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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holy Big Mac: How Wall Street is Gutting the Middle Class




Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543


Russell Baker
It was dramatic to watch my grandmother decapitate a turkey with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring
grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with 'gourmet' status.

 

From The Smiling Dog Saloon Files

 

 

In This Issue:

1.        Kit houses are affordable but beware local bureaucrats

2.       A Thanksgiving gift for you-A free Copy of Possum Living

3.       Make money extracting gold from old electronics

4.       Holy Big Mac-How Wall Street Guts the Middle Class

 

 

May All of you enjoy the blessing of a happy Thanksgiving Weekend-The Poor Man

Ambrose Bierce from The Devil's Dictionary…
Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and
gratitude.

Kit houses can be grand or tiny, sophisticated or rustic, traditional or ultra-modern…Also, pocket-sized inflatable house!

Kit homes can offer efficiency in construction as well as in energy use after the house has been built, and many kit home companies offer state-of-the-art green and renewable energy options. In short, if you’d like to build an affordable custom home (or cabin), a kit house may be a solution.

One of your first decisions will be how big to build. Census statistics show that the average home size in the United States has grown from 1,600 square feet in 1975 to more than 2,200 square feet in 2005, notes Steve Linton, president of Deltec Homes. No one but you can say what size home is right for your family, but maybe you don’t need a formal dining room or that “bonus” room.

Is there a way to calculate how much your dream house will cost? The website B4UBuild.com, which answers questions about home construction, says a new house “will probably cost $80 to $200 per square foot.” Thus, a 1,500-square-foot house, with no sweat equity from you, could cost $120,000 — or $300,000. The figures provided by the companies in our DIY Kit Homes for Every Style, Size and Budget chart range from extremely low to moderately high.


 

A Word of Caution:

 

Be careful though.  Local bureaucrats often resemble communists in that there may be multiple restrictions and some towns (like ours) don't publish their requirements anywhere which proved costly in our case.

 

SIDEBAR:


Like the post says, this idea isn’t quite there yet but the idea is a neat one nonetheless: “Martin Azura has designed the ultimate lightweight shelter for minimalists. The synthetic cube balloon structure fits into your pocket for easy transportation and shelter. The balloon is inflated with body heat or solar rays and the material…


 

 

Also…a little Thanksgiving gift to my readers…

 
 


Possum Living: How to live well without a job
 
In the 1970s Dolly Freed lived of the land dirt cheap and plum easy. Living in their own house on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia for almost five years, Dolly and her father produced their own food and drink and spent roughly $700 each per year. Thirty years later Dolly Freed's Possum Living is as fascinating and pertinent as it was in 1978.
 
Get your copy Free copy plus others here:
Possum Living: How to live well without a job
Scroll to bottom of the page to find a nice collection of free ebooks
http://www.poormansurvival.com/Pages/diyfoodcoop.aspx

 

 
 

PM’s Roundup of Useful Resources…

 

5 Secrets of Frugal Grocery Shoppers


It is always a challenge to find good, healthy food at bargain prices. Through a variety of new apps and old-fashioned techniques like buying "day old" baked goods, you really can cut your grocery bill.
 

 

Make Money Extracting Gold from Old Electronics
 
Over the years we’ve made a ton of cash recycling precious metals…
Although it has become more difficult to find, my wife in particular has found thousands of dollars in sterling silver at thrift stores, storage unit auctions and more…Learn more with this DIY article.
 
Wait don’t throw those old electronics in the garbage, there’s gold in them there things. How about putting it in your pockets instead of someone else’s pocket?



Laptops, phones, cameras, and the like are filled with gold plated circuit boards even printers and scanners have gold, silver, and copper, even platinum in them.



Gold is a precious, conductive, and pliable metal that retains a stable value better than many commodities. Its chemical properties make it useful for the manufacture of computers parts and electronics. Some people find it profitable to attempt to extract the gold from these scraps, then refine and sell it. This complicated process requires chemical expertise as well as access to various chemistry equipment. However, with the right knowledge, experience and tools, you can remove valuable gold from computer parts, other discarded electronics.



Things You Will Need:



Scrap electronics

Rubber gloves

Rubber apron

Goggles

Hydrogen Peroxide 3% I got from local pharmacy.

Muriatic acid 31% local hardware store.

Funnel filter I used a drip coffee filter

2 large glass containers I like coffee pots for chemical heat.

Stir stick glass or plastic

Weigh scale mine is accurate to 1/10th of a grain.

Blow Torch hot enough to hard solder.

Borax

Clay bowls just about anything that has a melting point 500o above the melting point of gold will do.

Measuring cup anything you can use to make a 2:1 mix will do.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gold-recovery/

 

 

 
 


 

The Nanny State- Your Weekly Dose of Government Misinformation

 

 Government wastes more tax dollars as we head toward national bankruptcy…


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said last week that DHS may have wasted $1 billion on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program. SPOT aims to spot terrorists by detecting “anomalous” or suspicious behavior. The anomalous behavior – perspiration, fidgeting, restlessness – is supposed to be the result of high levels of stress, fear, or deception. Individuals who exhibit anomalous behavior are subject to additional security screening.


