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LP:Media figures like Suze Orman, David Bach and David Ramsey tell us, "Follow my advice and everything will be OK." Why is this promise a lie?
HO: All of these people are in the business of selling simplistic solutions to complex problems. Should we live below our means? Of course. Is it always possible to do so? No. It’s not easy to live within your means if your means are a $300-a-week unemployment check. As if that were not enough, some of the advice they are purveying is flat-out wrong. Our financial woes are not the result of spending our funds on lattes and other small luxuries, like David Bach says. You can’t choose not to participate in a recession, despite what Dave Ramsey thinks. Personal finance can’t do it all for us.
LP:You write about the financial literacy movement, which, on first glance, looks like a helpful educational crusade. How has it conspired to make us poorer? What does it mean that big banks like Capital One promote it?
HO: Financial literacy classes sure sound good. But students who take the classes don’t seem to retain much of the knowledge. And, when you think about it for a moment, that makes sense. The idea that taking a class on how finance works at the age of 17 can save someone from a predatory 100-page small-print mortgage when they are 40 is just preposterous. Don’t believe me? Tell me how the French and Indian War contributed to the American Revolution. See what I mean? I swear that was taught in your high school history class.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Fri Dec 19, 2014, 08:31 AM (58 replies)
Tim Loehmann seemed to already have his gun unholstered and ready to fire coming out of the vehicle.
Who are all of these people Tamir is aiming at? 1 passerby, he just mostly ignored, as he did the 911 caller in the gazebo, and he eventually left. In fact, there doesn't seem to be a deluge of people even at this park.
Also, why would you pull what seems to be 2-3 feet away from a suspected dangerous threat? Do I have to be a cop to know that's just a blatantly stupid idea and in no way part of proper tactics in dealing/negotiating with a supposedly armed suspect?
Are the yee-haw racist cousinhumpers online still going to tell me that Tim Loehmann told him "Hands on your head!!" THREE TIMES?? It proves that people only see what they want to see, as the elapsed time (giving the cops the benefit of the doubt) on the screen clock from the time they appear on the screen to the time they shot him in the chest was 3 seconds and some change. That means that they only had two seconds to reel off three (according to the report) "HANDS ON YOUR HEAD!" commands. NOT HAPPENING.
The kid looks like he's just confused as to what to do, which would likely happen if cops stormed up on you yelling random things and you're in your own little world, as a 12 year old likely would be.
Why are they just standing over him doing nothing?
This was a fucking drive-up 2A Death Sentence by a severely incompetent and untrained LEO.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Tue Dec 16, 2014, 11:14 PM (1 replies)
This week, it was Cleveland wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, who wore a T-shirt reading "Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford III" during pregame warmups and introductions:
Tamir Rice, age 12, died last month after Cleveland police shot him while he was waving a pellet gun. John Crawford III was shot in an Ohio Wal-Mart earlier this year while holding an air rifle. Both cases have drawn scrutiny because of the uncertain and questionable reasons behind the shootings.
The message didn't go over so well with the Cleveland police department. "It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law," said Cleveland police union head Jeff Follmer, per a local Cleveland journalist. "They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland police protect and serve the Browns stadium, and the Browns organization owes us an apology."
If the Browns follow the same path as other teams whose players have taken public stands on social issues, there will be no apology.
Rrrrrrrrigghht, because opening fire and performing drive-bys on men and children with pellet guns completely follows the letter of the law . . . which, in both cases, the LEOs will get off scot-free.
Hey, as soon as you fellers admit that "Open Carry" is only for white folks, you might get a "sorry". But until then .. . .
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Dec 14, 2014, 10:47 PM (41 replies)
I mean, it makes sense when you think about it.
I'm guessing "Analytical Chemist" must be along the lines of "assembly line worker" or some run-of-the-mill redundant career choice like that, as throwaway and replaceable as "applications programmer", "mechanical engineer", "physicist", "financial analyst" or some other burger-flipper-level job.
After all, it was folly to think that 8 years of college would yield a long-term career path . . . . "Chemist" . . . pffffffft! What a poor choice. Shoulda, woulda, coulda, you know? Come on, why didn't she pick "Hedge Fund Manager", or "CEO" or start her own business??
It's more than feasible that, at age 48 and with no income stream coming in and bills that are due now, that she could . . . retrain, head back to college and pick a smarter career path . . . work really, really, really harder and she just might GET that awesome new job. Millions of workers in the '60s - '90s did it, why is she such a special snowflake? And if a reduction in force so that major shareholders can purchase that third mansion should happen again, then retrain again. And again! You should never stop learning or trying to find that cheese in the maze, even if someone continually moves it. NO EXCUSES!!
If you don't have the prognostication skills of a career counselor to tell what the hot occupations are going to be 5-10 years down the road (planned obsolescence, economy or plain bad luck be damned), then you, my friend, are missing out and need to get some. This great meritocracy of ours doesn't guarantee equal results, equal fairness or equal pay . . . only equal opportunity that you can either get on board with or starve to death under a bridge. YOUR CHOICE!!
as if it needs to be said.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Dec 10, 2014, 09:57 AM (87 replies)
Federal authorities are investigating whether casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. violated money-laundering laws, according to people familiar with the matter.
