For A Few Dollars More Quotes

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Then I said, “Matt’s got a big mouth.” “They all got big mouths, girl, learn that quick. These boys talk more than a pack of women. I lost fifty bucks on you.” I was stunned speechless again, this time it didn’t last as long. “What?” “See, Lee nailed Indy the first night they were together. Not nailed her nailed her but she was in his bed. Eddie, with Jet, it took a few days. Hank and Roxie, like, a day. Vance, like three, but Jules was a virgin and he had to interrupt the festivities once to go out and shoot someone.” I was blinking rapidly and feeling kind of faint at the amount and sensitivity of information Shirleen was imparting, not to mention what it might mean to me. “So we had a pool. Everyone threw down money on when they thought Luke would nail you. Mace won five hundred dollars.” Ho-ly crap. “So,” she went on. “Did he nail you nail you or did you two just sleep?” For some reason, I answered her unbelievably nosy question. “We just slept.” “New pool!” she shouted.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
Nora Ephron’s great line that “overtipping only costs a few dollars more.
John Waters (Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America)
As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.
Ron Paul
A few years ago, for instance, the AARP asked some lawyers if they would offer less expensive services to needy retirees, at something like $30 an hour. The lawyers said no. Then the program manager from AARP had a brilliant idea: he asked the lawyers if they would offer free services to needy retirees. Overwhelmingly, the lawyers said yes. What was going on here? How could zero dollars be more attractive than $30? When money was mentioned, the lawyers used market norms and found the offer lacking, relative to their market salary. When no money was mentioned they used social norms and were willing to volunteer their time. Why didn’t they just accept the $30, thinking of themselves as volunteers who received $30? Because once market norms enter our considerations, the social norms depart.
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
From the place by the railing at the edge of the tracks on the summer evening I return across the city to my own room. I am vividly aware of my own life that escaped the winter on the boat. How many such lives I have lived. Then I only made a dollar and a half a day and now I sometimes make more than that in a few minutes. How wonderful to be able to write words. ... Again I begin the endless game of reconstructing my own life, jerking it out of the shell that dies, striving to breathe into it beauty and meaning. ... I wonder why my life, why all lives, are not more beautiful.
Sherwood Anderson
The idea that “it takes money to make money” is the thinking of financially unsophisticated people. It does not mean that they’re not intelligent. They have simply not learned the science of money making money. Money is only an idea. If you want more money, simply change your thinking. Every self-made person started small with an idea, and then turned it into something big. The same applies to investing. It takes only a few dollars to start and grow it into something big. I meet so many people who spend their lives chasing the big deal, or trying to amass a lot of money to get into a big deal, but to me that is foolish. Too often I have seen unsophisticated investors put their large nest egg into one deal and lose most of it rapidly. They may have been good workers, but they were not good investors. Education and wisdom about money are important. Start early. Buy a book. Go to a seminar. Practice. Start small. I turned $5,000 cash into a one-million-dollar asset producing $5,000 a month cash flow in less than six years. But I started learning as a kid. I encourage you to learn, because it’s not that hard. In fact, it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I think I have made my message clear. It’s what is in your head that determines what is in your hands. Money is only an idea. There is a great book called Think and Grow Rich. The title is not Work Hard and Grow Rich. Learn to have money work hard for you, and your life will be easier and happier. Today, don’t play it safe. Play it smart.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
Years ago, I dated a lovely young woman who was a few thousand dollars in debt. She was completely stressed out about this. Every month, more interest would be added to her debts. To deal with her stress, she would go every Tuesday night to a meditation and yoga class. This was her one free night, and she said it seemed to be helping her. She would breathe in, imagining that she was finding ways to deal with her debts. She would breathe out, telling herself that her money problems would one day be behind her. It went on like this, Tuesday after Tuesday. Finally, one day I looked through her finances with her. I figured out that if she spent four or five months working a part-time job on Tuesday nights, she could actually pay off all the money she owed. I told her I had nothing against yoga or meditation. But I did think its always best to try to treat the disease first. Her symptoms were stress and anxiety. Her disease was the money she owed. "Why don't you get a job on Tuesday nights and skip yoga for a while?" I suggested. This was something of a revelation to her. And she took my advice. She became a Tuesday-night waitress and soon enough paid off her debts. After that, she could go back to yoga and really breathe easier.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
I thought you wanted to leave me." Jurgen sounded dazed. Nik patted his chest. "My poor, big, dumb asshole." He sighed, kissing Jurgen's neck. "Why didn't you just ask me?" Nik could feel the dumbfounded rising up from Jurgen's skin. "I don't know," he said slowly. "I didn't need to ask you if I knew how to fix it." "Oh, Jurgen." Nik patted him some more, petting his sternum. "We could probably spend a few years and thousands of dollars in psychologist's fees figuring you out, couldn't we?
Anne Tenino (The Fix (Whitetail Rock, #2))
No country was ever easier to spy on, Tom, no nation so open-hearted with its secrets, so quick to air them, confide them, or consign them too early to the junk heap of planned American obsolescence. I am too young to know whether there was a time when Americans were able to restrain their admirable passion to communicate, but I doubt it. Certainly the path has been downhill since 1945, for it was quickly apparent that information which ten years ago would have cost Axl's service thousands of dollars in precious hard currency could by the mid-70s be had for a few coppers from the Washington Post. We could have resented this sometimes, if we had smaller natures, for there are few things more vexing in the spy world than landing a scoop for Prague and London one week, only to read the same material in Aviation Weekly the next. But we did not complain. In the great fruit garden of American technology, there were pickings enough for everyone and none of us need ever want for anything again.
John le Carré
In all these assaults on the senses there is a great wisdom — not only about the addictiveness of pleasures but about their ephemerality. The essence of addiction, after all, is that pleasure tends to desperate and leave the mind agitated, hungry for more. The idea that just one more dollar, one more dalliance, one more rung on the ladder will leave us feeling sated reflects a misunderstanding about human nature — a misunderstanding, moreover, that is built into human nature; we are designed to feel that the next great goal will bring bliss, and the bliss is designed to evaporate shortly after we get there. Natural selection has a malicious sense of humor; it leads us along with a series of promises and then keeps saying ‘Just kidding.’ As the Bible puts it, ‘All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.’ Remarkably, we go our whole lives without ever really catching on. The advice of the sages — that we refuse to play this game — is nothing less than an incitement to mutiny, to rebel against our creator. Sensual pleasures are the whip natural selection uses to control us to keep us in the thrall of its warped value system. To cultivate some indifference to them is one plausible route to liberation. While few of us can claim to have traveled far on this route, the proliferation of this scriptural advice suggests it has been followed some distance with some success.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
Chaos theory throws it right out the window. It says that you can never predict certain phenomena at all. You can never predict the weather more than a few days away. All the money that has been spent on long-range forecasting—about half a billion dollars in the last few decades—is money wasted. It’s a fool’s errand. It’s as pointless as trying to turn lead into gold. We look back at the alchemists and laugh at what they were trying to do, but future generations will laugh at us the same way. We’ve tried the impossible—and spent a lot of money doing it. Because in fact there are great categories of phenomena that are inherently unpredictable.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
Of course these gifts were reckless extravagances for a family that was never more than a couple of dollars and a few days away from hunger, but that’s how poor people cope with being marooned in poverty while all around them flows the frothy stream of the consumer culture.
Trevanian (The Crazyladies of Pearl Street)
In many ways the effect of the crash on embezzlement was more significant than on suicide. To the economist embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Alone among the various forms of larceny it has a time parameter. Weeks, months, or years may elapse between the commission of the crime and its discovery. (This is a period, incidentally, when the embezzler has his gain and the man who has been embezzled, oddly enough, feels no loss. There is a net increase in psychic wealth.) At any given time there exists an inventory of undiscovered embezzlement in — or more precisely not in — the country’s businesses and banks. This inventory — it should perhaps be called the bezzle — amounts at any moment to many millions of dollars. It also varies in size with the business cycle. In good times people are relaxed, trusting, and money is plentiful. But even though money is plentiful, there are always many people who need more. Under these circumstances the rate of embezzlement grows, the rate of discovery falls off, and the bezzle increases rapidly. In depression all this is reversed. Money is watched with a narrow, suspicious eye. The man who handles it is assumed to be dishonest until he proves himself otherwise. Audits are penetrating and meticulous. Commercial morality is enormously improved. The bezzle shrinks. … Just as the boom accelerated the rate of growth, so the crash enormously advanced the rate of discovery. Within a few days, something close to a universal trust turned into something akin to universal suspicion. Audits were ordered. Strained or preoccupied behavior was noticed. Most important, the collapse in stock values made irredeemable the position of the employee who had embezzled to play the market. He now confessed.
John Kenneth Galbraith (The Great Crash of 1929)
Winning the vote required seventy-two years of ceaseless agitation by three generations of dedicated, fearless suffragists, who sought to overturn centuries of law and millennia of tradition concerning gender roles. The women who launched the movement were dead by the time it was completed; the women who secured its final success weren’t born when it began. It took more than nine hundred local, state, and national campaigns, involving tens of thousands of grassroots volunteers, financed by millions of dollars of mostly small (and a few large) donations by women across the country.
Elaine F. Weiss (The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote)
Fitbit is a company that knows the value of Shadow Testing. Founded by Eric Friedman and James Park in September 2008, Fitbit makes a small clip-on exercise and sleep data-gathering device. The Fitbit device tracks your activity levels throughout the day and night, then automatically uploads your data to the Web, where it analyzes your health, fitness, and sleep patterns. It’s a neat concept, but creating new hardware is time-consuming, expensive, and fraught with risk, so here’s what Friedman and Park did. The same day they announced the Fitbit idea to the world, they started allowing customers to preorder a Fitbit on their Web site, based on little more than a description of what the device would do and a few renderings of what the product would look like. The billing system collected names, addresses, and verified credit card numbers, but no charges were actually processed until the product was ready to ship, which gave the company an out in case their plans fell through. Orders started rolling in, and one month later, investors had the confidence to pony up $2 million dollars to make the Fitbit a reality. A year later, the first real Fitbit was shipped to customers. That’s the power of Shadow Testing.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
easy to trade a million-dollar portfolio with nothing more than a few thousand dollars' initial investment
Ernest P. Chan (Quantitative Trading: How to Build Your Own Algorithmic Trading Business (Wiley Trading))
For a few weeks Marco and I talked about the purpose of our lives. We’d come to see that our debt-ridden lifestyle was hindering us from accomplishing all we were created to do.
Carrie Rocha (Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, & Keep More of What You Make)
Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed. Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer. So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.” ~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm
David Coates
Why?” I kept on asking myself. “Why? Who is this boy and why?” I knew that white men bonded colored boys out of jail for a few hundred dollars and worked them until they had gotten all their money back two and three times over. But I was trying to figure out why Marshall Hebert would do this when he already had more people than he needed. Now I knew. This little old lady had the finger on him, too.
Ernest J. Gaines (Of Love and Dust)
Perhaps the best known of these films were the three that Clint Eastwood starred in for director Sergio Leone: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in which he played a gunslinger or bounty hunter wandering the countryside and settling scores for a price. Eastwood’s character took the law into his own hands, but he was essentially on the side of good and order. While Eastwood’s character, a dark hero type, employed unusual means to bring about justice, viewers found him irresistible because he was inscrutable, macho, and capable. While his motives were questionable, he brings his own kind of order out of chaos—actions that readers and film viewers always appreciate. In fact, he was a man of action, was extremely self-reliant, and just didn’t give a damn—all qualities that have universal appeal. His character’s darkness was a departure from the usual heroes starring in traditional Westerns, and this stirred the viewers’ imaginations.
Jessica Page Morrell (Bullies, Bastards And Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction)
When foreign military spending [bombing Korea and Vietnam] forced the U.S. balance of payments into deficit and drove the United States off gold in 1971, central banks were left without the traditional asset used to settle payments imbalances. The alternative by default was to invest their subsequent payments inflows in U.S. Treasury bonds, as if these still were “as good as gold.” Central banks have been holding some $4 trillion of these bonds in their international reserves for the past few years — and these loans have financed most of the U.S. Government’s domestic budget deficits for over three decades. Given the fact that about half of U.S. Government discretionary spending is for military operations — including more than 750 foreign military bases and increasingly expensive operations in the oil-producing and transporting countries — the international financial system is organized in a way that finances the Pentagon, along with U.S. buyouts of foreign assets expected to yield much more than the Treasury bonds that foreign central banks hold.
Michael Hudson (The Bubble and Beyond)
People living in cities pay thousands of dollars to psychiatrists, spiritual healers, and meditation gurus to learn how to cleanse their minds and achieve just a few moments of inner peace. Dick does it every year for a week in November for no more than the cost of a Minnesota deer license.
Christopher Ingraham (If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie)
THERE’D BEEN A few times—probably more than normal—when I’d wished I wasn’t a girl. I’d wished I was a boy the night Mr. Kewet asked me to dance and strangled me. I’d wished I was a boy the evening I was auctioned and men laughed in my face when I offered to buy myself. I’d wished I was a boy every day of my life that I belonged to that bastard who I would never name again. But that wish had ended with Elder. I’d finally come to enjoy being a girl—a woman. Every time Elder looked at me, every hour his feelings evolved from wariness to interest to love, I was beyond grateful I’d been born a girl.
Pepper Winters (Millions (Dollar, #5))
The Social Security system is a $75 trillion problem. Again, just to give you a sense of scale: Let’s say you started a business the day Jesus Christ was born. Let’s say you weren’t exactly a good businessman, and your business lost a million dollars every day—right through yesterday. How much longer would it take before your losses added up to $1 trillion? About 718 more years should do it, give or take a few months. And that’s just one trillion. Multiply that by seventy-five, and you have the size of the Social Security problem. That’s the amount it would take to fully fund Social Security for all current workers and retirees. To realize the magnitude of the problem we’re facing, consider the fact that the total of all wealth in America is about $60 trillion. We could confiscate every item of value from every American household, including cash and investments, and apply the value to the problem—and still not have enough money to fund Social Security fully.
Neal Boortz (FairTax: The Truth: Answering the Critics)
As I came over the brink of the cliff, a few children laughed, an old hag began screeching, and the men just stared. Here was a white man with 12 Yankee dollars in his pocket and more than $ 500 worth of camera gear slung over his shoulders, hauling a typewriter, grinning, sweating, no hope of speaking the language, no place to stay—and somehow they were going to have to deal with me.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time)
I've always found the thousand dollar dinners more unsettling than the twenty-five-thousand dollar ones --- if someone pays the Republican National Committee twenty-five thousand dollars (or, more likely, fifty per couple) to breathe the same air as Charlie for an hour or two, then it's clear the person has money to spare. What breaks my heart is when it's apparent through their accent or attire that a person isn't well off but has scrimped to attend an event with us. We're not worth it! I want to say. You should have paid off your credit-card bill, invested in your grandchild's college fund, taken a vacation to the Ozarks. Instead, in a few weeks, they receive in the mail a photo with one or both of us, signed by an autopen, which they can frame so that we might grin out into their living room for years to come.
Curtis Sittenfeld (American Wife)
Interruption Marketing was easy. Build a few ads, run them everywhere. Interruption Marketing was scalable. If you need more sales, buy more ads. Interruption Marketing was predictable. With experience, a mass marketer could tell how many dollars in revenue one more dollar in ad spending would generate. Interruption Marketing fit the command and control bias of big companies. It was totally controlled by the advertiser, with no weird side effects.
Seth Godin (Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers)
One day in the spring of 1894 or so, Amanda Cobb looked out her kitchen window and saw Tyrus and a bunch of Negro boys merrily hauling a cart laden with scrap metal, broken furniture, and other things they’d found in backyards and vacant lots around town. They were headed toward the junkyard to try to make a few dollars, and Mrs. Cobb knew for what. “He was always thinking up ways of earning money to buy baseball supplies,” she would tell a writer for the Springfield (Massachusetts) Sunday Union and Republican in 1928. “He was always playing when he was a child. In fact, we had a hard time getting him to go to school. I remember that the first money he earned he spent for a mitt. He couldn’t have been more than six years old when a neighbor asked him to take his cow to the pasture and gave Ty some change for doing it. Ty didn’t buy candy or ice cream. He knew what he wanted, and he got it—a baseball glove.
Charles Leerhsen (Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty)
He picked up the telephone on his desk. “Bring in the Cord loan agreement and the check.” “You will note,” he said, “that although the loan is for three hundred thousand dollars, we have extended your credit under this agreement to a maximum of five hundred thousand dollars.” He smiled at me. “One of my principles of banking, Mr. Cord. I don’t believe in budgeting my clients too closely. Sometimes a few dollars more make the difference between success and failure.” Suddenly
Harold Robbins (The Carpetbaggers)
I tried to imagine what it would be like if Constantin were my husband. It would mean getting up at seven and cooking him eggs and bacon and toast and coffee and dawdling about in my nightgown and curlers after he’d left for work to wash up the dirty plates and make the bed, and then when he came home after a lively, fascinating day he’d expect a big dinner, and I’d spend the evening washing up even more dirty plates till I fell into bed, utterly exhausted. This seemed a dreary and wasted life for a girl with fifteen years of straight A’s, but I knew that’s what marriage was like, because cook and clean and wash was just what Buddy Willard’s mother did from morning till night, and she was the wife of a university professor and had been a private school teacher herself. Once when I visited Buddy I found Mrs Willard braiding a rug out of strips of wool from Mr Willard’s old suits. She’d spent weeks on that rug, and I had admired the tweedy browns and greens and blues patterning the braid, but after Mrs Willard was through, instead of hanging the rug on the wall the way I would have done, she put it down in place of her kitchen mat, and in a few days it was soiled and dull and indistinguishable from any mat you could buy for under a dollar in the Five and Ten. And I knew that in spite of all the roses and kisses and restaurant dinners a man showered on a woman before he married her, what he secretly wanted when the wedding service ended was for her to flatten out underneath his feet like Mrs Willard’s kitchen mat.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Maybe every story you tell yourself is a little different: 'If I just lose a few more pounds'...'If I just earn a few more thousand dollars a year'...'If I can just get that guy to notice me...' 'Then I'll be happy. Then I'll be okay.' When we shed those deceptive stories we tell ourselves, we create a space where we are able to see what actually does make us authentically happy. I bet you'll find you weren't totally off. As I said, we all seek the same things: love, acceptance, purpose. We just look for them in the wrong places.
Ryan Manion (The Knock at the Door: Three Gold Star Families Bonded by Grief and Purpose)
After they buy their tickets, Emma pulls him to the concession line. "Galen, do you mind?" she says, drawing a distracting circle on his arm with her finger, sending fire pretty much everywhere inside him. He recognizes the mischief in her eyes but not the particular game she's playing. "Get whatever you want, Emma," he tells her. With a coy smile, she orders seventy-five dollars worth of candy, soda, and popcorn. By the cashier's expression, seventy-five dollars must be a lot. If the game is to spend all his money, she'll be disappointed. He brought enough cash for five more armfuls of this junk. He helps Emma carry two large fountain drinks, two buckets of popcorn and four boxes of candy to the top row of the half-full theater. When she's situated in her seat, she tears into a box and dumps the contents in her hand. "Look, sweet lips, I got your favorite, Lemonheads!" Sweet lips? What the- Before he can turn away, she forces three of them into his mouth. His instant pucker elicits an evil snicker from her. She pops a straw into one of the cups and hands it to him. "Better drink this," she whispers. "To take the bite out of the candy." He should have known better. The drink is so full of bubbles it turns clear up to his nostrils. Pride keeps him from coughing. Pride, and the Lemonhead lodged in his throat. Several more heaping gulps and he gets it down. After a few minutes, a sample of greasy popcorn, and the rest of the soda, the lights finally dim, giving Galen a reprieve. While Emma is engrossed in what she calls "stupid previews," Galen excuses himself to vomit in the bathroom. Emma wins this round.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Computers were built in the late 1940s because mathematicians like John von Neumann thought that if you had a computer—a machine to handle a lot of variables simultaneously—you would be able to predict the weather. Weather would finally fall to human understanding. And men believed that dream for the next forty years. They believed that prediction was just a function of keeping track of things. If you knew enough, you could predict anything. That’s been a cherished scientific belief since Newton.” “And?” “Chaos theory throws it right out the window. It says that you can never predict certain phenomena at all. You can never predict the weather more than a few days away. All the money that has been spent on long-range forecasting—about half a billion dollars in the last few decades—is money wasted. It’s a fool’s errand. It’s as pointless as trying to turn lead into gold. We look back at the alchemists and laugh at what they were trying to do, but future generations will laugh at us the same way. We’ve tried the impossible—and spent a lot of money doing it. Because in fact there are great categories of phenomena that are inherently unpredictable.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
After World War II, the United States, triumphant abroad and undamaged at home, saw a door wide open for world supremacy. Only the thing called ‘communism’ stood in the way, politically, militarily, economically, and ideologically. Thus it was that the entire US foreign policy establishment was mobilized to confront this ‘enemy’, and the Marshall Plan was an integral part of this campaign. How could it be otherwise? Anti-communism had been the principal pillar of US foreign policy from the Russian Revolution up to World War II, pausing for the war until the closing months of the Pacific campaign when Washington put challenging communism ahead of fighting the Japanese. Even the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan – when the Japanese had already been defeated – can be seen as more a warning to the Soviets than a military action against the Japanese.19 After the war, anti-communism continued as the leitmotif of American foreign policy as naturally as if World War II and the alliance with the Soviet Union had not happened. Along with the CIA, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the Council on Foreign Relations, certain corporations, and a few other private institutions, the Marshall Plan was one more arrow in the quiver of those striving to remake Europe to suit Washington’s desires: 1.    Spreading the capitalist gospel – to counter strong postwar tendencies toward socialism. 2.    Opening markets to provide new customers for US corporations – a major reason for helping to rebuild the European economies; e.g. a billion dollars (at twenty-first-century prices) of tobacco, spurred by US tobacco interests. 3.    Pushing for the creation of the Common Market (the future European Union) and NATO as integral parts of the West European bulwark against the alleged Soviet threat. 4.    Suppressing the left all over Western Europe, most notably sabotaging the Communist parties in France and Italy in their bids for legal, non-violent, electoral victory. Marshall Plan funds were secretly siphoned off to finance this endeavor, and the promise of aid to a country, or the threat of its cutoff, was used as a bullying club; indeed, France and Italy would certainly have been exempted from receiving aid if they had not gone along with the plots to exclude the Communists from any kind of influential role.
William Blum (America's Deadliest Export)
It wasn’t until I got to the law firm that things started hitting me. First, the people around me seemed pretty unhappy. You can go to any corporate law firm and see dozens of people whose satisfaction with their jobs is below average. The work was entirely uninspiring. We were for the most part grease on a wheel, helping shepherd transactions along; it was detail-intensive and often quite dull. Only years later did I realize what our economic purpose was: if a transaction was large enough, you had to pay a team of people to pore over documents into the wee hours to make sure nothing went wrong. I had zero attachment to my clients—not unusual, given that I was the last rung down on the ladder, and most of the time I only had a faint idea of who my clients were. Someone above me at the firm would give me a task, and I’d do it. I also kind of thought that being a corporate lawyer would help me with the ladies. Not so much, just so you know. It was true that I was getting paid a lot for a twenty-four-year-old with almost no experience. I made more than my father, who has a PhD in physics and had generated dozens of patents for IBM over the years. It seemed kind of ridiculous to me; what the heck had I done to deserve that kind of money? As you can tell, not a whole lot. That didn’t keep my colleagues from pitching a fit if the lawyers across the street were making one dollar more than we were. Most worrisome of all, my brain started to rewire itself after only the first few months. I was adapting. I started spotting issues in offering memoranda. My ten-thousand-yard unblinking document review stare got better and better. Holy cow, I thought—if I don’t leave soon, I’m going to become good at this and wind up doing it for a long time. My experience is a tiny data point in a much bigger problem.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
Asset elephantiasis. When a fund earns high returns, investors notice—often pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars in a matter of weeks. That leaves the fund manager with few choices—all of them bad. He can keep that money safe for a rainy day, but then the low returns on cash will crimp the fund’s results if stocks keep going up. He can put the new money into the stocks he already owns—which have probably gone up since he first bought them and will become dangerously overvalued if he pumps in millions of dollars more. Or he can buy new stocks he didn’t like well enough to own already—but he will have to research them from s
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
He had lived a man's life, and now it was at an end, and what had he to show for it? Two horses and a few fixin's and a letter of credit for three hundred and forty-three dollars. That was all, unless you counted the way he had felt about living and the fun he had had while time ran along unnoticed. It had been rich doings, except that he wondered at the last, seeing everything behind him and nothing ahead. It was strange about time: it slipped under a man like quiet water, soft and unheeded but taking a part of him with every drop - a little quickness of the muscles, a little sharpness of the eye, a little of his youngness, until by and by he found it had taken the best of him almost unbeknownst. He wanted to fight it then, to hold it back, to catch what had been borne away. It wasn't that he minded going under, it wasn't that he was afraid to die and rot and forget and be forgotten; it was that things were lost to him more and more - the happy feeling, the strong doing, the fresh taste for things like drink and women and danger, the friends he had fought and funned with, the notion that each new day would be better than the last, good as the last one was. A man's later life was all a long losing, of friends and fun and hope, until at last time took the mite that was left of him and so closed the score.
