Time goes by so fast. Christmas is almost here. Black Friday, one of the biggest sale events of the year, had a 2.9 percent sales drop from last year. The deep discounts by the stores are already hurting, and according to Bloomberg Radio, purchases at stores and websites fell 2.9 percent to $57.4 billion during the four days beginning with the Nov. 28 Thanksgiving holiday, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. On the other side of the coin, the stock market is strong and the Dow Jones Industrial Index is a little under 16,000 with over 111 million volume. I am not an economist, so I have no opinion, but I wonder what happening to the market. Two different trends show that the rich got richer and the middle class got hurt.Stores have started holiday promotions earlier since the last recession ended in mid-2009 - even pushing into October - to try to capture consumers' first purchases and encourage them to part with more dollars beyond the day's big deals. Sales in November and December account for 20 percent to 40 percent of U.S. retailers' annual revenue and 20 percent of profits, according to the Washington-based NRF.
The Affordable Health Care website is working better than before. It can handle about 50,000 clients at a time. The program is very good. President Bill Clinton endorsed this program and so did Hillary Clinton. However, the ease of the transition is not happening yet. People and medical providers are still confused. The administration has spent money with only a few people, and expect the media to do the rest for the government. I have not heard much in the neighborhoods about the health care program, and people hardly talk about it. When it comes to reality, it will strike them and then they will start complaining. It is better to find out the facts.To find out eligibility, now anyone can fill out the 12 page form after downloading and mailing it to the department. Once they approve your eligibility, you have to go back again on the internet, and choose the plan and then apply for it on the internet. The government is trying to force everyone to be educated and forcing them to step up to the 21st century. Other Asian countries are merging with the latest technology, but do not have any kind of force but a competitive market of a knowledge based economy.
The Metro Train in New York was travelling at a speed of 82 miles per hour in a 30 mile speed zone. The engineer who was involved in Sunday's train derailment apparently "was nodding off and caught himself too late" before the accident that killed four people and injured 67 others, a union representative who had been meeting with the man told CNN on Tuesday. Anthony Bottalico, the union representative, said engineer William Rockefeller Jr. recognized his responsibility in the incident. It is a really huge neglect. He might be charged with manslaughter.I do not know why at the dispatch room the clerk could not figure out that the train was going way over the speed limit. Now the government will spend more money to change the system. Salvatore Arena, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the agency began work to install Positive Train Control (PTC) on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad in 2009, budgeting nearly $600 million for installation, including $428 million last month for a system integrator. Full implementation is estimated at $900 million. What a waste of taxpayer money.
Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.