The United States hasn’t based its currency on gold since 1971, when Richard Nixon suspended the gold standard once and for all. Since then, a small number of people have been advocating for the gold standard to be reinstated and the idea is starting to get a modicum of mainstream advocacy.
Gold standard committee mulled by GOP
The United States went off the gold standard completely in 1971 and since then, along with every other nation on earth, has used fiat money as its medium of exchange. Those calling for a return to the gold standard are often dismissed, though, according to [...]
Back to school shopping season is here again. However, most American workers are earning about the same as they did last year. But prices keep going up. Here are some tips to equip your kids for the next school year without going broke in the process.
Back to school shopping dilemma
Back to school time is the second-largest shopping season of the year, and many stores are offering great bargains to lure you in. However, there is one problem.
Patricia Hasson, President and Executive Director of Clarifi, said:
“Wait for the list [of supplies required by the school]. It’s easy to be tempted right [...]
A recent ruling in Brazil is once again bringing the political theater of definition of marriage to the forefront – and conservatives in the South American nation are up in arms. BBC News reports that a notary in Sao Paulo has accepted a civil union between three people – two women and one man. According to Public Notary Claudia do Nascimento Domingues, the trio has lived together long enough to warrant family rights, and Brazilian law has nothing that forbids such an arrangement.
Civil union and not a marriage, but…
Marriage and civil union are different from the standpoint of the law, [...]
According to the Federal Reserve Beige Book survey, released Wednesday, the United States economy grew moderately between July 1 and the middle of August, when compared to the previous six week period. Hiring also showed some gains, and inflation was mild. Payrolls, however, continue to remain stagnant.
The Beige Book report
The Beige Book report, which is released eight times a year, crunches anecdotal data collected from 12 key regional reserve banks. Nine of the 12 regions reported “moderate” or “modest” growth.
The 12 regions covered in the Beige Book survey are Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, [...]
News anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a character on Aron Sorkin’s new HBO series, “The Newsroom,” made a heartfelt lament for the days when Republicans were ruled by reason, and never blamed natural disasters on the wrath of God.
Wind is not the wrath of God
“I’m not a liberal, I’m a registered Republican. I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.”
The fact is, at one time, the two parties were not all that different on some basic tenets. That was before the religious right remade the Republican party in [...]
You are a hoarder, a pack rat. When comedian George Carlin spoke of “stuff,” he had you in mind. Want to sell off your worldly possessions, but have an aversion to the conventional yard sale, garage sale, eBay or Craigslist? There are alternative ways to sell your stuff, you know. Try some of these on for size and earn yourself some spending lettuce.
Alternative ways to sell your stuff No. 1 – Big sale on campus
College studies frequently don’t have much spending money, but still need goods, clothing and the ability to furnish their dorm room or apartment, once mom and [...]
Ever try to get a replacement part for some item in the household, like a refrigerator or washing machine only to find the part isn’t made anymore? It’s called planned obsolescence, something manufacturers plan for to keep people buying more stuff.
Name the product and there is planned obsolescence
Manufacturers, for a long time, have been building a feature into their products solely for their benefit called “planned obsolescence.” In other words, a product is made with the knowledge and intention of it being obsolete within a few years.
One could try and make some sort of trite and catastrophically boring statement about [...]
It is fairly well known that there are far more people on organ transplant lists than will ever likely get one. However, the idea of paid organ donation has been brought up as a possible solution, though evidence that it works and the reactions to the possibility are a mixed bag.
Paid organ donation a contentious issue
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, there are 115,045 people waiting to get an organ transplant as of Aug. 28, 2012. Not all will receive one either. According to [...]
Bank of America says it will put a figurative bullet in the head of its so-called “zombie accounts,” to keep them dead for good. It will no longer accept electronic credits or debits to accounts that have already been closed, generating fees and other problems for unaware consumers.
Zombie accounts stay dead at BofA
Bank of America announced last week that it will no longer be reviving accounts that have been previously closed and, by some error or oversight, continue to receive electronic transactions.
The term “zombie account” was coined in a May report in Consumers Union. The post, Trapped at the bank, [...]
Hurricane Isaac — recently upgraded from a tropical storm — could cause gas prices to spike for the next few weeks. It threatens the output of up to a dozen refineries in the Gulf region.
Gas prices rise with refinery closures
According to Reuters, the hurricane may cause the temporary closure of 85 percent of all U.S. off-shore oil production, as well as 68 percent of all natural gas output.
Phillips 66, Valero, Marathon and Exxon Mobil all shut down refineries on Tuesday in advance of the storm. The refineries in the region produce more than 20 percent of the nation’s gasoline supply.
A common misconception surrounding hypnosis is that it can somehow make a person do something they wouldn’t otherwise do, something completely out of character and in violation of their values. However, if a person is on the fence or wishes to be persuaded, hypnosis and related tactics like subliminal advertising may help grease the wheels, some scientists claim. Call it retail hypnosis.
‘Sensual artists’ make you want to shop more
English food art decorating firm Bompas & Parr, which bills itself as a place of “sensual artists,” has turned its jelly and alcoholic food arrangement techniques in an entirely different direction. Now, [...]
No matter how good it feels, perhaps it is best to exclude excessive amounts of dopamine from your “better living through chemistry” five-year plan. From the standpoint of impulse shopping, too high a concentration of dopamine in your brain chemistry mix can lead to impulse shopping, scientists believe. It also makes a person more susceptible for general impulsive behavior, some of which can be as self-destructive as runaway spending, if not more.
Your impulse shopping binge may be dopamine-induced
Call it shopping in order to feel better if you like, but dopamine is serious business when it comes to brain chemistry. Those [...]
A new poll by Pew Research found that most Americans believe the rich pay too little in taxes. Most also see the gap widening between the rich and the poor.
Wealth, taxes and fair share
Pew’s study, released Monday, August 27, polled more than 2,500 adult consumers between July 16 and July 26. Respondents were asked to estimate how much annual income a household of four would need to be considered rich in their locality. The median response was $150,000. The majority also felt that wealthy Americans are generally intelligent and work hard, but that they were also more greedy and dishonest [...]
Restaurants in Burlington, Vt., have joined a fairly rare fraternity of businesses charging a foreign language gratuity. A restaurant in Hawaii was noted for doing so last year, and usually there is a somewhat-realistic rationale exists for doing so.
Foreign language gratuity put down to culture shock
Different cultures have different customs, including those regarding gratuities, also known as tips. Generally, in the U.S., tips are at the customers’ discretion but expected as a matter of course. In other countries, tipping isn’t appropriate since the worker is doing their job, which they should be anyway. In others still, it’s included in the [...]
Parents across the nation are finding the costs of keeping their kids in “free” public schools are soaring. Many are being asked to help with office supplies and other administrative staples, to help make up for educational budget cuts, even as their own wages remain frozen.
Aftermath of educational budget cuts
In the wake of educational budget cuts, parents are more and more being called upon to make up the difference, creating even more expenses for already budget-strapped consumers.
Betsy Landers, President of the National PTA, said:
“The yearly supply lists are growing. And they’re becoming a greater burden on families. In the economic [...]
It is often said that Americans, as a society, tend to dismiss the elderly population, though they be numerous. Perhaps the darker side of that is financial abuse and senior fraud, where senior citizens are robbed of and scammed out of their retirement and Social Security funds.
Elderly at risk of financial abuse
The elderly are at a greater risk for a number of things and, aside from the omnipresent risk of death due to natural causes and so forth, among them is financial risk.
Some of the most common financial crimes against the elderly are financial abuse, where a person is bullying [...]