Tag Archives: business

What if?


What if the casino measure doesn’t pass?  Will McLeod and Gray still invest on the west bank?

The suits in the articles listed in the video aboveclaim McLeodUSA and several senior executives made false and misleading statements to inflate the value of McLeodUSA stock [b]They accuse McLeodUSA of failing to disclose it lacked funds to complete its national telecommunications network and failing to take impairment losses on money-losing acquisitions in a timely fashion.[/b]
The Gazette January 22 2002

Mr. Gray served as President of McLeodUSA Incorporated from April 1992 until December 2004

http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Gray_Stephen_1581321.aspx

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Come On In and Gamble


Come On In and Gamble

The_Gray_Gang_crop

Local governments have taken the bait

A 20 year monopoly on casino gambling in Linn County

A 3% minimum required by law return to the community

City owned real estate for their casino at an undetermined amount

Steve Gray and the Casino Gang say it is all about jobs, fun and entertainment

“A Cedar Rapids attorney was disbarred this week for taking $800,000 from client accounts that was used for her “gambling addiction,” according to disbarment documents filed Wednesday with the Iowa Supreme Court.”

http://thegazette.com/2013/02/22/cedar-rapids-attorney-disbarred-admits-to-taking-800000-out-of-client-acounts-for-gambling/

If tragedy is the entertainment you crave, you will get it with

Linn County Gambling


Who really wins?


Only the  the local and state government that get a massive 44% tax and the investors win in this Casino game.  $1.5 million for all of Linn County won’t go very far.

how far will the money go


Your Numbers May Not Come Up


Your Numbers May Not Come Up

Ruined

Then What?

The Cedar Rapids casino gang has thrown a lot of numbers around. A lot of numbers that keep changing.

Being charitable in excess of 3%, split the casino Gang’s claim of $80 to $100 million to get rolling. Run the numbers. Assess the odds. Speculate on the results.

casinooo

If you wish to risk the long odds:

Vote Yes for Linn County Gambling.


Vote Yes for Linn County Gambling


Is This Everyone in the Game?

forsmells

How Much Did Each Ante Up?

“On Monday, Vote Yes Linn County released a list of 58 investors, including the group’s leader, Steve Gray.”

“In recent days, the Vote Yes Linn County campaign had said the investor group was larger, but Marcia Rogers, the campaign communications director, on Monday said she had misspoken.”

http://thegazette.com/2013/02/04/vote-yes-linn-county-releases-list-of-58-investors-in-casino-project/

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, 58<100+. Is this a spinning of all stock investors in the casino? The numbers just don’t add up.

$100million/58=$1.724million each.  Are these 58 admitted “local” investors up to capitalizing the $100 million it will take to get a casino up and running?

State gambling regulators will want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Iowa’s gambling regulators will want to know all involved and their stake in the game. Linn County voters should know the same.

Considering the casino gang’s reluctance to initially release any investors involved and the conflicting stories, we must resort to speculation:

charrt1

If you are willing to invest based on conflicting and incomplete information, place your bets.

Vote Yes for Linn County Gambling

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New Year’s Resolution Tips


 new year resMillions of people use the New Year as a time to reexamine their lives and set new goals for themselves oftentimes to no avail.

People  set unrealistic goals and end up disappointed. Changing your lifestyle is not easy but if it something you want to do bad enough it is possible.

Statistics show that 75% of what we write down happens.  So, grab a pad of paper and start listing all all the things you would like to change about yourself .  From that list pick one or two things that motivate you.

If you want to lose weight– start out with a low goal so that you don’t let yourself down.  If you want to write a book start by writing one page a day. If you start now by this time next year you might have a best seller!

Creating resolutions for things you cannot change is pointless.

New Year’s Resolutions are about personal improvements. Remember where there is a will there is a way! ! Focus on things that you have the power to change and remember it is all about you and how motivated you are to do something about it.

Mark your calendar or put an alarm in your phone to remind you of your resolution six months from now.

Know your strengths and weaknesses.   Set realistic expectations for yourself.  Are your resolutions important enough to you to want work on them?  Take baby steps to help you meet your goals.  Taking small steps towards your goal is better than doing nothing at all.

“A paragraph a day is better than a blank page”

If you can successfully change a behavior that is a problem for you then you deserve to reward yourself!

Making a list of resolutions is easy but  accomplishing those resolutions is not.  Be patiently tenacious with yourself.  It takes about a month to change a behavior but 4 days to fall back into your old way of doing things.

Remember you are the only one who can make your resolutions reality.

Happy New Year!

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Doomsday Blizzard 2012


Snapshot - 1Cedar Rapids, Iowa- I was pretty excited to get a package in the mail today. It was a dash camera, a DiGiJet Infrared Night Vision HD DVR – a gift from my friend Jeff.  I played with it for about 45 minutes before taking it out for a test run.  I have it plugged in now and am hoping to catch the whole blizzard on film overnight since that’s when it’s supposed to really start blowing the snow around! I will only catch the whole blizzard if the electricity stays on and the video turns out  I will speed it up and share a time lapsed doomsday blizzard video in the morning.  The video will be filmed from the West Bank of Cedar Rapids pointing towards Quaker Oats/Pepsi Co.

