Life and Times of Alex Esguerra — Barack Obama
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" In her magnificent book, Migration Miracle, Jacqueline Hagan shows that religion has not consigned to the dustbin of history, but is vital and dynamic feature of contemporary social life. It constitutes essential reading for people interested in immigration and religion alike". - Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University.
Last night as I open my News App on my phone and saw some of the recent days topics, I thought that this bestseller published in time when Barack Obama took office in 2008 was a good reference book at this time when anti-immigrant feelings are once again on the rise among Americans. It is a book casting economics and humanities towards immigration, the undocumented while exploring the harsh realities of the migrants desperate journeys especially from Mexico and Central America.
The introduction pages starts with validating Central Americans and Mexicans comprising a sizeable proportion of the growing number of unauthorized entrants in the US borders each year. In 2000, the number rose to 850.000 a year from 500,000 in 1990. This book touches on while migrants do cross the border, some of their travels are very dangerous engaging with the desert heat and such. When in the US, the desperate journey continues in working at low wage jobs on manufacturing, construction and service industries. When the book was written it described on how these migrants earn about $21000 a little more than the poverty level. Today, as we know in a lot of states this income level is the poverty level.
The book also described underlying researches on whether migrants make use of and rely more strongly on religion when they feel little control over the situations they are confronted with and when there is high risks. It looks about how Theology differences and local cultural practices may also influence the nature and extent to how these migrants uses their religious practices and beliefs in regards to the migration process.
This book concludes on faith affirmation where at each stage of the migration process, many migrants practice familiar cultural and religious acts to cope with the "Traumas" of the "Undocumented Journey". If you haven't read this great book you should as the interrelation with religion indeed touches on being human regardless if he or she is undocumented.
I will end this chapter by quoting from the book, "Faith and the construction and reproduction of familiar cultural and religious practices help many migrant believers not only endure their journeys but also face challenges and overcome misfortunes as they struggle forward in the United States".
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When our 44th President Barack H. Obama took office in 2008, I believe his legacy that will always be remembered is on how he prevented the second great depression. In the book
Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics by Jonathan Chait, Chapter 2 touches broadly on the narrative case on how the world's financial system was on the way to a disastrous plunge. As Chait was quoted that "Presidents get credit for responding to disasters such as the case of George W. Bush right after the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Obama is the first to prevent that kept them from happening".
One of the fast sweeping actions then of the Obama administration was the economic stimulus program an old idea dating back to the first great depression. An idea developed by British Economist John Maynard Keynes as stated in this book. As in any financial stress or bubble even through the housing crisis etc.., consumers technically respond to the markets to cut cost across the board. Hence, job cuts to the tune of loss income and each person's spending power is affected. Central banks would then reduce interest rates convincing people to borrow than save. Through Keynes theory, the government needs to inject money directly into the economy, either way by giving money to the people or spending money worthwhile in a mere showdown of simply spending. Hence in the first depression, government made massive expenditures during World War II which is known as the "Stimulus" ending the depression that time.
As Jonathan Chait explains further on his book, the fall of Lehman Brothers was so vast that monetary policy was not enough in addressing it. In spite of this, the Republic house was against Keynes theory. I guess for some the question was that if a stimulus was necessary then on Obama's actions. I remember reading reports in the last days of the Bush administration predicting the budget deficit in 2009 to be a trillion dollars which we know eventually cause the economic crisis right when Obama was sworned as President.
Chapter 2 of this book was lengthy on the facts as well as the political personalities on both parties as well as touching on the bank bail outs that President Bush signed earlier and so forth. The fact is that the economic stimulus enacted when Obama took office was a success that prevented the second worst depression in this era. Bill Clinton who was known for also a sluggish economy when he took office in 1993 had a $19 Billion stimulus versus $168 Billion in 2009. Even Franklin Roosevelt today would have been amazed on the gravity of this problem. As the book title mentions, How Obama Defied His Critics as with this massive undertaking Barack Obama had to deal with the political system, it's repercussions, it's various responses as he was the first American President to enact such an enormous too aggressive for some anti-depression program.
