Should Small Businesses Start Hiring Again Or Fear the Future?

Many small business fear expansion right now, they fear hiring additional employees, and they are completely worried about the future. Should they be? We know that community banks are worried and there are not a lot of small business loans going on right now. Indeed, as a former franchisor before retirement it is my contention that I wouldn’t pour money into a small business right now, much less touch it with a ten-foot pole. Let me explain;

Why would you want to start a business where you had to hire people with all the new Obama administration rules, and this latest AFO-CIO appointment to the Department of Labor is scary too, it’s going to be really tough on small businesses. Not long ago, I was explaining all this to an acquaintance who was buying an existing business and considering the hiring of a employees to help her in her business and she asked me; “tell me more. My guess is that I would have a couple part-time women.”

So should my acquaintance start her business and hire two part-time employees? Don’t know, no one knows what was in that darn Health Care bill, small business doesn’t know, information flow sucks, the Administration hasn’t said, it’s all vague and NO Small Business Person in their right mind would risk going into business right now knowing they’d hire employees. The President got on TV and made some vague inane speech about how this would help small businesses? No details, none forthcoming, terrible communication job. Terrible – and quite frankly it’s completely and absolutely un-acceptable.

This group of leaders doesn’t know what the heck they are doing. We need a better team, and some common sense behind it. These people have never had to make a payroll in their lives, it ought to be a pre-requisite for public office, how on Earth can anyone believe they can run things without working knowledge of the realities of running a business? Now then, I was reading in some trade journals in various industries all the phase-ins for health care insurance law compliance, it’s a mess.

Worse, it’s going to be an absolute hardship on small business, and medical costs are still rising, and rising, and rising. Over the last decade these costs have outpaced inflation by 10:1 and they just keep going? Hard to say what fuel they are using but we need that for the Space Shuttle – seriously folks, this is a disaster for the business community, and it isn’t going to help anyone, only raise costs.

And people wonder why jobs are not returning? 75% – plus of our jobs are through small business in America, but the politicians are too busy coddling lobbyists of large corporations to even worry about it. It’s all a show, it’s all BS, and until things change, I’d be leery of the unknown or future business risk taking. So, you asked me to tell you more? There you have it. Am I the only person in this whole country that gets it? What the hell are they doing?

The Small Business Administration director hasn’t a clue. My god, this dog and pony show never stops, WTH is going on. And the media hasn’t helped, what small businesses are supposed to go pay an attorney and accountant to tell them the new law changes? Sure, pay the professional parasites to tell you about the “new rules” I mean, do these legislators (all lawyers) even hear themselves think? And as the economy expands and gets back to normal, which jobs come back first? Legal jobs of course, what a totally screwed up system.

So, the business people have to pay lawyers, accountants just to prepare for the law changes, scared out of their wits they might make a mistake and the big bad government is going to fine them, jail them, put them out of business? How do I know this is how it goes? Because I set up 187 franchises serving some 450 cities, I know exactly how small business works and how business people think. Meanwhile, we have a perceived “small business hater” president who never explained the comments about his “joe the plumber” gaf, and although it was blown out of proportion.

That indeed, was a definite psychological hit to small business, one we still haven’t gotten over and we must to insure small business confidence, if we truly want those jobs – I am beginning to think they don’t by the actions of the Obama Administration, but don’t doesn’t understand and Obama’s PR team there is unfortunately too “unwise” to understand, so they laugh it off, and ramrod some BS health care legislation with a 2800 page health care bill, and then Pelosi is on prime time TV and says; “Well, you’ll just have to vote for it to see what’s in the bill.” You have to be kidding me?

Why should small businesses have to contact a lawyer to explain the health care rules? And may I ask with what money are they supposed to pay the $2,000 bill to set it up properly so they don’t get fined? Small businesses have been battling this recession for 35-months now, they are barely hanging on. If you own a small business and “Need the Money” well, get in line, every small business does and there is nowhere to borrow it. No one, me included, or any bank would be foolish enough to take the risk to lend money now. And no one knows what this Administration or Congress is going to do next?