A.B. Guthrie Jr. (The Big Sky (The Big Sky, #1))
A few years ago my friend Jon Brooks supplied this great illustration of skewed interpretation at work. Here’s how investors react to events when they’re feeling good about life (which usually means the market has been rising): Strong data: economy strengthening—stocks rally Weak data: Fed likely to ease—stocks rally Data as expected: low volatility—stocks rally Banks make $4 billion: business conditions favorable—stocks rally Banks lose $4 billion: bad news out of the way—stocks rally Oil spikes: growing global economy contributing to demand—stocks rally Oil drops: more purchasing power for the consumer—stocks rally Dollar plunges: great for exporters—stocks rally Dollar strengthens: great for companies that buy from abroad—stocks rally Inflation spikes: will cause assets to appreciate—stocks rally Inflation drops: improves quality of earnings—stocks rally Of course, the same behavior also applies in the opposite direction. When psychology is negative and markets have been falling for a while, everything is capable of being interpreted negatively. Strong economic data is seen as likely to make the Fed withdraw stimulus by raising interest rates, and weak data is taken to mean companies will have trouble meeting earnings forecasts. In other words, it’s not the data or events; it’s the interpretation. And that fluctuates with swings in psychology.
Howard Marks (Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side)
On Amir and Dan once did a study in which they asked people how much they would pay for data recovery.4 They found that people would pay a little more for a greater quantity of rescued data, but what they were most sensitive to was the number of hours the technician worked. When the data recovery took only a few minutes, willingness to pay was low, but when it took more than a week to recover the same amount of data, people were willing to pay much more. Think about it: They were willing to pay more for the slower service with the same outcome. Fundamentally, when we value effort over outcome, we’re paying for incompetence. Although it is actually irrational, we feel more rational, and more comfortable, paying for incompetence.
Dan Ariely (Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter)
A few more statistics, which speak for themselves. At the start of the twentieth century, the average life expectancy for white Americans was barely fifty, and for black Americans it was roughly thirty-five. Americans spent almost twice as much on funerals as they did on pharmaceuticals; half a century later, the reverse was the case. By then, average life expectancy was around seventy, the black population included. National income rose by close to a third in the 1950s. In 1956 American teenagers had a weekly income of ten dollars and fifty-five cents, more than the disposable income of the average household in 1940. The middle class – that segment of the population able to spend money on non-utilitarian products – accounted for almost half of all American households.
Geert Mak (In America: Travels with John Steinbeck)
The firm’s fourth partner, Jeff Nussbaum, had carved out a niche writing jokes for public figures. It was he who taught me about the delicate balance all public-sector humorists hope to strike. Writing something funny for a politician, I learned, is like designing something stunning for Marlon Brando past his prime. The qualifier is everything. At first I didn’t understand this. In June, President Obama’s speechwriters asked Jeff to pitch jokes for an upcoming appearance at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner. I sent him a few ideas, including one about the president and First Lady’s recent trip to see a Broadway show: “My critics are upset it cost taxpayer dollars to fly me and Michelle to New York for date night. But let me be clear. That wasn’t spending. It was stimulus.” Unsurprisingly, my line about stimulating America’s first couple didn’t make it into the script. But others did. The morning after the speech, I watched on YouTube as President Obama turned to NBC reporter Chuck Todd. “Chuck embodies the best of both worlds: he has the rapid-fire style of a television correspondent, and the facial hair of a radio correspondent.” That was my joke! I grabbed the scroll bar and watched again. The line wasn’t genius. The applause was largely polite. Still, I was dumbfounded. A thought entered my brain, and then, just a few days later, exited the mouth of the president of the United States. This was magic. Still, even then, I had no illusions of becoming a presidential speechwriter. When friends asked if I hoped to work in the White House, I told them Obama had more than enough writers already. I meant it.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
Nevertheless, scholars keep obsessing about selfish motives, simply because both economics and behaviorism have indoctrinated them that incentives drive everything that animals or humans do. I don’t believe a word of it, though, and a recent ingenious experiment on children drives home why. The German psychologist Felix Warneken investigated how young chimpanzees and children assist human adults. The experimenter was using a tool but dropped it in midjob: would they pick it up? The experimenter’s hands were full: would they open a cupboard for him? Both species did so voluntarily and eagerly, showing that they understood the experimenter’s problem. Once Warneken started to reward the children for their assistance, however, they became less helpful. The rewards, it seems, distracted them from sympathizing with the clumsy experimenter.50 I am trying to figure how this would work in real life. Imagine that every time I offered a helping hand to a colleague or neighbor—keeping a door open or picking up their mail—they stuffed a few dollars in my shirt pocket. I’d be deeply offended, as if all I cared about was money! And it would surely not encourage me to do more for them. I might even start avoiding them as being too manipulative. It is curious to think that human behavior is entirely driven by tangible rewards, given that most of the time rewards are nowhere in sight. What are the rewards for someone who takes care of a spouse with Alzheimer’s? What payoffs does someone derive from sending money to a good cause? Internal rewards (feeling good) may very well come into play, but they work only via the amelioration of the other’s situation. They are nature’s way of making sure that we are other-oriented rather than self-oriented.
Frans de Waal (Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves)
(BDO) October 22: The Dollar Squeeze A debt is a short cash position—i.e., a commitment to deliver cash that one doesn’t have. Because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and because of the dollar surplus recycling that has taken place over the past few years…lots of dollar denominated debt has been built up around the world. So, as dollar liquidity has become tight, there has been a dollar squeeze. This squeeze…is hitting dollar-indebted emerging markets (particularly those of commodity exporters) and is supporting the dollar. When this short squeeze ends, which will happen when either the debtors default or get the liquidity to prevent their default, the US dollar will decline. Until then, we expect to remain long the USD against the euro and emerging market currencies. The actual price of anything is always equal to the amount of spending on the item being exchanged divided by the quantity of the item being sold (i.e., P = $/Q), so a) knowing who is spending and who is selling what quantity (and ideally why) is the ideal way to get at the price at any time, and b) prices don’t always react to changes in fundamentals as they happen in the ways characterized by those who seek to explain price movements in connection with unfolding news. During this period, volatility remained extremely high for reasons that had nothing to do with fundamentals and everything to do with who was getting in and out of positions for various reasons—like being squeezed, no longer being squeezed, rebalancing portfolios, etc. For example, on Tuesday, October 28, the S&P gained more than 10 percent and the next day it fell by 1.1 percent when the Fed cut interest rates by another 50 basis points. Closing the month, the S&P was down 17 percent—the largest single-month drop since October 1987.
Ray Dalio (A Template for Understanding Big Debt Crises)
And a house with smooth ceilings and a bathroom on the first floor. We could sock away more than a few dollars for the kids’ college funds and max out our retirement contributions. I knew I was supposed to be leaning in—these were important years in my career, and I wasn’t getting any younger. If what I’d read was to be believed, opportunities to vault myself to the next level would be few and far between. But . . . I wasn’t so sure I wanted to upgrade my wardrobe and get a haircut that said business and perfect my ability to hobnob with the ultrarich. I was equally unenthused about the possibility of working even harder, at least at this particular job at this particular juncture, and regularly being away from my husband and children. Because now I knew—really and truly knew in a way I hadn’t before—that it could all end in an instant. And if, God forbid, that happened, would I take my dying breaths feeling glad for getting a chance to fly business class?
Camille Pagán (I'm Fine and Neither Are You)
I look back at Silas, who is adding more sugar to his coffee. “Okay. Fine. One class, but only because I might not get another chance once we’re back in Ellison. And you have to promise not to tell Scarlett.” “Only if you let me pay for it,” he counters. “Silas,” I say threateningly. He shrugs. “You and Lett are broke. And besides, if you pay for it, Scarlett will know the money is missing.” “Fine,” I say dismissively. “Great. Let’s go get you signed up, then,” he says, rising and dropping a few crumbled dollars onto the tabletop. I remain seated, mouth open. “Now?” “No time like the present. I suppose I’ve taken Operation Rosie-Gets-a-Life as a personal mission. It’s too similar to Operation Silas-Gets-a-Life for me to ignore.” He extends a hand to me, and, without thinking, I take it. My heart rate quickens and I want to pull him toward me. Oh god. What am I thinking? I pull my hand away again and smile nervously. Silas smiles almost sheepishly. Did he feel the same stirring sensation?
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
In the very midst of this panic came the news that the steamer Central America, formerly the George Law, with six hundred passengers and about sixteen hundred thousand dollars of treasure, coming from Aspinwall, had foundered at sea, off the coast of Georgia, and that about sixty of the passengers had been providentially picked up by a Swedish bark, and brought into Savannah. The absolute loss of this treasure went to swell the confusion and panic of the day. A few days after, I was standing in the vestibule of the Metropolitan Hotel, and heard the captain of the Swedish bark tell his singular story of the rescue of these passengers. He was a short, sailor-like-looking man, with a strong German or Swedish accent. He said that he was sailing from some port in Honduras for Sweden, running down the Gulf Stream off Savannah. The weather had been heavy for some days, and, about nightfall, as he paced his deck, he observed a man-of-war hawk circle about his vessel, gradually lowering, until the bird was as it were aiming at him. He jerked out a belaying pin, struck at the bird, missed it, when the hawk again rose high in the air, and a second time began to descend, contract his circle, and make at him again. The second time he hit the bird, and struck it to the deck. . . . This strange fact made him uneasy, and he thought it betokened danger; he went to the binnacle, saw the course he was steering, and without any particular reason he ordered the steersman to alter the course one point to the east. After this it became quite dark, and he continued to promenade the deck, and had settled into a drowsy state, when as in a dream he thought he heard voices all round his ship. Waking up, he ran to the side of the ship, saw something struggling in the water, and heard clearly cries for help. Instantly heaving his ship to, and lowering all his boats, he managed to pick up sixty or more persons who were floating about on skylights, doors, spare, and whatever fragments remained of the Central America. Had he not changed the course of his vessel by reason of the mysterious conduct of that man-of-war hawk, not a soul would probably have survived the night.
William T. Sherman (The Memoirs of General William T. Sherman)
Why can't we sit together? What's the point of seat reservations,anyway? The bored woman calls my section next,and I think terrible thoughts about her as she slides my ticket through her machine. At least I have a window seat. The middle and aisle are occupied with more businessmen. I'm reaching for my book again-it's going to be a long flight-when a polite English accent speaks to the man beside me. "Pardon me,but I wonder if you wouldn't mind switching seats.You see,that's my girlfriend there,and she's pregnant. And since she gets a bit ill on airplanes,I thought she might need someone to hold back her hair when...well..." St. Clair holds up the courtesy barf bag and shakes it around. The paper crinkles dramatically. The man sprints off the seat as my face flames. His pregnant girlfriend? "Thank you.I was in forty-five G." He slides into the vacated chair and waits for the man to disappear before speaking again. The guy onhis other side stares at us in horror,but St. Clair doesn't care. "They had me next to some horrible couple in matching Hawaiian shirts. There's no reason to suffer this flight alone when we can suffer it together." "That's flattering,thanks." But I laugh,and he looks pleased-until takeoff, when he claws the armrest and turns a color disturbingy similar to key lime pie. I distract him with a story about the time I broke my arm playing Peter Pan. It turned out there was more to flying than thinking happy thoughts and jumping out a window. St. Clair relaxes once we're above the clouds. Time passes quickly for an eight-hour flight. We don't talk about what waits on the other side of the ocean. Not his mother. Not Toph.Instead,we browse Skymall. We play the if-you-had-to-buy-one-thing-off-each-page game. He laughs when I choose the hot-dog toaster, and I tease him about the fogless shower mirror and the world's largest crossword puzzle. "At least they're practical," he says. "What are you gonna do with a giant crossword poster? 'Oh,I'm sorry Anna. I can't go to the movies tonight. I'm working on two thousand across, Norwegian Birdcall." "At least I'm not buying a Large Plastic Rock for hiding "unsightly utility posts.' You realize you have no lawn?" "I could hide other stuff.Like...failed French tests.Or illegal moonshining equipment." He doubles over with that wonderful boyish laughter, and I grin. "But what will you do with a motorized swimming-pool snack float?" "Use it in the bathtub." He wipes a tear from his cheek. "Ooo,look! A Mount Rushmore garden statue. Just what you need,Anna.And only forty dollars! A bargain!" We get stumped on the page of golfing accessories, so we switch to drawing rude pictures of the other people on the plane,followed by rude pictures of Euro Disney Guy. St. Clair's eyes glint as he sketches the man falling down the Pantheon's spiral staircase. There's a lot of blood. And Mickey Mouse ears. After a few hours,he grows sleepy.His head sinks against my shoulder. I don't dare move.The sun is coming up,and the sky is pink and orange and makes me think of sherbet.I siff his hair. Not out of weirdness.It's just...there. He must have woken earlier than I thought,because it smells shower-fresh. Clean. Healthy.Mmm.I doze in and out of a peaceful dream,and the next thing I know,the captain's voice is crackling over the airplane.We're here. I'm home.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
The Arab world has done nothing to help the Palestinian refugees they created when they attacked Israel in 1948. It’s called the ‘Palestinian refugee problem.’ This is one of the best tricks that the Arabs have played on the world, and they have used it to their great advantage when fighting Israel in the forum of public opinion. This lie was pulled off masterfully, and everyone has been falling for it ever since. First you tell people to leave their homes and villages because you are going to come in and kick out the Jews the day after the UN grants Israel its nationhood. You fail in your military objective, the Jews are still alive and have more land now than before, and you have thousands of upset, displaced refugees living in your country because they believed in you. So you and the UN build refugee camps that are designed to last only five years and crowd the people in, instead of integrating them into your society and giving them citizenship. After a few years of overcrowding and deteriorating living conditions, you get the media to visit and publish a lot of pictures of these poor people living in the hopeless, wretched squalor you have left them in. In 1967 you get all your cronies together with their guns and tanks and planes and start beating the war drums. Again the same old story: you really are going to kill all the Jews this time or drive them into the sea, and everyone will be able to go back home, take over what the Jews have developed, and live in a Jew-free Middle East. Again you fail and now there are even more refugees living in your countries, and Israel is even larger, with Jerusalem as its capital. Time for more pictures of more camps and suffering children. What is to be done about these poor refugees (that not even the Arabs want)? Then start Middle Eastern student organizations on U.S. college campuses and find some young, idealistic American college kids who have no idea of what has been described here so far, and have them take up the cause. Now enter some power-hungry type like Yasser Arafat who begins to blackmail you and your Arab friends, who created the mess, for guns and bombs and money to fight the Israelis. Then Arafat creates hell for the world starting in the 1970s with his terrorism, and the “Palestinian refugee problem” becomes a worldwide issue and galvanizes all your citizens and the world against Israel. Along come the suicide bombers, so to keep the pot boiling you finance the show by paying every bomber’s family twenty-five thousand dollars. This encourages more crazies to go blow themselves up, killing civilians and children riding buses to school. Saudi Arabia held telethons to raise thousands of dollars to the families of suicide bombers. What a perfect way to turn years of military failure into a public-opinion-campaign success. The perpetuation of lies and uncritical thinking, combined with repetitious anti-Jewish and anti-American diatribes, has produced a generation of Arab youth incapable of thinking in a civilized manner. This government-nurtured rage toward the West and the infidels continues today, perpetuating their economic failure and deflecting frustration away from the dictators and regimes that oppress them. This refusal by the Arab regimes to take an honest look at themselves has created a culture of scapegoating that blames western civilization for misery and failure in every aspect of Arab life. So far it seems that Arab leaders don’t mind their people lagging behind, save for King Abdullah’s recent evidence of concern. (The depth of his sincerity remains to be seen.)
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
There were, inevitably, children’s clothing stores, furniture shops still offering bedroom sets by layaway, and dollar stores whose awnings teemed with suspended inflatable dolls, beach chairs, laundry carts, and other impulse purchases a mom might make on a Saturday afternoon, exhausted by errand running with her kids. There was the sneaker store where Olga used to buy her cute kicks, the fruit store Prieto had worked at in high school, the little storefront that sold the kind of old-lady bras Abuelita used to wear. On the sidewalks, the Mexican women began to set up their snack stands. Mango with lime and chili on this corner, tamales on that. Until the Mexicans had come to Sunset Park, Olga had never tried any of this food, and now she always tried to leave a little room to grab a snack on her way home. Despite the relatively early hour, most of the shops were open, music blasting into the streets, granting the avenue the aura of a party. In a few more hours, cars with their stereos pumping, teens with boom boxes en route to the neighborhood’s public pool, and laughing children darting in front of their mothers would add to the cacophony that Olga had grown to think of as the sound of a Saturday.
Xóchitl González (Olga Dies Dreaming)
Yes, that. Would you care to explain where the money is going, Madam President?” Letty laughed up at him with warm, loving eyes. “Certainly, Mr. Blackstone. Do you want to hear the explanation before or after I tell you that I have every reason to believe I'm pregnant?” That very morning Joel had decided that it was probably not possible for him to be any happier than he was already. Now he realized he was wrong. He forgot about the little matter of a fifty thousand dollar cost overrun and started to grin like an idiot. “You're pregnant?” Joel ignored the embarrassed expression on the face of the blond Adonis. “You're going to have our baby?” “It would appear so.” Letty pushed her glasses up onto her nose and smiled demurely. “What do you say to that, Mr. Blackstone?” Joel tossed the file over his left shoulder. The data on the ad budget was sent flying into the air. Eyes gleaming, he walked over to Letty and lifted her carefully into his arms. “I say the hell with the fifty thousand dollars. What's a few bucks between a president and her CEO?” “I knew you'd be reasonable about it, Joel.” Joel carried her out the door and down the hall. “Let's go back to my office, Mrs. Blackstone, and discuss something far more important than ad budget overruns.” “Yes, of course, Mr. Blackstone.” Letty glowed up at him. “And this time we must remember to lock the door before we start our discussions.” Joel's laughter echoed down the halls of Thornquist Gear. Life was very good.
Jayne Ann Krentz (Perfect Partners)
Probably my favorite method of funding school, other than saving for it, is scholarships. There is a dispute as to how many scholarships go unclaimed every year. Certainly there are people on the Web who will hype you on this subject. However, legitimately there are hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarships given out every year. These scholarships are not academic or athletic scholarships either. They are of small- to medium-sized dollar amounts from organizations like community clubs. The Rotary Club, the Lions Club, or the Jaycees many times have $250 or $500 per year they award to some good young citizen. Some of these scholarships are based on race or sex or religion. For instance, they might be designed to help someone with Native American heritage get an education. The lists of these scholarships can be bought online, and there are even a few software programs you can purchase. Denise, a listener to my show, took my advice, bought one of the software programs, and worked the system. That particular software covered more than 300,000 available scholarships. She narrowed the database search until she had 1,000 scholarships to apply for. She spent the whole summer filling out applications and writing essays. She literally applied for 1,000 scholarships. Denise was turned down by 970, but she got 30, and those 30 scholarships paid her $38,000. She went to school for free while her next-door neighbor sat and whined that no money was available for school and eventually got a student loan.
Dave Ramsey (The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness)
she feels lucky to have a job, but she is pretty blunt about what it is like to work at Walmart: she hates it. She’s worked at the local Walmart for nine years now, spending long hours on her feet waiting on customers and wrestling heavy merchandise around the store. But that’s not the part that galls her. Last year, management told the employees that they would get a significant raise. While driving to work or sorting laundry, Gina thought about how she could spend that extra money. Do some repairs around the house. Or set aside a few dollars in case of an emergency. Or help her sons, because “that’s what moms do.” And just before drifting off to sleep, she’d think about how she hadn’t had any new clothes in years. Maybe, just maybe. For weeks, she smiled at the notion. She thought about how Walmart was finally going to show some sign of respect for the work she and her coworkers did. She rolled the phrase over in her mind: “significant raise.” She imagined what that might mean. Maybe $2.00 more an hour? Or $2.50? That could add up to $80 a week, even $100. The thought was delicious. Then the day arrived when she received the letter informing her of the raise: 21 cents an hour. A whopping 21 cents. For a grand total of $1.68 a day, $8.40 a week. Gina described holding the letter and looking at it and feeling like it was “a spit in the face.” As she talked about the minuscule raise, her voice filled with anger. Anger, tinged with fear. Walmart could dump all over her, but she knew she would take it. She still needed this job. They could treat her like dirt, and she would still have to show up. And that’s exactly what they did. In 2015, Walmart made $14.69 billion in profits, and Walmart’s investors pocketed $10.4 billion from dividends and share repurchases—and Gina got 21 cents an hour more. This isn’t a story of shared sacrifice. It’s not a story about a company that is struggling to keep its doors open in tough times. This isn’t a small business that can’t afford generous raises. Just the opposite: this is a fabulously wealthy company making big bucks off the Ginas of the world. There are seven members of the Walton family, Walmart’s major shareholders, on the Forbes list of the country’s four hundred richest people, and together these seven Waltons have as much wealth as about 130 million other Americans. Seven people—not enough to fill the lineup of a softball team—and they have more money than 40 percent of our nation’s population put together. Walmart routinely squeezes its workers, not because it has to, but because it can. The idea that when the company does well, the employees do well, too, clearly doesn’t apply to giants like this one. Walmart is the largest employer in the country. More than a million and a half Americans are working to make this corporation among the most profitable in the world. Meanwhile, Gina points out that at her store, “almost all the young people are on food stamps.” And it’s not just her store. Across the country, Walmart pays such low wages that many of its employees rely on food stamps, rent assistance, Medicaid, and a mix of other government benefits, just to stay out of poverty. The
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
So now I was a beauty editor. In some ways, I looked the part of Condé Nast hotshot—or at least I tried to. I wore fab Dior slap bracelets and yellow plastic Marni dresses, and I carried a three-thousand-dollar black patent leather Lanvin tote that Jean had plunked down on my desk one afternoon. (“This is . . . too shiny for me,” she’d explained.) My highlights were by Marie Robinson at Sally Hershberger Salon in the Meatpacking District; I had a chic lavender pedicure—Versace Heat Nail Lacquer V2008—and I smelled obscure and expensive, like Susanne Lang Midnight Orchid and Colette Black Musk Oil. But look closer. I was five-four and ninety-seven pounds. The aforementioned Lanvin tote was full of orange plastic bottles from Rite Aid; if you looked at my hands digging for them, you’d see that my fingernails were dirty, and that the knuckle on my right hand was split from scraping against my front teeth. My chin was broken out from the vomiting. My self-tanner was uneven because I always applied it when I was strung out and exhausted—to conceal the exhaustion, you see—and my skin underneath the faux-glow was full-on Corpse Bride. A stylist had snipped out golf-ball-size knots that had formed at the back of my neck when I was blotto on tranquilizers for months and stopped combing my hair. My under-eye bags were big enough to send down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: I hadn’t slept in days. I hadn’t slept for more than a few hours at a time in months. And I hadn’t slept without pills in years. So even though I wrote articles about how to take care of yourself—your hair, your skin, your nails—I was falling apart.
Cat Marnell (How to Murder Your Life)
A well-known skin specialist patronized by many famous beauties charges seventy-five dollars for a twenty-minute consultation and eight dollars for a cake of sea-mud soap. I get more satisfaction and just as much benefit out of applying a purée of apples and sour cream! [...] Of course, all masques should COVER THE NECK too. [...] Masques should only be used ones or twice a week. [...] While the masque is working, place pads soaked in witch hazel or boric acid over your eyelids and put on your favorite music. [...] A masque really works only when you're lying down. Twenty minutes is the right length of time. Then wash the masque off gently with warm water and follow with a brisk splash of cold water to close the pores. [...] For a luxurious once-a-week treatment give your face a herbal steaming first by putting parsley, dill, or any other favorite herb into a pan of boiling water. (Mint is refreshing too.) Hold a towel over your head to keep the steam rising onto your face. The pores will open so that the masque can do a better job. [...] Here are a few "kitchen masques" that work: MAYONNAISE. [...] Since I'm never sure what they put into those jars at the supermarket, I make my own with whole eggs, olive or peanut oil, and lemon juice (Omit the salt and pepper!). Stir this until it's well blended, or whip up a batch in an electric blender. PUREED VEGETABLES - cucumbers, lemons, or lettuce thickened with a little baby powder. PUREED FRUITS - cantaloupe, bananas, or strawberries mixed to a paste with milk or sour cream or honey. A FAMOUS OLD-FASHIONED MIXTURE of oatmeal, warm water, and a little honey blended to a paste.
