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Friday, October 30, 2009

Art of Minimizing, Spy in the Interview, Reader Input

Ronald Reagan said it best when he stated:
"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."

Our growing intolerance, in the name of tolerance…

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A former cashier for The Home Depot who has been wearing a "One nation under God" button on his work apron for more than a year has been fired, he says because of the religious reference. The company claims that expressing such personal beliefs is simply not allowed. Guess Home Depot won’t be accepting US currency due to its bearing the word GOD on it?
As I write in my Regaining Personal Freedom report, there is a lot of stupidity and intolerance (usually in the name of tolerance) growth in this country – anyone got a spare country I can buy?

One of our interesting subscribers, Steve Gillman, maintains several useful websites you might find interesting…
Wanted to let you know about a new website I have created. It is all about money, but more about the meaning and purpose than about how to make it - although it covers that and how to save it or invest it as well. If this is of any interest, you can go check it out and sign up for the free Money Matters newsletter on the homepage here:

“Much of what government does is based on the premise that people can't do things for themselves. So government must do it for them. More often than not, the result is a ham-handed, bumbling, one-size-fits-all approach that leaves the intended beneficiaries worse off. Of course, this resulting failure is never blamed on the political approach -- on the contrary, failure is taken to mean the government solution was not extravagant enough." --columnist John Stossel

From our readers (intriguing thoughts to share)

“A challenge…show me a government bureaucracy whose primary goal has not become its own continued existence. Show me a government-run program that is economical and efficient. Show me a government solution that is simple and directly corrects a problem without creating a new set of problems. Think about it.” –Kathleen R.

“Homer Simpson, Bart’s dad, once toasted, ‘Here’s to alcohol-the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.’
I think Homer got it wrong; it’s trial lawyers. They are the elephant in the room when it comes to defensive medicine and the ever-rising cost of other types of insurance. We all know it. They are certainly the preferred solution for Pres. Obama, and the ACLU, and the entire Democratic Party. As a society, we’re addicted to them. Alcohol, move over.” –Tres W.
Feel free to send your thoughts to us at:

It puzzles me how a state-sponsored economy can fuel the stock market. What happens when the stimulus funds come to a halt? Who will prop up the economy then? During the Great Depression, a small number of bankers did just that and the rally lasted one weekend…before everything crashed!


The Spy in the waiting in the job interview room
Here are a few ‘interview’ techniques you should be aware of when seeking that next job.
· You may be interviewed before you walk in the door. It’s not unusual for employers to have someone glance at the inside of your car to see how dirty it is. Clean your car before the interview or they may think your untidiness is an indication of you might perform on the job.
· Some interviewers purposely keep folks waiting in the lobby for up to an hour in order too see how you react to stressful situations. Earn points by reading quietly and stay off the cell phone.
· Seal the deal when an interviewer asks if you have anymore questions by asking ‘what’s the first problem I could tackle for you?’
· Learn about the company and focus on their needs…ask the interviewer to describe the perfect candidate for you.
· Do not lie on your resume. If you have gaps, explain them as simply as possible
FINALLY-Get rid of juvenile social networking stuff… hiring managers have a cadre of maneuvers. Many are now using social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to dig up dirt. Others are calling references you never OK'd. Still others are grilling past employers on your reference list in the hopes of getting them to slip. Some firms are also asking job candidates to sign waivers promising not to sue a former boss if he or she says bad things about you.

Inflation to return?
Massive federal stimulation dollars created a situation where the US dollar became less valuable as seen on the world market. If you collect Social Security, for instance, you didn’t see a COLA increase this year-first time in 30-years. Inflationary pressures seem to have diminished. The Consumer Price Index shows a more modest deflation set in over the past 12 months.
Most Americans today haven’t lived through net deflation; but it could happen this year or early next year. The fed is pumping a ton of money into the system, inflation hasn’t happened because most banks aren’t lending money. Instead, they are sitting on those funds, collecting interest from the Federal Reserve (a great income on essentially free money). Therefore, there is no growth. All of this could easily lead to a rise of inflationary pressure in the coming year according to most economists.
Winners and losers for whichever scenario takes place…homeowners and other current debtors, for example, are helped by inflation in that they pay off loans with cheaper dollars. Future borrowers could be hurt by rising inflation because it will likely lead to higher interest rates.
Gold, everyone’s investment darling right now, could go either way…as the fed pumps more fiat money into the system, gold will likely increase in price for the near term… 80 experts see $2,200/oz. average gold price ahead according to David Bradshaw, Editor - Real Money Perspectives…Basic economics with many variables – a crapshoot, if you will. This has been your two-minute economic lesson!

Today, the U.S. Dollar is falling in value like a lead balloon.

That means importers around the world can buy U.S. products for less that ever before.

The opportunities are growing exponentially everyday.

Get into today's HOTTEST business ... right now.

If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care, and so on. The only thing lacking ... is freedom." -- U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

The Art of Minimizing
We co-founded the not-for-profit Minimalist Group in 1999 with the goal of minimizing dependence on government while maximizing self-reliance skills. At one point, due to the Y2K fear, we had members throughout the world. Once that fear faded, so did the majority of our membership (it lives on however-see for more).

The group still donates to a wide range of other non-profit groups and our current cross-country move reminds me of our need to minimize. Since giving up my publishing business, I’ve made my primary living as a book dealer and it hurt to give up the majority of the 10,000 books I had in my collection. Donations of thousands of books were made to area libraries, prison libraries and other non-profit groups. Still, our move included 6,000 lbs of books from my personal collection.

I’m repeating that cycle again. This week we donated more than 1,000 books (hardbacks) to area charities. The Salvation Army, my favorite charity (I once served as a volunteer board member & even rang the bell during the holidays) is coming by with a truck this week to pick up a dozen bookshelves and other items.

The lesson I’ve learned over the years is twofold. One, most material goods, if truly needed, can be replaced. Second, the more you give the more you receive.

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