EppsNet Archive: Money

The War on Poverty is 50 Years Old

The New York Times has an update from McDowell County, West Virginia, on how the War on Poverty is going after 50 years . . . Of West Virginia’s 55 counties, McDowell has the lowest median household income, $22,000; the worst childhood obesity rate; and the highest teenage birthrate. It is also reeling from prescription drug abuse. The death rate from overdoses is more than eight times the national average. Of the 115 babies born in 2011 at Welch Community Hospital, over 40 had been exposed to drugs. . . . Many in McDowell County acknowledge that depending on government benefits has become a way of life, passed from generation to generation. Nearly 47 percent of personal income in the county is from Social Security, disability insurance, food stamps and other federal programs. . . . The poverty rate, 50 percent in 1960, declined – partly as a result of… Read more →

The Potato Chips Are Not Optional

A woman comes home from the grocery store with three bags of Lay’s Potato Chips . . . “These were on sale,” she says. “You buy three bags and each bag is $1.53. You know how much one bag is usually? $4.50. It’s like buying one bag and getting two bags free.” “How much would it cost if we bought no bags of potato chips?” someone asks. “That’s not an option.” Read more →

Get Rich Making Dumb Decisions

The people on the short side of the subprime mortgage market had gambled with the odds in their favor. The people on the other side — the entire financial system, essentially — had gambled with the odds against them. Up to this point, the story of the big short could not be simpler. What’s strange and complicated about it, however, is that pretty much all the important people on both sides of the gamble left the table rich. . . . The CEOs of every major Wall Street firm were also on the wrong end of the gamble. All of them, without exception, either ran their public corporations into bankruptcy or were saved from bankruptcy by the United States government. They all got rich, too. What are the odds that people will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can get… Read more →

Childish Economics

I have a very difficult time imagining the economic ‘theory’ that motivates proposals such as this one by Pres. Obama [to “streamline” the Fair Labor Standards Act so that more white-collar employees would be eligible for overtime pay]. The best that I can do is to imagine how a two-year-old child would respond if asked to propose a way to raise workers incomes. — Don Boudreaux Read more →

A Mega Millions Lottery Ticket is a Good Investment

Mega Millions uses 75 numbers for the first five selections and 15 numbers for the Mega ball. The number of unique combinations of five numbers selected from a pool of 75 is Multiply that times 15 possibilities for the Mega ball and the odds of winning come out to 1 in 258,890,850. BUT THE CURRENT MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT IS OVER $350 MILLION! Any time you can get 350 million to one odds on a 258 million to one bet, you’ve got to take it. Read more →

Spa Day at the Vet and Erica’s Departure

I dropped Lightning off at the vet for grooming . . . “Make it like a spa day for him,” I said. “With lots of pampering. Don’t just put him in the sink and soak him down like we do at home. Make it free pampering though, nothing that will cause extra charges to accrue. By the way, where’s Erica?” Erica is usually at the desk on weekends but today there was a new girl. The new girl, Lauren, said that Erica is moving to Arizona and won’t be working there anymore. “She will be greatly missed,” Lauren said. She sure will. People are insane when it comes to their pets and Erica was always extremely patient and attentive — extremely. I wish I had the kind of personality that makes people miss me when I go away but oh well . . . I guess I have other qualities.… Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, said this the other day: “Some of the monies that will come from that will go to other parts of the city too that connect in with that . . .” OK, that’s out of context and it doesn’t make any sense, but — “monies”?! “Hi, I’m Eric Garcetti. I have a dollar bill so I have a money. If you give me another dollar, I’ll have some monies.” No. You can have a dollar or a billion dollars. One word covers all the possibilities and that word is “money.” “Monies” is a word used by politicians and academians and other posturing pricks who’d like you to think that they’re doing the Lord’s work and not soiling their hands with anything as grubby as “money.” Read more →

Success is Not (All) About Money

But I think American liberals have also made the mistake of focusing too much on income and wealth as the measures of success. Every chart and graph we see about America’s increase in “inequality” is about either money, or the likelihood of getting money. Sure, disparities of wealth are distasteful. Sure, money is one thing that confers social status. But by focusing on it obsessively, I think liberals are helping to cement its paramount importance as the end-all and be-all of social outcomes. — Noah Smith Related links Redistribute wealth? No, redistribute respect. (noahpinionblog.blogspot.com) Read more →

