Automotive Air Conditioners

Monday, June 25, 2012
It's August, the car is jammed with kids and luggage, and you're finally on your way to the cottage. Suddenly you realize that your car's airconditioningsystem is on the fritz, and your family vacation really starts to heat up.

Automotive air conditioning systems were first introduced in 1940 to address customer demands for relief from unbearable heat. These systems use refrigerant to cool the air and remove the heat from the car's passenger compartment. Air conditioning also cleans the air that enters the car, and removes excess moisture as it dehumidifies the air.

There are three basic components to any automotive air conditioner system:

1. Compressor--Considered the heart of the air conditioning system, the compressor transfers and compresses refrigerant gas to let the heat out of the car.

2. Condenser--removes heat from the refrigerant and cools down the high-pressure gasses.

3. Evaporator--Acts as the heater core of the air conditioning system. The evaporator removes the heat from inside the car. The refrigerant then condenses the air and transforms it into water.

Cars manufactured in 1995 or later have been equipped with R-134A air conditioning system. These ozone-friendly units do not contain CFCs, are nontoxic and nonflammable.

Prior to 1995, automotive air conditioners came with R-12 refrigerant, most commonly Freon. During that time, a car owner experiencing air conditioner problems needed only to visit a local retailer to purchase a recharge kit. With a can of Freon and basic knowledge, the average driver could easily repair his or her own air conditioning system. When studies confirmed that R-12 systems were contributing to the damaged ozone layer, many countries including the United States banned their manufacture.

Common Problems
The most common complaint about automotive air conditioners, particularly R-134 systems, is the odor that permeates from the A/C vents. Mechanics and car manufacturers have concluded that accumulated bacteria and fungus in the evaporator core likely cause the odor. Because the air conditioning system is loaded with moisture, it attracts microbes. The solution offered by automakers is to make the blower motor effective in drying out the evaporator after the A/C system is turned off. General Motors introduced this breakthrough, called Electronic Evaporator Dryer.

This solution might offer relief to some car owners, but not to all. Installing this system can cost hundred of dollars. As a result, many car owners have resorted to finding alternative methods of fighting the odor. Using antibacterial chemicals such as Lysol can be an effective short-term solution. Keeping a can of Lysol handy can go along way for your odorous air problem. Just spay the Lysol inside the car, and in the air intake once a week, for temporary relief from the problem. Another way to help eliminate the odor is to shut off the A/C unit at least one mile before reaching your destination. This will allow enough time for the evaporator to dry out, essentially doing away with the moisture and microbes that cause odor. This can be the easiest and least expensive method in combating the issue.

Caring For Your A/C System

* To keep working efficiently, your automotive air conditioner must be recharged from time to time, depending on how often it is are used. Consult your mechanic or your owner's manual for information about system recharges.

* Call your mechanic if you see water leaking from the A/C system's condenser, as this can affect the refrigerant. Have the system repaired before refilling it.

* Replacing the filter once every three months will also help to maintain the performance of your automotive air conditioning system. This is where dust builds up when the A/C system is running.

* Setting the gauge at one specific temperature will also help it perform well. If you constantly switch from one temperature to another, your system will have trouble adjusting accordingly.

Automotive air conditioners can be a driver's best friend, whether you're traveling across town or from coast to coast. Keep your A/C unit well maintained, and keep your cool on the road.              

Economic Report On China

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Half a century ago nobody could even imagine the pace of growing that China is experiencing right now. Back then it was simply a country with a devastated by war economy that was just starting to recover from the most difficult periods in its history. Even a quarter of the century before when if was in the sunset of Mao period the future outcomes and opportunities for this country were not the best ones, they really looked unpromising. As of the beginning of this century China has the greatest pace of development among other countries of the world. Fifty years ago, no one could even closely estimate how China would grow. This fact sort of pushes back from any certain assumptions about the future China’s development. Anyways, for the past decade China has become one of the world’s leaders in production and economic growth. Since it has a great potential a great number of investors chose China to invest their money in. As the result for the past couple of years China started to experiencing overinvestment that is pretty dangerous and can easily cause a great place for investment to simply burst like a bubble. However, the country continues to show decent results in economic growth.

