The joy of being a cheapskate…live well on less & enjoy it!
Scam-Free Work-From-Home Resources
· Write greeting cards with smaller firms such as Blue Mountain Arts and Oatmeal Studios – earn $10-$500 per verse or drawing. Get started by reviewing writers guidelines at SPS.com/help/greetingcardwritings.html or OatmealStudios.com
· Answer infomercial calls – good for nightowls. Check LiveOps.com (click on ‘Become an Agent’)
· Rating search engines & earn cash. Companies will pay you to search certain phrases and then review the text, Web pages and ads. Choose your own hours & make up to $25 per hour. Go to: LionBridges.com & click on Careers.
· Customer Service Rep at home. Visit HirePoint.com/athome
Other sites you might visit for advice and resources include:
Exchange your gift card for cash
You can sell those unused or unwanted gift cards (up to 85% of their value) at these sites:
From the interesting BootStrapBiz category.
Moms Wear Your Tees: We do internet advertising and website promotion through
social media marketing. Visit Scarlet’s site to learn more or to take advantage of her friendly, unique service.
The top five Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2009 are:
5. Neighbor sues woman for smoking in her own home;
4. Double-murderer sues to claim his victims' classic Chevy pickup;
3. Holocaust denier sues Auschwitz survivor, alleging memoir contains "fantastical tales;"
2. Tourist sues hotel, claiming swimming pool got daughter pregnant;
1. Illegal immigrants sue rancher who stopped them on his property at gunpoint and turned them over to the Border Patrol.
Links to the news stories about these lawsuits can be found at: http://facesoflawsuitabuse.org/polls-archive/.
ECONOMIC SCAMS & CONSUMER RESOURCES
· Employment: Bogus work-at-home job offers and phishing emails that appear to come from employers or job-listing services are some of the scams now targeting the unemployed. Avoid any job that requires you to pay money up front or involves sending money by Western Union or Moneygram. Use caution when posting your resume online and protect your personal information. Don’t click on links sent in e-mails. Ignore requests to do a "credit check" prior to being offered a job. Check out potential employers with the Better Business Bureau. Be suspicious of if an employer uses a common e-mail account such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or MSN instead of a corporate domain, or if the only provided contact information is a PO Box or a number that always goes to voicemail.
· Debt Relief: Be wary of offers to reduce your debt. Be skeptical of any business that asks for money up front and run from those who promise they can repair a bad credit report or that quickly recommend bankruptcy as a solution. If you’re looking for help, it’s important to understand the differences between debt consolidation programs, which may help you pay off your debt, and debt negotiation plans, which can be risky. The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau both provide helpful information about these programs.
· Housing: In this time of rising mortgage rates, desperate homeowners have been lured by offers of assistance – only to be cheated out of equity they’ve built up, tricked into transferring ownership of their home or stuck paying expensive fees for little or no help.
Stimulus Grants: Beware of companies that offer “free” advice on how to get government grants or a stimulus check. Contrary to claims found on many Web sites, the federal government does not award grants to help consumers pay general debt. Some of these Web sites are "phishing" sites designed to steal your personal information. Others enroll you in multiple paid programs. Never provide personal information to someone promising stimulus cash, they’re likely after your money or your identity.
Information about legitimate government grants is available at http://wwwpoormansurvival.com
CREDIT COUNSELING RESOURCES
· The U.S. Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program Web site: Provides a list of government-approved credit counseling agencies.
· The National Foundation for Consumer Counseling, online or 1-800-388-2227: Provides a list of member agencies.
· Federal Trade Commission’s “Knee Deep in Debt ” publication: Advice for those overwhelmed by debt. www.ftc.gov
· Grants & other sites: www.grants.gov, www.studentaid.ed.gov, www.govbenefits.gov and www.sba.gov.
· Federal Recovery Web site: Official federal site for information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
News Round Up
National Tea Party Convention, scheduled for February 4th-6th, 2010,
includes a special keynote by former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin and
appearances of Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Angela McGlowan,
Phil Valentine, Judge Roy Moore and many more.
Fed posts record profit of $46.1B for last year
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve made a record profit of $46.1 billion last year, reflecting money made off its extraordinary efforts to rescue the country from the worst economic and financial crisis since the 1930s, the central bank announced Tuesday.
The windfall gets turned over to the Treasury Department.
It marks the biggest profit on record dating back to 1914 when the Fed was created. The previous record profit -- of $34.6 billion -- was registered in 2007. In 2008, the Fed reported a profit of $31.7 billion.
Report: Freedom in decline for 4th straight year
WASHINGTON – The crackdown in Iran in 2009 highlighted a continuing decline in freedom and rights for the fourth consecutive year, the democracy watchdog group Freedom House reported Tuesday.
The Middle East remained the most repressive region in the world and Africa sustained the most significant decline, the report said after examining political and civil rights in 194 countries and 14 territories.
Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House, cited attacks on front-line democracy activists, including what she said was brutal repression on the streets of Iran. She also pointed to sweeping detention in China of "Charter 08" advocates of expanding freedom and an end to Communist party dominance, as well as the murders of journalists and human rights activists in Russia.
