Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. – Albert Einstein
Why Are so Many American Businesses Failing?
There isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t read about the demise and/or closing of retail stores such as Macy’s Radio Shack, Sears, K-Mart, Walmart and so on. Brick and Mortar stores are expensive to operate and consumers have adjusted to shopping online whether through Amazon and eBay and other outlets.
Amazon has such strength that it's been posing a threat to brick-and-mortar retailers including major chain stores for several years now.
It is an unfortunate fact that entrepreneurism in America has been heading south for more than a decade. We’re now ranked somewhere around 13 internationally with Hong Kong and New Zealand beating us. Starting a business in America just isn’t easy…even opening a lemonade stand is illegal without a permit in many places such as Overton, TX where officials closed down a young girl’s stand until she got an expensive health permit!
Part of the reason for our decline is our penchant for overregulation. Red tape at the federal, state and local level is strangling small business, our traditional job growth engine. We also have a high level of lethargy among various business categories.
Today’s America, though, is much different. Due to bad monetary policies, exorbitant taxes and a severely anti-business regulatory environment, there’s very little incentive for anyone to take the risk of providing value to his or her fellow human beings.
“Without the state to make meeting their basic needs unnecessarily expensive,” Gary Chartier writes on FEE.org, “poor people would have more disposable income and would be more economically secure.”
On top of that, the poor are forced to pay taxes. They pay the payroll tax to support the nearly-bankrupted Social Security and Medicare. They pay sales tax, property taxes (through rent), and gas tax. Even to the middle-class, these taxes are far more than negligible. To the poor, they are disastrous.
Also, not to mention, government has quietly eroded the value of our currency through control of the monetary system. Our dollar has lost over 90% of its value in the past century. And, of course, the poor are hit the hardest by rising costs on consumer goods as a result.
Moreover, due to our politicians' vast inability to spend less than it collects in taxes, the United States is living on borrowed money. Which, inevitably, lowers the standard of living for the poor and middle class.” [Ed note” Just since I was born the USA went from being the most prosperous nation to the most indebted nation].
The poster child for this nonsense is Obamacare which contains 20,000 pages and 13,000 new regulations for 2016! Entrepreneurship is being strangled by the very people who claim to create new jobs.
In the past we’ve written about the greed of Goodwill executives. There was also a report on 60 Minutes how this “charity” is paying its top honchos six figures while paying handicapped workers as little as 50 cents an hour. Locally, retail customers are being shortchanged and bypassed because the better quality merchandise that is donated is being sold online via eBay.
Meanwhile, in AZ, NV, TX, and CO a new thrift store chain called Epic is trouncing Goodwill while driving 16% of consumers’ away from traditional retailers and they’re anticipating massive growth because they’re undercutting the prices of Goodwill [which has gotten mighty pricey].
Here’s another example of a poorly run industry… most of us know the newspaper business is on its death bed. Fewer Americans read or get their news from newspapers [or from television]. In 1999 I and several of my colleagues struck out on a mission to convince newspapers to adopt websites into their media mix.
At the time I’m surprised we weren’t burned at the stake. The reaction to our suggestion was that we were committing heresy! Obviously, today most newspapers have websites. Indeed, my wife reads her hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania via the web.
I created a niche profit center connecting college students with the 50 and older senior citizen [called My Personal Gopher] which was ideal for the greater Phoenix, AZ valley as it has a higher than average number of colleges and seniors. The newspaper association in Arizona states that it was seeking alternative niche profit centers for its members so I made an appointment to see them at the start of the year and pitched my idea.
Two months later and three follow-ups and I’ve not heard a peep. Now mind you, I had my graphic artist create a logo and we reserved several domain names and had the concept reviewed by another entrepreneur [think Shark Tank] beforehand.
Obviously the executive director of this association has the business acumen and manners of a second grader [hell, she didn’t even thank us for the gourmet chocolates we brought] but this is indicative of how many organizations seem to operate today. It’s a challenge to even get a return phone call or email from business people today.
I’m no stranger or amateur to the business world…
At one point in my life I won the Presidents’ Award for Supporter of Entrepreneurs and was an SBA volunteer counselor for startup firms, a speaker and board member at a popular Entrepreneurship Conference in Cleveland, OH and I have been profiled in 100s of business publications including: Entrepreneur, the Wall Street Journal, In-Business, Venture Magazine and others.
People are always telling me that schools have worked hard to ‘dummy down’ their students…Perhaps they’ve succeeded!
Below you’ll find some useful resources to share:
Financial Sites to Share with Your Better Half
>>Wife.org Women’s Inst. For Financial Education is a trove of information on everything from tips on investing to advice on retirement all geared to helping women become financially independent.
>>GoGirlFinance.com Women helping women could be the mantra of this site, where mostly female financial planners give advice on everything from negotiating salaries to budgeting to planning for the future.
s Amazon Prime Pantry a Good Deal?
Does Amazon Prime save you money? We put it to the test
Does Amazon Prime save you money? We put it to the test
An article called "16 Things Advisers Should Know About Women and Retirement." It's written for human resource professionals, but any woman who's thinking about retirement will find the data interesting. The data shows that women's workplaces and life experiences are different. Knowing this could help them better prepare for the future. So don't count on others to make your financial future secure. Take four minutes to read the article.
Yours for better living,
Bruce ‘the Poor Man’
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