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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Earn Cash at GigWalker, Zaarly, Free Firewood, Privacy Ideas

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Use GigWalker and Zaarly to make money

2.      Free Firewood

3.      Protecting your identity

4.      Americans continue to get hammered

5.      Judges for sale – guess who is buying?

“Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, prosperous, progressive and free."
-- Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004) 40th US President

Average Americans continue to get hammered…

The ranks of America's poorest poor have climbed to a record high — 1 in 15 people.

American’s standard of living has fallen longer and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the government began keeping records 50 years ago.  The average person had $1,315 less in disposable income now than in 2008.

Older workers are gloomier about the economy now than they were last year.

Nearly two thirds of workers older than 50 first surveyed by AARP's Public Policy Institute in 2010 said things had gotten worse by the time the senior lobbying powerhouse followed up in August. Fewer than one in 10 said their view of the economy had improved. The rest said things had stayed the same.

At the same time, government spending continues to rise. 

In 1950 spending for social programs was only one percent of the total Federal Budget. As the economy grew, social programs expanded to include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation, Supplemental Security for the Disabled, and educational programs. In 1983 as the United States pulled out of an ugly recession and brought inflation under control, social programs consumed 26% of the budget. In fiscal year 2012, they’ll eat up an estimated 57% of the budget.

Meanwhile the art of corporate tax dodging in the US continues to grow.  Proctor & Gamble, for example makes use of some clever tax dodges and it paid no taxes on several major deals over the past decade by using loopholes.  Although legal, they are convoluted.  P&G made $6 billion when it unloaded several of its brands including Crisco, Folgers and Pringles, which would have normally triggered a $2 billion federal tax bill.

As I reported previously, a study of 43,000 transnational companies reveals that just 147 companies control 40 percent of the entire global wealth in the world economy.  Of course, these multi-national firms buy and sell elected officials at will which is why I termed it the Washington-Wall Street Cartel.

Get a fire started quickly by filling an empty glass jar with rubbing alcohol and a few wine corks.  Seal and store.  Place a cork or two under the kindling and light as usual.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources


If you have an iPhone 3, 3GS, or 4, and you’d like to earn some extra bucks with miscellaneous gigs, check out Gigwalk. (Accepting applications in many major US cities.)

According to the site, gigs pay between $3 and $50+, and might include

Verifying local business information like hours of operation

Taking pictures of local businesses

Verifying street level information for mapping companies

For more, see their FAQ page here.


Another startup, Zaarly, lets you sell stuff -- or buy it -- rapidly by connecting buyers and sellers who live nearby.

To sell something, just search through what people are looking for (or sign up for new listings), chat with the buyer and get paid by credit card.

For more,
click here.

A heat-producing fire could cost you nothing!

Free Fireplace Logs

There is a primeval feeling about a fire on a cold day that makes you feel empowered. Close your eyes and you will see visions of primitive men dancing and chanting in front of a blazing campfire, with drums beating in the background. Ancient man knew the value of fire; in the modern world, we are not as dependent on an open flame for warmth.

There is nothing like a nice warm fire to warm up on a cold day. Sitting next to a wood-burning stove curled up with a hot drink of your choice and a good book is a pleasant way to spend a snowy afternoon.

With the current price of wood, it takes some of the enjoyment out. You might as well burn dollar bills. I have found a way to take some of the stress off. Everyone has newspapers as well as other types of paper lying around. The landfills are so full that some places are asking you to delay bringing any more.

My solution is to make fire logs. This not only takes care of excess paper, but it also saves money and keeps the home fires burning at the same time. Rest of the story at:

More Top Tips for Protecting Your Identity

1) Alter your phone book listing. Phone books still exist (even though they're not as prevalent as before). Call your local phone company and limit the information they publish about you in the phone book or ask to be completely removed from it.

2) Subscribe to a credit-monitoring service. Not all services are alike. Most will monitor your credit report and notify you when new data is found. Some will help you clean up the damage if your identity is stolen. Some reputable options to look into are I.D. Theft Shield (from Pre-Paid Legal), iSekurity, CSIdentity, and Debix.

