SSN readers berate bailout

Saturday, November 1, 2008

YARMOUTH, Maine--With election time just around the corner and our economy seemingly falling to pieces around us, the folks here at Security Systems News thought it might be interesting to see what our readership thought of the economy and of the nascent (as we went to press) bailout plan.

In a news poll conducted by SSN in late September, we asked readers to tell us how the current economic crisis has affected their businesses, and whether their outlook was positive or negative. We also wanted to know what our readers thought about the developing bailout plan and what effect, if any, they believed it would have on their businesses.

Of the 140 votes received at press time, 84 votes, nearly two-thirds, believed that the current economic crisis had impacted their business negatively.

One respondent said, “This year our sales are down 30 percent so far. We expect them to lower even more (10 to 15 percent more). We are adjusting the business to survive … But if our customers give up, then there is no way out. The government needs to do something effective … What they are proposing so far is just a joke.”

“I want to believe a stronger stock market will give these companies enough confidence to let go of some of the budgeted cash they have for security equipment,” said another voter. “Right now companies are not spending the security system money that they already have in their budget from last year. Deals that should have only taken 90 to 120 days to close are dragging out 12 or more months. Some of the projects that we won have now been canceled because the banks will no longer fund the projects.”

Fifty voters, a little more than one-third of those voting, believed the economic crisis had no effect on their business. “It’s way too soon to tell,’’ said one voter. “Hopefully, we won’t see any negative effect. But, if the economy does continue to sour, we should expect to see more cancellations of service as people start to cut back on monthly expenses.”

Another anonymous respondent believed that, “It will affect personal business but not company business. The bailout is not necessary at the level the dummycrats want. Unfortunately neither candidate is perfect, but McCain is my choice for the long haul to rebuild trust and our country.” Just six voters, around four percent, believed that their business had benefited from the hard economic times.

When asked to vote on how they felt about the proposed bailout plan, readers displayed a much more even range of opinion. Out of 133 readers who participated in the second question, 33, or roughly one-quarter, believed that the economic bailout plan then under consideration would help their business.

Forty-seven voters, a little more than one-third, believed the proposed bailout plan would be bad for business. One respondent said, “Suffice to say, the average Joe and Jane knows they are going to be strapped soon. Spending on security products will not take priority in the average American household budget when gasoline and food prices soar, while wages and employment opportunities plummet.”

Of the 133 who voted in the second part of the poll, 53, nearly 40 percent, thought the proposed plan would have no effect on their business.

Several voters seemed to agree that the economic crisis could be righted effectively by designing a bailout program for the American populace, rather than for failed financial institutions. One voter had this to say: “If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it ... instead of trickling out a puny $1000 (‘vote buy’) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President. If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U.S. citizen, 18+!”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s bailout plan became legislative reality on Oct. 3.