Friday, March 25, 2011

Corporate Profits At Record Highs - Unemployment Is Good For Business

The latest figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show corporate profits at an all time high without any adjustment for inflation. The 4th quarter of 2010 showed $1.68 trillion in profits compared to the previous high of $1.65 trillion for the 3rd quarter of 2006.

An article titled “Corporate Profits At All-Time High As Recovery  Stumbles” by Yeepoka Yeebo March 25, 2011 and posted in The Huffington Post digs into the situation. What is clear is the concept of running lean is being taken to heart.

Running lean means that organizations are staffed at bare minimum levels yet during the uncertain economic times they are squeezing more work than ever out of their current employees. With the job market still dragging and hiring of new employees weak, employees will do more and stay where they are instead of leaving to seek another job. That is where the terms increased productivity comes in by getting the same output out of fewer employees; it is simply a math equation.

According to the article, any productivity lost during the recession has been recovered and companies are not spending cash or other liquid assets, but holding on to them. Does that mean that unemployment has been good for business, in a way yes? The recession allowed companies to make cuts in every area and almost reinvent themselves under the cover of a down business cycle.

These record profits also show how the economy has changed. Housing is still a segment in deep trouble and that was once the indicator of how well the economy was doing. A healthy housing segment meat homes were being build, purchased and other segment fed off the housing industry. What current record profits demonstrate is how profitability has disconnected with what happens in the United States. Companies like General Electric operate on a worldwide scale. Financial companies trade financial instrument on a global basis. If demand for products and services is soft in the United States it could be more than offset by growth in markets like China and India.

At some pint new employees will be need in the United States because there is a breaking point to productivity increases from current staff. The question is will the hiring be permanent, through staffing firms or even in the United States.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Small Business Spotlight – Fat Ho Burgers In Texas

                          Fat Ho Burgers

This story grabs attention and was featured on a local news broadcast. Regardless of the name, someone started a small business that has gained attention and created a following.

An article titled “'Fat Ho Burgers' Opens in Texas” by Dionne Anglin and published on the MyFoxDFW website details a new burger joint in Waco, Texas. The name of the small eatery grabs your attention, but the product will be the key to them remaining in business. The second surprising thing about this new venture is that the owner is only 23-years old.

During tough economic times like these one of the options is to step out and create your own enterprise. With many negative things that could be said about young people today it is laudable to see someone giving entrepreneurship a shot.

Not everyone will be pleased with the name of the business and some may decide not to patronize an establishment with such a name, but one thing this young woman knows is how to gain attention. And as we have seen with many other situations controversy sells.

You can make up your own mind about how you feel about the name and the connotations it carries, but it could be a stroke of marketing genius, because you probably won’t forget it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How Many Nuclear Power Plants Operate In The United States & Worldwide - How Safe Are They

Worldwide Nuclear Power Plant Guide
Nuclear power plants have been around for many years and of people living near them never think about them until something happens to bring them to the top of mind. The crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ich plant in Japan has focused attention like a laser around the world on existing nuclear power plants and their safety.

How will this affect the future of nuclear power around the world? In general nuclear power has been far safer in terms of deaths than coal mining and oil drilling, but the nature of nuclear incidents are harrowing. Unlike a worksite based coal mine or oilfield accident, radiation from a nuclear core meltdown can spread for miles contaminating the ground and people. Radiation damage can be instant and delayed. Short term radiation sickness from high doses of exposure and long term illnesses like cancer are both possible.

It is the invisible nature of radiation that strikes fear into the hearts of men. How does someone know they are exposed and that is the driver of fears of mortality? 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

$63,728,000 Worth Of Tomahawk® Cruise Missiles Fired Into Libya In Operation Odyssey Dawn

Tomahawk® Cruise Missile

According to military officials, 112 Tomahawk® cruise missiles were fired into Libya with the intent of knocking out the anti-aircraft capabilities of Muammar Gaddafi. The U S Navy places the cost of a single Tomahawk® cruise missile at $569,000.00.  

