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L. Denise Jackson

Founder & CEO,

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What do you think is the biggest mistake corporate America has made in the last 5 years

Either answer with one word or phrase and if you choose to explain, that would be great.

Cutting training and development. Not investing in employees results in...

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    Aug 26 2012: Corporate America has been plagued by the most common mistake that businesses make: that belief that money is more important than the human being; and that intergrity is not so important as long as you are making profit.

    These two errors are the shaky foundations that corporate America has been building on.
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      Aug 27 2012: Hello Feyisayo, thank you for your response. I agree this is one of the mistakes and probably the most evident seen my our general society. The general WIIFM mindset is seen as the overall ruin. And while there is an "unselfish" motive to secure the future, the selfish target is not for everyone but just those who come under their lineage. I agree that with big business, integrity can be non-existent and the minute existence is overshadowed.

      I hope we can connect on Google+ to talk further when I have one my "hangouts" in September. I would love to talk live about this. it is a huge topic.

      Have a great week!
    • Aug 28 2012: Companies have forgotten who they are,

      They have forgotten why they were founded in the first place

      They have forgotten their WHY
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    Gail . 50+

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    Aug 26 2012: Underestimating the willingness of the people to use the Internet to educate themselves. Now MANY know what the current economic model is doing to US. More and more are exploring alternatives.

    The current economic model seems to be on the brink of collapse. When public corprations are required to put profits ahead of damage they're doing to people and resources, they become dangerous things. Right now our laws protect their right to destroy our aquifers, our topsoil, our air, our other natural resources, and our PEOPLE. Not only protect, but REQUIRE them to do so, because failure to do so is negligence on the part of the CEO who is depriving the shareholder of income and the government of its fair share in taxes.

    At a time when automation is replacing people (even the Chinese that only make 68 cents/hour), they are forgetting that the economy is sustained by consumers. When robots (including computers) do too many things, in a system with money, there are too few consumers and the whole thing comes crashing down.
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      Aug 27 2012: TED Lover, I know this going to sound so elementary but I experienced some things in the last few weeks and I told my mother [paraphrased] "people are stupid and they are more stupid to think I am stupid" and that is really the truth. And even if they don't underestimate people, what happens is because we don't always know how to fix the problem collectively or "not enough of us" can with such expediency, they wink and twirl and keep going because their plan is in tact.

      I agree with you. I saw a silly and entertaining but with some truth, the move The Campaign and the deals behind closed doors may seem outrageous and totally incomprehensible and to some...it is "just business."

      Thank you for contributing to this discussion. Have a great week!
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    Aug 27 2012: The professional business executive. Those guys that are constantly hopping from one company to another and seem to get payed a fortune even though the company they run makes a loss. Their priority is negotiating the best remunerations package possible which in many cases means coming up with a way to artificially inflate the share price of the company so they can cash in the stock options they negotiated into their contract. It really all stems from trading shares as a commodity on the stock market. It gives a company the ability to create money from nothing and vice versa. Free-market is supposed to be about creating something that others will buy off you. It has become the quest to create the impression of value where there is none.
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      Aug 27 2012: You assume that the customers are stupid and that they cannot discern value, you also assume that the guys on the board who decide who to hire are stupid and gullible. Both assumptions are obtuse.

      Customers are smart if they are good at one thing it is determining what product is best suited to their needs.

      Secondly a skilled administrator/executive can break a company or it can rocket the company. Example John Sculley who was the CEO of Apple, fired Stephen Jobs in 1985 and ran the company into the ground. Apple rehired Stephen Jobs and Apple is now the most valuable company in the world. Now you obtusely carp about a ceo making a few million while at the same time makes his company 100's or 1000's of millions. Let me see now who do I want to pick the next CEO the thrifty guy or the guy who knows CEO talent and is willing to spend what it takes to get that talent?
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        Aug 27 2012: Apple is actually a perfect example of what I mean when I say the impression of value where there is none. For all the marketing hype that surrounds Apple I can only think of one Apple product that does its job better than any competitor, and that's a piece of software called iTunes. In AUS we laugh behind the backs of Apple hardware users because we can by superior hardware for a quarter of the cost direct from Asia.
        Regarding the guys on the board. As they are all shareholders a substantial increase in the share price is always going to be their main goal and share price is rarely a good measure of the real world value of a company. If it was we wouldn't have stock market crashes would we?
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          Aug 27 2012: What part of the most valuable company in the world did you not understand?
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        Aug 27 2012: Check out the Apple v Samsung result. Just the latest in a long line of US companies using US patent laws (which don't recognise patents held outside the US) as a form of protectionism. As a mountainbiker the Horst link saga in legend. US manufacturer Specialized managed to buy a patent to a design that had been in common usage worldwide for over ten years. The end result being US citizens couldn't buy most of the best bikes available to the rest of us.
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          Aug 27 2012: Thank you Peter!
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          Aug 27 2012: I don't have time to read up on that right now. But there 2 side to this story and the Asian countries are not exactly renowned for their integrity regarding this subject.
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          Aug 27 2012: God forbid that anyone should entertain new FACTS!

