Life and Times of Alex Esguerra — Life and Times of Alex Esguerra
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Esguerra) on
I totally agree with Ibram Kendi's book when he states that the only way to undo racism is consistently identify it. Those who are in constant denial or are ignorant about racism of course will continuously resist, deny or counter the word as aggressiveness or resistance, Thus every single person has the power to resist racism regardless of color of the skin.
Let's start with some basic current examples like the PPP - Paycheck Protection Program, a loan program created to help small and micro businesses as a result of the still problematic Covid-19 pandemic. Like the thousands of small and micro businesses who applied since it was announced in March-April, the question lies why is still there funds unused. The program expiration of June 30 was just extended as of this writing. It is a program design to small businesses having 100 employees or less. Based on the data out, the majority of black and people of color small businesses that have applied and still at a limbo are those having 10 employees or less or even 1-3 employees. As we have seen at first when the program started, the major big businesses where even recipients some of whom were asked to return the money.
I'm not gonna explore much of who and why the recipients are. But what I've found out is that when the program started where the first bank res ponders where the big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc.., So the big banks who are typically designed to deal with the same big businesses who were somehow first recipients had been task to be administer these loans thereby to be the initial or even final evaluators whether the individuals or businesses applying are worthy of this PPP loan, And wallah, when this author talked about institutional and organizational policies here is one good example. The training set up of the people evaluating these loans in these banks are created to big businesses. Well of course they can claim they have focus on small businesses. The reality is that there so called small businesses maybe 100 or even 50 employees but these are businesses making millions of revenues. The majority of the borrowers trying to apply are those that earn from $2000 to $35,000 a month, those businesses that are in dire need of constant cash flow and working capital.
So cutting the story short after months of going and back forth on threads of emails with attachments. Attachments that can't be open as they are digitally automatically encrypted for some reason on the bank recipients, faxing documents that banks claims they have so many back logs. actual mails that never get to the right person and calls that are never return it'a useless endeavor and so much wasted time and effort on those that really needed the funds, Added to these are the constant emails etc.., asking for the same documents either already submitted and not making sense especially for sole proprietors that do not have have payroll tax records but independent contractors and services.
I've been in a micro cottage small business in most of my adult life and what is new to this scene as I tell myself. Even the richest and most powerful country in the world, this is the reality and yet when the discussion of racism opens we try to deeply contradict what the bounds of this topic. On a side note, a lot of the recipients in the last month coming from the those 1-10 employee minority impacted businesses got their loan from the micro lending efforts of small banks some of them even unheard.
Looking at this picture, we know that these institutions employ are a lot of people of color. The repeated question would be although some of them know the true realities that exist of the real small businesses, do they have the power to change the rules or sometimes can they even voice their opinion without fear that they can be identified as a threat? This is what the topic of racism talks on the white privilege having the power to change things. The real change will happen when we start empowering the minority and people of color to be able to sit and hold major positions on these institutions. The caveat here lies is ensuring that the chosen people of color are actually the real idealistic ones and not those still behind the shadows of the white privilege culture. I say these as it is true that there are indeed some people of color on those high positions but they are a tiny fraction they won't even say anything so they can protect their job, position or financial security.
A good example of this lies on the highest echelons of government. When politicians run for office, you will hear much of the idealism of change. Then defeat comes, yet they are identified especially if they are a person of color with such idealism, Some take what position that may come their way for their own reasons. What surprises me is that when they are working for an administration, the idealism mellows down. Then the breaking points come into picture when they are face with the realities on making their voice heard or taking a position. For the courageous that left, I salute them but for some they that pride and take a position with an administration to show loyalty and solidarity. The fastest way of fixing this is through an election. With 4 months on the way to a presidential election, a new administration starting with the right mixture having a big contingent of people of color with the ideological perspective to eradicating racism is a big factor. Although a Woman Vice-President candidate is a step, not until a big majority of an administration from the top up down who have a big contingent of minority people of color, healing cannot start to happen.
The major private sector institutions who are somewhat in denial on racism and following the ideals of white power can change. But they won't drastically as they go side by side with politics. Until they see the government's initiatives they wont; make such significant major changes, They can make all their public relation announcements of changing names, changing their advertising policies but not until they deeply study their organizational policies and structures and really employ and promote the real minorities don't expect the eradicate the problem of racism.
This issue on racism has been going on decades, the hard part of the battle is we deal with it in bits and pieces. We have to use the best time right now to make the best out of it by talking about it and gaining the most we can in continuing the battle of racism.
Posted by Alexander Esguerra on
I'll start the blog remembering the HIV/AID's epidemic as a graduating health professional then involved in the testing and seeing 2 of my former classmates then and after succumbing demise due to infection. This was a time pre-technology in my own terms that our team can get infected easily on the clinical side by either getting accidentally poke when we are drawing blood specimens from patients, or accidentally swallowing serum or plasma as we try to separate them for testing through pi petting and last when accidentally the auto-clave then for some reason explodes.
