Monday, November 28, 2011

End of a Small Era

Every road has an end

Everyone has heard a similar story. A small business, a working class entrepreneur trying to keep some semblance of a middle class existence continues to lose business through no fault of his own until there is no business. The recession turns into a depression for the little man who only wants to work for himself and not be a cog in some sort of corporate machine. Being your own boss means make or break.

For almost six years I've worked right alongside my son-in-law. He's been in business for about 15 years doing what he likes to do. Until 2008 there was never a time without a job waiting in the wings. So successful it seemed like it would never end except on his own terms. Pride in workmanship was never lacking. A bulldozer, a tractor trailer to haul it with and a four wheel drive dually with tools and fuel tank, all paid for, combined with independence, desire and drive should be a very practical situation but as the old say goes, "nothing lasts forever." Tomorrow the dozer is being sold.

The business is not ending because of competition. All the small time full time competition in the area went out over two years ago. Being essentially the local last man standing didn't make any difference. It wasn't because of shoddy work. The work done was equal or better than anyone else. It wasn't because of excessive rates or dishonesty. It was an honest business charging less than most.  No, it was an economic collapse that all along was designed to strip the middle class individual of not only the chance to work but to eventually take everything he had worked for.

These kinds of businesses don't show up in the statistics. There's no unemployment to be paid. It won't even be counted as one of the many small businesses to fall because those that do the counting won't even know. It will be as if it never existed except in the memory of a few.

The up close reasons for going out of business are few and simple. People don't have the money and if they do they are holding on to it for fear of needing it later. Retirees who made up a significant portion of the work and who had money in the stock market scams have lost a big portion of it and don't have it to spend. The unemployed can't afford any kind of work done. They just want work for themselves. Higher diesel and insurance costs cannot be passed on to customers who are barely making it themselves. Advertising was never seen as needed until 2008 and it was essentially a dead expense that brought in few clients in a dying economy.

The seemingly distant reasons are what we all know. The corruptions of Wall Street, government, the Federal Reserve and war are the basics. We are the ones paying for their theft and crimes. Some would say we are projecting blame. I call it as just stating the facts.

To add insult to injury, my son-in-law is selling out for less than the real value of the equipment to get cash to get by on until he can figure out what to do next but it doesn't end there. His tax lady says he will probably owe around 12% in federal income taxes on what he sells. Being forced to pay taxes for going broke should not happen. This is in a country where many billion dollar profit corporations get around paying anything. And where will his tax money go? Oh yeah, interest on debt to the federal reserve.

Myself, I escaped the corporate world after a near lifetime of it. I just didn't want to die in the cesspool that the big corporations had become. Even though I only made a fraction of what I used to, working outdoors was a refreshing relief. The sunshine, the fresh air, seeing things in the wilds of our area - waterfalls, caves, hilltops, forests, nature - that very few ever get to see was an adventure. Sometimes the work was easy, sometimes very hard. We had even expanded beyond excavation and earth construction into other areas just to try and stay busy. I'm going to miss it and don't any idea what I'm going to do next.

It's a fairly typical scenario. There will be no easy or quick solutions. People are not looking for sympathy or handouts. They just want to make a living and support their families. Maybe have a little fun in the process. Getting rich is not the goal for most. Happiness and love of what you do is not too much to ask for.

This is not just the end of an era for numerous individuals. It is the end of an era for the world. Things are changing, and fast, for all of us. What we make of it and what we do to effect positive change is our challenge.
We are up for it. I have faith.


Nostalgia is sometimes looking back and wondering why it is that you have outlived a few of those who were younger and more talented in certain areas than you. 

Remembering some of the best musicians I've ever known. Mark and Alan ... rest in peace.


  1. Wow man. Been checking your blog for quite some time now but never commented.
    I spent 8 years as a wildland firefighter. Seems like another lifetime ago since I got laid off.
    I'll be sending in the form for my last unemployment check soon. After that, well, I just don't know.
    I think you're right. The world we all knew is as good as dead.
    Thankfully I have land and a garden and animals so if worse comes to worse at least I wont starve.
    I am strangely calm about the whole thing actually.
    I think everything is going to sort itself out.
    It may be painful but with creativity and inspiration borne out of necessity we can get through this.
    Now is the time to rebuild community amongst ourselves.
    We are being left with no ther choice.
    I wish you and yours the best of luck. Thank you for sharing that story.

  2. I'm sorry Kenny! It's sure a sign of the times.

  3. It's one thing for us adults to let this Great Depression, Part II to come about. So many of us were too busy watching football or baseball or 'Dancing with the Stars' while our country was being looted of trillions of dollars from hard working Americans, all hidden behind the FALSE FLAG/INSIDE JOB of 9/11, so we're partially responsible for our sorry state of affairs.

    But the worst part are the innocent ones who had NOTHING to do with this mess; our kids and grandkids who we've helped condemn to a lifetime of slavery and poverty.

    Welcome to the NWO slave.

  4. My heart goes to you guys. What is nobama doing to save small businesses like yours around the country? I hear cricket chirping sound.

    If I am not mistaken I recall, BuelahMan is going through similar situation.

    Sign of the times indeed.

  5. having gone thru bankruptcy some yrs ago, i do understand.

