Monthly Archives: February 2015

Some Firms Relocate From Illinois to Indiana


News reports released earlier this week highlighted the decision of several manufacturing companies to relocate their facilities from Illinois to the neighboring state of Indiana. These firms include Illini Hi-Reach, a company that rents elevated work platforms; Superior Truss & Panel, a manufacturer of commercial building roof trusses and wall panels; and, most recently, American Stair Corporation, a large manufacturer of metal stairs and railings.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence welcomed the announcement that American Stair Corporation had decided to move all of its operations from Romeoville, Illinois to Hammond, Indiana and work towards a business expansion plan. “Indiana is proud to offer a business climate that is affordable and predictable,” he said.

Indiana has worked through its Indiana Economic Development Corporation to entice a number of businesses to provide jobs in the state. American Stair Corporation reportedly received a very attractive package of conditional tax credits and no-interest forgivable loans, an offer that prompted it to select Indiana as the site of its new plant facility. The company plans to spend $2.9 million to prepare a 60,000 manufacturing facility for its own operations, and it will add another 12,000 square feet to the existing structure stated Dan Newlin.

According to reports, American Stair Corporation currently employs some 140 workers. The company announced that it is actively hiring many new workers for the Hammond, Indiana site, including welders, grinders, detailers, and estimators. It will employ 180 workers by 2018.

Debunking Trickle-Down Economic Theory: Minnesota’s Miracle

Minnesota governor Mark Dayton is getting a lot of attention these days, not as the billionaire heir to the Target retail empire, but as a progressive Democrat in an ever shrinking field of gubernatorial executives elected in recent years. Taking over in 2011 from the failed administration of Tim Pawlenty, who also failed in his Republican bid for the presidency, Dayton inherited another sort of fortune, namely misfortune. Not even the family’s vast wealth could cover Minnesota’s 6.2 billion dollar deficit.

Seven percent unemployment didn’t help matters either. Job growth was non-existent, the economy had stalled and state Republicans were calling for tax cuts. In response, Dayton did the unthinkable. Indeed reported that he raised taxes by two percentage points on the wealthy and reduced the deficit by more than two billion dollars in the process. Denying not climate science, but trickle-down economic theory, he also raised the minimum wage and passed into law a bill requiring equal pay for women.

Today, according to an article in the Huffington Post, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is the 5th-lowest in the nation at 3.6 percent and is projecting a budget surplus of more than a billion dollars for fiscal 2015. The legalization of gay marriage may have put a few extra caterers and florists on payrolls, but same-sex unions can hardly explain the state’s surging economic growth and rising household incomes. Though Minnesota’s may be the path less traveled, it’s hard to argue with their numbers, unless of course you’re a devotee of failed economic theory.

Once Free Services Now Cost Money

Because of the burden the economy has placed on banks, airlines and businesses, a host of services that were once free are now costing a substantial amount of money. This has translated to medical facilities who have been charging excessive amounts of money for x-rays, ear cleanings, wound cleanings and more according to Sultan Alhokair.

Typically health insurance companies have reimbursement guidelines that are set for most if not all procedures and services that take place during an office or hospital visit. Many of these plans also allow doctors to charge their patients for many nonmedical services. This includes office fees and these are not covered by insurance. This is typically an out of pocket cost for patients so if these fees increase or are created within an office insurance cannot protect patients or their families from being charged or even further, how much they are charged.

Many parents have begun to receive bills for pediatric visits their child attended and these fees are for things that were never previously charged for. While patients and families should be notified of these changes, many people are claiming they never received notification until they received a bill. This is actually legal and very debatable. Federal laws allow medical offices to charge fees for services such as photocopying, printing records and so on. The moral of the story really is to stay informed and know what you may or may not be charged for when you seek medical attention.

An Oil Refinery Explosion in California Impacts Local Gas Prices

On Wednesday morning, an eruption in the gasoline processing unit of an Exxon Mobil oil refinery located in downtown Torrance, California frightened nearby residents and temporarily shut down the facility. The explosion occurred around 8:50 a.m. in the morning. Four workers sustained injuries in the incident, although reportedly no one suffered extensive harm and no hospitalizations resulted.

The shock of the explosion produced a noise that some local homeowners, like Fersen Lambranho compared to the sound of an earthquake. It reportedly rattled the ground near the plant. Some 47 firefighters responded and a small blaze that resulted was quickly placed under control. The authorities cordoned off the street outside temporarily.

