Keep Our Service Free-Donate

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Furloughed Federal Employees are Still Paid More Than You


Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


 

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

 


Furloughed Federal Employees are Still Paid More Than You

by Ryan McMaken

 

Whether it's CNBC, or The New York Times, or NPR, the mainstream media is clearly committed to using the current partial government shutdown to portray federal workers as beleaguered victims of the American political system.

But, in all cases I've encountered, these reports neglect to mention that on average, civilian federal workers make 17 percent more than similar workers in the private sector, according to a 2017-2018 report by the Congressional Budget Office. That's total compensation, so we're including both wages and benefits.

Considering that a year is 52 weeks long, an average federal worker would need to be completely without any income for nearly 9 weeks in order to just be reduced to equal standing with a similar private-sector worker. (17 percent of 52 weeks is 8.84 weeks.)

 


As of this writing, the current shutdown has only lasted three weeks, which means all those furloughed workers profiled in national news stories are likely still coming out ahead of their private-sector colleagues. Moreover, given that both Trump and Congress have committed to pay furloughed workers back pay, it's a safe bet that federal workers will continue to enjoy a healthy advantage over private-sector workers when it comes to compensation.

Health benefits for most federal workers will also continue without interruption through the shutdown, as noted by NPR.

The Federal-Pay Advantage Is Larger for Lower-Income Employees

The disparity between private-sector work and federal jobs is largest at the lower end of the education scale.

According to the CBO's report:

Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned 34 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.

That's just wages. They get far more in terms of benefits like healthcare and vacation time:

Average benefits were 93 percent higher for federal employees with no more than a high school education than for their private-sector counterparts.

The benefits for workers with a bachelor's degree are 52 percent higher for federal workers than for their private-sector counterparts. Wages for federal workers in this group, however, are only five percent higher.

Only when we look at federal workers with PhDs and other advanced degrees, do we find some federal workers who actually make less than similar workers in the private sector. Wages among highly-educated federal employees were 24 percent less than in the private sector, according to the report. Benefits remained "about the same."

So, most federal employees — especially the ones with less education — have a long way to go before facing the economic realities that private-sector employees — i.e., the net taxpayers — face on a daily basis.

Crowding Out Private Employment

Not content with manufacturing sympathy for federal workers, however, news organizations have also pointed to a decline in spending by federal employees as damaging to the economy.

A typical passage is one like this one from a CNBC article:

If the government shutdown lasts another two weeks, the total cost to the U.S. economy would exceed the price of building the proposed border wall.

Without federal spending, we're told, GDP will suffer:

We estimated that this shutdown could shave approximately $1.2 billion off real GDP in the quarter for each week that part of the government is closed.

That might sound like a big number (to some people unfamiliar with federal finances), but it's helpful to keep in mind that federal workers make up only 1.5 percent of the U.S. workforce. And not all of those are furloughed.

Moreover, since furloughed workers can eventually expect back pay, any bust in GDP right now will be followed by a boom in spending once the back pay is received.

The real cost to the private sector is in the form of industries that are paralyzed as a result of understaffed federal regulatory agencies. (As mentioned in this article about craft beer.)

When the private sector isn't allowed to function without regular certification and inspection from federal agents, that means shutdowns prevent the private sector from functioning. This, of course, isn't an argument for more government spending. It's an argument against a vast federal regulatory apparatus that can't be counted on to perform the bare minimum of tasks it has promised to perform.

All of this is just a good reminder that these jobs should never have been federal jobs in the first place. After all, many of these positions are already by definition "non-essential," and from the national parks to the airports to the FBI, the federal workers are doing jobs that could easily be taken over by state and local authorities, or by the private sector.

Were that the case, no nationwide, system-wide shutdown all of countless nationwide agencies would be of any noticeable impact. The system would become less fragile, more flexible, more diverse, and less costly.

Also, many of the workers who now rely on federal paychecks would already be working in the private sector had the federal government not crowded these jobs out of the marketplace to begin with.

Every time the federal government inserts itself as a monopolist regulator or service provider, federal agencies suck resources (in terms of both capital and human resources) out of the private sector.

That means fewer new hires in the private sector, and it means lower wages for the employees left in the private sector who must foot the bills for federal agencies and employees. It also means higher prices for the private sector as government agencies bid up prices on everything from steel to petroleum.

Ultimately, all of the problems we're being told about as a result of the government shutdown are problems caused by a federal government itself, which has inserted itself into every nearly every corner of daily life nationwide.


Remind me again who Dems like Pelosi represent:  is it the Hollywood elites, the wealthy upper class they’re now a part of, the illegal non-citizens or the eroding Middle Class they’ve been taxing into oblivion and marginalized, and/or the voters who want their rights and security respected?

 

Yours for a brighter season,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man!’


Final Notes…

Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.


Starting with your 2018 tax year, the laws have changed substantially. Tax accountant Vinay Navani offers ideas you can share with your tax professional to potentially reduce your tax liability.



 

 


Americans are an unhappy lot, and they're growing less happy by the year. That's according to the World Happiness Report (WHR) which is based on Gallup polling and sponsored by United Nations-linked globalist organizations.

