#fracking #oil #DemandForOil #FrackingEquipment #AlternativeEnergySources
Fracking – hydrolic fracturing to dig crude oil and natural gas out of hard-to-reach places – is facing a slowdown.
Halliburton, the largest supplier of fracking equipment, is trimming 8 percent of its North American workforce and shelving unused fracking gear, according to David Wethe, in an article for Bloomberg News. It was also published July 23, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In February, Halliburton and its competitors would have 24.4 million horsepower available for fracking, yet only 14.4 million would be needed this year, the article quotes industry consultant Rystad Energy.
The reduced demand for fracking, which helped the U.S. reduce its demand for Middle Eastern oil, can only mean one thing: there is less demand for oil, period.
Fracking’s history was fraught with peril. Environmentalists had initial questions about the technology, and whether there would be unintended environmental consequences.
Fracking was even accused of inciting earthquakes.
Yet, it survived, and helped places like North Dakota thrive economically. It helped turn the U.S. back into one of the largest, if not the largest, oil producers in the world.
Now, it seems alternative energy sources are getting cost-effective enough to substitute for petroleum products as fuel in many cases. As a result, both oil and natural gas have become so cheap, it may cost more to retrieve the oil and gas from the ground than they can get for it.
More importantly for us, the story of fracking presents a parable from which we can all learn.
Even “new” technology can become obsolete, or nearly, very quickly. It’s often said that those in some professions need to learn new skills to stay relevant in a competitive job market. Frackling is fairly new technology. But from the Bloomberg report, it’s already heading toward becoming a flash in the pan.
As you go to work, no matter your job, do you ever ask yourself how long that job is going to be there for you? Did you get “retrained,” only to find that your “retraining” is now obsolete?
Do you ever think that one day, the demand for your product or service will wane, and put you out of a job, as has happened to the undoubtedly surprised Halliburton workers?
Here is a safe presumption: no matter what job you do, figure that it will go away one day, probably before you want it to.
That requires one to look at other ways to make money. Fortunately, there are many programs out there that allow you to turn a few, part-time, non-work hours into income that can potentially dwarf what you are making on the job. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Digging fossil fuels out of the ground is a lot of trouble, tough work and, in some cases, hazardous to workers’ health.
As a nation, we should be happy that our reliance on fossil fuels is waning. However, if you work in that industry, the job cuts can be devastating.
So, if you are not already thinking about what you will do when your job goes away, you should be. If you believe you’ll be able to work at your current job for as long as you want to, you might be right. Or, you could walk into work one day with a nasty, economically devastating surprise waiting for you.
As the saying goes, it’s always best to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best. However, the best may be yet to come in a form you never thought you would ever see.


#BerlinNH #economy #jobs #BoomingEconomy
The “booming economy” is not benefiting everyone, or everywhere.
Take Berlin, N.H., my hometown.
Griff White profiled Berlin in a Feb. 9, 2020, article for The Washington Post.
The bottom fell out of Berlin in the early 2000s.
The city’s main employer, a paper mill, once employed thousands with good, mostly union jobs. Today, a few dozen work there, the article says.
“The last elementary school shuttered last year, capping a long-term exodus of young families,” White writes. “The once-bustling downtown is so scarred by closures, demolitions and fires that it looks, according to the city’s mayor, ‘like a bomb was dropped in the middle of it,’” the article says.
“We’ve got no businesses, nothing to attract people. There aren’t the kind of jobs here that can sustain a family,” the article quotes Paul Labrecque, one of many who lost his good job when the paper mill closed.
The poverty rate in Coos County, which includes Berlin, increased between 2017 and 2018, the article quotes census figures, while, nationally, the poverty rate fell.
“People are yelling and screaming that we’ve got this great economy,” the article quotes Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier. “But we’re not feeling that here. Our area is the first to fall into recession. And it’s the last to climb out,” the article quotes the mayor.
The graduating class at Berlin High School numbered 400 in 1973, the article says. The class of 2019 numbered 98.
Do you live in a place like Berlin? Are there jobs to be had, but only ones that pay a pittance – not enough to live on?
Has this “great economy” benefited you yet?
If not, there is good news.
There are many programs out there that can enable you to earn money – potentially a lot of money – without having to worry about taking a job that doesn’t pay a living wage.
But, you have to be open enough to take a look at them. You have to believe that you CAN overcome your circumstances and better your life.
To check out one of the best such programs, message me.
Berlin may not be unique. The people there indeed may be just like you, with similar circumstances.
Such circumstances could get you down, even depress you. They could prompt you to look at other vices, like drugs or alcohol, to help ease your pain. The article talks about many in Berlin who’ve resorted to such vices.
But YOU can change you. You have to believe that you are better than your circumstances. You have to believe that you can overcome those circumstances, and you can help others do the same.
It takes a can-do attitude, an open mind and the ambition to succeed.
If you have all those things, you just have to check out the various solutions that are available to you, regardless of age, education or experience.
Your surroundings may be depressing, but they don’t have to depress you.


