U.S. where some of the internet companies are opening retail stores in choice locations after being extremely successful online. But if you want to start part time, this may not be a good option to start with. Let me explain it thoroughly. If you want to start a business especially a physical one, you will have to be at the store during the duration of the time it is opened. People don’t want to see a store opened only on the weekends or after 6 in the evening when you come home. And I have not seen any store opening like this unless you are in one of the flea markets where the hours of work are different. How you will be able to build your clientele if you are open only for a certain time and what kind of experience you will be having by doing just that. This is the main problem with having a physical store; you really cannot do it part time since your customers expect you to be there for your normal working hours. And apart from this there are so many things you need to do if you want to open up your own store, like insurance, location, size of the store, what kind of store you want, utilities expenses, reliable and trustworthy employees (another topic in this series) when you are not there to manage the store, security, dealing with taxes, regulatory and government agencies, rules regarding operating your business in a certain place., then the layout of the store. Plus you cannot work on your store after a certain time due to noise regulation and other rules of the place where your store is.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

On the business path: What to do-5

Unless you have a store which sells unique stuff which is unlikely to be found anywhere in the city, you have a choice in this case to locate in a neutral neighborhood and people will come to you, otherwise, my advice is to use the location concept in real estate business and go for a location which is accessible by most people. But always remember that since you want your business to grow you need to have a web presence so if the people are unable to come to your store, they can visit your website and shop there. So you can have two venues to promote and earn income (but that is for later topics on marketing), but for now your focus is if you choose to have a physical store is to find out what type of physical store will suit your needs and which you are capable of running easily. Although a physical store can let people come in, touch, feel, see stuff up front and personal but nowadays it is really an expensive proposition and needs upfront much cash to begin with not to mention all the regulatory burdens that comes with it. It is not to say that the burden does not come to the internet, it does but it is less well regulated by the cities, town, and states and can be done rather quietly and without any hindrance of time limit that may be imposed by law and also security wise it may not hold good for a beginning entrepreneur.