Archive for the ‘Economy’ category

MTA Unveils Plans For 2009 Fare Hikes

December 31, 2008
MTA Budget proposal outlining fare hikes.

MTA Budget proposal outlining fare hikes.

( New York) – In a move which will affect the majority of New Yorkers and even more so during these trying economic times the MTA released their final proposed 2009 budget along with a four year financial plan for 2009-2012.

According to a report facing a small budget surplus in 2009, the next three years will spell disaster. The total deficit will wipe out the MTA’s finances. Here is a breakdown of the numbers:

Regular MetroCard fare: $2.25
Cash / Single fare ride: $3.00
Bonuses previously allotted to MetroCard purchases of 15% will be eliminated.
7-day MetroCard: $31.00
14-day MetroCard: $57.00
30-day MetroCard: $99.00
Express Bus Fare: $7.50

The report also outlines the resulting service cuts to trains and buses in New York City and Nassau County: (more…)

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St. John’s Alumni Assistance Program

December 23, 2008

(New York) – St. John’s University recently launched, without much fanfare, a new program aimed at helping its alumni. The program is aimed an any alumnus from the University who has been laid off in the last six months. The program will allow all alumni to attend graduate school at discounted rate of 50%.

This programed is aimed at alumni who are hurting during this economic recession and allowing them a chance to reevaluate their career path. The law school however is not included in the package. The program is set to debut in Spring 2009 and last through the fall after which it will be reevaluated. Once in the program, one will have two years of the discount rate.

President Bush announces bailout for GM and Chrysler

December 19, 2008

Shortly after 9AM EST today, President Bush announced that the federal government will be providing a bailout for GM and Chrysler.

They will be providing 13.4 billion in December. They will also be providing an additional 4 billion in February. The funding for the automakers will be provided from the 700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was originally intended for the ailing financial sector.

The President claims that if by March 31st the companies cannot show that they are financially viable, they will have to repay all monies lent by the federal government. This call by Bush is being presented as an opportunity to buy time for the companies to restructure.

The plan also puts limits on executive compensation and frivolous spending such as corporate jets. It also requires that automakers follow fuel efficiency, emission standards and open books to government scrutiny.  Will Chrysler adhere to opening their books completely to the government. They weren’t willing to present a credible restructuring agreement to Congress a few weeks ago, but they will all of a sudden support total transparency now? It seems that the “big two” have finally realized that they do not hold the cards to the deck in this hand of play.

The big three have recently temporarily suspended production in over 59 plants until January because of their current financial troubles.

It seems that desperate times have called for desperate measures but will this plan work?

Auto Loan stopped by Republicans

December 11, 2008

Republicans would not let the auto companies get the no interest bridge loan which they need to keep their workers. Minority Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has annouced opposition for the bill. He and other republicans want more concessiosn from the UAW.

They believe the American workers don’t deserve to earn as much as they currently do. These lawmakers want these workers to earn as much as workers for the Japanese companies of Nissan, Toyota and Honda do.

Senator McConnell does not believe the idea of a car czar with the ability to take back the money if the car makers don’t live up to their end of the bargains is strong enough.

Harry Reid will soon call the Senate to a vote and we will see how this goes.

Bailout to save the MTA

December 9, 2008
MTA Subway Map

MTA Subway Map

Last week a panel composed of current and former MTA employees including former MTA chairman Richard Ravitch unveiled a plan to save the MTA from a fiscal disaster.

Due to the recession the MTA isn’t able to get money from Albany or even the city to bridge the difference between income and expenses. The MTA would need $2.5 Billion to get out of this hole. Many people were expecting a rate hike as usual from the $2 it is now.

This panel however came up with various ideas to save the MTA and help alleviate riders from higher fare hikes than expected despite a general perception poor service. Listed below are the different recommendations the panel has proposed. (more…)

Poll: Has the economic downturn affected you?

December 6, 2008

533,000 Jobs lost in November

December 6, 2008

Americans are losing their jobs at an astounding rate. More and more Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck now have to figure out another way to pay their bills. We’ve seen an economy already in recession get worse.

This November U.S. job losses were listed at 533,000. More than half a million Americans have lost their sources of income. This is especially painful during the holidays, a time when we are supposed to come together and celebrate.

Parents, instead of wondering how to get their children the toy they wanted, have to figure out how they’ll eat dinner tomorrow. This will mean more tough decisions for families as they decide their futures. Some will dip into college savings and even retirement savings meaning more and more Americans’ futures are at risk. More and more people are losing sleep at night wondering if they will be next.

There is renewed hope though. With a new administration incoming come new ideas, and new jobs planned.

President Elect Obama plans to add 2.5 million new jobs within the first two years of his administration. This will come by making government buildings more energy efficient, fixing our crumbling infrastructure and improving our public schools.

Watch President-Elect Obama’s Weekly Address to the nation regarding the topic.