Saturday, February 21, 2009

Past, present and future...

When I moved back to Massachusetts in 2003, I remember being blown away at the cost of housing and perplexed at how a house that was worth $150,000 in 2000, was now worth $300,000, only three years later. I'm no Greenspan or Ben Bernanke, but I know the basics of economics and something didn't jive. How can the cost of housing double, while wages stay the same? Somehow (post 9-11) the price of housing skyrocketed and it didn't seem to raise any eyebrows.

The economy is center stage with bailouts, bankruptcies, corporate and political crooks running a muck in America. I've been intrigued with this whole mess, since it's inception; the banking crisis last year. I've had some good dialogue about the situation with people from all different walks of life and financial standings.

Regarding the bailout: I'm struggling to find work and the economy has hurt me. In jest, I say, where's my piece of the bailout? In all honesty, why and how does the government decide who gets bailed out?

I was reading up about what corporations are doing to keep afloat and I came upon a company called Koch Industries, a conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. I had never heard of Koch Industries, but I was amazed to learn that Koch is the 2nd largest private company in America (behind Cargill) with $100 billion in revenue. Koch is headed up by some of the smartest executives in the world, and reading CEO Charles Koch's perspective on the government intervention was very insightful: learning from past mistakes so we don't relive history.


Anonymous said...

I can give you first hand knowledge of Koch Industries. Their philosophy is Econ 101 but the way they say they implement it in their businesses is a total sham.

They have slipped to the #2 private company in the US, now behind Cargill.

They don't like to talk about that because they think they are smarter than everyone else.

Koch finances are not discussed publicly, but David Koch has stated that he expects his dividends to be down 50% this year.

markmcc said...

Thanks for the comment. I stand corrected about Koch Industries being #1. Why do you have such distaste for Koch? I could think of dozens of execs who are narcissistic know-it-all's.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you should look into permaculture as an alternative. I can give you a few good websites, but you can also Google it. It's the only way to go, as I see it - and many other people as well :)