 


Poll: Majority Say Federal Government Is A “Threat” To Their Constitutional Rights, Only 35% Disagree

Voters continue to adamantly defend their constitutional freedoms, and most still consider the federal government a threat to those rights. 


 

 



 

The Parting ThoughtNothing to worry in the land of the free!

 

Minimum Wage Woes for American Workers
 
The New American Sweat Shops…burger flippers can’t afford $40K cars!
 
Holy Big Mac – McDonald’s achieved a 3-month profit of $1.5 billion this summer.  While paying its workforce poverty level wages and no benefits the corporation, (like many US firms) directs its workers to the food stamp office or other taxpayer funded safety net program AND pays little in federal taxes. Amazing!  Much of its cost-of-business winds up on government books (aka: the taxpayer).
 


McDonald’s is under fire once again, this time for suggesting employees break up their food into smaller pieces to get full and to sell personal belongings on eBay or Craigslist for cash.

 
Aren’t you lovin it?
 
Ironically, in the 1980s when General Electric led the way in off shoring US jobs I wrote an editorial which appeared in the Wall Street Journal and other business publications entitled “Burger flippers won’t be able to afford your $40,000 automobile.”
 
Wal-Mart Asks its Low-Wage Workers to Donate Food to its Low-Wage Workers
 
If you want to know why the campaign for a living wage has escalated so dramatically in the past few years, look no further than Walmart…
 

After 11 years at Walmart, Patricia Locks of Seattle earns $13.10 per hour and usually works 34 hours per week. However, since her schedule can vary, her income is not predictable and she struggles to cover bills for herself and her 14-year-old daughter.

 

Demos released new research showing that Patricia's situation is far from inevitable. Not only could Walmart afford to pay higher wages now, it could do so without costing customers a dime. By redirecting the $7.6 billion spent annually on buying back shares of Walmart’s own company stock, the nation’s largest retailer could instead invest in its workforce and put an extra $5.83 an hour into the pockets of its lowest-paid employees.

 
http://billmoyers.com/2013/11/18/wal-mart-asks-its-low-wage-workers-to-donate-food-to-its-low-wage-workers/
 
 

Driven by corporate greed we have a continuing extinction of the American Middle Class…

 

Less than one-third of Americans think it’s a good time to find a job. Nearly 70% believe corruption is widespread in U.S. business and government.

 

“With the exception of the U.S., all countries in the Americas have improved their overall Prosperity Index score in the last five years.”

 

In the Entrepreneurship & Opportunity (E&O) sub-index, we’ve fallen to 13th. Aside from Hong Kong in 10th position, the nations with the greatest E&O readings are all in Europe.

 

Governance, we’re down to 11th ... meaning that the greatest governmental ideology ever created is crumbling in front of us because of what we tolerate from our politicians. Only 35% of Americans have confidence in the people we elect to office – well below the global average of 52%. Which raises a few questions: Are we brain damaged as an electorate? Stupid? Na├»ve? Wrought with inertia? Lazy? Why do we continue to subject ourselves to the very people, and a lobbyist-controlled political system, that rob America of its freedoms and wealth?

 

And, finally, Personal Freedom … we’ve lost another two spots and now pop up in 16th place. The land of the free just ain’t as free as you’ve been lead to believe. Greater freedoms you will find all over Europe, Uruguay and Australia and Zealand.

 
A recent news story showed the top 10 lowest paying employers include Walmart, Target, all fast food outlets including Starbucks…at the same time the CEOs of these firms make astounding amounts of money…profits are up across the board for these companies.
 
The disparity of income in the US shocks most Europeans and it should be dismal news to the rest of us.
 
While Congress never turns down a pay raise or perk, it did reject raising the minimum wage (how else would Wall Street be able to afford to buy so many politicians)?
 
For fifteen years now I have promoted the idea of eliminating all taxes at every level of government on the first $25,000 of income.  A hike in minimum wage also means higher payroll taxes which only helps the government.  A flat rate tax should be implemented across the board on EVERYONE – non-profits, religious groups, corporations, etc.  At one time, corporations paid more in taxes than the middle class…that flip flopped beginning the late 60s when corporate America managed to “persuade’ Washington that the middle class should pay more and at the same time, Wall Street began gutting jobs, pay rates, pensions and benefits…a sweet deal for Wall Street!
 
According to a whistleblower that has recently come forward, Census employees have been faking and manipulating U.S. employment numbers for years. In fact, it is being alleged that this manipulation was a significant reason for why the official unemployment rate dipped sharply just before the last presidential election.
 

The pressured American working underclass has been under extreme tension for some time. Now with politicians not inclined to increase the minimum wage and food stamps stretched thin, the social ramification could be disastrous. The recession is not over for most American citizens. Most Americans have basically given up.

 

An increasing number of Americans are becoming poor and one of our priorities is to help you develop extra sources of income…
http://www.poormansurvival.com/Pages/bootstrapbiz.aspx

 
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1 comment:

escapeartist said...

Right on as usual. Too bad so many Americans have their head buried in the sand to probably notice.