Your Summer Tax Increase

by MN Gordon Economic Prism

Oil prices are holding above $106 per barrel.  What gives?  Wasn’t all the oil fracking supposed to increase production and decrease price?

So far, part of this equation has come to be.  In fact, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report, for the week ending July 5, shows the U.S. produced 7.4 million barrels per day.  That’s up 18.4 percent from just one year ago.  What’s more, it’s the highest level for U.S. domestic oil production in over 21 years.

So even though the price of oil remains stubbornly high, the combination of increased domestic production and increased energy efficiency is having many positive benefits for the country…

“The increase of oil production in the U.S. is reversely driving down the amount of foreign oil the country is importing from OPEC countries because the fuel is less needed,” explains (Read More….)

Scraps of Paper Be Damned

By MN Gordon, Economic Prism

Today we begin with several data points…

First, if you hadn’t noticed, gold and silver bullion coins are selling faster than boysenberry funnel cakes at the county fair.  January 2013 U.S. Mint bullion sales of the American Eagle 1-ounce gold coin increased 47 percent from January 2012.  In addition, American Silver Eagle (1-oz) bullion coins sold by the U.S. Mint rose 22 percent in January 2013 from January 2012.

Second, Olin Corporation, the biggest retail supplier of small-caliber ammunition, enjoyed a jump in pretax earnings at its Winchester unit to $16.5 million during the fourth quarter from $500,000 the year before.  By our rough calculation that’s an increase in pretax earnings of 3,300 percent.

Third, the S&P 500 just notched its best January in 16 years.  For the month, it (Read More….)

Currency Wars and the New Age of Desperation

By MN Gordon, Economic Prism

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time.  Of course, the time is always right for government policy makers to improve upon the natural order of things.  In their dim minds, the unintended consequences of their actions are not to be considered…they can always be rectified later by another policy fix.

Evidently, none of the officials from West Germany, France, the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, who gathered at New York’s Plaza Hotel on September 22, 1985, knew they were letting the genie out of the bottle.  Regrettably, once out, it’s near impossible to put back in.

By 1985, fourteen years after Nixon severed the last remnants of the linkage between the dollar and gold, floating currencies had resulted in grotesque distortions to the global economy.  The U.S. dollar had appreciated 50 percent between 1980 and 1985 against the Japanese yen, West German Deutsche Mark, and British pound – the currencies of the next three largest economies at the time.  (Read More….)

4 Qualities Every Tax Preparer Must Have

By Scott Humphrey

Tax season is fast approaching as is the dreaded task of finding a qualified tax preparer that has the expertise to handle all of your financial needs. Let’s face it, taxes are a hassle and finding a professional to take care of them proves far more beneficial than attempting to file them on your own. If you are a certified public accountant, enrolled agent, or a soon-to-be tax accounting professional, it is important to attain the 5 following skills to be successful in your career and to acquire regular clients.


First and foremost, it is important for the preparer to be on top of the latest tax law changes. As Americans are on the verge of the fiscal cliff—holding their breath for what is to come, tax preparers must be fully aware of the changes that will likely affect their clients.

Certified public accountants typically focus their services (

Sell Gold Necklaces for Cash

Guest Post – Ty Whitworth

Not everyone is aware that gold prices rise when the stock market falls. The stock market has been like a roller coaster for the past few years and investors are looking for more stable investments. In tough economic times, precious metals tend to become the investment of choice. This is great news for those of you who have old gold necklaces and other jewelry cluttering up your jewelry box. Now is a great time to send these pieces off to a new life in exchange for some extra cash in your hands.

Why would you want to get rid of your gold necklaces? They might have broken links, a bent clasp, or maybe that chain just grabs your hair every time you wear it and you can’t take it anymore. Necklace styles change through the years, and many of the designs of the ’80s and ’90s look pretty dated right about now. Necklaces are also commonly given as romantic gifts, and if the relationship ends, that piece of jewelry might not be worth wearing any more — especially if the only thing it does is bring back unpleasant memories.

A Strong Market

Because the (

Top 6 Investment Capital Sources for Small Business in 2012

By Scott Humphrey

Investment capital is extremely important for small businesses, both for startups and for established businesses. Companies effectively manage and utilize capital to grow. Traditionally, small businesses have relied on bank loans for their funding, but those loans have become very difficult to acquire in the last several years. Consequently, cash-starved small businesses have been forced to look elsewhere for desperately needed sources of funding and this is where alternative lenders come in. The benefits of alternative lenders include:

·    Faster approvals
·    Flexibility
·    Attractive lending rates

Following are some of the fastest growing small business capital sources available at this time:

1.    Credit Unions

Not-for-profit credit unions provide credit at competitive rates. Their local focus and (Read More….)

What Are You Holding On To?

Tell me what actual benefit you receive from living the “normal” lifestyle –  a 2 hour commute to work each day, spending 8 hours in a corporate cubicle that removes your individuality and creativity,  to receive a paycheck from which the government has taken its huge and undeserved bite leaving almost enough to cover your bills and expenses –  just so that you can live in the kind of house and drive the kind of car that your friends and relatives think you should live in and be driving.

We all must admit that for some strange reason that we don’t really understand, we feel a profound sense of accomplishment when we get approved for a mortgage, get a new credit card, or get the “big promotion” at work. There is a scene in the movie Brazil, (a version of 1984), in which Michael Palin lifts his mask as he is about to begin torturing Jonathan Pryce and says glibly, “Confess quick (Read More….)

Knowing the Average Life of Your Household Appliances

Many people rely on household appliances for cleaning, cooking, personal hygiene and more. While household appliances play an important role in modern society, not all appliances are built to last for a long time. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks on how to determine the average life of household appliances.

Most household appliances are designed to last for at least 10 years. While some may last for a longer time, this can vary based on the way the household appliance is used. For example, a dishwasher that is used every day will break sooner than the dishwasher in a guesthouse that is used once a month.

Modern appliances are usually manufactured to last for a predetermined length of time. In many cases, the length of time an object will last is based on its use and maintenance. For example, the United States Air Force routinely uses fighter planes that have been in service for over 40 years. While this is a very long time to keep a machine running, a high-quality construction and a rigorous maintenance schedule can keep things running for a very long time.

Durability Doesn’t Come (