Poor Man’s Recession Bulletin
Your Choice for Usable Information
In This Issue:
· Americans ‘offshoring’ themselves for medical care & more
· Make a Quick Buck!
· Top 5 Consumer Problems
· Get a free lawyer to fight collection abuse
· Gee…most citizens don’t trust Washington
· Tips, Tricks & Resources to save money
“Other things may change us, but we start and end with
family." -Anthony Brandt
Detroit Looks Like a War Zone
Last Sunday Dateline aired a report on Detroit hosted by Chris Wallace, an area native. It’s worse than I thought, although I must admit, I avoid Detroit (I even avoid their airport when possible). A few weeks ago I reported on a plan to literally bulldoze about a 40 square mile are of the city. After viewing the report, I’m more in favor of that concept. The city has been abandoned over the decades by the auto industry and most white people, leaving it to gangs (both street and political) to fight over the carcass.
Detroit, in many ways, is a snapshot of what is wrong with the country. Political vultures more interested in lining their pocket rather than serving the people they were elected to help. Corporations don’t give a damn about their community and ship jobs to Mexico or China (their excuse is cheaper labor, but it’s rare to see lower prices, especially with cars).
Speaking of cars. Want to make a quick buck? Used cars are scarce in the Motor City as people are hanging onto them longer and asking high prices for them. Auto ads in the area feature primarily new cars or very late model cars at inflated prices.
Quick buck II – No doubt you’ve heard about the early retirement program for attorneys called the class action lawsuit but did you know you might be entitled to some free stuff as a result of those proceedings? In many instances, the losing business must repay customers through freebies or discounted merchandise and services. Check this free site to learn more about these settlements:
There’s a new network of consumers who buy products in order to reward businesses who are making the most of socially responsible (certainly won’t include Consumers Energy of MI which DOES NOT offer home energy audits) decisions…check it out at:
Tips, Tricks, Resources, Money Savers
· Refrigerators are usually the most energy hungry appliance in the home. If your fridge is more than 10 years old, might be wise to replace it, View the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy which offers ratings. www.acee.org
· More than 200,000 Americans traveled abroad for healthcare last year. Cost of care abroad is usually a fraction of US costs. Example: A heart bypass here costs an average of $125,000 while in New Zealand, it is only $38,000. Dental work in Mexico is dramatically cheaper than Arizona (7 miles west of Yuma in Los Algodones, there are 350 practicing dentists who speak English and charge 70% less)…500,000 Americans visited India for treatment; 410,000 went to Singapore. Most foreign doctors are trained here. The average cost for full health insurance in Costa Rica is about $95 a month for two adults (again, US trained doctors). Resources: www.medretreat.com, www.medicalnomad.com, www.patientswithoutborders.us
· Share large files easily & free with…use Drop.io or YouSendit.com
· Free office tools – get free invoicing at billingboss.com, custom software and tools from Google Pack, pack.google.com, free customer relation management software at freecrm.com or www.getdoorbell.com
· Find out what auto repairs really cost at: www.RepairPal.com
· Turn snacks into money. Raise money for your school or favorite charity by recycling. Sign up for free at TerraCycle.net, and you can collect yogurt cups, candy wrappers, cookie packages and more & use their pre-paid postage to send them in.
· Find more free software (reliable) at: CNET – www.download.cnet.com
· Win $50,000 savings bond for your child – Got any young scholars at home in grades 5-8? Visit YoungScientistChallenge.com – it will show them how to create a short video varied science concepts for a chance to win one of 51 regional prizes, one of 10 trips to NYC & the chance to compete in the finals for the $50K. Deadline is 5/27/2010
· Keep flashlights ready to use…batteries, when stored in your flashlight will drain so store them with one battery turned around so it doesn’t make contact.
· Stuck without a D battery? Put a C battery in the slot and add 3-5 quarters to mimic the size of a D.
· Make a mini greenhouse by saving the clear plastic containers with attached lids you get from the salad bar or supermarket to serve as a hothouse for seeds you start indoors. Fill halfway with potting soil & add seeds and water. Put the lid down and set in a sunny windowsill until the seeds begin to sprout.
Finally, avoid speed traps (every state and city is on the hunt for more revenue) by going to these sites before you begin your road trip.
Debt Settlement: Fraudulent, Abusive, and Deceptive Practices Pose Risk to Consumers. PDF report to Congress from the GAO
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d10593thigh.pdf
Got a tip or resource? Share them with us & we’ll provide you with a link to download any of our special Poor Man reports free of charge!
Resources for Stockpiling and Disaster Preparation
Make Your Own Energy
Step-by-step guide reveals how to
make your own energy for $100 or less. http://tinyurl.com/PMEnergy
Terrific site for resources and green, eco-friendly goods http://www.growandmake.com?ref=71
Earth Day Special
DYI Energy Efficient Updates can help you save some big CASH!
FREE-30-page PDF saves an average of $175 per month or $2000 annually – Not getting this is like leaving money on the table.
Poor Man’s Guide to Eco Friendly No Cost, Low Cost & Low Tech Ways to Save $ & the Environment…click on the Poor Man Free Reports folder, the PM Eco Guide PDF
The remedy is often worse than the disease…
"Politics has poisoned the well."
Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington
America's "Great Compromiser" Henry Clay called government "the great trust," but most Americans today have little faith in Washington's ability to deal with the nation's problems.
Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ills, the survey found.
Rumor Control Sites Provide the Facts
In a given week, Snopes tries to set the record straight on everything from political smears to old wives’ tales. No, Kenya did not erect a sign welcoming people to the “birthplace of Barack Obama.” No, Wal-Mart did not authorize illegal immigration raids at its stores. No, the Olive Garden restaurant chain did not hand out $500 gift cards to online fans.
