Does My Vote Matter?

Every two to four years we have government elections and every two to four years I wonder the same thing, “Does my vote matter?” In California, we have two Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman (R) and Jerry Brown (D) who have the most vicious attack ads I’ve ever seen. Their ads make them BOTH sound unappealing, which makes common citizens like me depressed that no change will come.

I have to think there are attack ads in almost every city in America which is resulting in the same voter ambivalence. Am I wrong? You tell me. Every single politician says the same thing:

* I plan to change the way the Capital is run. No more politics as usual.
* I plan to balance the budget.
* I am qualified because of my experience in politics, or my experience in business.
* My opponent is unqualified.
* I answer to no one but you.
* Wonk, wonk, blah, blah, schimmy, schimmy, bang, bang.

Kids and Growing Old: Musings Of A Newly Thirty Year Old Woman

 The following is a guest post by a regular reader who just turned 30.  Hope you guys enjoy and help her share in her thoughts!

So often we let society overly influence how we feel and act. I could go on for hours about topics like body image, nutrition, and politics but for now let’s just touch on age and children.

Maybe I’m on my own in this, but it annoys me that society teaches us that couples should raise a family once they’re married. While I have no ill feelings towards you wonderful parents out there, it frustrates me that I still find myself doubting my lack of interest in having kids because it’s abnormal, against the grain.

TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE

How Higher Taxes Saved Me A Boatload Of Money

When the state of California raised the sales tax by another 1% on April 1, 2009 I was pretty pissed.  What kind of government expects their residents to pay a whopping 10% tax on everything they buy?  Pedro doesn’t want to pay $200 in taxes on his $2,000 60-inch LCD TV.  Nancy shouldn’t have to pay $300 more on her $3,000 diamond encrusted bracelet.  And I certainly don’t want to spend $5,200 in taxes on a handsome $52,000 BMW!  That’s just ridiculous!

We the people of California deserve our luxury items just like every other parrot-brained consumer in America.  Who’s to dictate what we can and can’t waste our hard earned money on?  Certainly not some bureaucrat in Sacramento counting all his money under the table, no way!

GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO SAVE WHILE THEY SPEND

The Top Schools In The Nation Are All Party Schools!

What do Penn State, Texas A&M, University of Illinois, Purdue, and Arizona State University have in common?  They are considered the Top 5 best schools in the nation according to recruiters!  Wall Street Journal has this unique ranking system where they essentially ask corporate recruiters to rank their best schools.

I’ve seen a lot of college surveys before, and not once have I ever seen any of these schools in the Top 5, let alone in the top 10.  Let’s be honest, for the same cost, would you go to one of these schools over Harvard, Yale, Penn, MIT, Michigan, or Berkeley?  Most would say “probably not,” so what gives?

Let’s have a look at why recruiters are so excited about these schools.

Making Money Is Easier Than Building Relationships

Anybody can sell their services but not everybody can build and sustain a fruitful relationship.  How many sets of friends have you had over your lifetime?  How many acquaintances have come and gone?  Too many in my mind.

The other day, I became dismayed by one blogger who just focused on taking advantage of the Yakezie Network to make money.  He was more active in our financial opportunities than building relationships with fellow Members.  We’re talking no retweets, no posts highlighting any Members, and very few comments anywhere on the network.  I was so disappointed, but also cognizant of the fact that it’s hard to resist the mesmerizing green.  We had a heart to heart and I think he’s really going to make an effort over the next several months to be perhaps one of the best Members hopefully.

Small Business Owners Encouraged To Fire Employees Before Tax Hikes

The Bay Area is full of entrepreneurs.  There’s something in the air that creates an almost godly electric spirit that causes people to work hard and innovate.  As 2011 nears, more and more I hear about how small business owners are clamping down in preparation for next year’s tax hikes.  Clamping down is generally not a good term to use if you are a politician who wants to create job growth.

Let’s say you make roughly $3 million in annual gross revenue from your internet business like my friend Zach does.  Not bad, but not exactly big money if you take into account his cost structure.  If his pre-tax operating profit margin is 25% after he pays the salaries of all his employees, the rent, and so on, Zach is left with roughly $750,000 subject to taxes.  If his tax rate goes up from 36% to 39.6%, for every dollar he makes over $375,000, he will pay roughly $25,000 more in taxes a year in 2011.

Well guess what?  My friend is letting go of one of his junior programmers who makes roughly $85,000 to pay for next year’s $25,000-$35,000 tax increase!  My friend feels bad letting his 2006 college graduate employee go, but he has no choice since revenue has declined since 2007, and the government is tightening the screws.  Zach believes that 2011 revenue will be worse next year than this year, and is budgeting a decline.  Thank goodness for 99 weeks of unemployment insurance!  And no, it’s not reasonable for the junior programmer to just go work in fast food after only several weeks of looking.

DON’T LISTEN TO THEIR LIES.  THEY AREN’T IN IT FOR YOU.

When Rich People Call You Cheap

I ran into one of my golfing buddies the other day while waiting for a colleague.  Greg the golfer is an every day fella who so happens to be worth north of $20 million dollars.  I don’t know exactly how much he makes a year, but it’s likely at least $3 million during normal economic times.  He’s a powerful man who deserves everything he earns, but sometimes he’s just vexing.

We got to catching up about the latest gossip on tour when he asked me if I wanted to grab a coffee at Starbucks.  I told him I was good, largely because coffee hurts my stomach, not to mention I’m supposed to be waiting for my colleague at this exact spot and time to attend a meeting.  Greg responds, “Of course not, you are so cheap!” in a snide, but joking sort of way.  Unfortunately, every joke has a meaning, and being called cheap is one of the most annoying things to ever hear.

CAN’T COMPARE