Too many people think that long-term care planning is just a decision about whether to purchase long-term care insurance. However, long-term care planning is so much more. It is a discussion about how you will fund this expense, where you will receive long-term care, and who will provide the care.
Ask a D.C. insider what’s the best way to solve the debt crisis. Nine times out of ten, they’ll recommend taking on more debt. That’s how things operate in the Potomac swamp. Up is down, right is left, digging yourself into more debt is the best way to get out of it. But it wasn’t always like this. In fact, there used to be common sense when it came to the economy. So where did it all go wrong?
The Heartbleed bug is a massive security flaw that could put you and your personal information at risk. And while there are things you can do to limit the damage and protect yourself, you haven’t yet seen the ramifications of this security disaster. The Internet in the post-Heartbleed world won’t look like anything you’ve seen before.
Politicians talk about the uninsured. Special interests argue on behalf of those with pre-existing conditions. But why is no one wondering how doctors are affected by the new law? They’re the ones on the frontlines dealing directly with new patients, as well as the red tape that makes bureaucracies go round.
Politicians proclaim the benefits of small business while on the campaign trail. But when they meet in the seedy halls of Congress, they have no problem doing whatever they can to stifle, regulate, and subdue their progress. Instead of siding with entrepreneurs, these politicians often side with political allies and cronies that helped put them into office.
Here we sit Tuesday, thanking the heavens above that we live in the greatest country in the world. Allow us to count the ways. We discovered this morning that an estimated 810,000 previously uninsured Americans now have the good fortune of paying the U.S. Treasury for health insurance. That’s a full 1.7% of America’s 48.6 […]
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Every year millions of Americans wait until the last minute to prepare and file their taxes. Regardless of whether you’re one of these people, there are still things you need to be aware of before you send those forms in.
Technology brought the world together. But has it gone too far? Decades ago, mail was delivered by hand. Now it’s delivered in seconds. How has that changed the way you live your life? How has it changed the way people act with each other? These are just some of the questions we need to ask.
Austrian economics does more than tell you what happens when the government disturbs market forces. In the hands of knowledgeable investors and entrepreneurs, it can tell you exactly what to expect from the market. Market behavior depends on how people behave. And how people behave is central to the Austrian perspective.
Protect Yourself from Tax-Time Scams and Other Tax Pitfalls. Getting caught up in a tax scam can occur at any time of year. But your chances of getting scammed peak during that jolly season when you dutifully file your taxes. This is why, leading up to April 15, the IRS releases a list of the […]
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
Gun control isn’t a modern idea. The rise of gun control laws and limits on your 2nd Amendment freedom go hand in hand with the increase in the size and scope of government. Politicians want you to think the only people who can keep you safe are government forces. But as one renown libertarian economist and thinker will show you, their misguided laws do nothing but take away your freedoms and leave you less safe.
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
World War II might have dragged the country out of the Great Depression, but it did so at a great price. Central planning took center stage, and politicans and bureaucrats suddenly knew what was best for America, the economy, and your life. On top of that, they replaced the free market with a new economic system… Creditism.
Three Opportunities to Make Double-Digit Yields or 5, 10, or even 100 Times Your Investment! By now you have probably heard of crowdfunding. It’s a new, innovative way for artists and entrepreneurs to raise money online from a crowd of ordinary individuals. You make a monetary contribution to their project, and depending on how much […]
The Congressional Budget Office said the government needed to reach 7 million people by the end of March. They claim to have reached the goal and now the debate about Obamacare is over. But what does this milestone really mean in the ongoing healthcare discussion? And more importantly, how will it affect reforms going forward?
If you’re good at something should you be penalized so others have a chance at success? Should award winning actors and actresses be barred from future Oscar ceremonies to give other men and women the chance to succeed? Success should always be rewarded and encouraged. But what happens when you have a government that wants to even the playing field and take away the spoils of success. Gregory Bresiger finds out...
In an effort to cut costs and keep track of patients' records, governments could institute a medical guideline cookbook. Bureaucrats might think they have the best of intentions in mind, but these new rules would drag down the medical process and destroy whatever quality is left in our current system.
