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]]> http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/09/19/the-intangibility-of-money/feed/ 0 Canadian pharmacy viagra review » Northmeds Canadian Pharmacy, Online Canada Pharmacies http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/08/22/billionaires-acknowledge-national-debt-is-a-problem-will-anyone-listen/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/08/22/billionaires-acknowledge-national-debt-is-a-problem-will-anyone-listen/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2008 13:14:21 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/08/22/billionaires-acknowledge-national-debt-is-a-problem-will-anyone-listen/ I am sort of a documentary junkie and I like watching them on Netflix’s instant play. Two documentaries I have reviewed on this blog include and . Today I heard about an interesting documentary called documenting the threat of America’s ever growing national debt. Yahoo has that talks about billionaires Warren Buffet and Pete Peterson endorsing this documentary and speaking out about how the government should work on borrowing less, and encourage the citizens to save more, but will anyone listen?

A few days ago I wrote an article called on Wise Bread and it was a comment on Knight Kiplinger’s article about how Americans themselves are the culprits for the nation’s economic problems. The American people like lower taxes, and more services. The politicians get elected by making expensive promises, and they fulfill their promises by borrowing money. This has been going on for quite a while. One of the commenters on my article wrote an extremely long comment that ended with,

“Fed a steady diet of corporate-controlled advertising which manipulates quirks of the human brain (read Jerry Mander’s ““) to increase consumer spending and pro-corporate news, is it any wonder the average American is a mess? Sure, they’re stupid for continuing to stare at the boob-tube and not noticing that they get the urge to order out a pizza after the TV ad, but hey, most people just don’t have as high IQ’s as the average tightwad (read ““), especially as many of today’s consumers are from the post-Reagan/cut-education-to-the-bone generation. It’s not that the more aware people aren’t writing to their Congressman demanding solutions, the problem is that those Congressmen aren’t listening because they’re beholden to their corporate sponsors.

STOP telling people they’re stupid and it’s all their own fault. A) it’s only 25%-30% their fault; B) the minute you tell someone it’s all their fault they stop listening to you; and C), the originator of this article is quoting a non-credible source. If you want to change things, take clueless consumers by the hand, gently explain the situation to them and what they can do to fix it in a non-blaming way, then unleash them on Congress to throw the bastards out of office. Educate people that they have been brainwashed and teach them there is another way to live.”

I think this commenter is pretty blunt and cuts to the heart of the problem. Most people don’t care or know enough to learn about the national debt. Most people keep on electing the officials that promise the most to them. How does a politician make “reduce the national debt” sound more sexy than “tax cuts for the middle class”? Sure, I.O.U.S.A may be a great documentary, but how many people will watch it? Now that billionaire endorsed it, I am sure that those in the government who love class warfare and spending all they can would dismiss it as another piece of propaganda from “the rich”.

Here is what I find absolutely fall-off-my-chair hilarious. China is one of the biggest creditors to the USA. Actually according to the Treasury, China . So basically the $40 billion extravaganza of an Olympics could be just funded by the interest payments America is sending to China. I am sure some of you Americans might be calling China evil now, but if China didn’t loan the money to the United States then your lives may be a lot worse. Treasuries carry a fairly low yield, and that’s what kept inflation low in the United States for decades. However, if China stops buying so many treasuries from the United States sometime in the future or demand higher rates then that would affect government funds in a significant manner.

I really don’t know how Americans can fix this because there doesn’t seem to be a politician that doesn’t love to spend and get more debt. I guess they’re not spending their own money so it doesn’t matter to them. Young sensible professionals are not the majority in America, and most people who vote are baby boomers and seniors who love the government sponsored freebies so politicians pander to them. One prime example is that Obama is proposing no taxes for seniors making $50,000 a year and below. It makes sense for the more elderly because the debts incurred by the government will be paid by generations to come, so they’re not spending their money either. I’m not saying that all elderly people are leeches, but selfishness tend to lead people to vote a certain way especially when the incentives are so large.

Finally, here is another funny and ironic fact. When people who work in the government apply for Top Secret or Secret clearance they will be screened for the amount of debt they have. If they have too much debt they may not get clearance because they are more likely to be blackmailed or accept bribes. Right now, the United States Government’s national debt is so large and owned by so many foreign nations that it may not pass for its own security clearance if it applied. I think the Department of Homeland Security should probably get involved as soon as possible because the United States Government’s finances is a valid security risk.