They are unpredictable, perceived unstoppable and willing to shove any 4,000 page bill down America’s throats. And don’t you dare argue with me, next could be Cap and Trade, and energy costs will skyrocket and you’ll be stuck in a business watching your energy costs go up 45%! How about that? Then you can expect shortages and mandatory “Energy Ultra Efficient” equipment which will be required, above your already efficient units, air-conditioning system, solar panels, computers, along with new lighting, above and beyond what you have.

If you don’t you will be fined or shut down. If you cannot or do not want the presence of an attorney one will be appointed, if you want to stay in business the SBA will give you loans, GREAT borrow more money, as they destroy your business, go into more debt, is their answer, interesting, that’s the problem in the first place, the government is broke, now they want all the businesses to be as broke as they are and pay for all their mistakes in higher costs, taxes, fines, and fees. Enough already!

And if you think I am blowing smoke, it could easily happen in the next six to 18-months, and I wouldn’t put anything past this Administration or Congress, they are absolutely out of control. Do you think that if your energy costs tripled in your business you could keep your prices at the current level? Of course not, and if you double your prices, 30% of your customers will not come back, and the others will come less often, easily taking at hit of 40-50% in revenues? Well, think it can’t happen?

It did in CA when the government imposed rules, raised energy costs, had shortages then black outs, and it happened twice one decade apart. Now tack on health care costs for employees, yourself – mandatory let’s say, because I don’t know, no one does yet, can you then really make money> NO, NO YOU CAN’T. And so you work harder, lay off your employees who stop shopping – no money – and other businesses suffer because unemployment is so high. See what’s happening? Where we are headed?

You want me to tell you more? Sure, I could go on for 48-hours straight, with examples in the real world of what happens when government gets a stick up their rear-ends into what is supposed to be a free market economy like the USA. End of rant, end of article.

What Are the Fabric Dyeing Methods?

The process of colouring, by applying fabric dyes to loose fibre, thread and fabric are called fabric dyeing. Being carried out for thousands of years, it has experimented in many different ways until today, and good results have been obtained. At the present time, Viktoria Fabric Dyes, which is one of the biggest brandmarks of fabric dyeing, suggests 3 different styles of it. These are; Bucket or Sink Method, Boiling Method and Washing-Machine Method. These methods will be explained in the following passages.

I. Bucket or Sink Method
• This fabric dyeing method is carried out by filling a bucket or a large container with water or occluding the drain of the sink; so as to fill it with water.
• If the operation is carried out somewhere out of the sink; the cover should be spread so as not the water to flow out.
• Before starting this fabric dyeing operation, the sink or the bullet should be filled with 60 C hot water, as the experts advise, and the powder fabric dye should be dissolved with hot water in another container.
• If the colour is too light, a little bit more dye should be added, but if it is too dark hot water should be added.
• The dissolved dye should be poured to the place where the water is and should be stirred for a while.
• After being cleared of all of its stains, the object to be dyed is put where the dye is, by being wet, and water and the dye are stirred for 10 minutes, without giving a break.
• The fabric that is kept in the water for at least half an hour and mostly for an hour, is taken out of the water when decided that it has the expected colour.
• Just after dyeing, Fiske fabric dye stabilizer is applied in accordance with the instructions.
• You should then rinse the dyed fabric with cold water. After this, wash your fabric with warm water and a soft detergent; rinse it and dry it. After getting dried, your fabric will have the expected colour.

II. Boiling Method
Boiling is another method used for fabric dyeing.

• A large pot in which fabric can move easily is filled with water and this pot is put on the cookstove. The cookstove is switched on and when the water begins boiling the dye is added into the water.
• The object to be dyed is wetted and thrown into the water.
• The object to be dyed is put where the dye is, by wetting; after being cleaned of all its stains. It is stirred in the first 10 minutes without giving a break.
• After this step, rinse the dyed fabric with cold water. Then, wash your fabric with warm water and soft detergent, rinse and dry it. After drying, your fabric will have the expected colour.