America dropped from the 13th-happiest country in 2016 to the 18th-happiest in 2018. The nation saw happiness levels drop significantly in the WHR from 2005-2007 and again from 2013-2015.

So why is everyone so unhappy? The authors of the WHR attribute American unhappiness to income inequality, obesity, the opioid epidemic and a "depression epidemic." Certainly income inequality, obesity, an opioid epidemic and a depression epidemic all exist

 

Welfare Breeds Welfare

Social welfare programs are destructive to the individual and the family unit because they absolve the parents of their parental responsibilities and promote dependency on government. There are now "families" that for two or three generations have been wards of the state. Many if not most of them are without a male head of household. They depend upon the state to provide their sustenance, their housing, their transportation, their healthcare and their entertainment. They know nothing of individuality or personal responsibility.

 



 


·          


 

 


·         Special Offer for our Readers

 72-hour Emergency Meal kit that's being offered contains 16 total servings of such delicious meals as Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice, the always-loved Granny's Homestyle Potato Soup and the stick-to-your-ribs breakfast favorite Maple Grove Oatmeal.

This kit normally sells for $27, plus shipping and handling and is rated 4½ out of five stars by customers.

While supplies last, these kits are available for only $21.95 and that includes Priority Shipping [we were forced to increase prices due to another round of USPS price hikes]. Go here for this deal:


 


Also, grab an emergency power cell!

Having the Patriot Power Cell on-hand for emergencies keeps your essential electronics up and running in case you need to call for help. 

“The Cell is a workhorse of power — it’ll charge your phone soup to nuts 3 to 8 times… I think of the Patriot Power Cell as “everyday prepared.” Awesome for travel or avoiding inconveniences while saving your bacon in an outage. It’s a MUST HAVE for your survival lineup."

10,000 mAh Battery/Water Resistant/2 LED Flashlight/1.5 Watt Solar Panel/6-Hour Charge Time

Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…


 

Additional Resources
 
 

Your Free Middle Class Survival Kit

SAVE & MAKE Money

Researched by our editors and include 100s of tips, tricks and insider methods of saving money, earning extra money [many from the comfort of your home], the best places to live,  How to find little-known freebies, discounts and other benefits-over 2,000 programs!


 

or…


 

How to Survive the War on the Middle Class

14 of the best reports I’ve assembled on protecting your freedom-Download link.


 



 


 

A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Notorious, Evil Robocallers and Some Extreme Measures to Get Rid of Them


Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


 

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
 


By Francis Navarro, Komando.com

Editors Note:  I had two Robo-callers dial one of my phones on average six to eight times every day attempting to sell me a health insurance plan.  I tried calling them back only to find the number was supposedly “disconnected.”  I registered each with the appropriate FCC ‘do-not-call’ agencies to no avail.  I was getting other annoying callers ALL DAY long too.  I finally disconnected my number!  In my case it wasn’t much of a bother as we have several other active lines in use; others aren’t so fortunate.  Below you’ll find some ideas on how to tackle this increasing annoying issue in America!

[I have gone so far as to answer the phone, when I knew it was a telemarketer, as a police officer asking the telemarketer “and how did you know the deceased?”  That usually throws them off every time…Or, you can outright tell them to stop call your “official law enforcement phone line.”

Do you still answer unknown phone calls? If you're anything like me, I typically ignore any call that's coming from an unrecognized number. Why? Well, it's most likely just another robocall or a telemarketing call. That's unfortunate since there's a chance that some of these calls are legitimate.

You are familiar with robocalls are, right? These are the annoying prerecorded telemarketing calls to landlines and wireless phones that seem to come from nowhere.

Telemarketing calls have been around forever, annoying us for decades, but now, robocalls are mostly downright deceptive and malicious. Quite a few robocall scams are even trying to rip you off or steal your identity.

This is why the explosion of robocall complaints is alarming. It's a scourge that everyone can do without. But is there any relief on the horizon? Stick with me and I'll tell you what you can do to protect yourself.

2018's most notorious robocalls


Had enough yet? Here are the most common robocall spam calls of 2018:

Neighborhood spoofing

One of the robocall techniques that's increasingly getting more popular is a scam called "neighborhood spoofing."

With this scam, fraudsters will disguise their numbers with local numbers that appear to match your area code and 3-digit prefix.

By spoofing a local number, these spammers are hoping that there's a better chance that their targets will pick up the call.

And neighborhood spoof calls don't just harm the intended targets, they are also a big hassle to the owner of the spoofed number. Sometimes, you will even get a call that's coming from your own number!

If your number was ever used as a spoof call disguise, expect unexpected return calls from the spam victims. These return calls are annoying since the owner of the spoofed number is not aware that a spam call was ever made from their number.

Another problem with neighborhood spoofing? Third-party spam call blocking apps are mostly ineffective against spoofed numbers since they only tend to blacklist known robocall numbers and not legitimate numbers.

Remember, legitimate phone numbers can be hijacked and used for neighborhood spoofing.