From the beginning of implementation of economic reforms in China the country has experienced cycles of rushes in economic activity and inflation that were chased by phases of retrenchment. In the 1980’s two cycles were finished by hard landings. It could be easily seen in 1986-90 cycle. It started with loosening the monetary and fiscal policies that resulted troubles for SOEs. In 1988 inflation was as high as 19 percent which actually caused the government to respond with reconsidering policies. They managed to take inflation into control but the administrative measures had bad consequences for allocation of resources. Another cycle of 1991-97 started with a rise in government spendings and loosing up bank’s credit policies. In 1992 China faced the investment boom which was quite similar to the one it is facing right now. The investment boom resulted GDP to grow by 14 percent. Demand forces resulted an increase of inflation. Government’s response was a "16-point" plan to cool the economy that they adopted in 1993. The key points of the plan were aimed to rise the interest rates, make the process of giving the loans to commercial banks by the central bank more strict and complicated, and also limit investment approvals. The tightening was reversed by the end of 1993. This was a base for a highest rate of inflation that occurred in China in 1994. It was as high as 24 percent. The government actually achieved the stabilization of economy in 1996, and the inflation was even less than 10 percent. While a soft landing was achieved, the rapid pace of credit growth in 1992–96 contributed to the weakness of the financial sector today. Most of the non-performing loans in the banking system date from this period.

The speed of economic movement in China greatly increased in 2003, regardless the SARS outbreak. The growth of GDP was at a mark of 10 percent for 2003 and it continued to grow with the same pace in 2004. This was mainly caused by great level of investment. CPI inflation was as high as 4.4 percent in May. Overinvestment in some sectors of the economy caused a great threat of a problem. Responding to that, Chinese government made monetary and administrative policies a bit stricter to prevent the potential overheating of the economy. Money and credit rates have decreased but they still remain about 18 percent per year as of midst 2004. Real GDP growth also owes to an increase in export. Fixed capital formation has increased by 20 percent in real terms (the fastest rate since 1993) achieving 44 percent of GDP. Due to SARS epidemic that was in the second quarter of 2003, consumption growth has decreased comparing to 2002. However, the influence of SARS was only for a short period o time and a country has fully recovered from it later in the year. Export growth was 35 percent in 2003 comparing to 22 percent in 2002. This mainly happened due to China’s acquired of big market shares in major industrialized countries. As well as exports, imports showed a great percentage of growth as the demand grew especially for raw materials. CPI inflation increased to 4.4 percent in May 2004 that resulted increases in prices for groceries. If not take to account the increase in food prices, inflation had a slight positive effect on the economy just as this rate of inflation should have. The increase of food prices was also caused by the decrease of the cultivation area and summer draught that took place a year before.

China's integration into the world’s economy will create harsh difficulties for a great number of countries. During the last 20 years, China's trade expanded at double the rate of world trade. Today China is one of the world's top trading nations, and has 4% of total world trade, comparing to 1% in 1980. Nevertheless, China's exports and trade surpluses are achieving politically sensitive levels, and more stress on export-led increase may not be sustainable. China itself is still a quite closed market, for imports of goods and even more closed for imports of services. Letting the imports to China's markets, particularly as a member of WTO, can offer more reasonable development and simplify the international stresses arising from China's transformation.

The importance of China in external trade, especially in the region’s production chain saved its growing trend. China’s exports and imports achieved 60 percent of GDP in 2003 and these amounts made country fourth largest exporter in the world. The increasing importance of China in the world’s production of manufactured goods and rising domestic demand caused other sectors of China’s economy to grow, and also resulted the raise in prices for a lot of goods. China’s imports that are mainly from Asia also got bigger and China’s trade deficit with the region enlarged but the trade with the U.S. and Europe balances it back. The general trade surplus was $45 billion which is about 3 percent of GDP. China’s international position continues to grow stronger. The current account surplus increased by a half percentage point in 2003 to three and a half percent of GDP. Official reserves grew by $162 billion in 2003. External debt increased to $200 billion in 2003 but it is very modest to exports and GDP. By the end of May 2004 China had a trade deficit of $9 billion as compared to $2 billion of surplus that it had for at the same time of the previous year.

The drive for investment by recent local governments that started by the end of 2002 was stimulated by extensive excess liquidity in China’s banking system. People’s Bank of China was worried about fast credit growth that was easy to see even in the beginning of 2003 but its policies were delayed by SARS epidemic. Significant increase in capital inflows made it more difficult for PBC to implement the monetary policies. However, they managed to do that, in July 2003 PBC increased the reserve requirement by one percent and also announced a planned increase of ½ percent in April 2004. By doing this they tried to reduce the credit growth to banks. To deter the increase of overinvestment in branches of economy that have already faced it, the government made stricter lending standards. To finish up PBC raised short-term relending by 0.6 and rediscount rates by 0.3 percent in March 2004.

If China continues to develop as it is doing right now then by the midst of this century it will have developed actually three transitions. First and at the same time the one of greatest importance is the transition from a planned to a market economy. Second is from agrarian to an industrialized country. Last, but certainly not least, from a centralized to a participatory government.