Regardless of the politics, that’s a lot of money. We hear these terms every time a military action starts up, but this extract tells all about the Tomahawk® Cruise Missile:

Tomahawk® Cruise Missile

The Tomahawk® Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is an all-weather, long range, subsonic cruise missile used for land attack warfare, launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and Royal Navy submarines. 

Tomahawk carries a nuclear or conventional payload. The conventional, land-attack, unitary variant carries a 1,000-pound-class warhead (TLAM-C) while the submunitions dispenser variant carries 166 combined-effects bomblets (TLAM-D). The Block III version incorporates engine improvements, an insensitive extended range warhead, time-of-arrival control and navigation capability using an improved Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC) and Global Positioning System (GPS) — which can significantly reduce mission-planning time and increase navigation and terminal accuracy. Tomahawk Block IV (TLAM-E) is the latest improvement to the Tomahawk missile family. Block IV capability enhancements include: (a) increased flexibility utilizing two-way satellite communications to reprogram the missile in-flight to a new aimpoint or new preplanned mission, send a new mission to the missile en route to a new target, and missile health and status messages during the flight; (b) increased responsiveness with faster launch timelines, mission planning capability aboard the launch platform, loiter capability in the area of emerging targets, the ability to provide battle damage indication in the target area, and the capability to provide a single-frame image of the target or other areas of interest along the missile flight path; and (c) improved affordability with a production cost of a Block IV significantly lower than the cost of a new Block III and a 15-year Block IV recertification interval compared to the eight-year interval for Block III.  


Tomahawk® cruise missiles are designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and are piloted over an evasive route by several mission tailored guidance systems. The first operational use was in Operation Desert Storm, 1991, with immense success. The missile has since been used successfully in several other conflicts. In 1995 the governments of the United States and United Kingdom signed a Foreign Military Sales Agreement for the acquisition of 65 missiles, marking the first sale of Tomahawk® to a foreign country.  
Point Of Contact
Program Executive Office, Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation [PEO (W)]
Public Affairs Office
Naval Air Station
Patuxent River, Maryland 20670-1547
phone: 301-757-9703 

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Long-range subsonic cruise missile for striking high value or heavily defended land targets.
Contractor: Raytheon Systems Company, Tucson, AZ.Date Deployed: Block II TLAM-A IOC - 1984
Block III – IOC 1994
Block IV – IOC expected 2004.
Unit Cost: Approximately $569,000 (FY99 $).
Propulsion: Block II/III TLAM-A, C & D - Williams International F107 cruise turbo-fan engine; ARC/CSD solid-fuel booster
Length: 18 feet 3 inches (5.56 meters); with booster: 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 meters).
Diameter: 20.4 inches (51.81 cm).
Wingspan: 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 meters).
Weight: 2,900 pounds (1,315.44 kg); 3,500 pounds (1,587.6 kg) with booster.
Speed: Subsonic - about 550 mph (880 km/h).
Range: Block II TLAM-A – 1350 nautical miles (1500 statute miles, 2500 km)
Block III TLAM-C - 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km)
Block III TLAM-D - 700 nautical miles (800 statute miles, 1250 km
Block IV TLAM-E - 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km)
Guidance System: Block II TLAM-A – INS, TERCOM, Block III TLAM-C, D & Block IV TLAM-E – INS, TERCOM, DSMAC, and GPS.
Warhead: Block II TLAM-N – W80 nuclear warhead
Block III TLAM-C and Block IV TLAM-E - 1,000 pound class unitary warhead
Block III TLAM-D - conventional submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets.

Those are the facts on the Tomahawk® Cruise Missile.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Radiation Found In Food 65 Miles From Nuclear Power Plant In Japan

Worldwide Nuclear power Plant Guide

The real danger of an accident that causes a radiation leak has been realized in Japan. Radiation was discovered in spinach and milk 65 miles from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ic nuclear power plant. That is why you need to know where nuclear power plants are located wherever you live or travel around the world.