III. Washing Machine Method
You can easily dye your fabric with washing machine fabric dyeing method.
• The temperature level of the washing machine should be fixed at the highest level. Also, the time setting should be fixed in a way that the machine will operate at least 30 minutes.
• The fabric dye is melted completely by stirring it with hot water in a plastic pot. In it, 1 teaspoon of washing-up liquid is added.
• In another pot; if cotton or linen is being dyed, salt should be dissolved in 4 glasses of very hot water; and if silk or nylon is being dyed, a cup of vinegar and 2-4 glasses of hot water should be blended(mixed( together.
• Firstly the dye, and after that, the vinegar and salt are spilt into the detergent box of the washing machine and it should be switched on.
• After the machine stops, the dyed fabric is washed one more time with warm water and it becomes ready to use.

Elderspeak and Invisible Old People

This past September (September 1st to be exact) I was in a wheelchair in an emergency room with a fractured knee cap that occurred in a moment of fully lucid but impaired equilibrium. But here’s the good news: the bottle of beer I was carrying remained unscathed. No shattered glass or a drop of foamy goodness was lost. (That takes talent!) I should have known better than to imbibe in the second bottle of brew but as the saying goes, “What the heck. I was having a good time.” Even better news: the white jeans I was wearing survived without a mark or tear.

Have I learned my lesson? Yes, of course, I have. I’m not a dumb bunny. I no longer drink beer. I now drink white wine. Best of all, my sense of humor remains intact.

After a long wait in the emergency room, I was wheeled into a room by an attendant who thought I was his “sweetie” and waited some more for a nurse (or anyone) to appear. My daughter and son-in-law were standing behind my chair when a nurse arrived. Then the fun began. As if I was not there, the nurse asked my daughter for details about how my injury occurred.

I was thinking, “Why isn’t the nurse asking ME those questions. It’s MY injury!” Irritation gnawed at me until I finally swung the bulky chair around to face the nurse, hitting a few cabinets in the process. (I should have turned the chair before she entered the room but the space was small.) In a calm, polite tone of voice, I said, “Excuse me, I can hear and understand everything you say and I can answer all your questions. You can speak to ME. I’m not senile.” And I smiled.

The poor woman was taken aback. No one had probably spoken to her like that before. After all, she was just applying the accepted protocol for dealing with an old/older person – it’s a cultural thing, a “given” – white hair equals incompetence or senility. In her eyes, she had done nothing wrong. I knew that and that’s why I intentionally spoke to her in a calm, polite tone of voice.

Old people get used to and even expect (but don’t like) to be treated as if they don’t exist or are incompetent. It’s a societal assumption that old people can’t think clearly or remember much and they can’t hear or understand if you speak too softly or too fast. After all, most old people are senile or close to it so you have to be patronizing and deal with them as if they are children. Really? REALLY?

Not all old people are on the brink of senility – most are not even close. Mature people function quite well if they are spoken to with respect and treated with the assumption they are competent. If they are mentally impaired, acknowledge their existence and treat them respectfully.

Let’s get to the elderspeak element of the “old people are invisible” syndrome which I already experienced before I became invisible. It is beyond annoying and disrespectful. Here is an unrelated example, but typical of the elderspeak iceberg:

My sister and her husband were dedicated runners. They were “mature” – not teenagers. On their daily run around the community and their neighborhood, neighbors, sitting on their front lawn, many with a can of bubbly in their hand, yelled to them as they flew by, “you guys are so cute!” Was my sister angry? You bet. Please don’t call mature persons “cute”. A six-year-old child is cute. To call an elder “cute” is as demeaning and infantilizing as it gets.

Here’s more: If you are a healthcare worker, a mature female patient you just met is not your “sweetie” or “honey”. Terms of endearment are appropriate only when there is a romantic relationship. Egads! What a revelation! An old person in a romantic relationship? [gasp!] That’s disgusting! Really? No, it’s not. Oh, one more thing: Do not call me “young lady”. It’s patronizing, demeaning, condescending and disrespectful. (Okay, okay, I’m being overly sensitive – and grumpy.)

