- Days left

Recession watch: We've lost some competitors... and it hurts

This post is part of a series about real-life signs we're in a recession.

Normally, the loss of competitors in your field of business could possibly be considered a good thing, giving a boost of orders and income to your own business or employer. In today's economic climate however, the loss of competitors gives me cause for concern. Even as we struggle to accommodate growth in our facility, I'm worried by the downfall of some of our wood products compatriots. I know I've written that it doesn't pay to cry over lost manufacturing jobs, but that doesn't mean we should be without compassion either.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) reports for March that its Small Business Optimism Index is at its lowest point since the second quarter of 1980. Businesses are complaining that increased selling prices are not keeping up with overhead inflationary pressures. Nearly one-quarter of the NFIB survey respondents indicated that they raised employee compensation by a margin which is outstripping profitability increases. I believe that therein lies the downfall of my company's fallen competitors.

One of the biggest concerns I have with these job losses is that they tend not to be felt outside their own regions. We as a country lose a hundred good jobs here or there every day, in a hundred unnamed places. But it doesn't make the headlines because it doesn't sell advertising space. Government statistics never paint the whole picture either. The government bean counters expect that we're too dull to understand that the loss of a well-paid machinist is not mitigated by the addition of yet another undocumented food service worker. They only give you the bottom line numbers, painted with a broad and blurry stroke of the brush.

So, my employer's loss of competitors has a core which tastes quite bitter. As I work my long hours I sometimes pause to think; Was that competitor we lost as much a buyer of my goods as it was a rival? Could my employer be the next to go under, or my neighbor's, or yours? Please say a quiet prayer for the unemployed among us, then get back to work. That is, if you still have it.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum