Tips of Ending Poverty: #2 Reflect Productivity

You don’t want to bust your a$$ making someone else rich while you go no where. Do not make others do that for you either.

Why do so many people want to or do start their own business? There are so many reasons why people want to own and/or run a business. Get rich. Make their own hours. Answer to no one, but themselves. Stick to The Man. All these reasons and more, can be summed up with the fact that they are tired of working all the time and getting nowhere real quick.

A rare few start a business because they have a new idea to take to market. We aren’t talking about those individuals.

It is awesome that people have the gumption to start their own business. It is great fuel for our economy. However, it is despicable that people are motivated to venture out on their own because they are not being properly compensated.

It has been a while since I have looked at the numbers, so bare with me on this. Off the top of my head, productivity has doubled since 1970-ish. Since then the average household income has stagnated.

To put it simply, pay your employees what they are worth–which isn’t always in line with what the market pays them.

Choose a Career that Makes You Happy and Be Happy All-Around

As you might can tell by now, I am on a happiness-fulfilling-whole person binge right now. I have just finished reading How do You Define Success? Hopefully Like This. The overall theme is this… to focus energy in one area is to take energy away from another area. Something that the author did not address is that not all energy consumption is made equal.

How much energy that is require to perform your job function varies depending on a few factors. The first is the “physical” energy needed. A labor intensive job will require more energy – obviously – than a non labor intensive job. This requirement is more task based, though the individual plays a role too, such as muscle mass and motor function. However, there is also “emotional” energy.

How much emotional energy a job takes relies mostly on the individual and less on the task. Think about all the tasks or chores you HATE doing. Think about how you feel during or after completing them. If you hate your job, it is going to take more emotional energy and if you love your job.

Like-Hate is not the only component of emotional energy. There is also compensation and many others. If you want to have your cake and eat it too – which you deserve – you need to take this into account. If you hate your job, it is going to require more emotional energy dedicated to it in order to do your day-to-day job, but also to work towards an advancement.

Then there is also your attitude towards advancement in that career path. If you hate that career path, that will also increase emotional energy required. I could go on-and-on-and-on about all that goes into allocating emotional energy.

To sum it all up, find a career that you will enjoy and will enjoy advancing through. If you enjoy your career, you will have more energy to dedicate towards non-career related activities… and you will enjoy those more as well.

Commentary: My thoughts on “You have permission to not love your first job” by Michael A. Goodman

“You have permission to not love your first job” by Michael A. Goodman

Please read the article before reading mine. Thank you!

As a young adult and a semi-recent college graduate, I find career advice articles interesting. I read articles about job interviews, how to deal with co-workers, how to deal with clients, leadership advice, etc.

When this article floated by my LinkedIn feed, my thoughts were “I loved my first job, for a time.” The article is a short read, and I recommend it. Perhaps it will encourage you to stick it out with your current employer for a little while longer, perhaps it will encourage you to quit.

I have put in my resignation with my current employer. We have agreed on a 30 day plus or minus a week countdown. Why am I leaving? Many reasons and no reason at all, but basically because I am not happy here. The more politically correct reason is that I don’t see a future for myself and I don’t want to continue wasting my time.

Where do I see myself in the future? That’s a good question. The answer is that I have no idea. What I do know is that I want my cake and eat it too. I want a large salary. I want an insane amount of personal time. I want my job to be my life, but I don’t want my life to be my job.

Not too long ago, I once said that I wanted a job that I didn’t have to work when I went home for the day. My first year in the workforce has taught me that there are many reasons professionals work extra hours. Some do it out of necessity because that is the only way the work will get done. Some do it for advancement. Others do it for the passion. I have decided that I want a career that I am passionate about.

Of course, this is not why I quit.

My co-workers are amazing. The pay is okay for my position and experience. The overall atmosphere is outstanding, and I have learned a lot about the industry. All-in-all, this has been a great first job.

However, this is not my passion. Learning about this industry is taxing on me, to put politely. Impolitely… It is boring. I don’t care about it. This industry will not be helpful in preventing or surviving post-apocalyptic society. Also, I am not mastering the skills necessary for my primary job function, and I am taking that failure much too personally to the end that it is affecting my overall health.

If you haven’t read the article by now and hate spoilers, don’t continue yet. However, you should read his final words if nothing else.