Only a half century ago, it was very difficult to predict great China’s development that it is facing today. Simply like nobody thought that Japan could reach the level that the country is on right now, nobody even could forecast the pace of China’s development. According to forecasts of some prominent economic scholars, by the midst of this century China’s economy will grow to about $20 trillion and would be about 4/5 of the United States economy. The income per capita in China can grow to about US$12,000 which is equal to the Korean’s before the Asian financial crisis. GDP of only Hong Kong, Macao, and Guangdong would be equal to France’s GDP. Chinese currency the renminbi will become a one of the major world’s currencies along with euro, U.S. dollar and yen. If they keep up with the pace of development, Shanghai could be world’s financial center. With the renminbi becoming fully convertible in the world, Shanghai could rise to the level of London and New York City.

New technology and knowledge will gradually develop to a high level as the country expands it integration. In couple of generations Chinese scholars and scientists could be a fresh source of brilliant ideas and innovations. China sets up a good base for its future generations, giving a good opportunity for a great number of students to go study abroad and get mostly western ideas and worldviews.

China of course has some difficulties that can result very unpleasant consequences not only for the country but for investors as well. Some possible outcomes are probable failure of the banking system, enormous level of unemployment that can be resulted by the reforms of government enterprises, considerable hardships with the level of the environment. To continue the growth rates China needs creative but at the same time practical leaders. Another great change that might effect China’s future development is changes in values of its citizens. As most of Chinese nowadays adopting the lifestyles of Europeans, Americans, and Japanese China will have a totally different society in thirty years or so. People will desire of better level of life, similar to the level of Japanese and Europeans.
Conclusion

A lot of hopes are put into China’s development due to the determination and pragmatism of Chinese leaders. The governing of the country has been positively changing or almost twenty years. China also has a great potential in its younger generation, it is an advantage for those young people to go study abroad and then implement all their knowledge it their home country that still has so many areas that need development. In the best position are those that are in their 20s and 30s. They will be running the country in twenty years when China will be a great industrialized power. It will not be the center of the world, as many like to forecast for China, it will simply be one of the advanced countries.

China now faces one of the most destructive problems that all the developing countries have which is corruption. It is dangerous because it slows down the country’s development and is very difficult to be deterred.

Despite all the difficulties that China faces on its crossroads of the development, it has great pragmatic leaders are capable of taking the country up to the new level. China has a great potential to construct modern economy by the 50’s of this century. It will surely become one of the most important countries in the world. It is obvious even now that China will become the largest trading country in the world. Due to its partners China has a great opportunity to become one of the financial leaders of the world. If China stays on the same track of its development and keeps up with its speed it will surely become a very modern and greatly confident country.           

Economic Indicators Guide

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Economicindicators are regularly released governmental statistics that indicate the growth and health of a country especially its economy. Economic indicators mostly influence the value of a country’s currency. These are key statistics that show the direction of the economy. The Trade Deficit, the Gross National Product (GNP), Industrial Production, the Unemployment Rate, Inflation Rate, Factory Utilization Rate and the Business Inventories are instances of economic indicators.

Economic indicators are used to analyze the economic behavior of a country and predict the manner in which economy will act in near future. On the basis of types of predictions economic indicators are of three kinds:

· Coincident economic indicator
· Leading economic indicator
· Lagging indicators

A coincident economic indicator happens in tandem with an economic event. This indicator occurs at approximately the same time as the conditions they signify. The paradigm instance of it is company payrolls. These payrolls are coincident indicators because they make payment and simultaneously increase the localized economy. Personal income is also a coincidental indicator for the economy. High personal income rates will coincide with a strong economy. The coincident indicators do not predict future events but change with a change in time and economy of the stock market.

A lagging indicator is one that follows an event. This indicator is an event, which happens after the corresponding economic cause occurs just like the amber light is a lagging indicator for the green light as amber trails green. The unemployment rate of a country is an example of a lagging indicator because as the economy is doing badly or companies are expecting a downturn in the economy, the unemployment rate increases accordingly. Media is also a lagging economic indicator for the news is always reported few hours before the actual economic fluctuation that they point to. A lagging indicator is immensely significant because of its ability to confirm that a pattern is happening or about to occur.

Leading indicators are events that take place right before an economic shift. The leading indicators are instrumental in forecasting future events. The leading indicators exhibit immense accuracy in the world of finance. An example of leading indicators is the bond yields. Bond yields are leading indicators of the stock market because on behalf of these bond traders anticipate and further course of the stock market and economy of the country.

However in economics the classification of several factors is subject to debate. For instance according to some people the Federal Reserve is a leading indicator while for others it is a lagging indicator. The trend of the market indicates either that the market reacts to the Federal Reserve changing interest rates or that the Federal Reserve changes interest rates only in response to the market. Seeing practically the Federal Reserve can be viewed as both a leading and lagging indicator.

Every week dozens of economic surveys are conducted and several economic indicators are released. In order to understand the current and future of the market and so enjoy a successful business, it is very important for all the investors to crack the economic indicators skillfully.      