Some local residents reported that ash from the plant landed on their vehicles. A plant spokesperson indicated that as a safety precaution, a flare system within the plant equipment would burn off the remaining products being produced at a high elevation following the disruption; this resulted in a billowing flame appearing, which was a controlled fire.

The explosion disabled some of the machinery in the gasoline processing unit. This section of the refinery was forced to close for an estimated two week period. Following the explosion, wholesale gasoline prices in California increased by an estimated six to 10 cents.

At What Price Does Good Health Come At? Is Cheaper Better?

Are inexpensive pharmaceutical grade drugs less effective than their more expensive counterparts? Many individuals are convinced that the more expensive pharmaceuticals are far more effective in treating an ailment or affliction they were suffering from.

In a recent study published in the journal, Neurology, 12 participants that were diagnosed with moderate to severe Parkinson’s Disease were told that they were testing two drugs. One of the drugs was priced at $1500.00 and the other was at $100.00. They were informed that even though both drugs were the same dosage, but the way the drugs were manufactured was different and researcher’s wanted to determine if they both worked the same. Unknown to the participant’s, was that the injection of the drugs given to them was that of a saline solution.

Results of the study show that the expensive placebo injection performed better, two-fold against the cheap placebo injection, as measured tests of the participant’s motor function and evidenced by brain imaging measurements. The effect of the expensive placebo injection was not much different than the actual pharmaceutical drug, Levodopa, which is recognized by most medical practitioner’s as the most effective treatment for those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease.

When first administered the cheap placebo, Brian Torchin said that the participant’s brain activation was greater in comparison to participant’s receiving the expensive placebo first or even with Levodopa. Levodopa functions by elevating the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine within the brain.

Learn How To Invest In Stocks From The Best

The best in the stock market investing game are the kind of people who should be trusted to teach others how to get the most out of their investment dollar. It makes perfect sense. This is the kind of thing that is done in all industries. People learn how to do the things that they do from those who have done them in the past and have been successful. Igor Cornelsen is one of the individuals who has made a name for himself in the investment world and should be listened to. The advice that he has to dole out to those who will listen is worth a lot.

First of all, people should not consider the investing world to be anything close to the same as gambling. Some have the perception that investing in the stock market is the same as investing in a lottery ticket. This is simply not the case. There are plenty of factors that can weigh into a stock market investment while there are very few things that one can control with gambling.

If you are willing to play the markets throughout the course of your lifetime, it is perfectly possible to see returns of 500% or more on the money that you have invested. This is a truth that people often do not talk enough about. They do not necessarily realize that they can make that kind of money on their investments, but it is something that is possible for those who are serious about the business.

Igor says that investors have to make investments in several small ways. They cannot hope to put all of their money to work in one large investment. If they are smart they are simply not going to do this. It would be putting too much risk in their portfolio, and no one wants to have to deal with that. That risk should be spread out as much as possible. If they are making several small and smart investments, they can afford to be wrong from time to time. With this in mind, smart investors are never going to trust their instincts more than they should.

Finally, smart investors must avoid the hot stocks. They may seem appealing at the moment, but they are often just a passing fad. The truth is that the best companies are the ones that perform consistently and have shown that they can be profitable in the long run.

The Unique Business and Philanthropic Style of Bruce and Karen Levenson

Having been a passionate philanthropist for over forty years, Bruce Levenson helps to oversee a wide range of businesses from educational to communications. In the business world, he is most well-known as the co-founder of United Communications Group (UCG). UCG provides everything from guidance to solutions to customers in several businesses including energy and telecommunications. Among his other well-known partnerships are TechTarget (for which he is the director), GasBuddy, DOT and Atlanta Hawks LLC.

In the 1980’s, Bruce and his wife, Karen started out by financially supporting numerous educational enterprises that were targeted at disadvantaged youth, including some that were Holocaust-related. Unfortunately, most eventually fell by the wayside, reportedly due to mismanagement. Realizing this, they founded the Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management program at the University of Maryland. That particular program aims to educate and empower aspiring non-profit leaders, ensuring that they’ll graduate fully prepared to take their knowledge and training into the business world.

UCG, believe it or not, was actually founded in a storage room above Bruce’s father’s liquor store in 1977. The company earned its first journalism award in 1978 and has since gone on to win over 120 different awards, as people can see here. To this day, the company has over 40 million clients internationally and still remains one of the most recognized business information companies around the world.

