Although the US became independent of Britain in 1776, the countrys dependence on Britain and Europe for the goods needed to build the new country remained. For many years all the mechanical equipment the country needed was imported. With the beginning of the industrial revolution in Britain, the sophistication of the machinery began to increase and so did the cost. Whether the increased costs of this machinery was justified or just a case of a near monopoly supplier using its position to charge exorbitant process is still being debated today. Whatever the reason, the end result was that imported equipment became too expensive to be economical. But since the country needed more and more such goods, from ploughs to printing presses to cannons, the only options was to start manufacturing them domestically. Craftsmen began to make things that till then had been imported. The range of products was vast, from furniture to glass, leather goods, gunpowder to sewing needles and wagon wheels and much more.
The wealthy tended to look down on such craftsmen as being socially inferior to them and none suffered more from this than the blacksmith whose forge was hot, dirty, sweaty and full of smoke and soot. The blacksmith himself would usually be covered with the by products of his trade. And yet, the blacksmith was also the most important man in the village. His was an art that not everyone was strong enough to undertake or had the aptitude for. But every other craftsman depended on the blacksmith to provide the tools that were needs for the other crafts to develop.
The Colonial blacksmiths job revolved around creating and repairing iron tools and implements that were needed in farming, construction and engineering. From ploughs to door hinges to gears and armaments, there was no field of colonial activity where he did not play a part. Becoming a blacksmith in colonial times was not easy. Although there were no formal qualifications, a young man had to undergo a long period of apprenticeship until he had learned enough of the trade to start out on his own. A boy usually became an apprentice at the age of 14 or 15 and continue with the apprenticeship until he reached the age of 20 to 22. The apprentice lived in the forge shop and was responsible for it upkeep, cleanliness, lighting the fires each day and all the other chores. As time passed he would begin to help the master blacksmith in minor metal work and as his skills increased he would be given larger roles until such time as he was able to undertake large and complex projects on his own, at which time his apprenticeship was considered to be over.
The colonial blacksmith was part of the expansion into and settlement of the interiors of the country. As the population spread westwards, every settlement needed a blacksmith without whom the settlements would not be able to produce or repair the implements they needed to survive. As the settlements grew and more blacksmith set up shop, they diversified their trade from manufacturing the tools of survival to making items of domestic use and for decoration. Relics of colonial blacksmith work show impressive degrees of fine details and adornment.
Self storage buildings made of steel offer benefits to owners as well as customers. More and more people are discovering the cost effectiveness, sturdiness, and eco-friendliness of car storage, boat storage, furniture storage, garage storage, and RV storage facilities built of steel.
Setting up a self storage business is easy. You can easily find a business loan because this is seen as lucrative, low risk business. Self storage buildings of steel are cheap and easy to construct. You need to invest little, and the returns are high. Business is booming because more and more people understand the advantages of self storage. Therefore, occupancy is high at all times. What is more, self storage is seen as a recession resistant business. People might stop buying homes, but they will always need extra storage space.
Cost of steel self storage buildings is as much as 60% lower than concrete buildings. Steel is weather proof, fire proof, and corrosion resistant. It does not encourage growth of pests and mold. Steel self storage buildings can be easily constructed and expanded. These buildings are low on maintenance. The surface can be painted in attractive colors to resemble concrete, brick, or stone. The cost benefits of steel buildings are passed on to customers.
If you are looking for extra storage space, a self storage warehouse may be the best answer for your needs. Storage warehouses are safe, fireproof, and pest resistant. Most self storage buildings have foolproof security arrangements such as 24/7 guards, swipe card keys, and fire alarms.
Many steel self storage buildings are constructed from recycled steel. This makes them ecofriendly and acts as an added incentive for environment conscious customers. Self storage can be used for all occasions whenever a little extra space is desirable – for de-cluttering homes, storing inventory and documents, or during relocation.
Homeowners use self storage warehouse during home renovations. The storage facility can hold their belongings until renovations are complete. Moving storage services offer portable storage containers that are delivered to the customer. They can put their belongings in the container and have it sent to the moving and storage facility or to their new destination. Moving storage services offer discounts for storage if customers use their moving service.
Self storage warehouses are located all across the US. Therefore, finding one close to your location is not very difficult. You can select storage units or portable containers from a range of sizes. This helps you save on costs, because rental rates depend on size of the container and facilities such as round-the-clock security, post-business-hours access, and climate control.
Self storage buildings can accommodate every type of item, from large boats, bulky furniture, and heavy home appliances and business equipment to delicate electronic equipment, CDs, documents, and antiques. Steel structures offer additional security to customers and maintenance-free ownership to proprietors.
The United States has been in a recession since December, 2007, as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit research organization. But the American people, and the Obama administration along with the democrat majority congress, seem to be at odds on how to fix the American economy.