Sculpting in Automotive Art

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
If college students come home on spring break and tell their parents that they have decided to major in art and become a sculptor, many parents would be aghast. Their first thought would be how would they support themselves and next they would envision their child living at home forever. However, there are sculptors who are self-supporting and don't fit into the 'starving artist' category. And one industry that employs sculptors is automotive manufacturing. The concept of clay modeling in automotive design began at General Motors seventy years ago. Today automotive sculptors combine the designer's drawings with the engineer's specifications to create a three dimensional model.

Harvey Earl first introduced the idea of modeling sculptor's clay to produce three-dimensional models. Clay was more workable than the plaster and wood used previously so it permitted more flexibility and creativity. So sculptors as well as illustrators and engineers became an integral part of an automotive design team. However, when automotive art emerged as a fine art genre, some of the sculptors left the industry and started to freelance.

One of these is Steve Posson. Posson had majored in automotive design at the Art Center College of Design in California and did prototype bodywork for Jeep, Volvo and Renault. Now he has revived the ancient technique of lost wax casting to create bronze automotive sculptures. Lost wax is notable for capturing minute details. His sculptures usually feature people and scenery along with the automobile but still give an illusion of motion. He has exhibited his work at major shows such as the Pebble Beach Retro Auto, The Newport Beach Concours, the L.A. Roadsters Show, and The Grand National Roadster Show, to name a few. Steve also has many well-known corporate clients such as Petersen Automobile Museum, Ford Company, and Auto Aficionado Magazine.

Greg Johnson became involved in automotive sculpture as a result of a career as an entrepreneur in the automotive collision business.

Greg does both painting and sculpture. Greg's sculptures are unique in that his materials are salvaged and wrecked auto parts that he reshapes and combines before applying an acrylic urethane finish. Greg uses the same acrylic urethane paints to create abstract paintings.

Richard Pietruska is another widely recognized automotive sculptor. Richard's career in art began early in his life. When he was in high school, he was a winner of the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild competition that earned him a scholarship to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He received a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Design and a Master of Fine Arts from the Art Center College of Design.

He now teaches at the Art Center College of Design in the Transportation and Product Design Department where he has been employed for the last thirty years. Richard's students have included many of the top automotive designers in the world. Some of Richard's work is whimsical such as his red and blue Viper salt and pepper shakers. He has also produced some non-sculpting art such as an interesting creation print and a Ferrari scroll. Richard recently received an invitation to the Automotive Fine Arts Society and is one of their newest members. The Society mounts two exhibitions each year to feature the work of their members.     

Automotive Magazines

Monday, June 18, 2012
Automotivemagazines are just as popular as sports magazines and home improvement magazines. Why? Automotive magazines are so popular because they showcase classic cars, new cars, model cars, how to build cars from scratch and much more. The automotive industry is a popular one in the United States today and people love their cars and they want to know as much about their car as possible after they are done reading the car’s manual.

Automotive magazines are sold everywhere today and are collector’s items just like sports magazines become when they have historic covers on certain issues. Automotive magazines are sold at convenience stores, department stores, book stores, on their individual websites and on search engines by people looking to make a buck here or there because they have more than one copy of the magazine. Automotive magazines not only offer tips on how to take care of a car, how to build a car, how to remodel a car, but also how to repair a car yourself.

Collecting classic cars has become a popular hobby over the years and some of the most famous people in the world are car buffs. One of them for example is late night host Jay Leno. Leno owns over 100 classic vehicles that date back to the early 1900s. His collection also includes modern vehicles and motorcycles. His collection of cars has been featured on his show, “The Tonight Show,” in books, movies, other television shows, and in automotive magazines quite often.

There are all types of automotive magazines out there. There are print magazines and online magazines available for people to subscribe to. They can be delivered by the mail, through email, or can be purchased in stores or at newsstands when they are published. There are hundreds of automotive magazines offered for subscription and purchase around the world today and the number continues to grow with the continued popularity of the automotive industry.

There are automotive magazines for almost every major manufacturer, for individual makes and models, for model cars, for the avid and beginner collector, for the seller, for the buyer, for the builder, for the repair man, for the traveler and much more. One of the most popular automotive publications to hit the newsstands every year is the Kelly Blue Book. The Kelly Blue Book releases the values of every car in production today and every car that has been produced in the past. The Kelly Blue Book is used by buyers and sellers alike to figure out what price they should purchase a car at or at what price they should put a car up for sale.

The automotive magazine industry is a lucrative one that thrives off of people’s different hobbies with their cars or for their sheer love of their own car. Automotive magazines make a great gift for the car lover in the family as well a fun read for anyone with just the tiny bit of interest in the automotive industry. They can be informative, helpful, fun to read and a great collector’s item all in one.    

