Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gesheft


I am sure that it would be pointless to whine about how bad business has been lately. If I dare to complain, certain members of my blogosphere will immediately pillory me about being a fat cat who doesn't know what poor is, about the undocumented workers who can't get a square meal, why don't you sell some of those expensive guitars, etc.? How dare I kvetch when people are going to bed hungry in Darfur?

But it has really been terrible.  I own a commercial building. The payments are not cheap. I took a break when I got sick to recuperate and missed some shows that have historically been a large part of my income stream.

There has been little traffic on the street. I have been staying open much longer than usual but people are seemingly not in the mood to buy what is often expensive artwork. My friends who have been doing the shows tell me that they are doing all right so I may have to start hustling much harder. My wife says that I always figure it out and I have been admittedly lucky.  My fear is that one day soon I will reach back and not be able to pull that magic rabbit out of my ass.

It's a tough time because a lot of people are in a similar need and there is some stuff being dumped on the market. So you either suck it up and hold your price or get down and dirty.  Someone told me the other day that getting the money back that you once paid for something is like making a profit in today's world.

A lot of big boys in my business in Santa Fe and NYC are really biting it.  At least my overhead is manageable. Many people in all walks of life and in many different businesses are feeling a steel shanked boot on their neck, cutting off just about all their oxygen. 

Part of it for me might be generational.  Young people today don't seem to have much of a link with the past, preferring to shop at ikea or Design within Reach or some such store. Antique shops and their proprietors, might be a near extinct anachronism very soon.

I hear that the Obama administration has only spent 5% of the stimulus money.  What the hell are they waiting for? So far, the only beneficiaries appear to be some newly rich bankers and a couple of guys who took the money and got the hell away from AIG as fast as they could. I worry that the relative calm today is just a prelude to the next bad reverberation and that we sink into a depression.  The stock market just hit a high point for the year! I seem to recall my savvy friends tell me that we had to take care of the investor class first.  They were the ones that were going to put America back on its feet.  Well, I got news for you - Main Street is on life support.

And of course, the republicans are trying to reinvent their brand, so they have easily taken to becoming contrarian adversaries on every single issue, thinking about the next election cycle of course. Soon they will be waxing nostalgically for the Bush years. People forget so soon. We could not go on the way we were going, with business as usual. But in the past weeks, we see business allies trying to weaken new credit derivative regulations, vote against the uptick rule, basically give the inmates back the keys to the asylum.

It was a pipe dream to think that we could try to work together to solve our collective problems. Not with independent media machines that demonize their opponents and indulge in the most petty nonsense. Letterman needs to apologize to Palin and it's all Obama's fault...that kind of crap.

A conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, along with the Brookings Institution, had a conference symposium on electoral demographics last week and things don't look real rosy for the Repubs.  Their base is shrinking and while capable of picking off a few elections here and there, much of their future success depends upon picking up more of the minority vote. Read about the report here in the Washington Post.  

I don't see it happening.  I won't bore you with the reasons right now. Rightly or wrongly, the anti - immigrant movement seems to have alienated many latinos as does recent reaction to Sandra Sotomayor.  But I think that the conservatives are going to get more and more angry and bitter as they continue to get marginalized and the invective and rhetoric will continue to get ratcheted up. Hopefully it won't lead to more violence but some of the leaders on the right think it's coming as a logical reaction to that Bolshevic foreign born president of ours there in Washington.

A lot of people that I thought previously impervious to the pain are feeling it big time right now. If you've never had a nickel you can get all giddy now with the thought that you'll have once rich company selling pencils with you on the corner. 

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

you must like getting kicked by NYStan

Anonymous said...

Amen.

This is the point in my life when I was looking forward to coasting
through the homestretch to the finish, and we're in survival mode assuming
we still don't have to touch the few acorns we've been able to stash.

Lew

MMWB said...

Blue Heron,

Hoping things start to improve for you and yours.

Moving on:

Your link between republicans and the anti-immigration movement is misleading. A review of poll numbers following the failed amnesty bill showed the following:
20% of voters wanted congress to pass the bill.
69% of voters would favor an approach that focuses “exclusively on securing the border and reducing illegal immigration.” Support for the enforcement only approach comes from 84% of Republicans, 55% of Democrats, and 69% of those not affiliated with either major party.

John McCain was for amensty, and then immigration reform, however he didn't get the latino vote.

If it had only been conservatives, more democratic legislators would have stood their ground. They didn't because the people didn't want it.

If all the republican's lined up together and proclaimed their love for Sotomayor, they still wouldn't have the backing of the latino vote. Take a look at the latino's and blacks that were major players in the previous administration. The results, more hispanic and black votes went democratic.

MMWB

Blue Heron said...

Okay, I think I get what you are saying about the amnesty and enforcement only. Even taking that as a given, the problems between minorities and the GOP are a bit more existential and fundamental. Just this week Pat Buchanon said that he favored good old fashioned bigotry to affirmative action and the new equality. Yesterday a GOP activist in South Carolina was comparing the first lady Michelle Obama to a gorilla on his facebook page. Methinks that this type of hatred and bigotry will not win a lot of hearts and minds.

MMWB said...

Thank you for pointing out the extreme views of two people. I am only familiar with the first, Patrick Buchanan.

What about a review of the left's dealings with race? Where does our far left president stand on Israel and the Palestinians, "no one has suffered more". What about the Reverend Farrakhan, and his some of his comments. Or, perhaps a statement by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright on whites, Jews, etc....And didn't Reverend Al Sharpton seek the democratic party nomination? We shouldn't forget his contributions to this effort.

There are extreme views avaialble to proffer up as support for each side's supposed racist beliefs. Add to that the meteoric streak of the occassional mental case and there is all the evidence you need for a quick post.

Wasn't it a republican administration that gave us the first hispanic attorney general, the first black secretary of state, the first black woman as secretary of state, nominated the first woman to the supreme court, etc....

No matter what the republicans have done, or do, it will be portrayed as racist, or that they are making vain attempts to broaden their support, because they really don't care about minorities, women, children, seniors, or anyone else. Republican's, those gun toting, religious, NASCAR loving, balding, white men.

When you figure out the real reason why minorities associate themselves with the democatic party, let me know.

Blue Heron said...

I think that if you read my original post again, masked man, you will note that I daintily tried to tiptoe on the issue, my words being "rightly or wrongly, they are associated with racist...

But every day I note more evidence of macaca moments in the GOP. Today I read about a Republican Tennessee staffer who sent a "spook" photo out depicting the president. I got an email recently with Obama being shown as a human turd. Who can forget the Inland Empire Rep. Women's club and their mailer with the fried chicken and watermelon? When confronted, they innocently said: well, everyone eats the stuff...

Now I am not saying all Republicans are racist and I don't know that the left, in their Jimmy Carter heart of hearts, is any less racist. But if they are, they sure do a better job of keeping their nastiness under wraps.

I will be the first to admit to improper humor regarding Nascar and I hereby apologize to all of the gun totin' rednecks in the country.

MMWB said...

The coarse behavior, of the person who sent out that email, and all others like it, is shameful and causes vicarious embarrassment for me and many other conservatives.

Discourse, disagreement, and differing opinions are part and parcel of a free society. Unfortunately, some of our citizens are slothlike in the pace at which we are crawling out of the muck of racism, bigotry and hatred.

Please accept my apology if at any time I have been the means of offense.

MMWB

Blue Heron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Heron said...

I got a deal for you MMWB. You don't have to take responsibility for republican idiots and I can disavow Cynthia McKinney, Alexander Cockburn and Jimmy Carter. You are the kind of republican I have total respect for and I hope that we get more like you.