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Canadian pharmacy viagra review » Northmeds Canadian Pharmacy, Online Canada Pharmacies http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/06/12/keep-on-top-of-your-credit-card-rewards/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/06/12/keep-on-top-of-your-credit-card-rewards/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2008 22:54:49 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/06/12/keep-on-top-of-your-credit-card-rewards/ A couple days ago, I was paying off one of my husband’s credit cards and I noticed that his reward terms were quite different from mine. This was an AMEX True Earnings card from Costco that we rarely use.  Nevertheless, there were some cash rewards on it.  So I read the terms as to how the cash rebate can be redeemed, and apparently they send a physical voucher every February with a paper statement.  This is my husband’s card so I asked him if he saw the voucher in the February statement, and he looked at me quizzically and said he didn’t know what I was talking about.  The good thing is that he never throws statements away, so after some furious digging, I found a voucher for $5.83 at Costco.  I triumphantly handed the voucher to him and he laughed at me for a bit and said, “oh so this is what you were looking for.”

We have a couple other rewards cards.  One is a Citi Professional which we use for restaurants, and the other is a Chase Cash Rewards card which still pays 5% on gas and grocery purchases (this card is no longer available to new customers).  I have found that I had to keep up on these rewards programs, too.  For example, the Citi card pays Thankyou points, which has been devalued more and more the last few years.  5000 Thankyou points used to get you a $50 gift card, but now you need 6000 points to get the same gift card.  They are also removing quite a few gift cards from the program.  I like my Chase Cash Rewards card because 5000  points is just equal to $50 cash, but I still have to redeem it once the statement closes.  If I don’t redeem it then they don’t send the money to me automatically.  I try to cash out the points as soon as possible because if I leave them then there’s a bigger chance of them being devalued or completely confiscated.

My husband used to be a big cash user, but now he likes rewards credit cards because whatever rewards we receive in the form of gift cards can be spent on entertainment without impacting the entertainment budget.  In this manner, the rewards are actually rewards for him.  It doesn’t really make us spend more than usual, and since we pay off all the cards every month,  getting $50 every few months from buying groceries and gas is really a bonus. Even though keeping track of these rewards programs can be a bit annoying, I feel that it is necessary to get the most out of your credit cards.

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Canadian pharmacy viagra review » Northmeds Canadian Pharmacy, Online Canada Pharmacies http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/01/the-nuances-of-good-and-bad-debt/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/01/the-nuances-of-good-and-bad-debt/#comments Thu, 01 May 2008 21:41:37 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/01/the-nuances-of-good-and-bad-debt/ So my dad wrote a comment on my earlier post saying that there is good and bad debt, and not having debt doesn’t mean you are good at managing your money.  That is definitely true, and I feel like I need to address what I think the nuances between good and bad debt are.

First of all, I am pretty sick of people telling me that a mortgage is good debt, because it is not that simple.  I think a mortgage can be good debt if the property you purchased  generates cash flow. In the case of a primary residence, this means that the cost of your monthly mortgage is less than the cost to rent a similar home. In the case of a rental or investment property, this means the rent you collect covers your mortgage and maintenance costs.  Additionally there is the possibility of asset appreciation, but that is an uncertain factor that should be measured conservatively.  A mortgage is definitely bad debt if you can’t afford it or if you have to  stretch your finances extremely thin to afford it.  If you are losing buckets of money by taking on a mortgage, then it is bad debt.

Another iffy type of debt is student loans.  A lot of people consider them to be good debt because they financed an education, but I think student loans can also be bad debt if the education was never put to use or if the interest rates are extraordinarily high.  Then again, it’s hard to gauge the future when you are young, idealistic, and have a passion for learning. However, it is possible to figure out the approximate salary you could potentially receive by finishing a certain degree.

Credit card debt is another thing that could be good or bad.  If your credit card debt has 0% interest, it is possible to leverage that money into safe investments and pay the credit card company back.  In fact a whole group of people have taken advantage of this in the past few years when bank interest rates were high.  However, most people who have credit card debt are in a situation where they are paying extremely high interest rates on purchases of useless items.  That is extremely bad debt.

So what’s the bottom line?  I think good debt is basically debt you could make a profit on and bad debt is the debt that make you have less than what you started with.  It is hard to figure out which is which in some situations, but when you realize you have bad debt you should work on eliminating it as soon as possible.

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Canadian pharmacy viagra review » Northmeds Canadian Pharmacy, Online Canada Pharmacies http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/03/16/carnival-of-credit-report-stories-march-17-2008/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/03/16/carnival-of-credit-report-stories-march-17-2008/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2008 03:13:35 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/03/16/carnival-of-credit-report-stories-march-17-2008/ Welcome to the March 17, 2008 edition of credit report stories. This is a fairly new blog carnival that doesn’t have many submissions. The following are the submissions I found useful.

canadian pharmacy viagra review presents posted at . I thought this article was rather interesting. Apparently some identity theft alert services do work.

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That concludes this extremely short edition of the article. Submit your blog article to the next edition of canadian pharmacy viagra review using the if you have useful articles about credit cards, credit report, and identity theft!

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