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FinanceFree last won the day on October 3 2012

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  1. Troy, thanks for bringing up this topic. As a writer, I want to be paid for my work, but I don't expect my book sales to make me a millionaire. Television, film and other media writers get paid for their work, so why shouldn't everyone else? I agree with your comparison between the music industry and the literary industry. They both seem to mirror each other, but we will figure out a way to adapt to these changes. Joseph Lorick Author, "Did Everything But Think: D.E.B.T." http://moneyetiquette.com
  2. After a long and overbearing presidential race, President Barack Obama has been re-elected. We no longer have to wonder who will lead our nation for the next 4 years and all major political campaigning can be put aside for a few years. The president and the DNC ran a great campaign and both should enjoy their victory, but the battle to improve the economy has just begun. Will President Obama be able to lead our nation into economic prosperity? Will congress come together to help improve this nation, instead of playing politics? I believe the answers to these questions are not as important as many people may think. Why? The answer is simple; government does not dictate the direction of the economy. That charge remains firmly in the grasp of all American citizens. We must make the important decisions that will dictate the direction of the U.S. economy. We will have to decide if we will continue to support companies that ship jobs American jobs overseas. We must be motivated to create new ways to address our constant need for energy and convenience. Most importantly, we must hold all politicians responsible for fulfilling their promises. President Obama and all other winners from last night's election have made a lot of promises, but we can't accept another 40 - 60 percent fulfillment rate. We must hold them all responsible for their failures. How can we do this? While voting is a powerful tool for us to express our feelings, more is needed to hold politicians accountable for their commitments. We can't simply wait another two years to kick some people out of their government offices. We have to address their failures by cutting off the money supply. If political season promises are not kept, don't contribute a dime towards the next campaign. We should stop supporting all companies and organizations that openly support these promises breakers. Money talks in D.C. and it is time for our voices to be heard. This is where the opportunity to improve our government resides and we must use it to our advantage. http://moneyetiquette.com/blog
  3. It's official. As of July 2012, both presidential candidates have combined to raise over one billion dollars for their campaigns and are on pace to reach close to 4 billion dollars. Keep in mind, this does include estimated super PACs funding. Never before have we seen this amount of money raised so quickly for a presidential campaign. Considering the slow growth of our economy and an adjusted unemployment rate above 8%, many people wouldn’t expect to see money raised at this rate. But, should we really be surprised? Many Americans love presidential politics as much as they love professional football, baseball, and basketball teams. It’s a national competition with only two relevant contestants to choose from. In one corner you have the democrats and the republicans in the other. There are promotional events to build up interest like the democratic and republican national conventions. You have a few prefight trash talking sessions, better known as debates. Now that I’m thinking about it, this may be better described as a championship boxing match. Staging the conclusion of this contest during the year of the Olympic Games doesn’t hurt its cause either. It just adds to an already heightened competitive environment. But, is it truly all about competition? Most people will tell you presidential elections are about improving the country and exercising the right to vote. While I do agree with this premise, I feel the competitive nature of this race may be more important for campaign donors than the idea of improving this country. Here are a few points that have led me to this conclusion. Presidential policies have little impact on economic booms. Presidents have never been able to improve the national economy without a lot of help. President Coolidge is remembered for overseeing one of the best economic periods in American history, but his smaller government policies were not the primary reason for this success. He had a lot of help from technological advances, post war international commerce, and great consumer confidence. New inventions and advancements within consumer products were being produced at a rapid pace. The public loved the idea of life being less manual and purchased newly affordable automated products like refrigerators, cars, radios, electrically powered homes and other similar luxuries. People like Henry Ford, were working on ways to make their products more affordable for more than a decade and the 1920’s brought fruition to those ambitions. Factories were booming because of the post war entrances into European markets and helped to increase consumer confidence. President Coolidge also benefited from a republican led congress, which eased the ability to pass bills that would further his vision for the economy. Some people argue the policies passed during the Coolidge presidency is what led to the Great Depression, but