Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
A digest of urban survival resources
In This Issue:
1. America’s deepening crisis AND a plan to fix it
2. US Uncut-program declares war on corporate tax cheats
3. The government attic – cool declassified documents
4. EcoBold – an opportunity to sell your green products
5. Find missing manuals – fast and free
“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom."
-- John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
Robber barons and Washington
It’s easy to become an anti-capitalist given what they teach in school and how Wall Street (with government assistance) managed to topple our economy. On one hand we learned in school how the ‘robber barons’ managed to build huge business empires using underhanded methods to trample their competitors (think of oil baron John Rockefeller)…much of this is simply not true.
Otherwise sensible people fall for this sham but I suggest any of them should read Ludwig von Mises’ book The Anti-Capitalist Mentality.
There is little question Wall Street barons have often entered into all too cozy relationships with Washington. Going back to the Clinton years and ever since, most Presidents have surrounded themselves with guys who have gotten wealthy by manipulating the tax laws in their favor, while ignoring workers.
Farm and oil subsidies are two that come to mind easily. Is there any reason we should be giving out billions in tax breaks and subsidies to oil companies?
Entrepreneurs like Rockefeller and Carnegie actually did more for their country than Washington with their funding of libraries, museums, symphonies and more. Professor Burton Folsom once did a study on the titans of American business and found there are two kinds of business people. One he calls ‘market entrepreneurs,’ those who grew wealthy because they improved people’s standards of living and supplied them with goods more inexpensively than their competitors.
The others he calls ‘political entrepreneurs.’ Those who amassed their fortunes due to their influence on government and gain of privilege or who they paid off in Washington to look the other way. That pretty much summarizes how those who packaged derivatives, shoddy mortgages and the like, managed to get rich while bankrupting their firms and duping the American public. One example I like to think of is the junk bond king, Michael Milken, who milked profitable companies dry while getting rid of employees.
Despite also being the head of a non-profit family charity, it was Wall Street pirates like Milken who gave capitalism a bad name. Learn more about Folsom at:
Any toothpaste will do according to the ADA so long as it has fluoride-No need for high priced brands
Poor Man’s ‘Betty Shocker’ Compendium of useful information
At BuildItSolar.com, engineer, invent or and author Gary Reysa presents do-it-yourself projects, experiments, downloadable books, articles and guides, passive solar home designs, and enjoyable, educational projects that you can do with your kids. You can learn how to do hundreds of energy saving projects - from changing a light bulb to building a solar home. You can join an experimental section for backyard inventors. And, you can see some Frugal Energy Saving Projects - a collection of ninety do-it-yourself projects that cost little and save a lot.
A Web site that helps you find restaurants to eat at. This one specializes in restaurants you can eat at for under $10.
All you do is type in your city, state or the zip code of where you want to eat. Then click on the Search button. It will search the database and generate a listing of restaurants where you can eat a meal for under $10!
This Web site is a handy tool whether you’re a local looking for a cheap meal or a tourist visiting a new city.
Find electronic copies of hundreds of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities and fun stuff and government bloopers, they're all here at:
Find missing manuals fast – Your first option is to head to the manufacturers website to do a search. If unsuccessful with this approach, you might find the manual you need at:
Find your missing pet with these helpful, free sites:
For a small fee you can register your pet at:
www.PetAmberAlert.com or LostMyDoggie.com
New subscriber Mike has a useful site and offers this deal to fellow subscribers…
I have May Day 3600 food bars for sale. I have 10 cases left of my last shipment. Free delivery in Wexford, Missaukee, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse and Antrim Counties for a case or more of the 3600 bars. May be a gas charge beyond these counties.
Go To: www.northernfort.com
I enjoy many of your insights, especially taxing politicians on their campaign contributions - very novel. Personally, I’d cut their pensions and make them contribute to their health care costs too. What the hell, most of them are wealthy. If we wanted to cut the deficit we should eliminate our current tax system and implement a flat rate for everyone, including corporations (no more free rides). I also like your idea of eliminating taxes to individuals on the first $25,000 of income. Our leaders have proven themselves insane as they trample our rights and spend us into bankruptcy. I know it’s easy to be a critic rather than offer constructive ideas for fixing our country - but YOU do. A second American Revolution should be initiated by the states who now cow tow to all federal demands. They have the power and people would support an effort of this nature. --Jeffrey D of Atlanta
The trend toward and eco-friendly lifestyle is always growing. People are beginning to care a little more about what is in their food, the ingredients in their moisturizer, and just how earth-friendly the products they buy really are. Individual sellers are popping up everywhere to help fill those needs, and Ecobold is giving them a place to sell those products.
Ecobold is a lot like a store. Although they do not sell any products of their own making, they help connect a variety of eco, natural, and organic sellers with people who are looking for those types of products. They also cut out the costs of a physical store by selling solely online. Anyone can surf in and find the products they need, and they help introduce customers to new products by featuring a daily discount.
Get free gardening advice by joining a gardening club. Add crushed eggshells to your compost. They make a good fertilizer and they keep snails, slugs and cutworms away.
The Nanny State Update…
According to the latest report on consumer prices from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
--A pound of sliced bacon now costs 10.5% more than it did just last year ...
--A pound of salted butter will run you 17.8% more ...
--And a pound of field-grown tomatoes are up a whopping 23.7% vs. last year!
In fact, the BLS says all six major categories of grocery items rose during just the last month ... with fresh veggies gaining 4.7% hot on the heels of a 6.7% jump in the prior month!
A lot of talk about what to cut in government budgets. Perhaps if corporations like GE paid their fair share, or anything for that matter, out national debt might not be in such bad shape. In England there is a group called UK Uncut, which is protesting austerity measures against the poor and elderly. If such a policy were implemented here, we’d gain another $100 Billion annually. There is now such a movement here. Learn more at: www.usuncut.org
Frugal gardeners are finding bags of potting soil, pots and more Free at their city dump
The Parting Shot
“America’s Middle Class Crisis: The Sobering Facts” -Associated Press
Is financial Armageddon upon us? See end for a real plan to save America.
There are 8.5 million people receiving unemployment insurance and over 40 million receiving food stamps.
>At the current pace of job creation, the economy won’t return to full employment until 2018.
>Middle-income jobs are disappearing from the economy. The share of middle-income jobs in the United States has fallen from 52% in 1980 to 42% in 2010.
>Middle-income jobs have been replaced by low-income jobs, which now make up 41% of total employment.
>17 million Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.
>Over the past year, nominal wages grew only 1.7% while all consumer prices, including food and energy, increased by 2.7%.
>Wages and salaries have fallen from 60% of personal income in 1980 to 51% in 2010. Government transfers have risen from 11.7% of personal income in 1980 to 18.4% in 2010, a post-war high.
Housing prices are predicted to fall another 8 percent in 2011. And the percentage of homeowners in negative-equity positions — with a home worth less than its mortgage — has rocketed to 28%, a new crisis high.
Zillow, a real estate analyst firm, now predicts prices will fall about 8% this year and says it no longer expects the market to bottom before 2012
These stats always make me wonder - Is the U.S. really likely to default on its debt? Or is it more likely that global investors will simply crash the treasury market first - or will what’s left of the middle class simply vanish!
The documentary film The Economics of Happiness takes a look at how the rise of consumerism since the 1950s has coincided with Americans' general loss of satisfaction with our lives. Watch the trailer at:
Saving the American Dream: The Heritage Plan to Fix the Debt, Cut Spending, and Restore Prosperity - finally, someone other than the Poor Man with a viable plan!
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