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    Just how bad is the economy? A FreedomWorks activist sounds off.

    02/12/2009

    I received an excellent email this morning from a FreedomWorks activist in response to a call to action that was sent yesterday regarding the massive stimulus package currently working its way through Congress.

    While we don't normally post emails from activists, over the last few weeks I've received literally hundreds of great responses, all with messages and ideas that I think others would find interesting.

    With this being the case, I'm hoping that over the course of the next few weeks I can post more from our activists (only those who have granted us permission), with the goal of providing both our new and long-time visitors perspectives and new ideas from around the country.

    This brings us to today's email.

    The author of this email is from the St. Louis, MO area and holds an undergraduate degree in finance and a master's degree in business. After serving as a university instructor, this activist moved into the securities industry 27 years ago, and later became the Senior Vice President for an investment firm. This activist is still in the securities industry.

    While this activist requested that their name be withheld, the rationale highlights an interesting discussion point for a later time:

    I wouldn't want to run into any repercussions with the "Compliance Police" in this industry.  That is a universal problem and probably why you don't have many more very insightful people getting involved.

    On to the email:

    This morning numbers showed that retail sales in January were up for the first time in 7 months, rising 1%.  This would show that the hysteria is dissipating. 

    Retail auto sales were up 1.6%.  Moreover, with autos selling at an historic low replacement rate of 25 years (meaning it would take 25 years to replace all the cars on the road if the current selling pace was sustained), should bode will for the increased sales trend in 2009 (as this replacement figure is historically in the teens during the worst of times).

    Core sales -- excluding gas, auto, building materials -- were up 1.2% in January.  This is the portion of the report that impacts GDP calculations, which are now more likely than not to show a slight increase in personal consumption in the first quarter, a major positive.

    New claims for unemployment fell by 8,000 last week.  Continuing claims increased 11,000.  Employment is a lagging indicator of economic performance.  So, if the above figures continue to show improvement, it is just a matter of time before this one will improve as well.

    We don't need to be spending more tax payer $s for bail outs!!!!!!!  Let the capitalist markets correct themselves.  Let companies improve rather than providing them money to continue bad practices.  This is like a dysfunctional family where parents continue to bail out or attempt to buy out their children bad behavior.

    By the way,  why don't the laws apply to appointees and legislatures the way they do to us.  In fact, why to legislators who can't balance a budget get paid.  Like the bankers, they should take just a dollar a year until they get the budget in order

    Glass Steagall should be reimplemented, giving these companies two years to unwind themselves so that banks again do only banking business, brokerages do brokerage business and insurance companies do only insurance business.  Then you may have transparency, as each would have to again follow the regulations that were designed for them between 1933 and 1999.

    To big to fail is not even being addressed.  Testimony yesterday from the CEO of Bank of America indicated that they now serve over 50% of the people in the U.S.  Those who don't see a problem with that truly do not understand the protection provided by competition.

    Thank you for your service and attempt to keep us a nation of  freedom and capitalism, which does work if people just remain responsible.  Lacking that, we don't have a nation that is any more desirable than any other.

    I think we can all agree that this activists $1 per year proposal sounds excellent right about now.

    Disclaimer: Please note that posting of the opinions of our activists does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of FreedomWorks and its staff. The purpose of this post is to simply to engage discussion and inject new ideas into the debate.