If those in authority call you cute or utter another term of endearment, it’s tempting to want to haul off and smack them into reality, but don’t give in to the temptation. Turn it around on them and tell them how cute they are, and what a sweetie pie they are for telling you how cute you are. Be sure to smile as you do it. Take note of their flustered or confused reaction.

Facts About Medicare Insurance The Government’s Website Doesn’t Explain

When it comes to investigating Medicare options, many personal financial educators refer individuals to the Medicare.gov website. The official U.S. government website for Medicare is, without question, the most comprehensive of informational portals.

But it can be overwhelming. Especially for the 11,000 men and women who turn 65 every day and first become eligible for Medicare. For most, the terminology is tantamount to learning a new language. Medicare health care plan options are more complex and varied than most are used to.

And, there are some important things the government website doesn’t tell you. For example, it fails to clearly point out the importance of your first plan enrollment. Nowhere on the website does it say that the Medicare plan choice may be irrevocable.

Nor does it really explain what questions to ask before choosing a plan. The Medicare.gov does a great job of offering impartial comparisons, such as premium rates. But when it comes to subjective elements, these are something the website can’t obviously address.

Anyone who has been Medicare eligible for a few years will tell you that selecting the right Medicare plan is not easy. In fact, some industry estimates find that between 25 and 40 percent of people switch after making a choice. Navigating the complexity is especially hard when you are first eligible for Medicare. That’s more so if your current or prior healthcare coverage consisted of a few options pre-selected by your employer or trade union.

One of the Medicare.gov features is the appearance of being able to directly connect with an insurance company. And while it’s logical to think that ‘buying directly’ is going to be better and save you money, it’s simply not true. Quite the contrary. It could be a significant and costly mistake.

The following are things to consider when using the Medicare.gov website as shared by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, a national advocacy and educational organization.

1. Medicare.gov is much easier to use for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. But that is just one of the options available to you. It may or may not be your best option. For those who prefer to see any doctor or specialist, only a Medigap plan offers that option. For those who travel or spend time in another state, a Medicare Advantage might not cover you outside of your primary area.

2. The Medicare.gov website doesn’t make it easy to understand things that matter such as in-network, out-of-pocket costs, drug plan coverage, coordination with Veteran’s coverage and Medicaid. “In Network” matters if you decide a Medicare Advantage plan is best for you. Knowing which local doctors, hospitals and especially specialists participate can be tricky to find on your own.

3. Medicare.gov’s Plan Comparisons seem very detailed. But they miss some important information that’s vital. For example, the decision you make when turning 65 could be irrevocable. Switching Medicare plans is not always possible. Medicare.gov does not tell you what’s possible if you don’t like your choice or when your chosen plan changes. These are all very important things to know before locking in a choice.

4. Medicare.gov’s Plan Finder prescription drug search can be confusing for those taking multiple medications. It’s especially important for the millions who take insulin medications.

5. Medicare.gov lists Medicare Advantage plan ancillary benefits (vision, dental, etc.). Unfortunately, there’s little detail of specifically what’s covered in terms of benefits and service providers.

Buying direct from an insurance company such as UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH), Aetna (NYSE: AET), Cigna (NYSE: CI), or Humana (NYSE: HUM) — several of the leaders – or calling an 800-number may or may not be your best option. Is the person on the other end of the line a captive agent for the particular insurance company? Do they get some incentive for touting one particular plan over another?

Comparing Medicare plan options is always your smartest move. A local Medicare professional who is knowledgeable in local options including Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and prescription drug plan choices can be a well spent hour. Today most insurance agents will arrange an online meeting to discuss options and answer questions.

A national online directory listing Medicare insurance agents is offered by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. Access is free and private, unlike most websites that require you enter information before displaying results. Whether you are turning 65 or just have Medicare insurance questions you want answered, it’s a resource worth knowing about.

That local expertise and experience comes at no cost. And, the same plans that are available online or available directly from the insurance company can be sold by an agent appointed with the particular company. Perhaps most important, it’s available for the very same cost.

OK Preservities In Our Skincare, Natural or Not

There’s been a lot of talk on Social Media about the safety of preservatives these days and that’s a good thing! There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation as well. Let’s set the record straight!