Joan Crawford (My Way of Life)
our government is still breaking our treaty obligations. If you coolly strip away the endless administrative rhetoric about budgets and governance, the endless studies and the endemic lack of broad policies coming from the Department of Indian Affairs, you begin to realize that we are still caught up in the racist assimilation policies of a century ago. Let me take a broader example. We all know that the treaties involved a massive loss of land for First Nations. What most of us pretend we don’t know is that this remarkable generosity was tied to permanent obligations taken on by colonial officials, then by the Government of Canada; that is, by the Crown; that is, by you and me. So we got the use of land – and therefore the possibility of creating Canada – in return for a relationship in which we have permanent obligations. We have kept the land. We have repeatedly used ruses to get more of their land. And we have not fulfilled our side of the agreement. We pretend that we do not have partnership obligations. It’s pretty straightforward. We criticize. We insult. We complain. We weasel. Surely, we say, these handouts have gone on long enough. But the most important handout was to us. Bob Rae put it this way at the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Treaty Conference in June 2014: “It’s ridiculous to think people would say: ‘I have all this land, millions and millions and millions of acres of land, I’m giving it to you for a piece of land that is five miles by five miles and a few dollars a year.’ To put it in terms of a real estate transaction, it’s preposterous. It doesn’t make any sense.” So the generosity was from First Nations to newcomers. And we are keeping that handout – the land – offered in good faith by friends and allies.
John Ralston Saul (The Comeback)
Managerial abilities, bureaucratic skills, technical expertise, and political talent are all necessary, but they can be applied only to goals that have already been defined by military policies, broad and narrow. And those policies can be only as good as strategy, operational art of war, tactical thought, and plain military craft that have gone into their making. At present, the defects of structure submerge or distort strategy and operational art, they out rightly suppress tactical ingenuity, and they displace the traditional insights and rules of military craft in favor of bureaucratic preferences, administrative convenience, and abstract notions of efficiency derived from the world of business management. First there is the defective structure for making of military decisions under the futile supervision of the civilian Defense Department; then come the deeply flawed defense policies and military choices, replete with unnecessary costs and hidden risks; finally there come the undoubted managerial abilities, bureaucratic skills, technical expertise, and political talents, all applied to achieve those flawed policies and to implement those flawed choices. By this same sequence was the fatally incomplete Maginot Line built, as were all the Maginot Lines of history, each made no better by good government, technical talent, careful accounting, or sheer hard work. Hence the futility of all the managerial innovations tried in the Pentagon over the years. In the purchasing of weapons, for example, “total package” procurement, cost plus incentive contracting, “firm fixed price” purchasing have all been introduced with much fanfare, only to be abandoned, retried, and repudiated once again. And each time a new Secretary of Defense arrives, with him come the latest batch of managerial innovations, many of them aimed at reducing fraud, waste, and mismanagement-the classic trio endlessly denounced in Congress, even though they account for mere percentage points in the total budget, and have no relevance at all to the failures of combat. The persistence of the Administrator’s Delusion has long kept the Pentagon on a treadmill of futile procedural “reforms” that have no impact at all on the military substance of our defense. It is through strategy, operational art, tactical ingenuity, and military craft that the large savings can be made, and the nation’s military strength greatly increased, but achieving long-overdue structural innovations, from the central headquarters to the combat forces, from the overhead of bases and installations to the current purchase of new weapons. Then, and only then, will it be useful to pursue fraud, waste, and mismanagement, if only to save a few dollars more after the billions have already been saved. At present, by contrast, the Defense Department administers ineffectively, while the public, Congress, and the media apply their energies to such petty matters as overpriced spare parts for a given device in a given weapon of a given ship, overlooking at the same time the multibillion dollar question of money spent for the Navy as a whole instead of the Army – whose weakness diminishes our diplomatic weight in peacetime, and which could one day cause us to resort to nuclear weapons in the face of imminent debacle. If we had a central military authority and a Defense Department capable of strategy, we should cheerfully tolerate much fraud, waste, and mismanagement; but so long as there are competing military bureaucracies organically incapable of strategic combat, neither safety nor economy will be ensured, even if we could totally eliminate every last cent of fraud, waste, and mismanagement.
Edward N. Luttwak
In 1924, riding a wave of anti-Asian sentiment, the US government halted almost all immigration from Asia. Within a few years, California, along with several other states, banned marriages between white people and those of Asian descent. With the onset of World War II, the FBI began the Custodial Detention Index—a list of “enemy aliens,” based on demographic data, who might prove a threat to national security, but also included American citizens—second- and third-generation Japanese Americans. This list was later used to facilitate the internment of Japanese Americans. In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Alien Registration Act, which compelled Japanese immigrants over the age of fourteen to be registered and fingerprinted, and to take a loyalty oath to our government. Japanese Americans were subject to curfews, their bank accounts often frozen and insurance policies canceled. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked a US military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans were killed. The following day, America declared war on Japan. On February 19, 1942, FDR signed Executive Order 9066, permitting the US secretary of war and military commanders to “prescribe military areas” on American soil that allowed the exclusion of any and all persons. This paved the way for the forced internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans, without trial or cause. The ten “relocation centers” were all in remote, virtually uninhabitable desert areas. Internees lived in horrible, unsanitary conditions that included forced labor. On December 17, 1944, FDR announced the end of Japanese American internment. But many internees had no home to return to, having lost their livelihoods and property. Each internee was given twenty-five dollars and a train ticket to the place they used to live. Not one Japanese American was found guilty of treason or acts of sedition during World War II.
Samira Ahmed (Internment)
Bitcoin is not a currency. Bitcoin is the internet of money. As a technology, it can bring economic inclusion and empowerment to billions of people in the world. I’ll give you one example of a specific application that is going to fundamentally change the lives of more than a billion people in the next five to ten years. ​ Every day, an immigrant somewhere cashes their paycheck and stands in line to wire 50 percent of that paycheck back to their home country to feed their extended family. Here in the US, 60 million people have no bank accounts, yet they cash their paychecks and send them abroad. Overall in the world, $550 billion is transmitted every year as remittances from first-world countries. Much of that money is sent to five major destinations: Mexico, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and China. In some of these places, remittances represent up to 40 percent of the local economy. Sitting on top of that flow of $550 billion are companies like Western Union, and they take, on average, a cut of 9 percent of every single one of these transactions out of the pockets of the poorest people of the world. Imagine what happens when one day one of these immigrants figures out they can do the same thing with bitcoin — not for 15 percent, not 10 percent, not 5 percent, but for 5 cents. Not a percentage; a flat fee. What happens when they can do that? They can, right now. There is a startup company that is handling remittances between the US and the Philippines. They’re doing a few million dollars right now, but they’re going to start growing. There’s $500 billion sitting behind that dam. When you’re an immigrant and you can change your financial future by not paying 9 percent to send money home, imagine what happens if every month, instead of sending 91 dollars home, you send 100 dollars home. That makes a difference. There are a billion people, right now, with access to the internet and feature phones who could use bitcoin as an international wire-transfer service.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (The Internet of Money)
Professor Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, and former Chairman of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, goes public over the World Bank’s, “Four Step Strategy,” which is designed to enslave nations to the bankers. I summarise this below, 1. Privatisation. This is actually where national leaders are offered 10% commissions to their secret Swiss bank accounts in exchange for them trimming a few billion dollars off the sale price of national assets. Bribery and corruption, pure and simple. 2. Capital Market Liberalization. This is the repealing any laws that taxes money going over its borders. Stiglitz calls this the, “hot money,” cycle. Initially cash comes in from abroad to speculate in real estate and currency, then when the economy in that country starts to look promising, this outside wealth is pulled straight out again, causing the economy to collapse. The nation then requires International Monetary Fund (IMF) help and the IMF provides it under the pretext that they raise interest rates anywhere from 30% to 80%. This happened in Indonesia and Brazil, also in other Asian and Latin American nations. These higher interest rates consequently impoverish a country, demolishing property values, savaging industrial production and draining national treasuries. 3. Market Based Pricing. This is where the prices of food, water and domestic gas are raised which predictably leads to social unrest in the respective nation, now more commonly referred to as, “IMF Riots.” These riots cause the flight of capital and government bankruptcies. This benefits the foreign corporations as the nations remaining assets can be purchased at rock bottom prices. 4. Free Trade. This is where international corporations burst into Asia, Latin America and Africa, whilst at the same time Europe and America barricade their own markets against third world agriculture. They also impose extortionate tariffs which these countries have to pay for branded pharmaceuticals, causing soaring rates in death and disease.
WHY DIVERSIFY? During the bull market of the 1990s, one of the most common criticisms of diversification was that it lowers your potential for high returns. After all, if you could identify the next Microsoft, wouldn’t it make sense for you to put all your eggs into that one basket? Well, sure. As the humorist Will Rogers once said, “Don’t gamble. Take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.” However, as Rogers knew, 20/20 foresight is not a gift granted to most investors. No matter how confident we feel, there’s no way to find out whether a stock will go up until after we buy it. Therefore, the stock you think is “the next Microsoft” may well turn out to be the next MicroStrategy instead. (That former market star went from $3,130 per share in March 2000 to $15.10 at year-end 2002, an apocalyptic loss of 99.5%).1 Keeping your money spread across many stocks and industries is the only reliable insurance against the risk of being wrong. But diversification doesn’t just minimize your odds of being wrong. It also maximizes your chances of being right. Over long periods of time, a handful of stocks turn into “superstocks” that go up 10,000% or more. Money Magazine identified the 30 best-performing stocks over the 30 years ending in 2002—and, even with 20/20 hindsight, the list is startlingly unpredictable. Rather than lots of technology or health-care stocks, it includes Southwest Airlines, Worthington Steel, Dollar General discount stores, and snuff-tobacco maker UST Inc.2 If you think you would have been willing to bet big on any of those stocks back in 1972, you are kidding yourself. Think of it this way: In the huge market haystack, only a few needles ever go on to generate truly gigantic gains. The more of the haystack you own, the higher the odds go that you will end up finding at least one of those needles. By owning the entire haystack (ideally through an index fund that tracks the total U.S. stock market) you can be sure to find every needle, thus capturing the returns of all the superstocks. Especially if you are a defensive investor, why look for the needles when you can own the whole haystack?
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
The scheme began to unravel following the Panic of 1873 when railroad investments failed. The bank experienced several runs at the height of the panic. The panic would not have affected the bank if it had been a savings bank, but by 1866, the business of the bank had become…reckless speculation, over-capitalization, stock manipulation, intrigue and bribery, and downright plundering…. In a last ditch effort to save the bank, the Trustees appointed Frederick Douglas as Bank President in March of 1874. Douglass did not ask to be nominated and the Bank Board knew that Douglass had no experience in banking, but they felt that his reputation and popularity would restore confidence to fleeing depositors….Douglas lent the bank $10,000 of his own money to cover the bank’s illiquid assets….Douglass quickly discovered that the bank was full of dead men’s bones, rottenness and corruption. As soon as Douglass realized that the bank was headed towards certain failure, he imposed drastic spending cuts to limit depositors’ losses. He then relayed this information to Congress, underscoring the bank’s insolvency, and declaring that he could no longer ask his people to deposit their money in it. Despite the other Trustees’ attempts to convince Congress otherwise, Congress sided with Douglass, and on June 20, 1874, Congress amended the Charter to authorize the Trustees to end operations. Within a few weeks’ time, the bank’s doors were shut for good on June 29, 1874, leaving 61,131 depositors without access to nearly $3 million dollars in deposits. More than half of accumulated black wealth disappeared through the mismanagement of the Freedman’s Savings Bank. And what is most lamentable…is the fact that only a few of those who embezzled and defrauded the one-time liquid assets of this bank were ever prosecuted….Congress did appoint a commission led by John AJ Cresswell to look into the failure and to recover as much of the deposits as possible. In 1880, Henry Cook testified about the bank failure and said that bank’s depositors were victims of a widespread universal sweeping financial disaster. In other words, it was the Market’s fault, not his. The misdeeds of the bank’s management never came to light.
Mehrsa Baradaran (The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap)
Even if the press were dying to report on the Hmong gang-rape spree, the police won’t tell them about it. A year before the Hmong gang rape that reminded the Times of a rape in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, the police in St. Paul issued a warning about gang rapists using telephone chat lines to lure girls out of their homes. Although the warning was issued only in Hmong, St. Paul’s police department refused to confirm to the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the suspects were Hmong, finally coughing up only the information that they were “Asian.”20 And the gang rapes continue. The Star Tribune counted nearly one hundred Hmong males charged with rape or forced prostitution from 2000 to June 30, 2005. More than 80 percent of the victims were fifteen or younger. A quarter of their victims were not Hmong.21 The police say many more Hmong rapists have gone unpunished—they have no idea how many—because Hmong refuse to report rape. Reporters aren’t inclined to push the issue. The only rapes that interest the media are apocryphal gang rapes committed by white men. Was America short on Hmong? These backward hill people began pouring into the United States in the seventies as a reward for their help during the ill-fated Vietnam War. That war ended forty years ago! But the United States is still taking in thousands of Hmong “refugees” every year, so taxpayers can spend millions of dollars on English-language and cultural-assimilation classes, public housing, food stamps, healthcare, prosecutors, and prisons to accommodate all the child rapists.22 By now, there are an estimated 273,000 Hmong in the United States.23 Canada only has about eight hundred.24 Did America lose a bet? In the last few decades, America has taken in more Hmong than Czechs, Danes, French, Luxembourgers, New Zealanders, Norwegians, or Swiss. We have no room for them. We needed to make room for a culture where child rape is the norm.25 A foreign gang-rape culture that blames twelve-year-old girls for their own rapes may not be a good fit with American culture, especially now that political correctness prevents us from criticizing any “minority” group. At least when white males commit a gang rape the media never shut up about it. The Glen Ridge gang rape occurred more than a quarter century ago, and the Times still thinks the case hasn’t been adequately covered.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
When a Single Glance Can Cost a Million Dollars Under conditions of stress, the human body responds in predictable ways: increased heart rate, pupil dilation, perspiration, fine motor tremors, tics. In high-pressure situations, such as negotiating an employment package or being cross-examined under oath, no matter how we might try to play it cool, our bodies give us away. We broadcast our emotional state, just as Marilyn Monroe broadcast her lust for President Kennedy. We each exhibit a unique and consistent pattern of stress signals. For those who know how to read such cues, we’re essentially handing over a dictionary to our body language. Those closest to us probably already recognize a few of our cues, but an expert can take it one step further, and closely predict our actions. Jeff “Happy” Shulman is one such expert. Happy is a world-class poker player. To achieve his impressive winnings, he’s spent much of his life mastering mystique. At the highest level of play, winning depends not merely on skill, experience, statistics, or even luck with the cards, but also on an intimate understanding of human nature. In poker, the truth isn’t written just all over your face. The truth is written all over your body. Drops of Sweat, a Nervous Blink, and Other “Tells” Tournament poker is no longer a game of cards, but a game of interpretation, deception, and self-control. In an interview, Happy says that memorizing and recognizing your opponent’s nuances can be more decisive than luck or skill. Imperceptible gestures can reveal a million dollars’ worth of information. Players call these gestures “tells.” With a tell, a player unintentionally exposes his thoughts and intentions to the rest of the table. The ability to hide one’s tells—and conversely, to read the other players’ tells—offers a distinct advantage. At the amateur level, tells are simpler. Feet and legs are the biggest moving parts of your body, so skittish tapping is a dead giveaway. So is looking at a hand of cards and smiling, or rearranging cards with quivering fingertips. But at the professional level, tells would be almost impossible for you or me to read. Happy spent his career learning how to read these tells. “If you know what the other player is going to do, it’s easier to defend against it.” Like others competing at his level, Happy might prepare for a major tournament by spending hours reviewing tapes of his competitors’ previous games in order to instantly translate their tells during live competition.
Sally Hogshead (Fascinate: Unlocking the Secret Triggers of Influence, Persuasion, and Captivation)
After a series of promotions—store manager at twenty-two, regional manager at twenty-four, director at twenty-seven—I was a fast-track career man, a personage of sorts. If I worked really hard, and if everything happened exactly like it was supposed to, then I could be a vice president by thirty-two, a senior vice president by thirty-five or forty, and a C-level executive—CFO, COO, CEO—by forty-five or fifty, followed of course by the golden parachute. I’d have it made then! I’d just have to be miserable for a few more years, to drudge through the corporate politics and bureaucracy I knew so well. Just keep climbing and don't look down. Misery, of course, encourages others to pull up a chair and stay a while. And so, five years ago, I convinced my best friend Ryan to join me on the ladder, even showed him the first rung. The ascent is exhilarating to rookies. They see limitless potential and endless possibilities, allured by the promise of bigger paychecks and sophisticated titles. What’s not to like? He too climbed the ladder, maneuvering each step with lapidary precision, becoming one of the top salespeople—and later, top sales managers—in the entire company.10 And now here we are, submerged in fluorescent light, young and ostensibly successful. A few years ago, a mentor of mine, a successful businessman named Karl, said to me, “You shouldn’t ask a man who earns twenty thousand dollars a year how to make a hundred thousand.” Perhaps this apothegm holds true for discontented men and happiness, as well. All these guys I emulate—the men I most want to be like, the VPs and executives—aren’t happy. In fact, they’re miserable.  Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t bad people, but their careers have changed them, altered them physically and emotionally: they explode with anger over insignificant inconveniences; they are overweight and out of shape; they scowl with furrowed brows and complain constantly as if the world is conspiring against them, or they feign sham optimism which fools no one; they are on their second or third or fourth(!) marriages; and they almost all seem lonely. Utterly alone in a sea of yes-men and women. Don’t even get me started on their health issues.  I’m talking serious health issues: obesity, gout, cancer, heart attacks, high blood pressure, you name it. These guys are plagued with every ailment associated with stress and anxiety. Some even wear it as a morbid badge of honor, as if it’s noble or courageous or something. A coworker, a good friend of mine on a similar trajectory, recently had his first heart attack—at age thirty.  But I’m the exception, right?
Joshua Fields Millburn (Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists)
Chet couldn’t wipe away his smile. “I have learned much since we parted ways, and one of those lessons is that a static force, even in mass, can be crushed by a dynamic one.” Wellington‘s face stiffened. “What kind of foolish talk is that?” “You will find out. On the Fourth of July, as you sit here in your governor’s mansion pandering to your public servants—using them to climb into more power, you will learn what it feels like to have everything you believe in shatter before your very eyes.” Wellington shifted irritably in his seat. “What sort of riddle is that, Chet? You and I have been in this political game our entire lives. You know how it works, and that’s not going to change. Ever. One party controls the knobs of politics with one hand, and the other party controls the knobs with the other hand. But they are all one body, members of a political ruling class. That’s what we do. This isn’t anything new.” Chet pushed his brows over his eyes in a gaze that could melt steel. “You will not be able to stop the ramifications of its impact. This thing I’m about to unleash upon you, I’m doing to you because you are an evil man. I used to be, I’ll give you that. But I changed, luckily, before death found me. And I will not let you get away with what you are doing to this country.” Wellington was aghast. “So you’re involved with terrorism now, are you? What are you going to do?” Chet shook his head. “The truth isn’t something you can hide from people. They all feel it even if they don’t understand the intentions behind the madness.” Wellington was in a near panic in anticipation over what Chet was planning. “I can have you followed, you know. Everyone you speak to will be monitored. Surely you know that? And who are you to decide what the best position for anything is? You don’t have a right to make decisions for the masses. If you were sitting in my seat, perhaps. But you’re not.” “If you hadn’t cheated, I would be in your chair.” Chet pierced Wellington with his squinted eyes. “And because of that, I have decided that you aren’t able to make decisions for the masses either, and I’ll see to it that you won’t continue to do so.” Chet pushed back his chair and stood up dramatically. “Enjoy this office because you won’t be here long.” Wellington contorted his face in panic. “What are you doing? What’s going to happen? Tell me at least that much! Was it so bad between us that we can’t reason with each other? Maybe we could make a deal. What if I make you my presidential running mate?” Chet didn’t answer. He headed for the door, unsure as to why he had said that last part. He still didn’t really know what was going to happen. But with Rick Stevens headed down in a few days with a multimillion dollar car, anything was possible. But now Wellington would know that Chet was behind the crazy driver who refused to pull over.
Rich Hoffman
Television’s greatest appeal is that it is engaging without being at all demanding. One can rest while undergoing stimulation. Receive without giving. It’s the same in all low art that has as goal continued attention and patronage: it’s appealing precisely because it’s at once fun and easy. And the entrenchment of a culture built on Appeal helps explain a dark and curious thing: at a time when there are more decent and good and very good serious fiction writers at work in America than ever before, an American public enjoying unprecedented literacy and disposable income spends the vast bulk of its reading time and book dollar on fiction that is, by any fair standard, trash. Trash fiction is, by design and appeal, most like televised narrative: engaging without being demanding. But trash, in terms of both quality and popularity, is a much more sinister phenomenon. For while television has from its beginnings been openly motivated by — has been about—considerations of mass appeal and L.C.D. and profit, our own history is chock-full of evidence that readers and societies may properly expect important, lasting contributions from a narrative art that understands itself as being about considerations more important than popularity and balance sheets. Entertainers can divert and engage and maybe even console; only artists can transfigure. Today’s trash writers are entertainers working artists’ turf. This in itself is nothing new. But television aesthetics, and television-like economics, have clearly made their unprecedented popularity and reward possible. And there seems to me to be a real danger that not only the forms but the norms of televised art will begin to supplant the standards of all narrative art. This would be a disaster. [...] Even the snottiest young artiste, of course, probably isn’t going to bear personal ill will toward writers of trash; just as, while everybody agrees that prostitution is a bad thing for everyone involved, few are apt to blame prostitutes themselves, or wish them harm. If this seems like a non sequitur, I’m going to claim the analogy is all too apt. A prostitute is someone who, in exchange for money, affords someone else the form and sensation of sexual intimacy without any of the complex emotions or responsibilities that make intimacy between two people a valuable or meaningful human enterprise. The prostitute “gives,” but — demanding nothing of comparable value in return — perverts the giving, helps render what is supposed to be a revelation a transaction. The writer of trash fiction, often with admirable craft, affords his customer a narrative structure and movement, and content that engages the reader — titillates, repulses, excites, transports him — without demanding of him any of the intellectual or spiritual or artistic responses that render verbal intercourse between writer and reader an important or even real activity." - from "Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young
David Foster Wallace (Both Flesh and Not: Essays)
Soon after I arrived on the island I had a run-in with my son’s first grade teacher due to my irreverent PJ sense of humor. When Billy lost a baby tooth I arranged the traditional parentchild Tooth Fairy ritual. Only six years old, Billy already suspected I was really the Tooth Fairy and schemed to catch me in the act. With each lost tooth, he was getting harder and harder to trick. To defeat my precocious youngster I decided on a bold plan of action. When I tucked him in I made an exaggerated show of placing the tooth under his pillow. I conspicuously displayed his tooth between my thumb and forefinger and slid my hand slowly beneath his pillow. Unbeknownst to him, I hid a crumpled dollar bill in the palm of my hand. With a flourish I pretended to place the tooth under Billy’s pillow, but with expert parental sleight of hand, I kept the tooth and deposited the dollar bill instead. I issued a stern warning not to try and stay awake to see the fairy and left Billy’s room grinning slyly. I assured him I would guard against the tricky fairy creature. I knew Billy would not be able to resist checking under his pillow. Sure enough, only a few minutes later he burst from his room wide-eyed with excitement. He clutched a dollar bill tightly in his fist and bounced around the room, “Dad! Dad! The fairy took my tooth and left a dollar!” I said, “I know son. I used my ninja skills and caught that thieving fairy leaving your room. I trapped her in a plastic bag and put her in the freezer.” Billy was even more excited and begged to see the captured fairy. I opened the freezer and gave him a quick glimpse of a large shrimp I had wrapped in plastic. Viewed through multiple layers of wrap, the shrimp kind of looked like a frozen fairy. I stressed the magnitude of the occasion, “Tooth fairies are magical, elusive little things with their wings and all. I think we are the first family ever to capture one!” Billy was hopping all over the house and it took me quite awhile to finally calm him down and get him to sleep. The next day I got an unexpected phone call at work. My son’s teacher wanted to talk to me about Billy, “Now what?” I thought. When I arrived at the school, Billy’s teacher met me at the door. Once we settled into her office, she explained she was worried about him. Earlier that day, Billy told his first grade class his father had killed the tooth fairy and had her in a plastic bag in the freezer. He was very convincing. Some little kids started to cry. I explained the previous night’s fairy drama to the teacher. I was chuckling—she was not. She looked at me as if I had a giant booger hanging out of a nostril. Despite the look, I could tell she was attracted to me so I told her no thanks, I already had a girlfriend. Her sputtering red face made me uncomfortable and I quickly left. Later I swore Billy to secrecy about our fairy hunting activities. For dinner that evening, we breaded and fried up a couple dozen fairies and ate them with cocktail sauce and fava beans.
