Sunday, April 27, 2008

Making money during the crisis .

One poster at Glocktalk forums was curious as to how money can be made during periods of difficulty like the one developing now in USA these days.

It may seem hard, even impossible, to make money, even get rich, thanks to the crisis but it is possible and some people did in fact get VERY rich.

Many saw the opportunities created by the crisis and made money out of it.
As the infrastructure starts having difficulties, there’s a market to be satisfied.


1)Public schools have been going steadily down in quality? There’s a market for cheap or medium priced private schools that offer a batter education and safety environment.

I know two persons that started with daycare centers some years ago ( mommy now has to work too!!) and today own a school that takes half a block.
It takes little investment, you can start in your own house.

2)High Crime? There’s an entire industry there. Home security, private guards, bodyguards, private neighborhood security.

3)Public Health sucks? Some people are willing to pay for things they consider important, staying alive is one of them.

4)Private health companies made lots of money, even the small ones that started out with just a small building, minimum equipment and a handful of doctors.

5)You don’t have that kind of money?

Look at gas prices. Do you think people can afford that much longer? Even if they could, Saving money and still traveling comfortably is a nice idea.

Some people have gotten filthy rich offering charter services from the suburbs to downtown. Picking office workers during the morning and taking them back home at 6 PM.
They started out with just one van, and now have entire fleets and they are completely booked, people have to wait months to get a seat.

Use your head people.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

People’s mentality and the cell like behavior of a country.

This is a comment made by an anonymous reader in a previous post:

Hello - I was just down there a few weeks ago with some others who live in BA and their experiences vary greatly from yours. I messaged them the other day concerned things might be bad and they didn't share any of the same concerns.

I was curious if it's maybe the area they live in? Most live directly in downtown BA (Recoleta, Palermo, etc). Curious to hear your thoughts...

First thing to be said here, is that people have different points of view.

Many of us love this country in spite of it’s many problems and everyday injustices.
The problem is that some people are just blind to the reality around them.
Most of the people I know simply choose to stay here because of family, or because they have no means of leaving.
Very few will tell you a different version.

An architect I work with was so frustrated with our current presidents, she commented that she would love to see some wacko put a bullet into her head. She said and I quote, ( because I remember the words clearly) “Isn’t there anyone out there dying of cancer that knows how to shoot a rifle? Why not do everyone and favor and shoot that bitch?”)
One of the owners of the company that I work for calmly explained the other day that according to his experience we have a few months until another important crisis, but not to worry , because little will change until there’s a civil war.

These are not my words, but the words of the people I work with. People with education, professionals and business owners.
And this pretty much reflects the view you hear people express on the streets, conversations you overhear in the subway or in a bar.

Some (few in my opinion) people prefer to go into denial and say that everything is ok. But the majority don’t fool themselves.

Don’t kid yourself for a second: This situation we are in right now, with our current president, the wife of our previous president, is nothing short of a dictatorship.
Keep in mind that a few days ago the president used tattoo covered, ex con THUGS to beat up people that were peacefully protesting against the government.
This is no invention of mine, everyone saw it LIVE on TV. The days after that few comments were made about the incident, but it still happened.

They created a so called “Media monitoring department against discrimination” that bans and edits information on radio, printed press and TV that they consider “hateful” , or in other words anything they consider that goes against our current administration.

So there’s no freedom of speech here, and every now and then a reporter admits on TV that they get “calls” concerning what they should or shouldn’t say on TV or on the papers.
As far as I know none got killed, but many got fired, which is still pretty serious.

Back to the original post, Recoleta and Palermo are indeed two of the richest neighborhoods in the entire country.

While the rest of the country is dangerous, with many places being “ no man’s land” , called “zonas liberadas”, and you rarely see a cop patrolling the streets, in Recoleta you may find up to 4 cops covering a single block side.
The reason for this is that crime in general is so bad, that to ensure safety in the “good” neighborhoods, the ones where rich people live and where tourists visit, you need that much police.
You see, as the country went down into 3rd worldly status, it concentrates it’s efforts to sustain it’s core, in this case Buenos Aires and a few other cities.