The criminal probe comes as U.S. authorities step up their scrutiny of casinos’ efforts to prevent money laundering. Regulators have long been concerned about vulnerabilities at casinos, which are complex financial institutions that conduct a large amount of cross-border and cash transactions. Wynn, which is run by casino entrepreneur Steve Wynn, is the third major Las Vegas casino company in recent years known to be investigated for possible violations of money-laundering laws.
Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts (their stock rose nearly a thousand percent at one point since 2009), frequently makes boilerplate CNBC-ready statements about how President Obama is "bad fer bizness in general". Well, I guess we know how they're doing so well . . . .
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sat Nov 22, 2014, 08:57 AM (3 replies)
Liberal economist Paul Krugman is chief spokesman for the "income inequality" crowd. In his column "Ostentation, your ship has come in thanks to changed economic times" (Forum, Sept. 28), he presses his theme that the super-rich have fattened up at the expense of the middle class. But he disproves his own thesis by harking back to the 1950's, when, he says, because of higher taxes, tycoons had more modest lifestyles than today's nabobs.
The fact is the middle class lives infinitely better today than in the 50's, even though that was a decade of unprecedented prosperity. I was there. If my father, who died in 1959, could come back, he would be astounded by our houses - mile after mile of homes that only rich people would have dreamed of then; our cars - an SUV and sedan in most garages; our restaurants; our vacations, summer cottages, winter homes and RVs; our clothing - one child's clothes would fill all the closets in our old house; our school-age children walking around with smart phones and so on.
Krugman highlights yachts. Have you seen a yacht in any of the Lake Erie marinas? I haven't, but thousands of pleasure craft. What plutocrats own those? What about golf courses?
Sure, he could give you statistics that incomes have stagnated, but what would you expect when the labor force has increased by the entry of so many women?
If our way of life is threatened, it is not because of income inequality, but because the next generation may think they have a constitutional right to start the day with a $4 cup of coffee.
And from my city, no less. Classic.
It's like he's living in an imagined world where the American middle/working/poor classes are just living SO high off the hog and economic opportunity is in abundance and job security has never been better and we're with the jet set in Dubai and . ... luxuries like cellphones for kids abound . . .. because reasons.
His sentence about yachts and golf courses .. . . . . yeah, anyone got a google map to that point?
. .. . Of course, if you read the comments, I responded in kind.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Oct 12, 2014, 10:08 AM (5 replies)
Of all the ridiculous strawmen the Republicans come up with, regarding the much, MUCH needed raise to the federal minimum wage, this has to be one of the most idiotic.
It's not only being tossed by every Homer, Jabez and Bertha Sue chiming in on the wingnut-laden internets, it's the go-to of right-wing pundits (Kevin O'Leary) and even supposedly educated economists (like Lindsey Piegza, for instance).
But hey, as long as we're playing this card, you know, why not LOWER the minimum wage to 4 bucks an hour?
How about TWO an hour (while I'm being facetious, jerks like Peter Schiff are for real with that figure)? Hey, why hold back and just simply demand workers PAY their businesses for the privilege of working there???
It's re-branded Feudalism, regressive and immoral, that's why.
More buying power in the hands of people who need to spend every dime is simply a smarter long game for economic health, and pretending tax cuts are a viable substitute for an increase in a sustained income is the folly of the Von Mises set.
I'm not sure when we became a nation of greedy, hateful pigs, but I do remember a time when a business took pride in not only their workmanship, but in the fact that they were creating jobs in their community. They gave people a purpose and a living wage. It allowed a person the dignity of being self-sufficient and the security of taking care of themselves and their family. In return the company got dedication, loyalty and a product or service that others wanted to buy. Henry Ford, one of the country's biggest manufacturing icons made a point of making sure that his employees earned enough to buy a car. Today, we have Walmart workers, who despite working full time are so poorly paid that they have to rely on taxpayer subsidized food stamps, welfare and Medicare totaling more than $1 million per store.
So, it's interesting that the recent news of job market 'improvement' doesn't mention that of the ten occupation categories projecting the greatest growth in the next eight years, only one pays a middle-class wage. Four pay barely above poverty level and five pay beneath it, including fast-food workers, retail sales staff, health aids and janitors. The job expected to have the highest number of openings is 'personal care aide'--taking care of aging baby boomers in their houses or in nursing homes. The median salary of an aid is under $20,000. They enjoy no benefits and about 40 percent of them must rely on food stamps and Medicaid to make ends meet, plus many are in the 'shadow economy,' vulnerable to being cheated on the already miserly wages.
