Poor Man’s Recession Bulletin
Your choice for usable information!
Inside this Issue:
· Changes in store for USPS
· 12-Month Storage Plan
· 9 Shocking Predictions
· 5 Ways to Cut the Cable Bill
· Super Market Guru-Save $$$
· Save on Lawyer Fees
I don’t want the cheese. I just
Want out of the trap! –The Mouse--Spanish Proverb
Government Spending Binge is keeping the economy alive…for now
The so-called "Great Recession" has left Americans depending on the government dole like never before.
Without record levels of welfare, unemployment and other government benefits as well as tax cuts last year, the income of U.S. households would have plunged by an astonishing $723 billion — more than four times the record $167 billion drop reported last month by the Commerce Department.
Moreover, for the first time since the Great Depression, Americans took more aid from the government than they paid in taxes. Ironically, the Senate voted not to send $250 to the elderly and veterans and disabled (who lost their Social Security COLA raise this year – the first time since 1975…guess the cost of living didn’t go up)!?
Resources You Can Use
Goldline Research offers a consumer database of top service providers located throughout the US in many areas (Credit & Debt Providers, Executive Search firms and more…) Search by zip code.
Recondition Batteries How-to
Whether you want a stand alone system, or grid tie (you still should have a backup), we want you to be prepared.
Did you know that you can actually recondition used batteries and bring them back to useable life, and best of all the process is really inexpensive.
You can Learn more about batteries and reconditioning batteries at the link below
An Introduction to Batteries and Battery Reconditioning http://www.reconditioningbattery.com/?hop=offgrid07
Avoid this scam
When you can’t make your monthly payments, don’t call one of those TV debt-consolidation firms – it will cost more in the end. Instead, seek out a non-profit credit counselor. Find one at:
Act now for college money…if you have a child entering college soon.
Get a jump on tuition savings by filling the free application for Federal Student Aid – applications are accepted through June but early submissions can help boost odds of getting the money. Go to ED.gov to locate FAFSA forms.
Find organic food fast and get it for less at area co-ops or farmers:
Inst for Justice Offers Assistance
Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is what a civil liberties law firm should be. As our nation's only libertarian public interest law firm, we engage in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government--like the right to earn an honest living, private property rights, and the right to free speech, especially in the areas of commercial and Internet speech. As Wired magazine said, the Institute for Justice “helps individuals subject to wacky government regulations.”
Simply put, we challenge the government when it stands in the way of people trying to earn an honest living, when it unconstitutionally takes away individuals' property, when bureaucrats instead of parents dictate the education of children, and when government stifles speech. We seek a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society.
Good information from the SuperMarket Guru
Phil Lempert was one of the pioneers of the new information media, founding SupermarketGuru.com in 1994. The website is now one of the leading food and health resources on the Internet, visited by more than 9 million people each year. SupermarketGuru.com offers thorough food ratings, analyzes trends in food marketing and retail, and features health advice, unique recipes, nutrition analysis, allergy alerts and many other resources to help consumers understand their food, health, lifestyle and shopping options.
Wholesale clubs grow as supermarkets slide
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A steady stream of shoppers looking for deals on necessities has helped wholesale club operators Costco Wholesale Corp. and BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. deliver profit gains while many of their grocery competitors struggle.
Costco and its smaller competitor, BJ's, both reported Wednesday that traffic, profit and sales trends improved at their stores during the quarter. More at:
6 ways supermarkets trick you to spend more money
Beware of the sneaky ways grocery stores spur spending, and follow our tips to outsmart the system.
1. ENTRANCE AREA
The trap: Stores internally refer to this as the “chill zone.” And with good reason: This spot primes shoppers with impulse buys like DVDs, bulk goods and holiday products that appeal to them emotionally, says Kit Yarrow, a psychology and marketing professor at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. It’s designed to make you consider buying, say, a carton of soda for an impromptu barbecue.
What to do: You might think your best bet is to put on blinders here, but that’ll come back to bite you later on in your shopping trip. Instead, let yourself linger and see these products for what they are: filler items that aren’t on your list. “If you pause now, you’re less likely to impulse-buy the item in the store later on,” says Art Markman, a cognitive science professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Get more tips at:
7 Genius Ways to Make Extra Cash Fast!
If you're in a money crunch (and who isn't?), you can do one of two things: Sulk or go out and earn some extra dough. We vote for the second. Here, inventive ways to line your purse with a little more green— and five things you should never scrimp on.
1. Sell stuff on eBay.Clothes, exercise gear, books, housewares — anything you've got lying around that's in decent shape can be put up for sale on eBay or another Internet auction site such as craigslist.org. Post decent digital photos of your items so browsers can really see what you're pawning off; credibility is key to making a sale. Also, ask that the buyer pay the shipping charges, not you.