that has little to do with my argument. President Clinton benefited from the dot.com boom and the typical post war (Gulf War) boost. President Kennedy and Johnson both benefited from the Vietnam War. Regan benefited from the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Marquette vs. First Omaha Service Corp, which led to a major credit card boom during his term. He also benefited from a Republican led congress to help usher in his economic policies. Presidents residing during economic booms have always been a small part of the force behind economic booms. So, why do we invest so much in making sure they get elected if their impact is so minimal? Our government is limited to the perspective of two political parties; Republicans and Democrats. Each year we hear the same political philosophies argued within our government, socialism versus conservatism. Neither is completely good or bad, but we pretend one is so much better than the other. Why; because we enjoy a good debate. We want to see a winner and a loser. This two party system doesn’t create a political environment that breeds new ideas, it discourages them. Once the political candidate’s ventures too far away from democratic or republican strong points, their chances of being elected are greatly diminished. They lose significant monetary and vocal support needed to influence voters when this path is chosen. Instead of being revered for their leadership, they are described as radical, delirious, rouge and idiotic. These circumstances make it pretty difficult to really create governmental change. So, what are donors supporting by backing these two political parties? The answer is fairly simple; tradition, exclusivity, and competition. They want to preserve their ways of thinking and beat the opposition. The balance of powers will simply continue to pass from one side to the other, which will limit any long term changes either side attempts to create. The two sides have essentially dominated our government and limited opportunities for change. Improving the country has little to do with this process. Directly investing in local communities strengthens our country more than throwing billions of dollars behind a presidential candidate. Most donors claim to support presidential candidates to improve the economy and lower unemployment. They say their candidate of choice gives us the best chance of strengthening our country, but that’s not true. The people that can help our economy the most don’t hold political positions. They aren’t the people on television running for president or other prominent government positions. They don’t hold large rallies and fundraisers to further a cause. These individuals are the very people throwing money behind presidential candidates; better known as political donors. If political donors were to use most of their donations to stimulate local communities, the economy would experience a much needed boom. Imagine the effect 4 billion dollars could have on small business (500 or less employees) growth if it were used properly. According to some estimates, there are roughly 30 million small businesses in this country. Three billion dollars distributed evenly amongst these small businesses would result in each business receiving 133 dollars in sales, which would have little to no effect on the economy. But, that would be in a perfect world where all these businesses provide good services and products. What would this figure be if only profitable small businesses that provide the best products and services received these funds? What if donors required these businesses to hire at least 1 unemployed citizen in exchange for these guaranteed sales? For the sake of this argument, we will assume only 1 out of 108 small businesses met this criteria. If these donors supported these select small businesses on an annual basis; the result would be roughly 279,000 small businesses receiving an annual 14 thousand dollar increase in sales. This increase would force these businesses to hire at least one full-time employee and create more business partnerships. Business owners that could not afford to hire someone with these additional funds wouldn’t agree to these terms, so there is no need to assume they wouldn't hire an unemployed citizen. We are dealing with businesses that may have only needed 3 - 5 thousand dollars in additional sales revenue to be able to hire a new full-time employee. Another positive result of this act would be an increase in consumer spending, which creates more jobs. All these new workers would have to spend their money somewhere. Two hundred and seventy-nine thousand new workers earning at least 25 thousand dollars annually would generate 6.9 billion dollars in taxable income. The private and public sectors would benenfit greatly from this increase in consumer spending. The trickle-down effect of this practice would easily drop the unemployment rate by a minimum 1 percent on an annual basis. Combine this drop with the natural fluctuations of our economy and we have an unemployment rate under 8 percent for the first time in 4 years. Talk about a stimulus plan. But this will never happen. We love competition and old traditions too much. Let’s allow this charade to continue flourishing and put our money into the hands of politicians. It’s the political season. The time of the year we’ve been waiting for. I’ll take my guy, you take yours, and may the best candidate win. Don't forget to check out my blog at http://moneyetiquette.com/blog.html and also pick up a copy of "Did Everything But Think: D.E.B.T. on Amazon.com!
