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Sunday, August 30, 2009

What did you learn from the Crash?

What did you learn from the crash?

If you’re like me and plenty of other Americans, you lost money.

We lost 60% of our retirement fund, and of course, sales across the board are down for just about everyone except ammunition and gun manufacturers. Across the land people are trying to save more, seeking out bargains, stockpiling food due to rising prices, and many are looking for ways to earn extra cash. Many feel too that Wall Street is a casino and the odds are against you.

Most folks no longer trust the government or so-called experts either. Normal career paths have been permanently altered. Globalism promised something akin to nirvana but wound up impoverishing more people. The American people were sold a bill of goods where only Wall Street and government won. Globalism was primarily a means of privatizing profits, while socializing costs. Virtually all bills passed by Congress, hurt the middle class but boosted Wall Street. As is the norm on Wall Street, only short term profits were relevant; screw long-term profits, growth and main street America.

With the rise of big box stores such as Wal Mart, communities were lost. Merchants, who often owned the buildings from which they operated from, normally lived and invested in their community, supported Little League and other groups, have vanished in all too many areas of our country.

Americans, along with future generations, will pay a tremendous price for stupid government policies and corporate greed.
What the future holds…

I don’t envy my children. They will inherit the mess our government has created. This will be the first generation who cannot expect to do better than their parents. The biggest challenge they face is the rapid decline the world faces in terms of fossil fuels. Global growth has only been allowed due to oil and natural gas – both of which peaked five years ago. No one knows precisely how much oil is left, but the odds of finding more are slim or too costly. America, because of its huge appetite for fuel and because of our suburban lifestyles (our automobile driven society plus the lack of a national mass transit system) will suffer more than European citizens.

Green-house gas legislation (the Waxman-Markley Bill) making its way through Congress will raise your electric rates, but the cost is hard to pin down. The folly of this bill is that it will still allow companies to pollute, but they’ll be able to trade or sell off their pollution. The end result, if passed, prices for food and driving will increase.

Alternative energy will take up some of the slack, however, not enough focus on these technologies has taken place. Nuclear facilities enjoy virtually no support in this country, despite being safe and they take years to construct. Most energy resources, such as coal, require energy to obtain…and many feel coal is too polluting. Some experts have stated that the United States has reached its peak for coal too. China and India have even fewer natural resources than the U.S. and are actively seeking business deals in Africa to bolster their stockpiles. Are we in for a long, hard and cold winter? Time will tell and perhaps science will come along and “pull a rabbit out of the hat,” but I’m not counting on it.



Experts suggest you should consolidate your banking business at one institution to save money. The TD Bank has a “50-Plus Club” which offers interest-bearing checking accounts for those over 50 and requires only a minimum balance of $100 to avoid monthly fees; also provides free checks, free money orders, etc.

>> was voted the most inspiring money blog last year. Started as a chronicle of debt reduction for its creator…now excels at providing useful insights on personal finance, how to budget and more.

>>Storage Unit Auctions can yield big dividends. Americans have a lot of stuff and often store it in storage units. However, some forget about their belongings or cannot pay the monthly rent. At that point, the owner of the storage unit can legally sell off the goods, usually at auction, in order to recoup their monthly rental fees. This can be a bargain for you. I recently attended such an auction. One fellow paid $450 for a unit and was rewarded with valuable tools (exceeding $3200) plus a cigar box of old US silver coins. Of course, the reverse of this…the unit contains junk. Units went from $5 to $1300 (the expensive unit held a newer snow mobile). Most places advertise upcoming auctions and many maintain a mailing list of interested buyers. Worth checking out.
Finally, with taxes eating up your paycheck and food prices shooting up, it might be time to look into barter. Most of us have swapped items during our lives and it’s still useful today. Although there are many professional barter organizations (see our poorman site), if you keep your swap informal, there is no tax bite either as it’s pretty tough to put a value on trading some eggs for fresh fruit. Try it; see if your neighbors will set up an informal swap situation. Recently, on Oprah, an interior designer took five families from a neighborhood and each of them set out items they were willing to swap. Each family came away with ‘new’ items for redecorating their home at no cost.

