The United States has developed a new weapon that destroys people but leaves buildings standing. It's called the stock market.
Can You Still Come up with money-making ideas?
Back in 80s and early 90s when I was grossing a million a year with my publishing firm, it was pretty easy to produce profitable publications. We had a circulation of nearly 40,000 and a very successful newsletter. Now, nearly all of the ideas we came up with are being offered free on the internet.
The internet has been a boon and a challenge to entrepreneurs. Some ideas, which still perplex me (such as Twitter & Facebook) generate enormous amounts of cash. PayPal was another good idea, which reaped a huge bonanza for its founder.
Throughout the years, my ‘inner circle’ have brainstormed for ideas in which to make money without a lot of investment or government licensing hassles…it’s been tough as most everything is easily duplicated by others (the old 80/20 rule).
It does seem that schlock sells in America. If something is stupid or outrageous, it has a market. Like many mainstream companies, it’s easier to take an older, successful product and dress it up with a new twist as outlined in the story below! Also, check out the report on the underground economy.
New Monopoly Game Due for ReleaseHasbro has unveiled the design of the new 75th anniversary edition of their classic board game, Monopoly, set to hit stores in fall of 2010. "Monopoly: Revolution Edition" is slick and round instead of dull and square, with debit cards and an ATM instead of paper money and a banker, clear plastic representations of the classic tokens (bye-bye, little boot!), and clips of popular songs (like Rihanna’s "Umbrella," Daniel Powter’s "Bad Day," and Beyonce's "Crazy in Love") that play after certain actions.
>>>NOTE: I invented the Middle Class Squeeze game, but have yet to find a producer for it…would also make a good TV game show!
Made in USA-New Database Links Consumers
If you’re like me, you’re tired of seeing our store shelves crammed with foreign made goods. Have American-made goods faded into obscurity? I’m also tired of seeing those profits going outside our country; no wonder why jobs have faded here.
Launched in July of ’09, there is a new free database that offers consumers a way of connecting with American manufacturers. You can help recycle American dollars by buying USA at:
What does AIG stand for? “Ain’t I Greedy!”
As the economy tanks and unemployment jumps, the "underground economy" option is looking pretty good to many Americans.
Making Money in the Underground Economy…the Underground Capitalist
As more folks get squeezed by unemployment, taxes, and a rising cost of living, (inflation, thanks to our government) they seek alternative means of generating revenue. The cost of starting a business is hampered by governmental costs and regulation and forget most franchises (buying a job) as they are too pricey for most.
There are many businesses one can start without much cost. A mobile auto detailing business, window washing service, mobile locksmith, computer consultant, and more.
Of course, most folks immediately think of an illegal business such as drug smuggling, tobacco smuggling, booze or porn. However, the mainstream person is simply looking for a way to generate money to pay their bills without the hassle of a full-blown business startup.
“Also invisible in the statistics are people who work off the books. No one knows the size of the underground economy. This year the Internal Revenue Service expects to collect $114 billion less than it should in taxes on legal but unreported activities. That would make the licit underground economy alone worth some $600 billion (equivalent to 10% of GDP). But economists and sociologists who've looked into it agree that it could be considerably larger, especially taking into account illegal activity. What's more, says sociologist Bruce Wiegand at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, the underground also includes a lot of people who are making ) good money. Wiegand, author of Off the Books: A Theory and Critique of the Underground Economy, has been studying this phenomenon since 1979. ''The underground economy has differentiated and expanded,'' says he. ''It is moving up into the working and middle class and going global as well.”
The underground or "black" economy is rapidly rising, and the fault is mainly due to government policies.
Here is the evidence. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) released a report last week concluding that 7.7 percent of U.S. households, containing at least 17 million adults, are unbanked (i.e. those who do not have bank accounts), and an "estimated 17.9 percent of U.S. households, roughly 21 million, are underbanked" (i.e., those who rely heavily on nonbank institutions, such as check cashing and money transmitting services). As an economy becomes richer and incomes rise, the normal expectation is that the proportion of the unbanked population falls and does not rise as is now happening in the United States.
27-page PDF on Underground Capitalism
Don’t forget our Poor Man’s Recession Survival Kit…includes 100-page PDF on 45 Ways to Make a Living Without a Job. To purchase, go to our site.
Amazing Uses for WD-40
Like the formula for Coca Cola, the recipe for WD-40 remains a closely guarded secret and it’s an American product, which can be found in three out of four American households. A million cans of this useful product are produced each week. Here are some other ways to use this product:
· Clean dried glue from virtually any hard surface. Simply spray on the spot, wait 30-seconds and wipe clean with a damp cloth.
· Remove old decals in the same manner – spray, wait 30-seconds and wipe clean
· Got stains in your carpet? Spray, wait a couple of minutes, then use your regular carpet cleaner or gently cleanse with a sponge and warm, soapy water.
· Use WD-40 to clean toilet bowls instead of expensive cleaners. Spray into the bowl, wait a few seconds and clean with a brush; helps dissolve gunk and lime
· Make your old BBQ look new again by spraying it liberally with WD-40. Wait a minute or so and clean with a wire brush – use only when your grill is cool.