The best way to explain how to choose a good password is to explain how they're broken.
Gasoline prices have held fairly steady over the past three years, but the potential for a spring-summer price spike always exists. It wouldn’t take much for prices to lift back to the 2008 highs that caused near panic among motorists. GasBuddy.com offers a mobile app that displays price data for the gas stations nearest you. […]
Practical people often pooh-pooh fiction reading as a time wasting dalliance, dominated by a Marxist coloring of the world. However, fiction readers were given a scientific reason recently for spending hours absorbing fanciful figments of someone’s imagination.
Argentina is suffering the ravages of government debasement of the currency -- i.e., inflation, the process by which government pays for its ever-increasing debts and bills by simply printing more paper currency. The expanded money supply results in a lower value of everyone’s money, which is reflected in the rising prices of the things that money buys.
When government expansion is allowed to continue unabated or when it casts a heavy regulatory shadow on America’s entrepreneurial spirit, the freedoms that we’ve come to know, and perhaps take for granted, slowly begin to slip away.
Its acceptance is as widespread as its justification is important, for it provides the rationale for the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented monetary expansion since 2008. While critics may dispute the wealth effect’s magnitude, few have challenged its conceptual soundness. Such is the purpose of this article. The wealth effect is but a mantra without merit.
Baron Rothschild, the famous French financier, was once heard to say that he knew of only two men who really understood money -- an obscure clerk in the Bank of France and one of the directors of the Bank of England. “Unfortunately,” he added, “they disagree.”
The saga of All Saints could soon be coming to a community near you. Thanks partly to the scandal surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the agency has proposed a new set of rules for a huge number of social-welfare groups that claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code.
The new reality of Obamacare’s tax credits has left finance reporters to pen articles warning readers to “take care” when considering a tax credit and providing strategies for how best to “protect yourself.” So what do finance reporters know that the White House doesn’t?
Nihilo ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. First put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine later used this axiom to prove that the universe needed a “first mover” to get things going. Even if the whole thing began with some kind of “Big Bang” moment, it still needed a banger to bang it. Who? God, of course.
When you eat or drink something sweet, your body and your brain immediately want more. It’s like a drug, really. But in my book, artificial sweeteners are worse than plain table sugar. Far worse. They lull you into thinking you’re doing something smart and healthy by avoiding extra calories. But it’s all a mind game, […]
As full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaches, every doctor, research professional, and health administrator I talk to tells me the same thing: Obamacare is going to reduce the quality of care and cost you more… in some cases, a lot more.
Economic theories don’t lend themselves to laboratory testing, so the work of a national appraisal firm is especially enlightening. A new study lends support to the Austrian business cycle theory, which says that the less government is involved, the faster a market will recover.
The United States is home to a gigantic socialist sector, larger and with a greater reach than any in the world, and it is fed by tax dollars and managed entirely by the government. Strangely, the opponents of socialized medicine and socialized industry don’t complain about it. In fact, all throughout the 1980s and 1990s, they urged its expansion.
It is called the prison system. It’s a fairly new system, but the cruelties of similar systems are so famed throughout history that they are spoken of by the Psalmist: “For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.”
The presumption in the Psalms is that prisoners are despised, ignored, forgotten, dismissed — and they are in our country, where this topic is not even on the list in the mainstream debate.
It’s stunning when you think about it. The “land of the free” is home to the world’s largest prison population. Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population, yet one-quarter of the entire world’s inmates are in the U.S. The ratio of the prison population to the general population is higher in than any other nation in the world. Russia is second. China is third.
If the jailed lived in one place, the 2.3 million would be the fourth largest American city, between Chicago and Houston. Every day, 35,948 people are incarcerated (source), and the only people who even bother to talk about it are considered to be on the fringe left, crazy people who can’t stop pleading for special interests.
Maybe we have more criminals who need to be locked up? It depends on how you define a criminal. Some two-thirds of people mired in the justice system (prison, probation, parole) are in for nonviolent offenses. Among federal prisoners, 91% are in for nonviolent crimes. No dictator in the world gets away with this.