A robust economy means companies expand which results in job creation. Currently, the American people are not spending because many are not working, and those who are working are spending less, most likely due to the possibility of losing their job. Current unemployment rate stands at 9.6% as of August, 2009. A decrease in spending by the American people results in a decrease in company profits, company non expansion, and more layoffs.
Reporting on a survey by Watson Wyatt, a consulting firm, the HRSpecialist.com reported in November of 2008 that one-fourth of U.S. employers plan to have staff reductions during the following calendar year. We are now seeing this come to fruition for 2009.
So how can the US economy improve? Improvement being defined as two consecutive quarters where we do not have negative growth in the GDP (gross domestic product). The following is what we call the Steps to Economic Improvement. These are steps for consideration which hopefully result in a healthy bipartisan discussion between our elected congressman and their constituency. These steps may result in non-recessionary growth of our economy.
You may or may not agree with these steps, but at a bare minimum, these are points to consider, and ideally result in a healthy discussion with our elected congressmen, which at last check, is one of the unchanged notions of a free democratic society.
Steps to Economic Improvement:
1) The first step is to realize that it is business and not government that creates jobs and wealth within the American society. This is where we believe is the heart of the problem. It is evident that the Obama administration believes it is government that will lead Americans to economic prosperity. This is why the federal government has put forth a $780 billion stimulus package. So where is this money really going. Lets take a look at the breakdown. (source Republican Senate office, CNN.com AC360)
$780 Billion Stimulus Package:
MORE THAN $43 BILLION IN TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
$27 BILLION FOR HIGHWAY, ROAD AND BRIDGE INVESTMENTS
$8.4 BILLION FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT INVESTMENT
$2 BILLION FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL
$1.3 BILLION FOR FAA AIRPORT IMPROVEMENT FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
$850 MILLION FOR AMTRAK
$250 MILLION FOR GRANTS TO STATES FOR INVESTMENT IN HIGH SPEED AND INNER CITY PASSENGER RAIL
$100 MILLION TO MARITIME ADMINISTRATION FOR ASSISTANCE TO SMALL SHIPYARDS
$76.8 BILLION IN EDUCATION INVESTMENTS
$39 BILLION FOR STATE FISCAL RELIEF TARGETED DIRECTLY FOR EDUCATION
$13.9 BILLION FOR PELL GRANTS
$13.5 BILLION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING
$10.4 BILLION FOR TITLE I
$6.4 BILLION FOR WATER AND SEWER INFRASTRUCTURE
$3 BILLION FOR JOB TRAINING
$3.25 BILLION FOR WORKFORCE INVESTMENT PROGRAMS
$160 MILLION FOR JOB CORPS
$87 BILLION IN TEMPORARY AND TARGETED MEDICAID RELIEF TO STATES
$5 BILLION FOR SUPPLEMENTAL GRANTS TO PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITIES FOR CAPITAL NEEDS
$4.7 BILLION FOR STATE AND LOCAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY BLOCK GRANTS
$4.4 BILLION FOR SMART GRID
$2.9 BILLION FOR WEATHERIZATION PROGRAMS
$2 BILLION FOR ADVANCED BATTERY MANUFACTURING
$7 BILLION FOR LOAN GUARANTEES FOR STANDARD RENEWABLES
$800 MILLION FOR CONSTRUCTION OF PORTS OF ENTRY
$500 MILLION FOR FIREFIGHTERS ASSISTANCE GRANTS
$1.2 BILLION FOR NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
As part of the 2010 budget proposal, the Obama administration has also proposed additional measures to attempt to stabilize the economy, including a $23 trillion measure aimed at stabilizing the financial system and freeing up credit. In a nutshell, auditors from the Congressional Budget Office have said that Obama’s budget would produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
This is a large chunk of change that needs to be provided by the American taxpayer! But the question is, will all of this spending help the long term growth of the US economy? Growth being during the period of not just the next few years, but rather 10 to 15 years. We believe it will not and here is why.
2) These programs burden the tax payer. History has shown that long sustained economic growth can not take place when the tax payer is over burdened by a federal deficit. Also, when the government spends money they do not have, they print more money, which results in a devaluation of the US dollar. This results in inflation.
3) Small businesses employ just over half of U.S. workers. How do you define a small business. The Office of Advocacy defines a small business for research purposes as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. In examining the $780 billion stimulus package, you can see that there is no real help for small business. Remember, job creation is needed for economic recovery.
4) The socializing of America will not result in long term economic growth. The massive spending that the Obama administration has proposed will result in an even greater tax burden to the American people.
