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From the mouths of babes

Evan, 7 years old: "A boy in my class said that all the money his dad had was $2. And his dad gave it to him!"

This could be a seven year old misinterpretation. For example, I have $5 in my wallet right now but that’s it and I could see my seven year old saying, "This is Dad’s last $5 and he gave it to me!" The sad truth is that most of us are one paycheck away from being homeless. Good fiscal planning suggests keeping three to six paychecks in savings but if $2 is all you have and your son needs that for lunch then saving anything is going to be impossible. The problem snowballs. Let’s say the $2 dad wants to feed his family and didn’t turn to Fish. Instead he knows he gets paid on Friday and since this is Thursday, he skates a check at the grocery hoping it won’t clear until after his deposit. But the bank processes the check first. Now $2 dad is faced with a $36 fee from the bank plus a $25 fee from the grocery store. $61 vanishes from the budget which is already not making it. Now the next pay period will be even harder. This is the poverty cycle.

I read something astounding yesterday.

The world’s 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion in 2012 – enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over

[Source,, World’s 100 richest earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty 4 times over]

Read that closely. One hundred people could change the world.

"The richest 1 percent has increased its income by 60 percent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process."

[Source,, World’s 100 richest earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty 4 times over]

More power to them! I would love to increase my income by 60%. I would love to taste the lifestyles of the rich and famous. However, read it closely. "[T]he financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process." Why? Because in the past 20 years the tax laws and other laws have been skewed in favor of the rich. It’s the opposite of Robin Hood. The rich are robbing from the poor to give to the rich. Cutting off welfare programs will not suddenly make the poor responsible and bring them out of poverty; cutting off welfare programs will make the poor dead…which I suppose does end poverty.

I did not mean to politicize this. My point was that a lot of people, normal people, are struggling. It is amazing that 100 people in the world could dramatically change that 4 fold. And yes, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and others are already donating their wealth for good. I hope we can reach a point where no child ever has to say "$2 is all my dad has" again.

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Bank bailout unnecessary

The bank bailout is unnecessary is Naked Capitalism’s assessment of Bert Ely’s comments from an interview at Institutional Risk Analytics.

A banking industry expert, Bert Ely, who has a stellar track record in predicting crises and calling false alarms says that the banking industry can handle this mess internally and does not need subsidies. [Source, Naked Capitalism, Banking Expert: Bailout Not Necessary, Industry Can Take Losses]

Update: Bailout has been planned for months and The New York Times says the Issue Is Payback, Not Bailout.

How come he gets horsies?

Update 25Sept2008: Billionaire George Soros says Paulson cannot be allowed a blank check.
Update: Ron Paul lectures Bernanke on the flaws of the bailout plan and the hazard of the attempt to fix prices versus letting them correct naturally in the free market.
Update: Newscoma points to another billionaire, Mark Cuban, who is harsh on the bailout. "The bankers that we hope will reflate the economy with loans to the people and companies who need it ARE THE SAME BANKERS THAT GOT US INTO THIS MESS." Watch for comments at No Silence Here.