Automotive Labels

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Many automotive businesses can benefit from labels or decals. Also some business can market their business with automotive decals. There are so many options that you can choose from. They will increase your market or provide return customers. If you need a few ideas, keep reading and you’ll see just a few of the many things that can be done with automotive decals. After you have read these ideas you are sure to know what you want to represent your company or organization.

Vinyl Decals

Vinyl decals are a semi-permanent item that are very eye-catching and give a very professional look. These are frequently used by auto dealers to represent where the car was purchased. Many businesses can use this form of advertising. If you want to catch peoples’ eye this is a great way to do that. You can even have a logo made into the vinyl, which will help people remember you. Many people remember a logo better then a name, just a little tip.

Bumper Stickers

These are a popular and useful. Some of these are for personal beliefs or funny statements. They are also used by many non-profit organizations use them to get their name out for many to see and remember them. Businesses also use these to create repeat exposure. These can be fun and promotional all in one. You can consider getting these printed in a variety of colors so that customers can chose a color that goes best with the color of their car, plus they will just enjoy having choices.

Oil Change

Auto shops can use window stickers to remind their customers of when they need to return for their next oil change. It is a great idea to place your business name and contact information so they can call if they need to. This will remind them of your business if something else comes up where they can use your services.

Parking Permit

So many people use parking garages everyday now. By using a sort of sticker identification, you can reduce the amount of traffic backup a garage gets. These can be placed on the back of the rear view mirror or on the windshield. You can get them in a different color for every month so the attendant will easily know when the tag has expired and the customer needs to renew. Another good idea would be to place a number representing the year so there is no confusion as to when it was purchased. These can also be used for large apartment complexes that have a lot of tenants. They can indicate paid parking spots, or what area they are to park in.

Window Decals

These have a wide range of use. You can promote a business, a college, a sports team, or pretty much anything you want. These can be simple or more complex; what ever suits your purpose better. These are also used to indicate that a car has a security system, the help prevent car theft.         

Why PR Is An Engine For Economic Growth

Sunday, June 10, 2012
Business, non-profit and association managers committing their public relations resources to (1) doing something about the behaviors of those important outside audiences that most affect their operation, (2) creating the kind of external stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving their managerial objectives, and (3) doing so by persuading those key outside folks to their way of thinking by helping to move them to take actions that allow their department, division or subsidiary to succeed – greatly increase the chances of success for their operation.

Thus, feeding the engine of their own economic growth AND that of the nation at large.

But, in reality, it takes more than good intentions for any manager to alter individual perception leading to changed behaviors, something of profound importance to ALL business, non-profit and association managers.

What they need is a simple PR blueprint that gets everyone working towards the same external audience behaviors insuring that the organization’s public relations effort stays sharply focused.

For example, a blueprint like this: people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.

In that way, those same business, non-profit and association managers can see results such as new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; customers making repeat purchases; prospects starting to work with them; membership applications on the rise; capital givers or specifying sources looking their way, and even bounces in showroom visits.

But HOW those managers pull that off forms the real challenge.

Here’s how the best of them can do it. They find out who among their key external audiences is behaving in ways that help or hinder the achievement of their objectives. Then, they list them according to how severely their behaviors affect their organization.

But precisely HOW do most members of that key outside audience perceive their organization? If the budget to pay for what could be costly professional survey counsel isn’t there, Ms. or Mr. manager and his or her PR colleagues will have to monitor those perceptions themselves. Actually, they should be quite familiar with perception and behavior matters.

Getting that activity under way means meeting with members of that outside audience and asking questions like “Are you familiar with our services or products?” “Have you ever had contact with anyone from our organization? Was it a satisfactory experience?” And if you are that manager, you must be sensitive to negative statements, especially evasive or hesitant replies. And watch carefully for false assumptions, untruths, misconceptions, inaccuracies and potentially damaging rumors. When you find such, they will need to be corrected, as they inevitably lead to negative behaviors.

The job now is to select the specific perception to be altered which then becomes your public relations goal. You obviously want to correct those untruths, inaccuracies, misconceptions or false assumptions.

One of the painful aspects of the whole drill is that a PR goal without a strategy to show you how to get there, is like a three-bean salad without the beans. So, as you select one of three strategies (especially constructed to create perception or opinion where there may be none, or change or reinforce it,) what you want to do is insure that the goal and its strategy match each other. You wouldn’t want to select “change existing perception” when current perception is just right suggesting that “reinforce” strategy.

The moment has come when you must create a compelling message carefully constructed to alter your key target audience’s perception, as specified by your public relations goal.

Keep in mind that you can always combine your corrective message with another news announcement or presentation which may give it more credibility by downplaying the apparent need for such a correction.

