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Showing posts from July, 2020

Availability of Financial and Non-Financial Information Impacts Investor Interest in Delta County Michigan

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Municipalities in the post COVID world are struggling to find methods to improve revenue and weather the damaging effects of economic shut down. What many of these administrators don't see is a path through the fog by harnessing the power of economics and the capitalization of information. Throughout the pandemic we were able to see how investors maintained stock prices but much of the rest of the economy struggled. Stock stability is unlikely to continue unless new investments in businesses lead to stronger revenue returns. Helping businesses attract investors by providing the right kind of information for research and investment algorithms is helpful in creating an investment rich environment that benefits local and government stakeholders. Information is a central need of any investment and economic decision matrix. With proper information and tools investors can be attracted invest in promising local businesses and business ideas. To gain their revenues businesses and municipal

Bi-Partisan Water Resource Development Act May be Win for Great Lakes Manufacturing and U.P. Communities

Our nation has been thinking of ways to develop and grow after the shut downs. We have spent a lot of time and money promoting policies that ultimately led to companies investing overseas. Our roads, waterways, and infrastructure need improvement. However, throwing money at something without thinking strategically at it is a waste of our financial resources. The Water Resource Development Act is well thought out legislation that could lead to a stronger export oriented infrastructure in a way that significantly impacts Great Lakes Manufacturing in general and the U.P. Communities in particular.  Yoopers live and breath on the Great Lakes. Our very centralized fresh water peninsula is ideally suited to help regional manufacturers from places like Chicago, Milwaukee, Canada and Detroit maximize their export orientation. To do this means we need functioning waterways that allow vessels to carry resources and products out to the global world. They do this through clear and easy to navigate

The Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) offers an opportunity to solidify various marketing pieces into a single theme that runs throughout different communications channel. The central message leads to greater brand awareness and the raising of brand value to potential customers. Instead of a Hodge Podge marketing approach where advertising pieces are disjointed, IMC can create higher returns on marketing dollars through higher levels of customer interest. Let's consider a disjointed marketing campaign where the central message is different for different demographics. The company's brand would be hard to focus, define and understand by consumers. Each time they see an advertisement it says something slightly different. That doesn't mean all marketing pieces should be the same. The core message should build the essential value proposition of the brand while the contextual message should focus on the specific target audience the company seeks to reach. Putting this in an e

GDP Plunges Significantly in Q2-A Need for Long Term Emergency Plans

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It is suspected that Q2 was going to be a little of a wash. It was hoped toward the end we would see the numbers start to improve. That is a problem now that COVID is starting to make a resurgence. I was reading the historical declines in GDP in the article, " Second-quarter GDP plunged by worst-ever 32.9% amid virus-induced shutdown " by Jeff Cox and was somewhat awed by the 32.9% GDP drop. It strikes me that a little virus could stop all of us in our tracks and create such havoc on our economy. Maybe we should think of a future emergency plan to minimize spread and economic pain.  They say that economics is an animal spirit. While we may have reduced consumer spending, government spending, and exports one might wonder how much is due to necessity and how much is due to our own fear.  We know we have to shut some things down but the question of when and for how long is highly important. The virus was so novel we needed to just act on it without thinking through things becaus

Standing Up to Bullies! Isolated Communities and "Culturally Homogeneous" Groups

Just because we grow older doesn't mean that bullies grow up and change with age. The same thinking patterns and dysfunctional mindset of inclusion and exclusion continue forward throughout their lives. When surrounded by friends that lack critical insight and exist in a self-validating group of friends there are few checks and balances to this behavior. Further, because such groups have few feedback loops they can become a menace others through the creation of "culturally homogeneous" communities. Without the capacity to self-monitor and reorient aggressive behaviors it is up to the legal system to ensure such behaviors don't continue on in a way that damages the community further. The Problem with Dysfunctional Groups in Isolated Communities Much of the literature revolves around child bullying and aggressive behavior in school. There is little literature in how people from an isolated communities who maintain extremely tight sports/friends groups grow up to be adul

Will The Economy Bounce Back End of 2020?

The economy has taken a "hit" and much of normal life grinded to a halt without taking the time to even screech. I'm reading the article, " U.S. Is About to Unveil the Ugliest GDP Report Ever Recorded " by Reade Pickert and much of the article discusses a bounce back based in consumer spending and re-opening. My concern is not so much Q2 in the primary adjustment stages but more so Q3 and Q4 where people have already had time to adjust to a different life pattern. Q1 and Q2 are likely the worst of the months as consumer spending and global commerce declined abruptly. These were also the months businesses and people had to do the most adjusting. I might be able to call them the panic months where no one really knew what this COVID thing was and closed everything down.  Q3 and Q4 have a lot of things that may indicate strong growth. Jobs are adjusting, business is adjusting, and consumers need new products they have gone without. Furthermore, they are tired of sta

Firefighter Practice and Workout-Up the Ladder with Gear!

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We were doing some training last night and some of the firefighters climbed up the ladder around 70-80' with gear. It should be noted that it is already warm out and putting on all of that heavy fire retardant gear, oxygen mask, tank  and then heading up a ladder is not easy. I would likely have to make a couple of "catch your breath" stops...and I work out! If there is heat, smoke and flames its going to be insane. Firefighting isn't the easiest job someone can do. Sometimes you can go a long time with no activity and other times its absolute chaos. Its a good occupation but there are risks involved. Often firefighting and EMT services are together. I have Basic Life Support Training which I used a couple of times at various places outside of FF so its something good to get. In one case, I was shopping and someone collapse on the floor and people started screaming. I didn't do much but check vitals and make sure he was stable until EMT showed up but its our duty

07/28/20: President Trump Holds a News Conference-Bringing Manufacturing Back

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Kodak Pharmaceuticals is launching to produce drugs in the U.S. instead of in India and China. They will be using the Defense Product Act. The company will produce generic drugs and the starting base of other drugs. 25% of generic drugs ingredients. The drug market is huge and ensuring U.S. companies are producing and selling overseas is important.  Bringing back manufacturing of all types is important for the long-term success of our country. Companies move overseas, take advantage of cheaper taxes, lower costs, etc... and then sell these products back here for a higher price. The problem is that the U.S. is like a bucket and when you keep taking out and real wages don't necessary rise fast then we loss of net wealth.  Bringing back manufacturing is an important aspect of building a strong society. It not only produces jobs but can improve the lives of Americans for generations. As we develop and move more into advanced manufacturing we will have a positive influence on global eco

Governor Whitmer Covid Update 07/28/2020-Budgeting Issues

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A few ideas on next steps with COVID. Continued discussion on outbreaks. We haven't had an update in a while so its important to stay on top of issues as they occur. Lots of discussion on budget shortfall and the shortfall for the current fiscal year. More budget shortfalls for next year. They are seeking Federal help. I suspect we will get some Federal help but will also need to think about attracting investment, manufacturing, and increased tax revenue to the state through pro-growth fiscal policies. Part of the problem we face is that we will have to lay off others and cut into budgets like maybe education and other places. That could create some legal problems if there are rights to education and other issues. To me children are one of the most important assets and should be priority. Yet there are so many other things we need and are likely to fight about them.  One issue is that we didn't think fiscally sound for decades. We don't think about these things when we have

Poor Performing Students-Motivation or Skills?

Occasionally I come across a poor performing student. I know they can do better but they aren't. Between the sloppy work and the late assignments there are glimmers of potential leaking through. Poor performing students are typically plagued by one of two different ailments. They either don't have the skills they need or they don't have the motivation levels to continue to learn.  Here a few solutions for professors that are dealing with poor performing students.  1. Motivation : Explore the student's motivation and try and help them find a connection to the information that is being presented. Seek to create relevant coursework of real life world problems. If the student can find a reason to learn and they have practical use for it you have won half the battle. The motivators could be intrinsic or extrinsic but they need to be important to the student.  2. Explore Skill Sets: Try and understand where the learning deficiencies are. If they had poor general education th

Living a Varied and Healthy Lifestyle

We Americans are not as active as we once were. Driving a few blocks to the store, overeating, eating lots of carbs and lots of TV watching is not healthy. It adds up over the years and eventually our doctor begins to warn us about diet and exercise are important. Without change you are likely to continue down the path of declining health. You can create change in your life that leads to greater life satisfaction and health.  I get it! We are busy and have jobs, kids, bills, clubs, and much more. Our lives are hectic! That doesn't mean we can't create a more varied lifestyle that leads to better health. No one says you have to go to the gym for three hours a day. That would get boring fast! You can integrate workouts and healthy exercise into your life. For example, when you can take an elevator to your floor you may want to opt for the stairs. Perhaps its only a few flights but by then end of day you may have climbed it three times.  Same can be said for lunch. You have an hou

Covid Vaccine Operation Warp Speed Press Release-Can We Use Streamlined Applied Research in Industry to Speed up Innovation?