Continue reading “Commentary: My thoughts on “You have permission to not love your first job” by Michael A. Goodman”

Financial Tip #1

Cash makes for bad mattress stuffing. Do NOT stuff your money in a mattress. Most savings accounts ARE mattresses.

Disclaimer:

  1. I am not a CFA. This is PEER advice, not PROFESSIONAL advice. Though professionals, would probably agree with me, speak with a professional for professional advise.
  2. If you are in a financially insecure place, it may make sense to have your money in a mattress–figuratively or literally. When you are in a situation where you can invest outside the mattress, speak with a CFA. Your bank may have one on hand, so you can start there. 

A random morning thought: childhood education

What if there are some teachers accidentally teaching our youngsters to not be ambitious?

During my childhood, I recall some teachers would allow bonus work and others would not. The teachers that did not allow bonus work would say they didn’t want the extra work, though a few claimed it did not reflect the “real world.” I also recall some teachers not allowing late work for the same reasons.

I propose that by not allowing late work or bonus work, teachers are inadvertently teaching our children to not be successful. During my short time in the “real world” I find that employers do allow late work – at a cost – and they LOVE bonus work.

Employers would rather you complete your work late than not at all. However, if you make a habit of it, you will be fired.

Also, employers want their employees to be ambitious and take on additional responsibilities and learn new skills. That is the easiest way to get raises and promotions.

I wish we would pay our teachers more. I wish we would not overburden them with too many classes. I wish we had smaller class sizes. I wish many wonderful things for our teachers. If our teachers had better working conditions, imagine our children’s learning environment. Yes, there are many children who each year over come their circumstances. However, I implore you, imagine the child who had to overcome these small obstacles, you know, the one who became successful. What if instead, he were able to use the that drive to better society.

Unfortunately, we all have multi-lemmas (trilemma, dilemma, etc). We have multiple wants and needs, yet we can only satisfy some of them. What if a child wants to improve his or her family’s economic standing, but also wants to improve the economic standing of society as a whole? Not everyone can do both. After all, there are other needs that eat up our time as well.

It takes more than ambition to have the capability of handling multiple large wants-needs at a time. … also, there are many lessons what we all want our children to learn, and teachers can only do so much. We as a society need to work together in order to create the best environment for our children. We as a society need to work together to create the best world for us to live. All I am saying is that treating our teachers better would be a great start.

Ramble over.

Commentary: My thoughts on “Setting the Student Loan Record Straight: Why the Real Student Debt Crisis Lives in the For-Profits” by Maggie McGraph

Commentary: My thoughts on “Setting the Student Loan Record Straight: Why the Real Student Debt Crisis Lives in the For-Profits” by Maggie McGraph

I am usually skeptical when anyone suggests they are lying to you! However, Maggie (a Forbes Staff member) actually presented statistics – and enough information about the statistics that you can look up the information yourself! First I would like to thank Maggie for writing a piece that was informative and not emotionally charged. Second, I would like to state that thanks to her article, I feel slightly (not much, but slightly nonetheless) better about our economic standing as a country.

It is nice to know that not all of my peers are drowning in student loan debt — though it is still sad that some are. It is nice to know that there are many of my peers who are able to achieve milestones such as homeownership.

This little tidbit of information is going in my back pocket as I perform more and more research about  today’s economic situation.

Now,  I would also like to point out that, although having a college education puts you in a better financial position, it doesn’t mean that we are not experiencing economic hardship (individual, collectively, or any other slice of pie). Yes, having a college education has the potential to put you in a higher income bracket. As a result, you may be more financially able to make big purchases than those in your age group who do not have a college education. I would suspect that this will always be the case.

College = “Nice” Job = Big Purchases

As I contemplate what the author wrote more and more, I wonder…. is she inadvertently pulling the wool over our eyes? She may not be doing it intentionally, but it seems like she has missed the bigger picture. OF COURSE A COLLEGE EDUCATION PUTS YOU IN A BETTER FINANCIAL POSITION THAN NOT HAVING ONE. She compares the purchasing power of a group divided by who has student loan debt and those who do not. That is where the bias and inaccuracy is located.

