Bruce’s Poor Man Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources
In this issue:
Beat a traffic ticket
Favorite hiding spots for cash, etc.
10 Green moves to save cash & the planet
Guest editorial from Mort Z-America's 'Public Servants'
Ethan Harris, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist says of the recovery: “We were waiting for the second stage of the rocket, and it just fizzled out” ...
Top 10 “industries” which will never come back…
The Wall Street Journal featured a story this week announcing which industries will never recover and at the top of the list were city and state government workers. The Poor Man has always stated the “G” in government stood for two things - Gouge the citizen and Growth Industry.
We’ve reported several times that government workers make more than private sector employees for some time now and many studies have verified this…but “government” was never supposed to be an industry!
With the exception of Hamilton, our founding fathers warned us repeatedly about the central government becoming too strong. Of course, leftists, socialists and other democrats have long ignored that and in many cases, so have the republicans. Both parties have proven themselves a danger to the national trust and interest and have imperiled our nation. The feds have routinely ignored the Constitution or have bent it to suit their purposes and few objected to these traitorous actions and now we’re all paying the price for their greed and folly.
Local government too have grown beyond its responsibility and cost communities dearly. If you follow us on Facebook you have seen our reports on local government folly such as the one community which fined a resident $5000 for growing too many vegetables on his 10 acres! What arrogance - these local politicos need to be tarred & feathered.
Also, as we reported at the beginning of the year, the feds will be targeting your retirement accounts soon to cover their debts (not our debt).
Standard and Poor's, a top rater of debt instruments, issued a statement in August “that Congress must act soon to control its spending in order to protect the government's so-called "AAA-rating" status. If the U.S is downgraded to a "AA" credit rating, attracting bond buyers will be an even dicier proposition.”
The London-based office of Morgan Stanley flashed a warning on August 24 that government debt defaults are all but inevitable…
"The sovereign debt crisis is global, and is not over," noted a top Stanley Morgan official. While Stanley Morgan soft-peddled Uncle Scam's financial dilemma, the warning was clearly aimed at the United States Congress and the Obama Administration. "We don't think these political decisions on tackling the public finances can be put off forever," their spokesman said sheepishly.
In concert with the Labor and Treasury Departments' joint initiative on retirement nationalization, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-MN) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced legislation on August 5. Their bill, S. 3760, would impose mandatory IRAs on the employees of most companies in America, requiring them to deposit 3% of employee earnings into government-approved "investments" unless those employees specifically opt out. (And their wages would be automatically sunk into "principal preservation investments," which is French for government bonds.)
On the table is the subject of new regulations governing how 401(k) and IRA fund managers and account holders invest their funds, with bureaucrats searching for ways to "encourage" or outright mandate purchase of government bonds or annuities (fixed-income instruments which hold government bonds).
Meanwhile, it is anticipated the threat of revoking tax-advantages of 401(k)s and IRAs will be used as a tool to impose the potential new rules.
Wall Street Journal pulled no punches this morning. It said: “Hopes of a U.S.-led recovery have faded as American consumers retrench. Bursts of growth in Japan and Germany are waning or expected to do so. China and other big developing nations are still growing strongly, but at a slower rate than they were not long ago.”
Help keep your septic system fresh by flushing a cup of baking soda down the toilet ever so often
...we also put a few small packets of baking yeast down too.
Favorite Hiding Spots for Cash
WalletPop recently did a story about favorite places folks hid there money…usually from a significant other vs. burglar. In our Poor Man’s Guide to Homestead Protection we have an entire PDF devoted to that as compiled by the DEA & other government snoops and I won’t tell you where we hide our millions but…here are a few of the favorites.
Inside fake or real potted plants
In the toilet paper roll - the spare one most folks put on the tank
Inside the Tampon box - guys gotta love that one as we’d never think of it!
Inside old purses hanging in the closet
My favorite…inside fake PVC plumbing pipes set up to look like the real deal
Actually, using PVC pipe to store foodstocks, ammo, cash, etc and bury them on your property isn’t a bad idea as most often it will fool metal detectors and offers good, long-lasting protection from the elements.
Road sign seen while entering the nation’s capitol “Welcome to Washington DC -’damn the citizen’
The number of unique visitors (shoppers) to eBay have dropped from this
time last year.
Let's look at the numbers.
In July 2009, there were 33.7 million listings on eBay. (source: medved)
In July 2010, there were 133 million listings on eBay .
In July 2009, there were 73 million unique visitors on eBay (source: compete)
In July 2010, there were 68 million unique visitors on eBay
>>>Find a Kennel Fast if you're leaving for a quick trip and are unable to find someone to watch your pet at:
If you're worried about the environment, here are 10 "green" moves you can make that also have a payback—they'll help the earth and your wallet.