After an earthquake and tsunami caused the cooling system to shut down at a nuclear power plant in Japan several chain reaction events led to explosions and radiation leaks. Most people thin about the direct effects of exposure from radiation as the ultimate risk to their health, but the real long term risk is when the radioactive material enters the soil and plants. Once the soil and plants are contaminated, the next step is for the radioactive material to enter the human food chain. Vegetables, grass and milk can become contaminated. When humans eat and drink contaminated food products, the radioactive material enter human beings.

Once in the human body, radioactive elements like cesium and radioactive iodine can enter human organs. Once human organs absorb radioactive elements the risk of cancer, organ failure and birth defects increase. An article titled “Japan cites radiation in milk, spinach near plant” by the Associated Press March 19, 2011and published on the ABC Local WABC website details the amount of radiation discovered in the food products.

What this brings to top of mind is the wisdom of knowing where nuclear power plants are where you live, work or travel in the United States and around the world. One source of information pulled together in a convenient format is the World Wide Nuclear Power Plant Guide.
 . This guide lists nuclear power plants by country, number of reactors and location of over 440 nuclear power plant reactors worldwide. Knowing how close you will be to a nuclear power plant is one more piece of information to be aware of for your own piece of mind.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Find The Nuclear Power Plant Closest To You In The United States Of America

Locations Of Nuclear Power Plants In The United States

In light of the issues that took place in Japan after the massive earthquake and tsunami disabled the cooling capabilities of one of its nuclear power plants, it seems practical for people in the United States to know where their closest nuclear power plants are located.

There have been massive problems taking place in Japan with one of its nuclear power plants. The Fukushima Dai-ich nuclear power plant lost the ability to cool the fuel rods when the tsunami disabled the primary and backup power systems. The fuel rods began to heat up and possibly melt. The plant then suffered multiple hydrogen explosions and the threat of a nuclear meltdown of the core was a realistic possibility.

There were multiple unlikely occurrences that took place to cause the nuclear power plant in Japan to fail, but they did take place. We have over 100 nuclear power generators in the United States and except for the incident at Three Mile Island there has been a high degree of safe operation. It would seem that nuclear power in the United States has been fairly safe and effective over the years. If you compare deaths from nuclear power to those involved in the oil industry and coal mining, there is no comparison.

Even in the face of years of safe operation it is still prudent to be informed. The locations of United States nuclear power plants are included in the embedded video at the top of this article.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We Made Snooki A Star, But Can We Make Anything Else In The USA

 Snooki - Celebrity Made In America 

Not Made In America (Video)

The United States probably leads the world in one area of manufacturing and that is the fabrication of celebrities out of previously unknown individuals. When it comes to manufacturing other items on our soil we have lost considerable steam. We made Snooki, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian stars, but can we make a cell phone.

Even Senator John McCain though we made some products in the United States because the company is headquartered here. An article titled “McCain flunks Made in America 101” by Rebecca Stewart March 6, 2011 and published on the CNN website discusses how Senator McCain thought the iPhone and iPad were made in the United States when they are assembled in China. Senator McCain can’t really be faulted to think that two of the hottest products on the planet from a decidedly American company would also be built here.

Of course we still manufacture some products in the United States, but the shift to outsourcing manufacturing to lower cost, lower regulation locales around has devastated the heart of “made in America.” The relaxing of trade laws allowed the labor force to become a worldwide pool and in most cases the lowest cost workers won. Everything can be taken to an extreme and the extreme in this case is we may have outsourced the ability of this nation to support itself by send too many wages elsewhere. People can’t buy much without jobs and everyone can’t work in service, retail or become a reality TV star. There are only so many of The Real Housewives and Jersey Shore television shows to go around, we have plenty of people that can assemble iPads, iPhones and refrigerators.
An article by Gary Reeves titled “Dallas family empties home of foreign-made goods” March 1, 2011 and published on the WFAA website states that in 1950 10% of the goods purchased in the United States were foreign, now over 50% of what Amercans purchase is foreign made. Some have become so jaded as to say if some of these products were built here they would be too expensive. With that thinking the cause is lost because we have given up on ourselves.