          Peter you are aware that Randians NEVER look up facts. They are the very definition of those Wall St. guys who almost brought down the world economy.

          Greenspan was a Randian.

          Thanks for that good information- we need it if we are going to change thinking patterns.
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        Aug 27 2012: When the Apple bubble bursts I'm sure the US government will bail them out too.
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          Aug 27 2012: Ah yes, yet more conjecture.... Yawn

          I think the politicians especially O and his record with GM and Solyndra are done with bailouts if they want to get reelected.
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          Aug 27 2012: YAAAAAAAAAAAWWN! Rudeness appears to be the new hidy hole of the Randians.
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        Aug 27 2012: Surely the most valuable company in the world will be deemed "too big to fail".
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        Aug 27 2012: conjecture is how you prepare for possible future events. Perhaps if some one had entered into some conjecture regarding the long term viability of sub-prime mortgages we wouldn't be in this mess.
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          Aug 27 2012: "conjecture is how you prepare for possible future events. "

          And you are a science teacher, interesting ( I learned this word from Denise)

          Regarding the sub primes yup the evil POTUS Bush went before congress I think it was 17 times about this problem. Ultimately I blame us for allowing scum like Franks and Dodd to exist in congress. But since your country is perfect you can gloat for now....
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          Aug 27 2012: How would you know Pat? You made it clear above that the facts are beneath you.
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        Aug 27 2012: Making predictions and testing their veracity through experiment and observation is the foundation of science.
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          Aug 27 2012: conjecture = Inference or judgment based on inconclusive or incomplete evidence; guesswork.

          I can see where this would be a part of the scientific process but it sure as hell doesn't predict anything regarding economics.
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          Aug 27 2012: Peter, to your Lehming Brothers comment is (and yes, I do know that it is Lehman) timely and crucial to breaking through the rhetoric. Hallelujiah!

          You know that he and Greenspan were buddies.
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      Aug 27 2012: Peter when I personally witness the length of time on the interview and the length on the exit package negotiations...it was really eye-opening for me. I just sat silent and was like huh? seriously? in my mind because it was ridiculous and when they don't do anything but suck up the budget, move everything to such a disarray and they just walk away....I just want to scream "AND WHERE IS THE PROFESSIONAL MATURITY IN THIS?"
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        Aug 27 2012: What is remarkable to me is that you talk about something that is trivial and miss the elephant of does the CEO make the company money or not???
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          Aug 27 2012: The CEO at Lehman Brothers still got his bonus.
          And he amassed a total of over 500 million in his personal fortune by artificially propping up the share price of Lehman brothers only for the whole thing to collapse and take the US economy with it. Well done him!
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          Aug 27 2012: Peter the lack of need for me to enter into the minutae does not make what I am saying trivial. The CEO is supposed to make money for the company through approach or strategies to bring in new business and expand their products and services, collaborations and ventures. Of course, all CEOs are not made the same and yes I can thankfully say that I worked for both types. The few big boys gone bad are not indicative of the major, they are simply highlighted in the media and most known. Are there CEOs and executives that have foregone raises and bonuses to ensure people don't lose their jobs? Sure. I have worked for those too.

          With rises of healthcare needs and taxes and cuts in business tax breaks and the bleak financial future that most people are not aware of, there are some greedy people out there. The best weapon may sound cliche but financial education is the key for "working people" to even have a chance where they don't have to work until they day they die.
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        Aug 27 2012: I know it would be hard to imagine but there is just a shade more to it than that...

        Of course there are execs who grab a golden parachute on the way out, so what.