William F. Sine (Guardian Angel: Life and Death Adventures with Pararescue, the World's Most Powerful Commando Rescue Force)
Chapter One Vivek Ranadivé “IT WAS REALLY RANDOM. I MEAN, MY FATHER HAD NEVER PLAYED BASKETBALL BEFORE.” 1. When Vivek Ranadivé decided to coach his daughter Anjali’s basketball team, he settled on two principles. The first was that he would never raise his voice. This was National Junior Basketball—the Little League of basketball. The team was made up mostly of twelve-year-olds, and twelve-year-olds, he knew from experience, did not respond well to shouting. He would conduct business on the basketball court, he decided, the same way he conducted business at his software firm. He would speak calmly and softly, and he would persuade the girls of the wisdom of his approach with appeals to reason and common sense. The second principle was more important. Ranadivé was puzzled by the way Americans play basketball. He is from Mumbai. He grew up with cricket and soccer. He would never forget the first time he saw a basketball game. He thought it was mindless. Team A would score and then immediately retreat to its own end of the court. Team B would pass the ball in from the sidelines and dribble it into Team A’s end, where Team A was patiently waiting. Then the process would reverse itself. A regulation basketball court is ninety-four feet long. Most of the time, a team would defend only about twenty-four feet of that, conceding the other seventy feet. Occasionally teams played a full-court press—that is, they contested their opponent’s attempt to advance the ball up the court. But they did it for only a few minutes at a time. It was as if there were a kind of conspiracy in the basketball world about the way the game ought to be played, Ranadivé thought, and that conspiracy had the effect of widening the gap between good teams and weak teams. Good teams, after all, had players who were tall and could dribble and shoot well; they could crisply execute their carefully prepared plays in their opponent’s end. Why, then, did weak teams play in a way that made it easy for good teams to do the very things that they were so good at? Ranadivé looked at his girls. Morgan and Julia were serious basketball players. But Nicky, Angela, Dani, Holly, Annika, and his own daughter, Anjali, had never played the game before. They weren’t all that tall. They couldn’t shoot. They weren’t particularly adept at dribbling. They were not the sort who played pickup games at the playground every evening. Ranadivé lives in Menlo Park, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. His team was made up of, as Ranadivé put it, “little blond girls.” These were the daughters of nerds and computer programmers. They worked on science projects and read long and complicated books and dreamed about growing up to be marine biologists. Ranadivé knew that if they played the conventional way—if they let their opponents dribble the ball up the court without opposition—they would almost certainly lose to the girls for whom basketball was a passion. Ranadivé had come to America as a seventeen-year-old with fifty dollars in his pocket. He was not one to accept losing easily. His second principle, then, was that his team would play a real full-court press—every game, all the time. The team ended up at the national championships. “It was really random,” Anjali Ranadivé said. “I mean, my father had never played basketball before.” 2. Suppose you were to total up all the wars over the past two hundred years that occurred between very large and very small countries. Let’s say that one side has to be at least ten times larger in population and armed might
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants)
Con artists know all about dissonance and self-justification. They know that when people who think of themselves as smart and capable are faced with the evidence that they spent thousands of dollars on a magazine-subscription scam (yes, those still exist) or were lured into a romance with a fraudulent but seductive online Romeo (or Juliet), few will reduce dissonance by deciding they aren’t smart and capable. Instead, many will justify spending that money by spending even more money to recoup their sunk costs—their losses. This way of resolving dissonance protects their self-esteem but virtually guarantees their further victimization
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
Or look at the status of women, about which finally the planet is coming to its senses in our own time. Or even things like smallpox and other disfiguring and fatal diseases, diseases of children, that were once thought to be an inevitable, God-given part of life. The clergy argued, and some still do, that those diseases were sent by God as a scourge for mankind. Now there are no more cases of smallpox on the planet. For a few tens of millions of dollars and the efforts of physicians from a hundred countries, coordinated by the World Health Organization, smallpox has been removed from the planet Earth.
Carl Sagan (The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God)
Could these groundbreaking and often unsung activists have imagined that only forty years later the 'official' gay rights agenda would be largely pro-police, pro-prisons, and pro-war - exactly the forces they worked so hard to resist? Just a few decades later, the most visible and well-funded arms of the 'LGBT movement' look much more like a corporate strategizing session than a grassroots social justice movement. There are countless examples of this dramatic shift in priorities. What emerged as a fight against racist, anti-poor, and anti-queer police violence now works hand in hand with local and federal law enforcement agencies - district attorneys are asked to speak at trans rallies, cops march in Gay Pride parades. The agendas of prosecutors - those who lock up our family, friends, and lovers - and many queer and trans organizations are becomingly increasingly similar, with sentence- and police-enhancing legislation at the top of the priority list. Hate crimes legislation is tacked on to multi-billion dollar 'defense' bills to support US military domination in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Despite the rhetoric of an 'LGBT community,' transgender and gender-non-conforming people are our 'lead' organizations - most recently in the 2007 gutting of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of gender identity protections. And as the rate of people (particularly poor queer and trans people of color) without steady jobs, housing, or healthcare continues to rise, and health and social services continue to be cut, those dubbed the leaders of the 'LGBT movement' insist that marriage rights are the way to redress the inequalities in our communities.
Eric A. Stanley (Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex)
Now, the only song a woman knows is the song she learns at birth, a sorrowin’ song, with the words all wrong, in the many tongues of Earth. The things a woman wants to say, the tales she longs to tell . . . they take all day in the tongues of Earth, and half of the night as well. So nobody listens to what a woman says, except the men of power who sit and listen right willingly, at a hundred dollars an hour . . . sayin’ “Who on Earth would want to talk about such foolish things?” Oh, the tongues of Earth don’t lend themselves to the songs a woman sings! There’s a whole lot more to a womansong, a whole lot more to learn; but the words aren’t there in the tongues of Earth, and there’s noplace else to turn. . . . So the woman they talk, and the men they laugh, and there’s little a woman can say, but a sorrowin’ song with the words all wrong, and a hurt that won’t go away. The women go workin’ the manly tongues, in the craft of makin’ do, but the women that stammer, they’re everywhere, and the wellspoken ones are few. . . . ’Cause the only song a woman knows is the song she learns at birth; a sorrowin’ song with the words all wrong, in the manly tongues of Earth. (a 20th century ballad, set to an even older tune called “House of the Rising Sun”; this later form was known simply as “Sorrowin’ Song, With the Words All Wrong”)
Suzette Haden Elgin (Native Tongue (Native Tongue, #1))
Cash For Scrap Cars - A Fast and Efficient Way to Get Rid of Your Old Vehicle Cash For Scrap Cars is an organization that purchases scrap cars from honest citizens and sells them to approved dealers. They are also known as Buttercup scrappers, because the vehicles they buy are salvaged from the Buttercup River in Townsville, Washington. When you purchase a salvage car at Cash For Scrap Car, you're actually helping to repair our environment by removing older, used vehicles that would otherwise be dumped and never recycled. In addition, you're helping yourself make some extra money, because once you sell a vehicle to them, they will pay you the retail price plus a fee for disposition. By choosing a car that needs work or isn't worth much, you can easily make a few hundred dollars-just think of all the scrap cars they have to get rid of! Now, what is so great about the cash for scrap cars townsville program? It is a pretty simple program that only requires a small fee to join, and an existing driving record. You can easily find a few legitimate companies in your area that will take your old wreck as payment for their services. Plus, you can easily find local companies that offer the same cash for cars that you can find online. Just use your favorite search engine to look for legitimate companies in your area. But why should you choose the cash for scrap cars townsville area? There are actually several reasons. One reason is that it is not as heavily regulated as many other areas of the country. This means that you can get away with charging very high prices for salvaged cars. Many people find this appealing, because it allows them to earn a bit more money in a short period of time without spending too much to repair the car and make it as good as new. Unfortunately, the hidden costs of this system are what make it less than desirable for most people. The most obvious reason for choosing the cash for scrap cars townsville area of Arizona is the cash for car wreck value. Every vehicle that is disposed has to undergo a thorough inspection and evaluation before it is sold. Some of these assessments are performed by professionals who are paid to make sure that the cars are worth as much as they are worth. This ensures that buyers receive fair market value for their trash. If you do decide to go with a company that offers cash for vehicle removal in Arizona, you may be subject to some laws regarding the collection of additional payments from the person who is responsible for repossessing the vehicle. While it may be legal to collect these extra payments, it is against the law to require someone to pay for the entire cost of the towing and storage before the vehicle is removed from the property. Even if you are able to settle these collections in one lump sum, the time it takes to pay for the service can really add up. If you don't mind waiting a few weeks for the money to come in then it could be a good option for you. While these laws make it against the law for any company to demand an up front fee for the services of vehicle removal and disposition, they do make it legal to charge an administrative fee for processing those transactions. When you consider how much time and effort goes into getting rid of vehicles that are impounded, the small fee could really make a huge difference to you and the process of getting rid of an old vehicle. There are also companies out there that allow you to use the Internet to place an instant cash for old vehicle in your hands as soon as you agree to have this transaction processed. This allows you to skip all of the hassles that come along with physically retrieving your vehicle in town and having to wait in line at a variety of establishments.
Capture the Quantitative Impact of Your Accomplishments Examine everything you’ve done, but don’t merely report what you’ve done. Report the quantitative impact, that is, the numbers that resulted from your achievement. That’s what hiring managers care about most. For example: When I was in school, I worked in the University’s Personnel department. During my time there, the Director asked if I could explain a monthly report she received from Accounts Payable. The report identified everything charged to Personnel. Unfortunately, neither the Director nor her team could understand what it was saying. After some analysis and research, I was able to translate the confusing report into something the Director could understand. What I did not do was ask the Director and her team for the financial impact of now being able to understand the report. While what I did was a valuable story to share at my next interview, it would have meant a lot more if I’d identified the dollars saved or some other quantified impact. As noted earlier, a few years later, I worked for a high-tech company that sold equipment to Fortune 500 firms. The company wasn’t winning the large deals like they had in the past, so I was asked to investigate. I identified the process breakdown causing the problem. I also created a short-term solution, so that the company could start winning bids again while the long-term solution was being developed. What I did not do — and almost have to kick myself now for not doing — was to ask for the value of the deals we were now winning. Those $$$ would have clearly explained the positive impact of my work. It would have been a wonderful talking point in my resume. After my job was eliminated for the second time in 13 years, I started doing a better job of quantifying the impact of my accomplishments.
Clark Finnical (Job Hunting Secrets: (from someone who's been there))
shower in five days. “Are you serious?” His smile grew wider, literally ear to ear, making his face look like one big blob of silly putty. “Feeling a little cranky?” “You cannot be for real, you fucking asshole.” He shook his head at her as if she were five. “You haven’t read the pamphlets I left for you, have you?” He didn’t wait for her to answer. “If you don’t eat at least five small well-balanced meals with plenty of protein and healthy fats, your hormones will get out of whack, and one of the symptoms is crankiness.” “Fuck you.” He went to the kitchen. She could hear cupboards being opened and closed. She could already smell Lysol. The man was cleaning the kitchen. She couldn’t believe he expected her to pay him fifteen thousand dollars to be restrained, deprived, and tortured. Unlike others who might think this a grand plan, she had come to terms with her weight long ago. All she wanted to do was lose a few pounds. She had put down five thousand dollars as a deposit, promising to pay the rest upon reaching her goal weight. She had only spent the money in hopes of finding Diane. Sure, it was a lot of money, but she knew that Diane would have done the same for her had the situation been reversed. She slid off the bed and went to stand just outside the kitchen. He was on his hands and knees scrubbing the floor just like her mother used to do. “I want out,” she said. “I will sign anything you want me to, declaring to all of your lawyers and the world that the decision was mine. I don’t want a refund. I don’t want anything from you. I just want you to unlock me and let me go.” He kept scrubbing, didn’t even bother to look at her when he answered. “Sorry. Can’t do.” “Why not?” “What you’re experiencing right now is just part of the process. Everybody goes through it. You just happened to get to stage three faster than most. In fact, you skipped stages one and two altogether.” Vivian didn’t care about stage one or two, or even three. She only cared about getting out of here. “You’ve done your job. I’ve lost over sixty pounds. I want to go home.” That got his attention and he looked at her, his eyes narrowing as he scanned her body from head to toes. She hated him—hated him more than she’d ever hated anyone in her life. “I’m impressed.” “Great. So can you unlock this cuff around my ankle?” “No. Sorry.” “Why not?” He stood, put the rag and bottle of cleanser under the sink, and then walked past her. In the top drawer of her bedside table, he pulled out a ledger
T.R. Ragan (Dead Weight (Lizzy Gardner #2))
Yeah, who needs an extra two hundred dollars for three hours of work?” Kristen said, flipping a hand dismissively. “Not Miguel apparently.” I froze. “Two hundred dollars?” Sloan sprayed the counter with lemon-scented all-purpose cleaner. “Sometimes it’s more—right, Kristen? It depends on the style?” Kristen stared at her best friend like she was telling her to shut up. Then she dragged her eyes back to me. “The stairs run four to five hundred dollars apiece, plus shipping. I split the profits fifty-fifty, minus the materials, with my carpenter. So yeah. Sometimes it’s more.” “Do you have a picture of the stairs?” I asked. Kristen unenthusiastically handed me her phone and I scrolled through a website gallery of ridiculous tiny steps with Stuntman Mike posed on them in different outfits. These were easy. Well within my ability. “You know, I think I do have time for this. I’ll do it if you don’t have anyone else.” A few of these and I could pay off my Lowe’s card. This was real money. Kristen shook her head. “I think I’d rather take my chances with the organ thieves.” Sloan gasped, and Brandon froze and looked at Kristen and me. “Is that right?” I said, eyeballing her. “How about we talk about this over coffee.” Kristen narrowed her eyes and I arched an eyebrow. “Fine,” she said like it was physically painful. “You can build the damn stairs. But only until I find a different guy. And I will be looking for a different guy.” Sloan looked back and forth between us. “Is there something you guys want to tell us?” “I caught him staring at my ass,” Kristen said without skipping a beat. I shrugged. “She did. I have no excuse. It’s a great ass.” Brandon chuckled and Sloan eyed her best friend. Kristen tried to look mad, but I could tell she took the compliment.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
ZocDoc is a Founders Fund portfolio company that helps people find and book medical appointments online. The company charges doctors a few hundred dollars per month to be included in its network. With an average deal size of just a few thousand dollars, ZocDoc needs lots of salespeople—so many that they have an internal recruiting team to do nothing but hire more. But making personal sales to doctors doesn’t just bring in revenue; by adding doctors to the network, salespeople make the product more valuable to consumers (and more consumer users increases its appeal to doctors). More than 5 million people already use the service each month, and if it can continue to scale its network to include a majority of practitioners, it will become a fundamental utility for the U.S. health care industry.
Blake Masters (Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future)
When Malcolm X, who is considered the movement’s second-in-command, and heir apparent, points out that the cry of “violence” was not raised, for example, when the Israelis fought to regain Israel, and, indeed, is raised only when black men indicate that they will fight for their rights, he is speaking the truth. The conquests of England, every single one of them bloody, are part of what Americans have in mind when they speak of England’s glory. In the United States, violence and heroism have been made synonymous except when it comes to blacks, and the only way to defeat Malcolm’s point is to concede it and then ask oneself why this is so. Malcolm’s statement is not answered by references to the triumphs of the N.A.A.C.P., the more particularly since very few liberals have any notion of how long, how costly, and how heartbreaking a task it is to gather the evidence that one can carry into court, or how long such court battles take. Neither is it answered by references to the student sit-in-movement, if only because not all Negroes are students and not all of them live in the South. I, in any case, certainly refuse to be put in the position of denying the truth of Malcolm’s statements simply because I disagree with his conclusions, or in order to pacify the liberal conscience. Things are as bad as the Muslims say they are—in fact, they are worse, and the Muslims do not help matters—but there is no reason that black men should be expected to be more patient, more forbearing, more farseeing than whites; indeed, quite the contrary. The real reason that nonviolence is considered to be a virtue in Negroes—I am not speaking now of its racial value, another matter altogether—is that white men do not want their lives, their self-image, or their property threatened. One wishes they would say so more often. At the end of a television program on which Malcolm X and I both appeared, Malcolm was stopped by a white member of the audience who said, “I have a thousand dollars and an acre of land. What’s going to happen to me?” I admired the directness of the man’s question, but I didn’t hear Malcolm’s reply, because I was trying to explain to someone else that the situation of the Irish a hundred years ago and the situation of the Negro today cannot very usefully be compared.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
Mother very thoughtfully made a jelly sandwich under no protest.” Could you forget that after saying it a few times? Okay, lay it out so: The “prices” are distances from the Sun in astronomical units. An A.U. is the mean distance of Earth from Sun, 93,000,000 miles. It is easier to remember one figure that everybody knows and some little figures than it is to remember figures in millions and billions. I use dollar signs because a figure has more flavor if I think of it as money—which Dad considers deplorable.
Robert A. Heinlein (Have Space Suit-Will Travel)
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VEBLEN HAD RISEN UP the ranks of the temp agency, and nowadays made eighteen dollars an hour, just enough for rent and food and a few small items of need. Keeping a low overhead was part of her mind-set. It made for an existence that was lean and challenging, like life on the frontier. She believed it was important to be fairly compensated for your time and work, but that it was also important not to earn a bunch of money just to play a predetermined role in the marketplace. When unforeseen expenses came up, such as when her 1982 Volvo 244 blew its head gasket, she discovered how vulnerable she was—and had to take a second job for a while, packing candles into boxes in a factory in Milpitas on the night shift. But for the most part, her life worked. She was getting better at Norwegian, and her translations came more easily. She’d accomplished things, hadn’t she? All kinds of things you couldn’t put on a résumé, such as deciphering the cryptic actions of family members, and taking care of them until the day they died.
Elizabeth Mckenzie (The Portable Veblen)
A few months later, Sandler got word that Netflix, newly interested in movies, had set its sights squarely on him. Using data gathered from Sony movies that Netflix had played through its Starz deal, Sarandos’s team knew that even as his box-office power waned, Sandler remained one of the most popular stars on the streaming service. His aging audience might be less likely to pay to see him in a theater, but they still loved laughing at his antics at home. “We knew he was popular in markets where his movies had never even opened,” Sarandos said. The mid-budget star vehicle, in other words, still worked great for Netflix. When people went to theaters, they preferred brand-name franchises. But when they were browsing for something to stream rather than pay fifty dollars for a night out, a familiar face doing the familiar shtick was perfect. Movies without massive visual effects were just as enjoyable at home, after all, if not more so. And if the stars had chosen to stretch their wings and you didn’t like the movie you clicked on, you could turn it off immediately. You lost a little bit of time, but not any money. And though there may not be as many fans of Adam Sandler, or any movie star, as there used to be, that didn’t necessarily matter to Netflix. All studios care about is how many people buy tickets or DVDs. They get their money whether you loved the movie or hated it. But Netflix measures success by how many people finish a movie and are satisfied enough to keep subscribing as a result, or who sign up just in order to watch it. Adam Sandler’s fan base may have shrunk, but those who remained were loyal and they were global—just what Netflix wanted. Additionally, Netflix wouldn’t have to spend millions of dollars on billboards and TV ads to market each film. Its algorithm would prominently suggest each Sandler movie to his fans on their home screen the moment it was available.
Ben Fritz (The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies)
There’s a bit of clapping, and I walk up to the podium. I see a few clusters of students I teach and many others I don’t know. Their faces are lifted up at me. I think of Holden Caulfield, wanting to catch children before they fall off the cliff, and I get it now. I take a long breath. A kid from eleventh grade gives a little whoop. ‘Thank you, Brad,’ I say into the mic. ‘Your grade just went way up.’ There are so many more people than I had imagined. But it can’t be that much harder than reciting the specials to an impatient ten-top at Iris. Plus, I want to tell these kids the things I’ve written down. My lips tremble and my voice hops around a bit, but I get it out. I tell them the truth. I tell them I am thirty-one years old and seventy-three thousand dollars in debt. I tell them that since college I’ve moved eleven times, had seventeen jobs and several relationships that didn’t work out. I’ve been estranged from my father since twelfth grade, and earlier this year my mother died. My only sibling lives three thousand miles away. What I have had for the past six years, what has been constant and steady in my life is the novel I’ve been writing. This has been my home, the place I could always retreat to. The place I could sometimes even feel powerful, I tell them. The place where I am most myself. Maybe some of you, I tell them, have found this place already. Maybe some of you will find it years from now. My hope is that some of you will find it for the first time today by writing.
Lily King (Writers & Lovers)
A man who steals my pocketbook loses much more than I do. I can afford to let him have my pocketbook more than he can afford to take it. Consider how much he loses. Perhaps he will get a few dollars, or he may steal my coat, but he does not get much. See how much he has lost. Take an inventory of what that man loses if he loses heaven. Think of it. No thief shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Dwight L. Moody (Heaven: The Place We Long For)
A few years ago, Dan and a research assistant went to a Toyota dealership and asked people what they would give up if they purchased a new car. Almost no one had an answer. None of the shoppers had spent any significant time considering that the thousands of dollars they were about to spend on a car could be spent on other things. So, Dan tried to push a little bit further with the next question, and asked what specific products and services they wouldn’t be able to get if they went ahead and bought that Toyota. Most people answered that if they bought a Toyota, they wouldn’t be able to buy a Honda, or some other simple substitution. Few people answered that they wouldn’t be able to go to Spain that summer and Hawaii the year after, or that they wouldn’t go out to a nice restaurant twice a month for the next few years, or that they would be paying their college loans for five more years.
Dan Ariely (Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter)
off the street after he has a fight with another guy. We put the buddy on a stretcher and find out that he has a steak knife jammed to the hilt in his right chest. He proceeds to turn to complete shit in front of my eyes and the head ER nurse—one of those iron maidens who has worked in the same place for a zillion years—wheels out this big tray of instruments. ‘What’s this?’ I ask. ‘The thoracotomy tray,’ she says. The guy needed to have his chest opened all right, but I sure as shit wasn’t going to do it. ‘Forget it,’ I said, ‘he came to the wrong man.’ He promptly croaked. I felt guilty for a while, real guilty, until I realized two things: one, I didn’t plant the fucking shiv into his chest in the first place; and two, if they want a chest surgeon to be sitting in every two-bit ER in the whole world, they had better be prepared to pay him more than forty dollars an hour, which was all they were paying me.” “The take-home lesson of this parable?” “You didn’t make his aneurysm bleed…his wife did. And his hypertension, years and years of hypertension—he was no doubt too goddamned busy to see a doctor about it, too. You didn’t kill him; you were just asked to step in and prevent him from dying on his own…and you couldn’t. Yeah, Thor Sundt wasn’t there, but Thor Sundt can’t do every aneurysm in the country. And I’m sure Thor Sundt has torn a few aneurysms in his lifetime, great as he is—you think he came into this world with a clip applier in his right hand? There will always be people better than you and worse than you. If you worry about not being as good as someone else, why don’t you just give up every case right now? Just set up a phone hot line and sit in an office and match people with the very best surgeons in the whole universe. No point in cursing humanity with your own sorry skills, is there? C’mon! Quit feeling sorry for yourself and do the best you can with those who ask for your help. I’m gone just over a year and you start moping over one postoperative death. Yeah, it’s a nightmare, but that’s neurosurgery. Land of nightmares. There are plenty more nightmares in your
Frank T. Vertosick Jr. (When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery)
He’d asked one of his employees, an Ecuadoran named José Maria, to go to town and buy him an iPod and load it up with a playlist he’d entitled “Ranch Music.” It consisted largely of film scores. Cuts from Ennio Morricone like “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” the theme from A Fistful of Dollars, “L’Estasi Dell’oro (The Ecstasy of Gold),” and “La Resa dei Conti (For a Few Dollars More),” Elmer Bernstein’s theme from The Magnificent Seven, “The Journey,” and “Calvera’s Return,” and Jerome Moross’ theme from The Big Country. Big, wonderful, rousing, swelling, sweeping, triumphalist music from another era. It was music that simply wasn’t made anymore. The pieces were about tough (but fair) men under big skies on horseback, their women waiting for them at home, and bad guys—usually Mexicans—to be vanquished. In
C.J. Box (Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, #11))
Is Bitcoin Mining Worth The Hype In 2021? The world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has experienced a whirlwind of ups and downs over the past few years. However, through its course, it has also witnessed dramatic growth, especially in 2020, and has also managed to keep up with the trends in the market. Since then, various new platforms similar to Bitcoin have started to appear. However, Bitcoin remains the king of them all, thanks to its decentralized type of cryptocurrency. However, even with Bitcoin, the value continues to grow along the same lines of their application process. And this is where many begin to wonder, “Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable or Worth it in 2021? This article will go through Bitcoin, how it works, and where it stands on the market today. So, let’s get started! How Does Bitcoin Mining Work? All transactions and payments made via Bitcoin are recorded and stored in the blockchain network. After you make a new transaction, the records will be forwarded for verification to the miners. This process of confirmation involves several calculations every minute to confirm the data send through the blockchain network. The more mining that is done and supplied with blockchain technology, the more Bitcoin will start to soar with the newer declining blocks over time. This is known as Bitcoin Halving, where the value continues to rise and diminish periodically. In any cryptocurrency (be it Bitcoin or Ethereum, and so on), mining is a vital element responsible for most of the prevalent coins. Moreover, it is an essential component that helps verify transactions, ensures the security of your network, infuses the cryptocurrency market, and so on. This helps create a scattered way through which cryptocurrency uses all the newly minted coins to offer bonuses and other rewards. In addition to this, some of the already existing cryptocurrency businesses like Ethereum are slowly moving from traditional mining (a.k.a proof-of-work) to skating (a.k.a proof-of-stake). This way, even though people’s reliance on mining will decrease, it will never completely disappear. Is Bitcoin Mining Still Profitable In 2021? The answer to this is a little bit complicated. Therefore, it will greatly help you if you take a lot of things into consideration. The reason is that there are several barriers to this. However, Bitcoin mining is still profitable in 2021. This company is slowly and steadily on its way to becoming a trillion-dollar asset, thanks to the continuing upward trends. As it becomes more and more sought after, people are slowly getting interested in educating themselves about the process of Bitcoin mining. Sure, mining is an expensive practice, as you will need to know the basics of technical knowledge on the software and hardware of Bitcoin mining. However, if you are determined to learn, you can easily find a way to learn mining to create a return or bonus Bitcoin. If you would like to know more on how to get free Bitcoin, take a general overview of the current Bitcoin mining situation to get an idea of where you need to begin. Bitcoin Mining Today Currently, for Bitcoin, price is paramount on a brisk hike where the value continues to grow over 340% more than last year. At the same time, its hash rate has also seen a meteoric uptrend in its hash rate, which was boosted to over 4.1% last year. This helped BTC to reach a whopping $63,500. However, it can still be a little challenging to track the stats of Bitcoin mining if it makes a good profit. This is because you will need a little insight into it. So, if you are curious about Bitcoin mining, we recommend you try it using GPUs. However, ASICs are also becoming extremely popular recently, but this is more suited for professional miners.