That’s it for this week. I’m still out of town for another 10 days or so, but feel free to email me your questions or suggestions.
Bruce – the Poor Man

Saturday, August 22, 2009

10 Rules for Living-Useful Resources

NOTE: You’re getting this week’s Bulletin early because I’m out of town on business for at least two weeks setting up our coming How to Live Better on Less program.

Keeping the faith $1 at a time-Church Creates Own Stimulus Plan
Bay Community Church of Malbis, AL started its own stimulus program by giving each member of its congregation an envelope filled with cash ranging from $20 to $100.
Recipients were told not to donate the money back to the church, but instead, give it to someone in need.
Already active in helping the community, the group frequently sets up meetings with bankers to help with mortgage problems, provides free haircuts, food, and even oil changes to those in need in their community.
What are you doing to help?


Paypal quietly raises fees…better to send money as a “gift” More At:
As noted by myself & other powersellers, August has proven to be the slowest selling month on record that any of us can recall. August is traditionally slow, but ouch!


Excellent financial blogs you can use include:
The Consumerist from the folks at Consumer Reports-huge variety of information.

A woman who makes taxes interesting and understandable; check her blog at:

If you’re after financial safety, acquire physical gold. It’s the only investment area not dependent on the performance of the government, banks or corporations. I use and recommend Kitco (you can get daily gold and silver spot prices too) at:


The Secret to Restoring the Economy

Many people are now placing their cash into Hip National Bank or practicing the Posturpedic Savings Plan…

Merrill Jenkins, author of the prophetic guide "Money" The Greatest Hoax on Earth, died in 1979, but his message is more alive today than ever. His out-of-print books are so valued, used copies go for as much as $200 on Amazon. Jenkins was an associate of American poet, Ezra Pound who asked Jenkins to write about how the Feds were destroying the American way of life and putting the country in danger. The income tax was created to finance national debt and it issued Federal Reserve Notes, non-backed currency.

The book, Secrets Of The Federal Reserve, charges that bankers hide behind the screen of the central banks and pull political strings to drive countries into the war, creating immense profits for themselves as the principal beneficiaries of wartime debt. Ezra Pound advocated an abandonment of the current system of money being created by private bankers. He favored government issued currency with no interest to pay, preventing the need for an income tax and national debt, much like the system used by the Pennsylvania Colony from 1723 to 1764.

Jenkins and Pound both predicted how the fed would ruin this country – more than 50 years ago. No one needs to remind you about today’s inflation, do they?

All in all, reading this material provides a solid foundation for understanding the mess we’re in today. If you can’t find a copy, let me know and for SUBSCRIBERS, I will send you a PDF version.

Solutions include…

Each crisis our country experiences seems to foster more government growth and spending. This is not the answer. The real way to stimulate the economy is to:

· Cut personal taxes permanently
· 1% interest loans to businesses and startups
· Offer grants and research assistance to alternative energy industries
· Moratorium on government growth

Keynesian economics has proven itself ineffective. Stimulus funds given to the public are merely used to pay down debt or is saved; not doing anything for the economy. What’s needed is taken directly from the Austrian School of Economics; stop printing fiat money. Currently, our monetary system is based on confidence of the people in Federal Reserve Notes…something which is in short supply.

It’s an elementary thought, but the government needs to restore confidence. It needs to simply GET OUT OF THE WAY!

We don’t need another election. We need another revolutionI’ve been stating this since the mid-1980s in my newspaper column, PoliticallyIincorect. Last year I wrote and suggested we have a national “No-Vote” day to send a message to Washington that we’re fed up politics as usual and how the middle class is being destroyed by government policies. We NEED to remove incumbents.

Politicians have created their own political kingdoms and it goes against everything our founding fathers, especially, George Washington stated.

Now, Glen Beck has written a book called Common Sense, which essentially parrot’s everything I’ve been saying for 30+ years. He’s accurate in his call for Americans to begin NOW to repudiate politics as usual and stop voting these parasites into office. Read it. Visit their new action site at:


Free PDF creator and reader. Adobe products are expensive and their new Reader 9.1 version is filled with bugs & doesn’t work on many computers. Use this free program to accomplish the same.

