Category Archives: economy

Headline Tuesday

Here are some headlines making their way through the news stations on this 1st of November.

CNN:

Stocks fall hard on Greece surprise. / In giving life, women face deadly risks.

MSNBC:

How a reformed skin head got a makeover. / Sales rise at Detroit’s big 3. 

 

FOX:

Obama, Exec too close for comfort? / Major surge in prescription drug deaths.

10 Years Later, We are Better

Just a 15 year old high school sophmore waking up extra early for a big exam.  The daily ritual was to turn on the tv and start getting ready for school.  That morning was different.  There wasn’t talk of traffic or the weather.  There wasn’t talk of the direction of the Dow Jones.  Instead there were images of a plane hitting a building.  There were images of a hole in the side of the Pentagon.

It didn’t take long for me to realize what was going on.  It was then that I frantically started calling my family.  My cousin was at the time working as a flight attendant for United Airlines.  I knew she had many flights around the New York area so that was the first person I thought of calling.  No response.  I called ten more times.  No answer.  I then called my grandmother, my uncle, and all of my aunts.  Finally one of them answered and said my cousin was alright.  She was in San Francisco and wasn’t working that day.  I would find out later she did lose a friend.

The drive to school was quiet.  The radio blared in the background as commentators tried to sort out the details.  I don’t even remember fighting traffic.  Everyone at school asked each other if they had seen the news, if they had seen the videos and pictures.  I knew then my generation would be different.

We sat through the first few periods just watching the news.  There were no lesson plans, there were no lectures.  The exam, that was cancelled.  Everyone sat there watching the screen, some crying, some silent, all of us touched.

They made an announcement that if anyone needed to see a grief councelor, one would be available.  Being so far removed from the events, I don’t think any of us thought a councelor would matter.  Everyone knew the significance of the event, but at the same time, there was a sense of numbness, 8,000 miles will do that to a person.

Looking back, there are many things I have taken away from the months following that tragic day:  America is a proud nation with a strong and hard-working people.  We persevere through the hard times and always come out stronger and more willing to help others.  In times of extreme circumstances, people will always help others, even if it may not be the best thing for themselves.

Ultimately, there is one major thing that I have learned.  This generation, my generation, has been thrown obstacle after obstacle.  We witnessed the attack on America, we witnessed the economy crash, we witnessed two wars and thousands of lives lost overseas.  The amazing thing?  We are still the most upbeat, optimistic, and forward thinking generation.  We elected the first African-American President.  We created Facebook, Twitter, and just about every social networking site.  We are becoming the doctors, lawyers, and politicians who care more about helping others than ourselves.

WE are the new Greatest Generation.  This country is in good hands.  My generation is stepping up to the plate and taking ownership.  We have seen the depths that this country can hit and we have seen how great this country can be.  There is no doubt in my mind that we are the generation which will change America for the better.  We will not fail, we can not fail.

I challenge every single person of my generation and invoke the message of John F. Kennedy:

ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU, BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY.

Special Comment: Is it Contempt or Ignorance with Eric Cantor?

Earlier this month, GOP Congressman Eric Cantor introduced a strategy to help reduce government spending.  His solution: force college students who are receiving loans to repay them while they are still attending college rather than upon the completion of their time in school.

It seems like a pretty far out way of thinking.  Mr. Cantor would like to financially handcuff students who are already financially handcuffed trying to afford an education.  Either Mr. Cantor dislikes college students or he just doesn’t know any better.  I personally think Mr. Cantor is a decent human being.  That said, he likely doesn’t know any better.  The only other explanation is he doesn’t care about those struggling financially.

Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia's 7th Congressional District

Let’s take a closer look at what Mr. Cantor has presented us.  Some college students, like myself, require financial assistance to go to school.  If it were not for grants, scholarships, and loans, there would be a large section of young adults out of school.  Using the University of Hawaii at Manoa as an example, we see that resident full-time tuition (12 credits or more) is roughly $4,500 for the Fall 2011 Semester.  Out of state tuition comes in at about $12,000.  Considering that UHM is considered a bargain for tuition, we still have college students paying at least $9k and up to $24k for a single school year.  Take that number and expand that over five years (the typical amount of time to earn a Bachelor’s Degree), assuming tuition doesn’t increase, and we have total cost between $45-$120k.  Anyone have that type of money lying around?