And while the prison system as we know it came into existence in the early part of the 20th century, the trend toward mass imprisonment is relatively new. The numbers in prison are five times higher than in 1980, when the war on drugs really became a nationwide mania and sentencing became long and mandatory. Nearly the whole of the change is accounted for by these two facts alone. In 1980, 40,000 people were in the slammer for drug-related charges. Today, it is closer to half a million.
The statistics are not unknown. They have never been more accessible. But people hear these statistics and think: “Well, that seems like a lot of people, but hey, I’m not there and my friends and family aren’t there. Regardless, we are probably better off with too many people in jail, rather than too few. At least the streets are a bit safer than they otherwise might be. So let’s just forget about it, shall we?”
But it turns out to be very easy these days to trip over that wire that causes you to land in jail. The trouble is that you don’t know that until it happens. It could be a mistake that you or a family member made in handling too much cash. It could be a joint that someone smoked at your house party. It could be an unpaid ticket. It could be a tweet you sent that insulted a bureaucrat.
It could be the wrong download, upload or file-sharing act. Or maybe you lost your temper at the airport and said something you shouldn’t in the presence of a TSA agent. Maybe you acted on a stock tip that was slightly too revealing. Even the wrong glance at a cop could cause your life to unravel.
Any of these actions and thousands of others can cause you to become embroiled in a system you cannot control and cannot resist. You spend the night in jail. You are bailed, but there are endless legal battles ahead to get out of the thicket.
Your life suddenly becomes about keeping your freedom. You pay lawyers. You lose time from work going to hearings. You lose sleep with worry and have to take pills you never thought you would. Your finances are crushed. You can hardly think about anything else. This goes on for months and you are pretty much a wreck.
The whole thing seems crazy and preposterous. Why is the state focusing on you, rather than on real criminals? You are an easier and safer target. Plus, you broke the law. It is a dumb law and it is understandable that you broke it — and you would never do it again, even though many others who have done the same are out free — but you finally have to admit it: You are more guilty than innocent.
It comes time to plea-bargain. Your lawyers make a deal with the system. If you admit guilt, you will be let off. The sentence of 20 years, or whatever it happens to be, will likely be suspended. You agree to the deal, anything to bring an end to this hell. But something goes wrong. The judge sentences you anyway. Wait, this isn’t the way it is supposed to turn out! But now there is nothing you can do.
Then you find that the prison system is the crystallization of life under government control. Your Facebook, Twitter, email, phone number are all zapped. Freedoms of association, speech and press are entirely absent. Human rights don’t apply. The choices you can make about how to spend your time are allocated to you by wardens and at their discretion. Your person and labor are valued by no one in particular. Everything you consume — whether it is food or space — your masters regard as a favor granted.
Everyone who cares about you is outside the prison. The people on the inside do not care whether you live or die. And to your amazement and shock, you find that the prison is not filled with violent thugs, thieves and murderers. Most everyone is pretty much like you. They are people, real people with families and friends and lives, who were stopped by a cop and had forgotten to take the marijuana out of the glove box. They are people who exploded in a temporary rage at a bureaucrat. They are people who downloaded and shared the wrong files.
You discover an entire world behind walls, thousands of people just like you, and nearly all of them could be out living productive lives, caring for their families, contributing to life in their communities, living out their dreams on the outside. But here they are in this government institution — like millions of others in our time and throughout history — wasting away their lives in the name of some claim of “justice” that clearly does not exist.
The experience is enlightening and amazing. Prisoners are not who you thought they were. You want to get the news to everyone on the outside. You want to reveal this scandal to the world.
What do you say? The slogans that created this system — “the war on drugs,” “get tough on crime,” “zero tolerance,” “mandatory sentencing” — are about politics, not justice or humanitarianism, and they have nothing to do with the reality you see. It is a cruel system, completely out of control, and one with an immense human cost.
The prison system is a massive human rights violation. It has to be stopped.
But there’s a big problem: You can’t speak. You can’t act. You now know the truth, but now you also know that there is nothing you can do about it. And you also know that everyone on the outside pretty much thinks exactly how you used to think. They do not care.