Ever wonder where I obtain current, hard economic data? Bloomberg Reports, one of the best online sites for statistics. For instance, watch for the price of sugar and sugary products to dramatically increase in price soon. Get the inside scoop at:

Few people know I have an honorary doctorate or that I taught college level marketing and have published papers to that effect…however, one of our readers sent me links to a site which reveals such stuff. will bring up all kinds of information about a person if they’re members of social networking sites, made campaign contributions, etc.
Alternatively, if you need to learn of and/or get rid of false information about yourself, check out:

Speaking of privacy, the lame brains in Washington are still considering a national ID card ostensibly to protect our national security. The first attempt at creating such a program met with resistance from states which weren’t impressed with the $11 billion price tag of making your drivers permit fulfill federal rules…let’s hope the states have enough gumption to say no this time around too.


Skype, an online phone system owned by eBay allows you to make free long distance calls, even international calls. Simply download the program and plug in your microphone.

FREE DIY Videos (how-to home projects) from Reader’s Digest

Useful Resources for Living

National Center for Home Food Preservation
Current research for food preservation methods and safety.

One of my favorites…carries canning jars, food preservation equipment, etc.

Growing for Market
Small scale ecological farming for local markets.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
US Dept of Energy

Wood Heating
Non-profit group with expert advice on home heating


Americans are getting fatter faster and are causing diseases that cost an estimated $147 billion last year, nearly 10 percent of all medical spending in the country.

My prediction – watch for additional taxes and/or legislation within 3-5 years.

2nd Prediction – the government takes over the banking industry within 3 years.
(Banks are not spending TARP funds, they’re sitting on it – collecting interest from the feds)!

10 Rules for Living

*Pull your pants up – you look like an idiot
*Turn your hat right, your head isn’t crooked
*You really eat caviar and sushi? It’s available at our bait shop
*We open doors for women; all women, regardless of age
*Turn down the blasted stereo, reverb/bass. That thumpity-thump crap isn’t music.
*You bring ‘Coke’ into my house, it better be brown, wet & served over ice.
*We live in America and therefore, we speak English – get used to it!
*Turn off the phone and drive-we don’t need to hear your conversation.
*Use a turn signal; that device isn’t a spare gear shifter.
*Control your children in public or maybe we will.

Yours for better living,
The Poor Man

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dumpster Diving, Consumer Resources, Scams

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement
of freedom of the people by gradual & silent
encroachments of those in power than by
violent and sudden usurpation.”
--James Madison

The Art of Dumpster Diving

As a kid, our favorite day of the week was trash day. My little buddies and I would go around the neighborhood in search of treasures in the trash folks put out for the week. I grew out of that until early in my marriage. On a drive out of town my wife spotted a unique piece of antique furniture sticking out of a dumpster. Further investigation showed it to be a nice 100-year-old woman’s desk.

With some refinishing work, we sold for $100! Ever since, we keep our eyes open for such treasures.

Dumpster diving is the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners, but which may be useful to the dumpster diver.

There are several ethical arguments used to justify dumpster diving. One is, by reusing resources destined for the landfill, dumpster diving becomes a green endeavor (and is thus being practiced by many freeganist communities). Others believe that the wastefulness of a consumer society and its throw away mentality requires individuals to rescue usable items (e.g. computers) from destruction and diverting them to the less fortunate.

Residential buildings tend to throw away very little usable food or "new" items that could not be sold, but sometimes are a good source of clothing, furniture, appliances, and other housewares. Because some people find it easier to dispose of an item rather than donating or recycling, the dumpster diver tends to be the last chance to keep items out of a landfill.
Some consumer electronics are dumped because of their rapid depreciation, obsolescence, cost to repair, or expense to upgrade. Owners of functional computers may find it easier to dump them rather than donate because many non-profits and schools are unable or unwilling to work with used equipment.
Some organizations like Geeks Into The Streets, reBOOT, Free Geek and Computerbank try to refurbish old computers for charity or educational use.

Often, dumpsters can be an inadvertent source of information. Unwanted files, letters, memos, photographs, IDs, and other paperwork have been found in dumpsters. This oversight is a result of many people not realizing that sensitive items like passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information they throw in the trash could be recovered anywhere from the dumpster to the landfill. This recovered information is sometimes used by criminals for fraudulent purposes, such as identity theft and the breaking of physical information security. Information to most Dumpster divers is unusable and if the items found are unusual (stolen wallets/purses) sometimes these items are turned over to the police or their owners.

