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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
What positive steps can we take? The energy that is now expended by well intentioned, freedom-seeking individuals on the destructive course of politics can be turned into powerful steps that will have a positive effect on the future. All are moral, right and just. None require aggressing. Consider the following...
The first principle in dealing with government is: Don't be awed by it. What little the government achieves is almost always due to the voluntary participation of its citizens. Those who don't want to help the government can go their own ways without running into much trouble.
National Treasury Union President Colleen M. Kelly recently described the 2014 IRS budget allocation as “woefully inadequate.” But the agency has not proven itself to be an efficient steward of taxpayer dollars. Here are ten ways the IRS lost the trust of the American people.
It’s easy to be negative about the U.S. economy these days. Find a glint of silver, and folks come running to point out all of the dark clouds looming about. This, of course, is what we got last week when the monthly jobs report was released from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Folks pooh-poohed the number of jobs and whining that they’re not enough or that it’s less than a bunch of economists thought that it might be. But you know what? Stuff ’em.
Given how poorly states like California and Illinois have funded the pension funds for their own employees, one would think that this would stop dead in its tracks any plan to have the government assist in managing private sector funds too. The spate of recent activity, however, suggests otherwise.
The financial world is plodding along like a drunken sailor avoiding debt collectors by keeping no cash in his wallet. It’s not the kind of calm that’s going to last or end well. But the storm will have to wait until after the Olympics.What a game! We’ve never watched ice hockey closely before. But watching […]
President Obama crowed in his State of the Union speech about the economy, even mentioning “a rebounding housing market.” Maybe he was referring to friends in high places, like the seller of Penthouse One in New York, which just closed for $50.9 million, all cash. Millions of mere-mortal homeowners likely wanted to throw something at […]
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress.There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information […]
Amidst all the revelations about how the American people, many of whom are absolutely convinced they live in a free society, have their telephone calls, emails, website visits, and who knows what else under surveillance by their own government, let’s not forget the massive infringements on financial privacy that have gone on for decades.Consider, for […]
The exercise had an awesome name, inspired by the movies: “Quantum Dawn 2.”On July 18, scads of U.S. banks, stock exchanges and government agencies took part in a digital fire drill — a practice run in the event all of Wall Street came under massive cyberattack.This isn’t the first time banks have come under an […]
The faces of the Detroit bankruptcy are the thousands of pensioners whose promised benefits are suddenly part of the restructure negotiation. When Motown filed for Chapter 9 last July, the city had $11.5 billion in unsecured liabilities. The vast majority of this was pension and health care benefits owed to retired city employees.The images of […]
The Largest Company in History:“The United States Corporation of Government (USCOG)”I follow global social and commercial networks, looking for entrepreneurial opportunities.Innovation surges when industry and government models change. Buggy whips. Landline phones. Railroads. The Soviet Union. Apartheid South Africa. All marked social and commercial innovation, both bad and good.We are witnessing a new form of […]
We’d like to give the banks in Australia some credit. They’ve finally gone and done it. They have caught up with 1960s technology. They’ve figured out how to use PIN numbers.How to only use PIN numbers, that is. They’re considering scrapping signatures on credit cards to cut down on fraud. Apparently, having to verify your […]
We put in a good-citizen call to the SEC the other day.“There’s a massive scheme to manipulate stock prices,” we told the friendly agent.“I have to tell you that your call is being monitored so that we can better serve the public,” he replied.“Oh, don’t worry about that. The NSA is tapping our call anyway.”“Are […]
An old banking buddy of mine has been out of work for a full year. I met up with him yesterday, and he told me the good news that he has finally found work. It’s not enjoyable. But it pays better than sitting at home.
His time of unemployment had been doubly tough because his son was also out of work at the same time. The proud father seemed happier that his son had also found a job.
“And since he works for a nonprofit, they will pay his student loan,” he said.
“What?” I said, not sure that I was hearing right.