Mark Smith
The public intuitively understood that Social Security, as FDR’s grandson James Roosevelt, Jr., wrote, “could not be better managed. It returns more than 99 cents to beneficiaries on every dollar collected … I dare you to find a private retirement plan that can claim that.” In a matter of only a few weeks, President Bush’s privatization scheme was dead.
Sherrod Brown (Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America)
Now, the only song a woman knows is the song she learns at birth, a sorrowin’ song, with the words all wrong, in the many tongues of Earth. The things a woman wants to say, the tales she longs to tell . . . they take all day in the tongues of Earth, and half of the night as well. So nobody listens to what a woman says, except the men of power who sit and listen right willingly, at a hundred dollars an hour . . . sayin’ “Who on Earth would want to talk about such foolish things?” Oh, the tongues of Earth don’t lend themselves to the songs a woman sings! There’s a whole lot more to a womansong, a whole lot more to learn; but the words aren’t there in the tongues of Earth, and there’s noplace else to turn. . . . So the woman they talk, and the men they laugh, and there’s little a woman can say, but a sorrowin’ song with the words all wrong, and a hurt that won’t go away. The women go workin’ the manly tongues, in the craft of makin’ do, but the women that stammer, they’re everywhere, and the wellspoken ones are few. . . . ’Cause the only song a woman knows is the song she learns at birth; a sorrowin’ song with the words all wrong, in the manly tongues of Earth. (a 20th century ballad, set to an even older tune called “House of the Rising Sun”; this later form was known simply as “Sorrowin’ Song, With the Words All Wrong”)
Suzette Haden Elgin (Native Tongue (Native Tongue, #1))
Hey, we’ll let Huckleberry enjoy his lunch. Speaking of something, if you are in a better mood now, come with me to the Rainforest Room. I have something to show you. I wanted to wait until you calmed down because it means a lot to me, and I hoped you might be happy for me. Here, come with me.” He led her back to the previous room, which had amazing, rare rainforest plants in it. “Check this out!” He tossed her a magazine that said Horticultural Digest on the cover. Holly neatly caught it and opened it up to the dog-eared page. Blaring across the page in huge font was the title: WILLIAM SMITH, THE RAINMAKER OF SHELLESBY COLLEGE’S FAMOUS RAINFOREST ROOM. It was a five-page spread with big glossy photos of the Rainforest Room sprinkled throughout the article. “Five, count ‘em, five pages! That’s my record. Until now, they’ve only given me four. Check it out: I’m the Rainmaker, baby! Let it rain, let it rainnnn!” William stomped around in make-believe puddles on the floor. He picked up a garden hose lying along the side of the room and held it upright like an umbrella. “I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling. I’m happy again.” Holly squealed with laughter and applauded. William jumped up on a large over-turned pot and shifted the hose to now play air guitar while he repeated the verse. “William, there is no air guitar in that song!” “There is now, baby!” Holly exploded again in laughter, clutching her sides. After a few more seconds of air guitar, William jumped off the pot and lowered his voice considerably. “Thank you, thank you very much,” William said in his Elvis impersonation. He now held the garden hose like a microphone and said, “My next song is dedicated to my beagle, my very own hound dog, my Sweetpea. Sweetpea, girl, this is for youuuuuuu.” He now launched into Elvis’s famous “Hound Dog.” “You ain’t nothing but a hound dogggg.” With this, he also twirled the hose by holding it tight two feet from the nozzle, then twirling the nozzle in little circles above his head like a lasso. “Work it, William! Work it!” Holly screamed in laughter. He did some choice hip swivels as he sang “Hound Dog,” sending Holly into peals of laughter. “William, stop! Stop! Where are you? I can’t see I’m crying so hard!” William dropped his voice even lower and more dramatically. In his best Elvis voice, he said, “Well, if you can’t find me darlin’, I’ll find you.” He dropped on one knee and gently picked up her hand. “Thank you, thank you very much,” he said in Elvis mode. “My next song, I dedicate to my one and only, to my Holly-Dolly. Little prickly pear, this one’s for youuuuuu.” He now launched into Elvis’s famous “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” “Take my hand, take my whole life, too, for I can’t help falling in love with you.” With that, he gave her hand a soft kiss. He then jumped up onto an empty potting table and spun around once on his butt, then pushed himself the length of the entire table, and slid off the far end. “Loose, footloose!” William picked up his garden-hose microphone again and kept singing. “Kick off the Sunday shoes . . .” He sang the entire song, and then Holly exploded in appreciative applause. He was breathing heavily and had a million-dollar smile on his face. “Hoo-wee, that was fun! I am so sweaty now, hoo-boy!” He splashed some water on his face, and then shook his hair. “William! When are you going to enter that karaoke contest at the coffee shop in town? They’re paying $1,000 to the winner of their contest. No one can beat you! That was unbelievable!” “That was fun.” William laughed. “Are in a better mood now?” “How can I not be? You are THE best!
Kira Seamon (Dead Cereus)
The day-to-day horror of writing gave me a notion of tournament time. Writing novels is tedious. When will this book be finished, when will it reveal its bright and shining true self? it takes freakin’ years. At the poker table, you’re only playing a fraction of the hands, waiting for your shot. If you keep your wits, can keep from flying apart while those around you are self-destructing, devouring each other, you’re halfway there. … Let them flame out while you develop a new relationship with time, and they drift away from the table. 86-7 Coach Helen’s mantra: It’s OK to be scared, but don’t play scared. 90 [During a young adult trip to Los Vegas] I was contemplating the nickel in my hand. Before we pushed open the glass doors, what the heck, I dropped it into a one-armed bandit and won two dollars. In a dank utility room deep in the subbasements of my personality, a little man wiped his hands on his overalls and pulled the switch: More. Remembering it now, I hear a sizzling sound, like meat being thrown into a hot skillet. I didn't do risk, generally. So I thought. But I see now I'd been testing the House Rules the last few years. I'd always been a goody-goody. Study hard, obey your parents, hut-hut-hut through the training exercises of Decent Society. Then in college, now that no one was around, I started to push the boundaries, a little more each semester. I was an empty seat in lecture halls, slept late in a depressive funk, handed in term papers later and later to see how much I could get away with before the House swatted me down. Push it some more. We go to casinos to tell the everyday world that we will not submit. There are rules and codes and institutions, yes, but for a few hours in this temple of pure chaos, of random cards and inscrutable dice, we are in control of our fates. My little gambles were a way of pretending that no one was the boss of me. … The nickels poured into the basin, sweet music. If it worked once, it will work again. We hit the street. 106-8 [Matt Matros, 3x bracelet winner; wrote The Making of a Poker Player]: “One way or another you’re going to have a read, and you’re going to do something that you didn’t expect you were going to do before, right or wrong. Obviously it’s better if you’re right, but even if you’re wrong, it can be really satisfying to just have a read, a feeling, and go with it. Your gut.” I could play it safe, or I could really play. 180 Early on, you wanted to stay cool and keep out of expensive confrontations, but you also needed to feed the stack. The stack is hungry. 187 The awful knowledge that you did what you set out to do, and you would never, ever top it. It was gone the instant you put your hands on it. It was gambling. 224
Colson Whitehead (The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death)
From the neck down, very few people are worth more than a few hundred dollars a week. From the neck up, there is no limit to what an individual is worth.
Zig Ziglar (See You at the Top)
is well known that increases in computer power and speed have been exponential. But exponential growth sneaks up on you in a way that isn’t intuitive. Start with a penny and double your money every day, and in thirty-nine days you’ll have over two billion dollars. But the first day your wealth only increases by a single penny, an amount that’s beneath notice. On the thirty-ninth day, however, your wealth will increase from one billion to two billion dollars—now that is a change impossible to miss. So like a hockey stick, the graph of exponential growth barely rises from the ground for some time, but when it reaches the beginning of the handle, watch out, because you suddenly get an explosive rise that is nearly vertical. It’s becoming crystal clear that we are entering the hockey-stick phase of progress with computers and other technologies. Yes, progress in artificial intelligence has been discouraging. But if we don’t self-destruct, does anyone imagine that we won’t develop computers within a few hundred years that will make the most advanced supercomputers of today seem like a toddler counting on his or her fingers? Does anyone doubt that at some point a computer could get so powerful it could direct its own future evolution? And given the speed at which such evolution would occur, does anyone doubt that a computer could become self-aware within the next few centuries? Visionaries like Ray Kurzweil believe this will happen well within this century, but even the most conservative among us must admit the likelihood that by the time the USS Enterprise pulls out of space dock, either our computers will have evolved into gods and obsoleted us, or, more likely, we will have merged with our technology to reach almost god-like heights of intelligence ourselves. And while this bodes well for these far-future beings, it isn’t so great for today’s science fiction writers.
Douglas E. Richards (Oracle)
Normally, an album with Crazy Horse would have meant a tour with them, but much to the surprise of Jeff Blackburn and his band members (former Moby Grape bassist Bob Mosley and drummer Johnny Craviotto), Young began rehearsing with them instead. In early July, the newly renamed Ducks, after a duck’s landing they saw in town, played its first shows—in local bars in Santa Cruz. In what the Santa Cruz Sentinel called “the worst-kept secret in town,” the Ducks would drive to a club and ask the opening act for their slot (“They were fine—they knew they couldn’t draw what we could,” says Mosley). Charging only a few dollars for admission, they would tear through sets of songs by Young and by Blackburn. Young debuted new material like “Sail Away” and “Comes a Time” in more electrified versions than were later heard on record. “It was unfathomable,” recalls Mosley. “Some of the guitar solos took me into outer space. It was incredible shit.” Starting in mid-July and ending around Labor Day, the Ducks would play more than twenty
David Browne (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock's Greatest Supergroup)
I remember the time on the school bus back before anyone could drive, Jenny bet me a dollar, to put my hand down her jeans to prove she wears thong undies. Saying that I am such a baby, for not knowing, that’s how that all started, she felt like she had to teach me everything. Anyways back then I was still where Mickey Mouse Briefs and did even think about what was underneath. She beat me to feel that she was not a virgin, that she was all open and smooth, unlike me at the time. I didn’t even shave my legs yet. So, I did, I went for it. The rush here was touching a girl inappropriately, with everyone looking, and hoping the driver didn’t see. I’ll never forget Danny Hover looking over the site with Andrea Doeskin smelling, like little perv’s, and Shy saying- ‘Oh my God’- snickering at the fact, from the set accordingly. Yeah, it’s that kind of rush I get, over and over being with them. Just like Jenny got Liv fixed up with Dilco, it’s all about the rush in the end. Jenny can be a hell of a lot of fun, and it’s that fun that keeps me coming back for more, the same way Liv and Maddie do, and other girls keep trying to be like us, it’s all about the craziness. I don’t know why but when I am with them- I want to be so naughty! I remember Marcel smacking my butt, just to be cute, every time he would see me in the hallways of a school. -Yeah, he’s weird, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him as I was- well… doing me. Yet Ray’s photo was looking at me on my nightstand. ~*~ In my bed, I snap the bright light off when I hear my little sis coming down the hall, everyone goes back to being fuzzy, like I’m not looking at my room but only at a blurry photo of my room that was taken with a shaky hand incorrectly and nothing match up with the real thing. My sis went into the bathroom next door to tinkle, so I snapped on my nightlight, and then that light modifies everything, so it looks somewhat ordinary again. If my sis sees my light on from the crack at the bottom of my door, she will come bursting in. I have learned to keep it as dark as I can when I hear her coming run down the hallway. I love her, yet I want my privacy. All at once it comes back to me, like a hangover rush all my blood starts going back up into my head: the party, my sis getting laid, the argument with Ray, falling to Marcel, all the sex, all the drinking, and drugs, it’s all thumping hard in my brain, like my covered button was a few moments ago, on cam. I am still lying here uncovered, with everything still out in the open. ‘Kellie!’ My door swings open, hammering the door handle against my wall, and sis comes bolting across my room, jumping in my bed, pacing over my textbook's notebooks, love notes, and pills of dirty tops and bottoms and discarded jeans, I panic thinking my Victoria’s Secret Heritage Pink nighty way over there on the floor, where I thought it off and left it the night before. Yet it’s not liked my sis has not seen me naked before… but is wired when this happens. Something is not right, something seems very wrong and oggie; something skirts the edges of my memory, but then it is gone as my head pounds and sis is bouncing on my bed on top of me, throwing her arms and legs around my nude torso. Saying- ‘So what are you going to show me today?’ I am thinking to myself- girl you already got it down, doing what you’re doing now, I don’t need to teach you anything. Kellie- she is so hot… (Oh God not in that way, she’s- my sis.) She is like a little furnace with her worth coming from her tiny body. It’s not too long before her nighty rides up, and I can see it all in my face like she wants to be just like me, and then she starts asking her questions.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Dreaming of you Play with Me)
And when it came to rigs, few were more impressive than the Deepwater Horizon. Roughly thirty stories tall and longer than a football field, this mobile, half-billion-dollar semisubmersible could function in water as deep as ten thousand feet and drill exploratory wells several miles deeper than that. Operating a rig this size cost around $1 million a day, but major oil companies considered the expense well worth it.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Another example, one that touches more people, is the nursing home industry. Numerous studies have shown that living at home, in a house or an apartment, is better psychologically, more fulfilling, and cheaper than living in nursing homes.14 Yet these institutions prosper when federal programs that foster living in the community are cut. There are also funding disincentives that the U.S. Congress, through Medicare and Medicaid, has created to ensure the profit bonanza of nursing homes. According to the activist disability journal Mouth (1995), there are 1.9 million people with disabilities living in nursing homes at an annual cost of $40,784, although it would cost only $9,692 a year to provide personal assistance services so the same people could live at home. Sixty-three percent of this cost is taxpayer funded. In 1992, 77,618 people with developmental disabilities (DD) lived in state-owned facilities at an average annual cost of $82,228, even though it would cost $27,649 for the most expensive support services to live at home. There are 150,257 people with mental illness living in tax-funded asylums at an average annual cost of $58,569. Another 19,553 disabled veterans also live in institutions, costing the Veterans Administration a whopping $75,641 per person.15 It is illogical that a government would want to pay more for less. It is illogical until one studies the amount of money spent by the nursing home lobby. Nursing homes are a growth industry that many wealthy people, including politicians, have wisely invested in. The scam is simple: get taxpayers to fund billions of dollars to these institutions which a few investors divide up. The idea that nursing homes are compassionate institutions or necessary resting places has lost much of its appeal recently, but the barrier to defunding them is built on a paternalism that eschews human dignity. As we have seen with public housing programs in the United States, the tendency is to warehouse (surplus) people in concentrated sites. This too has been the history with elderly people and people with disabilities in nursing homes. These institutions then can serve as a mechanism of social control and, at the same time, make some people wealthy.
James I. Charlton (Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment)
I once received an Explanation of Benefits statement showing that the billed services for a few weeks in the BMTU were more than $3 million. It seems shocking that the medical system can't spare dollar figures in the thousands to pay for professional in-home care. If a medical professional tells the family that the patient has a medical need for twenty-four hour care attendance, as Dr. T did, it doesn't make sense that that very very attendance is a noncovered expense.
Kate Washington (Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America)
If you ask him for a shilling, or two or three shillings, he'll give freely freely, but if he know that he got to spend a few hundred dollars, which is no more than three shillings compare to what he got, boys, he will cry buckets of tears.
George Lamming (In the Castle of My Skin)
When Larraine called Pastor Daryl to ask if the church could lend her money so that she might avoid eviction, he said he’d have to think about it. The last time Larraine called, she had said she’d been robbed at gunpoint. Pastor Daryl reached into the church’s coffers and gave her a few hundred dollars for the rent. Larraine had been robbed, but not by a stranger with a gun. Susan and Lane’s cokehead daughter had broken into her trailer when no one was home. Susan phoned Pastor Daryl to report Larraine’s lie. Pastor Daryl felt torn. On the one hand, he thought it was the job of the church, not the government, to care for the poor and hungry. That, to him, was “pure Christianity.” When it came to Larraine, though, Pastor Daryl believed a lot of hardship was self-inflicted. “She made some stupid choices, spending her money foolishly….Making her go without for a while may be the best thing for her, so that she can be reminded, ‘Hey when I make foolish choices there are consequences.’ ” It was easy to go on about helping “the poor.” Helping a poor person with a name, a face, a history, and many needs, a person whose mistakes and lapses of judgment you have recorded—that was a more trying matter.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
If all the black land-owners who had ever held land here had kept it or left it in the hands of black men, the Negroes would have owned nearer thirty thousand acres than the fifteen thousand they now hold. And yet these fifteen thousand acres are a creditable showing,—a proof of no little weight of the worth and ability of the Negro people. If they had been given an economic start at Emancipation, if they had been in an enlightened and rich community which really desired their best good, then we might perhaps call such a result small or even insignificant. But for a few thousand poor ignorant field-hands, in the face of poverty, a falling market, and social stress, to save and capitalize two hundred thousand dollars in a generation has meant a tremendous effort. The rise of a nation, the pressing forward of a social class, means a bitter struggle, a hard and soul-sickening battle with the world such as few of the more favored classes know or appreciate.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
Back in New York, Adam was attempting to move on. It was September 18, the day he hoped the company would go public. One employee looked on as Adam spent part of the day in his office, watching clips from the road-show video he had finally filmed a few days before, if weeks too late. He didn’t seem as concerned about the Journal article as those around him were, even though he didn’t have to look far to understand what could happen when things went south for the charismatic founder of a high-flying company. In January, Adam had personally invested more than $30 million into Faraday Grid, a Scottish firm trying to reinvent the delivery of renewable energy—another company in his mini Vision Fund. The investment valued Faraday Grid at $3.4 billion, thanks to supposedly revolutionary technology the company was loath to share many details about; whatever it was, Adam promised it would “fundamentally change the way we access and use energy in the future.” Neumann had found an easy kinship with Faraday’s founder, Andrew Scobie, an Australian with a big personality and lofty ambitions. In his office, Scobie prominently displayed a quotation that he attributed to Adam Smith: “All money is a matter of belief.
Reeves Wiedeman (Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork)
It seems unfortunate to me, when millions of dollars are allocated to medical research and the relief of human suffering, that little or nothing is earmarked for help of victims of sex abnormalities. It is frequently considered more appropriate to strengthen the arm of the law against the people who don't fit into acceptable patterns of sexual normalcy, whatever the "norm" may be. In the face of abnormality, sometimes it's considered clever to ridicule or condemn. However, it's encouraging to note that within the past few years, the subject of deviation has not been so carefully avoided by legislative groups or medical practice, and society in general has been even further enlightened, I think, through occasional channels of mass communications media.
Christine Jorgensen (Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography)
44. Paper money is not paper. Take a piece of paper and print (or just write) something on it. Now fold it a few times, place it in your hind pocket, sit on it, take it out, fold and re-fold it some more. How long do you think this piece of paper will last? Will it live up to a month, or even a year? How much do you think will it take before it becomes illegible? In order to make American Dollars last longer, they are printed on cloth, rather than paper. 75% of a dollar bill is cotton, while 25% is linen. This cloth mixture is far more durable than plain paper – life expectancy of an average $1 bill is almost six years. On the other hand, an average $100 bill can live up to 15 years.
Tyler Backhause (101 Creepy, Weird, Scary, Interesting, and Outright Cool Facts: A collection of 101 facts that are sure to leave you creeped out and entertained at the same time)
again?” To which you reply, “Oh, it’s only three thousand dollars,” and you say no more. Alas, you just committed sales hara-kiri. Why? Simply put, you’ve just created a scenario where there’s $3,000 worth of energy going in and zero benefits coming out, not because those benefits don’t exist—in point of fact, they do—but because you simply forgot to remind the prospect of them at the same time you asked them to tap into their energy reserves. In other words, the fact that you laid out the benefits three or four minutes ago when you asked for the order for the first time has no bearing on the energy in, benefits out equation a few minutes later, when your prospect gave you a buy signal.
Jordan Belfort (Way of the Wolf: Straight line selling: Master the art of persuasion, influence, and success)
The way Richie saw it, something had happened to mainstream music during the post-grunge phase of the ’90s and so far this year’s releases had been the most vapid of the lot, save for a few that maybe had some artistic expression if you listened hard enough (and excluding the Chili Peppers record, which ruled). Corporate major labels and MTV had joined forces in a union of evil to destroy all semblance of art from the world and churn the charred remains—not art anymore but products—through a dollar factory of unfettered capitalism, squeezing out the big bucks as quickly as possible before the whole crazy ride comes to a screaming, bloody end. Which it would. All of this would come to a tragic end; the whole western world had gone mad, taking mindless consumerism to dizzying new heights as most of the East scrambled to get in on the action. Meanwhile, people like him and Alabama slip through the cracks and no one in this apathetic hellhole gives a shit, too busy patching over the vacancies of their lives in desperate attempts to forget the dreams they abandoned when they sold out to the machine. Of course he and Alabama were junkies. Of course they were thieves. What choice did they have when you got right—right—down to it? Their fates had been sealed when society had set itself upon this dark path, and there would be many more Richies and Alabamas to come so long as it stayed the course.
Philip Elliott
Independently of their market price in dollars and cents, the trees have other values: they are connected in many ways with the civilization of a country; they have their importance in an intellectual and in a moral sense. After the first rude stage of progress is past in a new country—when shelter and food have been provided—people begin to collect the conveniences and pleasures of a permanent home about their dwellings, and then the farmer generally sets out a few trees before his door. This is very desirable, but it is only the first step in the track; something more is needed; the preservation of fine trees, already standing, marks a farther progress, and this point we have not yet reached. It frequently happens that the same man who yesterday planted some half dozen branchless saplings before his door, will to-day cut down a noble elm, or oak, only a few rods from his house, an object which was in itself a hundred-fold more beautiful than any other in his possession. In very truth, a fine tree near a house is a much greater embellishment than the thickest coat of paint that could be put on its walls, or a whole row of wooden columns to adorn its front; nay, a large shady tree in a door-yard is much more desirable than the most expensive mahogany and velvet sofa in the parlor.
Kathryn Aalto (Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World)
Her killer got probation, community service, and a five hundred dollar fine. Five hundred dollars for a dead black girl. My mom’s got shoes that cost more than that. The judge said the killer was really the victim. Rodney got brutally beaten on videotape. Nothing. A few weeks after Latasha’s killer got nothing for her dead black body, a man got thirty days in jail for kicking and jumping on his puppy, felony animal cruelty. No Justice. No Peace.