That means the father or mother with a couple of kids, now looking at the degree they have from some university they probably still owe money to, is going to take whatever they can get to pay for the roof over their head and to put food on the table. They may even need to take two. It also means that the boomer couple who lost their pension, 401k, savings, and home value as a result of the felonious acts of the same corporations who are now opposing a living wage, isn't going to retire when they thought they would and will be looking into landing one of those jobs. That's who members of Congress are giving the finger to. People do what they need to do to survive. It's been that way since the beginning of time and this country has proven time and time again that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, but the argument and the opposition to allowing people a living wage for full time work is frankly embarrassing.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 10:00 AM (35 replies)
And in case the post gets hidden, it says, and I quote:
Still haven't meet a Laquisha or Shaniqua I would like to work with
I mean, COME on. Are you freaking KIDDING me? It's bad enough that site's loaded with economically stupid Dunning-Krugertarians and mean low-info bastards who name themselves after ammo . . . and now THIS nonsense?
Can we now say that this is a bad idea once and for all? Sometimes stupid is just stupid.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Thu Aug 28, 2014, 09:27 AM (11 replies)
I have two friends (old classmates, to be specific) on Facebook that are small businessmen.
One owns a web solutions company, which is around a $5-10 million/year business.
The other, not so sure; I think it has to do with energy, but I do know that he has affiliates in Dubai and Singapore . . . so again, not doing too shabby for the most part.
Both veer on the righter of the right-wing political ruler. One posts frequent links to Kevin O’Leary’s screeds against raising the minimum wage in this country, stating it would cause him and his poor business that runs on margin to lay off workers as everyone else’s salaries would rise along with it (uh, yeah, that’s kind of the point if you want Capitalism to continue and not drown in a morass of debt). He’s also a Flat tax fan; as most higher-income people are, since they’d make out like bandits. His business pays salaries for talent that command much higher than minimum wage, so what does he care?
The other is far more batshit and blames just about everything under the sun on “Chairman Maobama”; very anti-government, very anti-regulation, very anti-anything that makes life an atom-speck fairer for workers, and also very much against raising the minimum wage. He’s a genuine Red-Baiter and False Dilemma-tosser extraordinaire. It’s kind of bizarre that someone who was an honor student in HS could be so amazingly idiotic politically.
Where am I going with this?
Well, just last week, Captain RedBait was online posting photos of the BOAT he just purchased. Not a yacht, but certainly no skiff.
As for Major Seven-and-a-Quarter an Hour Forever, he posted photos of his two week vacation with his family of four in Italy. We’re not talking just one part either – they visited at least four cities.
So . . . these two are crying poor (and obviously want everyone else to remain that way, so long as they aren’t), but at the same time, taking Italian vacations with their family and buying boats?
Explain this to me like I’m a complete idiot: Exactly how does this reconcile?
Posted by HughBeaumont | Fri Aug 15, 2014, 09:55 AM (8 replies)
A 2% solution to a host of college problems: Kevin O'Brien:
This is his grand solution to curbing college costs that's designed to please the commie lib'ruls . . . I think . . .
A much more effective way to attack the problem would be to ensure that colleges have some skin in the game — the more, the better — by paying them after the fact and allowing the marketplace to determine the worth of a college education, one graduate at a time.
The incoming freshman would agree to repay the college for his or her higher education at a fixed percentage of the student's gross earnings for a fixed number of years. Say, 2 percent of income for 25 years.
The problem of crushing student debt is immediately solved. When the student graduates and gets that first job at what should be the lowest earning level of his professional life, he will also face the lowest college repayment level: 2 percent of very little is very, very little. Twenty-five years later, when the former student is the executive VP of a multinational company, 2 percent of a whole lot will still be a very reasonable price for the happy graduate to pay and a tidy raw-dollar sum indeed for Dear Old State U.
First, the college has to choose wisely. If it contracts with marginal students who lack direction or motivation, it's likely to lose money on them. Then, the college has to make sure students don't lose their way during school. It has to make sure they learn truly useful things well. As graduation nears, the college is motivated to help the student land the best possible job at the best possible pay. It may even find ways to support the employed graduate with information and connections that make him a better (and better-paid) employee.
Colleges and universities would be quick to eliminate courses, majors, even entire academic departments that offered insufficient return on investment. Some colleges and universities, finding themselves unable to compete, would disappear. That is not a bad thing. America is way over-colleged, hence the expensive, wasteful competition on creature comforts to lure freshmen, since the quality of undergraduate education is pretty much the same everywhere.
Once colleges eliminate departments and majors that don't move graduates into jobs worth a college education, businesses will recover the skills of screening their own applicants. That would put an end to Americans' patently ludicrous notion that every job more exalted than fast-food worker requires a degree.
OK, so from what I'm reading:
Colleges are corporate farm clubs.
Public money going to colleges are a bad thing (as opposed, of course, to public money going in the pockets of the Kochs) that cause tuitions to rise. Yeah.
The Arts and Social Sciences mean shiznit because they're not economically quantifiable, so we should just get rid of them.
STEM, Business and Finance Majors are the only things worth studying; everything else is just a hobby.
In 25 years, it's guaranteed that a college graduate will be an executive VP.
Every kid at the age of 18-19 knows EXACTLY what they want to do.
You wouldn't need 25 years of funding to pay professors NOW or anything.
Our job markets are ALWAYS awesome and accommodating to those with college degrees and those without.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Aug 13, 2014, 10:41 AM (8 replies)