Most Americans believe in the frame work and meaning of The Constitution of the United States. The first words of the Constitution “We the People” make it clear that our government was established to serve the people. The essence of a democracy was eloquently stated by President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” This simply means that our elected president and congress have a responsibility to listen to the American people.
And it can be said that most Americans do not want a socialistic society for the United States. Government needs to stop spending the American tax dollar, simply because an escalating government deficit will not result in an overall improvement in our economy.
5) Programs such as Cash for Clunkers, auto industry bailouts, and the like, only in the end increase the tax burden on the American people. These massively expensive programs do very little to improve the viability and strength of most small business. Based on 2008 figures, there are 155 million workers in the United States. The car industry accounts for about 13 million of these workers. Therefore, most Americans will not benefit from the bailout of the auto industry. There is only a marginal at best improvement in the economy from such programs.
6) We do applaud the Obama administration for the injection of capital into the financial institutions, because for small business to flourish, there needs to be capital available, and commercial banks and other depository institutions are the largest lenders of capital to small business.
7) The economy will do much better when companies are left to compete in the market place with minimal government involvement. A case in point, the Reagan administration had a policy of less government during the 1980s. This resulted in long term economic growth. This is the exact opposite of what the Obama administration is trying to do.
The Obama administration was given a bad economy when Barack Obama took office. But the Obama administration has taken a bad situation and made it much worse. Many economists believe that our economy would return anyway, with minimal government involvement. In terms of the economy, the government many times creates or prolongs problems and really does not solve them. A case in point, the deregulation of the banking industry which resulted in sub-prime lending. This created an eventual financial collapse, which resulted in the down turn in our economy and our current economic meltdown.
To conclude, the concept of minimal government is an important component for a strong American economy. Letting companies naturally compete within a free democratic society, with minimal government involvement, produces a robust economy, which benefits all Americans. The writers of the Constitution of the United Sates, our founding fathers, believed that the role of government in the lives of people should be minimal. Should we not adhere to the principles of our Constitution?
By letting your voice be heard, it is the American people who in the end control the destiny of the United States. And in the end, it is the American people who will control the destiny of the American economy. Go to your congressmans website and contact them, discuss these points, express your opinion, and let them know how you feel. It is your right and duty as an American citizen.
As one of the fastest growing states in the US, Texas is challenged with increasing its productivity and it can do this by increasing investments in energy efficiency initiatives that can save both residential and commercial users of Texas electricity literally billions of dollars over the next two decades. Seems like an impossible task? According to the American Council for the Energy-Efficient Economy or ACEEE, such proposition is not only possible but completely doable.
In a recent study conducted by the ACEEE called Energy Efficiency Investments as an Economic Productivity Strategy for Texas, energy efficiency programs in the state could reduce Texas electricity consumption by up to 30% by the year 2030, creating savings for electricity users of up to $14 billion within that period. Not only that, energy efficiency initiatives in the state will also boost employment by creating up to 47,000 jobs each year until the projected period of 2030.
The 30% projected reduction in Texas electricity consumption was based on targets set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for energy efficiency improvements. Also taken into consideration are the estimates made by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which handles the energy deregulated areas in the state. However, these projected figures will only be achieved with the expansion of current energy efficiency investments which spans all sectors including commercial, industrial and residential area.
Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Texas
According to the ACEEE study, to meet the growing demands for Texas electricity, the state would have to invest about 6 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour on new electric generating plants. Energy efficiency provides a better alternative however, as the cost of investments to achieve a 30% gain in efficiency will only cost the state less than 4 cents per kilowatt-hour.
For years, energy efficiency programs to reduce electricity consumption in the state have already benefitted Texas residents and businesses as evident in their reduced energy bills. Between 2009 and 2011, the state already benefitted up to $1.5 billion in savings from these energy efficiency programs, which also created up to 12,000 jobs during this same period and reduced emissions by as much as 413 tons per year. By expanding these energy efficiency initiatives, the state will most likely hit its targets by the year 2030.
Texas schools have also benefitted from energy efficiency programs which involved easy investments. A school district with at least 4,000 students can realize savings by as much as $1.6 million in ten years or basically $160,000 savings each year from their Texas electricity bills. Most of the investment funds came from the Texas Loan STAR program for energy efficiency.
City governments have also taken initiatives in reducing energy consumption in their respective areas. In Houston, energy efficiency projects include the use of energy efficient LED traffic lights that would save as much as 85% more Houston electricity than traditional incandescent lamps. Aside from the cost savings, the use of energy efficient lamps also reduces carbon emissions, requires less maintenance and improves overall visibility for each traffic light.
In an energy deregulated Texas electricity market, consumers have the power to select their energy options and apply for grants that would finance their energy efficiency upgrades that would save thousands of dollars from their electricity bills each year. These are basically great investments that would help ensure a clean and sustainable future for all.