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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Understanding why we need Progressive Ideas

There isn't much more a dividing issue than the economy right now, and the republican primaries.  They really go together don't they, the economy stupid! This is where we are going to see everything revolve around during this years political races.  I don't feel that we have much room at this time to make an unforced error, we already sacrificed one in the midterm elections.  They way out is to use progressive ideas that has verifiable data showing its the right decision.  Using historical data is the only way to really make futuristic projections, you can only use what you know to make decisions for the future.  So it makes sense that the more you know the better right?  I am looking to explain how we can find our way out of the current economic/political gridlock.  There are several issues that need to be resolved before we, as a country, can move forward the way our Founders would be proud of.  First off, the way our elections are setup, not really in a democratic way if only the rich can make it in.  The Founders wanted a knowledgeable electorate, who understood how things worked and the common issues of the day.  They wanted to use logic and science to solve our problems and to think outside the box.  They wanted to have fair and statesmen like conduct during elections and especially during a term in public office. Always serving the populace as a whole and not corporate or individual requests.

The move in modern times to create a system where the richest candidate has the most chance for winning.  Is exactly the problem that needs to be fixed, there should be no donations for political campaigns.  This will enable us to get rid of the lobbing influence in the democratic process. The Citizens United was only meant for corporations ability to donate to candidates.  This is creating a very lopsided election, and only allows the very rich or corporate shells to be elected to office.  This is why we don't have politics that takes care of ALL Americans but one that caters only to the very rich.  How can we, the American People, compete with the billions that come from corporations?  We can't afford to send lobbyists to Washington, we thought that was what we were doing when voting!  The only way to level that field is to either continue our Occupy movement and fight for Progressive ideas and move forward with them, or get Congress to repeal Citizens United and create real Campaign Reform.  Only the American People can change our view of how life should be, only We The People have the ability to motivate our friends and family.  We have to start to move and shake things up, and just keep on keeping on.  We need fighters in the trenches fighting for us, the poor and forgotten.  We need people to stand up, like they are doing, WITHOUT VIOLENCE!  We need to show the world why we are the greatest nation, we can, together, make changes that give us a reason to hold our heads high!  Why have we waged war on the poor?  Why have we forgotten our neighbors and friends?  Why do we continue to allow this predjustice and ignorance to find roots in a Union that was meant to grow and progress in a Humanitarian way?  Now that we are here we can let historians find all that out, we need to find a way to move forward.

We have a possibility for greater learning; and therefore a better citizen who understands how government impacts their life and can make informed decisions by learning/reading the current issues.  We can make some decisions that take our hindsight and use it to make a better Union, and yes the Constitution was meant to be a living document that would change over time.  We need a nation of education, a nation that cares for its youth.  A nation that prides itself on its knowledge, not its best rapper or sports player.  WE have to change who we see as role models.  Let us push for a better education system, one more aligned with what works.  Let us push for retraining for those whose jobs will never come back.  Lets tell Washington to stop bickering and get something done for the people.  Only through re-education and retraining can we  make the step out of poverty and give the poor something to be proud of themselves for.  The more knowledge we have, as a people, the better we can take the future; the better we can MAKE the future.  However, this all depends on what happens in the private sector.  Companies need to start making investments, need to start hiring.  We need a public sector that does lots of R&D(research and development) in new technologies of the future.

The Department of Defense is what provided our technological advancements in the private sector.  If we didn't have an R&D department, which gets almost nothing in budgeting, in the government we wouldn't be where we are today.  The world would be very different if we didn't create these technologies, the public sector created and then gave it to the private sector for use.  The private sector always makes advancements or creates new ideas with these new technologies that come from DARPA(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).  We need to double down on R&D, we need to double down on Education.  We have to not forget where our advancement came from, the public sector doesn't do much R&D.  This is because it is costly, like Solyndra, to try and create new advancements in technology.  The reason why Solyndra died was because of China's move to take our technology and make it dirt cheep.  R&D is risky, we should never look at failure in R&D as anything but a new way to NOT do things.  Lets not forget Thomas Edison, who found 10,000 ways NOT to make an incandescent light bulb.  Imagine if he had to deal with today's conservatives!  We may not have light at night, save for fire!  The greatest thing about R&D is that when you create something that works you create a new industry, which means JOBS!

