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February 4, 2011     Post-Gazette
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February 4, 2011

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 4, 2011 by Sal Giarratani ( ..... ECONOMY HITS NEW HIGH US economy tops 2007 peak, rising 3.2% in the fourth quarter. The economy ran up for the second straight quarter as con- sumer spending increased for the fastest pace in four years according to the Com- merce Department. Wall Street had expected a strong rate of expansion, but con- sumers were supporting the Federal Reserve's aggres- sive efforts to boos t growth and bring down unemploy- ment. There is increasing evidence that the economy is self-sustaining said ana- lysts at Wells Fargo Invest- ments and bring down un- emploYment. There is in- creasing evidence that ex- pansion is becoming a more self-sustaining prophecy and bring down unemployment. There is increasing evi- dence that expansion is be- coming more and more sus- tainable. The level of red GDP 13,38 trillion. Last week the Consumer Index shot up 15.8%, the first positive reading since September 2009, and the outlook for jobs and the economy improved. Consumer confidence is tied to consumer sentiment. Or- ders to restock inventory should be a positive for the economy and the first half of 2011. Exports rose at a rate of 8%. Government spending shrank with a drop in orders and cutbacks to debt laden state and local governments. Stocks weakened on the troubles in Egypt and the uncertainty of the situation there. Many investors have increased their cash posi- tion switching to an aggres- sive stance. Ford and Ama- zons earnings were not good and the pressure on the Dow was greater as they both sank below their 50 day mov- ing averages. The GDP growth increased 3.2%. The 50 stocks on average were up 3.2% for the week. The NASDAQ lost .1% and the NYSE lost .5%. Facebook is developing a third party site ad network and would compete against Google's Ad sense to target ads. Google had revenue. Facebook generated 81.2 bil- lion in reserves and Facebook is targeting ads on the third party sites. Facebook has revenue of $1.2 billion in the first nine months, but it is still tiny relative to Google. Some Facebook members have separate ads for business, social and business con- tacts. For Yahoo and Microsoft, separate partner- ships with social networks have been a mixed bag. Their linkups to Facebook compared to Yahoo, Google and Microsoft are one, two and three respectively. In June, Facebook had 141 mil- lion visitors. In November, Facebook launched a new site, it attracted 181 million from 170 million in June 2010. Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft all share a goal, wanting to beat Google. It's a great win for them to coun- teract the Google threat. Google continues to domi- nate the top search provider in the US with 65%. The search space is the major- ity of their revenue and their growth. It's time to call your financial advisor or call me at 617-261-7777. Massachusetts Small Business Cheers Ruling in Federal Health Care Challenge The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) applauded a ruling in federal court today overturn- ing the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Bill Vernon, the organization's state Direc- tor, said the decision is.a major victory for small busi- nesses in Massachusetts. "The mandates, penalties and regulatory burdens: im- posed by this law are costly and confusing to Massachu- i setts small business own- ers, who already face the financial burden of Massa- chusetts' health care law," said Vernon. "We are very pleased by the judge's ruling today and we are confident that higher courts will agree that the law is an unprec- edented and unconstitu= tional power-grab by the federal government." NFIB is the: only business organization in the country to have joined 20 states in a lawsuit against the mea- sure. Since NFIB filed its case, six more states have joined, meaning that a majority of states now reject the federal law as an intru- sion into their constitu- tional rights. "Just as Mas- sachusetts employers can testify to stagnating job growth from health care changes here, the stagger- ing increased costs for small businesses from the federal changes will likely cost the nation hundreds of thou- sands of jobs, and further frustrate local business own- ers as alignment of the two laws gets underway," said Vernon. "In addition, there are fed- eral constitutional is'sues concerning the authority of the federal government to mandate that private citi- zens purchase a commercial service or product," said Vernon. "If the federal gov- ernment can order people to INCOME TAX PREPARATION Financial Services Professional Tax Consultant Personal & Business Year Round Service M.P. & Co. TAX & FINANCIAL SERVICES GRACE PREVITE MAGOON, EA 617-569-0175 