Presidential Election Time: Policies To Win America’s Vote

Occupy The Government!The presidential election is just days away! This is when candidates start hamming it up and telling us all the great things they will do for us to gain or retain power. My favorite policies are ones that redistribute money from those who’ve earned it to those who haven’t. That rocks!

Given politicians love power, I hereby declare my wish list of things if they promise to do, will buy my vote. Everybody needs to think about what type of goodies you want from the government as well. For those of you who have the privilege of paying federal income taxes, do not let your tax dollars go to waste! You will be thrown in jail if you do not pay your federal income taxes, so it’s important to demand concessions.

Obama and Mitt, if you’re still reading my site (I see those White House IP addresses hit on occasion), think long and hard about my list of demands. Mitt, you should be especially vigilant because my crystal ball says you are on track to lose big time. Obama is doing a much, much better job convincing the middle class he will provide us more benefits. You don’t want to waste all that time and donor’s money again now would you?


The Fittest People Have The Lowest Self-Esteem

I’m somewhat obsessed with physical fitness right now.  It’s surprising, because the new year’s health push usually dissipates by February!  Just yesterday I thought, “What’s the point of being thin if I don’t have four pack abs?”  And then I started thinking what kind of person thinks about these types of questions?  Pretty unproductive and pointless if you ask me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that those with the highest self-esteem are the least fit and most indebted people on Earth.  Meanwhile, those who constantly think about their looks, and who are always at the gym exercising and pumping iron have the lowest self-esteem.  They are constantly checking themselves in the mirror to admire their physiques, even though they already know they look fine.

Think about the extreme case of anorexia.  Despite being thinner than the average person, the person who is inflicted with this disease doesn’t have the self-esteem to recognize their own beauty and stop punishing themselves.  Now think about the morbidly obese person.  Is this also a disease as well?  The person doesn’t really care what you think of him or her.


Is Unemployment Really That High?

The nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken has a help wanted sign up for the past 6 weeks.  I asked the manager how the hunt was going when I picked up my bucket of goodness and he said nobody was applying.

They pay $10 an hour for up to 8 hour shifts a day.  That’s $400 a week and $1,600 a month.  Not bad right?  I think so, even for a city like San Francisco.  For $1,600 a month, you can rent a room with a couple housemates for $700 a month, and have $900 a month left over for food and entertainment.  Not bad if you’re single.

If you’ve got a family to support, $1,600 in San Francisco is not going to get you very far, which is why many move out of San Francisco to one of the burbs and commute.

KFC’s inability to hire got me wondering: Is unemployment really 10%?  Everyday, you see the media drone on and on about how bad the employment market is.  I truly empathize with anybody out of work who wants to work.  However, if KFC can’t find a position for 6 weeks, perhaps the employment picture is actually much better than perception.

The city of San Francisco is hopping.  There is more money out there than you think.  I couldn’t get a cab for 50 minutes the other day from downtown to the gym.  I gave up and ended up jogging 3 miles in the rain in my work clothes and 20 pound bag.  Shit, that sucked.  I asked my well-to-do friend who is approaching his 80th week of collecting unemployment insurance how much he gets and how he’s doing.  He said roughly $450 a week, which he spends on going out at night.  He’s having a great time.


Who Pays The Bill?

About a month ago, I went to an open house and met a realtor named Sally.  I was immediately drawn to Sally due to her wealth of knowledge.  I’m currently very interested in building my real estate portfolio given the lag in property prices and very attractive rental yields vs. borrowing costs.  As a result, we got to talking and we agreed to have a follow up conversation during happy hour sometime in the future.  Realtors are always looking for new clients and I’m always looking to get up to date about the real estate environment.  This post is not a topic of whether one should be buying property now.  This post is about deciding who pays the bill.

The last time I let a woman pay the bill was never, especially for an acquaintance I hardly know.  In fact, even for new male acquaintances, I always pay the bill.  It’s just the way I grew up.  I asked the Twitter community whether I should pay or not since I am a prospective client, and I immediately got a range of responses from “don’t be that guy,” to “you are sexist for even thinking about wondering whether you should pay.”  Pretty tough responses, which leads me to believe that sharing any questions I have in public just opens oneself out for attack.  I also understand why people shy away from others and keeps things to themselves.


Should I Have Closed My Credit Cards?