The Republicans took the elections of 2010 by saying they were going to fight for jobs.  What exactly have they done?  Not much on that front, but they had plenty of time to do witch hunts and fight about who gets Tax Breaks; which they believe is only for the rich (or job creators as they call them).  Now, think about this.  We have had these breaks since the Bush era, have they created any jobs?  Nope, actually it has caused the greatest wealth distribution in history.  It has moved the money from the poor to the rich, not the other way around.  It, of course, isn't all due to these Bush Tax cuts but shows exactly how conservatives think.   If they want to cry Class Warfare, we should SCREAM that back at them.  We are the ones who have to fight every day to find work and keep a roof over our heads.  We are the ones who work our fingers to the bone with very little to show for it.  We are the ones to have to pay 30% in taxes while the rich EVADE taxes and pay as little as 13 or 14%.  How can they say they are working for us?  How can they say that they have our lives in mind?  How can they say they are working for Jobs?  There are several bills that the President has been asking Congress to pass for OVER a YEAR and some TWO YEARS!  Like the Infrastructure Bank, which is a great idea and has conservative roots.  It can break the gridlock on how infrastructure projects get started and funded.  Why has this not been passed?  Why do we continue to wait to rebuild our country?  We the People have the right to know why these guys(republican and democrat) can't work together to get our country into the 21st century?  We have to get involved and VOTE, read and learn the issues.  Ask people to explain themselves on the positions they hold, no need to be ugly about it; as the saying goes, "We can agree to disagree", but we can have that conversation.  We may end up changing some minds or providing some REAL DATA to show or prove a point and educate some people.  Let us create an atmosphere of conversation and ideas, only then can we create new policies that will be best for all.

Let us move our own lives forward, create new blogs and new companies.  Let us show the way through actions.  The rich may have us over a barrel now but give us some time to build our businesses and lives.  We can show them that we can live and progress without them, lets make them a product of a bygone time.  Let them defend their stale ideas while we CREATE new ways to do things.  One good thing, we do not have to wait to act the right way.  We can make the changes in our own lives and have that be an example.   We have only ourselves to blame if we decide to do nothing, but we have everything to gain if we take control of our own lives.  Do not lose heart!  There are lots of us out there building businesses and trying to create a new business model.  Not one based on the CEO, but one based on what makes the business prosper - the human capital - the workers.  Let us hold ourselves accountable first, then take that pride and strength and REQUIRE our elected officials be the same.  There are lots of other items that merits a post, but that will have to wait for now.  I really wanted to get this idea out that we can prosper as Americans, that progressive ideas are what led to the Internet and Microchip.  Progressive ideas will have to be what leads us out of this
catastrophic downturn.

Thanks for reading this far!
Go out there and build something!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The American Progress Manifesto - An Occupy Wall Street Message

Hello Everyone!

Disclaimer: As many of you will not make it to the end of this, I have decided to put this at the top:

My views are mine alone, however I feel many feel this way as well and I am speaking on behalf all those who profess it.  Some will not like any of this but still be part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is a really bad name so I am renaming it to The American Progress movement. Which I just thought up now as who can like any movement with a name like Occupy Wall Street? As all movements, we are many, from all over, and want different things.  I just wanted to put some of our demands, as a supporter, and get some kind of message of what we are about out to the public, of course under orders from no one - I just did.

I have found it necessary to add my voice to the people out there showing their anger at the powers that be.   I am going to cover a slew of items that I believe all supporters of The American Progress movement can agree with. This movement is mostly about being patriotic, it is patriotic to put our voices together and say we are not happy!  Yes, we are not the Tea Party, yes we are going to be civil and sane during our conversations, no hitler (not capitalized because I don't care to) signs.  We just want our side to be heard, we want to show the world that America is NOT crazy and (a little cheesy) YES WE CAN, get things done.  We, progressives and patriots (they come in all sizes and shapes), want MORE money to spend in Education, we want MORE money investing in our infrastructure and digital highways(technical infrastructure).  We need to compete with the new world and we cannot forget that we are not just falling behind, we already are and now we need to CATCH UP!  It is a sad day to see where our country  has ended up, President George Washington would be heart broken; but he would also have HOPE! He would be ready to FIGHT the power that be to restore the American Dream!  Below I have outlined some items that I think can argue for our points.