Because dumpsters are usually located on private premises people may occasionally get in trouble for trespassing while dumpster diving, though the law is enforced with varying degrees of rigor. The California v. Greenwood case in the U.S. Supreme Court held that there is no common law expectation of privacy for discarded materials. Dumpster diving per se is probably legal when not specifically prohibited by state or local law. Abandonment of property is another principal of law which applies to recovering materials via dumpster diving.

In the 1960s, Jerry Schneider, using recovered instruction manuals from The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company, abused the company's own procedures to acquire hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of telephone equipment over several years until his arrest.


Get rid of your Swiss Bank Accounts now! The US is one of two countries which taxes its expatriate citizens and now the greed is focused on Swiss bank accounts. An agreement has been reached with USB (Swiss Bank) to turn over 4000 names of US bankholders. Last year, the IRS “convinced” American Express to turn over names of card holders with foreign accounts.

Why everyone wants a government job.
In one example of the "double dipping," Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg retired last year, yet returned to work at the start of his next term.
Now the Nassau County Democrat is paid $101,500 in salary and about $72,000 in pension benefits. He said he didn't pursue the benefit for years after he first became eligible at age 65. But when he turned 75, he wanted to be sure his wife would be provided for. Double dipping of retirement, salary and benefits takes place in every state. Gee, why are so many state budgets strained?
The National Consumers League is warning that recession-related scams continue to flourish, as desperate consumers look for ways to make a buck.
The most worrisome schemes are those that promise people an easy way to make some extra money. NCL says the timing is terrible, because at the same time fraudsters are striking, many government watchdog agencies are thinning their staffs for budget reasons. Find out more about the top 10 scams here:
Useful Consumer Resource Links-Free

Demystifying the digital evolution…don’t sweat the tech at this fun, easy to learn site which offers tools to help even C-level folks learn the web, mobile and digital content.

Free and Paid Work from home resources

Free resources for job loss, job scams and more

Earn cash from empty printer cartridges
Try using which pays from 25 cents to $12 for most cartridges (inkjet or toner). Make more cash by asking friends and relatives to donate (recycle) their cartridges through you. 10 or more cartridges qualifies for free prepaid shipping labels.

Private non-partisan civic watchdog group, Americans for limited government!

Visit our partner (new link) for the best in home self defense products
Yours for better living—The Poor Man

Thursday, August 13, 2009

“Your food stamps will be stopped effectively March 1992,
because we received notice that you passed away. May
God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change
To your circumstances.” –State of CA

Wal-Mart recently reported that credit card usage, as a percentage of total purchases, fell a full 7.4% this year. Target and J.C. Penney have reported similar trends. As a result, the use of lay-away plans are surging at most retailers.

More than 35 million Americans are expected to use online coupons this winter from services such as, and, which offer discounts on a wide variety of products from toys to food to cosmetics. estimates that it saves consumers more than $450 million annually through its printed coupons redeemed at retailers.

COUPONING works…take advantage of double coupon days and SENIOR days offered at many supermarkets. Coupons in hand on a senior day we spent $71.39 for nearly $140 worth of groceries!

More people are paying bills at bank or credit union websites than at individual biller websites, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research.
"For the first time, more consumers paid bills via bank sites in the past month rather than biller-direct sites," James Van Dyke, President and Founder of Javelin Strategy & Research said.

"But many banks and credit unions have been slow to upgrade, which has created a wide gap in online capabilities and usage when comparing the nation's biggest banks to smaller banks."

Javelin says the increase in online banking is driven by the recession and people wanting an efficient way to mange their personal finances.
The latest numbers show that consumer confidence is close to 40-year lows, suggesting the economy is in worse shape now than in times that seemed far darker, like in the early 1980s
Current homeowners, or those shopping for a home and who are concerned that they'll end up underwater, should consider how long they expect to live in their house. Being underwater doesn't affect homeowners unless they plan to sell.
Individuals who are staying put for at least the next five to seven years will likely recoup the lost value of their home, says Amy Bohutinsky, a spokeswoman. In addition, homeowners should refrain from borrowing against their mortgage, she says.

The next big real estate fiasco will take place in the commercial sector (as I reported in November of ’08). Vacancies are high everywhere and many speculators will not be able to come up with the money they owe on mortgages.

