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Political leaders in Washington leave him shaking his head. It isn’t just President Barack Obama. Arvin opposes Obama. But he’s also appalled by the actions of long-serving politicians.
"We have too many people in government who have made it their career to be in government," he says. "And they don’t seem to be in it for the country. They seem to be in it for themselves or their party."
He isn’t looking for the government to help restore his financial security. He says he’ll keep working hard and hope for the best.
It’s an impulse rooted in American culture, he says.
"What made our country great," Arvin says, "was people sucking it up, working hard and being energized to go in a direction because they could believe in their dreams and know their dreams were possible because they believed in themselves."
One way he thinks he may realize that dream is with an invention he hopes catches fire: A makeup case Arvin decided to design after noticing how powder from his wife’s compact case would spill.
His wife is trying to turn the cases into a business. He says she’s sold hundreds of them at trade shows and on eBay. And Arvin is seeking a patent for his design.
"Maybe this will take off," he says. "Who knows? But you just have to keep trying and not give up. That’s the American way."
— Associated Press Writer Mitch Weiss
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The low point for Brookside Flooring came two or three years ago.
The housing bubble had wrecked South Florida’s home market. Construction barely existed. Companies were closing or shedding staff.
Jay Baker’s company managed to survive. But it suffered.
Now? Business has rebounded in the past few months. Sales are still down by about a third since 2008.
But when you’ve withstood a savage housing bust, any sustained improvement feels gratifying.
"Slowly but surely, it’s coming back," Baker says. "I really can’t pinpoint it. All I know is that it’s getting better, and it makes me happy."
Baker sees the overall economy strengthening, too — and for that, he credits President Barack Obama for pushing his economic agenda against sharp Republican resistance.
U.S. unemployment has dipped, Baker notes. Stock prices have surged more than 13 percent this year. Consumers are more confident and spending a bit more.
When more people are working, Baker says, everyone who depends on a robust economy gains.
People aren’t just more apt to replace the flooring in their home or business, he says. Restaurants and clothing stores benefit. So do auto dealers, contractors and furniture shops.
"In a small town, when a large business goes out of business, the people are out of a job, but all of the small businesses are affected, too," he says. "When business is better, everybody’s affected."Next Page >
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