3) Beware of Internet phishing scams. In this scam, a crook sends you a fake email pretending to be from a known company (your bank, eBay, IRS, your state lottery, etc.) with some kind of urgent message saying you "need" to fill-in your private account details. Bottom line: If you don't trust the email or if it "feels" fishy – do NOT click on any of the links. If you're concerned that it may be important, use a "proven" phone number (NOT the phone number on the suspicious email) and call the company direct. Chances are if you feel unsure about the email, you'll find out it is in fact a fraudulent email.

4) Own a cross-cut shredder. Shred everything that has any identifying information, even if it's just your name, I.D. thieves can piece together your profile over time, like putting together a puzzle. Sometimes, all they need is one piece of information

5) Encrypt email. A great stopgap to begin encrypting email on your end is to use This is a free web-based email service, just like Gmail or Hotmail. (Note: Hushmail keeps a copy of the encryption keys within the corporation, which means if asked by authorities to open your emails, they have the ability to do so.) Their free service option comes with a small 2 MB storage size, which is the size of the old 2-inch diskettes. One trick is to use the free version for sensitive email – bank, health insurance, doctor, broker, etc. Of course, you can buy a membership to increase your storage capacity.

Find the rest of these tips at:

Revive an old broom whose bristles are beginning to splay by dampening it with a paper towel and slip a medium-sized rubber band around them and let it sit overnight.

The Nanny State Updates…

Judges for Sale - And Special Interests are Buying!

The Occupy Wall Street movement is shining a spotlight on how much influence big-money interests have with the White House and Congress. But people are not talking about how big money is also increasingly getting its way with the courts, which is too bad. It's a scandal that needs more attention. A blistering new report details how big business and corporate lobbyists are pouring money into state judicial elections across the country and packing the courts with judges who put special interests ahead of the public interest.

FACTOID:  Roughly 335 unarmed citizens have died from police tasers as of 2011

Like glue…Knox unflavored gelatin is made from cattle bone chips and pork skin and when mixed with a little water, becomes a good glue to use on hides and other surfaces…simply heat in a pan of water to keep soluble.

The Parting Thought – The Debt Zone

The U.S. national debt grows by more than 2 million dollars every single minute…

What is happening in Greece is just the beginning. A bunch of other eurozone nations are also rapidly approaching a date with destiny. At some point the United States is going to experience massive problems as well.

The epicenter for the financial collapse of 2008 was the United States.

The epicenter for the next financial collapse will almost certainly be Europe.

When Europe goes down, the rest of the world will be dragged down with them.

The next wave of the economic collapse is coming.

So why should those of us living in the United States care about all of this?

Well, it is because a financial collapse in the EU could plunge the entire globe into a horrific economic nightmare.

Today, the EU actually has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does. The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.

 Back in 2001, Gallup began asking Americans about how they feel about the state of their own personal finances. In October, Gallup once again asked this question, and 22 percent of the respondents rated their personal financial situations as "poor". That is the highest number that Gallup has ever seen. In addition, the gap between the number of Americans that said that their finances were "getting worse" and the number of Americans that said their finances were "getting better" was also the largest that Gallup has ever seen.

The financial crisis in Europe just seems to get worse by the day. The United States is already teetering on the edge of an economic disaster, and if Europe experiences a big time financial crash it seems extremely unlikely that we would be able to avoid another major recession.

Yours for “how do we get out of this mess”, the Poor Man

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MinimalistGroup said...

The USA is burning while Congress fiddles...just like in ancient Rome.

LostTraveler said...

The newspaper logs work well in my wood burning stove. Just stuff empty soda pop cartons , cereal boxes , etc.. with newspapers and they are ready to use when the cold season comes. A good supplement to add to your firewood. Also any junk mail with personal information ( credit card applications , credit card CHECKS , etc... ) also goes in the wood burning stove .Their Junk Mail is helping to heat my house. Ha Ha !!! :^)