Lottery Update

I did not win the $586 million. Will have to continue to get by on my wit and virtue . . . Read more →

Plans for My Lottery Winnings

The Mega Millions jackpot is up to $586 million. I bought two tickets at the gas station where I buy sodas every morning. “I hope I don’t have to split it,” I said to the guy. “I want the whole $500 million.” “What are you going to do with all that money?” he asked. “First of all, I’m going to buy a new cup for my sodas every morning, instead of bringing the old cups back in for the refill price.” “That’s it?” “I’ll also be a lot harder to get along with at the office. No more Mr. Nice Guy.” Read more →

A $15 Minimum Wage is Not Going to Help You

Fast Food Workers Will Strike On Thursday In L.A. : LAist Fast food workers staged a one-day strike for “living wages.” More specifically, they want the federal minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 an hour to $15. You want to make a living wage? I’ll tell you how to make a living wage. I’ve had a lot of jobs and this method has never failed me. Here it is: Before accepting a job offer, you always ask yourself, “Does this job pay enough for me to live on?” And if the answer is no, then you don’t take that job. If you want to earn $15 an hour, do what I do: get a job that pays $15 an hour. Who’s stopping you? If no one’s willing to pay you $15 an hour, it’s because the skills, intelligence and motivation that you bring to the table don’t allow you… Read more →

ObamaCare Winners and Losers

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama. Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law. Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four. . . . Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare. . . . “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t… Read more →

Gay Divorcee Wants $94,000 a Month

Jane Lynch’s ex wants $94,000 in monthly spousal support — MSN TV News You’ve gotta be careful what you wish for. We want to be able to marry our same-sex partners. We want to enjoy the blessings and sacraments of love just like straight people. O-kay . . . do you also want to pay $94,000 a month to your same-sex partner when things don’t work out? Back in the pre-gay-marriage era, Jane Lynch could have ended the relationship with a handshake and perhaps a modest gratuity if she felt like it. People don’t know when they’re well-off. Group A feels put upon in comparison to Group B, wants to be more like Group B, and doesn’t think about having to give up the advantages of NOT being like Group B. As Bobby Fischer used to say, “To get squares, you’ve got to give squares.” Everything’s a tradeoff. Read more →

Here is Your Wakeup Call, America: Detroit Just Went Bankrupt

Detroit used to be known as “the Paris of the midwest” – a city of wide streets, imposing buildings, and home to the great US auto industry. In 1960, it had the highest per capita income in the nation. But decades of decline, racial tension and corruption have brought the motor city to its knees. — The Guardian Highest per capita income in the nation! I did not know that. Anyway, Detroit filed for bankruptcy last week with debts of more than $18 billion. The city’s population has dropped from 2 million in 1950 to 700,000 today, as Detroiters have become fed up with decades of mismanagement and rising crime and poverty. Detroit’s murder rate is at a 40-year high, only a third of its ambulances are in working order, and nearly half its streetlights are broken. Citizens wait 58 minutes for the police to respond to calls, compared to… Read more →

An LSU Football Fan Reacts to the Cam Cameron Hiring

The Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved newly hired LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s three-year contract but not without faculty members voicing concerns. According to the terms, Cameron will receive $600,000 for the 2013 season, followed by $1.3 million and $1.5 million in the last two years of his contract. — NOLA.com LSU has faculty?! Donald McKinney, director of wind ensembles and conducting and associate professor in the school of music, said he was “disheartened” in LSU’s handling of the future. He said the morale has been low and hopes LSU would change to retain faculty. McKinney, who’s a newer faculty member, said he’s heading to another university at the end of the semester. . . . Nathan Crick, an associate professor in communication studies, echoed similar sentiments. Crick said he was sold false goods and now “it’s time to return them.” The professor said he’s leaving LSU… Read more →

This Is My House

Hi, everybody! Here’s a picture of me taking a nap on my porch. I know what you’re thinking: “Lightning, did you refinance to take advantage of the low interest rates?” HAHA . . . I OWN THIS PLACE FREE AND CLEAR! IT’S PAID OFF! — Lightning Read more →

Goals for Today

Stop one heart from breaking. Ease one life the aching or cool one pain. Or help one fainting robin unto his nest again. What’s the billing code for that? Read more →

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