[Nerobama economic policies, rather than continuing to pay the slugs to sit on their dead asses through welfare benefit increases [15-17%], would have been far more beneficial to have provided start up LOANS for young folks like those highlighted below; the handlers could have still skimmed money "off the top" much like they will via the 93% of the bill that's PURE PORK!!! Nerobama only has to look as far as the local newspaper to find these young individuals who don't need the federal pork to get a company off the ground. Rather than redistribute wealth to those companies that rightly should be allowed to fail.... he should promote true entrepreneurship!! Rather than sittin' around or flyin' around while the economy "burns," check out these few examples of high school and college students that have founded companies.... those same types of companies that will be responsible for hiring the vast majority of the American workforce, NOT the GMs and the Citibanks!!]
A Local Kid Done Good
He hasn't collected a salary yet, but teen entrepreneur Cody Behrns still has a passion for his work.Cody, 15, has managed Small Town Skate Shop for a year, and while the Pittsford Sutherland High School freshman says business has been slow during the winter, he expects sales to increase as the weather improves. The shop — which operates from a free-standing train caboose in Pittsford [NY]'s Northfield Commons plaza — offers skateboards and accessories, T-shirts, shoes, hats and other apparel. A small case containing root beer, bottled water and other drinks is along one wall of the caboose. It's the only shop exclusively offering skating merchandise in Pittsford. Some startup capital from his dad, Howard, enabled Cody to open the business, but the teenager takes the lead in operating Small Town, from handling the banking to keeping enough merchandise in stock to running the cash register. Cody said he's at the shop "pretty much every second I'm not in school or skating."The monthly lease for the caboose is $400, which keeps the company's overhead low. While it has been difficult running a relatively new specialty shop during the recession, the Behrnses say they're staying afloat. "If we were in this to make money, we'd be in trouble," said Howard Behrns, who works for Castle Products, a Rochester-based seller of automotive chemicals. "I'm in this for (Cody's) experience. He's paying his way right now." Cody, who has been skateboarding since fourth grade, applies information learned in business and technology classes at Sutherland to his company. He's also working to build a Small Town online store. He's planning a new venture for the spring: a line of sweatshirts sporting his company's logo. The sweatshirts will be in six different colors priced at about $35. He said it's more cost-effective as a business owner to sell some items that aren't a national or international brand to eliminate paying a distributor and other fees. In addition to global brands such as Neff and Dekline, the teenager showcases merchandise from Rochester-based vendor Etiket and other local businesses. Although he loves the job, Cody admitted that paying utilities, rent, purchasing merchandise and other expenses are the sobering parts of running a small business.
Some College Students Done Good
Justin Yan joined Yale's army the week he arrived in New Haven, Connecticut, as a freshman last fall. He proved himself first as a spy, infiltrating enemy lines up and down the Northeast. Then he was promoted to commander. "It was all downhill from there," Yan says. "I was sucked in." Yan is one of more than 40,000 college students who have become addicted to GoCrossCampus, or GXC -- an online game developed by a group of current and former Yalies. The rules are similar to those of the classic board game Risk: Teams of players from various schools battle for territory on a map that reflects real campuses, right down to landmarks such as dorms and dining halls. More than 2,000 kids from the 12 schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference competed in a recent championship match, and 5,600 participated in an Ivy League battle. ("The single largest competitive event in the history of the Ivy League," GXC's website boasts. "Prepare for awesomeness.")
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
If you happen to be in Missouri, keep an eye out for a commercial on cable TV featuring a guy in white tights and a green cape. His name is Brian Laoruangroch, and he is the 24-year-old founder and CEO of Green Mobile, a company that buys, sells, trades, and repairs used mobile phones. The business started in 2004 basically as an eBay hobby, when Laoruangroch realized he could buy old phones and resell them for a profit. He soon built his own website to market refurbished phones; his brother Brett, like Brian a University of Missouri student, joined him and took charge of learning how to repair them. They eventually opened a kiosk in a local mall, and then, last summer, Laoruangroch decided the business was large enough to support a retail storefront in Columbia.