146 Maverick Street, East Boston, MA 02128 ESTABLISHED IN 1938 e-mail: buy insurance, then it can order people to do virtually anything else it considers appropriate. Massachusetts small businesses do not want to be ordered into com- mercial contracts by strang- ers in Washington, D.C. The state is enough to deal with." Karen Harned, Director of NFIB's Small Business Legal Center, said the law violates the Constitution because it concentrates too much power into the hands of poli- ticians and bureaucrats in Washington. "NFIB is extremely pleased with Judge Vinson's deci- sion," said Harned. "NFIB joined this case to protect the rights of small-business owners to own, operate and grow their businesses free from unnecessary govern- ment intervention. The in- dividual mandate, which forces citizens to purchase government approved health insurance, undermines this core principle and gives the federal government entirely too much power. We are de- lighted Judge Vinson agreed with NFIB and the states on this critical issue." In his decision, Judge Vinson ruled that Congress lacks the constitutional au- thority to force citizens to purchase health insurance: "Because the plaintiffs maintain that an individual's failure to purchase health in- surance is, almost by defini- tion, "inactivity," the individual mandate goes beyond the Commerce Clause and is un- constitutional." Page 13 (Continued on Page 12) Lexington Letter Writer and the Bill of Rights Recently, a letter writer from Lexington, you know, THAT Lexington next door to Concord which began the American Revolution back in 1775, pens an opine that made little sense. The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights did not create any rights for the citizenry of the United States. The authors of that document only detailed all those rights we have as human beings and predates the existence of civil society. Government back in the 18 th century only acknowledged what we already, had. The whole pur- pose of the Bill of Rights being highlighted was to curb the potential appetite of our future governments to grow powerful and to ensure the supremacy of the people who were actually the government. However, many liberals today think that everything comes from the govern- ment rather than from us. Government makes civil laws but these laws are also predated. Government is here not to give us stuff but to not take stuff from us, to put it simply. Here is my letter of response, which unsurpris- ingly was never published. January 18, 2011 LETTER TO THE EDITOR BOSTON GLOBE To the Editor, After reading a letter to the editor from Richard D. Guilman of Lexington (Let- ters, January 18, page A I0), I needed to set the record straight on just what our 18 th century founders acknowl- edged when they authored the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Our 18 a cen- tury Founding Fathers did not create the rights within the first ten amendments but simply acknowledged that which the people re- tained entering into this government compact. The authors of our constitution did not create rights such as free speech, the free press, religious rights, the right to own firearms or the right against the government il- legally searching you or your property. Our founding fa- thers also did not view the government as the enemy to ward off. These 18 th century statesmen looked into the future and defined the lim- its of government not just for their day, but ours too. What need is there to re- assess or re-examine how the federal constitution works today? It works the way it always worked for the benefit of the people who are the governors of our national government. Government gives us nothing but a way to stay safe from our enemies. It acknowledges that we as a people need to safeguard our individual rights. We are the govern- ment. Our 18 th century states-men who created America actually knew what they Were doing. They thought of future genera- tions. We have something few countries in the world possess, which is the endur- ing birthright that recog- nizes the peoples' primacy. We as a people can grow and place restrictions on things like firearms owner- ship, preventing anyone from carrying machine guns around or the requirement to register firearms and ob- serve all gun laws but the right itself to bear firearms is as relevant today as it was in 1775 or 1781. We can also tell people riding horses they cannot do so on the South- east Expressway. Common sense today is unchanged from the past: I believe the difference between the letter writer from Lexington and myself is that I get what our founding fathers created. It may have not been perfect but show me somelhing better when it comes to individual freedom and economic liberty. Sincerely, Sal Gtarratani fycyJ-Iaskins Retires from the Nazarro Center Happy Retirement to Lucy Haskins after 15 years of service to the Nazarro Center.