It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…
Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! I’m on a slightly compressed schedule this weekend because I’ll be playing a little golf and hanging out with my dear old dad. As such, this is a special espresso edition of Black Coffee.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to peruse many other personal finance blogs this week, so I can’t pimp any articles, but I promise I’ll double back and catch up with next week’s edition.
Anyway, I hope you all have a nice weekend! I know I will.
OK. Let’s get started; I’ve got a tee time to honor.
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From August 2009:
Is Your Employer Stealing from You? – Do you ever wonder why some employers often look the other way even though they know their employees are running off with the occasional box of pens or paperclips? It’s because, after all’s said and done, they more than make up the difference by returning the favor and stealing from their employees. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
Credits and Debits
Debit: Believe it or not, with summer officially less than a week away, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finally posted its first three-day losing streak of the year on Wednesday. That’s the Dow’s longest run of trading days to start the year without a three-day losing streak since the index was founded in 1896.
Credit: Hey, don’t be sad; it ain’t all bad news. Despite the losing streak, the Dow is still up 15% for the year. Amazing.
Debit: This week the IRS officially made permanent the Obamacare tanning tax, which the Indoor Tanning Association says has led to the loss of 3,000 tanning businesses since July 2010. By the way, if you think this tax disproportionately — if not unfairly — targets melanin-poor Americans, you’re not alone.
Debit: Speaking of health taxes, Minnesota’s decision to increase the tax on a pack of smokes by $1.60 on July 1 has resulted in a cigarette-buying frenzy. Yikes. I remember when a pack of smokes was less than a buck — now the tax hikes alone are more than that.
Debit: You can bet higher taxes will be the order of the day for everyone if the latest 30-year deficit projections by the GOP are to be believed. Their mid-range estimate, which includes all of the entitlements required to support the Baby Boomers in retirement, suggests that the federal government will rack up a budget deficit of $107 trillion by 2043. I know.
Credit: Did you see this? Two weeks ago, Venezuelan police raided a warehouse and seized 2500 rolls of toilet paper that continue to be in short supply there. The citizens can thank the shortages on price controls that were implemented by their recently-reelected socialist government.
Debit: Those price controls were misguidedly put in place to try and tame high inflation caused by excessive government spending. Prices are skyrocketing in Venezuela so quickly now that year-over-year inflation there has reached 35% and Goldman is warning that hyperinflation is a real possibility.
Credit: As one Chinese woman discovered, reckless governments aren’t the only entities capable of destroying our wealth — she recently lost a small fortune to termites after they got their mandibles on $65,000 in paper currency that she had stored in a wooden drawer. Thankfully, after examining the remnants of the termites’ meal, her bank was able to identify and recover all but $9786.
Debit: That ain’t the first time termites have eaten somebody’s life savings. Last year termites consumed $37,500 accumulated by a woman in Taiwan, and in 2011 termites devoured $222,000 in cash being stored at a bank in India.
Credit: Of course, you’ll never have to worry about losing your savings to termites with ravenous appetites — or even fiscally reckless governments hellbent on destroying their currencies — if you store your wealth in gold and silver.
The Question of the Week
Last Week’s Poll Results
What’s the most money you’ve ever won playing the lottery?
- Less than $10 (30.6%)
- $10 – $99 (28.7%)
- $100 – $999 (26.7%)
- $1000 or more (5.0%)
By the Numbers
You didn’t think I was going to let Father’s Day roll by without looking at some fun — and disturbing — dad facts, did you?
70.1 million The estimated number of fathers in the United States, as of 2008.
189,000 Number of stay-at-home dads in 2012.
21 Percentage of fathers in married-couple families who were raising three or more children younger than 18.
16 Percentage of single parents in 2012 who were men.
22 Children fathered by 33-year-old Orlando Shaw, who is currently being sued for child support.
14 Mothers of Orlando Shaw’s 22 children.
18 Age of Shaw’s oldest child.
15 Age that Shaw had his first child.
$7000 Amount the state of Tennessee currently pays every month to support Shaw’s children.
Other Useless News
Here are the top — and bottom — five Canadian provinces and territories in terms of the average number of pages viewed per visit here at Len Penzo dot Com over the past 30 days:
1. Newfoundland (4.38 pages/visit)
2. Prince Edward Island (3.35)
3. Saskatchewan (2.62)
4. Manitoba (2.01)
5. Alberta (1.82)
9. Nova Scotia (1.44)
10. New Brunswick (1.31)
11. Northwest Territories (1.25)
12. Yukon Territory (1.13)
13. Nunavut (1.00)
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Letters, I Get Letters
Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment — assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not! You can reach me at: Len@LenPenzo.com
Not Making It left this comment:
Hi Len, I just had to write you. I read your article on 41 reasons why you aren’t lending me any money. I rolled on the floor laughing! Then I read (your post that said) I ought to be able to make it on $40,000 per year and I wasn’t so amused.
Good, because I wasn’t trying to be funny.
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.