  6. If I maybe as cynical as paying tax on assets sold [ ??? ] perhaps your son-in-law could have used a bit of business [ aka cynical] savvy and offered the police in Wall St. and other cities the loan of his 'dozer.

    Saves paying all those thuggish police and their liberal use of pepper-spray.

    1 dozer = 50 cops, probably got a higher IQ too.

    As an afterthought perhaps 'Occupy Wall-St. with a Dozer' might prove effective


  7. Sorry, Kenny.

    Been there/Done That (and it sucks to high heaven)

    I, too, shut down a long running personal business in 2009 (filing bankruptcy). I catered to manufacturing by selling automation and safety enhancements.

    The 2008 "recession" was a killer, but the problems came long before that with NAFTA and all the other SHAFT yas.

    I was lucky enough to go to work for a larger firm, but after a year, they had a massive lay-off (and now the President has lost his job).

    I thought I was safe, but I was so very wrong.

    I'm 50 and have nothing to fall back on, except a couple of rental houses my wife just inherited. Unemployment screwed me out of about $3K remaining and denied my obvious appeal.

    So, compared to most, I still have it made, but I have no work income (and no prospects for any).

    BTW: I have three degrees from college. Worthless!

  8. I'm really sorry to hear this, Kenny. I don't want to sound trite, but I've heard there are a lot of jobs in North Dakota.

  9. Very interesting, Judy .....

    I remember seeing a story about all the unemployed people flocking to ND for jobs not to long ago - oh, and the mighty employer is .... ....halliburton! (gulp!)

    For the video report:

    WILLISTON, N.D. - A small town in North Dakota near the Canada border has plenty of high-paying jobs available, but not enough places to live for the people flocking there for work.


    It's great news for the unemployed, especially those without a college degree, who -- says one company executive -- can often earn six figures a year after just two years of on-the-job training.
    But here's the catch. You'll probably have to move to North Dakota if you want to snatch one of the positions.
    Jim Brown, president of Halliburton's (HAL, Fortune 500) Western Hemisphere division, said the company has a need for everyone from MBAs to unskilled workers, as it builds its presence in the oil-rich Bakken shale region of North


  10. Hey Kenny, sorry to hear about the difficult times, and no I don't think you're projecting blame one bit. The criminals running the country have sold us down the river BIG TIME, in capitol letters.

    Life, remember, is a roller coaster ride, and we certainly seem to be plummeting into one of those wild and very deep dips at the moment. Just keep in mind that sooner or later the coaster always begins its ascent again.

    God be with you.

  11. Hi Kenny,

    I'm sorry to read this and hope that you will find a way to keep earning a living and to keep blogging.

    Your diagnosis of the problem is quite correct. They'll find money to kill people and to pay off the bankers, but not for regular folks trying to make a decent living while contributing to their communities.

    For what it is worth, you sure do write extremely well. Too bad there's basically no money in that.

    best wishes,


  12. Sorry to hear this. Downsized twice here, but sold a business during Reagan and managed, barely, to break even. I wish you the best.

    I'm sure one of the Republican columnists (Buchanan or maybe Cal Thomas) thinks all this is because Americans are overpaid and lazy.

  13. Best wishes to you and your Son in law and Family..these are trying times for all, and i doubt that anyone, except the asslickers, sychophants and useless brainless lackeys of the elite will be able to "work" in the future, like worker drones.
    Good luck to you guys, at least your hometown won't be occupied by a foreign force ;)
    Cheers A13

  14. Hey everyone. Thanks for dropping by and all of the kind words.

    One thing I want to make clear is that this is just one story among millions and our situation is certainly not unique. Many have it far worse and I think the point I was trying to make is that we are not alone and collectively we can do something to overcome the madness that is slowly enveloping us.

    Peace and positive thoughts to all.

  15. All the best Kenny. I hope it goes well for you mate.

  16. Was prayin for all manner of sores discomfort and disease to afflct the welfare cuttin backstabbin BC Liberals when a great puff of wind blew a huge dead tree across the road smashing it into a giant pile of perfect firewood sized pieces. Jiminy gonna be warm tonite, Things are looking up praise the Lord Welfare cuts in your face, Liberal take your Cyanide. Good Liberals drink anti-freeze.
    Whassup with the ICBC hikes, Liberal? Pillaged the corp for $700,000,000 now cry $hortFALL? Assholes.
    Drivers Against Madd Mothers DAMM

  17. Hey kenny, very sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation. Most definitely a sign of the times...makes me think twice about some of the entrepreneurial ideas I've got.

    Been thinking a lot about solutions to the mess our criminal government has gotten us into, you know, like having your modestly successful independent business shutting down. I don't see it coming from anyone other than us...

    I've always loved Thomas Jefferson, and his political philosophy and insights. The man was adamant about free people being able to provide for themselves and think for themselves. I think that's what we need to be focusing on -- growing our own food (or participating in co-ops or farmers markets), raising our children properly, educating and engaging with those around us that are intellectually capable of entertaining alternative ideas, turning off the TeeVee and other mainstream programming, getting out in the sunshine, and enjoying the company of good people and family.

    Good music always helps. RIP Mark and Alan, good stuff.

  18. This is part of their plan. To strip Americans of even the chance to make an honest living. You want to see something interesting? Google "Blackstone Investments" and have a look at who they are and what they own. No other research is necessary.

  19. You will obey. To oppose the BORG is futile.