2. Become a dog-walker or pet-sitter. Rates for walking a single pooch at a time run from $10 to $15 per half-hour. If you critter-sit at a client's house while they're at work or on vacation, you can make even more dough. Post ads for yourself at veterinarian offices and the Humane Society, and put signs up at dog runs to spread the word.
For the rest of the story, click here:
Unable to afford attorney…save a buck where you can!
In the age of the Internet, do-it-yourself divorces are not new. Couples download forms from online companies selling state-specific divorce papers for a fee. But online forms aren't officially approved by Michigan courts, and judges have to tell some couples to file the paperwork again.
At the Oakland County courthouse, couples are often referred to the law library, where a how-to manual on divorce, several inches thick, is handed out at least 15 times a day.
"This is the single most popular book in the library," said Laura Mancini, the county's library director.
For DIY legal kits, visit: http://legal.preferredconsumer.com/
From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100301/METRO/3010332/1409/rss36#ixzz0hDJ7SBE8
Cutting Your Cable TV Bill (eliminate it altogether)
As the media companies that own all the fabulous TV shows you adore continue to charge cable companies higher fees to broadcast their programs, cable companies then turn around and pass those costs along to you. As a matter of fact, the price of basic cable skyrocketed by 122% between 1995 and 2008, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). See 5 Ways to cut your bill at this site:
Proposed USPS Action Plan May Impact Ecommerce Sellers
The USPS published a plan on Tuesday to cope with a declining volume of mail, and it could have a significant impact on ecommerce. The USPS projected a $238 billion shortfall in 2020 due to "unprecedented" volume declines. A possible move to a 5-day delivery schedule and likely fee changes could mean that online sellers who currently use the U.S. Postal Service might have to change the way they do business to satisfy consumer expectations.
Postmaster General John E. Potter's plan, called "Ensuring a Viable Postal Service for America," includes cost cutting, increased productivity, and an array of legislative and regulatory changes that he said were necessary to maintain a viable United States Postal Service.
The self-supporting government enterprise said it projects mail volume to fall from 177 billion in 2009 to 150 billion in 2020. According to the report, "That represents a 37 percent decline in First-Class Mail alone. Revenue contributed by First-Class Mail will plummet from 51 percent today to about 35 percent in 2020."
The new plan calls for adjusting delivery days "to better reflect current mail volumes and customer habits." The USPS said survey data shows the public favors 5-day deliver over using taxpayer funds and other alternatives. The plan also calls for providing services at locations that are more convenient to customers, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, retail centers, and office supply stores: "Increase and enhance customer access through partnerships, self-service kiosks and a world-class Website."
The President of the 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) opposed the proposal in a statement on Tuesday. Fredric Rolando said, "I do not believe that weakening our commitment of six-day service to the public will enhance the long-term position of the Postal Service as a critical element in our nation's economic infrastructure. In view of the January report released by the postal Inspector General that showed that the USPS was overcharged by $75 billion for postal pension costs, Congress instead should take immediate steps to correct the error."
NOTE: A number of years ago I flew to Washington to give a speech and I sat next to a postal governor. She explained to me their biggest financial challenge were there huge pension obligations. One only needs to work for the USPS for 20 years to collect a full pension with benefits…nice gig compared to the private sector.
Link to more information on the USPS.com website.
Still another take on the healthcare reform debate…worth checking.
Do have distressed goods that you need to convert to cash; excess capacity, overstock items, seconds, etc? Email with a description, location, quantity, etc. We may be able to dispose of them for you via private sale, online auction or other means…email@example.com
Building a 12-Month Stockpile
Where I store it:
In my basement and pantry – there is nothing but dishes in my kitchen cabinets. I don’t like clutter, and I use lots of Tupperware items to store non-perishables in my pantry and to help organize.
What got me started:
Since we farm we never have a regular income. Most people have a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly paycheck; we do not. At certain times of the year it’s all going out. Our income comes in huge chunks at different times of the year. For that reason when the first of the year hits (or a large chunk of income comes in), it’s time to stock up. I usually buy a year’s supply, if it’s something that will keep. We’re 10 miles from the nearest store, and I don’t like running to the store for one item to fix a meal. I like being able to get everything I need from the pantry and freezer. We buy milk and bread once or twice a week.
What I stockpile:
I buy a years supply (Plus one or two extra depending on the item) of shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper and paper towels, deoderant, laundry detergent and softener, dishwashing detergent, vacuum sealer rolls, trash bags, vacuum cleaner bags etc., and other non perishables such as canned goods, and baking items.
