Jessica Mondillo’s Blog


Cash for Clunkers not Good for Everyone

13 August 2009

Cash for clunkers may be helping some people, but overall it seems like it may be hurting another group of people more than it helps.

On my local news, car mechanics were talking about the effect of the program on them.  The mechanics interviewed repeated the same sentiment: the program is hurting their business even more than the poor economy is.  People who had some extra money, but not enough to buy a new car without the program, would have spent the money to repair their cars.  Now these people are buying new cars and the car mechanics are losing the few clients that they may have had during these tough economic times.

Another problem the news didn’t mention comes for people who cannot afford a new car, even with the rebate.  These people may have been able to buy a $2,000.00 used car from a private seller if they needed to before.  Now, at least in my area, many used cars prices from dealers or private parties have raised to a minimum of around $4,500.  People who have been more deeply affected by the recession may not be able to afford these higher prices when they are already just barely getting by.

Currently, cash for clunkers helps the wealthy and upper middle class be able to afford a new car while money is tight.  It does not help lower middle class people who are closer to the poverty line or those who are below the poverty line.

An idea I have heard that has a great deal of merit is that the cars should be repaired to give to poorer people who cannot afford a used or new car.  This has a couple of benefits.  Not only do people in need of a new car, like unemployed people, people living below the poverty, or those on welfare, get a running car, if the government paid for local mechanics to repair the cars, the hurting industry would get some assistance and hopefully stop these smaller businesses from closing and thus more people becoming unemployed.  Instead the current program just destroys the cars.


Recession? Yes, But Technically No

03 March 2008

According to an article on AOL News, Warren Buffet claims the US is in recession, even though the conditions of a recession are not met. Buffet commented that, “by any commonsense definition, we are in a recession.”

Although the US had not had two consecutive quarters with negative growth, most companies’ sales have been slowly declining. Companies like Ford, Toyota and GM have all had a decrease in car sales recently.

I agree with Buffet that by a commonsense definition, the economy is in a recession.

Last semester I had to read the Wall Street Journal everyday. After a few weeks, or even days, of that you know the state of the US economy. One article near Christmas time told of a family that would not be buying any Christmas gifts (even though they normally did) in order to keep a roof over their head. More articles focused on the price of oil and how that would effect heating a home and the price to travel. The majority of articles talked about the sub prime mortgage crisis and the number of houses being foreclosed.

AOL also has recently had some economic related articles. One discussed how more people were cutting back on luxury spending and opting to cut costs out of their everyday routine.

With all of that information, I’d say the US is in a recession, or at least the start of one. People will stop buying luxuries, because they cannot afford them. People will stick onto old cars longer, because new ones are expensive and their old ones still work.

I go to gun shows with my dad, and when I was younger the amount of sales was much higher than it is now. Fewer people come to the show and even fewer have money to spend. My dad also sells on eBay. When he started two or three years ago the number of orders he received was higher than the number of orders he currently receives.

Using a strict economic definition, the US is not in a recession. But my commonsense says that the US is in the beginning of a recession regardless of what the numbers says.

Please visit this post at my other blog.  Thanks!


Maryland Wants Walking to be their Official Exercise

06 February 2008

I found an article in the newspaper that talks about Maryland wanting to make walking their official exercise and that this is the second time they have tried to do this.  The first time in 2003 the governor vetoed the move.

I want to know why states feel the need to come up with official birds, songs, exercises, food and other such items or activities.  I personally do not know if Maryland has voted on every other bill that has gone through senate and they now have free time but I would assume that like Massachusetts and the federal government they have plenty of more important things they could be doing.

I also want to know why Maryland should be the state that has walking as their official exercise.  Are they the only state that has people that walk?  Or do they just do it more there than other places?  I happen to remember Boston was one of the top walking cities in the country, maybe Boston should make walking their official exercise.

Honestly, I don’t think the residents of Maryland care if walking is their official exercise.  If they want to walk, they will walk.  If they want to exercise some other way, I am very sure they will exercise in that manner.  If this is a measure trying to encourage healthy exercises like walking, I really don’t think it is going to do much.

Personally I am confident that the residents of Maryland think that their lawmakers have more important than picking the states official exercise.  If you are from Maryland and disagree with me, please let me know and tell me why you believe this is the most important thing your lawmakers can do at the current time.

Now I want to go out on an even bigger limb, I think any state that is naming official birds or exercises is wasting time and money.  Why should these state employees, paid by you and me, worry about official slogans and exercises when they could be figuring out how to improve education, roads, balancing the budget, taxes or other general laws that would improve the lives of the citizens that they represent?

Our lawmakers are wasting time and money on unimportant matters.  It is time people step up and tell them that they want the important issues resolved before worrying about things like the official exercise.


$0.33 Gas. Were the buyers greedy or smart?

13 December 2007 

At the Trig’s Minocqua Shell gas station in Wisconsin, gas was mistakenly priced at $0.33 a gallon on December 9th.  IN less than two hours, 586 gallons of gas were bought by 42 customers.  The manager and owner are upset that people would take advantage of an employee’s mistake of putting the price at $0.33 instead of $3.30 a gallon.  The business lost over $1700 dollars.

The manager is upset and feels that the consumers were being dishonest by buying the gas at a price that they knew was wrong.

Personally, I do not think the consumers were wrong to buy the gas.  It is the responsibility of a business to correctly price their product.  I do feel bad for the owner since it was a mistake on the part of their employee but the customers paid the marked price.

And how is a consumer suppose to know if a price is correct?  Yes, $0.33 for a gallon of gas is cheap, but many gas stations put their gas at very low prices to get publicity, and thus MORE business.

I don’t think these consumers were being greedy, they were being smart shoppers and should not feel obligated to reimburse the station for lost money.  The employee who put up the wrong price is the one responsible for this business’s loss, not the consumers.


Ron Paul:People are now paying attention to him

October 29, 2007

On the front page of WordPress I just saw something very exciting!  GOP leaders and the media are starting to take Ron Paul very seriously.  I am glad.  Some people have probably never heard of Ron Paul.  He is a Republican running for president.

He may not be well known, but he is good at raising money.  He currently has about $5 million to spend on his campaign.  Personally, I would love the US in the hands of Ron Paul for the next four or, even better, eight years.

I first heard of Ron Paul, out at the national matches in July at Camp Perry, Ohio.  I was shocked since many businesses will not publicly support a candidate for fear of controversy, especially so early in a race.  But I was reading his brochure and web site.

Not only is he for reducing the government size (which will save US tax payers money), he is pro gun.  No matter what they say, Giuliani and Romney will never be truly pro gun.

I’m glad someone is finally noticing that Ron Paul may not be a wealthy candidate, but he has a lot of support from AMERICAN CITIZENS.  Just remember when you go out and vote, you’re not throwing your vote away by trying to elect Ron Paul.  You do have a say (no matter what you think) and Ron Paul may be the change we have been looking for in America.

By the way the article I first saw was at: http://mvdg.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/gop-state-leaders-are-beginning-to-take-ron-paul-seriously/