The content of the message must be compelling and quite clear about what perception needs clarification or correction, and why. Of course you must be truthful and your position logically explained and believable if it is to hold the attention of members of that target audience, and actually move perception in your direction.

Some allude to the communications tactics necessary to move your message to the attention of that key external audience, as “beasts of burden” because they must carry your persuasive new thoughts to the eyes and ears of those important outside people.

Actually, we have a wide choice because the list of tactics is long indeed. It includes letters-to-the-editor, brochures, press releases and speeches. Or, you might choose radio and newspaper interviews, personal contacts, facility tours or customer briefings. There are scores available and the only selection requirement is that the communications tactics you choose have a record of reaching people just like the members of your key target audience.

Of course, things can always be accelerated by adding more communications tactics, AND by increasing their frequencies.

It won’t be long before those around you will be asking about progress. But you will already be hard at work remonitoring perceptions among your target audience members to test the effectiveness of your communications tactics. Using questions similar to those used during your earlier monitoring session, you’ll now become beady-eyed looking for signs that audience perceptions are beginning to move in your general direction.

Yes, performed in this manner, public relations obviously does feed the engine of YOUR economic growth and, thus, that of the nation at large.

But do keep your eye on the core of this approach: persuade your most important outside audiences with the greatest impacts on your organization to your way of thinking. Then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary prevail.                   

Economic Fear

Thursday, June 7, 2012
During the past two weeks I have had more calls about the economy than ever before. Yes, there are problems. But we cannot act in fear.Panic over financial, love or health situations can make you act irrationally and quickly.
Right now people are living in a state of fear because of the economy making a change downward. For decades this situation has been going on, but did not make news until it started hitting the average person's pocketbook.

The first fear started with the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. People lived in fear that another attack was going to occur right away. Seven years later we have not had another attack and our fear level has gone down. The second was started with oil prices going up. The third was mortgage interest rates escalating to the point that people have lost their homes. Now we see banks closing and there is the belief that we may not have money for tomorrow. The job layoffs are daily and it will continue for some time. The economy is not going to recover quickly. This is where you must not let fear overwhelm you. You can survive on less, as consumers we’re not use to not having the latest clothes, electronics, cars, and homes. It’s time to learn how people have lived through tough economic times before. They did not purchase everything made desired. They learned to make do with what they had.

What makes this economic situation different than the crash of 1929 is the fact that people did not live on credit in 1929. Our economy today is based on credit. So this is really a credit crash. My father came through the depression and he always said, “If I can’t afford something I don’t need it.” He never owned a credit card and would always pay cash for what ever he needed. It’s so easy to spend money with a credit card or a debit card. If you start using cash more you will find that you don’t spend as much. This is one way to stop the panic. Think carefully about what you really need before you buy it. You would be amazed at what you can live without.

With the economic crisis Chicken Little running around screaming, "The Dow is falling, The Dow is falling." Fear is causing people to panic and the media feeds the panic. Fear keeps people in line and following the actions of those in charge. We must not give in to the fear. Remember that this too shall pass. Realize that you have a hand in controlling your destiny and that you will always have enough to survive.

At this time do not make any quick decisions. If you want to do things well - take your time go slowly. Now is the time to get quiet within you by meditation or prayer and seek guidance from the Great Spirit. The more quiet you become the clearer you can see the big picture. Do not be controlled by the media, economy, government, or politicians.

Think carefully before you purchase anything even down to your groceries. Use wisdom and do not be swayed by the fear of the others. You will make it through this difficult time and surprisingly have learned more than if the economy would have remained stable. In the end you will come out of this a better person.    

Automotive AC Machines

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
As any mechanic knows, the ability to offer a comprehensive service to customers, being able to offer repairs and care for all aspects of a motor vehicle maintenance program is key to being able to retain customers. Air Conditioning is more or less standard across all models these days, and while in the past, AC maintenance was a highly skilled and niche market, it is now an essential side of the business and key to any workshop’s continued success.

In order to ensure that refrigerant is recovered properly from a car’s air conditioning system during servicing, a workshop must use an automotive AC machine. These devices prevent the release through venting of CFC gases. EPA guidelines require that when a car is being serviced, the Freon, or CFC12 that is used as the coolant should be collected and recycled in order that it is not released into the environment where it can potentially damage the ozone layer.

The refrigerant used in most motor vehicle air conditioning systems is based on chlorofluorocarbons, which have been linked with causing damage to the ozone layer, and as such, the control of these substances is of particular concern to the environmental protection agency. Whenever a car air conditioning system undergoes maintenance, proper care must be taken to protect the environment from the release of CFCs, and this is best done by using automotive AC Machines.