Efforts are made to ensure as much as possible that these places don’t suffer power shortages, high crime rates, lack of food, etc.

The rest of the country, most suburbs and surroundings, are in some cases sacrificed to ensure the well being of the core, just like in any living organism.

Still, even with cops posted every 25 meters, people are still desperate enough that you hear about robberies occurring, sometimes ending up in shootings.

But people there have more money, they are better dressed, you can see them pleasantly chatting and going to their resto-bars or after-offices. :) Trying to pretend that things are different.

That’s the truth. In spite of all the glamour you may find in Recoleta, it is still Argentina and people do get robbed and killed. It’s not as common but it does happen, and anyone that says otherwise is full of shit.

I suppose that’s the thing about this country, you can’t escape it’s reality even if you try.

The smoke that covered most of the province for nearly two weeks a few days ago, including Buenos Aires city, affected rich and poor alike.

Inflation and food shortages too, affect everyone.

To the anonymous poster;
Your friends weren’t concerned with the farmers strike that left supermarkets without meat, milk and vegetables?

They weren’t concerned that they had a hard time breathing because of the out of control fires up north? Which had they occurred in any serious country, they would have evacuated half the city?

Aren’t they concerned that the farmers are two days away from striking again?
How about our minister of economy resigning yesterday? That doesn’t concern them either I guess.

This can all be veryfied with a quick google search.
It’s one thing to come here on vacations for a couple of days , and its another thing to live here.

Certain people enjoy going to Brazil, Africa or Cuba, but I doubt many would actually enjoy living there or understand what it’s like to do so.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Children and how they deal with the new reality.

Someone asked this when I first started with the blog.
It’s been on my mind ever since, and it made me notice a few observations and attitudes my son has.

For example, my son is now scared of the “bad men” outside.
When I asked about that he said “like the men that robbed mommy”(my wife got mugged by some armed kids , age 10 or 12 , some months ago)
According to him we should go looking for them and kill them. (wish it could be that simple)

He understands that daddy has guns precisely to protect us from people like that.
I’m not sure if kids in other places have this attitude. I try to protect him from all this stuff but sometimes it’s impossible. It’s on the news, it happens to you, it’s the reality you live with.
I insist that he has to finish his food because I explain to him there are lots of kids that have nothing to eat.

I suppose many parents tell similar things to their children, the difference after the crisis is that your kid actually sees those hungry, bare footed kids on the sidewalk, begging for some coins or something to eat.
Last week I explained to him what the reporter was talking about, the lack of food supply in supermarkets.
The following day when I came back from work he ran to me and said “ Daddy! Daddy! Remember the guy on tv last night? He was right! We went to the supermarket today with mommy and there was no meat, fruits or milk!”

Does this help to build up character? To bring up more healthy minded, down to earth kids?
I don’t know, but I think that my son is too young to be worrying about these things, so I try to shelter him from all this.

One day we’ll be living in a civilized, 1st world country, and all this will be left behind, thank God. But I don’t think he’ll ever forget what it’s like when things don’t work as they are supposed to.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing.


Jewelry gold, on field test (Update)

Almost 1 AM here.

Wish I had more time to write, guess I could write all day, specially with the ongoing situation, the way food prices soared recently up to 150 % in some cases, most going up “just” 50% or so.

Even though the farm strike is over, it doesn’t reflect on the prices. At least we do have food now on the supermarkets, and they took away the “3 item of the same maximum” signs which were pretty unnerving.

Hey, remember the little gold research I did some time ago in Libertad street, where all the jewelry and gold dealers can be found in the capital district?
Seems that they are getting hit pretty hard by criminals these days.
A couple days ago a shop owner got killed by a robber, and a cop that tried to stop it got wounded pretty bad, think he’s still in the hospital.

According to the news, these days in Argentina it is a MUCH better deal for criminals to rob one of these gold dealer and jewelry shops than a BANK! Go figure.
They say that these places have an average of 100.000 USD worth of gold merchandize, due to current gold prices.
It was kind of weird to learn that a dealer got killed on the same street I visited just a few days ago.
But that’s life, at least here.

People may be getting killed on the next block and you don’t even notice, or even care after it happens enough times.