With Obama signing the enactment of the "Recovery Act" in February 2009 barely a month after being sworn in as President, this stimulus practically healed the financial distress, the stock market collapse and fixed the bad unemployment numbers then. A lot of discussions preceded on this action till today including the initial banking turmoils right after yet the program succeeded as the case may be.
General Motors was on the center of this as it added to the problem then over and above the financial and banking collapse. So in March 2009, government had to inject and infuse the final stimulus of the auto industry with the clause that the industry undertake sweeping reforms itself. Likewise, the small unheard parts of this stimulus which is easier to remember is during tax time. It has a tax credit for workers at the bottom of the income scale. The idea was derived on getting more cash back into the hands of the people who could spend it back to the economy.
Obama hence continuously worked on recovery throughout his administration while comparing it with past administrations like Reagan and Clinton whose administrations then also swift prosperity back to the imperil economic systems when they took office. History will write so many things about this as well as the political debates so forth as the legacy and history of the 45th President is now being studied, reviewed and written. Gauging whether Obama's measures and enactment was an enormous success will take time as it's always time until a President's legacy is fully understood in fact years after.
Posted by Alexander Esguerra on
A New York Times Bestseller in 2016 right before the US Presidential elections was "The Making of Donald Trump" by David Cay Johnston.
After months contemplating whether to finally read this book, I did so while awaiting Coretta King's new book. After all, it makes sense to more understand who Donald Trump was a person, his history and ascension to the highest political office in America. Quoting from David Cay Johnston who claimed to have amassed a storage unit to keep records about his long 3 decades of interactions with the 45th President Donald Trump. Hence, it is also surprising to note that sequential recollections of the author that indeed Trump has been eyeing for this highest position for a long time contrary to what's said that he did not have political aspirations in the past hence to rise to the presidency.
The book starts on stories on syndicated media news and by the author prior to the election asking a false question about a Casino. As what we see nowadays on Mr. Trump's tweets' he is very much in touch with current events through the main stream media and will ultimately react to the news regardless of content and context. This is very typical of us laymen as well as business people as current events does affect the economics affecting the world. If this inherent culture should be the same with he finally takes office as President, we'll leave this open for now.
Chapter 1 starts about the family history from Germany as immigrants raising the future question to the newly elected president about his deportation of illegal immigrants. Ending with his great grandfather Frederick's fortune was not able to buy him more time to live dying on the pandemic influenza outbreak. Donald Trump followed his father's footsteps, Fred Christ Trump which is typical of rich business families after the great depression of teaching their children the family business to prepare them to take the reign someday. In college, which is common of entrepreneurs and which whom like myself branded as young entrepreneur, Donald Trump started on his real estate business deals. In 1968, Mr. Trump earned his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. The author continues on a lawsuit that Mr. Trump filed about his net worth when asked about NPV (Net Present Value) and the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) where he answered very irrelevant as a major in economics.
The book also touches about Taj Mahal in the spring of 1990 when Mr. Trump cannot pay contractors as it opens it's doors in April 5, 1990. With the thousands of lawyers, the DGE and liens that resulted still the Trump empire was saved as the government deem he was big to fail. Yet in 1991, the Taj Mahal entered into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy a story I finally remembered through this book. I remember this started the 1st of 4 bankruptcies.
Another recollection through this book was Adnan Khashoggi's "The Flying Saucer" massive boat renamed and bought by Donald Trump to "Trump Princess". In the early 1980's while reading a book called "Waltzing with the Dictator" about the then ill-gotten Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos affiliation with Khashoggi. I remember the boat was sold to Trump almost at auction when Khashoggi lost the boat seized by collectors. Hence in 1990 as the book recalled was a talked about a prank on both these two of whom was the cheapest rich person in New York.