        Refer back to my post about how valuable a CEO is, as they produce more jobs and more growth than a whole bunch of us.
        • Aug 27 2012: Yes, because with CEO's firmly in control of government, there are now more jobs and growth than ever.
          Tired old boring argument for even more failure. Yawn.
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        Aug 27 2012: We are making each other yawn. Conjecture is just a ride on the merry go around.
        • Aug 27 2012: You might want to branch out and use a thesaurus. Barking Conjecture, Conjecture like a Sea World sea lion at every comment is boring. Instead why don't you enlighten the masses with some knowledge about something, anything.
          Perhaps you could expound upon why O is so horrible for gambling a few billion on GM and Solyndra, yet Bush is Wyllie Coyote super genius for implementing the Bush tax cuts or spending hundreds of billions on Tarp bailouts.
          Something, anything.
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        Aug 27 2012: The biggest reason for people at all levels to remain silent is that they still harbour the hope that if they just play along, they will get into those positions of power. I have never seen it work that way so I cannot diminish Peter's attempt to educate. What you see as common knowledge does not appear to be that to me. Many people listen to Beyonce and Shakira rather than read the business pages or even listen to diatribes on talk radio or god forbid some TV news sources./

        Companies with grasping, greedy CEOs head a culture of such people generally and the people who pay for that are always front line employees who get pink slips and or customers who see products they count on eliminated because they do not make sufficient revenue in ANOTHER country. If there happens to be one of those "work for the year for a buck CEOs" i bet he has an MBA in marketing for he is not going unrewarded - PLEASE! It is a good publicity stunt but I do not think even he thinks anyone buys that for long.

        As you rightly point out though, we have MANY issues to address but we have to start somewhere and I like the idea of saving half a million in CEO pay outs rather than cutting the liveihood on half a million people. I like the idea of one personat the top (What ever happened to the BUCK STOPS HERE idea (?)) taking the hit for a change instead of everyone at the bottom.

        I think that should be the new meaning of FISCAL DISCIPLINE.
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        Aug 27 2012: Hi Denise. I do fully appreciate the roll of a good CEO and the majority of them do a good job but for me economics is fairly universal (company, country, personal). There doesn't seem to be the same level of alarm when the paper value of a company grows unsustainably as there is when the GDP of a country does the same thing. The Lehman brother's situation to me seems like the same thing as if China let its economy grow at 20%pa without trying to control it. The inevitable crash is such an obvious outcome I don't understand how some companies seem to get away with letting it happen.
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    Aug 26 2012: I am truly hoping that the biggest mistake that they made in terms of a good outcome for the world is that they TICKED ME OFF by abusing my clients and my country! I hope that my voice, my education and my willingness to speak up will eventually ignite millions of others to tell their own stories with a clarity and a courage that will change things.
    IF i am not so self centered as the above though, I hardly know where to start but maybe selling tainted or wrongly formulated concentrated baby formula to mothers in Africa who had NO SOURCE OF WATER after convincing them to give up nursing their babies?
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    Aug 28 2012: Taking government subsidies, and then leaving the country...
  • Aug 27 2012: I don't think the vulnerabilities of corporate America have occurred in just the last 5 years. Most of the shortcomings have been going on for quite some time. The symptoms may have manifested themselves in the past 5 years, but this has been ongoing for quite some time.
    One thing that I believe is absolutely killing American business, is all the legal trolling. The US now has a legal system that is absolutely killing it's future, by removing innovation and replacing it with litigation and patent trolls. There are now a large number of businesses that simply won't do business within the United States, because of the threat of lawsuits. The Apple-Samsung fight is just one example, but there are literally thousands of these cases every single year. The accumulated effect is that a whole lot of innovation will never make it to market simply because there isn't enough money to both develop it and fight off the impending lawsuits. Take care of this problem and business will undoubtedly do better.
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    Aug 27 2012: "Cutting training and development. Not investing in employees results in..."

    A sub standard product at the end of the line or you do what Apple did and outsource everything though i don't have a clue whether this is true or not.