  4. Our parents were being born into this world a little more than 50 years ago. They were the children of Black Americans born three generations after the abolishment of slavery. But thanks to governmental acceptance of the institution of segregation, they remained second class citizens. Being second class citizens, they did not have access to the best schools and were ineligible for many good paying jobs. Our grandparents refused to allow this form of segregation to remain in place and demanded change. They made a choice to fight for this change by any means neccessary. This choice cost some people their lives and others their freedom. While fighting for these rights, our grandparents also taught their children to value education. Many adults in their generation did not finish high school; but they wanted more for our parents. Grandpa and Grandma pleaded with our parents to get a high school degree and refused to accept anything less. Their persistent message stuck with our parents and resulted in millions of black teenagers receiving a high school diploma. Black teenagers had never finished high school at such a high rate and this was largely due to the efforts of our grandparents. After segregation was abolished and our parents became adults; they bought us into this world. We were the first and second generation of black children born in a post segregated United States. Our parents were only expected to finish high school, but they wanted more for us. The new message was to obtain a college degree. They knew a college degree would increase our chances of obtaining a good paying job and achieving financial stability. Their own career failures led them to this conclusion. While having a high school degree got them into the doors of Corporate America, our parents weren’table to advance without a college degree. They had to settle with the lowest paying jobs and didn’t have the time to obtain a college degree. Many of our parents had to provide for us and attending college was not feasible. They did not want this lifestyle for us and made sure we heard this new message. Their persistence worked. We finished college at a higher rate than ever before. Many of us even went on to obtain post graduate degrees. Our parents used a message to help with the advancement of our race just like grandma and grandpa. While it is true that not everyone bought into this belief, their message was proven effective. There are more black CEO’s and presidents in Corporate American than ever before. We’ve even witnessed the election of the first black president of the United States; a Harvard graduate. But now our parents are the grandparents and we are the adults. We are the people guiding the next generation of Black American adults. We are left with the responsibility of helping our race overcome setbacks from the past. The message of obtaining a high school degree belongs to our grandparents. The message of obtaining a college degree belongs to our parents. What is our message? The message we must create for the next generation should be different. Our children watched us finish college and obtain post graduate degrees. They understand the importance of a good education and the role it plays in getting a high paying job. The next generation needs more. Education based messages are no longer good enough. We need to offer them a message that will fulfill the dreams of our grandparents. This message must lead to Black Americans overcoming a problem that has yet to be solve; owning the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the United States. The way to achieve this is to teach our children how to effectively manage their money. The previous generations have taught us how to earn money; now we must teach our children how to use it. Our message to the next generation must be to obtain financial freedom. We must keep them from falling into the same debt building habits we accepted. It is no longer acceptable to promote obtaining college degrees through the accumulation of unsustainable debt. They must understand the consequences of uncontrolled spending and excessive credit card usage. We can’t teach our children to allow home equity to be their biggest asset. They must be taught how to protect their net worth and achieve lifestyle goals without a serious accumulation of debt. We must teach them how to escape paycheck to paycheck cycles. Failure to spread our message will result in a continuance of financial inferiority. Our parents taught us the value of a college degree without going to college themselves. Our grandparents taught our parents the value of obtaining a high school degree without finishing high school themselves. It’s time for us to step up and help with the advancement of our race. No excuses allowed. This is our obligation to the next generation and we should fully embrace it. Make sure you support the blog and comment there also at http://moneyetiquette.com/blog.html
  5. Instead of posting video clips, blogs, and other content related to my book and public speaking; I have decided to put it all on one website. Check it out and check out todays blog! http://moneyetiquette.com/
  6. I know that I put a lot of updates up on here, but I like to share good news. With that said; here is some cheap but effective footage of my last radio show appearance from 07/27...We are working hard to help people escape debt slavery... http://youtu.be/TvN2iKpeaQ0
  7. I love Howard Zinn books. He really got me back into reading.
  8. This title isn't free anymore, but is being offered for $0.99.
  9. Hello All, My newest release, "The D.E.B.T. Annulment: A short guide to nullifying your marriage to debt", is available for free today and tomorrow. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/The-D-E-B-T-Annulment-nullifying-ebook/dp/B008LWCFZC/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1. Enjoy!
  10. These next clips address financial problems within marriages and how to overcome them. There are specific yet practical tips offered for the audience and I am certain this will be something you want to hold on to. Enjoy. http://youtu.be/Ox9HJ5tSOCE http://youtu.be/OJl4H21-Sd0
  11. Thank you for the compliments and I totally agree with you. Overcoming perception is 90 percent of the battle, but the media has a strong grasp on this issue. I try my best to simplfy financial concepts so that anyone from 10 - 80 can understand what it takes to achieve financial freedom and strengthen their community. I will be releasing more video footage featuring the marriage portion of my lecture dealing within the next 48 hours.
  12. Great post, Troy. Like you, I see this problem growing at an alarming rate. While I can't control other people, I will do my part to not add to the problem. The only people we can truly control are ourselves.
  13. Here is some new footage from my most recent financial lecture, "Marriage, Money & Children". http://youtu.be/ISFnZ-86M7s http://youtu.be/yTvwtRaXEqQ
  14. Thanks for having me Troy and yes this was shot at Agape Christian Books Gifts and Music. I will be hosting another lecture there this Friday and will have new footage shortly after.
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