Spinach Salad with Strawberries & Goat Cheese
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A Cash-Strapped Life is a Creative Life
Perhaps worse yet, I think this framing – and especially the “increasing returns to a college degree” frame – suggests the wrong trend. Increasing returns to college sounds like a situation where the base wage for a high school graduate has been flat, while the wages of the college-educated have increased. Instead, what we see is the wages for those with high school degrees falling while wages for the college educated have stagnated. The Pew Research Center published a report that frames this story nicely as The Rising Cost of Not Going to College. This chart shows how all of the increase in the college-non college gap for young adults (25-32) since 1986 comes from declines at the bottom. To sum up: The “increasing returns to college” story makes attending college sound like a reward for a good choice, not a structured fact about unequal educational access, and it suggests a world in which college incomes are rising and non-college incomes are falling, rather than a world where the bottom is falling out. “The increasing penalty for not going to college” is a bit clunky, but (to my ear) solves those problems.
If millionaires were a political party, that party would make up roughly 3 percent of American families, but it would have a super-majority in the Senate, a majority in the House, a majority on the Supreme Court and a man in the White House. If working-class Americans were a political party, that party would have made up more than half the country since the start of the 20th century. But legislators from that party (those who last worked in blue-collar jobs before entering politics) would never have held more than 2 percent of the seats in Congress.
One participant mentioned that when we give to the poor, we should ask their forgiveness. It is the poor and marginalized who have been failed by our society and system and we’re all part of the problem. Another person said we need to stop judging people for being poor; we need to change our system to make it easier for people to get the help they need....
These opinions made me rethink my behavior. I’ve never thought of asking a person for forgiveness when I hand them a dollar outside a supermarket. But it makes sense. By asking for their forgiveness and blessing, I’m reaffirming their inherent worth and dignity by treating them with respect; I’m asking them for something only they can give. And I need to stop caring how they ended up being homeless. It’s not my place to judge and I’m not qualified to ask.
All I know is that as a man of faith, it’s my responsibility to respond with compassion. This is the hard truth of faith; this is where conversion of the heart takes place. When we stop punishing and start forgiving. When we stop blaming and start helping. When we treat our neighbor as ourselves.-Justin Almeida, Walking in Their Footsteps
Given this fact, it is naive and inappropriate to try to convert everyone to “green living.” We can’t ask struggling communities to change their values; we have to rally them in a different way. Mainstream environmental groups don’t tend to see underresourced neighborhoods as forward-thinking, but poor and working-class people have an intrinsic conservationist ethic, born out of necessity. They need only to develop their own vocabulary so that their actions aren’t dismissed as insufficiently “green” but are valued for their intrinsic merit. This notion goes back to the kind of pedagogy practiced by Paulo Freire, who helped members of oppressed Brazilian communities find new meaning in their everyday actions and use these insights to transform their own lives. The nonprofit-industrial complex, by contrast, too often imposes a set of values that is not easily transferred to the people it is meant to serve.-Marc Bamuthi, Creative Time Reports
Employers urgently need to treat the mental health of their staff as seriously as their physical health and safety, according to Australia's first campaign on mental health in the workplace.
With an estimated one in five Australian workers experiencing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, the cost to businesses is at least $10.9 billion a year, says mental health group beyondblue.
But if Australian businesses are willing to invest in effective mental health strategies they stand to gain an average return of $2.30 for every $1 spent, according to a report beyondblue commissioned from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The option to get exact change will be a plus for customers -- including those with low account balances who want to take out less than $20 or who need $25 but don't want to take out $40, for example, said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
"Particularly in difficult financial times when peoples' account balances have been lower, not having to withdraw more money than you really need is helpful," said McBride.
Americans with piles of student loan debt have less money to spend on anything from consumer products to homes.
And as The Washington Post points out, first-time home buyers, usually college graduates, are, or at least used to be, "the bedrock of the housing market."
But, since millions of college graduates are drowning in debt, they can't afford to buy a home, which is killing America's housing recovery.
Meanwhile, according to a report from the One Wisconsin Institute, the devastating effects of student loan debt also translate into more than $6 billion in lost car sales each year.
And, the chief economist for General Motors has even said that student loan debt is one of, if not THE major reason why millennials aren't buying cars.
So in the for-profit sector, the more value you produce, the more money you can make. But we don't like nonprofits to use money to incentivize people to produce more in social service. We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interesting that we don't have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money not helping other people. You know, you want to make 50 million dollars selling violent video games to kids, go for it. We'll put you on the cover of Wired magazine. But you want to make half a million dollars trying to cure kids of malaria, and you're considered a parasite yourself.-Dan Pallotta, TED Talk
We believe in money’s unending generative power.Pastor Pillsbury starts his sermon:
We believe in the Holy Profit.
