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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Your Problems Solved-$1.50, Found Money, Using Thumbtack

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Starting your own Time Bank

2.       Use Thumbtack so customers can find you

3.      Illegal Everything-How many laws did you break today?

4.      The conundrum of Free Enterprise

5.      Found Money-Find cash for emergencies, Free ebook

"The best of all government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves."
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Conundrum of Free Enterprise

Frequently, I see ads and news stories exclaiming how China is stealing our jobs.  I’m not convinced this is an accurate statement. We willingly give our jobs away.  In a capitalistic system, we look for the three Cs - cheap labor, cheap raw materials and cheap capital.

Manufacturers from western countries have always looked for the cheapest labor, so it’s little wonder contracts go to the lowest bidder, usually China.  If Americans didn’t gobble up the latest tech devices, regardless of cost it would seem, China would fail as a manufacturing country…other countries would be found more suitable.

Since the 1980s I have written about off-shoring of US jobs.  My mantra has been “Burger flippers can’t afford $40K autos.”  It’s easy to see how this has come true in America.  Most Fortune 500 firms see their growth elsewhere, not in America and they really don’t give a rats ass about unemployment here (there are a few exceptions, of course).  Most don’t pay any meaningful US taxes either, so they have the best of both worlds.

Washington policies have long favored such shenanigans so it pays to ‘contribute’ to reelection campaigns.

Much propaganda has been tendered about how off-shore manufacturing keeps our retail prices low.  This isn’t always the case and who would mind paying a few more bucks if it meant preserving jobs in this country?

Regardless of the employment picture here, Americans will stand in line for hours to purchase the latest iPod, iPad, or other iTouchYourWallet scheme.

Folks in many parts of the country are already paying $5 a gallon to fuel their SUVs (I heard it’s $6 in parts of FL) despite ample domestic supplies…US fuel producers are selling oil to China now which is why we’re paying more.  That’s free enterprise at work.

Stick to the safest gas pumps due to the spike in scammers who place skimming devices at the pump.  Use pumps which are in full view of the station attendant.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

8-year-old girl will solve your everyday problems for a small price

Eve Hobsbawm from London is a life coach like no other — she's only eight years old. While most kids her age make money by selling cookies or doing chores, she solves everyday problems mostly for adults who need to see through the untainted eyes of a child. She even has a website —where she adorably calls herself Miss Evie Mouse — that advertises her consulting services.

City Chickens

Urbanites nationwide have been successfully challenging short-sight city ordinances regarding raising chickens on private home property.  The hobby has become mainstream for many urban dwellers despite city restrictions.

If you keep coops clean, they don’t stink or spread disease.  Let us know if you’ve experienced challenges from cities where you live.

Join or Create Your Own Time Bank

The Poor Man has touched on this topic in the past and you’ll find a Community Money section at our site.  These cash-free currency exchanges have been growing in popularity during these cash-strapped times.

Perhaps the best known is TimeBanks USA, a non-profit with a long history of helping others launch their own time bank.  At its site you’ll also find links to time banks nationwide and other resources.

Community Weaver 2.0, an open-source software tool for recording time-credit balances is another useful resource.  To succeed, new time banks should have both an online hub and a quid pro quo spirit.

According to Kim Hodge, founder of the Michigan Alliance of Timebanks, “the sooner fledgling members make their first transaction, the more likely they’ll forge a commitment.”


From our research, lets you list your service so local customers can find you. Check 'em out here. Per the site, "More than 200,000 small businesses and independent professionals have listed their skills on Thumbtack."

How to generate cash in an emergency - Free ebook

Fresh berries are just starting to hit farmers markets. Here’s how to keep them fresh! 
Wash them with Vinegar.
When you get your Berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple
cider work best) and ten parts water.
Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around.
Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can't taste the vinegar,)
and pop in the fridge.
The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface.

Find the Cheapest Prescription Drugs

Simply type the name of your drug and your location into this site, and it will instantly list the price at all the drugstores in your neighborhood.

37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

The Nanny State Updates…

A secret blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and
his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure regime change
even before he took power in January 2001… It has been called a secret
blueprint for US global domination. … A small group of people with a plan to
remove Saddam Hussein long before George W. Bush was elected president. … And
9/11 provided the opportunity to set it in motion. Not since Mein Kampf has a
geopolitical punch been so blatantly telegraphed years ahead of the blow."
-- Ted Koppel
(1940-) British-American broadcast journalist
Source: Nightline, 5 March 2003

Prohibitionist County Commissioner Arrested for Drug Trafficking

El Paso, Texas County Commissioner Willie Gandara Jr. was arrested late Wednesday on federal drug-trafficking charges. Few details have been released, but according to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spokeswoman, the investigation involves multiple agencies.

Obama unveils Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

President promises privacy legislation and says Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL are committed to working with Do Not Track technology in browsers.
The Obama administration plans to work with Congress to enact legislation to protect peoples' online privacy based on a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights being unveiled tomorrow.
Read more:

If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.

The Parting Thought – How many laws did you break today?

ILLEGAL EVERYTHING – Or, What’s Wrong with Government Today

Just because something is a law does not mean it is fair, ethical or right.

John Stossel argues that America has become a country where no one can know what is legal.

Kids who open lemonade stands are now shut down by police. Stossel tries to open a lemonade stand legally in NYC. That was quite an adventure. It takes 65 days to get permission from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

With government adding 80,000 pages of rules and regulations every year, it's no surprise that regular people break laws without even trying.  In 1970 there were 100 million laws on the books; that number has tripled today and no one can keep up.  USA Today once ran a story indicating every American breaks an average of 21 laws a week, usually without knowing.

God help you if want to open a small business.  The red tape created by government hurdles makes this a daunting task and it’s little wonder why hiring is so low.

A small businessman spent 6 years in federal prison for breaking Honduran regulations (and, to make it worse, the Honduran government said he didn't). A family in Idaho can't build a home on their land because the EPA says it's a wetland-but it only resembles a wetland because a government drain malfunctioned and flooded it.

Even though the courts ruled against the EPA for this family, the burden of legal challenges has bankrupted the family and the government still won’t give up harassing them.  Our government will spend your tax dollars pursuing innocent people without regard to the morality of their stand.

Also read Three Felonies a Day, which brings home how individual liberty is threatened by zealous crusades from the Department of Justice. Even the most intelligent and informed citizen (including lawyers and judges, for that matter) cannot predict with any reasonable assurance whether a wide range of seemingly ordinary activities might be regarded by federal prosecutors as felonies.

“Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man

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