Christina Hammonds Reed (The Black Kids)
Itzy Fisher?" Delia accused when I sat back down. "You like her?" And then she got up and ran out of the cafeteria. Groaning, I flopped my head down on my arms. "I isn't make that card for Itzy. It was for Delia." "Delia?" Fitz said. "You wouldn't understand." Fitz stared right at me. "What makes you think that?" In the thousands of times I have replayed this moment over the years, I realize what that happened next could have gone a different way. That had Fitz been less of a best friend, or more competitive, or even more honest with himself, my life would have turned out very different. But instead, he asked me for a dollar. "Why?" "Because she's pissed at you," he said, as I finished into my lunch money. "And I can fix that." He took a Sharpie from his binder and wrote something across George Washington's Face. Then he crested the bill the long way. He brought up the bottom edge and then the halves, turned it over, and tucked in both sides. A few more maneuvers and then he handed me a dollar folded into the shape of a heart. When I found Delia, she was sitting underneath the water fountain near the gym. I handed her Fitz's heart. I watched her open it, read the message along with her: If all I could ever have is you, I'd be a billionaire. "Itzy might get jealous," Delia said. "Itzy and I broke up.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
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Why was one of these men able to amass a fortune, while the other never acquired more than a few thousand dollars at the same pursuit?
Richard D. Wyckoff (Studies in tape reading)
Even before the first Soviet tanks crossed into Afghanistan in 1979, a movement of Islamists had sprung up nationwide in opposition to the Communist state. They were, at first, city-bound intellectuals, university students and professors with limited countryside appeal. But under unrelenting Soviet brutality they began to forge alliances with rural tribal leaders and clerics. The resulting Islamist insurgents—the mujahedeen—became proxies in a Cold War battle, with the Soviet Union on one side and the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia on the other. As the Soviets propped up the Afghan government, the CIA and other intelligence agencies funneled millions of dollars in aid to the mujahedeen, along with crate after crate of weaponry. In the process, traditional hierarchies came radically undone. When the Communists killed hundreds of tribal leaders and landlords, young men of more humble backgrounds used CIA money and arms to form a new warrior elite in their place. In the West, we would call such men “warlords.” In Afghanistan they are usually labeled “commanders.” Whatever the term, they represented a phenomenon previously unknown in Afghan history. Now, each valley and district had its own mujahedeen commanders, all fighting to free the country from Soviet rule but ultimately subservient to the CIA’s guns and money. The war revolutionized the very core of rural culture. With Afghan schools destroyed, millions of boys were instead educated across the border in Pakistani madrassas, or religious seminaries, where they were fed an extreme, violence-laden version of Islam. Looking to keep the war fueled, Washington—where the prevailing ethos was to bleed the Russians until the last Afghan—financed textbooks for schoolchildren in refugee camps festooned with illustrations of Kalashnikovs, swords, and overturned tanks. One edition declared: Jihad is a kind of war that Muslims fight in the name of God to free Muslims.… If infidels invade, jihad is the obligation of every Muslim. An American text designed to teach children Farsi: Tey [is for] Tofang (rifle); Javed obtains rifles for the mujahedeen Jeem [is for] Jihad; Jihad is an obligation. My mom went to the jihad. The cult of martyrdom, the veneration of jihad, the casting of music and cinema as sinful—once heard only from the pulpits of a few zealots—now became the common vocabulary of resistance nationwide. The US-backed mujahedeen branded those supporting the Communist government, or even simply refusing to pick sides, as “infidels,” and justified the killing of civilians by labeling them apostates. They waged assassination campaigns against professors and civil servants, bombed movie theaters, and kidnapped humanitarian workers. They sabotaged basic infrastructure and even razed schools and clinics. With foreign backing, the Afghan resistance eventually proved too much for the Russians. The last Soviet troops withdrew in 1989, leaving a battered nation, a tottering government that was Communist in name only, and a countryside in the sway of the commanders. For three long years following the withdrawal, the CIA kept the weapons and money flowing to the mujahedeen, while working to block any peace deal between them and the Soviet-funded government. The CIA and Pakistan’s spy agency pushed the rebels to shell Afghan cities still under government control, including a major assault on the eastern city of Jalalabad that flattened whole neighborhoods. As long as Soviet patronage continued though, the government withstood the onslaught. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, however, Moscow and Washington agreed to cease all aid to their respective proxies. Within months, the Afghan government crumbled. The question of who would fill the vacuum, who would build a new state, has not been fully resolved to this day.
Anand Gopal
Say Bank A is holding $10 million in A-minus-rated IBM bonds. It goes to Bank B and makes a deal: we’ll pay you $50,000 a year for five years and in exchange, you agree to pay us $10 million if IBM defaults sometime in the next five years—which of course it won’t, since IBM never defaults. If Bank B agrees, Bank A can then go to the Basel regulators and say, “Hey, we’re insured if something goes wrong with our IBM holdings. So don’t count that as money we have at risk. Let us lend a higher percentage of our capital, now that we’re insured.” It’s a win-win. Bank B makes, basically, a free $250,000. Bank A, meanwhile, gets to lend out another few million more dollars, since its $10 million in IBM bonds is no longer counted as at-risk capital. That was the way it was supposed to work. But two developments helped turn the CDS from a semisensible way for banks to insure themselves against risk into an explosive tool for turbo leverage across the planet. One is that no regulations were created to make sure that at least one of the two parties in the CDS had some kind of stake in the underlying bond. The so-called naked default swap allowed Bank A to take out insurance with Bank B not only on its own IBM holdings, but on, say, the soon-to-be-worthless America Online stock Bank X has in its portfolio. This is sort of like allowing people to buy life insurance on total strangers with late-stage lung cancer—total insanity. The other factor was that there were no regulations that dictated that Bank B had to have any money at all before it offered to sell this CDS insurance.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
Knowing something about the monetary value and cost of the information in a measurement puts a new light on what is “measurable.” If someone says a measurement would be too expensive, we have to ask, “Compared to what?” If a measurement that would just reduce uncertainty by half costs $50,000 but the EVPI is $5,000,000, then the measurement certainly is not “too expensive.” Indeed, it would be a bargain. But if the information value is zero, then any measurement is too expensive. Some measurements might have marginal information values—say, a few thousand dollars; not enough to justify some formal effort at measurement but a bit too much just to ignore. For those measurements, I try to think of approaches that can quickly reduce a little uncertainty—say, finding a related study or making a few phone calls to a few more experts.
Douglas W. Hubbard (How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business)
Physicians sell patients on a remedy. Lawyers sell juries on a verdict. Teachers sell students on the value of paying attention in class. Entrepreneurs woo funders, writers sweet-talk producers, coaches cajole players. Whatever our profession, we deliver presentations to fellow employees and make pitches to new clients. We try to convince the boss to loosen up a few dollars from the budget or the human resources department to add more vacation days.
Daniel H. Pink (To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others)
THE SK8 MAKER VS. GLOBAL INDUSTRIALIZATION This new era of global industrialization is where my personal analogy with the history of the skateboard maker diverges. It’s no longer cost-effective to run a small skateboard company in the U.S., and the handful of startups that pull it off are few and far between. The mega manufacturers who can churn out millions of decks at low cost and record speed each year in Chinese factories employ proprietary equipment and techniques that you and I can barely imagine. Drills that can cut all eight truck holes in a stack of skateboard decks in a single pull. CNC machinery to create CAD-perfect molds used by giant two-sided hydraulic presses that can press dozens of boards in a few hours. Computer-operated cutting bits that can stamp out a deck to within 1⁄64 in. of its specified shape. And industrial grade machines that apply multicolored heat-transfer graphics in minutes. In a way, this factory automation has propelled skateboarding to become a multinational, multi-billion dollar industry. The best skateboarders require this level of precision in each deck. Otherwise, they could end up on their tails after a failed trick. Or much worse. As the commercial deck relies more and more on a process that is out of reach for mere mortals, there is great value in the handmade and one of a kind. Making things from scratch is a dying art on the brink of extinction. It was pushed to the edge when public schools dismissed woodworking classes and turned the school woodshop into a computer lab. And when you separate society from how things are made—even a skateboard—you lose touch with the labor and the materials and processes that contributed to its existence in the first place. It’s not long before you take for granted the value of an object. The result is a world where cheap labor produces cheap goods consumed by careless customers who don’t even value the things they own.
Matt Berger (The Handmade Skateboard: Design & Build a Custom Longboard, Cruiser, or Street Deck from Scratch)
Beyond that, we feel very strongly that Wal-Mart really is not, and should not be, in the charity business. We don’t believe in taking a lot of money out of Wal-Mart’s cash registers and giving it to charity for the simple reason that any debit has to be passed along to somebody—either our shareholders or our customers. A few years ago, when Helen convinced me that our associates here in Bentonville needed a first-class exercise facility, she and I paid the million dollars in construction costs ourselves, plus an annual subsidy for a few years to get it started. We paid for it to show our sincere appreciation to the associates, but also because I don’t believe in asking the customers or the shareholders to pay for something like that—as worthy a cause as it may be. By not designating a large amount of corporate funds to some charity which the officers of Wal-Mart may happen to like, we feel we give our shareholders more discretion in supporting their own charities.
Sam Walton (Sam Walton: Made In America)
she’d done enough residential architecture to know that the desire to wring out a few more drips of happiness almost always destroyed the happiness you were so lucky to have, and so foolish never to acknowledge. It happens every time: a forty-thousand-dollar kitchen remodel becomes a seventy-five-thousand-dollar kitchen remodel (because everyone comes to believe that small differences make big differences), becomes a new exit to the garden (to bring more light into the enhanced kitchen), becomes a new bathroom (if you’re already sealing off the floor for work …), becomes stupidly rewiring the house to be smart (so you can control the music in the kitchen with your phone), becomes passive-aggression over whether the new bookshelves should be on legs (to reveal the inlaid floor borders), becomes aggressive-aggression whose origin can no longer be remembered. One can build a perfect home, but not live in it.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
SO TELL ME honestly.” I glanced over at Rachel, who was lying down beside me, and raised an eyebrow. “Can you feel it, Kash?” Her eyes widened and she slapped down on the mattress. “Can you feel the difference this mattress makes?” The saleswoman kept rambling on about the statistics of this bed and I tried not to laugh as Rachel acted as if what she was saying was from the Bible. “Isn’t this one just great?” The woman leaned over the bed to look at us. Her drawl was so thick that her great sounded more like gright. “Feels just like a cloud, you were so right!” Rachel smiled sweetly at her. “Oh, I knew y’all would just love this one! But c’mon over to the other side of the store, I have a few more to show you. And they just blow this one right out of the water,” she said, and walked away to the next set of mattresses. Rachel swung her legs over to the side and looked back at me, that same sweet smile plastered on her face. “It feels exactly like the last six except it’s an extra two thousand dollars. So that just makes it so much better!” She scrunched up her nose on the last few words and smacked her hand down on the mattress again. I rolled off the mattress and pulled her with me as I followed the saleswoman. “You look like a Miss America contestant on shrooms,” I whispered to Rachel, and she snorted. She began waving at no one in particular like she was in a pageant, and her smile widened.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
Giving her a second, I stood up and walked into my room, threw a pair of sweatpants over my shorts, and shrugged into a sweatshirt. God, how was she shivering? I was already sweating with this on. But if I couldn’t comfort her in the way I wanted to, I was going to do it in the only other way I knew how. I’d just be there for her. When I walked back through the living room, her sobs had quieted, but she was still in a ball. Heading into the kitchen, I grabbed two bottled waters, a spoon, and the pint of Ben and Jerry’s she always made sure I had in the freezer. I put everything on the coffee table, grabbed the remote, and searched the DVR until I found Bridesmaids. I didn’t give a shit about the two hundred dollars or breakfasts I would owe her for this. Sitting down next to her this time, I picked up the water and ice cream, balanced them on my legs, and turned the volume up. When the movie started, she brought her red face up and glanced at the TV with a furrowed brow before looking over at me. Her eyebrows shot straight up when she saw me. “What are you wearing?” Her voice was hoarse from crying and I handed her the bottle of water. “Well, you came over in sweats. I figured I missed the memo or something and had to get in on the party.” She looked at the TV and back to me, and a small smile cracked when she took the ice cream and spoon from me. I’d pushed her enough today. I hated knowing what I knew and vowed to one day find out who this guy was. Hopefully now that she knew she could talk to me, she’d open up more when she was ready. But anything more today would be too much. So I settled into the couch and pretended to watch the movie instead of her every move. After a while, she handed me back the half-empty container and leaned against my shoulder. My arm automatically went around her and I pulled her close to my side. “Thank you, Kash,” she whispered a couple minutes later. “Anything for you, Rach. I’m here whenever you need to talk.” Pressing my lips to her forehead, I kept them there as I said, “And I will always protect you.” We were still sitting there watching the movie when Mason came back from his run. He nodded at us, and when he came back out of his room after a shower, he was dressed in sweats as well. He grabbed the melting ice cream and tried to squeeze himself onto the couch on the other side of Rachel. She laughed and curled closer into my side. “You guys are the best.” “You think we’re going to let you veg on the couch alone?” Mason said, scoffing. “Sweetheart, you obviously don’t know us that well. I mean, it’s gonna be a hundred degrees today. How else would I spend the day than in sweats?” Rachel kicked at his leg and he squeezed her knee. After a few minutes of watching the movie, Mason caught my gaze over Rachel’s head. He quickly looked down at her and raised an eyebrow, the question clear in his eyes. I nodded once and the color drained from his face. He swallowed hard and grabbed one of Rachel’s hands. She laughed lightly at something from the movie and his eyes came back to mine. They were determined, and he looked like he was struggling at relaxing his now-murderous expression. I knew exactly how he felt. He didn’t have to say anything to me. We’d worked together long enough to know that we’d both just agreed to find the bastard. And make him pay.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
She thrust the pink box she was holding into Mr. Rutherford’s hands before she opened up her reticule and pulled out a fistful of coins. Counting them out very precisely, she stopped counting when she reached three dollars, sixty-two cents. Handing Mr. Rutherford the coins, she then took back the pink box, completely ignoring the scowl Mr. Rutherford was now sending her. “This is not the amount of money I quoted you for the skates, Miss . . . ?” “Miss Griswold,” Permilia supplied as she opened up the box and began rummaging through the thin paper that covered her skates. Mr. Rutherford’s brows drew together. “Surely you’re not related to Mr. George Griswold, are you?” “He’s my father,” Permilia returned before she frowned and lifted out what appeared to be some type of printed form, one that had a small pencil attached to it with a maroon ribbon. “What is this?” Mr. Rutherford returned the frown, looking as if he wanted to discuss something besides the form Permilia was now waving his way, but he finally relented—although he did so with a somewhat heavy sigh. “It’s a survey, and I would be ever so grateful if you and Miss Radcliff would take a few moments to fill it out, returning it after you’re done to a member of my staff, many of whom can be found offering hot chocolate for a mere five cents at a stand we’ve erected by the side of the lake. I’m trying to determine which styles of skates my customers prefer, and after I’m armed with that information, I’ll be better prepared to stock my store next year with the best possible products.” “Far be it from me to point out the obvious, Mr. Rutherford, but one has to wonder about your audacity,” Permilia said. “It’s confounding to me that you’re so successful in business, especially since not only are you overcharging your customers for the skates today, you also expect those very customers to extend you a service by taking time out of their day to fill out a survey for you. And then, to top matters off nicely, instead of extending those customers a free cup of hot chocolate for their time and effort, you’re charging them for that as well.” “I’m a businessman, Miss Griswold—as is your father, if I need remind you. I’m sure he’d understand exactly what my strategy is here today, as well as agree with that strategy.” Permilia stuck her nose into the air. “You may very well be right, Mr. Rutherford, but . . .” She thrust the box back into his hands. “Since I’m unwilling to pay more than I’ve already given you for these skates, I’ll take my money back, if you please.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” Mr. Rutherford said, thrusting the box right back at Permilia. “Now, if the two of you will excuse me, I have other customers to attend to.” With that, he sent Wilhelmina a nod, scowled at Permilia, and strode through the snow back to his cash register.
Jen Turano (At Your Request (Apart from the Crowd, #0.5))
Capitalism began as a theory about how the economy functions. It was both descriptive and prescriptive – it offered an account of how money worked and promoted the idea that reinvesting profits in production leads to fast economic growth. But capitalism gradually became far more than just an economic doctrine. It now encompasses an ethic – a set of teachings about how people should behave, educate their children and even think. Its principal tenet is that economic growth is the supreme good, or at least a proxy for the supreme good, because justice, freedom and even happiness all depend on economic growth. Ask a capitalist how to bring justice and political freedom to a place like Zimbabwe or Afghanistan, and you are likely to get a lecture on how economic affluence and a thriving middle class are essential for stable democratic institutions, and about the need therefore to inculcate Afghan tribesmen in the values of free enterprise, thrift and self-reliance. This new religion has had a decisive influence on the development of modern science, too. Scientific research is usually funded by either governments or private businesses. When capitalist governments and businesses consider investing in a particular scientific project, the first questions are usually ‘Will this project enable us to increase production and profits? Will it produce economic growth?’ A project that can’t clear these hurdles has little chance of finding a sponsor. No history of modern science can leave capitalism out of the picture. Conversely, the history of capitalism is unintelligible without taking science into account. Capitalism’s belief in perpetual economic growth flies in the face of almost everything we know about the universe. A society of wolves would be extremely foolish to believe that the supply of sheep would keep on growing indefinitely. The human economy has nevertheless managed to keep on growing throughout the modern era, thanks only to the fact that scientists come up with another discovery or gadget every few years – such as the continent of America, the internal combustion engine, or genetically engineered sheep. Banks and governments print money, but ultimately, it is the scientists who foot the bill. Over the last few years, banks and governments have been frenziedly printing money. Everybody is terrified that the current economic crisis may stop the growth of the economy. So they are creating trillions of dollars, euros and yen out of thin air, pumping cheap credit into the system, and hoping that the scientists, technicians and engineers will manage to come up with something really big, before the bubble bursts. Everything depends on the people in the labs. New discoveries in fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology could create entire new industries, whose profits could back the trillions of make-believe money that the banks and governments have created since 2008. If the labs do not fulfil these expectations before the bubble bursts, we are heading towards very rough times.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The ecosystem in which academic scientists work has created conditions that actually set them up for failure. There’s a constant scramble for research dollars. Promotions and tenure depend on their making splashy discoveries. There are big rewards for being first, even if the work ultimately fails the test of time. And there are few penalties for getting it wrong. In fact, given the scale of this problem, it’s evident that many scientists don’t even realize that they are making mistakes. Frequently scientists assume what they read in the literature is true and start research projects based on that assumption. Begley said one of the studies he couldn’t reproduce has been cited more than 2,000 times by other researchers, who have been building on or at least referring to it, without actually validating the underlying result.
Richard F. Harris (Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions)
When enough people share a short-lived delusion, vast sums of money can be acquired overnight. The ‘tulip mania’ in Holland in the mid-seventeenth century was such a time. Tulips had been imported into Holland for forty years before the madness hit. By 1635, a single tulip bulb was swapped for a collection of valuable articles, which included the following: four tons of wheat eight tons of rye a bed four oxen eight pigs a suit of clothes two caskets of wine four tonnes of beer two tons of butter one thousand pounds of cheese a silver drinking cup The current value of the above would be $50,000 or more. And this was for a single tulip bulb! Fortunes were made or lost, especially the latter, when the music stopped. Within a few years, a tulip bulb was worth less than a dollar in today’s money. Here is the wonder of collective short-term delusion writ large.
Felix Dennis (How to Get Rich)
Yes," Charlie was saying now, "I get up nice and early before the sun and do the little things that need doin' around the house. And then what d'ye think I do, Father? You'd never guess. Not in a million years you wouldn't. I'll tell you what I do: I go out in the yard and have a grand look at all the birds. Ain't birds lovely, Father?" This was the softer side of Charlie: rarely visible, like the other side of the moon. I said, "Are you a bird watcher, then, Mr. Carmody? That's something I wouldn't have guessed." "Ah well, I ain't a loony about it, Father. I don't go crawlin' around on my belly through the wet grass lookin' for the golden-headed hoohoo. That's nut stuff. But the fact of the matter is that nothin' makes me feel better than comin' down and findin' the whole place littered with birds, all kinds, singin' and chirpin' away all around me. I tell you, Father, there's days I might be St. Francis himself!" I said, "Aha." It was a pale acknowledgment, unworthy of such an announcement, but the truth is that I had nothing better to offer. Thirty years as a priest and still unable to make the appropriate small talk with the living duplicates of the sanctified! Who, by the way, are more numerous than you might imagine. With Charlie, however, it seemed safe enough to stick to the birds, and so I said, "I suppose they come around because you're good to them; you probably put out a little seed for them every once in a while." There was a pause. "Ah well," he said slowly. "I don't exactly do that now, Father. No no. I'm a great man for the birds, none greater, but the way I do is this: they can damn well feed themselves. And they do! I'm here to tell you they do. On my grass seed." The old voice had suddenly become louder; there was a new note, unmistakably grim. "Grass seed is sellin' for two dollars the pound," he said, "and every robin on the place is gettin' big as a hen. Oh, I tell you, Father, a man has to look sharp or they'll eat him out of house and home. What I do, sometimes, is I sit around waitin' for them with a few little stones in my pocket." A dusty reminiscent chuckle come over the telephone. "I pegged one at this big black devil of a starlin' the other day," St. Francis said gleefully, "and damn near took his head off. Well, well, we mustn't complain, Father. That's the way life goes.
Edwin O'Connor (The Edge of Sadness)
All of these agencies were enormously active during the so-called laissez-faire era. As the former CEO of BB&T Bank John Allison notes, “Government spending alone . . . on financial regulations (not company bailouts) increased, in adjusted dollars, from $725 million in 1980 to $2.07 billion in 2007.”41 Meanwhile, between 1980 and 2009, for every one instance of financial deregulation, there were four instances of new financial regulation.42 It is one thing to claim that regulators didn’t do their job during the last few decades, or that the government should have placed even more regulatory restrictions on the financial industry—all that is debatable—but it is quite another thing to describe the last few decades as a time when financial markets were deregulated, let alone unregulated.43
Don Watkins (Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality)
The ideal business is one that earns very high returns on capital and that keeps using lots of capital at those high returns. That becomes a compounding machine,” Buffett said. “So if you had your choice, if you could put a hundred million dollars into a business that earns twenty percent on that capital—twenty million—ideally, it would be able to earn twenty percent on a hundred twenty million the following year and on a hundred forty-four million the following year and so on. You could keep redeploying capital at [those] same returns over time. But there are very, very, very few businesses like that...we can move that money around from those businesses to buy more businesses.
Alice Schroeder (The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life)
Think of it like a fast-food franchise, the informant said, like a pizza delivery service. Each heroin cell or franchise has an owner in Xalisco, Nayarit, who supplies the cell with heroin. The owner doesn’t often come to the United States. He communicates only with the cell manager, who lives in Denver and runs the business for him. Beneath the cell manager is a telephone operator, the informant said. The operator stays in an apartment all day and takes calls. The calls come from addicts, ordering their dope. Under the operator are several drivers, paid a weekly wage and given housing and food. Their job is to drive the city with their mouths full of little uninflated balloons of black tar heroin, twenty-five or thirty at a time in one mouth. They look like chipmunks. They have a bottle of water at the ready so if police pull them over, they swig the water and swallow the balloons. The balloons remain intact in the body and are eliminated in the driver’s waste. Apart from the balloons in their mouths, drivers keep another hundred hidden somewhere in the car. The operator’s phone number is circulated among heroin addicts, who call with their orders. The operator’s job, the informant said, is to tell them where to meet the driver: some suburban shopping center parking lot—a McDonald’s, a Wendy’s, a CVS pharmacy. The operators relay the message to the driver, the informant said. The driver swings by the parking lot and the addict pulls out to follow him, usually down side streets. Then the driver stops. The addict jumps into the driver’s car. There, in broken English and broken Spanish, a cross-cultural heroin deal is accomplished, with the driver spitting out the balloons the addict needs and taking his cash. Drivers do this all day, the guy said. Business hours—eight A.M. to eight P.M. usually. A cell of drivers at first can quickly gross five thousand dollars a day; within a year, that cell can be clearing fifteen thousand dollars daily. The system operates on certain principles, the informant said, and the Nayarit traffickers don’t violate them. The cells compete with each other, but competing drivers know each other from back home, so they’re never violent. They never carry guns. They work hard at blending in. They don’t party where they live. They drive sedans that are several years old. None of the workers use the drug. Drivers spend a few months in a city and then the bosses send them home or to a cell in another town. The cells switch cars about as often as they switch drivers. New drivers are coming up all the time, usually farm boys from Xalisco County. The cell owners like young drivers because they’re less likely to steal from them; the more experienced a driver becomes, the more likely he knows how to steal from the boss. The informant assumed there were thousands of these kids back in Nayarit aching to come north and drive some U.S. city with their mouths packed with heroin balloons.