1. Stop the energy leaks from your home. Just over a fifth of U.S. energy consumption happens at people's homes, says the Department of Energy. That costs the average homeowner $2,400 a year. Half of that goes to heating and cooling, much of which is pure waste. Insulate ceilings and walls. Seal cracks and gaps. "Often people have so many small leaks around the home that it's the equivalent of having a three-foot by three-foot window wide open," says Kateri Callahan, president of the Washington-based nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy. More at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703431604575468132402883368.html?mod=WSJ_PersonalFinance_PF5
Store brands vs. name brands
In our latest taste-off, store-brand foods were often at least as good
Any smart supermarket shopper knows that buying store-brand products instead of big names can save big bucks. In our latest price study, filling a shopping cart with store brands saved us an average of 30 percent. If you spend $100 a week on groceries, those savings add up to more than $1,500 a year. Source: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/october/shopping/store-brands-vs-name-brands/overview/index.htm
This Week’s Video Clips (something I include periodically. Our PM videos have already received more than 1200 views)!
Gerald Celente’s prediction-Greece was the canary in the economic mineshaft; the bubble is bursting
Cute song about our leaders in Washington-When you’re holding the hammer, everything looks like a nail
As you probably already know, Liberty.com recently finished building a state-of-the-art, high-definition online TV studio in our Las Vegas headquarters.
We're currently in the process of developing five different channels of content, and we've partnered with TeaPartyHD.com to feed their content through our sites as well.
Remember when Ronald Reagan was president, we also had Bob Hope and Johnny Cash still with us...
Now we have Obama... and -no Hope- and -no Cash-!
Tips for beating a traffic ticket…
Government at every level is desperate for your cash and are stepping up enforcement of what I’ve always called “create-a-crime” rules in order to collect more cash-fines are now at abnormally high rates and no longer fit the ‘crime.’
If you do get pulled over, remember these tips:
Don't admit guilt. It's the police officer's duty to tell you what you did wrong. If he asks a question like, "Do you know how fast you were going?" he's only giving you rope with which to hang yourself. Instead, simply state that you believe you were driving safely.
Be polite and cooperative. Don't start antagonizing the officer. If he questions you, don't be sarcastic or condescending. Police have tremendous discretion, and being polite may result in you being cut some slack. If you end up in traffic court, testimony that you were belligerent won't earn you any sympathy from the judge either. Just remember that you have to walk a thin line. Be courteous but brief, not volunteering any information unnecessarily. Generally, keep your mouth shut and let the officer do the talking.
You Can Beat the Traffic Nannies
If you're given a ticket, you have a right to defend yourself in a courtroom. Most people opt to avoid the hassle and simply pay the ticket, which is exactly what the greedy town bureaucrats want to happen. If you have the time and think you have a case, take your ticket to court.
First, there is a reasonable chance the police officer won't show up in the first place. Cops are busy on their beats during the day and sometimes don't have time to attend traffic trials. If the officer is not present in court and you are, the ticket automatically gets dropped.
Most states technically view traffic infractions as criminal matters, rather than civil. This means that the burden of proof is higher – requiring your guilt to be established "beyond a reasonable doubt."
If the traffic violation is a civil matter in your jurisdiction, you are innocent until proven guilty by "a preponderance of the evidence." In either case, your goal is not necessarily to establish your total and undeniable innocence, but to show why the evidence presented against you is inaccurate, unreliable, or insufficient to establish your guilt.
Regardless of which standard of proof applies to your case, here are a few pointers:
Don't rely on your word alone. Against the word of a law enforcement officer, the judge will side against you virtually every time absent any documents, photographs, witnesses, or other evidence to corroborate your testimony.
Request a copy of the radar gun manual. Most speeding tickets are issued with help from a radar gun. Fortunately, these instruments are unreliable. Inside the manual will be a list of things that can cause inaccurate readings, such as wind and metal railings. Use this to further muddy the waters.
Check the speed written on the ticket. Sometimes the officer will write a lower speed on the ticket than the speed at which he clocked you. This is often done to compensate for faulty radar guns, which are sometimes calibrated too high. If you can credibly suggest the information on the ticket is inaccurate, you could win the case.
Consult with an attorney if you're confused about the law. Although the fine imposed by a traffic citation might be relatively small, the negative impact on your driving record and future insurance rates can be significant. Having a lawyer on your side improves your odds of defeating or reducing a costly ticket.