Snopes is one of a small handful of sites in the fact-checking business. Brooks Jackson, the director of one of the others, the politically oriented FactCheck.org, believes news organizations should be doing more of it. Put them on your favorites!
The Top Five Consumer Problems and How to Avoid Them
If you know where potential problems lie, they should be avoidable. That’s the apparent logic behind the Federal Trade Commission’s Report of Top Consumer Complaints. Every Spring, the FTC puts out a list of the top reported sources of consumer problems. But it normally doesn’t get a lot of national media attention, and that’s too bad. Because if we all took the time to understand the problems represented on this list, we’d be much less likely to become victims. For the full list, go to:
After spending two years clipping and saving through the use of coupons, Kasey Trenum and Kelly Thompson have started teaching others how to do what they do through day long workshops, says the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The Time 2 Save workshops teach the concept of creating a pantry stockpile by buying enough of an item while it is at its lowest price, then waiting until the item goes on sale again 10 to 12 weeks later to replenish the stock.
“Right now, when you need to go to the grocery store, you make a list then you go, but you’re tied to your list,” Mrs. Trenum explained. “Now whether salad dressing is $3 or whether it’s $1.99, if you need it, you buy it.
“I buy it when it’s 19 cents and I don’t buy it again until it goes on sale, and that’s the way our bill is like $30.”
The appeal of saving money led Flintstone, Ga., resident Tammy Thompson — who isn’t related to Kelly Thompson — to attend a workshop in early February. The 42-year-old said she knew she was about to lose her job and she needed to find a way to save money.
Since taking the course, Tammy Thompson said she has saved “a tremendous amount of money” and has a new perspective on the grocery store. Before the class, she didn’t keep many groceries inside her home and would instead eat out with her husband for almost every meal.
She said her husband was skeptical at first, but after seeing their grocery bill cut in half and the abundance of food now in the house, he’s just as excited as she is.
She said she has gone shopping twice since the class, and both times her bill was about $75 to $80 for two weeks’ worth of food, plus stockpile items.
….Thank you Sarah for this tip!
You have great resources and I wanted to let you know about one - This page, http://www.gogoshopper.com/resources/frugal-living-resources.html has some great information and resources on living frugally and the site has some great coupons that would make a nice addition to your page if you are interested.
Abused by a Debt Collector? Get a Free Lawyer
Owning more than you can pay is bad enough. Being badgered, hounded and abused by a debt collector can make your life a living hell.
But if you ever find yourself harassed with dozens of phone calls daily, here’s something you should know. You don’t deserve to be treated like a doormat nor should you tolerate it. More important, if your legal rights are being violated, you might qualify for free legal help to make it stop.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act stipulates what third-party debt collectors can and can’t do when trying to collect. In 2009, the FTC received almost 120,000 complaints about third-party debt collectors: an increase of nearly 50% from 2008. The two most common complaints were phone harassment (34.7%) and obscene, profane or abusive language (13.5%), both violations of the law. And the FTC is taking violations seriously. For example, just yesterday they issued this press release about a million dollar fine levied against one national collection agency.
What should you do if you’re being bullied? First, meet someone who took the bull by the horns: Michelle Vizzini. This Philadelphia woman woke up one morning to find her bank account frozen at the hands of a debt collector for a 13 year old debt she says she doesn’t owe. More at: http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2010/03/03/dealing-with-debt-collectors/
Parting Thoughts & Cheap Shots
Cheap Credit Ending for Americans?!
Even as prospects for the American economy brighten, consumers are about to face a new financial burden: a sustained period of rising interest rates.
That, economists say, is the inevitable outcome of the nation’s ballooning debt and the renewed prospect of inflation as the economy recovers from the depths of the recent recession.
The shift is sure to come as a shock to consumers whose spending habits were shaped by a historic 30-year decline in the cost of borrowing.
“Americans have assumed the roller coaster goes one way,” said Bill Gross, whose investment firm, Pimco, has taken part in a broad sell-off of government debt, which has pushed up interest rates. “It’s been a great thrill as rates descended, but now we face an extended climb due to our ballooning deficit and out-of-control government spending binge.
But I do ask myself, when was credit ever cheap? With the possible exception of mortgages, credit card interest rates were always exceptionally high – beyond usury or even Mafia rates.
With the end of cheap credit comes the end of our economy as we knew it, consumer excess will probably vanish and as I reported in previous issues…there will be a rise in use of barter, land contracts, community currency, etc. Indeed, many citizens are preparing to leave the US as indicated in a recent survey…
Record Number of Americans Ready to Flee
In a survey of readers on March 22, 2010, InternationalLiving.com found that nearly 96% of respondents said they are more likely to move out of the United States than they were last year.
More than 500,000 readers of the company’s free Daily E-letter were asked a single question: Are you more open to moving outside the United States than you were 12 months ago?
A stunning 95.6% of those who responded said they were now more willing to make the move and leave the U.S. Sort of an OFFSHORING of ourselves. Hell, Wall Street doesn’t want any US consumers of their goods anyhow.
I know you’ve heard all of us encourage everyone to stockpile silver US coins and/or gold but even precious metals markets are being manipulated by Wall Street and other speculators…watch for oil to continue climbing despite lower US consumption so as I always say – it’s time for another revolution folks!
Join me at my ranch in Costa Rica!
Oderint, dum metuant
Yours for better living – Bruce “The Poor Man”
A Shallow Planet Production