Build your own electric bike cheap with these free how-to plans:

More freebies for your kids.
Good for late summer boredom beaters. Find free things to entertain them at:

Need a fax machine for your home business, eliminate the cost here:

Sell Your Old Video Games for Cash
Many games will get you $8-$18 cash per title at:

Making a comeback in the home-buying world is the old lease with an option to buy. It can be a win-win for both the buyer and the seller. I used this plan to sell several properties in the past. My plan was generous. If you paid your rent on time, you got 100% credit toward your down payment. If you didn’t pay on time, you lost that month’s credit.

Quite simply, the buyer and seller negotiate a property lease for a specific period of time and agree on a purchase price. If the renter wishes to then buy the home, a portion of the rent is applied to the purchase price. This often happens at the end of the lease but could also take place any time during the lease.
Online Scammers Prey on the Jobless

When Claude Vera responded to the customer-service job opening he saw on the online-classified site back in February, it seemed like one of a hundred small acts that might get him back to work. Most of his e-mail messages to prospective employers were going unanswered, so he was relieved when Penguin Express Inc. replied the next day with a work-from-home job.

To help him get a home office started, Penguin sent him money orders so he could buy, via money wire, the requisite laptop and other equipment from several different people. Mr. Vera, of Jamaica, New York, deposited nine United States Postal Service money orders into his Chase bank account and wired a total of nearly $8,000 to the various vendors. But he never received a laptop or anything else, and the money orders turned out to be already cashed or counterfeit. The scam consumed Mr. Vera’s tax refund and put him in the red by $6,700 to Chase, which sent his case to a collection agent. For more, go to:

More about the employment picture

· A key reason the unemployment rate declined is because so many people gave up looking for work.
· Only 59.4 percent of Americans are working, the least since the early 1980s.
· Among the unemployed, the share of those out of work for six months or more has surged to 34.3 percent, the worst since this number was first tracked 61 years ago.

Don’t toss the dryer sheets – reuse them to

*Clean your iron. (yes, Marge, ironing is making a comeback). Simply set your iron on low, then wipe it over the sheet until the built-up residue is gone.
*Stick a used sheet into your vacuum cleaner bag to reduce odors picked from vacuuming.
*Pin a used sheet to your clothes or chair to get rid of mosquitos.
Of course, living in AZ makes a dryer virtually useless; we just hang clothes on the rear deck and they’re dry within an hour saving a lot of electricity too.

How & Why Banks Gouge Customers

Middle-income customers presented the greatest potential to harvest fees. "There's certainly a customer segment that could be called 'Joe Lunchbox,' who expect to be nickeled and dimed," says Preuninger. "They are managing money from paycheck to paycheck. It's someone who would prefer to pay an overdraft fee to get their mortgage covered rather than get hit by a mortgage provider with a late fee and a ding on their credit score."

Last year, overdraft and insufficient-funds charges totaled nearly $35 billion and comprised about 90 percent of banks' consumer-fee income, according to a study by the consulting firm Bretton Woods Inc. Three-quarters of banks automatically enroll consumers in their "overdraft protection" programs without formal permission, and more than half of banks manipulate the order in which checks are cleared to trigger multiple overdraft fees, according to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation study. For more of the story, go to:

AND remember…our illustrious members of Congress bounced over 12,000 checks to their own bank and never paid an overdraft fee AND these are the guys who are bailing out the banks at our expense!

Wage Slavery-at-Will…My Two Cents Worth!
Here in the United States, the overall unemployment rate is over 20 percent and rising. Corporations collected trillions of dollars in government bailouts, while ordinary workers got nothing. Millions of people are losing their homes to foreclosure, yet the president has yet to lift a finger to help them. Meanwhile, companies like Goldman Sachs are paying their officers obscene bonuses. How come there's no social unrest? Where's the outrage?
"On average, most workers do not recover their old annual earnings" after being laid off, Till von Wachter, a Columbia University economist, tells The New York Times.
Wachter studied the income histories of workers who lost their jobs a quarter-century ago, during the Reagan recession of 1981-1985. The results were startling. "Even 15 to 20 years later, most on average had not returned to their old wage levels," he found.
Layoff victims followed the rules. But it didn't do any good. During the 1980s and 1990s the rich got richer, the poor got poorer, and the middle class withered away. Now, among industrialized nations, only Russia has a smaller middle class and higher poverty rate than the United States.
Here in AZ, which is a right-to-work state (meaning, right to fire without reason), the policy has kept wages low, while the cost of living is now relatively high (AZ, for instance, dental prices are on average 25% higher than even California)!
Time to ban lay-offs? In Europe, it’s a much different value system…extremely difficult to lay an employee off…there’s good and bad to that too but in America, most employees are treated with indifference. But then again, never expect anything from Washington – unless, you’re a big time campaign contributor!
As with the previous story on how banks can be a curse, it seems NO ONE is looking out for your best interests!
Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Poor Man”