More at: http://frugalliving.about.com/u/sty/grocerysavings/Stockpile_Pictures/A-12-Month-Stockpile.htm
I do not participate in any sport with
Ambulances at the bottom of the hill!--Erma Bombeck
Nine Shocking New Predictions for 2010-2012
With Martin Weiss, Richard Mogey and Monty Agarwal
Martin Weiss: The forecasts we made last year are striking at an accelerating pace, as three new and dangerous crises have raised their heads:
First, the White House has announced federal deficits that are far worse than any prior estimates — $1.6 trillion for 2010 ... $1.3 trillion for 2011 ... and continuing massive deficits for the entire decade.
This is already sending shock waves of fear throughout the globe. It has prompted Moody's to issue a stern warning about America's credit rating. And it's raising the specter of a global collapse in long-term sovereign debt. In a moment, we'll take a look at the enormous implications this has for your finances and investments.
Second, global investors are attacking. They're scanning the globe for the weakest links — the countries with the biggest deficits — and they're dumping that country's assets. First, they attacked Greece. Then they attacked Portugal and Spain.
Inevitably, they will also unleash their fury on the one country in the world with the biggest deficits of all: The United States of America. And in a moment, we'll see how these attacks now threaten every dollar you have saved and invested.
Third, we have an unprecedented crisis of confidence among U.S. taxpayers and investors. For the first time in our lives, millions of U.S. citizens are taking to the streets in protest — openly rebelling against Washington! Millions of Americans are fed up with bungling politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers.
For more information and archived issues, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com
“It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion whatever the state needs to do.”—Joseph Geobbels
Society performs for itself almost
Everything ascribed to government” –Thomas Paine
U.S. Deficit: Higher Taxes Needed to Cut Rising Debt
Never mind about mortgaging the future. By running up a monster deficit as it struggles to keep the economy growing, the Obama Administration is setting the stage for sharply higher taxes down the road.
Of course, it's not an absolute certainty. The easier option is even more quantitative easing - a euphemism for printing money, which is a dirty phrase economists never like to use. This would devalue the country's currency and sovereign debt, triggering a cycle of hyperinflation of the likes the U.S. has never seen.
Higher taxes are coming soon, however - and they will hurt. By some estimates, the tax burden on Americans could double before the end of this decade. The only question is: What form will these new taxes take?
As Washington ponders its taxation options, it might also wish to cast its gaze toward the NYSE and Nasdaq, whose companies add very little to the public till. In fact, their contribution as a percentage of GDP ranks in the bottom quartile among OECD nations' figures.
Americans will get their butt kicked even more through…
Stealth Taxation-Till Debt Do Us Part!
Better than any thief known to history, our government steals your money and most of the time, you don’t even notice. This is the time of year when we tackle our horrendous income tax paperwork; yet, few of us realize how the government fleeces us everyday.
If you ever travel do you ever notice the ‘hidden’ taxes on your car rental invoice, your hotel bill, your taxi ride? Have you ever noticed your phone bill? The government tacks on all kinds of stupid fees such as a deaf relay charge, excise tax, state gross receipts tax, Emergency 911 fee, state fees and so on. A $20 monthly bill becomes $35! Nebraska alone tacks on 25% to your cell phone bill.
You also pay similar government fees for heat and A/C, water bill, electric bill and more.
Your employer pays a ton of taxes you may not be aware of either in the form of various payroll taxes. About 37% of federal taxes are hidden which in turn means lower wages and reduced business investment (aka: jobs).
About 40% of your liquor and wine is a tax, more than $1.25 of taxes is tacked onto a package of cigarettes, there’s an ‘entertainment tax’ placed on tickets to theme parks and so on. It’s a never-ending stream of theft and deception. Coming inflation will make your money worth less and is another form of hidden taxation… no wonder the Tea Party is growing in popularity.
Then politicians turn around and spend billions on various pork packages, which seldom create any good for the average person. I don’t know whatever happened to our Founding Fathers concept of a “limited government,” but it’s pretty certain neither Republicans or Democrats seem to recall that notion! These same party leaders, have for the past 30 years, left our country out of touch, out of reach and out of money in terms of remaining the world’s policeman and dangerously in hock to foreign governments…all of which will haunt us.
I like Congressman Paul Ryan’s (Wisc) plan… has a nicely targeted sense of humor. For those who can’t bear to part with today’s elephantine tax code, he leaves it in place, and anyone who loves it can still use it. For the rest of us: Single filers would pay 10% on income up to $50,000 ($100,000 for joint filers) and 25% thereafter, with a generous standard deduction and personal exemption ($39,000 for a family of four). That’s it. No loopholes, deductions, credits or exclusions. Fill out the postcard and mail it in.
That’s my two cents…what’s yours?
Yours for better living,
Bruce “The even poorer, Poor Man”