Lifestyle inflation and a mega yachtI did some spring cleaning the other day and found two credit cards in my drawer which I totally forgot I had!  One was a Home Depot credit card I got three years ago at the check out counter because I could save 15% off my $3,000 purchase immediately.  The other card was a Banana Republic card that I applied for also three years ago to save 10% off my $1,300 purchase of a couple new suits, shirts, and shoes.  Both cards have zero balances, and neither have been used since the initial purchases!

My first reaction was to close both cards since I didn’t want someone risking get a hold of them and going crazy buying Brazilian rosewood floors at Home Depot or alligator shoes at Banana Republic or something.  In essence, I wanted peace of mind and so, I closed both cards.  To my surprise, I didn’t get a hard sell to leave them open.  I pressed several buttons on my cell phone and both cards are now shutdown.  Ahhh, so nice to not have to worry and have less potential holes to leak wealth.


Would You Return A Lost 12 Carat, $200,000+ Diamond Ring?

You might have heard recently that an unemployed architect by the name of Mark Epple found a whopping 12 carat, yellow diamond ring when he and his family was skiing in Vail.  The first thing that came to mind was who wears a 12 carat diamond ring?  That must be so gaudy!  My second thought was what is an unemployed guy doing spending thousands of dollars flying his family to Vail to go skiing?  Each lift ticket costs $100, not to mention lodging and food for the family.  Finally, I wondered whether I would return the 12 carat diamond ring if I was unemployed.

It’s easy to argue not to return the ring.  Anybody who can afford a 12 carat diamond ring probably isn’t hurting for money.  It turns out the original owners have a vacation home near Vail, so that sort of proves the point.  Based on the new rule of engagement ring buying, a husband can get away with spending up to the value of his car for his bride to be.  Cheap car, cheap ring!

And based on my 1/10th rule of car buying, one doesn’t spend no more than 1/10th their annual gross income on a car.  In other words, this couple is earning at least $2,000,000 a year.  Furthermore, they probably have personal property insurance coverage like so many do with expensive jewelry.

It’s also easy to argue for why one should return the ring.  If you lose something of value, you certainly hope someone will have the decency to return what doesn’t belong to them.  I’ve lost everything under the sun before and am so grateful when someone returns my lost item.  Furthermore, it’s not like you can easily sell a 12 carat diamond ring without bringing any attention to yourself.  The largest engagement ring I’ve ever seen is 6 carats, and that was just ridiculous.  Finally, if you do happen to return something of great value, more often than not the person will likely reward you for your good deeds.

What would you do?

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The Minimalist Lifestyle Is Not For You

My name is Florentine and I am what the world describes as a “minimalist.”  I can pack all my belongings into two suitcases and go travel the world if I want.  I aim to make $30,000 a year from various online projects and consulting gigs, which makes me feel slightly guilty since there’s a hint of hypocrisy.  With an efficiency studio and a bicycle, I don’t need much money to lead a happy life.  I want to tell you a secret, which is a secret that many minimalists have, but don’t want anybody to know.

The reason why I deem myself a minimalist is because I have difficulty achieving more.  For three years after college, I tried my hardest to work myself up an advertisement company.  I was passed up for promotion, and then the recession came.  Instead of telling people I lost my job, I told people “I quit” so I could lead the life of freedom I’ve always wanted.  “Screw the world and conformity!”, I told everyone.  I was too ashamed to tell my parents and friends that after 4 years in college, all I could do was stay a gopher, photocopying papers and answering phones all day.  I didn’t even succeed at that.

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.

Blink And Blink Again

It’s safe to say that before you began reading this post, you had no idea you were blinking.  Blink, blink, blink.  Whatcha going to do about it now that you are aware of your fluttering eyelids?  My guess is that your memory will last as long as a gnat, and you’ll forget as soon as you finish reading this post.

It’s amazing how we can blink roughly 36,000 times a day and not even be aware.  Yet, if we were to be consciously aware of our need to blink, we’d probably drive ourselves mad.  How great it is that our bodies protect ourselves from insanity by doing the things for us we have no desire of doing ourselves.


Understanding Happiness, Taxes, and Net Worth

Good day brilliant minds!  I thought it would be helpful to do a recap of the conclusions from this past week’s posts given we had over 200 comments.  We talked about three important subjects: Happiness, Taxes, and Net Worth.

The purpose of these articles is to get people thinking about issues so we can be more open minded.  If anybody has ever participated in the case study method of learning in graduate school or elsewhere, you’ll know that there isn’t a right answer so much as a right direction.  It’s so easy to get caught up in your belief that your way is the right way.  That’s a dangerous, dangerous path to take!

The Ideal Income For Maximum Happiness