I realize most of these videos are dark but hey, it’s dark outside! 🙂

2 am

This post will be updated as the storm rolls in!

I had to drive in the blizzard to pick my son up last night. Jim Pate rode along and we discussed past close calls and road conditions.

I am working on a time-lapsed video from last night into the early hours of the morning that I will be posting.


“Freezing spending does nothing!” by Steve Rathje



“Freezing spending does nothing!”

by Steve Rathje on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 8:02am

Below is a piece I wrote as a Guest Column for the Cedar Rapids Gazette dated December 5, 2010. I’m reposting it due to its relevance after hearing comments made toward Gov. Romney and his role in doing what was necessary to ‘save’ companies while being employed by Bain Capital. After you read this piece, I think you’ll be asking yourself why some choose to belittle capitalism (however unintended), rather than explain as I have what really needs to be done. Gov. Romney did for Bain Capital exactly what my consulting firm does for some of it’s customers. When companies are going under and find themselves no longer able to compete in the ‘Free Market’ there are but a few choices to make, of which ‘no one’ wants to. I hope you’ll take a moment to read this and afterwards please drop a comment as I’d really like to know what you think.

On November 29th, President Obama announced that he was imposing a two-year freeze in the wages of federal employees, with the intention of saving $60 billion over the next 10 years.

Question; How does freezing wages at their current level actually provide a savings?

Answer; It doesn’t! To actually provide a ‘physical savings’ cuts not freezing, need to take place. Otherwise, what is being described as savings is merely, in all reality, preventative spending, two very separate things. This freeze as they call it is nothing more than a shell game to get taxpayers to believe that the government is serious about saving money and reducing spending.

Let’s look at this from a common sense point of view. Let’s say you own a company, and that company spends a million dollars a year on payroll, payroll that it can no longer afford. Do you freeze future wage increases to save or reduce capital expenditures? No! Rather, you cut current wages and benefits immediately while analyzing the necessity of the current labor force. All departments have to participate with unnecessary personnel from each department receiving a furlough. Duties are combined wherever possible. Feasibility studies are made to determine internal costs vs. subcontracted ones. Budgets are brought inline with revisions being made, and prices are cut to stimulate sales in order to boost profits and become economically solvent again.

Keep this in mind. The average wage of a federal employee is right at $100K p/year, that in and of itself is a recipe for disaster. Why, because federal employees produce nothing that can be sold at a profit. They are what we in business call indirect labor, that is labor that cannot pay for itself. This type of labor is what companies try to eliminate altogether or at the very least, keep to a bare minimum. Indirect labor merely adds to government overhead, which increases costs/taxes and doesn’t add anything to the GDP in the process.

Using 2009 numbers, which are more than likely, due to historical fact, the most accurate numbers we have that can be trusted, there are, as of January 2009, 2,748,978 civilian federal employees in the United States government. This is according to the Federal Employment Statistics published by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Employees with security agencies (CIA, NSA, etc) as well as the Military and National Imagery and Mapping Agency are not included in this number.

During this time, 97.6% of civilian federal employees worked in the executive branch of federal government with a total payroll that exceeded $275 billion per year.

So what should we do? First of all, let’s cut all federal employee wages, with the exception of the CIA, NSA, etc., as well as the Military, National Imagery and Mapping Agencies by 15% immediately. That in and of itself will save $41.235 Billion per year or $412.346 Billion over 10 years even if no reduction in federal employees ever takes place. In addition, all government pensions and benefits (except the aforementioned) must be reviewed and reduced to levels commensurate with industry standards. I would also strongly suggest a 25% reduction in federal employees once feasibility studies are completed by an independent agency or agencies, and a determination made as to how many federal jobs can actually be provided by private sector companies. Based once again on 2009 numbers, a 25% cut in personnel would reduce the number of federal employees by 687,244, with an income averaging $100K p/yr, reflects an annual savings of $68.724 Billion or $687.245 Billion over 10 years.

So to sum it up, reducing federal employees by 25% or 687,244, and immediately cutting the average wage by 15%, saves the American taxpayer $120.268 Billion p/yr or $1.203 Trillion over a 10 year period. Imagine the message that would send to friend and foe alike.

How many folks reading this article, have been laid off? How many of you have gone to work one day, only to find yourself being called into the office to receive a pink slip? No one, especially your employer, likes to be placed in this situation. But in order to remain in business and continue to produce a viable product to the public, drastic measures like these are unfortunately necessary.

We all know too well how the size of government directly affects the economic wellbeing of America. Government must be reduced wherever possible, spending must be reigned in and waste a thing of the past. The shell game that’s being played by our elected representatives must come to an end, because if it doesn’t, America as we know it will become nothing more than a pawn in a game of cat and mouse where there are no winners, only losers.