Long-distance Business Travel and Crisis Preparedness

Guest Post- J. Vanne

I don’t know what the future holds. Nor, in reality, do the elite in Washington, Brussels or Beijing.  Despite the hubris of the planners, the law of unintended consequences, as well as just “plain ol”  human error and ineptitude, will never allow man to create utopia, any more than a man can pull on his own bootstraps and lift himself up to Heaven.  We may be fortunate enough to see a renaissance in the West, much like what Reagan and Thatcher brought to light.  However, there are other indicators that do not bode well: For example, you may wish to review Reinhart and Rogarth’s book This Time is Different:  Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, on the utterly crushing nature of what out-of control debt can do to an economy and society that allowed it.  Or perhaps google work by Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University, who has noted that if all unfunded liabilities in the U.S. were totalled, we are looking at not $16 trillion-ish reddish ink (now up to $17 trillion since I first began drafting this!), but actually $222 trillion. Do (Read More….)

Death of the Consumer

by MN Gordon Economic Prism

Something peculiar is going on.  One data point says the economy’s improving.  Another says it’s floundering.

Nonetheless, we strive to connect the dots and draw inferences as we go.  For example, according to data released Tuesday, manufacturing and construction spending is on the rise…

“Stronger-than-expected data on U.S. manufacturing and construction spending on Tuesday hinted the world’s biggest economy was gaining traction,” reported Reuters.

“The U.S. manufacturing sector grew last month at its fastest pace in more than two years, with the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) index of national factory activity rising to 55.7 in August from 55.4 the prior month.

“That comfortably beat expectations for 54, with the index at its highest since June 2011.

“A reading above 50 indicates expansion in (Read More….)

How Gold Storage Works

Gold is the ultimate value of any currency capital. Governments, companies and individuals leverage on gold for their capital and liquid cash investments against possible financial collapses and currency crushes. In the yesteryears gold used to be an exclusive preserve of the few “haves” but nowadays the proliferation of knowledge has opened up many doorways for ordinary people to invest in gold.

Picture Credit- Royal Canadian Mint On Amazon

Ordinary people can invest in gold. Even though many doorways have been opened to enable people to access this precious metal, gold is still a closely guarded metal. Some countries have opted for gold as their currency for making international payments. Various economies around the globe are well known in gold production and exportation. No (Read More….)

Overloaded with Debt and No Jobs to Be Had

By MN Gordon Economic Prism

The Federal Open Market Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The masses waited with anticipation.  What did they talk about?

Generally, they talked about price controls.  More exactly, they talked about controlling the price of the economy’s most important and fundamental element…its money.  By controlling the price of money they can influence the price of every single good and service there is.

Some believe this is for the good of the people.  That it will somehow boost consumption and stimulate demand.  That it will create a new hiring boom.  We have our reservations.

When it comes to the Fed, they believe – or at least pretend to believe – that with just the right policy mix the economy will be restored to glory.  But what’s the right mix…and how can a handful of bureaucrats with a handful of charts ever know what it is?

After several days of belaboring (Read More….)

Debt-Free Isnt for Dummies, But It Could Be for You: 4 Ways to Trim Your Monthly Bills

NPR reports that since the beginning of 2011, the average American wages and the cost of living have been moving in opposite directions. Wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, and that’s not taking things like health insurance costs into consideration. In fact, since 2010 the average hiring wage for workers has continuously gone down, and many professionals have been forced into lower-paying jobs. Add in the mortgage crisis and healthcare costs, and many of us have found ourselves in dire need of downsizing our lives.

Downsizing is tough. While it seems easy for many to adjust from rags to riches, riches to rags is a humbling experience. Keep your head held high and take the time to learn and apply the practical adjustments below. Adaptability is how the strong survive.

Trade in that Lease and Go Used

Trading in your leased vehicle for a used car is one of the wisest ways to ditch a major gratuitous expense. Status and comfort are nice, but so is financial (Read More….)

Live the Life of Your Dreams With These Money Saving Tips

What dreams do you and your spouse share? Maybe you want to build your dream house, finance your child’s college education or travel around the world. These dreams require money, and money doesn’t grow on trees. Smart shopping is one way you can save the cash you need and finance your dreams.

Smart shopping starts with coupons. By clipping paper coupons from the Sunday newspaper inserts, you can save money on groceries, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Use online coupons too. Send them to your grocery or drugstore loyalty card or scan money saving QR codes to your smartphone, and save money at the checkout counter.

In addition to using coupons, delay your purchases until the items you want to buy go on sale. There’s no reason to pay full price on household goods, landscaping products or clothing. Buy these items during sales, and save a (Read More….)

Are Cigarettes Worth the Money? Deconstructing the Two Main Economic Arguments about Tobacco

Though the harmful physical effects of cigarettes have become universal knowledge, more debated is how smoking and the tobacco industry affect the economy. Tobacco lobbyists laud how tobacco contributes to American employment, helps support the advertising industry, and provides a steady and demanded product to stores and tobacco merchants. Conversely, critics will cite all of the medical expenses incurred as a result of cancer, lost work time to cigarette breaks, and loss of productivity due to health issues. Both sides provide strong arguments in their favor, and it often becomes difficult to see through the smoke of each side.

What is known for certain is that cigarettes have become a hot-topic issue for the American people. State and local governments have begun using “smoking bans” as a political tool during election season, ads from anti-tobacco organizations have begun running side-by-side with cigarette ads in major magazines, and tax hikes on cigarettes spark debate every time they’re proposed. With such passion guiding the debate, it’s worth it to take a step back and consider the situation objectively. Therefore, here is a (Read More….)

Steps to Increase Your Cash Flow

Unless your name is Bill Gates, you could probably use a few more dollars every year. Here are just a few steps you can take to help increase your cash flow.

Reduce Your Credit Card Debt

Reducing your credit card debt is one of the most effective ways to increase your personal bottom line. Paying off your credit cards early is like getting a fantastic return on an investment. Use the money you would have spent on interest payments to pay off your other bills and increase your available cash flow.

Close Unnecessary Credit Cards

Having too many credit cards can make it difficult to keep track of your many balances, fees, and due dates.  Get rid of any unnecessary cards after paying off the balance, especially any with annual fees. Some cards may charge you $60 or more per year for the privilege of owning the card, so if you don’t need the extra credit cards you can save some real money by closing them.

Shut the Windows

Save money on your monthly energy bills by keeping doors and windows tightly (Read More….)