Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Here's a picture taken from Western's campus looking towards the north. I stole it from this web site. I hope they don't mind. I'll try to get some pictures soon, but the days are busy and the night falls quickly so far north in the fall. Still, a beautiful time to be out and about in Bellingham.

On a business note, it's been interesting trying to launch a business in these trying times when capital is virtually non-existent for the small business owner. I've mentioned it in the past, but the smaller companies are the ones that create jobs in this economy, while the larger companies are those continuing to shed workers. This will not bode well for the society as a whole, as more and more candidates apply for less and less jobs. That is one of the reasons we've seen a steady erosion of real wages over the past few decades. I read the the number of jobs shed by the companies comprising the S&P500 offset any real job growth by small business (15m lost versus 16m created since 1990).

But we've doubled our headcount since we launched our company and have fortunately had access to creative financing. Unfortunately, the average person unlikely will have to ability to acquire any of the capital to start a small business, furthering the slide of the US standard of living as fewer jobs emerge. At least the banks are doing quite well thanks to our subsidies. We, as Americans, will need to get used to earning less and doing with less.

I am fortunate to have the luck and fortitude to have remained ahead of the curve for most of my life, even in my slacker days. I feel sorry for the millions and millions of Americans that are getting pushed into the lower class as the middle class gets squeezed. I heard recently how the top one percent controls more wealth than the bottom ninety percent. Not a big surprise. And yet we - the dumb-assed Americans - plug into CNN and FOX and believe every word we spoon fed. I wonder when the pain will become so great for the average American that they demand change from our crippled political system? Is it too late?

The United States that I grew up to know and love is no longer. Or maybe it's always been broken, but I've just grown more aware.

Back to the salt mines. Today we are buying more equipment and hiring another employee. I wonder how many worker bees will lose their jobs today in our heavily subsidized financial sector while the mom & pops languish?


Anonymous said...

originally from the northwest. would love to get out of the south and go back home. looked for jobs in bellingham paper online, but navigating their jobs section is pure torture. wish i could get an old fashioned lead into some work...sigh!

Jeff Westcott said...

yes, my earnings right now are approximately what I made in 1994. But oddly enough I'm much happier not being in the rat race. It's unfortunate that there is such a high perceived correlation in our society between income and happiness. Hope to see you back up here.