As the book continues on Mr. Trumps engagements on being constantly being wealthy, inconsistencies on his claims on his net worth as billionaire etc., and his business dealings, we should note that typical businessmen after the Great Depression, World War II and after the Industrial Age have similar traits to Mr. Trump. There's a lot of fact findings deeper that will discredit someone who has just been elected to the highest office of the land. Whether, we like it or not and given the various facts written on this book, Mr. Trump still has a fresh new start to a new position as President of the United States.
Thus, it is still too early to tell if the history we have seen on the business person within Donald Trump will be the same as the 45th President of the United States. After all, it is President Barack Obama who said as a word of advice to the incoming President Trump what you'll learn the moment you take the oath of office. During my time way back as Young Entrepreneur paving my way to the APEC Youth Representative community then and today as a private small business owner, I have seen the phenomenal science of politics. Though personally I have personal reservations of the outcome of the 2016 elections, I also know that the science of politics does wonders you'll never know happens by the time it comes. I do know that there are certain entrepreneurial qualities that Mr. Trump might possess that can turn things around in terms of jobs, economic growth and investment's. Hence, I leave my resevations to myself and go with the flow while being vigilant in watching the
"The Making of Donald J. Trump as President".
May the force be with him and more success to the land of the free.
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Posted by Alexander Esguerra on
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Obama's Legacy: What He Accomplished as President hardcover book was released right after 9/11's historic day on 9/13/2016. Written by Michael I. Days who is an editor of the Philadelphia Daily News. Philadelphia was one of the turn around states on the recent US presidential elections which Obama won in 2008 and again Hillary's magnanimous campaign did not persist seeing high wins of newly elected US President Donald Trump.
Michael Days showed how Obama surpassed the Greatest Recession of Modern Time in 2008. President Obama the first African American in US Presidents is credited as having the biggest lifeline of job growth in all US Presidents, two thirds reduction in the federal budget deficit and how he revitalized the greatest slow and record numbers of the stock market.
As any sitting president, the greatest challenge is the lack of cooperation of the US Congress, a scenario that President Elect Donald Trump has not seen yet. After his inauguration this January 20, 2017 starts his new life as president politician entirely different from the scope of doing business as an business person.
This book on Obama writes " Through it all, the President who campaigned a slogan of "Yes We Can!" has persevered in his determination to make a difference and left an indelible mark on American politics and the world". Days continued is stating LEGACY is a commemoration of his eight years in the White House.
One of the remarkable things Obama started off after taking office was implementing the auto industry rescue plan that saved almost 1 million jobs in GM and the like. General Motors in turn retrieved it's glory as the premier car company in the globe. Hence this year, GM reach enormous profits it gave one share of profits to every GM worker with individual checks to a tune of US$11,000.
Obama also signed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, closing many of the loopholes that allowed corporations to send jobs overseas and avoidance in paying US taxes by moving money overseas/offshore. This is one particular policy that is going to be scrutinized by the new incoming administration when the new president starts his slogan of "Making America Great Again". Another on the watch list is the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" where the health sectors inflation had tremendous ceiling drops in 50 years. Nevertheless, Trump and the Republican controlled Congress vowed this to be repealed.
In August of 2011, the NLRB or National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule under Obama's directive requiring employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act of Nov. 14, 2011. The notice states that employees have a right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, to join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. Examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.
Thus, the current White House has the historical library of policies and enactments of Obama. It is fair to note that Obama had also repealed some of the policies of then George W. Bush when he took office. So it just justifies the plans for newly elected President Trump that he plans to revisit and repeal some of Obama's policies.
Over the years in business, seeing politicians and or working through inter government projects of an ensuing administration, I can say that politicians always have a signature policy they want to accomplish, be known for, leave history and may or not continue the previous policies of the former administration. But it is also fair to say that every political figure including US Presidents that their main goal is to improve the lives of the citizens they were elected by.
Hence on January 20, 2017 as we watched the traditional setting off of US President Barack Obama, the first black president in US history in Marine One, we can simply say, "Thank you President Obama" till we meet Citizen Obama.
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