We all know that having a college education gets you more bucks and more bucks lets you buy things. However, compared to our parents and grandparents, we are delaying purchasing a home — as I recall from past readings. This is where I see the crisis.

Compared to generations past, we are less financially capable. This finding only demonstrates that a college education is still worth the ever growing price tag. I wonder though, if the cost of education and incomes continue to grow disproportionately as they have recently, how much longer will a college education be profitable?

What is Feudalism?

feu·dal·ism
ˈfyo͞odlˌizəm/
noun

historical
  1. the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection.

Are we heading to a feudalistic society? Our rich keep getting richer and comparatively — and actually — our poor are getting poorer. I don’t want to live in a feudalistic society. Do you?

Some Economic Statistics for United States of America

Gross Domestic Product – GDP – (2013) — $16.77 trillion

Population (2013) — 316.5 million

GDP per capita (2013) $53,041.98

Median Wage (2012) — $26,695

Median Household Income — $50,500

66% of American earn less than $41,212

————————————————————————————————–

WTF! Two thirds of Americans earn about 77% of what they produce, but it is even worse than that. If you don’t know what “median” means, it is this:

denoting or relating to a value or quantity lying at the midpoint of a frequency distribution of observed values or quantities, such that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it.

Basically, there is an equal number of people earning less than $26,695 as there is how make more. So …. half of all Americans earn just over 50% of what they produce.

In 2014, the poverty level was set at $23,850 household income for a family of four. WTF!

How does this make sense to anyone? How does this not outrage more people? This is so …..

In America, we are expected to support ourselves. How is this possible with the state of our economy? It is so difficult for people to be self sustaining in our economy, and those who are more than capable of sustaining themselves plus others are unwilling to help.

Our poverty might be more favorable to another country’s poverty, but our poverty is still horrible. It is not right for someone to not know where their next meal will come from or not have a secure and safe place to rest. Just because it could be worse does not mean that it is tolerable.

Please Google the below terms to see the numbers yourself:
United States of America GDP
Average American Income
United States of America GDP per capita

A Few Ammature Comments on the Fed’s Zero Interest Policy

This morning I read Fed Should Raise Rates To Loosen Policy by David Malpass a contributor for Forbes.

The Fed does need to increase its interest rate. The current near zero percent interest rate does benefit the rich and makes lending to the not-rich difficult. It seems that David is implying that the Fed should have never implemented the near zero percent interest rate in the first place or implemented quantitative easing (QE).

Though I agree with David that the Fed could have done more during the financial crisis to help the people actually hurting — the middle class and the working poor — I do also believe that the Fed’s actions did help release some of the pressures.

With the dismissal of the Glass-Steagall Act, we were building up to a great economical disaster. Lowering the Fed’s interest rate to near zero and holding long term government bonds helped keep many businesses alive. Imagine what would have happened if the Fed hadn’t implemented such policies. We probably would have ended up with The Great Depression II instead of just a recession.

This financial crisis hit so many people. Many people lost their jobs. Many people lost their homes. Many people lost their life savings — if not during the bubble burst then in attempting to support themselves in between jobs. It was a horrible time.

Imagine what would have happened without the Fed’s actions? How many businesses would have went under? How many more people would have lost their jobs? How many more people would have lost their homes. The Fed’s actions did help prevent an even worse disaster. More could have been done to help the masses. More can still be done to help us. Less can be done to benefit the rich, especially the uber rich.

My Recollections of the Great Recession

I was in my teens during the down fall, but I remember wishing that I had just a few hundred dollars. If I had just a few hundred dollars, I could have bought a book or two of stock. I understood that it was unlikely that many of the business would actually go under and I wanted to buy in while they were on discount. Saddly, I was a teen and had no such money.

Stock wasn’t the only thing on discount. The price of homes were also dropping like crazy. Mortgages were being foreclosed left and right. The situation was so dire that get-rich-quick schemes were flourishing more than before.

One of the causes of the financial crisis (one of MANY) was that people were “flipping” homes which drove the price of a house sky high. Did this stop when the bubble burst and prices were falling back to earth? No. This was the height of the house flipping schools. During the worst of the disaster, the “instructors” were saying that foreclosed homes were the best because you could buy them for pennies on the dollar making them more profitable.

It is amazing what people will believe when they get desperate enough… or when everyone else is doing it.