Atlanta Hawks LLC is a major sports franchise, which Bruce bought out in 2004. In 2010, Bruce and his partners sold and transferred the Atlanta Thrashers into Winnipeg, Canada. To this day, Levenson remains a member of the NBA Board of Governors and serves as the chairman for the Board of Managers, which operates the Atlanta Hawks. Since then, the Hawks are the only team to have made it to the NBA play-offs for seven years running.

Bruce Levenson has proven to be a major leader in both business and philanthropy. He is a quintessential example to not only youth but people of all ages of what it means to be your own leader. Both Bruce and Karen have never been hesitant to take matters into their own hands whenever things go by the wayside and to ensure that their dreams are manifested in the way that they’ve envisioned it.

Exceptional Specialists of Rare and Fine Wines

The Antique Wine Company, located in London, England, is dedicated to those with exceptional taste and a true love and passion for vintage fine wines. Shipping on a global scale with quality that is hard to match, it is surprising that Stephen Williams, the founder and CEO of The Antique Wine Company, only began this company in 1982.

Holding over 10,000 bottles in the cellar of its’ building, there is a bottle for every taste imaginable including those like Christian Vanneque who purchased the world’s most valuable bottle of white wine from them for 75,000 pounds. Specializing in the very rarest and best wines only this company holds many wine events to educate customers on the delicacy of notes of flavors and types of wine available and the necessity of storing wine properly. Sun exposure or inadequate temperatures can damage wine. They also help customers create their own wine cellars and collections. For those who already have exquisite wine collections and are looking for a way to display and organize them, The Antique Wine Company sells handcrafted wine cabinets as well.

In spending so much time and money on vintage bottles of wine, there is the obvious concern of whether or not the wine is authentic in quality and age. Many consider wine to be one of the top items of the world that are counterfeited. The AWC utilizes state of the art technology and scientific testing for absolute accuracy and verification of age and quality. X-ray machines and an ion beam produced by a particle accelerator are used on each bottle to determine its’ age with the results being passed on to each customer so they have absolutely no doubts that they are getting what they pay for. Their process of analysis does not damage the quality or flavor whatsoever, it simply prevents counterfeiting.

If you are a wine connoisseur with fabulous taste or simply someone who wants to know more about rare vintage wines, this is certainly a company worth looking in to.

European Central Bank Approves Bond Buying Program

The European Central Bank voted unanimously last month to initiate a government bond buying program to create liquidity in the European euro currency market. ECB Approves Bond Buying This monetary policy also known as “quantitative easing” is designed to increase the amount of cash in the monetary systems. Reports from the January E.C.B. meetings indicate that the liquidity goal is about 50 Billion Euros per month. The European Central Bank’s hope is that the influx of added liquidity will help to spur economic growth and development throughout Europe.

Germany has expressed grave concerns regarding the enacted monetary policy with the concern that this “easing” process, which is akin to simply printing money, can not be sustained for a long period of time and has the potential of inducing inflation or worse, totally devaluing the european currency. Such an event would have a ripple effect for the rest of the world’s currencies.

The move by the European Central Bank is similar to recent quantitative easing policies that have been engaged by the U.S. Federal Reserve over the past several years. The U.S. has actually gone through three distinct easing events. Zeca Oliveira has found that the results are mixed. Stabilization of the U.S. dollar was maintained and the stock market has remained relatively sound. However, many are unsure how long these effects will last or what will be the result when other global economies initiate their own quantitative easing monetary polices.

Student Loan Debt Continues to Climb


The economy is in a state of recovery. According to recent reports from some of the globe’s most notable advocacy consultants, thousands of new jobs have been created and people are even beginning to get ahead of their debt once again, but there is one part of the industry that isn’t bouncing back as quickly as the rest. According to recent findings fewer people are going delinquent on mortgages, credit card balances and home equity loans, but student loan delinquency continues to rise.

According to the report, Student loan debt adds up to about $1.16 trillion. The amount grew by $31 billion over the course of a single quarter. The growth of student loan debt is no surprise. As more students enter college, more debt is being taken out. The problem lies in the fact that repayment is far sparser in the student loan market than elsewhere in terms of debt repayment.

According to recent data, nearly 12% of student debt is more than three months delinquent. In comparison just 3.5% of auto debt is delinquent and 7.3 percent of credit card debt is delinquent for more than 90 days.

Why is that? According to experts, student loan debt delinquency has been on the rise for over 10 years. Most seem to agree that students have taken on large sums of debt, and are now having a difficult time putting money aside to pay off those loans. With loan payments costing upwards of $500 per month, it is difficult for youngsters just starting out to pay those bills on top of other existing bills.