New Reality Show-The Middle Class Squeeze plus free resources...
Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life. - Michael Leboeuf
Big Brother & Little Brother Are Watching You
By LAURA SAUNDERS
Tax deadbeats are finding someone actually reads their MySpace and Facebook postings: the taxman.
State revenue agents have begun nabbing scofflaws by mining information posted on social-networking Web sites, from relocation announcements to professional profiles to financial boasts.
In Minnesota, authorities were able to levy back taxes on the wages of a long-sought tax evader after he announced on MySpace that he would be returning to his home town to work as a real-estate broker and gave his employer's name. The state collected several thousand dollars, the full amount due.
Meanwhile, agents in Nebraska collected $2,000 from a deejay after he advertised on his MySpace page that he would be working at a big public party.
For more of this Wall Street Journal story, go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125132627009861985.html
Resources & Freebies
Find unadvertised job openings. On a daily basis this site searches out the most recent job postings from company websites.
More $4 Prescriptions made easier to locate…
More generic drugs are becoming available at discounted prices. To locate one, go to this site and enter your Zip Code. It will give you a list of pharmacies with low prices & will notify you when your drug becomes available cheaply.
NOTE: Some pharmaceutical firms offer free meds. Meds made by Pfizer such as Lipitor, Xanax and Celebrex – call 866-706-2400 or go to: PfizerHelpfulAnswers.com
Other drug firm sites: AstraZeneca-us.com/help-affording-your medicines or Merck.com/merckhelps or Partnership for Prescription Assistance at 888-4PPA-NOW
Learn a foreign language online – free.
This site offers free lessons in 10 different languages…you’re taught words, grammar and pronunciation (& you can connect with native speakers).
Pharmacy Rebate Programs
Major pharmacy chains frequently offer products at below cost to draw shoppers into stores. These savings typically are provided through rebates, not coupons, however. Shoppers must sign up for the chain’s rebate program, then log onto its Web site to enter code numbers from their receipts and request rebate checks to obtain their savings. (If you don’t have Internet access, you usually can pick up rebate booklets in the stores, then mail in your receipts and rebate requests.)
These rebate programs are worth the trouble if you take advantage of numerous rebates each month. Pharmacy chain Web sites sometimes offer printable coupons as well.
CVS (www.cvs.com). Sign up for a CVS "ExtraCare" rewards card, and get 2% back on most purchases and an extra $1 back for every two prescriptions filled. CVS also offers printable online coupons.
The most attractive coupons often are available only on the Internet, not in Sunday newspaper circulars. Web sites -- such as Coupons.com... RetailMeNot.com... and my site, SelectCouponProgram.com -- feature a wide range of coupons.
Find People Online – More Resources
Most folks use Google to start a preliminary search. You can also try these sites:
Why Mainstream Media No Longer Serves the Public
In the late 1980s there were about 50 media groups serving the US public. Today, there are five. When I attended journalism school, we were taught the media served as a watchdog for the public over government and corporate affairs. Now, the majority of media serve their corporate masters and government.
I once did a comparison of the nightly news offered up by what used to be the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS). Each of them reported the same stories in nearly the same order. By the 1990s, few any longer offered in-depth news, hard-hitting documentaries are much of anything critical of government or Wall Street (unless it concerned exposing extreme greed).
Disney, Fox, Viacom, Time, and Bertelsmann (a German firm) now pretty much own everything in the United States. Their portfolios include television, newspaper, book publishing, internet, some cable, entertainment/gaming, radio and more.
Incorrectly, I had assumed when Rupert Murdoch introduced the FOX news channels, the other three would shake things up a bit. I was wrong. Murdoch, an Australian, changed citizenship in order to create his US media business. Prior to Murdoch, our FCC would not allow foreigners to own more than 24.5% of any media based in this country. As far as I know, no one else has managed to circumvent this rule.
The FCC has also changed its rules to allow media to own more than one media outlet in any city. Prior to this, no one could dominate a marketplace. Now, it’s common for these firms to own the local newspaper, radio and television stations in a single market. (Example: I have a blog that appears in a “local” newspaper which also happens to own the biggest TV station in town and several other media outlets in the same city – fair and balanced!
Newspapers have been losing readership since the 1980s. Too many Americans no longer read (or cannot read anything beyond the TV Guide) and too many good journalists and publishers have been replaced by bean counters who’ve squeezed more profits by eliminating news and journalists. Americans today seem happy with sound bites and photos without much interest in the full story. This is one of the reasons why so many of us do not have solid grasp on world affairs or even our own government policies.
While the internet changed the game somewhat…there is a lot of dubious information on the net. There is a lack of meaningful news anywhere. For instance, in 2003 our counties, schools and cities faced several challenges including bankruptcy, a skyrocketing homeless population (visiting foreigners were shocked at our homeless, lack of medical care and affordable housing), poor school systems with high dropout rates, etc. – yet, mainstream media was AWOL on these issues.
Due to our unique system of local elections and local property taxes, only local weekly newspapers have remained viable. (In Europe, all taxes are national, poor people have better quality housing, access to low cost transportation and more).
I also believe the average European is better educated than the average American. I believe most of us have fallen asleep at the wheel when it comes to knowing what’s going on in the world or our own country. If you’ve ever watch Jay Leno’s ‘Streetwalking” segments, you know what I mean when a citizen off the street cannot identify a photo of the vice-president, but they can recognize underwear worn by Madonna. America needs more ‘reality’ shows!
The media conglomerates also managed to get rid of the Fairness Doctrine practice (this gave people a chance to defend themselves when attacked on public airwaves and it was sanctioned by the Supreme Court in the early 60s) which further diluted their hard news offerings, serious documentaries and the like. The “news show’, Dateline, for instance, has become a ‘murder of the week’ program. As a result, diversity in media is seriously lacking and corporate America has fewer watchdogs to uncover unsavory practices.
Even though the public supposedly owns the airwaves, our government is the one who profits by selling off bandwith via FCC auctions (this is the reason behind the digital TV push; the government made an extra $40 billion). America has only one PBS system, while many countries, such as Great Britain and Japan, have several choices. (it is ironic that the mandate for a variety of PBS programming was initiated in Japan by US Occupation forces after WWII, yet we lack the same in this country)!
Over the past generation, TV has become a de facto babysitter in many households. Children are exposed to hundreds of thousands of killings, sexual situations, mayhem and rude behavior. Mass media socializes behavior and the results today are dismal. Standards for what passes as entertainment have fallen dramatically.
Radical reform is needed. These media conglomerates have been duping the public for 25 years. Nearly 75% of political campaign contributions come from these groups. They do intimidate politicians (as they should under a watchdog mantle). The Fairness Doctrine needs to be reinstated. Anti-trust laws should be used again. Term limits for politicians is an absolute necessity.
There are some groups such as the Center for Digital Democracy
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting-) http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4 and MediaReform.net, which are attempting to right these wrongs. What it truly requires is for the public to begin demanding reform. Where’s that old trust buster, Teddy Roosevelt, when you need him?
Finally…reports from the government show the economy is “improving.” However, job growth is not. Because the number of lay offs has diminished and the banks are doing well means we’re doing better…more government spin! Stimulus funds continue to trickle out with the vast majority of it slated to come in 2010. Stay tuned…Americans are experiencing their own reality ‘survivor’ show!
NOTE: I have created a new reality game show called the Middle Class Squeeze but for some reason, I can’t find a producer. Know of anyone? I’ll give you a piece of the action.
Bruce The Poor Man http://www.poormansurvival.com
*Read the latest article on entrepreneurship from our new contributor, Jim Straw, now available at our site.