Zac Workman became a connoisseur of energy drinks at an early age. At the end of each day, after five hours' practice for his high school swim team, he would choke one down. His drink of choice "tasted awful, but it gave me energy, so I just kept drinking it," he says. Today, the 21-year-old junior at Indiana University is the founder of ZW Enterprises, which sells its own energy drink, Punch. After completing his freshman year, Workman threw himself into researching energy drinks. He identified what he saw as an unfilled gap in the market -- an energy drink that was made from natural ingredients and did not produce the crash effect common with sugary or highly caffeinated beverages. Working with a fruit-punch recipe that has been in his family for years, Workman came up with a drink that tasted good and satisfied the necessary dietary requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Caroline Rooney produced her first T-shirt design, with a "Peace and Love" theme, in her high school textile class. She wore the shirt throughout high school and then at the University of Michigan. Her friends wanted to know where she got the shirt, and when she told them, they asked her to make copies of it. "One of my friends basically gave me an ultimatum that said, 'We can't be friends anymore unless you have more of those shirts made,' " Rooney says. She promised the friend a shirt for his birthday and quickly realized it was more cost-effective to make 25 shirts than to make just one. The first run cost her $300 to produce and sold out immediately. "I thought to myself, Let's just see how this goes," she says. So, last year, Rooney launched The Bearon, a T-shirt line sold primarily through her own website and independent sales reps on six other college campuses, including the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Syracuse University, and Northwestern. The origin of the company's name is a bit embarrassing for Rooney. When she was a child, her family called her Care Bear. Then, after a series of summer internships unearthed her innate talent for business, her brother started to call her "the baron," as in "robber baron." The Bearon is a combination of the two nicknames and reflects something else -- Rooney wants to be a success in business, but she wants to do more than make money. The 19-year-old is donating 20 percent of the profit from every shirt sold to three charities: UNICEF, the Alzheimer's Foundation, and New York City's Public Art Fund.
Was I Wrong?
Check out the editorial cartoon [above] published in today's Democrat and Chronicle. Notice how a caricature of Nerobama seems to be missing? His likeness should be up there, right beside "Rod" and "Roland!!" Can there be one "clean politician" to come out of the Chicago Machine?? If ya play on the same street-ya get splashed with the same mud!! Politicians Involved? Look For The Crooks! ALBANY — Putting a new twist on a Democratic plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, a top Senate Democrat wants to cut income taxes for the middle class and provide the savings through a state-issued debit card to promote consumer spending. The proposal by Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, is the latest attempt by the Democratic-led Legislature to tax the rich as a way to help the state's struggling economy. But unlike a Senate proposal earlier this month to raise taxes on those making $250,000 or more, Klein also wants to provide a middle-class tax cut by doubling the standard deduction when New Yorkers file their tax returns. The savings, estimated between $466 to $1,165 for those making under $250,000 a year, would be doled out in state-issued debit cards to be used like a "department store gift card" to promote spending, according to a report from Klein's office. The money would have to be spent this year. Sidebar [The crooks work unabated!]: For hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs during the recession, there's a new twist to their financial pain: Even as they're collecting unemployment benefits, they're paying bank fees just to get access to their money. Thirty states have struck such deals with banks that include Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase and US Bancorp. All the programs carry fees, and in several states the unemployed have no choice but to use the debit cards. Some banks even charge overdraft fees of up to $20 — even though they could decline charges for more than what's on the card. "It's a racket. It's a scam," said Rachel Davis, a 38-year-old dental technician from St. Louis who was laid off in October. Davis was given a MasterCard issued through Central Bank of Jefferson City and recently paid $6 to make two $40 withdrawals. The banks say their programs offer convenience. They also provide at least one way to tap the money at no charge, such as using a single free withdrawal to get all the cash at once from a bank teller. The fees are raising questions from lawmakers who just recently voted to infuse banks with taxpayer money to keep them afloat. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said the situation points to "yet another example of how we need to regulate the ways in which banks charge overdraft and other fees. Banks, particularly ones that have received federal help, should not be imposing endless fees and charges on the unemployed in this time of economic crisis." But the potential is clear. In Missouri, for instance, 94,883 people claimed unemployment benefits through debit cards from Central Bank. Analysts say a recipient uses a card an average of six to 10 times a month. If each cardholder makes three withdrawals at an out-of-network ATM, at a fee of $1.75, the bank would collect nearly $500,000. If half of the cardholders also dial customer service three times in any given week (the first time is free; after that, it's 25 cents a call), the bank's revenue would jump to more than $521,000. That would yield $6.3 million a year. A typical contract looks like the agreement between Citigroup and the state of Kansas, which took effect in November. The state expects to save $300,000 a year by wiring payments to Citigroup instead of printing and mailing checks. Citigroup's bill to the state: zero. The bank collects its revenue from fees paid by merchants and the unemployed. "If you use your card the right way, you're not going to pay fees at all," said Paul Simpson, Citigroup's global head of public sector, health care and wholesale cards. But that's not always practical. Arthur Santa-Maria, a laid-off engineer who lives just outside Albuquerque, N.M., said he didn't pay any fees the first time he was laid off, for several months in 2007. His unemployment benefits were paid by paper checks. He found a new job last year but was laid off again last fall. This time, he was issued a Bank of America debit card — a "prepaid" card in industry lingo — but he was surprised to learn he had to pay fees to get his money. He asked the bank to waive them. It said no. That's when Santa-Maria called back to ask how to check his account online. He logged on and saw that the call cost him a half dollar. To avoid more fees, Santa-Maria found a Bank of America ATM at a strip mall and withdrew $80 at no charge. When he got back to his car, he decided to take out the rest of his money — $250 — and deposit it in his bank account. Afterward, Santa-Maria logged on to his account and saw a charge of $1.50 for two withdrawals in one day.
There ARE Jobs Out There! THERESA, Wis. - At a time when some people are having trouble finding one job, Daniel Seddiqui is lining up 50 -- one in every state. Each job symbolizes the state's most famous industry, and each lasts one week -- just long enough for the 26-year-old to appreciate the labor and explore the region. He's been a park ranger in Wyoming, a corn farmer in Nebraska and a wedding coordinator in Las Vegas. Last week, in Week 23 of his yearlong saga, he was a cheesemaker in southeast Wisconsin. He mixed ingredients, hoisted slabs of cheddar -- and tasted plenty of his work. "I would say this was as hard as logging," he said Friday, referring to his stint as a logger in Oregon three months ago. "Everything here is done by hand so there's a lot of heavy lifting." Seddiqui, who grew up in Los Altos, Calif., insists his job-hopping isn't a gimmick. It's a legitimate effort to travel the U.S., learning about cultures across the country and developing a respect for what other people do, he said. For example, at his Nebraska job he was surprised that every farmer he met had a college degree. "That's the problem with stereotypes. People think farmers aren't educated, but probably every one was more educated than me," he said. "That's the kind of thing you learn when you do this." The hardest job so far was toiling in a meatpacking factory in Topeka, Kan. Seddiqui (pronounced seh-DEE'-kee) said his employer gave him the option of slaughtering a cow with a rifle shot to the head, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. "That was a little too extreme," he said. "But they didn't really expect me to do it. They just said I could if I wanted." The goal of his project, which he plans to write a book about when he's done, was to force himself out of his comfort zone. By daring himself to try all sorts of crazy jobs -- rodeo announcer, border-patrol agent, archaeologist -- other people might be willing to follow his example, he said. At least one person