Government grants scam

Another popular robocall scam involves some sort of government grant.


The fraudsters claim that the person who answers the phone is eligible for a free government grant. Many of the incoming phone numbers have a Washington, D.C., area code, so many people are falling for it.

There's one catch. Before they receive the grant, victims are required to pay a processing fee. Typically, the victim is instructed to pay the fee using a prepaid debit card, an iTunes gift card, or a wire transfer.

It doesn't end there. The fraudster then asks the victim to verify their name, address, employer and banking information, which will then be used for identity and credit card fraud.

Google SEO scam

If you own a small business, you need to watch out for the Google SEO scam.

With these fraudulent phone calls, scammers are pretending to be from Google and they're warning business owners that their Google listing will disappear if they don't pay for search optimization services.

Google specifically states that they "do not place robocalls" so if you receive a robocall announcing they are from the search giant, most likely it is a scam. Scammers also try to charge money for "inclusion in Google Search or Google My Business."

IRS scam

The most common tax scam for years has been conducted over the telephone via a robocall.

A victim will receive a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The fake IRS agent acts very aggressive and tells the victim they owe past taxes and fees that are due immediately.

Many times the victim is told an arrest warrant is going to be issued if they don't pay ASAP. They are told to send money via wire transfer or prepaid debit card.

However, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue.

If you get a dubious IRS call of this sort, you can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant: choose "Other" and then "Impostor Scams." If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

Chinese consulate scam

Here's one strange robocall that's going around. It has spread so quickly that the Federal Trade Commission warned everyone about it.

What's happening is, fraudsters are calling people and claiming to be from the Chinese Consulate. Those who answer the call are told they have a package at the local Chinese Consulate office. Or, they need to give them sensitive information to avoid being in trouble with the Chinese Consulate.

The scammer then asks for your credit card or banking information. Sometimes they say that you need to make a bank transfer to them.
 

No matter which version of the story you're told, don't fall for it. It's a scam!

Here are other popular robocall scams you need to keep an eye on:

  • Reducing your debt (credit cards, mortgage, student loans)
  • Dropped call or no message
  • Vacation & timeshares
  • Warranties & protection plans
  • Calls pretending to be government, businesses, or family and friends
  • Medical & prescriptions (including health insurance offers)

Ways to stop robocalls


With scams and robocalls on the rise, you need to know how to deal with them. Here are some suggestions:

Use call blockers

Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC's website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.

You can also try call blocking apps like Nomorobo or TruecallerClick here for the best robocall busting apps available.

Block unknown callers

Many phone companies allow you to block calls that don't show a number on caller ID. Check with your provider to find out how to turn this feature on. Note: If someone you actually know calls you and blocks their outgoing number, their call won't make it through if you've turned this feature on.

Don't answer

This is actually the easiest solution to eliminating robocalls. If you receive a call from an unknown number or one that doesn't show up on caller ID, don't answer. If it's an important call, the person will leave a message and you can get back to them.

Subscribe to the Do Not Call Registry

This move will stop many robocalls before they begin. If you're on the registry, it's illegal for many robocallers to call you. Click here to get your number into the National Do Not Call Registry. After your number is on the registry for 31 days, you can report unwanted sales calls.

Hang up

If you answer the phone and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents. Once they know the number is active, you will receive more calls in the future.

Taking the steps in this article will help cut back the number of robocalls that you receive. It could save you from falling victim to a scammer. Remember to share this article with your friends and family so they can block those annoying calls too. Simply click the share button along the left side of this article to post it on Facebook.

Are you being watched? Creepy apps allow your partner to spy on you


Relationships can be difficult, and we have all known someone who has had the jealous partner in their lives. With the rise of technology, some relationships can take on an even darker tone. Recently it was discovered that an app that was designed to help parents keep track of their children was being used by people to spy on their significant other. You won't believe how they did it.


 
Yours for a brighter year,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man!’

 

Final Notes…

Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.


Starting with your 2018 tax year, the laws have changed substantially. Tax accountant Vinay Navani offers ideas you can share with your tax professional to potentially reduce your tax liability.



 

 


 



 

 

 


·         Special Offer for our Readers

 72-hour Emergency Meal kit that's being offered contains 16 total servings of such delicious meals as Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice, the always-loved Granny's Homestyle Potato Soup and the stick-to-your-ribs breakfast favorite Maple Grove Oatmeal.

This kit normally sells for $27, plus shipping and handling and is rated 4½ out of five stars by customers.

While supplies last, these kits are available for only $21.95 and that includes Priority Shipping [we were forced to increase prices due to another round of USPS price hikes]. Go here for this deal:


Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…


 

 
Additional Resources
 

Your Free Middle Class Survival Kit

SAVE & MAKE Money

Researched by our editors and include 100s of tips, tricks and insider methods of saving money, earning extra money [many from the comfort of your home], the best places to live,  How to find little-known freebies, discounts and other benefits-over 2,000 programs!


 

or…


 

How to Survive the War on the Middle Class

14 of the best reports I’ve assembled on protecting your freedom-Download link.


 



 


 

A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production