By reusing Freon gas rather than allowing it to be vented into the atmosphere, the environment is protected. However, when the refrigerant is collected from a car’s air conditioning it can be contaminated with water, oil and any of the other liquids that are used in cars. By using automotive AC machines, it is possible to process the refrigerant and remove any of the other fluids from it, allowing it to be reused, either in the same system as it has been drained from, or alternatively, in another car altogether.

There are a whole range of different refrigerant recovery machines on the market to suit all types of workshop, from small operations through to large commercial garages that deal with many different types of car, and need to be able to offer a complete service to clients.

Choosing the right automotive AC machines for your needs can be a daunting task, and too many people simply opt for the cheapest model available, rather than making an informed decision about the best product for their needs. EPA requirements aside, the most important factor when choosing the correct automotive AC machine for your business, is the capacity of the machine to deal with the range of vehicles that you currently work on. You need to choose a machine that can connect easily with all the different types of car that your workshop deals with, and which has enough capacity to recover and treat the refrigerant left in the system to remove any impurities.

Basic automotive AC machines such as the Pro Set Oiless Portable Recovery Recycle Unit are flexible enough to reprocess coolant from a fairly wide range of sources, remove any contaminating oils and other liquids, and release the Freon in perfect condition for reuse.

There are other machines in a similar price bracket that are reliable enough for every day use, and yet still compact enough not to require a vast amount of space in your workshop. Automotive AC Machines such as the Inficon Vortex refrigerant recovery machine are ideally suited to occasional use, and are very compact.

If offering AC repairs and servicing is key to your business, then having the right tools for the job is essential. Getting it right at the beginning when you choose an AC coolant recovery machine often means choosing a model from the Cool Tech range. These robust and highly regarded specialist tools are at the centre of any serious AC shop, and thanks to their efficiency and great value for money, will pay for themselves over and over again.       

Will The Next Cold War Be An Economic One?

Saturday, June 2, 2012
Several big stories hit the financial news this past week but the real significance of these stories were not discussed anywhere. Number one, the U.S. Congress pushed to file unfair trade practices against China, stating that the Bush administration’s quiet behind-the-scenes negotiation strategy was unacceptable as a tactic to bring economic reform to China. In another story this week, these words appeared - Rather than serve as "an apologist" for China, "I hope the administration will join this team," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters after testifying before the Senate Finance Committee in the second hearing on China's economic and currency policies in two days.

This article reported that Congress aimed to pass bi-partisan veto-proof legislation that will force the Chinese Yuan to appreciate against the dollar. American manufacturers have claimed that the Chinese government’s unfair manipulation of their currency has hurt them and their Congressmen are listening. Then finally at the end of the week, this headline appeared in an article: “The U.S. Commerce Department announced sanctions against paper imports from China, the first time in 23 years that U.S. duty law has been applied to imports from that country.”

Reporting the above is fine, but what are its implications? Here is my view. For once, I agree that the Bush administration is taking the proper stance and their disapproval of these brash, flag-waving Congressmen is merited. When sending U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and the U.S. Secretary of Treasury Paulson to China only resulted in China defiantly stating that they will not allow another nation to dictate to them how they should run their economy, U.S. Congress should have gotten the hint. Instead, they escalated an already potentially volatile situation with their threats and sanctions this week.

Stephen Roach, the chief economist at Morgan Stanley warned Congress that currency valuation was far from being the sole component hurting American manufacturers. He stated that China’s cheap labor costs, burgeoning modern infrastructure and technology and growing investment in human capital and research also have greatly contributed to the burgeoning trade imbalance between China and the United States. Mr. Roach commented, "The foreign-exchange rate is not the answer, in my view. You in the Congress need to ask yourselves an important hypothetical question: How would you feel if you got your way on the Chinese currency adjustment but found that after three or four years the pressures bearing down on American workers had only intensified? As I see it, that's a very real risk that should not be taken lightly.”

Although I have vehemently disagreed with Mr. Roach’s past views on other subject matters, I believe that he is on the mark 100% this time and I’ll tell you why. U.S. Federal Chairman Bernanke has already publicly stated that everybody knows that the weak dollar is good for the U.S. government because it makes their debt cheaper and also helps to close the trade gap. So if you don’t think that the U.S. is not guilty of manipulating their own currency as well to serve their purposes then you are living in some kind of economic fantasyland. There are a whole lot of American expats living abroad that would like to see their own government do something to protect the value of their own currency instead of lecturing other nations as to how they should be managing theirs. Furthermore, this event is indeed a watershed event in the ongoing re-structuring of the world’s economies. In the past, colonized nations had bitterly complained to Europe and the U.S. about the harm their economic policies inflicted upon their economies. But now we see a 180% reversal, with developed countries complaining to emerging nations about their policies.