has already been inspired, according to Seddiqui. After a news crew in Kansas City, Mo., reported on his stint as a boilermaker, an unemployed dentist who saw the story decided to brush off his old welding skills and apply. The next day the man had a $40-per-hour job, Seddiqui said. Seddiqui tries to line up jobs only three to four months in advance. Following his week in Wisconsin, he has his next eight weeks charted, starting with a position at the John Deere headquarters Monday in Moline, Ill. He lined up his cheesemaking position by Googling "cheese factory Wisconsin." He found Widmer's Cheese Cellars in Theresa, about 50 miles northwest of Milwaukee, and called owner Joe Widmer. After studying Seddiqui's Web site Widmer decided to give the young man a chance. He also figured Seddiqui's story would provide some free local publicity, but he was stunned when reporters from national media, including a documentary film crew from South Korea, showed up. "He took this seriously from the beginning," Widmer said of Seddiqui. "He was assertive, inquisitive and we got along real well." Seddiqui earned an economics degree from the University of Southern California in 2005. But he struggled to find a job, despite a 3.7 grade-point average. He couldn't figure out what he was doing wrong. His parents -- an Afghani father and Irish-Italian mother -- even took him to a psychologist to find out what he was doing wrong in interviews. As he took volunteer jobs at universities in Illinois and Virginia, he reminisced about his childhood desires to travel. In elementary school he loved to stare at U.S. road maps and imagine how it felt to live in all those cities. Finally he decided to combine those boyhood dreams with his job search. Now, in his words, he's "living the map." His approach impressed Shawn Peck, the sales and marketing director at Metal Craft in Elk River, Minn., Seddiqui's fifth stop. The company makes medical devices, such as those used in spinal surgery, and Seddiqui's job included using lasers to etch part numbers. "He's a really nice guy who's interested in what he's doing," Peck said. "If he wanted a full-time job here, in the departments where you don't need lot of training and education, sure, we'd be interested." Seddiqui gets paid at every job but he buys his own health insurance. He has no dental insurance, and hopes a recent bout of wisdom-tooth pain won't resurface before he finds full-time work. Each of his weekly employers provides room and board, usually in the owners' own home. Seddiqui drives from one state to another, and has put 17,000 miles on his 1997 Jeep Cherokee since his adventures began in September. He plans to sell the vehicle in Maine to buy plane tickets to Hawaii, where he'll teach surfing despite never having surfed before, and Alaska, where he'll be a cruise director. Of his remaining 27 jobs, he's most looking forward to being a meteorologist in Cleveland. But he's a little wary of the West Virginia job he'll have at the end of May. "I'll be a coal miner. That'll be a little scary," he said. "I'm not looking forward to that one at all."
The Big Mouths Unite!
[Given Wease's liberal views, I wonder if Bob will be promoting his "FUBO" concept on their first show?] LiveWire Studios at Roc Centre uses a concept perfected by zoos all across the world. A live broadcast in which passersby on the sidewalk and radio talkers Lonsberry and Brother Wease will be separated by glass windows. Wease (Liberalis pornographus) and Bob Lonsberry (Conservatus bowtie-us) [www.lonsberry.com] will be doing more than sharing the space. A segment is in development — just a taped 15-minute confrontation, actually — that pits the left-leaning Wease against righty Lonsberry. Plans are to air the first installment of the battle of the Clear Channel personalities at 12:20 p.m. Saturday on Lonsberry's station, WHAM-AM (1180). "They wanted us to start a show when I get back, and I'm really quite apprehensive about it," Wease said from Florida on Friday, where he has been vacationing. "I'm very emotional about this stuff." He reads several conservative newsletters each day, including Lonsberry's, and noted, "Their mission every single day is to tear down the Obama administration. This country is gonna fall in the toilet, on the back of people that claim to be patriots."
Lonsberry gets first crack at the studio, with his show scheduled to air at 11 a.m. today on WHAM-AM (1180). Wease's debut there is set for 6 a.m. Tuesday, on WFXF, 95.1-"The Fox." And that's fine with Wease if Lonsberry goes first. "Who knows if this is gonna work?" he said of the complex studio technology. "If it doesn't, he can always go to a commercial break and run back" [...to the WHAM studios].