Credit Cards still getting last licks in against consumers before new law takes place in February.
This week’s contrarian political perspective…
I’m a bit mystified. How can Wall Street and banks be in the ‘recovery’ process while so many Americans remain out of work? Emergency filings for extended unemployment benefits surged 43% last week…government make-work programs haven’t been very successful in propping up the economy. Since December of 2007, eight million jobs have vanished. Despite President Obama’s promise that 3.5 million new jobs would result from his stimulus plan, small businesses, the engine which really drives the economy, has continued its brakes on hiring…mainly out of fear of what is coming down the pike!
It’s not exactly a surprise but stimulus money has failed to do what is was supposed to do and is probably the worst investment the government has ever made…bankers are still laughing over being in the Congressional “hot seat” over bonuses and they (bankers) have still not stepped up lending to small businesses – the engine which drives employment.
Use of these public funds for public jobs hasn’t really made a dent in the US joblessness picture either. Can you believe it?
Instead of “Hope & Change,” it seems we’re getting more government incompetence.
We are suffering chronic high unemployment despite the greatest government stimulus of all time. The U.S. government has already poured in amounts equivalent to at least 30 percent of GDP. That's over three times more than the stimulus in the first years of the Great Depression ... and TEN times more than the average stimulus during eight U.S. recessions following World War II.
The real unemployment rate in the US stands at about 21.2%
No jobs, means more problems for Social Security. The net inflow into the system has turned negative in recent months…without changes in the system, the fund will run dry soon.
A new job often means a pay cut…
Unemployed for nearly a year, David Becker was relieved to land a new job in information technology last summer.
The offer carried a price, though: It was a lower-rung job than the one Becker had lost. He had to uproot his family from Wisconsin to Nevada. And, like many formerly jobless people who find work these days, Becker is now paid far less than before — $25,000 less.
It's one of the bleak realities of the economic recovery: Even as more employers are starting to hire, the new jobs typically pay less than the ones that were lost.
In the government's data, a job is a job. More jobs point to a growing economy. But to people who used to earn $60,000, a new $40,000 job means they'll spend less — and contribute less to the recovery.
Since the early 1990s, jobs have been slower to recover from recession. After the 2001 downturn ended, job losses continued for nearly two years. It wasn't until 2005 that the job count returned to its prerecession high.
Productivity-enhancing technology and competition from low-wage countries like China made more job losses permanent. And it took time for new jobs to be created and for workers to acquire the skills needed to do them. In the wake of a far deeper recession, creating new jobs and retraining workers to do them could take even longer.
My Politically Incorrect Commentary
Traitors Among Us-Part II. The Public Trust be Damned!
Thieves in High Places!
Two weeks ago I wrote about the anti-American laws and policies that many US Presidents have followed or allowed, George Bush being the worst offender. Pres. Clinton was a close second with his allowance of the transfer of military technology to the Chinese and for the elimination of the law, which allowed Wall Street to become a casino.
Many Congressional members have sold us out too and have plundered the American trust. Many, in the mid-1960s even voted against the Freedom of Information Act and Pres. Johnson had to be dragged kicking and screaming to sign the bill…our thanks to the relentless leadership of Congressman John Moss for single handedly pushing this bill through Congress.
FOIA requests, for the most part, have to rely on court orders to obtain information. The Bush administration subverted FOIA in every way possible to keep his actions secret from the press and public. His Attorney General, John Ashcroft, even went so far as to send a memo to all federal agencies urging them to bring every excuse possible they could think of to turn down such requests.
In 2006, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, received a sentence of eight years in prison -- the longest sentence ever imposed on a member of Congress for his taking of substantial bribes from defense contractors ($2.4 million). He’s not alone, Duncan Hunter of CA also got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. There are many more examples I’d like to share, but space doesn’t permit it.
Buying Congressional influence has become an art form and too many of our so-called representatives are simply bought and paid for by lobbyists. There is a very fine line between campaign contributions and outright bribes, something which is routine in Washington. This is why it is imperative to have term limits.
The thieves from Wall Street who scuttled the economy through their greed and shady practices should be counted among those who are traitors to America too.
These bribes affect both parties and one of the reasons why I say you cannot trust either party to perform for the public good. To learn more about lobbyists, go to:
In September 2005, Tom DeLay was forced to resign as majority leader of the House when he was indicted for channeling contributions to his friends in Texas. When you have more than 35,000 lobbyists in Washington (about 65 for every member of Congress), it’s no wonder there is so much corruption. I’m ashamed of those who have violated the public trust while “serving” the American public. They’re not lawmakers, as the press terms them, they’re lawbreakers!
That’s it for this week’s edition of the Poor Man Bulletin
If you’d like to help those victims in Haiti, I might suggest a contribution to the Red Cross at: http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=a8712721ea326210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
My New Year’s goal is to ween myself off the Frito-Lay diet…tasty, but too much spoileth my figure!
Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Contrarian Poor Man”