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Newest Freebies+History of Consumerism

“Considering who makes our laws, is it any wonder we cannot legislate greed or morality?” --Bruce David

Gov Arnold Wants to Begin Reducing Pensions to State Workers – You Know the Dems will blast that move in CA!

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that while 43 percent of private employers offered some type of retirement plan in 2006, they tended not to be as generous as public employee packages. Private-sector workers also rarely receive retiree health care coverage, meaning most have to work until they can start drawing Social Security and Medicare at age 65. Workers born after 1960 will not be eligible to retire until 67.

Byron King says
“This job-stagnation is a recipe for all sorts of bad things at the local, state and national levels. Government budgets won’t balance, so I guess we can plan on more ‘cost saving’ measures such as releasing prisoners early and closing schools. Yep, that’s how to build a great nation… More criminals and fewer well-educated citizens.”

Government workers and their union representatives often say the more generous pensions offset lower pay.

But the latest U.S. Census survey, from 2007, shows the average annual salary of California state government employees was $53,958, compared with $40,991 for the average private-sector worker.

"The pension benefits for public employees in California are extravagant and they are going to bankrupt cities and counties, along with the state," said Keith Richman, a former state assemblyman who said he plans to launch an initiative campaign to change state employee pension benefits.

Note: Our elected reps in Washington DC are even more generous to themselves– we should all be so lucky as to get a Congressional health package!
In the final analysis, Congressional pension benefits are 2-3 times more generous than what a similarly-salaried executive could expect to receive upon retiring from the private sector.

Meanwhile, despite signs of “improvement” in the economy, Pres. Obama finally has acknowledged what I’ve been telling him for over a year…
"We won't have a recovery as long as we keep losing jobs," President Barack Obama acknowledged Friday.

As important as savings is, many economists wish that consumers would save less and spend more right now to help propel the recovery.
"I'm praying, 'God, please don't encourage American households to save a lot more just yet,'" said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight…which brings me to my next story.

People all over the country are revamping their lifestyles and getting back to basics. Gone are the days of decadence and debt.

Health Plan Chaos?

Plenty of controversy regarding any kind of new health plan…
Although the AARP has signed on, many seniors have not, as it is becoming pretty clear that Medicare benefits will be greatly reduced as a way to subsidize coverage for folks who can’t, or won’t, buy health insurance.

No matter what your opinion, pro or con, now is the time to let your Senators and congress people know how you feel. You can contact your Senator on house members at this link:

More ‘health related’ news…
"The connection between rising rates of obesity and rising medical spending is undeniable," the authors of the Health Affairs study cited by the CDC conclude. "Without a strong and sustained reduction in obesity prevalence, obesity will continue to impose major costs on the health system for the foreseeable future."
In a December report, the Congressional Budget Office likewise warned that "any savings to the federal government" from discouraging unhealthy habits such as overeating or smoking "could be at least partially offset by additional expenditures as healthier individuals live longer." For example, "Medicare costs could rise for the treatment of other diseases and conditions during those extra years of life, and expenditures for programs that are not directly related to health (such as Social Security) could also increase as life spans are extended."

Overeating, like smoking, seems to be one of those risky habits that saves taxpayers money. If reducing demands on the public treasury is the aim, such habits should be encouraged.

Things Look Bleak for the Gov’t No Matter Where You Look
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The recession is starving the government of tax revenue, just as the president and Congress are piling a major expansion of health care and other programs on the nation's plate and struggling to find money to pay the tab.
The numbers could hardly be more stark: Tax receipts are on pace to drop 18 percent this year, the biggest single-year decline since the Great Depression, while the federal deficit balloons to a record $1.8 trillion.
Other figures in an Associated Press analysis underscore the recession's impact: Individual income tax receipts are down 22 percent from a year ago. Corporate income taxes are down 57 percent. Social Security tax receipts could drop for only the second time since 1940, and Medicare taxes are on pace to drop for only the third time ever.

