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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)