    Apples current dominance through creating a culture of value with it's physical products is not it's true strength,it's the operating system,if the system becomes the most prevalent then the product naturally sells along with it hence Google will have to make changes to it's Android system,that's the killer of that Patent battle between Samsung and Apple.
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    Aug 26 2012: Back when my two oldest sons were in grade school, I took them fishing. We sat on the dock an began to fish. As you may know, sometimes it takes a while to catch anything. After about 5 mins of casting and reeling, the boys, being very competitive, decide they would try to impede the success of the other. So they began casting in the same areas. So we spent the next hour casting, reeling in and untangling their lines. I think we see this same phenomenon in business today.

    When ever we (the corporation) find a competing business that is producing a better product than our own.....we buy that company, down size it and eliminate the competition. We also buy out distibutors that sell our competiors products in attempt to decrease market mobility of the competing products. So instead of spending efforts on creating a better product we invest those dollars to stomping out the innovators.

    Today's CEO (many not all) are 5th generation CEOs. These individuals have a diminshed appreciation of how the company was started through hard work and ingenuity. So they practice techniques that only seek to hold market share and decrease the market share of competitors. While this looks great on the books for that particular year what they are really doing in the end is actually reducing their market share by reducing demand. How so? When workers get laid off due to corporate restructure via said practices, the workers are forced to lower their buying habits until they find compreble salary elsewhere. For a large percentage of these displaced workers, compreble salaries are not found. This reduces demand for everything not just what said corporation produces. So as more and more workers (consumers) are displaced, the market shrinks globally. So while your profit margins go up your revenues actually go down.

    In essence, we are spending our time untangling lines as opposed to catching fish.
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      Aug 27 2012: Wade you are just right. I had to laugh at this because It is an excellent example.

      Have a great week!
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    Aug 26 2012: Corporate America is not one body any more than government is one body. They act individually.
    The gargantuan difference is that corporations have to respond to the market place except the one that are in bed with government. The Solyndra's and other "green companies"...

    When corporations fail in their one purpose, which is to serve their customers, they go out of business.

    When government organizations fail they are given more subsidies.

    I don't buy the premise corporate America doesn't make many mistakes, government on the other hand is an accumulation of it's citizens irresponsibility and incestuous cabals.
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      Aug 26 2012: Thank you Pat. Interesting thoughts.
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        Aug 26 2012: There is interesting used as a pejorative again. Not that I would think to engage you in a real conversation about this, just pointing out to others...
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          Aug 26 2012: Pat I am in the middle of traveling and my "interesting" is so misunderstood by you right now. Actually it led me to a few other thoughts that were in support of what you contributed. Have a good day.
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        Aug 26 2012: Fair enough. Do tell.
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      Aug 27 2012: Pat you are very right and to take it futher, a failed company is still rewarded for the financial loss in a sense and it is the American public that pay for that loss. There is little fiscal responsibility on either side with the array of loopholes created by a generation that had it already made up in their mind, there would always be an "out" as to not lose any wealth and letting the "little people" pay for it. Unfortunately the country was built on this very thing and the mindset just reverberates throughout any governing body...corporate or otherwise.

      Thank you for your contribution. Have a great week.
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        Aug 27 2012: What? It is real simple if you can't pay your bills you go out of business with chapter 13 or 7 or...

        Your statement is ambiguous and is really just conjecture.
  • Aug 26 2012: Greed, failure to understand the basic economics of effective consumer demand, deceit, trying to hold down and even lower the wages of employees, unwillingness to fairly share profits created by all employees of the company, not rewarding creativity of employees, only believing in "capitalism" on the way up, when things are going well............and more.
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      Aug 27 2012: Hi Rhona, yes you are right. If those working are not financially savvy and have something that they own, they are affected the worst and they do pretty important jobs for our safety, health, and overall existence. Interesting but true.

      Thank you for responding and have a wonderful week.
      • Aug 27 2012: L. Denise, now I wonder what actions we can take to improve the lives of everyone.
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    Aug 26 2012: I am unaware of even one act of unanimous consent/support performed by what you call "Corporate America". If you are asking what is the most deleterious shift in the established general procedure for manufacturing and distributing goods and services in the USA, then I say it is the failure to put top priority on the full employment of legal, American citizen/resident workers.
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      Aug 27 2012: Edward, you are right...there isn't really one. I wanted to hear what is the one that resonated the biggest, hardest, worst, most painful, etc. to people.

      Outsourcing has been catastrophe because the savings we should see we don't and the new jobs that are supposed to be created are not new as the in green movement. The new jobs are relabeled for those that already have it with minor training to get them to a certain point and then their old jobs are obsolete and eliminated...so yes something new is created but it is not adding new people...just new titles in the same company.