But this is almost beside the point when it comes to examining much more significant fallout of an open trade war with China. The reason the Bush administration is trying to negotiate quietly with the Chinese rather than take the more hard-line stance assumed by the U.S. Congress is that they know that the Chinese government holds far more important cards than the valuation of the Yuan, namely the more than one trillion dollars of U.S. dollar denominated assets that they currently hold in their reserves.

As I stated in a blog I posted about a week ago to The Underground Investor, the U.S. Congress would be foolish to aggressively alienate the Chinese government with so much at stake. The problems with the U.S. economy are much more a product of past U.S. fiscal irresponsibility than the manipulative actions of the Chinese economy and if the U.S. chooses to try to scapegoat an economic giant like China for their current problems, I believe, as Mr. Roach stated, that re-valuation of the Yuan will not be the answer. Furthermore, it is exactly these protectionist measures that the U.S. is seeking to implement that have hindered emerging markets in the past.

Instead of addressing the real reasons behind a lagging economy, protectionist measures many times seek to scapegoat another country’s economic policies for far more deep-rooted economic failures at home. Furthermore, protectionist measures often harbor and encourages domestic inefficiencies to persist instead of encouraging proactive solutions that attack the root of the problem. In fact, if the U.S. Congress pushes through their punitive measures, I can tell you right now that revaluation of the Yuan will NOT be the answer to the problems of the American economy. And despite the fact that offloading massive amounts of U.S. dollars will hurt the Chinese economy as well, there will also come a time when the Chinese government, if pushed far enough, will offload massive amounts of U.S. dollars because their strong economy will be able to absorb its negative effects much better than the weak U.S. economy.

And if they do so, the U.S. Congress will have given them the perfect excuse to do something that I believe the Chinese government is planning to do anyway. However, they will be able to do it, save face at the same time, and do it earlier than anyone expects, as opposed to having the global community heap loads of criticism upon them for what would otherwise seem to be a sudden decision that came out of nowhere. Instead of such an action being viewed as the selfish actions of a nation, it will instead by viewed as a reaction to U.S. bullying, and U.S. Congress will have given the Chinese government the perfect out.

In this case, quiet negotiations is the proper way because any other way is bound to bring harm to not only Americans in the future, but to the global economy as well. When I have blogged about governments being chronic liars in the past, certainly the Chinese government or any world government is not immune. While the Chinese government has publicly stated that they will not take any sudden actions that will greatly hurt the U.S. dollar, do you really believe that they want to hold a trillion dollars of a currency that continues to lose significant value every year? Trust me, they are planning to get rid of these dollars as soon as economically possible and behind the scenes, they have a plan in place to offload them.

Again, I can tell you why punitive Congressional U.S. measures will not coax the Chinese to assume policies the U.S. wants but only anger them. To begin, Japan is on the verge of replacing America as China’s number one trading partner. If the Chinese choose to bow down to American pressure, they would undoubtedly anger the Japanese who have heavily invested in China and would be adversely affected by the Chinese government’s decision to appease the U.S. Congress. Angering your number one trading partner would be even worse than angering the U.S. And this just in, even as I write this blog, in a report originating out of New York:

Today, China called the first of U.S. protectionist measures, tariffs on their paper imports, “unacceptable.” China strongly demands the United States to reconsider this decision and correct it as soon as possible," China Commerce Ministry spokesman Wang Xinpei said in a statement on a government Web site.

Secondly, I believe that the Chinese government, despite what diplomatic statements they release to the financial press about being concerned not to enact any policies that will cause the U.S. dollar to fall quickly, desire to unload a significant portion of their $1 trillion dollar of U.S. dollar-denominated reserves. The Chinese government realizes that offloading significant portions of dollars, whether it is to purchase oil and natural gas for their state reserves, or the purchase of other assets, will automatically cause the Yuan to strengthen. They are not going to appease the U.S. Congress now and watch the Yuan strengthen and then see this effect multiply as they unload U.S. dollars from their reserves. I believe that this is how the Chinese will eventually allow the Yuan to strengthen – by merely cutting back on their dollar-denominated assets, something that they want to do anyhow.

With this potential trade war, it is important to ignore the preening of the U.S. Congress but to consider the implications of their potential actions instead. U.S. Congressmen are no doubt influenced a great deal by their most important constituents, in this case, large manufacturers. However, in this case, it is not the concerns of the large manufacturers that are most important. Here they serve merely as a smokescreen.

Sure, large manufacturers are being hurt right now by Chinese imports, but rather than considering this part of the equation which the financial media gives much attention to, it is more important to consider the other side of the equation that is never spoken of in the financial media. Rather than listen to the complaints of the hurt, seek out what the very wealthiest of individuals are doing to not just protect their assets as the geo-political balance progresses towards a tipping point, but how they are positioning their assets now to prepare to profit from these future crises. As is a common theme at the Underground Investor, sometimes the loudest chatter will distract you from the most important information, the information that dwells below this chatter.