#OldAge #aging #AgingPopulation #GrowingOld
North Dakota is getting younger.
All other states are growing older, in terms of population.
The national median age rose to 38.2 years last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Reporters Alex Tanzi and Shelly Hagan discussed this data in an article for Bloomberg News. It was also published June 22, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
At the time of the data collection, there were approximately 3.9 million babies under age 1 as of July 1, 2018, the article says.
This is the smallest age group until age 64. The largest age cohort, making up 4.8 million of the population, is 27-year-olds, the article says.
A record 12.7 million people are 80 and older, up from 11.2 million counted in the 2010 Census. The 1.4 million-person growth is roughly equivalent to the population of Phoenix, the article says.
“The aging (phenomenon) is driven in large part by baby boomers crossing (age 65),” the article quotes Luke Rogers, chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Branch.
We all get older. As we do, our needs and wants change.
Some of us may want to slow down. Some of us can’t slow down for any number of reasons. Others of us want to cross things off our bucket lists as soon as possible, lest we die before we do.
Some of us have to ponder how we will afford to retire. Retirement today comes in various forms, but more and more of us have little say on when that day is. Decisions often get made for us, whether we are ready or not.
This prompts us to ask ourselves: what would happen if we went to work tomorrow and were told to pack up our personal belongings and go home? Would we be ready for that?
Of course, there are ways to prepare for it, but one must start as early in his or her career as possible. One has to prioritize saving for retirement starting as soon as we start working as adults.
Remember, your retirement security largely depends on you, as company pensions shrink or disappear – if they were ever offered at all. Social Security will undoubtedly change over time, regardless of whether Washington plays wit it or not. Even if Social Security doesn’t change, it alone is not enough to produce a retirement income that would allow anyone to live the life he or she is living now.
Also, there are many vehicles out there that allow people to spend a few, part-time, off-work hours of effort to produce a stream of income that could eventually dwarf your W-2 income. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
America is getting older. We are getting older. It’s incumbent upon us not to just swallow that inevitability and wallow in its effects. Rather, it’s incumbent upon us to look at the years ahead as the best years of your life.
Start now. Prepare for success and work toward it starting today, regardless of your age.


#CollegeEducation #YoungAdultsMoveBackHome #StudentLoans #ParentsHelpingKids
Since the Great Recession, many adult children have leaned on their parents.
Sometimes, they wanted help with expenses. Cellphones and Internet service might have been unnecessary – or not invented — when parents were their children’s ages, but are so necessary now.
Some have even moved back home entirely. (That begs the question: do you really want to live your adult life under your parents’ roof?)
But a survey by Discover Student Loans may reveal a new trend. It says 38 percent of parents expect their child to pay for most of higher education, a 7 percent increase from 2018.
Luke McGrath broke down the numbers in the survey for Bloomberg News. His piece was also published July 30, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Conversely, the numbers show 28 percent of parents were willing and able to pick up the whole college tab for their kid(s). That’s a 6 percent drop from last year, McGrath’s article says. Moreover, of the 70 percent of parents surveyed who said they will not limit their child’s college choice based on price, more than half said they’re planning to rely on scholarship and grants to help cover the costs, McGrath’s article says.
As of September 2018, 11 percent of student debt was more than 90 days delinquent or in default, McGrath quotes the survey. In the last quarter of 2017, more than 44.5 million Americans had some form of outstanding student loans and almost 8 million had a balance of $50,000 or more, McGrath quotes the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Let’s break down the numbers in practical terms. College is expensive, and getting more so by the year. In theory, it is unaffordable for many students who could qualify to go. A college education COULD pay off in future income for students, yet many students are coming out of college not only with big debt, but slim job prospects.
Some may not earn enough money to live independently, and pay down their debt in a reasonable time.
Such a situation could chase a student back home to live with mom and dad and, therefore, put a wrench into mom and dad’s retirement plans.
What to do? First, as a student goes through high school, learn whether he or she is college material. If he or she is not, don’t force it on him or her.
Secondly, if they are college material, determine what their interests are and what they are thinking about doing for work with a degree. Get an idea what those jobs pay now. Hint: if the jobs don’t pay much now, they probably won’t pay much later. And, to add to the thought process, some jobs that pay well now may become obsolete later.
So, if your son or daughter is not college material, or wants to major in something less lucrative, add up the costs, and how you (or they) would pay for college. Remember, going to college is a decision easily postponed. There are almost always opportunities to go back to school, either on campus or online, part time or full time.
Now, think about how your son or daughter will earn money during this – we’ll call it transition – time between high school graduation and when they decide what to do with their lives. There are certainly traditional jobs that don’t require a college degree, albeit fewer opportunities than parents may remember. But there are also many ways to earn money – perhaps a lot more than a “regular” job would pay – by investing a few part-time, off-work hours a week at tasks that anyone, regardless of background or education, can do. To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
In short, college is not for everyone. If you are unsure whether it’s for you, try courses at your local community college first. They are fairly inexpensive, particularly for basic, required early courses. You can always transfer to a four-year school after that, when, perhaps, more money would be available.
Or, if you are open enough, check out one of these non-W-2 potential income producers. You could create some great flexibility for yourself later in life, to do, or study, whatever you want.