Any product that is made with water requires a preservative. It’s to prevent bacteria, mold, fungus or other critters from growing in the product. Preservatives are needed to prevent contamination. Let’s talk about the preservative, Phenoxyethanol, specifically.

It rates a four on the Cosmetic safety database (0-10 scale, and four is measured at its most concentrated and isolated level, which means it’s not measured in a product). Pretty good, considered most other preservatives are measured at around seven or higher.

So let’s put it in perspective. Penoxyethanol is approved at 1% in products (Canada, Japan, and The European Union). When you consider toxicity is relative to dosage, 1% makes this is a very low risk. (Look at your label, and your preservative should be the last item on the list. Ingredients are listed in order of percentage, from the highest to the lowest. So the last ingredient on the list basically means it is the one at the lowest amount in your product).

It is also important to know how to decipher the information you read about. It’s sometimes easy to panic when you see a list of warnings, restrictions, numbers on scales, and jump to conclusions.

Penoxyethanol is a safe preservative that is approved for use at a very low dosage percentage (1%). Think of it in a 240ml/8oz bottle of lotion, for instance. At 1%, it is not a lot of preservative in your product.

Certain chemicals on their own can be concerning, but when combined are harmless. Let’s use the example of Lye. Horrible stuff on its own but mix it with water and oil and it creates soap. Add Olive Oil and you now have a soap gentle enough for children!

And.. be aware of those who might suggest that “if you can’t pronounce it, it shouldn’t be in your skincare. After all, Penoxyethanol is certainly not an easy word of the toung; but as we have disussed, you are better off to have this in your “Natural” or “Clean” skincare, than to put up with the many other chemicals available and so often utilized.

Finally, read your labels, ask questions and remember… Just because there’s a recipe on the internet for a great body scrub, it doesn’t make everyone a chemist.

Why You Don’t Need Laxatives for Weight Loss or Colon Health

Digestive health is easy to maintain, and you don’t need laxatives to maintain great colon health. Learning what your best proteins are, and combining them in your genetic zone of eating, you can keep being happy healthy and IBS free,even through old age.

Taking laxatives is dangerous for your health. Removing electrolytes from your body can damage your brain and cause seizures. Suppose you are driving and have a seizure. This could take your life unnecessarily.

Taking laxatives can have a rebound effect on your small intestine and colon. Your small intestine cannot absorb the nutrients your body needs, and the colon will stop working naturally, when it is being told when to work. This can lead to a damaged colon which has to be cut out and attached to your stomach with a colostomy bag to the outside for waste collection.

Taking laxatives causes your kidneys to shut down. When you remove all the water from your body through your colon, there is no reason for the kidneys to work, and they can shut down, causing you to have to go on dialysis.

Lastly, taking laxatives, can damage your heart. The electrolyte balance must be maintained for healthy signaling and rhythmic beating. Removing all the electrolytes from your system damages this delicate balance.

Learning how to fine-tune your eating for your best digestive health, starts with a book to learn which proteins work for your genetic blood type. Next learning which zone will work for you can be done by a simple genetic test. Are you low carb, or low fat. Are you balanced, or Mediterranean? Do you feel better eating protein, or vegetables?

Do you have any genetic aberrations, that could cause you to need additional nutritional support is another thing the simple genetic test will tell you. 40% of the population has MTHFR and eating the foods you need to support this condition will keep your colon clean and you happier and healthier.

Depending on supplementation can cause problems, because over supplementation, can cause a buildup of folic acid in the system, leading to cancer or an auto immune disease.

Learning how to manage your portion sizes, so you can help your colon heal. You may then learn how to maintain your best aging weight as well as keep your colon happy.

A happy balance of proteins and vegetables, for lunch or dinner.Fruits and fortified cereals with almond milk or fruit with yogurt or quinoa. You pick what you like best.

Learn which proteins are best for you, and which to avoid. Being open to change helps, because change is necessary to keep belly fat off.

The free newsletters, where you can get free coaching, and learn how to fine tune your eating.