Today with the onset of the great viral pandemic, COVID-19, Coronavirus technology has been greatly changed the laboratory settings and respiratory clinicians practices from way back. We can't accidentally swallow the hazard. But like any other health professional in the front lines, a future careful review of OSHA rules and the right adequate most talked about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment's) are eminent. Our front lines in hospital settings starts from the EMT's, Admissions coordinators, Triage and Trauma staff, ER, Infectious disease to include bio-hazard teams, maintenance, janitorial, ICU/Acute Care, Nurses, doctors, food and canteen staff, the staff that we don't see much, Medical Assistants, Phlebotomist, Medical Technologist/Technician, Lab and Hospital Aides and our Clinical Laboratory Scientist,
I open the TV this morning alarmed to remember that one of the HIV patients stigma's then was the Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, CA. Laguna Honda, the biggest nursing home in the USA also played and is playing a great service to the patients that have outlive the HIV epidemic. I'm alarm due to the fact the most vulnerable from COVID-19 are in this facility and the last I'd like to see is these patients who had so many years fighting HIV may succumb to this new viral disease if it spreads. As of today, the public health officials have started the best measures to protect the patients by locking down the facility and starting to test the more than 100 staff in the facility. This will at least start the identification and isolation's needed.
I'll continue by way of hovering on the concern on the national level on the economic impact this is causing the US and World economy. While reading through, Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic by Thomas Garrett, where he quotes on his abstract, "The possibility of a worldwide influenza pandemic in the near future is of growing concern for many countries around the globe".
As the medical professionals cited the 1918 pandemic came in 3 waves where they based the mortality rates. This is why we hear a lot in the news when officials and medical people talking on making assumptions as to density and apex which somehow touch bases on population, geography, ratio and percentage rank. Garrett continues, " The greatest disadvantage of studying the economic effects of the 1918 influenza is the lack of economic data. There are some academic studies that have looked at the economic effects of the pandemic using available data, and these studies are reviewed later. Given the general lack of economic data, however, a remaining source for information on (some) economic effects of the 1918 pandemic is print media". I mentioned this as this is the reality in "viral economics" Hence is why the economist zeroes on the point that the first step is deal with the virus on test and cure.
In summary, let the scientist take the lead towards the date and assumptions. Let's focused on what we can do individually in terms of isolation, mitigation, being responsible from staying away from the vulnerable. We don't need to be in the front lines to be susceptible being exposed or being a carrier. The harsh effects will be great but were talking about lives and mortality.
I recommend reading this great article by Thomas Garrett. I will end on a paragraph on this article.
"The influenza of 1918 was short-lived and “had a permanent influence not on the collectivist but on the atoms of human society – individuals.”31 Society as a whole recovered from the 1918 influenza quickly, but individuals who were affected by the influenza had their lives changed forever. Given our highly mobile and connected society, any future influenza pandemic is likely to be more severe in its reach, and perhaps in its virulence, than the 1918 influenza despite improvements in health care over the past 90 years. Perhaps lessons learned from the past can help".
Posted by email@example.com (Alex Esguerra) on
With the onset of the tech boom, today's lifestyle focus on apps, smart devices and lights, siri, social media practically on automation. An presidential election coming, absurd political parties bickering with candidates laying on platforms. Yet in the America, the richest and greatest country on earth thrives two of the worst problems typical in a 3rd world country - Homelessness and Access to Affordable Housing.
In 1998, when the tech boom started and the markets crash, one of the reasons I founded, ADLE International was focus on continuing my outreach for people with low income, the elderly, the disabled, the marginalized youth, veterans and societies most vulnerable to disparity, discrimination and inequality due to having limited financial means and resources. Two decades after I can't just tell myself I can't believe the problem is still here and for all you know has gotten worst.
Part of the culprit lies on the severe income brackets of the so called rich, very rich and low income nowadays extreme poverty level. The State Medical and Medicaid systems for example classify lower income needing extra help if monthly personal cash reserves are below $2000 in San Francisco, CA when even an SRO (Standing Room Only aka Single Room Occupancy) in it's poor Tenderloin neighborhood range from $800 to $1300 and a typical Studio cost $1400 to $2,000 a month. It does not do the math as if you held $2001 anticipating just your rent, your no longer qualify for extra help and Medical/Medicaid might even cancel your enrollment.
The biggest challenge on top of this complication is if you just move to the city of San Francisco, there are no low income housing unless you want to go on to this massive wait list on the properties considered low income and affordable from 9 months to 5 years. If you have a parent on SSI (Social Security Income) that can no longer live alone and needs assisted living do the math = $900/month income and a typical shared assisted living which 95% only accepts private pay require $5000/month the cheapest shared room. Hence, is why part of the homeless population in the city are the vulnerable very elderly and even veterans who serve as there is no housing!