      Thank you for contrbuting. Have a great week!
  • Aug 26 2012: Yeah the biggest mistake was probably when the big bank leaders knowingly dived into the whole economic crisis. They were so rich and care-free that they felt no connection to what was about to happen. They probably still don't. When you're rich it doesn't really matter. Hence why all the people with control are terrible.

    Control + Money = Disconnection = Abandonment of the people.
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      Aug 27 2012: Yes, the financial structure that totally manipulates how we operate is a true culprit. As I move in global spaces, I see and understand how it happens and it is interesting the power that few have to affect many.

      Stuart thank you for contributing. Have a great week!
  • Aug 27 2012: Which corporations etc. etc. The problem ones - whine whine whine Some have ignored science and rationality in search of narrow goals. Ignore Shewart, Juran, and Deming. Destroying the wage structure of an entire country is nuts. Maybe the thought is know or should know. Who in their right minds would intentionally deindustrialize?
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    Aug 27 2012: Pat we are in agreement and because I am not in the minutae doesn't scream ambiguity. I have not only had more than one business whose industry was affected by the government but have won large contracts as well. I am very aware of how the government survives off the backs of the American people without regard.
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    Aug 26 2012: There has never been a hidden agenda in corporations: Solicit investors, manufacture goods, distribute goods, sell goods, make a profit, pay dividends to investors.

    The problems come from union demands, government interference, and poor assement of supply and demand. I think that there was a need for unions but they have went far past their original purpose and have aligned themselves with almost radical socialistic intent. The government by its continued growth has made a need for regulating and taxing corporate america. We are on the verge of "killing the golden goose". Through the administrations of Carter and Clinton the forced banks to loan for homes to people that could not possiabally meet the obligations. Through executive orders the administration is essentially forcing the power industry to eliminate the coal fired power plants which will cause even worse unemployment with no plan on how to fill power needs that will occur on the grid. Political payoffs to corporations (the green failures), the auto industry (we still own 41%), and hundreds of other interferences into commerce.

    Corporations biggest mistake was to not go into suvival mode, as they are now, and outsource labor and manufacturing. Steve Jobs stated this well when he explained why he went to China with his business. Big money and many corporations now see better opportunities overseas. Millionaires are taking their money to Hong Kong who understands the economics and financial needs of the wealthy. Our banks are feeling the loss and other countries are thanking our administration for making this possible for them.

    Answer: The biggest mistake was not outsourcing, moving headquarters and operations as soon as Cap and trade and other government/union mandates became a threat to their survival.

    Bob.
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      Aug 27 2012: Bob, thank you for your response.

      I was in 3 unions over the course of my professonal career and have family members that are both reps or in unions now so excuse me if I don't have a "hardlined" resply. While I understand it is for the protection of those who seemingly may not have a voice, I see the pros and cons of it today. The areas where unions still hail, their whole structure is stuck in that day and time, which yes is detrimental to the industry being more innovative and approaching their financial outlook and approach differently that may positively affect the bottom line.

      Have a great weekend.
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        Aug 27 2012: Regarding your family union history, your reply was kind. Thank you. However, I am sorry that the only thing you took away was the two time that unions were mentioned.

        Our investors are taking their money out of country. By executive orders and the establishment of 32 new czars we are regulating and taxing companies into bankrupcy and taking their corporation overseas. We are in a crisis. The white house has already stated that the deficit for next year will be an additional 3 trillion dollars and has no plans to stop the bleeding. Unions are part of the problem as they continue to make demands as the ship is going under water but the administration fired the torpedeo that sunk the ship.

        Corporations are in survival mode and we should be concerned. Concerned hell I'm scared.
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          Aug 27 2012: Bob I totally understand where our jobs are going and. What is even scarier is our sensitive foundations are being outsourced as well with connections that can totally collapse our identity. I.e. healthcare and financial and insurance records. Experienced all of this firsthand as well and to say it was unsettling is an understatement.

          We are a trillion dollars in debt with a diminishing military resource to defend our selves and financial future.
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    Aug 26 2012: I would have loved to do a Google+ hangout on this one.
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    Aug 26 2012: Thank you everyone. I am going to respond to everyone individually a bit later.