Sam Quinones (Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic)
SURE? The Case of the Knockout Artist Bugs Meany’s heart burned with a great desire. It was to get even with Encyclopedia. Bugs hated being outsmarted by the boy detective. He longed to punch Encyclopedia so hard on the jaw that the lump would come out the top of his head. Bugs never raised a fist, though. Whenever he felt like it, he remembered Sally Kimball. Sally was the prettiest girl in the fifth grade—and the best fighter. She had done what no boy under twelve had dreamed was possible. She had flattened Bugs Meany! When Sally became the boy detective’s junior partner, Bugs quit trying to use muscle on Encyclopedia. But he never stopped planning his day of revenge. “Bugs hates you more than he does me,” warned Encyclopedia. “He’ll never forgive you for whipping him.” Just then Ike Cassidy walked into the detective agency. Ike was one of Bugs’s pals. “I’m quitting the Tigers,” he announced. “I want to hire you. But you’ll have to take the quarter from my pocket. I can’t move my fingers.” “What’s this all about?” asked Encyclopedia. “Bugs’s cousin, Bearcat Meany, is spending the weekend with him,” said Ike. “Bearcat is only ten, but he’s built like a caveman. Bugs said he’d give me two dollars to box a few rounds with Bearcat. “Bearcat tripped you and stepped on your fingers?” guessed Encyclopedia. “No, he used his head,” said Ike. “I gave him my famous one-two: a left to the nose followed by a right to the chin. I must have broken both my hands hitting him.” “You should have worn boxing gloves,” said Sally. “We wore gloves,” said Ike. “Man, that Bearcat is something else!” “Did he knock you out?” asked Encyclopedia. “He did and he didn’t,” said Ike. “His first punch didn’t knock me out and it didn’t knock me down. But it hurt so much I just had to go down anyway.” “Good grief!” gasped Encyclopedia. “H-he licked you with one punch?” “With two,” corrected Ike. “When I got up, he hit me again. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t move enough to fall down.” “Bearcat sounds like a coming champ,” observed Sally. “He’s training for the next Olympics,” said Ike. “Isn’t he a little young?” said Sally. “You tell him that,” said Ike. “He hurt me when he breathed on me.” The more Encyclopedia heard about Bearcat, the unhappier he became.
Donald J. Sobol (Encyclopedia Brown Shows the Way (Encyclopedia Brown, #9))
Unlike traditional retailers, Amazon boasted what was called a negative operating cycle. Customers paid with their credit cards when their books shipped but Amazon settled its accounts with the book distributors only every few months. With every sale, Amazon put more cash in the bank, giving it a steady stream of capital to fund its operations and expansion.14 The company could also lay claim to a uniquely high return on invested capital. Unlike brick-and-mortar retailers, whose inventories were spread out across hundreds or thousands of stores around the country, Amazon had one website and, at that time, a single warehouse and inventory. Amazon’s ratio of fixed costs to revenue was considerably more favorable than that of its offline competitors. In other words, Bezos and Covey argued, a dollar that was plugged into Amazon’s infrastructure could lead to exponentially greater returns than a dollar that went into the infrastructure of any other retailer in the world.
Brad Stone (The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon)
Hey, mister, we’re not a bus stop. Order something or take a hike.” Ham-fisted and built like a linebacker, the bartender had a face that had survived more than a few barroom brawls. A couple of bikers at the far end of the bar looked up with interest, probably hoping to see their buddy in action. Sandor knew he could take the guy, but now wasn’t the time to prove it. “I’ll take a scotch on the rocks.” He pulled out two five-dollar bills and tossed them on the bar. “Hold the scotch and the rocks. Keep the change.” The bartender and the other two looked at him like he was crazy. Finally, the bartender grinned. “Turns out we’re having a special on that night.” He pushed a five back across the counter. Sandor chuckled and accepted the bill. “Thanks.
Alexis Morgan (Dark Warrior Unbroken (Talions, #2))
Pay is meager: a few cents per image or a dollar per hour, sometimes with opportunities to make a couple more bucks.* It’s brutal work, numbing, boring, and rife with imagery of gore, bestiality, abuse,
Jacob Silverman (Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection)
Pay is meager: a few cents per image or a dollar per hour, sometimes with opportunities to make a couple more bucks.* It’s brutal work, numbing, boring, and rife with imagery of gore, bestiality, abuse, and violent pornography. As one moderator, or content reviewer as they’re also called, told the journalist Adrian Chen: “Think like that there is a sewer channel and all of the mess/dirt/waste/shit of the world flow towards you and you have to clean it.” The job of these unseen laborers is to deal with all of the horrible stuff people upload to social networks and prevent it from ever being seen. They are the ones who make sure that Facebook is a clean and well-lighted place.
Jacob Silverman (Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection)
What the fuck happened between you two?” Logan asks as soon as the door closes. I shrug. Logan is famous for his shrugs. He should accept mine. But he doesn’t. Instead, he punches me in the shoulder. Shit, that hurt. “What the fuck?” I ask. “What happened?” he asks. He looks straight into my eyes. “Nothing,” I say. I shake my head. “Not a fucking thing.” “Dude, you had a pillow shoved in your lap, and you were getting off her bed when we walked in. Something happened.” He shoves my shoulder, almost knocking me over. Logan’s a big boy. A little bigger than me, and I’m a big guy. “Not to mention that she looked like she’d just been fucked.” I stop and turn to face him. I lay both lands flat on his chest and shove him as hard as I can. “Don’t ever fucking talk about her like that again,” I warn. Logan takes a few steps back. Then he grins. “It’s about fucking time,” he says. He holds up a hand to high five me. “Fuck you,” I say instead, and I keep walking toward my dorm. I can’t get there fast enough. “Did you kiss her?” he asks. He grins at me again, and I feel a smile tugging at my own lips. But it doesn’t last for more than a minute. His joviality isn’t contagious. “I was about to…. Then you guys busted in,” I admit. “She wants you, man. She’s got it as bad as you do. Trust me.” I shake my head. “She doesn’t.” “She does.” He claps a hand on my shoulder. “She told Emily. Emily told me.” He pauses and then says, “You’re welcome.” “What did she say?” I ask. I probably don’t want to know. “She said she wants to have your babies.” He jumps back when I go to punch him, and he laughs. “Shut up,” I say. “This is serious.” “Why’s it so serious all of a sudden?” Logan asks.  “This shit’s been going on between you two for a long time. Why does it suddenly matter so much?” “The contest is today. They’re raffling off a kiss from her.” I heave a sigh. “One lucky winner is going to get to kiss the woman I love. In front of everybody.” “Oh, fuck,” Logan breathes. “That’s shit.” “I asked her not to go,” I confess. “So, go buy all the tickets,” he says with a shrug, as though he just solved world poverty or AIDS. “It doesn’t work like that. You have to guess the number of jelly beans in her jar. If you get the wrong number, you don’t get anything. If you get the right number, you get to kiss her.” “So, we need to figure out how many jelly beans are in her jar,” he says simply. He looks at me. “Did you see the jar?” I nod. “It’s a pickle jar.” I hold out my hands to show him the size. “The big kind.” “So we need a jar that size, and we need to fill it with jelly beans and then count them. At least then you can get close, right?” I scrub a hand down my face. “This is stupid. I’ll never get it. Every guess costs a dollar.” I reach into my pocket and pull out my wallet. It’s nearly empty. “You’re just going to let somebody else kiss her?” “If I’m not there, I won’t see it.” I shrug my shoulders, trying to hide the fact that I feel as if I’m being gutted. He stares at me. He doesn’t say anything. “If it were Emily, I’d buy every fucking pickle and every damn jelly bean in the state of New York. There’s no way my girl would kiss some asshole.” “You’re right,” I say. “We need to go to the store.” Hope swells inside me. Do I have a chance? I won’t know until I try, I guess. Logan
Tammy Falkner (Just Jelly Beans and Jealousy (The Reed Brothers, #3.4))
What the fuck do you want?” he asks. “And whose phone are you calling from?” He’s signing while he talks out loud. Logan laughs and pulls me into the frame. “It’s Sean’s.” “What up, Sean?” Paul asks. I wave. “You got any cash?” Logan asks. Paul’s eyes narrow. “Why?” “Sean needs to buy a kiss from his girl.” Paul’s brow rises. “You paying for sex now, dude?” he asks. He holds up his hands when I start to protest. “Not that I think that’s a bad idea or anything. Man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.” I laugh. I can’t help it. “I can’t ask you for money, man. Don’t worry about it. Logan shouldn’t have called you.” But Logan rushes on. “So, you got any money?” he asks. Paul heaves a sigh and empties his pockets. I see a few dollars float around. He yells toward the back of his apartment. “Sam! Matt!” Both brothers walk into the room. “You bellowed?” Matt says. “Asswipe there needs some cash so he can buy a hooker.” He points toward me. “She’s not a hooker,” I protest. But Logan’s laughing like hell by now. And Matt and Sam look amused, too. “Cash?” Logan asks. “Some,” Paul says. “Can you bring it?” “Where?” “To school. To the kissing booth. In the quad.” Paul heaves a sigh. “I’ll be there.” The phone goes dead. “Do you think we’ll have enough?” I’m getting anxious now. “You’ll have more than you thought you did.” Logan claps a hand onto my shoulder and squeezes. God,
Tammy Falkner (Just Jelly Beans and Jealousy (The Reed Brothers, #3.4))
Truth engages the citadel of the human heart and is not satisfied until it has conquered everything there. The will must come forth and surrender its sword. It must stand at attention to receive orders, and those orders it must joyfully obey. Short of this any knowledge of Christian truth is inadequate and unavailing. Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition. It is only when the hearer is made to understand that truth is in conflict with his heart that resistance sets in. As long as people can hear orthodox truth divorced from life, they will attend and support churches and institutions without objection. The truth is a lovely song, become sweet by long and tender association; and since it asks nothing but a few dollars, and offers good music, pleasant friendships and a comfortable sense of well-being, it meets with no resistance from the faithful. Much that passes for New Testament Christianity is little more than objective truth sweetened with song and made palatable by religious entertainment.
A.W. Tozer (Of God and Men)
SHOPPING and SIGHTSEEING Shopping opportunities start within a few hundred feet of the cruise ship dock (many new "duty free" shops in Port Zante) and continues on into the town of Basseterre. You can shop all day long if you wish and never be more than a 10 minute walk from your ship.  Just remember, in St. Kitts they will take American dollars but give change in Eastern Caribbean dollars, so be sure to take smaller denominations of U S bills when you go ashore. Upon disembarkation, cruise ship visitors are greeted by cultural acts, displays and exhibitions, as well as many ground operators offering various island excursions. The duty-free shopping district on Port Zante, where fine jewelry, liquor and souvenirs are available along with restaurants, is just past this area. Immediately beyond the shops lies Pelican Mall, the ground floor of which houses the headquarters of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. Here, brochures can be picked up and inquires made.
Carol Boyle (ST. KITTS & NEVIS: Where Two Oceans Meet (Carol's Worldwide Cruise Port Itineraries Book 1))
Writing a book is a job, like any other. It requires research, analysis, testing, and entire days in front of a laptop, typing, reading, editing, proofreading, etc. If books were free, writers wouldn't have time to write, because they would be too busy, working on something else. It is hard to sacrifice your social life and weekends to write books when you need to keep a job or more at the same time. In this sense, when an author offers a book, he is disrespecting himself, insulting his past efforts to get him where he is now, and devaluing his own work. The idea that ebooks shouldn't cost more than a few dollars is actually already an underestimation of the value offered. And the idea that a person should get a book for free is contradictory to the purpose of obtaining value from the reading. That is why writers should never offer books and readers should always be willing to pay anything for what they want to read.
Robin Sacredfire
Shakespeare: The hell is all empty. Devils are all here. He: SINCE 1992, Creating a chaos in people's mind. I am the devil. I am the evil behind. I drive sports car on high streets. I don't play cricket on low streets. I am a real big baller. I have my father's million dollars. I speak English and i speak to only few. I don't make strangers friends. I only have best friends. I have sleeping partners, dude, personally and professionally. I hunt girls. They say I am a Starboy. Still wonder why people love me? Anyone out there who knows me? Me (On behalf of all who refuse to crawl on your lavish hall): Hi, Rich Guy of earth. I know who You are. I know what you do. I don't just speak English but now I speak for all. I play cricket on streets. I play soccer on fields. I don't feel low when you smoke high. Because I know you're already low. You're the villain of heaven. Well, i am the hero of hell. You make best friends. I make strange friends. Starboy? You are just a Mumma's boy. Sleeping Partners, why would you take sleeping pills? You are no more than 'Mr In Vain'. But I am the one who's in everyone's vein. You are SINCE 1992, I have SINS 1992. F*** you.
Bhavik Sarkhedi
His dismissal shouldn’t hurt. I’m only pretend-dating his son. I don’t even want to like Blake, and I will never meet this man again. Still, to be judged unworthy in so short a space of time really pisses me off. I at least deserve a shot. Blake vanishes into the bathroom. As I’m marshaling the nerve to try and start a polite conversation, Mr. Reynolds looks off into the distance, hoists his water glass, and lets out a sigh. “Fifty thousand dollars.” My first thought is that Blake must have told him about our deal after all. I sit in place, waiting for him to give some explanation, to make some sort of demand. But he takes a long swallow of water and doesn’t say anything more. I fold my hands in my lap. “Well?” he asks after a few interminable seconds. “I can’t wait forever.” He’s not even going to pretend to be polite, and I suspect that everything he says from here on out will only get worse. Fine. If he wants to play that way, I can come along for the ride. “No,” I say with my most charming smile. “You probably can’t. Five minutes of your time is worth a fortune. But my time is worth basically nothing. So if we want to keep staring at each other, I’ll win. Eventually.” He leans against the booth, letting his arm trail along the back. He has Blake’s wiry build, but there’s an edginess to him that Blake lacks, as if he has a low-voltage current running through him at all times. He drums his fingers against the table as if to dispel a constant case of jitters. His glare intensifies. “Cut the innocent act. If you’re smart enough to hold Blake’s interest, you’re smart enough to know what I’m talking about. My son is obviously emotionally invested in you, and I’d rather he not be hurt any more than necessary. If all you want is money, I’ll give you fifty thousand dollars to walk away right now.” I pause, considering this. On the one hand, fifty thousand dollars to walk away from a nonexistent relationship is a lot of money. On the other hand, technically, at this point, Blake has offered me more. Besides, I doubt Mr. Reynolds would ever actually pay me. He’d just spill everything to Blake, assuming that revealing my money-grubbing status would end this relationship. In other words, true to form, he’s being a dick. Surprise, surprise. “I see you’re thinking about it,” he says. “Chances are this thing, whatever it is, won’t last. We’ve established that you don’t really care about Blake. The only thing left to do is haggle over the price.” “That’s not what I’m thinking.” I pick up my own water glass and take a sip. “I think we need to make the stakes even. I’ll accept sixty-six billion dollars. I take cash, check, and nonliquid assets.” His knowing smirk fades. “Now you’re just being ridiculous.” I set my glass down. “No. I’m simply establishing that you don’t love your son, either.” He almost growls. “What the fuck kind of logic is that? Sixty-six billion dollars is materially different than fifty thousand.” The bathroom door opens behind us, and Blake starts toward us. Mr. Reynolds looks away from me in annoyance. Blake approaches the table and slides in next to me. He sits so close I can feel the warm pressure of his thigh against mine. He looks from me to his father and back. “What’s going on?” The fact that I’m not actually dating Blake, and don’t care about the state of his relationship with his terrible father, makes this extremely easy. “Your father and I,” I tell him sweetly, “are arguing over how much he’ll pay me to dump you. Stay out of this; we’re not finished yet.” “Oh.” A curiously amused look crosses Blake’s face. “He offered fifty thousand bucks,” I say. “I countered with sixty-six billion.” Blake’s smile widens. “She’s not negotiating in good faith,” Mr. Reynolds growls. “What the fuck kind of girlfriend did you bring?” “Don’t mind me.” Blake crosses his arms and leans back. “Pretend I’m not here. Carry on.
Courtney Milan
Do you remember when you told me that you’d bought something ridiculously luxurious, and it was a mango?” he asks. “I was so fucking jealous of you. I wished that I could feel what that was like. I wanted to want something like that. I wanted to have that so badly.” I don’t have answers to any of his problems. I don’t even have solutions to mine. But this one thing? This, I can handle. “Come on,” I say. “Let’s get some mangoes.” We pull off the freeway a few miles later and follow the computer’s directions to a little grocery store. Fifteen minutes later, we’re sitting in a rest stop, cutting our mangoes to bits. “Here,” I tell him. “Trade me. Pretend you’re me. Let me tell you what it was like when I had that mango.” He shuts his eyes obligingly. “I didn’t have a lot of money,” I tell him. “And that meant one thing and one thing only—fried rice.” He smiles despite himself. “Kind of a stereotype, don’t you think?” “Whose stereotype? Rice is peasant food for more than half the world. It’s easy. It’s cheap. You can dress it up with a lot of other things. A little bit of onion, a bag of frozen carrots and peas. A carton of eggs. With enough rice, that can last you basically forever. It does for some people.” “It actually sounds good.” “If you have a decent underlying spice cabinet, you can break up the monotony a little. Fried rice with soy sauce one day. Spicy rice the next. And then curry rice. You can fool your tongue indefinitely. You can’t fool your body. You start craving.” He’s sitting on the picnic table, his eyes shut. “For me, the thing I start craving first is greens. Lettuce. Pea shoots. Anything that isn’t coming out of a bag of frozen veggies. And fruit. If you have an extra dollar or two, you buy apples and eat them in quarters, dividing them throughout the day.” I slide next to him on the table. The sun is warm around us. “But you get sick of apples, too, pretty soon. And so that’s where I want you to imagine yourself: sick to death of fried rice. No respite. No letting up. And then suddenly, one day, someone hands you a debit card and says, ‘Hey. Here’s fifteen thousand dollars.’ No, I’m not going to buy a stupid purse. I’m going to buy this.” I hold up a piece of mango to his lips. He opens his mouth and the fruit slides in. His lips close on my fingers like a kiss, and I can’t bring myself to draw away. He’s warmer than the sun, and I feel myself getting pulled in, closer and closer. “Oh, God.” He doesn’t open his eyes. “That’s so good.” I feed him another slice, golden and dripping juice. “That’s what it felt like,” I tell him. “Like there’s a deep-seated need, something in my bones, something missing. And then you take a bite and there’s an explosion of flavor, something bigger than just the taste buds screaming, yes, yes, this is what I need.” I hand him another piece of mango. He bites it in half, chews, and then takes the other half. “That’s what it felt like,” I say. “It felt like I’d been starving myself. Like I…” He opens his eyes and looks at me. “Like there was something I needed,” I say softly. “Something I’ve needed deep down. Something I’ve been denying myself because I can’t let myself want it.” My voice trails off. I’m not describing the taste of mango anymore. My whole body yearns for his. For this thing I’ve been denying myself. For physical affection. For our bodies joined. For his arms around me all night. It’s going to hurt when he walks away. But you know what? It’ll hurt more if he walks away and we leave things like this, desperate and wanting, incomplete. My voice drops. “It’s like there’s someone I’ve been denying myself. All this time.
Courtney Milan
because most doctors in the rest of the world don’t get paid by procedure.98 As one U.S. gastroenterologist put it, “Colonoscopy … is the goose that has laid the golden egg.”99 An exposé in the New York Times on spiraling health care costs noted that in many other developed countries, colonoscopies cost just a few hundred dollars. In the United States? The procedure may cost thousands, which the journalists concluded has less to do with providing top-notch medical care and more with business plans aimed at maximizing revenue,
Michael Greger (How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease)
At several hundred dollars instead of a few thousand, retinal imaging is much less expensive than amyloid PET scans of the brain. It also identifies much smaller plaques, which may be more accurate sentinels of treatment effects, and also has the potential to reveal whether the amyloid affects the retina’s blood vessels (and by extension, likely the brain’s as well) in addition to the neurons and synapses themselves. This
Dale E. Bredesen (The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline)
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to a more rational debate about cholesterol, heart disease, or any other health problem is the simple fact that too many of the people we turn to for advice on such matters—our doctors—are tied to the makers of drugs. Sometimes those ties involve several hundred thousand dollars a year, sometimes just a few warm doughnuts. RAY MOYNIHAN AND ALAN CASSELS, SELLING SICKNESS Furthermore,
Nora T. Gedgaudas (Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life)
I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to bring Kanish to Mel Odious Sound yesterday. Bringing a Billionheir to a large recording complex full of Producers is like opening a bag of chips at a seagull convention. It wouldn’t be long before every Producer within earshot swooped in to aggressively pitch his latest and greatest pet project, most of which would likely prove unprofitable. Rev is obviously going to pitch a project, and it very well may be something amazing. But as I’ve pointed out, in order for Kanish to make a profit, he would have to pick up half the Publishing—a non-starter for the Rev. He’s not a Songwriting Producer, so he likely doesn’t have a sufficient portion of the Publishing to share. And even if he did, no seasoned Producer is going to give half of their equity in a song in order to basically secure a small loan from an outside investor. There’s no upside. For starters, Kanish has no channels of Distribution beyond Streaming, which is already available to anyone and everyone who wants it, and which is currently only profitable for the Major Labels and the stockholders of the Streaming services themselves. Everyone else is getting screwed. And please don’t quote me the Douchebag Big Tech Billionaires running big Streaming Corporations. They are literally lining their pockets with the would-be earnings of Artists and Songwriters alike. What they claim as fair is anything but. Frankly, I don’t think we should be comfortable with Spotify taking a 30 percent margin off the top, and then disbursing the Tiger’s Share of the remaining 70 percent to the Major Labels who have already negotiated top dollar for access to their catalog. This has resulted in nothing but some remaining scraps trickling down to the tens of thousands of Independent Artists out there who just want to make a living. You can’t make a living off scraps, or even a trickle, for that matter. Mark my words, we are currently witnessing the greatest heist in the annals of the Music Business, and that’s saying something given its history. Can you say Napster? Stunningly, the only place that Songwriters can make sufficient Performance Royalties is radio—a medium that is coming up on its hundred-year anniversary. To make matters worse, the Major Distributors still have radio all locked up, and without airplay, there’s no hit. So even now, more than twenty years into the Internet revolution, the odds of breaking through the artistic cacophony without Major-Label Distribution are impossibly low. So much for the Internet leveling the playing field. At this point, only Congress can solve the problem. And despite the fact that Streaming has been around since the mid-aughts, Congress has done nothing to deal with the issue. Why? Because it’s far cheaper for Big Tech to line the pockets of lobbyists and fund the campaigns of politicians who gladly ignore the issue than it is to pay Artists and Songwriters a fair rate for their work, my friends. Same is it ever was. Just so I’m clear, there is a debate to be had as to how much Songwriters and Artists should be paid for Streaming. A radio Spin can reach millions. A Stream rarely reaches more than a few listeners. Clearly, a new method of calculation is required. But that doesn’t mean that we should just sit by as the Big Tech Douchebags rob an entire generation of royalties all so they can sell their Streaming Corporation for billions down the line. I mean, that is the end game, after all. At which point, profit for the new majority stockholder will be all but impossible. How will anyone get paid then?
Mixerman (#Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent)
Keeping Safe From Medical Fraud — Carlton Church With your health on the line, medical fraud is certainly something that you would want to be concerned of. Indeed, a lot of people fall prey to fraudulent services every year, causing them to also lose thousands of dollars. Hence, Carlton Church is giving you this short guide on this matter. The common types of medical fraud Over the years, medical and health care frauds have come up with a variety of tactics to try and fool the system. However, these can often be broken down into several common types. 1. Counterfeit medical products The risk of buying fake medical and health care products is often associated more with mail order and online transactions. As there are no physical products that buyers can inspect and only have images to rely on, there is no way of telling if what you are getting is indeed the real thing. However, counterfeited products can also creep their way into physical stores. To avoid this particular scheme, it is best for you to stay clear of obscure pharmacies or those from overseas. Instead, stick to local ones. In case you have no choice but to go through this channel, know all that you can know first about the company you are getting your supplies from and check with authorities if it is indeed listed as a legitimate one. 2. False product claims This particular method of fraud is closely associated with the first one. Here, unscrupulous companies entice potential victims with fanciful claims, such as being able to cure severe diseases in just a few months, weeks, or even days. They often target though who are suffering from such ailments as cancer and heart problems, as they can be desperate enough to grab any “solution”. And this can also lead to them eschewing proper treatment and wasting their money on something that might not even make them feel better. As such, it is advised that you carefully scrutinize any claims made for health products and procedures. If these sound too good to be true, then there is a great likelihood that they aren’t. Always consult with your physician first so that he can determine if there is indeed some merit to a particular treatment. 3. Medical identity fraud In recent years, many medical organizations have given warnings regarding medical identity theft. Rather than selling you bogus products, scammers use your personal medical information to get treatments that are then charged to your account. According to authorities, it is estimated that $234 billion worth of medical benefits has been lost through this one. To keep safe from identity theft, you have to detect it as early as possible. Read through your billing statements and look for treatments that you are sure you didn’t receive. From there,m contact your insurance company and check with them to see who logged those dubious transactions. A few more reminders One good way of avoiding potential fraud whenever you get medical services is to record everything. Use a calendar to keep track of your scheduled appointments. Also, note the various treatments and medications you receive or are prescribed to you. Stick only to these and never use purported alternatives unless they are endorsed by your physician himself. It is also vital that you only deal with legitimate medical professionals and medicare providers. Keep all your vital medical information to yourself and trusted professionals. It is also essential that you ask a lot of questions to familiar yourself with how everything works. Contact us at Carlton Church today to learn more about protecting yourself from medical fraud.