So when we were listing a book on our website today I said I have to write a blog even though it's been a while I haven't done one. Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America.
Conor Dougherty A stunning, deeply reported investigation into the housing crisis
Spacious and affordable homes used to be the hallmark of American prosperity. Today, however, punishing rents and the increasingly prohibitive cost of ownership have turned housing into the foremost symbol of inequality and an economy gone wrong. Nowhere is this more visible than in the San Francisco Bay Area, where fleets of private buses ferry software engineers past the tarp-and-plywood shanties where the homeless make their homes. The adage that California is a glimpse of the nation's future has become a cautionary tale."
Indeed San Francisco has won the title of the most expensive city in the West and at times now have gone over New York becoming the most expensive city in the US. Oracle's OOW - Oracle Oracle Openworld Conference one of the biggest technology conferences in the last decade and a half this year finally left San Francisco to Las Vegas losing millions of tourist revenues for the city. Some of the conference attendee feedback received were of the so exuberant high cost of hotel rooms, the city has gotten dirty and a resounding majority stated homelessness. The cities Moscone Center perimeter for the yearly event has the various surrounding hotels in the union square shopping center as well the tenderloin neighborhood where the cities homeless are visible.
Dr. Sonja Trauss story in the book is the exact case scenarios by so many people living in the San Francisco Bay area. I really recommend spending some time reading this book so you can get a real store glimpse of why?
Posted by Alexander Esguerra on
It seems a plan on reducing the tax bracket and income tax to 15%. S Corp's and LLC's seem to be the most benefactor from the said plan.
Through the years, deductions and the like played a big part during tax time. Though reducing the tax bill and more money coming back to an individual and a business helps, it also benefits those having huge corporate profits as well.
The question and reality lies again on the regulations and business climate to operate a small business operation. Taxes are just a segment of the long list of needs every small independent businesses lived through each day to exist.
"The National Federation of Independent Business, say 45% of business owners consider regulations a very serious business problem today. That is up from 17% in 2001. "
In addition, access to working capital continues to be a major obstacle of a small business owner. This is an area where needed regulations can be futile where the incoming Trump administration can also looked into.
Per the NFIB November report, "Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, unchanged from October. Thirty percent reported all credit needs met (up 1 point), and 52 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan, down 1 point. Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem. Thirty-one percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis (up 3 points). The average rate paid on short maturity loans rose 40 basis points to 5.6 percent. Overall, loan demand remains historically weak, owners can’t find many good reasons to borrow and invest, even with abundantly cheap money."
In such operational structures, liquidity and personal cash flow are the main funding sources for COGS - Cost of Goods Sold, etc., especially in the bookselling industry whom had been over the years continues to automate and slowly update their technology systems.
Hopefully the new SBA - Small Business Administration new chief, Linda McMahon and Trump, together, will have the ability to help revive American small business through actual government assistance (SBA loans, training and federal contract opportunities), but also through something that is even more important: building entrepreneurial confidence.- quoted from Fox News.
Entrepreneurial confidence and the essence of entrepreneurship were some of the basic principles I focused then at APEC Young Entrepreneurs Association and as APEC Youth Representative on the Young Leaders declaration in 1997.
Truly indeed it's back to basics of entrepreneurship access to capital, minimum wage, competitive and profitability structures, and coming together to address policy and regulations affecting each industry.
So my take for other fellow small business owners is that although we have our individual struggles, we have to be strong and united when it comes to policies and regulations which may affect us with the new administration. The key is "Vigilance".
Posted by Alexander Esguerra on
As the internet continuously revolutionizes from Apps integration and mobile friendly website, a growing demand on the book selling business today are new, new and new release books. It is well noted and maybe also because of the high tech trend today, consumers buying books online and also in retail stores has grown tremendously in numbers for new release books. At our own ADLE's Affordable Books where our core main business is rare out print collectibles and used books, we have accept this fact especially due to the enormous wants and request we received from our loyal pool of buyers. So on top of what we carry together with our textbooks genre, our mission of affordability still goes with our new release fiction, non-fiction, novels, romance, memoirs, biographies, etc. In the world of sales and marketing, it is gearing towards market trends, demands and consumer needs. Thus, book selling totally is gearing towards that shift. The plain good news is that in spite of all the digital and eBooks, owning a hardbound or paperback copy is still the constant norm of a book buyer today. A long list of the New York Times bestseller list has proliferated the book market since the started of the year. Some notables are Spark joy, When Breath Comes in the Air, Dictator, How To Make Your Money Last, Brotherhood, black Presidency and many more.