If you are convicted, attend driving school if it is presented as an option. While it may be a hassle, it could not only reduce the fine, but also save you hundreds of dollars in higher car insurance costs over time.
Avoid plastering your car with bumper stickers of any sort
Don't assume it's safe to follow a cop, especially if they're speeding
Don't hit the brakes when you see a cop; instead slow down naturally-keep an eye on traffic ahead of you for brake lights which often indicate a speed trap
For more information, check out the National Motorists Association (www.motorists.org). The NMA provides a directory of traffic attorneys and other valuable benefits. It will charge you $35 per year ($45 for your family) for membership.
Once upon a time, a college education in America was a one-way ticket to a high-paying job and a lofty socio-economic status. Part of its value derived from the fact that a college education was relatively rare. In 1950, only about 5% of all Americans held a bachelor's degree…now it’s a one-ticket to hefty debt and living at home again as the value of a degree is now questionable. Only 20% of graduate got a job offer last year.
America's public servants are now its masters
By Mort Zuckerman
There really are two Americas, but they are not captured by the standard class warfare speeches that dramatise the gulf between the rich and the poor. Of the new divisions, one is the gap between employed and unemployed that President Barack Obama seeks to close with yet another $50bn stimulus programme. Another is between workers in the private and public sectors. No guesses which are the more protected. A recent study by the Mayo Research Institute found that "private-sector workers were nearly three times more likely to be jobless than public- sector workers".
Political tension is bound to grow when jobs disappear faster in the private than the public sector, just as compensation in the former is squeezed more. There was a time when government work offered lower salaries than comparable jobs in the private sector, a difference for which the public sector compensated by providing more security and better benefits. No longer. These days, government employees are better off in almost every area: pay, benefits, time off and security, on top of working fewer hours. Public workers have become a privileged class - an elite who live better than their private-sector counterparts. Public servants have become the public's masters.
Take federal employees. For nine years in a row, they have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private-sector workers. In 2008, the average wage for 1.9m federal civilian workers was more than $79,000, against an average of about $50,000 for the nation's 108m private-sector workers, measured in full-time equivalents. Ninety per cent of government employees receive lifetime pension benefits versus 18 per cent of private employees. Public service employees continue to gain annual salary increases; they retire earlier with instant, guaranteed benefits paid for with the taxes of those very same private- sector workers.
Read the rest of this at our site under the Guest Column tab-PoorManSurvival.com
Where will you get your food in the event of a collapse?
A reader wrote to let me know he’s new to self sufficiency practices and lives in an apartment, has limited income, lots of debt…where does he begin?
Most folks will look to stockpiled food supplies initially in the event of a complete collapse and this will work well for many who have taken the time put aside dehydrated and canned foods…but that will typically last about a year for most as expiration dates and supplies will dwindle.
Of course, you can and should begin to look at growing a garden - even if it is a container garden and perhaps raise a few rabbits or chickens. Stockpile items you can barter with such first aid supplies, liquor and ammunition. But I always ask…
What would you do if your sole source of income dried up tomorrow?
Would you be prepared? Do you have a plan?
In these times, many income sources that were considered 'stable' in the old system will be at risk; this includes retirement pensions, investment income, salaries and wages, and small business profits.
For example, retirees living on company pensions could easily see their monthly stipends fall due to corporate bankruptcies. And while public pensions like Social Security are unlikely to change in the short-term, this broken system will undoubtedly see massive restructuring in the next decade.
Meanwhile, many small business owners and self-employed professionals may suffer reduced revenue as market conditions and consumer priorities shift; this has already happened to many businesses in the retail and real estate sectors.
For salaried workers, we live in a rather bizarre time when corporate profits are surging, yet revenue growth is lackluster. Companies are cutting back on expenses by reducing their headcounts and squeezing every ounce of productivity out of a smaller workforce.
Millions of people are now unemployed and without a backup plan. Politicians make empty speeches about hope and better times ahead, but they offer little more than hot air and higher deficits.
The thing is, there is a way out... self-reliance is the way to survive and …
At the end of the day, we only have ourselves to rely on, and our own livelihood and that of our families hinges on this fact. As such, it's critical to declare economic independence by seeking alternate sources of income.
In a down economy, it's not like all economic activity stops; unemployment may be 10%+, underemployment may be 20%+, but there is still 80% of the workforce that is getting paid and allocating their income towards purchases each and every month.
The critical difference is that their priorities have shifted. In general, people are no longer looking to spend their money on useless trinkets or expensive consumables. But they will gladly spend on the things that they actually need.
That’s it for now from that damnable citizen, the Poor Man!
Feel free to send your tips and suggestions to us at: PoorManSurvivor@yahoo.com
Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.