· Renew faded plastic lawn furniture & bring back its shine by spraying onto the surface and wipe clean.
· Keep wasps from building nests under your eaves by misting some WD-40 under all the eaves. It will block the wasps from building a nest again.
· Spray it on your fishing lures. Not only will it protect the lures from corrosion, but it actually attracts fish by disguising human odor.
· Remove burrs from your horse’s mane or tail without tearing its hair out or having to cut it off (my wife swears by this). Just spray some on & you’ll be able to slide the burrs right off.
Get 2000 more uses for WD-40 at their site: http://www.wd40.com/
More Ways to Use Duct Tape
One of our favorite programs is the Canadian TV production, The Red Green Show (available on many US PBS stations). One of Red’s (Steve Smith) favorite handyman tools is duct tape, which he uses in some pretty crazy ways. Hey, if the women don’t find you handsome, at least let them find you handy!
· Catch pesky flies by rolling off a few foot-long strips. Hang them from rafters as flypaper.
· Repair a vacuum hose which has cracked
· Wrap holiday gifts with duct tape; don’t even bother with gift wrapping paper.
· Repair a tail light; it will last until you get to the auto shop
· Make a temporary roof shingle-just wrap strips around a sheet of plywood you’ve cut to size and wedge it into place.
· Of course, all Canadians know this one…add life to a hockey stick by wrapping the bottom of the stick.
· Repair a hole in your tent; stick on both sides of the tear.
Duct tape isn’t recommended (as some have thought) for removing warts & it’s not recommend for repairing dryer ducts. You can visit the 3-M site for other solutions related to the large variety of products they carry. (3-M is another US company which even has a link where you can submit your product ideas; unusual to say the least).
News Briefs & Roundup
Job losses from Great Recession about to get worse
WASHINGTON – Job losses during the Great Recession have been huge and they're about to get bigger.
When the Labor Department releases the January unemployment report Friday, it will also update its estimate of jobs lost in the year that ended in March 2009. The number is expected to rise by roughly 800,000, raising the number of jobs shed during the recession to around 8 million.
The new data will help illustrate the scope of the jobs crisis. Analysts think the economy might generate 1 million to 2 million jobs this year. And they say it will take at least three to four years for the job market to return to anything like normal.
"It's going to take a long time to dig out of this hole," said Julia Coronado, senior U.S. economist at BNP Paribas.
Sidebar: According to the Census Bureau, growth in home workers declined. According to Sylvia Hewlett, president of the Center for Work-Life Policy, flex time employees usually work alternative schedules and from their own home but numbers show a drop since December of 2007 as more workers felt they needed to be at the office in order to demonstrate they were indispensable.
A unique feature of this recession is how damaging it has been to the nation's middle class, driving its members further and further away from the American Dream and, in some cases, directly into poverty.
President Obama, in his remarks to Senate Democrats on Wednesday, pointed out that the middle class was hurting even before the recession. "Part of the reason people are feeling anxious right now, it's not just because of this current crisis -- they've been going through this for 10 years. They've been working and not seeing a raise. Their costs have been going up, their spouses going to the workforce -- they work as hard as they can. They're barely keeping their heads above water. They're trying to figure out how to retire. They're seeing more and more of their costs on health care dumped in their lap. College tuition skyrockets.
The Deficit: How to Protect Yourself
What do these budget deficits mean for you and your finances?
The federal government is expected to borrow $1.6 trillion this year, or about $15,000 for every household in the country.
Over the next 10 years it's expected to borrow a total of $8.5 trillion. And the government was already deeply in debt to begin with.
Deficits are certainly not always bad for the economy. And it makes sense for Uncle Sam to borrow heavily in a crisis, like now. But these figures are enormous. And they are expected stay big well down the road. The Obama administration forecasts deficits of $1 trillion in 2020. for important tips, go here:
The average family can longer afford to support government debt!
Today, ALG President Bill Wilson condemned the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to increase the national debt ceiling by nearly $2 trillion, saying "the American people are under absolutely no obligation to borrow yet more money to pay for Congress' unsustainable level of spending that threatens the nation with true default."
"No family could sustain itself in such a manner, nor can any nation which robs from future generations to purchase temporary, illusory prosperity," Wilson explained. "It is both immoral and profoundly foolish."
Even college students, facing sky high (overpriced) tuition hikes have been forced to turn to college food banks to sustain themselves!
The final vote in favor of the debt increase was 217 to 212.
"The House has once again voted to kick the can down the road instead of bringing the nation's finances into proper order," Wilson said, adding, "The House has now voted to permanently shackle the American people to a mountain of debt that cannot be paid back, further pushing the nation along the road to financial Armageddon."
Moody's has warned that the United States' Triple-A debt rating could be in jeopardy "if the current upward trend in government debt were to continue and become irreversible.
That’s it for this week’s edition of the Poor Man Bulletin. If you’re worried about the Mayan calendar prediction of the world’s end in 2012, do not worry, scientists say nothing will happen.
Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Poor Man”