First of all, we want to WORK!  We want to be able to support ourselves and our families, or take care of our parents as they age.  Most of all we want to feel like we are WINNING, and yes it really boils down to that.  Currently we only see the rich winning, and we waited and waited, being the paitient kind of people we are but nothing happened.  So here we are taking to the streets and digital networks trying to gain some kind of understanding with the situation, as it does look like from the outside that our own countrymen sold us out.  Well to be fair, it looks like that from the inside as well.  I was pushed out of my job by outsourced company in India, that's fine I'll make my own way!  I understand more that most what globalization has done for Americans, but I also see the future in it as well.  We just need to have the right things set in motion.  We MUST start a major push in green energy, I mean BIG PUSH - GO TO THE MOON BIG!   This could open up a whole new industry, most likely HUNDREDS of industries can be created here.  We would even be getting a better environment as well, what a plus!  Whatever it takes, we need to put people back to work, period.  How can we add coins to the coffer if we don't have workers getting paid and then taxed?  I'll get to taxes in a bit, but we need more stimulus, oooohhh I said STIMULUS and you know what, it needs to go to funding a complete rework of our electrical, digital, and general infrastructure.  Lets not bicker about the cost, the highway systems in the US increased productivity and encouraged commerce from one side of the other.  These things will be paid off with increased productivity and a healthy economy, which it could help foster.  These are ideas but we want SOLUTIONS.  We are tired of waiting and wanting and waiting some more.  We deserve the right to speak out and be heard by our leaders, we will push and we will not stop; ever.  The opposition will not stop, WE WILL NOT GIVE IN!  WE REQUIRE THAT OUR POLITICAL LEADERS IN WASHINGTON PROVIDE A DETAILED SOLUTION TO OUR JOBLESSNESS AND SAFE GUARDS THAT THE SOLUTION WILL BE IMPLEMENTED IMMEDIATELY!

I have heard that The American Progress movement is about "Class Warfare", well, can we get a paycheck weekly with that kind of warfare??  Come on, really?  Class warfare, really??? Really? I don't understand how that is a point of view, we are only saying that this "trickle down economics" hasn't worked for over a decade now, so why continue to say it will solve our problems?  We have given these corporations and bankers OUR money, and lots of it, and what do they do? Gamble it away on credit default swaps and other VERY RISKY dealings, sure Uncle Sam got his money back but where did our 401K go or his sons college education?  You know what, it is really offensive where I come from to sell shit in a shinny new box.  This is what the banks did with those failed home loans, and when they started failing in mass?  Well you know what, they didn't have any money to cover their bets, and who do you think bought these bags of shit?  Well, we did.  We bought them as gold, not knowing they were shit.  However we didn't really buy them, the investment houses and mortgage brokers did and then bet on them as well, which is what we bought.  The ones selling the shit, as far as I understand, said "we are going to package these risky loans as AAA bonds and make us some money", and they guys on the other side thought "well gee, we can make some easy dough buying these AAA bonds".  As it happens, Greece was a place that purchased a whole crap load of these things and look what happened to them. Well they bet on these AAA bonds they just purchased and around and around it went; well hey, everyone else was doing it right?  Well then the housing bubble burst, meaning the prices of houses went down, and then these guys starting rethinking their "investments" since they were not paying off, with no money behind them the bonds were now worth less than they paid for them, if anything at all.  Anyway, so point being here?  The banks have a huge deal with how we got here in the first place, maybe not the whole part but big enough to know there are some dirty hands on that Wall Street and the major Banks.  WE WANT JUSTICE! Whoever did wrong needs to be investigated and brought to justice, period.  BANKS SHOULD NOT PLAY RISKY GAMES, like the old days during which America when though the most significant progressive phase in history.  Seems like bankers back then made enough to live and grow their businesses, and they were paying over 50% in taxes, just a side point but will come back to taxes.  Point is, banks should only be able to do what they have historically done, no more no less.  Leave the risk to investment houses and other entities.  WE WANT REGULATIONS PREVENTING BANKS THAT ARE TOO BIG TO FAIL!  WE WANT TO ENSURE BANKS DO NOT PARTAKE IN RISK!

Now, how did you guys, bankers, think that giving a house to someone who couldn't, very evidently, not make the payments?  Doesn't that sound like the guy who calls you on the phone and says, "you won a vacation", but only needs your credit card?  Well that is because that was exactly what it was, fraud, on a major scale unheard of in the history of the world.  We put our faith in you, bankers, to do what was RIGHT for your customers, not just your shareholders.  If that means saying, hey you can't afford this, well then do so.  You have never bent to political forces before so don't say that President G.W. Bush told you to do so, bad excuse.  You guys took risks with money that wasn't yours to take, you played millions of people. How can you sleep at night?  You played a risky game and lost, you know that misrepresenting the truth is still lying?  Just because you didn't cover that part in the loan contracts, you know, the balloon payments, doesn't mean you can absolve yourself of your wrongdoing.  Did you know they are people as well? People who had dreams of owning a house, and yes you did fill that dream, just to take it away again; which really is the worst part about it.  You really created our anger, by not readjusting those loans or attempting to help those home owners.  You gave them the dream just to rip it out of their hands.  For being heartless people, we are angry.   WE WANT REGULATIONS TO ENSURE BANKS NEVER AGAIN FOOL AN UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMER! THERE SHOULD BE EASY TO READ AND UNDERSTAND LOAN AGREEMENTS, PERIOD.

Ahhh, taxes.   As a new small business owner myself I know exactly how much the government takes.  You know what, I don't go looking for loopholes to save money in taxes. I believe myself to be a patriot, I plan on growing my business and eventually hiring a few employees and give back to my community, and yes, pay my share of taxes; which I do as a matter of fact.  There is nothing more patriotic than helping fund the country that has give us ALL so much, well everything really.  Is there waste in Washington? Pleaaaseee!  Of course there is. Do we need to get rid of the stuff that doesn't work, absolutely.  Do we do that at the expense of funding for the technology of the future or the Environment(which is next) of the current?  Why does this question even need to be asked???  How do we fund this stuff?  The private sector really doesn't do Research and Development(R&D) because it is too expensive to operate that way.  Businesses get started after an idea is created and most of the time has the chance to succeed.  Without the R&D from the government we wouldn't have the Internet on which you are on right now.  Who paid for that R&D, we did; and are you not glad we did?  Yes it is patriotic to pay taxes, and yes, I pledge to pay my share of taxes, and so should the rich and corporations as they are people too(gotta love that - it works both ways!).  We are angry because the rich and big corporations don't pay their fair share, not compared to the percentage we pay.  We want a level playing field, no special loopholes or breaks - NO MORE!  THIS IS A DEMAND!  This will allow us to do so much for our country, SO BE PATRIOTIC AND PAY YOUR SHARE!  WE, THE AMERICAN PROGRESS MOVEMENT, REQUIRE A FULL REVISION OF THE TAX CODE.  NO MORE LOOPHOLES OR UNFAIR PRACTICES THAT ONLY APPLY TO SMALL SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS.

The Environment is one of those things we only have ONE OF.  Like a HUMAN LIFE it can become unhealthy and grow sick.  When this happens we have mass extinction of species, which is happening now even as I type this.  There is no way we can get back species once they are gone, it is some thing we cannot recover from.  For example, if we lost the Bee population in the U.S., the entire world would have a food shortage.  This is an extreme example, however it illustrates how one little piece of the whole, when missing disrupts the entire thing.  If we allow our arrogance to continue to cloud our better judgments, from climate scientists, we many have greater things to worry about than Bankers and Wall Street.  The reason I didn't put this at the very top is because there are so many things going wrong right now that funny as it seems this ranks here.  The beauty of it is, we can create jobs, clean up the environment, and dig ourselves out of the financial mess we are in.  WE WANT TO LEAVE A WORLD OF BEAUTY TO OUR CHILDREN.  It is patriotic to want to preserve this thing we call the United States, and to preserve it we have to take Climate Change seriously.  We have to make hard choices, I am willing to sacrifice for this as we all would.  The American Progress movement is about progressing America forward with hope for the future.  This is possible but we ALL HAVE TO WORK AT IT!  WE BUILT AMERICA, US, AMERICANS! WE NOW HAVE TO FIX IT AND ENSURE WE CAN LEAVE A LEGACY THAT WE CAN ALL FEEL PROUD OF!  WE, THE AMERICAN PROGRESS MOVEMENT, REQUIRE THAT LEGISLATION BE PASSED AND SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT THAT ADDRESSES THE MAJOR CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES.  THE ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS MUST BE PRESENTED BY THE IPCC.  THIS IS A DEMAND.

From anything I have said here, the Occupy Wall Street protesters are angry but want to hope for a better future.  We want CHANGE for MAIN STREET.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Steps Taken To Open LLC

Hello again!  I am here to explain what steps I have taken to get my LLC up and running.

