After 18 years in business, it's a bit strange to think of "starting over," but essentially that's what we did. While the recession was challenging and painful in countless ways, it gave us a profound opportunity to take a hard look at our business to see what was working (yes, some things worked very well) and what wasn't.
Five years after the failure of Lehman Brothers, the mega banks have rebounded, community banks that serve vulnerable niches of American consumers, and which played no role in causing the Financial Crisis, are failing, and non-traditional lenders are expanding.
Excessive mortgage debt, student loan debt, medical debt and more have placed untenable burdens upon millions. As we learn from our Torah portion, a cursed society is one in which factions are trapped in merciless power dynamics as debtors.
A common explanation is that the bad jobs are coming back first and the good jobs will follow. But let me suggest another explanation: the good jobs are here among us right now -- it's just their wages, their benefits, and the long-term security that have vanished.
Work sharing has obvious benefits for the workers who would otherwise have been laid off: they aren't forced to look for work in a weak labor market; they maintain their skills; and they suffer relatively little lost income. They might even use their downtime to acquire new skills. Employers benefit, too.
Nothing. Seriously. Not a damn thing.Oh, the occasion is being used to opine on our state of affairs, but nothing is structurally taking shape in America to prevent the next Detroit from occurring. In fact, Detroit is occurring every day inside most of us. We are all getting bankrupt in so many little ways.
Soon, Los Angeles will be like New York or San Francisco where it will be almost impossible for working-class people to buy a home anywhere in the city, and they have to come in from places like Riverside or Palmdale.
Despite what is essentially a depression, the stock market rocks on. The reason for this is that the stimulus is really aimed at appeasing the "free market conservatives" who populate Wall Street banks and the executive suites of our multinational corporations.
President Obama seems to think that the country should be thankful to Larry Summers that we didn't have another Great Depression. This is like telling little kids that if they don't eat their spinach the bogeyman will get them.
Job-growth is sputtering. So why, exactly, do regressive Republicans continue to say "no" to every idea for boosting it? It's important for Obama and the Democrats to recognize this cynical strategy for what it is, and help the rest of America to see it.
These are hard-working folks, often with two jobs, who simply can't survive on what they are paid. Think about it. Work 50 hours at $8 bucks an hour, and your weekly pre-tax income is $400, or about $20,000 annually. Raise a family of four on that.
Though some have claimed Larry Summers's views on monetary policy are unclear, his time in public service reveals a history of accommodating Wall Street over Main Street.
Women had to sacrifice and hustle to get through the recession, and they are going to make marketers hustle even harder to get their attention now. It's time to get your blogs going and start tweeting if you want to connect with the new, woman shopper.
Through a secretive, sneaky, back-door approach, banks that issue the cards, along with Visa and MasterCard, have figured out yet another way to suck money from our pocketbooks without our ever even knowing about it.
Does frugality have to be synonymous with being unhealthy? "The answer is no," said New York chef Irene Khin, who runs Saffron59, a catering business that specializes in Asian-fusion cuisine told me. "You can make a nutritious meal for less than a McDonalds' lunch combo and feed three people."
The fear that deficits and mounting debt will suffocate economic recovery and impede healthy growth has been tested over the last several years, and the results are not just unimpressive -- but painful when one looks at unemployment levels.