Remember about 6 years ago, when your standard, off the shelf desktop computer got down to about $500-$600? Well, they're about the same now. Sure, the processing power, memory and overall technology have continued to improve, but the lower end models are still around $500-$600. Why is that? This is one case where lack of demand has actually kept prices up.
When the economy was doing relatively well, if a lower income family or individual wanted to make an over-the-budget purchase, they could either put it on the card (credit was easy) or they could fairly easily pick up some over-time or even do some free lance or piecemeal work on the side. Now, we have 15% of the workforce either unemployed or underemployed. Extra work is hard to come by and credit, even harder.
Yes, it's certainly possible to make a decent desktop computer, say with 2 or 3 year old technology, load it with freeware so one could still surf the web, create documents and modify images, and retail it at around $300, but who would buy it? Right now, the market for new computers is people who can easily afford a new computer. Those folks aren't interested in 2 or 3 year old tech, when for a couple hundred bucks more they can have the new stuff. There just aren't enough buyers at the moment for trailing edge technology, at least not brand new trailing edge technology.
The good news is, the economy will come roaring back eventually. The Progressive experiment will come to an end, not because of some broad based ideological enlightenment, but because Americans like new stuff and big government is simply not delivering.
Tomorrow's trailing edge will be today's top of the line, which is pretty darn good. Tech will become widely available and affordable to even lower income families/individuals on the store shelves. Until then, there's always Ebay and Craigslist. Of course, you may have to go to the library to go online and look for them. Just be sure to check those feedback ratings and always meet strangers in a well lit, public place. Also, when you go to the polls this Fall, remember, big government doesn't make cool new stuff. They regulate it, tax it and try to control its characteristics and distribution. Let them know how you feel about that.
By Linda Shierholz
There are three great reasons why now may be a good time to move forward and list your home for sale – especially if you’ve been waiting on the sidelines for the past few years,
1 – You Have Less Competition Than Recent Years
The National Association of Realtors has reported that the inventory of existing homes listed for sale is at a six year low, while the inventory of new construction homes listed for sale is at a 50 year low. “This means that buyers don’t have as many choices, and your home won’t have as much competition as you would have had if you listed your home for sale two or three years ago,” Linda said. “Less competition means your home is likely to sell relatively soon if it is priced right.”
2 – Your Home Value May Have Stabilized
“The Case-Shiller index of housing values published by Standard and Poor’s shows mixed results depending on your local market, but one thing is certain,” Linda said. “We are not seeing large year-over year price declines, while home prices in some areas have actually gone up compared to the lows they reached in recent years.”
Even so, it is important to maintain reasonable expectations as to the current market value of your home. “You are not likely to get the same price you would have gotten five years ago and you may even have to take a loss compared to what you paid for the home,” Linda said. “It’s important to ask yourself, ‘If I had the choice today to buy my current market value, or buy another home at its current market value, which choice would I make?’
How old is old? Your relative age seems to be a guide to that alluring perspective when it pertains to such judgment.
A small child may think their parents are old. The teen would undoubtedly think someone in their 30s or 40s is ancient. Maybe someone at midlife, like myself, might feel anyone in their 70s or 80s is up there.
Recently my Mother, for the first time in her life, admitted she thought she was old at 77.
We all race toward that checkered flag of finality. Some speed through life without much regard for the obstacles around the bend. Others take a more conscientious approach to the race we run. Self reflection may or may not sprout in us at times, but when tragic circumstances knock upon our door or that of others it often invokes those reflective thoughts indeed.
When we meet someone in a networking setting and tell them we’re in public relations, they often ask these types of questions:
"So, you can design a website for me?"
"So, how many superstars do you have on speed dial?"
When we say that we don’t design websites or have Lady Gaga’s unlisted number, the response is, "Well, then, what exactly is public relations?"
It’s surprising how few people understand public relations, and how it differs from advertising, graphic design, and other areas of marketing. While the lines of distinction are blurring more and more, there still are key differences. Too many business owners don’t know how powerful PR can be as part of their marketing mix.
So, here are “Cliffs Notes” on how advertising and public relations differ:
By Jennifer Knight, Show-N-Tell
Many of today's small business websites are basically one-sided efforts to relay information to the company's online audience. Like many sales presentations, these sites are usually loaded with valuable facts and figures, but are they really serving their purpose?
Average websites focus on the company. Good websites focus on the company's products and/or services. Great websites focus on the company's audience. But amazing websites focus on all three in reverse order:
"If I were in that online audience, what would be most important to me?"
Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your online audience. There are three basic questions potential patrons will ask themselves about any website. These questions are asked sub-consciously and very quickly, usually while viewing a company's home page: 1. Do I like this website? 2. Do I understand this website? 3. Do I believe this website?
Now think of the last time you were browsing online and a company's website occupied your screen. Honestly ask yourself all three of the questions listed above, but in the past tense. Did that company win you over with their online personality? To the point of purchase?
The world is advancing; advance with it. Resolve today that your customers expect and deserve the best, clearest and fastest online interaction you can provide. Websites are no longer digital billboards for the plastering of basic information. They are serious tools for interactive communication between the end-user and the company.
About the author: Jennifer Knight is a business writer and Internet marketing professional for Colorado start-up, Show-n-Tell. Drawing on over 15 years of sales and marketing experience in real estate, web design and software development, she coaches executives and entrepreneurs on interactive business issues. Jennifer works with forward-thinking visionaries to employ their website as if it were the best and brightest member of their staff and urges them to evaluate the website's performance as such
After the financial system meltdown of 2008, Congress and the executive branch decided to "clamp down" on risky trading by large financial institutions and enact reforms aimed at making them more transparent and solvent. More consumer protections were put in place, including the elimination of certain fees and stricter reporting requirements. They also decided to go after tax cheats by requiring foreign banks to keep more detailed records of transactions in American accounts overseas. These and other measures are supposed to protect consumers from the evil greedy capitalists, but like Joan Robinson said "The only thing worse than being exploited by a capitalist is not being exploited by a capitalist." Consumer protection measures have actually hurt the very people is was supposed to help.
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