“If you go to work for the government or a nonprofit, they will pay your student loan.”
I told my friend that I’m thrilled for him and his son, but that I’m stunned that these sorts of incentives are in place to drive debt-laden college graduates to government and nonprofit jobs.
After all, this means taxpayers are footing the bill for these loans, on top of paying for government salaries that are, of course, a dead weight on private enterprise.
Well, it didn’t take much digging to find the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) that was passed by Congress in 2007. According to Forbes, “The program promises to absolve remaining balances on the federal student loans of qualifying borrowers who make 120 monthly loan payments under eligible plans.”
To be eligible, you must make these payments while working for the government or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The way to maximize the government forgiveness is to sign up for the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan or the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan.
So say a theoretical student graduates from law school (to use an example provided by Forbes) with $120,000 in debt and takes a job as a public defender making $45,000 a year with a 3% annual raise.
According to Isaac Bowers, senior program manager for educational debt relief and outreach at Equal Justice Works, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, that person would be eligible for roughly $151,000 in forgiveness if the young lawyer enrolled in the government’s Income-Based Repayment Plan and repaid about $48,570 in 120 payments.
There is a complete alphabet soup of debt forgiveness programs for those working on the government payroll. Various states have their own programs, as do cities, universities, and so on. Of course, these programs are all subject to funding, so hooking up with a federal government job offering a debt forgiveness program is the safest way to go.
Mark Kantrowitz tells Forbes that loan forgiveness options at the federal level are the most reliable. “Even if they get canceled, existing borrowers are likely to get grandfathered in,” he said. “And they’re not in danger of being canceled. There would be too much of an uproar if they were.”
Meanwhile, MBA graduates gainfully employed in the private sector whipping up lattes and the like are struggling to make payments. This past quarter, 11% of student loans were 90-plus days delinquent, which “for the first time exceeds the ‘serious delinquency’ rate for credit card debt,” William Bennett writes for CNN.com.
Students are graduating with mountains of debt and moving back in with their parents when they can’t find a job, or at least one that provides enough to pay rent and student loan payments. This isn’t some isolated circumstance. One in five families is shouldering student loans debt, according to Pew Research Center. But for households headed by someone younger than 35, the percentage is a whopping 40%. Back in 1989, that number was less than 20%.
Over a quarter of households headed by someone aged 35-44 has student debt, more than double the 11% for this age group in 1989. The average amount of student debt per household has nearly tripled (in adjusted dollars) in the same time frame, rising from $9,634 in 1989 to $26,682 in 2010. The result?
Mr. Bennett makes the very salient point that student loans are risky, and the government, which makes 93% of student loans, is an irrational lender. Someone pursuing a degree in anthropology can borrow just as much and at the same rate as a student earning a marketable degree like say, nursing.
But the government keeps on shoveling out the money. After all, Obama once told Congress,
“Tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.”
To that end, the Department of Education handed out $133 billion in 2010 and another $157 billion in 2011. And still students are borrowing like never before. But for what? The Associated Press reported earlier this year,
“About 1.5 million, or 53.6%, of bachelor’s degree holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41%, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.”
My friend went on to tell me that his daughter is nearly done with graduate school. I asked if he had been shouldering the burden of her education costs.
“No. Student loans.”
I asked if she had racked up a six-figure loan balance.
I let out a groan. He quickly added, “but she’ll probably work for the government.”
The mortgage debt crisis has been replaced in the public view by the student loan debt crisis. Total student debt outstanding is approaching $1 trillion. And while students are graduating with fancy degrees, jobs that pay enough to service the debt are few and far between.
The taxpayer just can’t escape funding the higher education racket. Your state taxes provide direct support. Your federal taxes are funding direct aid and student loans. And now graduates have a compelling reason to find a place on the government payroll with you footing the bill. After all, student loan balances can’t be discharged through bankruptcy, but they can be through government employment.