We believe that efficiency creates growth and that growth is good.
Angela Minicuci, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Community Health, says the goal of the Healthy Michigan plan is to help people get healthier — and to the point where they can afford to buy their own health insurance.Yuck!
“Countless studies show that if you have a healthier population, they are better employees and they contribute overall to our economic status,” she says.
There is no great secret as to how to stay out of debt. It's all about not spending more than you earn. We'll call this rule number one. As simple as this sounds in theory, modern life is organized to make it difficult.So that is from Don't Screw It Up. You can read my earlier entry on this book by scrolling down a bit. It covers a lot of areas of life from how to get out of a chair the right way, how not to fall down in a bus or the subway, how to have a successful date and how not to look ugly in your vacation photos.
It begins with something that sounds eminently responsible: establishing credit. Young people, especially those who go off to college, are encouraged to get starter credit cards in order to pave the way for later mortgages and car loans. This is smart and rational only if you pay off your cards in full each month. Unfortunately, most people do not. Thus they begin to drift away from rule number one.
Being allowed to carry a balance can give you the illusion of more income. What do you do when you feel richer? You spend more. As you do, banks see you as an even more attractive customer and send an onslaught of credit card offers. The letters with these offers generally explain that you have been chosen for your excellent credit worthiness. This should not be enough to convince you that everything is fine with your finances, but interestingly it does. Psychological research has shown that if something is repeated often enough, you will start to believe it and doubt your own sense.
You may have a gnawing sense that you are falling deeper and deeper into a hole, but these constant letters from the financial experts (banks) reassure you that everything s fine and dandy. In fact, they say you are an especially fine example of a responsible spender. Do not listen to them.
Credit card companies make profits on a simple fact of human nature: We are overly optimistic about our futures. We always believe we will have more time and more money in the future than we have today. So you charge a new sofa today forgetting that between now and the day the bill arrives you will continue to have expenses. The raise you're sure you'll get this year is not guaranteed, and there is also no guarantee that your car will not break down.
Knowing this, you should approach debt with the respect and caution it deserves. Don't trust your future self to be more responsible or richer than you are today...
If you never borrowed a thing in your life and saved up every penny you ever yearned, you would not have a good credit score. The strategies that make you a good prospect for a lender are not necessarily the ones that make you the most financially secure. Staying out of debt in the first place may be a better goal than tweaking your score.
...When you are thinking about managing your finances, bear in mind that your credit score and your financial health may be correlated, but they are not entirely the same thing. A common mistake that gets consumers into trouble is the assumption that as long as they are maintaining a good credit score, this means that they are in good financial health and they can go out and borrow more... If you know you have a problem keeping credit cards without overspending, this is one area where it is wise to consider whether your focus should be on your credit score or on your spending habits...
You are probably quite skilled at justifying little emergency expenses... If you are not entirely maxed out, congratulations, but pretend that you are.
Schadenfreude, Baby! is a hilarious light read for anyone who appreciates a little sarcasm, turning of the tables, or other laughs. The word "schadenfreude" is actually German, and means "to take pleasure in another's sorrows or downfalls." There is no English correlation to this word, so we simply stole the German word and made it our own. Schadenfreude, Baby! is a collection of short stories (usually only a paragraph or so) about someone who did something stupid, mean, or less-than-legal and then got his comeuppance in a humorous way - well, humorous for us, at least.Before Broke is Beautiful was published, this blog was Schadenfreude themed. I created it to talk about this book. So if you think Schadenfreude is fun, go back in the archives.
Consumption is what we do, and, no matter how often it is demonstrated to be unsatisfying, we go on believing in it. No American Administration has ever seriously considered a yardstick for success other than the G.N.P. Our economists point to the long-term stagnation of the Japanese economy as though it were an index of discomfort and unhappiness, despite the fact that the Japanese live better in almost all ways than nearly ninety-nine per cent of the people on the planet. My parents were two educated (Harvard, Regis) members of blue-collar families. I noticed early that their view of success had not made them happy, while the siblings they had “left behind” were quite merry.-Thomas McGuane, The New Yorker
DAVID GREGORY: Here's the reality, Maria Bartiromo. You look at the favorability of Wall Street firms still very negative, 42% on the negative side in our latest poll. As I talk to CEOs this week and bankers, they say, "Look, one of the issues is we have to keep so much capital in reserve now, there's not enough capital to invest. That ultimately hurts economic growth. We're not able to make as much money, make as many deals." And we have tremendous income inequality five years later. The cover of Time Magazine: Did Wall Street Win in All of This?
MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah, you mention a very important point. I agree with all that has been said. On the capital front, capital has doubled. Liquidity has doubled or tripled. I think the industry is in much better shape. We need to get beyond the conversation of "Is Wall Street evil? Are the bankers evil and causing pain?" and toward the conversation of, "How do you create sustainable economic growth?" That will answer the issue of inequality. Because with growth comes jobs. So we need to come together and figure out how businesses, banks included, are actually going to spend that money. Trillions of dollars on the balance sheet. You're right, they're sitting on it. But the idea that capital has been raised is absolutely a positive, not a negative, the fact that they have it in reserve.
FMR. REP. BARNEY FRANK: Hear, hear. Yeah.
DAVID GREGORY: Go ahead.
FMR TREASURY SEC HANK PAULSON: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I mean to me, that's what it's all about, sustainable economic growth.What was entirely missing was the follow up to Ms. Bartiromo's assertion that growth will automatically solve the problem of inequality. "With growth comes jobs" but the question is will these jobs be in the United States? Will these jobs pay a living wage? Will the people who perform these jobs benefit when their company sees increases in efficiency and profitability? I thought about this today when I read an article on Sociological Images that shows that the top 1% of income earners have captured a full 95% of all the real income growth during the 2009-2012 recovery from the Great Recession. So far, the growth in the economy has not been shared. It is not "tricking down." Only Barney Frank addressed this in a small way.
My wife grew up in what Western experts, not without condescension, call a “developing” country. The social life of her village revolved largely around a tree...
In the real world, public goods include clean air, clean water, street lights, emergency call service, disaster relief, food and drug safety, public parks and beaches, education, and dozens more, all of which citizens make use of every day and enjoy unthinkingly. Over 90 percent of U S citizens who deny ever receiving benefits from a government program actually participated in one or more government programs (Social Security, college loans, the child care tax credit and the like), as admirably documented by Suzanne Mettler of Cornell in her research on “the submerged state”.
Awareness of public goods, and their utility and value, is sorely lacking in public discourse. Instead, we hear about “free markets”, “free enterprise” and “free trade” and are told that “government is the problem, not the solution,” or that “government should be run like a business”. Such neoliberal vocabulary, derived from neoclassical economics, dominates public dialog and policy-making, suppresses the recognition of the ubiquity and value of public goods, undermines effective governance and ultimately reduces the supply of public goods.
Public goods are produced in a non-market environment, an environment inadequately addressed by mainstream economics. In the neoclassical model there is essentially no vocabulary for talking about the production of public goods, no theory of effective or efficient non-market production.
We need to revive and reframe the concept of public goods. This issue is not merely rhetorical. A concept of public goods is immensely important.
- The absence of a widely-held, constructive idea of public goods in public discourse denies citizens the ability to have an informed conversation, or to make informed decisions, about things that matter mightily to the quality of their lives and their communities.
- Its absence robs public policy makers, leaders and managers of the concept that is most central to their reason for being.
The report is based on in-depth interviews with debt counsellors/advisors from the community and voluntary sector, debt clients, employees and former employees recruited from the finance sector, including high street banks, and a range of other relevant stakeholders. It revealed that debt problems tend to be the result of unexpected life events, rather than irrational spending. Those who are in debt are no more likely to spend irrationally than the general public, but they are often on very low incomes, it said. It also identified that while education around debt management might be worthwhile, "it fails to address the problems of incomes and standards of living which often drive the use and over use of personal credit". It said "a deeply problematic culture of irresponsible lending" has become widespread across the financial sector in recent years and includes practices of cold-calling customers in order to try to sell them credit, often under the guise of introducing services or assessing customers' needs.-On the report "Responsible individuals and irresponsible institutions? Mental Health and the UK credit industry" published by the University of Brighton
Do you know how to tie your shoe? Or do you just think you do but you’ve actually been screwing it up for decades like most people have?
This witty, light book takes a fresh spin on all the mistakes we make everyday that end up costing us big in our wallets, our health, our homes, and beyond. Topics covered are Yourself (appearance, skills, all things you), Your Home, Your Cooking, Your Money, Your Relationships & Family, and Your Health. This perfect combination of humor and wisdom entertains readers as they learn how to make their lives better by avoiding and remedying common screw-ups.