Research takes a lot of time and developing vaccines takes years. Operation Warp Speed did show us that speeding up slow research is possible. Streamlining the process is important because there are a lot of approvals and hoops to jump through. However, the risks to life were greater if we didn't develop a vaccine. It was necessary to accept some risk in the process. Yet it does tell us a little about research and our ability to speed up the process. Can we apply those ideas to universities for national innovation? The same concept couple be applied to innovation industry research. Things take time so sometimes good ideas can't be rushed to an "aha moment". However, science does follow a process of learning, integrating, and applying knowledge. Thus, innovation has something to do with the amount of time we spend in research. We might be able to better utilize our human capital. Online universities do have options to create more innovation in the market that impact la

$5 million+ in Grants Available for U.P. Businesses trying to Restart Administered by InvestUP

As of July 15th 2020 there are grants available in the  MEDC SMALL BUSINESS RESTART GRANT PROGRAM . Businesses can receive up to $20K and Application Deadlines close August 5th.   Businesses in the U.P. with 50 or less employees are eligible. If the money is there some may want to take advantage of it.  The money can be used for anything as it relates to Covid. Think in terms of payroll and expenses.  Invest U.P. will be responsible for selecting the businesses to divide up $4,545,455. See FAQ HERE You will also want to check out information as it relates other COVID Resources HERE.  

"Get Tuff" Government no Longer Works in All Cases-$ 8 Home Forfeiture and Common Sense

"Getting Tuff" government no longer works in all cases. I'm reading the article, " Michigan county treasurer rebuked for seizing retiree's home over $8 tax deb t" by Andrew O'Reilly and I realize that common sense really failed here. Tax officials saw the technicalities of the law but failed to use reasonableness in its application. Government should work for the people and be based in what is best for its population. Our governments role is not to enforce laws blindly but to do so with wisdom and knowledge. It is invented to help manage groups of people and keep order and togetherness. We as a people created a contract to be governed. However, when things like this happen a there is a lack of common sense we have to sort of rethink the type of people we put in positions of power and the way in which law is interpreted.  Laws are laws but they are blind and like any good or bad ideology they can be manipulated. There are times when the application of a l

Could Delta County Use "Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Grant?"

Delta County has a lot of roads and could be a transportation and shipping hub in the Great Lakes. It hasn't really capitalized on its deep sea port nor its centralized location as a gateway between Canada, Chicago and Detroit. There are grant monies available and it may be beneficial to look at which grants could improve our local roads. If there is money available we should be fixing pot holes and setting up for longer term economic sustainability.  The following was taken from a press release.... U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Key Resource for Rural Communities Washington  - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao today announced the  Applicant Toolkit  (Toolkit) for the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative at the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is the latest effort by the Department and the Trump Administration to improve rural access to federal grant funds. The Toolkit provides user-friendly in

Diving at the Quarry-Mining Cart

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I believe in a healthy and active lifestyle with lots of variety. There are people who feel that the more toys and influence they gain the happier they will be. I guess there is a point where money does bring some level of happiness but then influence, health and lifestyle become more important. I once read a study on wealth and happiness and once you get to a certain level people felt other things were more important.  In my case I have an explorer's heart. I like to try new things and discover new things. Even though this mining cart has been seen by most of the divers in the area it is still new to me; and probably you as well. I had the idea of next time putting a plastic skeleton hand in it. 

Different Types of Justice for Different Types of People

I wish we lived in a world where bad actors are punished and good people are offered help. I been plagued by an ideal where everyone tries to do the right thing and differences on how justice is enacted is minimal. Sometimes people make mistakes but that each person really sought to do what was best for themselves and their neighbors. It took me to middle age to realize that while most people try to be descent some's goodness is highly dependent on them and their context. When it comes to the Justice system I can only hope and pray people have good intentions and they are willing to act on those good intentions. There are different types of justice for different types of people. Before the Black Lives Matter movement I had decided to try and climb Mount Everest to raise awareness about justice (I still have no idea if I will actually do it...maybe just Base Camp 1). It wasn't about Black or White people or any other race as much as it was about a concept of justice where people

Pictures of the Farm-Horses and Chics!

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I know that this blog can be a little heavy from time to time so sometimes it is nice to include some lighter stuff. Nothing profound...just the simplicity of life. 

The CIA's Uncrackable Code

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The CIA has a uncrackable code that no code breaker has been able to break. The first three code strings have been broken but no one  thus far was able to do the others. There are a lot of people trying to break this puzzle but the process is slow going. If some of the world's smartest people are not able to crack the code then they are using the wrong type of logic. Logical sequential type mathematical models might not work in all codes. I wonder if they look at it from the world of symbolism and how that relates to logic they may be able to gain another perspective. It doesn't mean its right its just that the solution is right in front of their eyes but their brains are not seeing because they have been trained to look at things from a certain vantage point. They might need to step back and look at it from a different perspective.  One day someone is going to look at this thing and just sort of "click" and go well that was easy! Kind of cool. 