Are we expecting the parents of those students to pay for college?  Continuing to use Hawaii as an example, the median household income from 2009 was $67k.  That would mean the average family in Hawaii would need to spend roughly 67% of their income for an entire year just to pay for tuition for a single child.  What if that family has multiple children?  Let’s also not forget mortgage/rent, food, healthcare, transportation, and other costs associated with raising a family.

This is why the federal government offers financial assistance for college students.  A healthy society needs educated citizens.  Every past civilization has shown the need for an educated population.  Mr. Cantor would seemingly like to end this goal.

If college students could afford to begin paying back their loans while still in school Mr. Cantor, there is a great chance these students wouldn’t be using loans or other financial aid in the first place.  Common sense tells us that someone using these types of services is in need of them in the first place.

For all the talk about protecting our future, it is obvious that Mr. Cantor has not followed through on that campaign promise.  His plan in no way helps protect our future.  In fact, it puts our future at risk.  This is not wise leadership Mr. Cantor.

Perhaps you are the one who needs to be in school.

*This post can also be found on The Young Writer’s Block.

Something to Ponder During the Debt Battle

from Ryan Adverderada (Founder of Desperate America Report)

During a conversation with a friend on Twitter, a stranger suddenly popped in and offered his opinion on the debt battle in Washington D.C.  His comment made sense and then he offered a link.  The link to me to his website and on to a particular post about the current debt ceiling talks.

Click HERE for the full post (you’ll be taken to his site).

Here are some main points of his argument.

1. Everyone is panicking when they should really be taking a deep breath to look at the whole problem.

2. Social Security is being used as a scapegoat.  The program isn’t broken, and folks are over reacting.

3. Medicare spending is increasing while the results have remained unchanged.  Something needs to be done to get health care results better because reducing Medicare spending puts our seniors in debt or worse.

4. Short term spending like those for infrastructure should be used as a solution to get people back to work which would help stimulate the economy.

5. Cutting spending w/o addressing any of these problems causes more harm than good.

Those are the 5 points you need to know.  I suggest clicking on the link to read the full story.

So what do YOU think should happen to bring down our debt?

Banning Churches?

Herman Cain (imageworldblog.blogspot.com)

Republican Presidential hopeful, Herman Cain came out Sunday in support of communities being able to ban the construction of mosques.  Cain is a former executive of Coca-Cola, Pillsbury, and Burger King.

Here is the Yahoo story.

What do you think?  Should the government be able to ban the construction of mosques?  Sound off!

Headlines Across America

Here are a few headlines from across the US this week:

Kansas Abortion Law Faces Court Hearing

Minnesota Shuts Down

Gen. Patraeus Confirmed as CIA Chief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawaii Medical Center Files For Bankruptcy, Again.

Hawaii Medical Center (HMC) has filed for bankruptcy just two years removed from court protection.  The two hospital group consists of HMC East, located in Liliha, and HMC West, located out in Ewa.

Hawaii Medical Center East has been featured in various "Hawaii Five-O" episodes.(photo: khon2.com)

Overall, HMC employs more than 700 employees and has over 300 beds.  The hospitals were previously owned by St. Francis Healthcare Systems before being sold in 2007.  The St. Francis group will be acquiring  the hospitals and looks to create a solvent entity.

There has been no news as to the status of the more than 700 employees.

Click here for more (Link is Star Advertiser story).

Councilmember Berg Releases Wrap-up of Town Hall

A significantly large crowd attended the recent town hall meeting held by Honolulu Councilmember, Tom Berg.  The meeting focused on Rail and saw a presentation by Dr. Panos Prevedorous.  Here is the link to Councilmember Berg’s wrap-up of the event as well as a link to Dr. Prevedorous’ presentation.

Councilmember Berg’s wrap-up

Dr. Prevedorous’ presentation

Around the News

Here are a few interesting stories making the rounds on this Wednesday:

Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress Goes on Display (Washington Post)

Al-Qaeda Selects New Leader (CNN)

Wikileaks Witness Testifies (CNN)

 

 

 

 

 

Walk About the Capitol with Kanu Hawaii

Kanu Hawaii’s Rotunda Roundup series is nearing an end.  As the legislative session comes to a close, the folks at Kanu Hawaii and Common Cause Hawaii are ramping up efforts to get the public involved.  Thursday, April 28th, will be the “Walk About the Capitol.”  Guests will be show around various parts of the capitol which culminates with a visit to both the House and Senate chambers.  Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland will be on hand to discuss bills being heard in conference committee as well.

Visit Kanu Hawaii for more details.