Archive for February, 2009

Paper Cuts!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2009 by lmdiorio

If you didn’t know already we are experiencing one of the most dreadful economic situations that I have seen in my lifetime (29 years as of yesterday).  Everyone is experiencing some sort of pain and it is leading to things like people cashing out their airline miles, AMEX offering $500 gift cards for cardholders to close their accounts and normal everyday cut backs on expenses.  Here is a great article from MSNBC regarding a concept of Insourcing – basically Do It Youself (DIY).  People are now doing the things that would have otherwise paid someone else to do.  This include home projects, landscaping, car washes, sewing, dining, spa services and even pet care.  Let’s take a look at a few of the stats from the article:

  • Starter sewing kit sales has risen 30% at Wal-Mart (I sewed a button on my pants myself this morning)
  • The landscaping industry has experienced a 7% drop in revenue
  • Pet services is expected to grow 6% rather than the 40% from the year before

All of this news hurts just like a paper cut – stings to high heaven and you can never get it to stop bleeding.  However, I recently watched Idiocracy, a movie in which the future that is depicted is scary.  People have become such idiots that you can even get a law degree at Costco and the smart people are outcasts.  The main character was once considered an idiot in our time but in the future he is considered to be a genius.  Perhaps these economic times will challenge citizens to work a little harder, not rest on their laurels and take back a society that has developed only because of our hard work and determination.  Things cannot be taken for granted anymore and I only hope that if and when we come out of this – we realize this and regain our dominance.

1984 in America?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2009 by lmdiorio

I do not normally speak of things that are too political but this caught my eye and my blood pressure.  At the beginning of this year it was reported that states are looking at taxing the miles driven by Americans rather than a gasoline tax.  This made me think of when I read 1984. In 1949, George Orwell published 1984, a book that basically predicted the concept of “Big Brother” within government.   Widely viewed as an attack on Socialism, I think almost every high schooler has this as part of their curriculum (but don’t hold me to it).

Despite being “relatively” conservative, I’ve been extremely excited about the new administration and its youth and vigor, now I’m a little scared.  As someone whose clients are located all over the country and in areas that are not in major metropolitan hubs, I tend to drive to visit a lot of clients who are within 5 or 6 hours of Washington, DC.  Needless to say I drive a lot and with this proposal, I would be taxed according to the amount of miles I put on my car.

Where is the incentive, where is the privacy?  What if I need to travel to a store that is not within walking distance of my apartment?  Am I more apt to not go because I’d be watching the mileage on my car?  How does this stimulate the economy?  I’m sure all of my local stores would be excited because I would frequent them more often, but it may upset other specialty stores that require a person to drive to.  What if you live in a remote area and it takes at least 20 miles to get to anywhere with a store?  Let’s be honest – this is taking too far.   I thought naming a reality show “Big Brother” was funny and entertaining – I guess not anymore.

Link to the MSNBC Article is here: States eye taxing miles driven, not gasoline Oregon has tested cars with GPS trackers, taxing drivers at the pump