Giftedness and the Stoic Concept of Justice-Universalizing Justice

I read this thought provoking article today on Philosophy and Theory in the Study of Gifted Children as it pertains to the concept of justice development in gifted children. First, its an interesting read because these kids gain knowledge of the difference between right and wrong at a very young age. That knowledge seems to be defined throughout their lifetimes leading to philosophers, scientists and deep thinkers.  For some reason these children can think about values and principles as being more universal while the rest of the population thinks more along the lines of the technicalities of the law and what their friends, parties, or clubs think. Such values are also likely why its called the "tragic gift" high potential and lack of validation in the environment. There is sort of a theory of development by Psychologist Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg that discusses the reason why gifted children develop a better sense of Justice at a higher level than others. You can read more

Covid Strikes Universities and Colleges with Layoffs

Layoffs are coming to universities. While the change in enrollment might reduce employment numbers because many students are not going back to traditional campus it is possible that some of these universities will start going more online. They have very large investments in buildings and other infrastructure and that might drag a few around.  Thus in the future some colleges may have smaller boutique campuses for certain classes that must be conducted onsite like laboratories and and larger online structure. If we get a COVID get a vaccine soon it might be a temporary issue with some serious damage to their strained budgets but if it lasts a long time it will likely take some of these colleges out.  Those colleges that started making the transition before COVID are likely to do well and not have the same issues or impact.  You may want to read the article " 60 Colleges Facing Layoffs Thanks to Coronavirus " by Gabrielle Olya in Yahoo Finance

Bringing the ISIS Beatles to Justice

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Religion is meant to be a source of inspiration designed to make our lives better and provide a greater awareness of the world around us. This isn't a talk about any particular religion as each has adherents that corrupted the message one time or another in history as a way to create personal or political power. What we can say is that the behavior of the ISIS Beatles is defies any religious doctrine and moves into cruelty that can sadden a persons soul and heart. Religion is great but violence in the name of religion is not acceptable in the modern world. We should take the message of peace that each of the religions and put it in practice through love and compassion.  Modern societies must shun radicalism in all its form from any religion and try and lay the groundwork for drawing people together in a spirit of civility and cooperation. The beliefs we sow today will sprout generations down the road as people come to accept or deny those beliefs based on their own personal experie

Video Carp River Near Marquette

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A nice camp ground and bike trails at Carp River by Bike River. Look for Marquette Mountain ski lodge and its a few blocks away. Enjoy the outdoors!

Hate and Bigotry-The Need for Better Laws on Intimidation Tactics

It is important for people to learn from this situation. While certainly I can look up aspects of the law and use the latest psychological forensic theories to explain poor behavior for the moment I am not. I will leave perhaps for later when I begin to summarize what has occurred and why it has occurred. For the moment what is most important is that we become aware of the behavior and in turn do better as a society to ensure that these behaviors do not happen again. I have a responsibility to share my experience with others so they may think about what they are doing and treat people fairly and justly. We are one America and no one has the right to threaten or intimidate certain peoples, groups, and background because they haven't come to grips with their own feelings of self-worth.  This is not a political debate because we are dealing with people's lives and their right to live peaceable with their neighbors. Our children should also be protected from hate and bigotry and sh

Marquette and Vertical Space Launch Site-Military and Commercial Jobs

The  Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association announced that Marquette area is selected as one of the important sites to create a vertical space launch site. With this announcement it opens opportunities for commercial, military and advanced manufacturing capabilities. It should be noted that we are moving our resources out into space now and much of that technology will move from the automotive industries and AI into this field.  Using economic clusters can help in developing stronger innovative networks that lead to exponential growth. This announcement helps put the U.P. on the map for space and military operations. We can expect other components of the military and increased manufacturing in the area. Wouldn't it be great if Delta County was able to offer itself as a distribution and sme manufacturing location?  Northern U.P. Identified as Top Location for Vertical Launch Spaceport Marquette  - The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association today announced findings from a

Essential Heroes: Two Past Orphanage Residents And Their Mission To Save Lives

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We have a responsibility towards children in the world. Without a proper upbringing they will not grow to be healthy world citizens with a positive outlook on life. World poverty is a major issue but it is mixed with all the other issues that compete for our attention. I have a small mallet company called  Escanaba Polo Mallet Co  and I donate some of the profits to orphans, child enrichment and horse rescue. It is a little of a pipe dream but we hope to grow the company bigger and then sponsor an entire orphanage and supply the intellectual university talent to help these kids get the the best primary and then higher education possible to perhaps train them as managers at American companies in Mexico (or something like that). Just more of a direction among many to start walking but we will see what happens in the twist and turns of business and life.  If you like whats going on then get involved. HARNESS THE POWER OF YOUR NETWORK YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE UNLESS YOU