First things first, talk with a Labor Lawyer and Accountant. This is a hugely important step, hence the first one!  The reason you go to an attorney is so that you can understand all the responsibilities of your business.   Remember, you will not be you anymore, you will be your business.  An LLC is an entity, like a person, that has legal responsibilities that you must at the very least know about.  There are many types of options to consider when opening a new business.  The attorney will be able to consider your situation and help you come to a decision on what type of company to open, e.g. LLC, S Corporation and so on.  An LLC is a Limited Liability Company, I'l get into what an LLC is a bit later.

Now the accountant is there to help you understand the Tax liabilities of your company.  There are many different option on how you can file and what forms you use.  If your in my shoes, no employees, makes less than 50,000 a year, then you will probably opt for the tax burden to pass through the LLC.  What this means is that since you are the Sole Proprietor of the business you will end up filing your taxes for your business as personal income.  However you will want to open a business account and deposit all your earnings from the business into this account.  This will make it easier come tax time, as long as you don't use the account as your personal account!  More to come on the financial issues as well, since we will need to cover how you plan to keep track of your account.

Come up with a business name, have a few since sometimes the names are already taken.

Now that you know why it is best to consult the experts, and now that you have your ready to get started.  If you chose to open an LLC your path can be similar to mine.  Now what your going to need is to go to a SBA, the university in my city has a division of the Small Business Association that helped me.  I believe all SBA locations will help you for free, so take advantage of it!  What they will help you with is to get some paper work together, the Articles of Organization and Statement of Acceptance of Appointment by Designated Initial Registered Agent.  These forms will need to be mailed to your states Public Regulation Commission, with a 50.00 money order.  Not sure if the fees are different in different states, I live in New Mexico.  Mail the documents and wait about 2 weeks.

You now have a Certificate of Organization from the PRC that shows your selected business name can do business.  At this point you can schedule some time with your SBA to finish up the paper work.  What is left is a Federal Tax Id number and a Gross Receipts Tax Id number(State Taxes).  The SBA will help you fill out the CRS form but you will have to take it to your local Taxation and Revinue Department for submission, can take a few days.  Once you have a your Federal Id and CRS Id you will be done with the setup of your business!  Only thing left is to open a business checking account.

Go to a bank you select to have your business account.  Look around for the best deals, what services they offer businesses and such.  Once you have selected one take your Certificate of Organization and your Federal Tax Id number to the bank.  They will help you get it all up and running, however most of the time they require some money, mine was 100.00, to be deposited into the account at the time of creation.

Now your ready to do some business!  Some helpful tips, utilize your SBA as they will want to help you achieve success!  Allocate time every day, weekends too, to spend building your business and doing research.  Call contacts and start building your client/customer list.  Call SCORE, or get online at http://www.score.org/index.html.  They will also help you for free, great resource to help you navigate the new waters of your business life!  Get involved with online communities of business people, I'll post some places I find helpful when I have some more time. Always remember to have fun in what you do!

Bye for now and Good Luck!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Life as a new business person


This is my first blog post!  Two weeks ago I decided that I wanted to have my own software company.  So I have started down that path, created Monster Software LLC.  It is still in the early phases, still getting stuff setup.  I wanted to document the steps I have taken thus far and then continue as my business grows.

Taking the advise of a friend I found a lawyer that could help me figure out what kind of company I wanted to be, given each company is different.  I also found an accountant that helped me understand my new tax responsibilities, however took some looking and talking to find the right CPA fit; so don't just use the first one you talk to.  First thing I found out was that, being that I am the only owner and have no employees the best fit ended up being a Limited Liability Company.

As far as taxes go, which was the most worrying part given I now have to pay myself, I found that I would need to keep about 24 - 25 % of my business income.  I'll get into the tax specifics later since it can be its whole blog post, and I am still finding out more as I go.  If your thinking about going into business for yourself always remember, you will pay more in taxes.  Unless you can keep good records and be smart, talk to a certified accountant and/or tax attorney.

Undeterred I moved forward with the creation of my company.  I am still in the process of getting the federal id's and a client list built, but feel there is a service I can provide that others can't.  This is being committed to quality software development and solution oriented approach to problems, forsaking expedient development for more maintainable code.  There is still lots of things to be done and creating this blog was one of them!

This blog will be to document my successes, failures, hopes, experiences and overall life journey.  There will be a blog on my company website dedicated to software development and common software development issues, so please have a look!  This is a new season to my life, and one I will own up to!

Hope all is well with everyone!
(here is a link to my company website: www.monstersoftwarellc.com)