The last time the government's revenues were this bleak, the year was 1932 in the midst of the Depression.
The numbers for 2009 are striking, head-snapping. But what really matters is what happens next," he said. "If it's just one year, then it's a remarkable thing, but it's totally manageable. If the economy doesn't recover soon, it doesn't matter what your social, economic and political agenda is. There's not going to be any revenue to pay for it."
"The entire world economy rests on the consumer;
if he ever stops spending money he doesn't have
on things he doesn't need -- we're done for."
--Bill Bonner

How Consumerism Started-With a Little Help from GM
It’s your patriotic duty to spend was the battle cry of our government during the post WWII years; whereas during the war, it was our duty not to spend (goods were rationed during the war). How GM helped us to become a nation of consumers plus a brief history of consumerism in the USA.
Fragmentation and self-interest (greed) has cursed the self-indulgent consumption of America…
Read the full story here:

Freebies to Review
A clinical trial is a health-related research study in which patients are assigned an experimental treatment and their outcomes are then measured. Many such trials are completely free to the patient.

Check out the registry at — there are currently more than 60,000 clinical trials across the country listed.

Simply visit and and look for links to your favorite sample giveaways.

Nero 9 Free Version
Nero has released a free version of their popular disc burning software. The software is still an effective way to write or copy data from CDs and DVDs and functions on most Windows versions.
My friends and I started a free online project called Our aim is to create an online community where buyers, individual sellers, and store owners connect for all of their shopping needs. (Brad is a new subscriber)
Thank you,
Brad, co-founder

Barter for Free Services
Trade for lawn service, painting, hair cuts, etc. with this free service

Easy to make solar oven plans
Cost of materials, about $5 and about an hour to construct. Get complete instructions:

You’ll also find dozens of other easy build projects at our site:

Launch a Store Gadget in Google Labs
Google Labs has launched an interesting new gadget that allows users to create a Google Checkout store in gadget form to use on their blog or web site. According to Google the process is as simple as three easy steps:
1. Sign up for a Google Checkout account

2. Fill out a Google Docs Spreadsheet

3. Set up and insert you gadget
Sounds easy enough. Easily create an online store using a Google Docs spreadsheet. Interesting indeed. "No complicated coding or technical tasks are required," says Google on the gadget's homepage. "You can get your first online store up-and-running in under five minutes."
Ever wanted to create your own information product (& make some $$) – it’s a free course!
FREE for my readers…No Job-No Worries. A 40-page PDF by Jim Daniels
If you’re interested, drop me an email with “NoWorry” in the subject line & I’ll send.
You must be a current subscriber!

Also check out, where you can find thousands of listings across a wide variety of categories from hundreds of different companies. (For example, you can find dozens of restaurants where kids can eat free.)

Visit, a web site started by a penny-pinching mother of three. She scours the papers and the Internet for special deals, and then lists them on her site along with tutorials and actual shopping trip purchases.

Unclaimed funds, such as forgotten utility deposits, stock dividends and insurance payments, are held in the rightful owner's name for up to three to five years.
It's easy to find out if you are entitled to this "missing" money. Simply go to and start searching.

Every state in the nation has a health insurance program available to children in working families, from infants to teens. For little or zero cost, doctor visits, prescription medicines, hospitalizations and more are covered. For more information, visit

Uncle Sam has BILLIONS of dollars to give away for free... if you know where to look.

A website has been established at, which is designed to help you negotiate through all the programs. Fill out a short questionnaire, and you'll be provided with a list of benefits that may apply to you, as well as a full description and links to the resources.
You can learn more about Matthew Lesko's goldmine of free government resources at

TIP For the Unemployed!
If you’ve ever received unemployment benefits, you know that the compensation is included in your gross income, subject to taxes. But the new law excludes up to $2,400 of this compensation from your gross income for 2009.

Sure seems like a lot of Americans get caught…
Wandering US tourists have been detained in N Korea, Iran and other countries, and of course, they’re all “spies.” I know stupidity is a major disease in this country, but you must wonder about these folks who play around so close to enemy territories?!

Your until next week,
Bruce “The Poor Man”