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December 2009 Newsletter

December 2009 Newsletter
The Health Care Agenda A Promising Horizon? As 2009 Wanes...

The US House of Representatives passed its version of a bill supporting President Obama’s agenda for health care reform in early November.  On Nov. 21, the Senate cast its procedural vote to determine whether or not that body would go on to consider and debate Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s proposal to overhaul the healthcare system.  The vote was cast along party lines, leading the way toward full and open rigorous debate on the Senate and House floors following the Thanksgiving recess, and throughout the month of December.

The health care agenda has far-reaching private and public consequences for every segment of our society.  The bill would expand health benefits by broadly expanding Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for low-income persons, and by providing subsidies to help moderate-income people buy either private insurance or coverage under a new government-run plan, the public option.  Furthermore, it would impose a requirement that nearly all Americans obtain insurance or pay monetary penalties for failing to do so.

Senate Republicans denounced the measure as an ill-conceived budget-busting expansion of government and a threat to the health and economic security of all Americans, especially the elderly. 

Overall, the third quarter was a statistically significant improvement over previous 2009 quarters.  According to the November, 2009 report of the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.5 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2009, according to the “advance” estimates of the national income and product accounts. In the second quarter, real DP decreased 0.7 percent.”

The rise in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected “upturns in consumer spending, inventory investment, exports, and residential investment and a smaller decrease in nonresidential fixed investment. In contrast, imports turned up, state and local government spending turned down, and federal government spending decelerated.   These indicators signal a vitality not witnesses since the recession began.

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The positive growth of  the American economy in the third quarter of this year suggests that maybe, just maybe, this Great Recession is now a thing of the past. As it fades away, of course, the tales will ensue about what we did and how we fared during this terrible time. While recounting those legends is surely important, so too is sharing the insights we've acquired from our unique experiences. 

Cataclysmic events often alter our perceptions of the world around us. That was true during the Great Depression, and it will be true as we emerge from this Great Recession, as well. Some of these new views are opinions about what happened and why, but others are actually lessons that we've learned about how best to survive and prosper. They reflect the wise practices we wish we had known before the event occurred because that knowledge undoubtedly would have enabled us to fare better than we did.

The sharing of this wisdom is good for us at year’s end—it’s cathartic to acknowledge that we've earned the  survivors’ award—but it's even more helpful for our children and grandchildren. In a very real sense, we are giving them a gift, a guide for the future that may help them to avoid the failures and the  dismal  slumps they will inevitably encounter during their own lives.

Each of us has his/her own view of the ideas he/she should pass along. They are the realizations everyone must have in order to chart a successful and fulfilling future in the 21st Century world of work.  The year’s end is an appropriate time for review, reflection, and resolution.

Message from Acme's CEO, Jeff Goldfogeljeffgoldfogel.jpg

As the year draws to a close, it is perhaps appropriate to focus our attention on both business and non business matters.

As seems to be the case every year, 2009 went by in a blur.  We all stayed very focused on our respective business challenges and worked feverishly to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.   I am very proud of the Acme team for all that has been accomplished in 2009 under some extremely difficult market and economic conditions.  I am very appreciative of a team so committed to service excellence.

In addition, I have great appreciation for all of our customers and for the wonderful partnerships that have been forged and expanded during this past year. It is always gratifying to look down the list of Acme customers and realize how long we’ve been affiliated with such a large and distinguished group.  I am also very pleased with the number of new customers who have selected Acme as their provider of choice. 

With all of that said, this is the perfect time to reflect on those things that make even our most significant business accomplishments pale by comparison.  Specifically, our families, our friends, our health and the thousands and thousands of troops called to service.  It is indeed a time to be grateful for all of the blessings that we have, and to appreciate the many blessings that are so easily taken for granted.

I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season. 

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