One day, Sara is at home alone and the doorbell rings. She opens the door and a guy says, “Hi, I’m Chris. Is Tony home?” “No, he went to the store, but you can wait here if you want.” So they sit down and after a few moments of silence Chris says, “You know, Sara, you have the greatest breasts. I’d give you a hundred bucks just to see one.” Sara thinks about it for a second and figures, what the hell—a hundred bucks! She peels back her robe and shows one to him for a few seconds. He promptly thanks her and throws a hundred bucks on the table. They sit there a while longer and Chris says, “That was so amazing! I’ve got to see both of them. I’ll give you another hundred dollars if I can just see them both together.” Sara, amazed by the offer, decides, what the hell, why not? So she opens her robe and gives him a nice, long look. A while later, after Chris has gone, Tony comes home from the store. The wife says, “You know, your friend Chris came over.” “Did he drop off the two hundred bucks he owes me?
Barry Dougherty (Friars Club Private Joke File: More Than 2,000 Very Naughty Jokes from the Grand Masters of Comedy)
Permian Basin Investment Opportunities While there are many oil royalties investment opportunities around, finding one that is right takes a bit of work. Who doesn't want to own an oil well? All of us would love to get the dollars that we think follow oil well but few of us have any knowledge about oil royalties. They are as close as you can get to own your own oil well and come without the stress of owning an oil well first hand. The Permian Basin has business opportunities galore. An old oil field that has seen many ups and downs in its long journey, it has once again become a popular choice due to good oil royalties investment opportunities. If you think a royalty trust is anything like company investments or stocks that you invest in, nothing could be further from the truth. While stocks are seen as a long term investment, royalty trusts are a shorter term investment that declines in value over time. It earns you money in the phase that the oil well is productive and as the productivity decreases, so do the distributions. Invest in a sound oil royalty trust and you should get good returns in the initial years till you break even and every bit that you earn after that till the well is no longer viable will be your earnings. For a high yield well with a promising future, this should be easy to accomplish even when you take into account the many parameters or unforeseeable elements. Oil royalties are prized for their lower taxes as they are covered as capital gains. Permian Basin business opportunities have grown in recent times and it is one of the top ten oil royalty trusts being traded at present. With a conservative payback time and being a dependable production region with estimates of many more years of supply, it is a great investment for those with the inclination to invest in oil royalty trusts. Primary drilling methods are yielding good produce with secondary methods pouring in more. This means that it still has reserves that are open to adding to this yield by tertiary methods. Investments here are favoured by seasoned investors and those looking for a promising start alike. No oil royalty trust is without its share of risks and Permian Basin has its share as well. As with every other oil well, you can make an informed estimate about how it will perform and most of the times it works out well but there can be issues that you just cannot anticipate. To adjust for those risks, know for sure that the money you invest does not come with a profitability guarantee. It is not for the faint hearted or for those looking for a quick buck, it comes with its share of uncertainties but has the potential to make you a lot more money than you can imagine. Choose your investments wisely and you shall not regret them.
Permian Basin
The dentist says to his patient, “I have to pull this tooth, but don’t worry, it will take just five minutes.” The patient asks, “And how much will it cost?” The dentist replies, “A hundred dollars.” “A hundred dollars for just a few minutes’ work?” the patient asks. “I can pull it more slowly if you like.
Scott McNeely (Ultimate Book of Jokes: The Essential Collection of More Than 1,500 Jokes)
As a result, there’s always another billion-dollar company, and in the B2B space there is room for a few of them. With the waves of Big Data, cloud, mobile, and social setting the stage, it’s not hard to imagine that the next twenty years of information technology will be even more exciting than the last twenty.
David Feinleib (Big Data Demystified: How Big Data Is Changing The Way We Live, Love And Learn)
You mean you kidnap them, brainwash them with a dangerous drug that kills some and leaves others brain-damaged, then send the ones who are lucky enough to survive back to betray their friends so you can make a few more billion dollars? You're one sick weirdo.
Paul Adam (Jaws of Death (Max Cassidy, #2))
Premium Pricing Improves Commitment We never want our clients to be in situations where it is easy for them to decide to not take our advice. Any time someone hires an outside expert, the ultimate outcome he seeks is to move forward with confidence. What is the value of good advice not acted upon? Yes, it is our job to tell him what to do, but that is often the easy part. We are equally obliged to give him the strength to do it. We are not meeting our full obligations to our clients when we make recommendations that they find easy to ignore. The price we charge for such guidance should be enough that our clients feel compelled to act, lest they experience a profound sense of wasted resources. There must be the appropriate amount of pain associated with our pricing. This implies the need for our pricing to change as the size of the client changes. Larger organizations need to pay more to ensure their commitment. Larger Clients Get Greater Value Another reason larger clients must pay more is they derive greater financial value from similar work we would do for smaller organizations. To charge John Doe Chevrolet what we would charge General Motors for the same work would be irresponsible of us. The larger client pays more to ensure his commitment to solving his problem and to ensure his commitment to working with us – and he pays more because we are delivering a service that has a greater dollar value to him. Reinvesting in Ourselves Of all the investment opportunities we will face in our lives, few will yield returns greater than those opportunities to invest in ourselves. Price premiums give us the profit to reinvest in our people, our enterprise and ourselves. The corporations that we most admire are the ones that invest in research and development. We must follow their path. While others get by on slim margins, winning on price, we will use some of our greater profit margins to better ourselves and put greater distance between our competition and us. Better Margins Equal Better Firms and Better Clients On these many levels, charging more improves our ability to help our clients and increases the likelihood that we will deliver high-quality outcomes. It allows us to select the best clients – those that we are most able to help. Like leaning into the discomfort of money conversations, charging more might not come naturally or seem easy, but it is better for everyone, including the client, and so this too we shall learn to do with confidence.
Blair Enns (A Win Without Pitching Manifesto)
Zero Line Spender, Saver, Wealth Creator Your financial personality type determines your financial position in life. Let’s say there is a zero financial line that represents a position where you owe nothing and have nothing. Perhaps you can remember those days getting started on your own. So, let us assume you just graduated from college and you’re one of the lucky few who graduated at the zero line, you owe nothing. Pretty amazing considering that in 2013, the debt on student loans exceeded all credit card debt owed in America. But fortunately, you made it out free and clear to the zero line. You’re a “Spender” so you go to the showroom and pick one out. With your job and the car as collateral, you get a car loan and you drop below the zero line. You lifestyle gets more and more expensive and since you are a ‘Spender” you probably take on credit card debt to help finance your lifestyle desires. You are constantly working your way back to becoming a zero, financially speaking. Then, you get married and now there are two in debt working their way back to zero. Eventually, children come along, and the odds of being able to put away enough money to pay your debt and interest and live on the top side of the zero line are becoming virtually impossible. Unfortunately, many Americans live in this position with little or no chance of ever living debt free. When something comes along that requires their savings, they must deplete their funds in order to avoid paying interest and then they must start saving again for their next expense. They are constantly returning to the zero line. The money they have accumulated is compounding interest, giving them uninterrupted growth. Having access to capital allows them to negotiate more favorable loans by collateralizing against their accounts rather than depleting them. They make payments to the lending institution with dollars from their current cash flow, protecting the growth of the money they have saved and invested for their future. Saving and investing with uninterrupted compounding is an important wealth concept for moving further and further away from the zero line.
Annette Wise
we do not know the physics of climate system responses to warming well enough to blame most of the warming on human activities. Human causation is simply assumed. The models are designed with the assumption that the climate system was in natural balance before the Industrial Revolution, despite historical evidence to the contrary. They only produce human-caused climate change because that is the way they are designed. This is in spite of abundant evidence of past warm episodes, such as 1,000- to 2,000-year-old tree stumps being uncovered by receding glaciers; temperature proxy evidence for the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods covering that same time frame; and Arctic sea ice proxy evidence for a natural decrease in sea ice starting well before humans could be blamed. Natural warming since the Little Ice Age of a few hundred years ago is simply ignored in the design of climate models, since we do not know what caused it. Simply put, the computerized climate models support human causation of climate change because that’s what they assume from the outset. They are an example of circular reasoning. There is little to no evidence of long-term increases in heat waves, droughts, or floods. Wildfire activity has, if anything, decreased, even though poor land management practices are now making some areas more vulnerable to wildfires even without climate change. Contrary to popular perception and new reports, there is little to no evidence of increased storminess resulting from climate change. This includes tornadoes and hurricanes. Long-term increases in monetary storm damages have indeed occurred, but are due to increasing development, not worsening weather. Sea level has been rising naturally since at least the mid-1800s, well before humans could be blamed. Land subsidence in some areas (e.g. Norfolk, Miami, Galveston-Houston, New Orleans) would result in increasing flooding problems even without any sea-level rise, let alone human-induced sea-level rise causing thermal expansion of the oceans. Some evidence for recent acceleration of sea-level rise might support human causation, but the magnitude of the human component since 1950 has been only 1 inch every 30 years. Ocean acidification is now looking like a non-problem, as the evidence builds that sea life prefers somewhat more CO2, just as vegetation on land does. Given that CO2 is necessary for life on Earth, yet had been at dangerously low levels for thousands of years, the scientific community needs to stop accepting the premise that more CO2 in the atmosphere is necessarily a bad thing. Global greening has been observed by satellites over the last few decades, which is during the period of most rapid rises in atmospheric CO2. The benefits of increasing CO2 to agriculture have been calculated to be in the trillions of dollars. Crop yields continue to break records around the world, due to a combination of human ingenuity and the direct effects of CO2 on plant growth and water use efficiency. Much of this evidence is not known by our citizens, who are largely misinformed by a news media that favors alarmist stories. The scientific community is, in general, biased toward alarmism in order to maintain careers and support desired governmental energy policies. Only when the public becomes informed based upon evidence from both sides of the debate can we expect to make rational policy decisions. I hope my brief treatment of these subjects provides a step in that direction. THE END
Roy W. Spencer (Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People)
The USA has wasted more than the billion hundred dollars to bombing innocent people to kill a few terrorists. If I were the president of the USA, I would have Showered dollars on the people to eliminate hand full mastermind terrorists rather than the bombing and giving money to bastards, who created such monsters. In a result, the world was greener, and people were not hungry, even America was ten times rebuilt.
Ehsan Sehgal
Cuts from Ennio Morricone like “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” “Theme from A Fistful of Dollars,” “L’estasi dell’oro (The Ecstasy of Gold),” “La resa dei conti (For a Few Dollars More)”; Elmer Bernstein’s “The Magnificent Seven Theme,” “The Journey,” and “Calvera’s Return”; and Jerome Moross’s “Theme from The Big Country.” Big, wonderful, rousing, swelling, sweeping, triumphalist music from another era. It was music that simply wasn’t made anymore. The pieces were about tough (but fair) men under big skies on horseback, their women waiting for them at home, and bad guys—usually Mexicans—to be vanquished.
C.J. Box (Nowhere To Run (Joe Pickett, #10))
The deal seemed favorable to Tanjong, especially given that its power-sale agreement with the Malaysian state would soon run out, handing the government leverage to achieve a bargain price. Lazard believed the whole deal smelled of political corruption. It was common in Malaysia for the government to award sweetheart deals to companies in return for kickbacks and political financing; that was what Lazard thought was going on, and so it pulled out. With no other choice, Goldman instead became an adviser to 1MDB on the purchase, as well as helping the fund raise the capital. The bank provided a valuation range that justified 1MDB paying $2.7 billion for the plants. Leissner was at his most charming as he tried to cajole members of 1MDB’s board of directors to accept Goldman’s terms for selling the bonds. Sitting opposite the Goldman banker in a room at the fund’s downtown Kuala Lumpur offices, just a few weeks after Leissner’s meeting in Abu Dhabi, some of the board members looked skeptical. Goldman was preparing to launch what it internally dubbed Project Magnolia, a plan to sell $1.75 billion in ten-year bonds for the 1MDB fund. But some board members were alarmed by what Leissner had informed them: Goldman would likely make $190 million from its part in the deal, or 11 percent of the bond’s value. This was an outrageous sum, even more than Goldman had made on the Sarawak transaction the year before, and way above the normal fee of $1 million for such work. The banker defended Goldman’s profit by pointing out that 1MDB would make big returns in a future IPO of the power assets, all without putting down any money of its own. “Look at your number, not at our number,” he said cajolingly.
Bradley Hope (Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World)
A jogger who joins the race to compete runs faster than them jogging to stay fit. A man who aims to make million dollars works more intense than them for few dollars. The goal’s height dictates the kind of action: “High goal, high action—low goal, low action.” So if you are in a hurry to succeed, “you know what to do to find the right speed.
Rodolfo Martin Vitangcol
But a knowledge of all studies carried out on a new product and comparison with already existent medications are indispensable for doctors to be able to prescribe the most effective medicine. Today, doctors have only results that are pre-selected by laboratories. In fact, the few systematic studies, long and costly, that have been carried out indicate that the majority of new medications placed on the market are no more effective than those that exist already. And, sometimes, they are even less effective. We’ll cite a revealing example, that of Tamiflu. In 2005, fearing an avian flu pandemic, governments all over the world spent billions of dollars to buy and store this medication purported to reduce complications from flu, which can be fatal. In England, there was enough to treat 80% of the population. However, to date, Roche, the manufacturer, has published no data showing that Tamiflu effectively reduced the rate of pneumonia and death. Roche’s Internet site, however, announces that this medication reduces complications by 67%.
Matthieu Ricard (Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World)
Wars are expensive, and the burden of supporting wars falls heavily on business, both directly and by taking spending money out of the pocket of the consumer. The vast amount of money poured out to support a war is permanently gone without bringing any economic return. After you have exploded a hundred thousand dollars worth of bombs, you have nothing to show for it except a hundred thousand dollars worth of bomb craters and rubble. Thus the gains made by munitions makers and government suppliers are more than swallowed up by the losses suffered by business as a whole. Those few who do make huge fortunes from war do so not because they are businessmen operating in a free market, but because they have political pull. And their profiteering from war harms all producers (as well as the consuming public) by hurting the economy as a whole.
Morris Tannehill (Market for Liberty)
a headline in the Daily caught his attention: “Senior Men Face Life with Debts, Few Jobs.” The article made his heart sink. The average debt among graduates was two hundred dollars, it said, and the average four-year tab was more than two thousand. Both were staggering amounts of money for someone like Joe in 1934.
Daniel James Brown (The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics)
Here’s the painful irony: The big-picture economy, which is largely out of any president’s control, is the real source of this president’s political strength with voters who like him. The SSRN poll for CNN in June 2019 had a striking finding. Of those who approve of Trump, a plurality of 26 percent said they do so because of the economy, more than twice the next most-frequent answer. In the same economic issue basket, 8 percent cited jobs as a reason for liking him. On immigration, 4 percent said that’s the reason they like him. When it comes to other aspects of Trump’s persona, support falls to the single digits. Just 1 percent said they approve of him because he’s draining the proverbial D.C. swamp. A whopping 1 percent said they like him because he’s honest, which proves you can fool 1 percent of the people all the time. All of this is a sign of trouble ahead for Donald Trump, because his economic record is a rickety construction prone to collapse from external forces at any moment. A BUBBLE, READY TO POP The long, sweet climb in economic prosperity we’ve enjoyed for a decade comes down to the decisions of two men and one institution: George W. Bush in taking the vastly unpopular step of bailing out Wall Street in the 2009 economic crisis, and Barack Obama for flooding the economy with economic stimulus in his first term. The Federal Reserve enabled both of these decisions by issuing an ocean of low- or zero-interest credit for ten years. Sure, the bill will come due someday, but the party is still going. While Trump took short-term political advantage of it, every bubble gets pricked by the old invisible hand. In the current economic case, the blizzard of Trumpian bullshit will inevitably hit the fan. We’re awash in trillion-dollar deficits, the national debt is asymptotically approaching infinity, and we have a president who’s never hesitated to borrow and spend well beyond his means, or to simply throw up his hands and declare bankruptcy when it suits him. We never did—and most likely never will—tackle entitlement reform. Nations don’t get to go bankrupt; they collapse. The GOP passed a tax bill that is performing exactly as expected and predicted: A handful of hedge funds, America’s top corporations, and a few dozen billionaires were given a trillion-dollar-plus tax benefit. Even the tax cut’s most fervent proponents know that its effects were short-lived, the bill is coming due, and in 2022 or thereabouts it’s going to lead to annual deficits of close to $2 trillion.
Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves)
While the assembly line created some meaningful advances in society, it widened the gap between the haves and the have- nots by solidifying a tremendous barrier to entry for manufacturing businesses. Factories and assembly lines cost millions and millions of dollars to build, and those resources were only available to large organizations and wealthy industrialists. That made it nearly impossible to disrupt or innovate without being associated with one of these entities. The assembly line also marked a tipping point for standardization and globalization. Prior to its arrival there was a strong emotional connection between the artisan and the product. The maker was close to the consumer, and that meant something to both of them. Standardized production over the twentieth century eroded that connection by separating the producer from the product. Producers no longer had to be skilled—they now only had to handle a piece of the process. That, with very few exceptions, systematically eliminated specialized artisan work. And the more efficient production became, the more financially beneficial it was to consolidate on the retail side as well, which led to what most call globalization, but I call global monotony. We entered the “Boring Age,” one in which different cities and countries all featured the same stores and products.
Alan Philips (The Age of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential)
When Pablo Picasso was an old man, he was sitting in a café in Spain, doodling on a used napkin. He was nonchalant about the whole thing, drawing whatever amused him in that moment—kind of the same way teenage boys draw penises on bathroom stalls—except this was Picasso, so his bathroom-stall penises were more like cubist/impressionist awesomeness laced on top of faint coffee stains. Anyway, some woman sitting near him was looking on in awe. After a few moments, Picasso finished his coffee and crumpled up the napkin to throw away as he left. The woman stopped him. “Wait,” she said. “Can I have that napkin you were just drawing on? I’ll pay you for it.” “Sure,” Picasso replied. “Twenty thousand dollars.” The woman’s head jolted back as if he had just flung a brick at her. “What? It took you like two minutes to draw that.” “No, ma’am,” Picasso said. “It took me over sixty years to draw this.” He stuffed the napkin in his pocket and walked out of the café. Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Here are some of the handicaps mutual-fund managers and other professional investors are saddled with: With billions of dollars under management, they must gravitate toward the biggest stocks—the only ones they can buy in the multimillion-dollar quantities they need to fill their portfolios. Thus many funds end up owning the same few overpriced giants. Investors tend to pour more money into funds as the market rises. The managers use that new cash to buy more of the stocks they already own, driving prices to even more dangerous heights. If fund investors ask for their money back when the market drops, the managers may need to sell stocks to cash them out. Just as the funds are forced to buy stocks at inflated prices in a rising market, they become forced sellers as stocks get cheap again. Many portfolio managers get bonuses for beating the market, so they obsessively measure their returns against benchmarks like the S & P 500 index. If a company gets added to an index, hundreds of funds compulsively buy it. (If they don’t, and that stock then does well, the managers look foolish; on the other hand, if they buy it and it does poorly, no one will blame them.) Increasingly, fund managers are expected to specialize. Just as in medicine the general practitioner has given way to the pediatric allergist and the geriatric otolaryngologist, fund managers must buy only “small growth” stocks, or only “mid-sized value” stocks, or nothing but “large blend” stocks.6 If a company gets too big, or too small, or too cheap, or an itty bit too expensive, the fund has to sell it—even if the manager loves the stock. So
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
If all the black land-owners who had ever held land here had kept it or left it in the hands of black men, the Negroes would have owned nearer thirty thousand acres than the fifteen thousand they now hold. And yet these fifteen thousand acres are a creditable showing,—a proof of no little weight of the worth and ability of the Negro people. If they had been given an economic start at Emancipation, if they had been in an enlightened and rich community which really desired their best good, then we might perhaps call such a result small or even insignificant. But for a few thousand poor ignorant field-hands, in the face of poverty, a falling market, and social stress, to save and capitalize two hundred thousand dollars in a generation has meant a tremendous effort. The rise of a nation, the pressing forward of a social class, means a bitter struggle, a hard and soul-sickening battle with the world such as few of the more favored classes know or appreciate. Out of the hard economic conditions of this portion of the Black Belt, only six per cent of the population have succeeded in emerging into peasant proprietorship; and these are not all firmly fixed, but grow and shrink in number with the wavering of the cotton-market. Fully ninety-four per cent have struggled for land and failed, and half of them sit in hopeless serfdom. For these there is one other avenue of escape toward which they have turned in increasing numbers, namely, migration to town.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk (Oxford World's Classics))
she’d done enough residential architecture to know that the desire to wring out a few more drips of happiness almost always destroyed the happiness you were so lucky to have, and so foolish never to acknowledge. It happens every time: a forty-thousand-dollar kitchen remodel becomes a seventy-five-thousand-dollar kitchen remodel (because everyone comes to believe that small differences make big differences), becomes a new exit to the garden (to bring more light into the enhanced kitchen), becomes a new bathroom (if you’re already sealing off the floor for work…), becomes stupidly rewiring the house to be smart (so you can control the music in the kitchen with your phone), becomes passive-aggression over whether the new bookshelves should be on legs (to reveal the inlaid floor borders), becomes aggressive-aggression whose origin can no longer be remembered. One can build a perfect home, but not live in it.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
The traditional reluctance in this country to confront the real nature of racism is once again illustrated by the manner in which the majority of American whites interpreted what the Kerner Commission had to say about white racism. It seems that they have taken the Kerner Report as a call merely to examine their individual attitudes. The examination of individual attitudes is, of course, an indispensable requirement if the influence of racism is to be neutralized, but it is neither the only nor the basic requirement. The Kerner Report took great pains to make a distinction between racist attitudes and racist behavior. In doing so, it was trying to point out that the fundamental problem lies in the racist behavior of American institutions toward Negroes, and that the behavior of these institutions is influenced more by overt racist actions of people than by their private attitudes. If so, then the basic requirement is for white Americans, while not ignoring the necessity for a revision of their private beliefs, to concentrate on actions that can lead to the ultimate democratization of American institutions. By focusing upon private attitudes alone, white Americans may come to rely on token individual gestures as a way of absolving themselves personally of racism, while ignoring the work that needs to be done within public institutions to eradicate social and economic problems and redistribute wealth and opportunity. I mean by this that there are many whites sitting around in drawing rooms and board rooms discussing their consciences and even donating a few dollars to honor the memory of Dr. King. But they are not prepared to fight politically for the kind of liberal Congress the country needs to eradicate some of the evils of racism, or for the massive programs needed for the social and economic reconstruction of the black and white poor, or for a revision of the tax structure whereby the real burden will be lifted from the shoulders of those who don't have it and placed on the shoulders of those who can afford it. Our time offers enough evidence to show that racism and intolerance are not unique American phenomena. The relationship between the upper and lower classes in India is in some ways more brutal than the operation of racism in America. And in Nigeria black tribes have recently been killing other black tribes in behalf of social and political privilege. But it is the nature of the society which determines whether such conflicts will last, whether racism and intolerance will remain as proper issues to be socially and politically organized. If the society is a just society, if it is one which places a premium on social justice and human rights, then racism and intolerance cannot survive —will, at least, be reduced to a minimum. While working with the NAACP some years ago to integrate the University of Texas, I was assailed with a battery of arguments as to why Negroes should not be let in. They would be raping white girls as soon as they came in; they were dirty and did not wash; they were dumb and could not learn; they were uncouth and ate with their fingers. These attitudes were not destroyed because the NAACP psychoanalyzed white students or held seminars to teach them about black people. They were destroyed because Thurgood Marshall got the Supreme Court to rule against and destroy the institution of segregated education. At that point, the private views of white students became irrelevant. So while there can be no argument that progress depends both on the revision of private attitudes and a change in institutions, the onus must be placed on institutional change. If the institutions of this society are altered to work for black people, to respond to their needs and legitimate aspirations, then it will ultimately be a matter of supreme indifference to them whether white people like them, or what white people whisper about them in the privacy of their drawing rooms.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
Three-Step Risk Management Step 1: Determine your maximum dollar risk for the trade you’re planning (never more than 2% of your account). Calculate this before your trading day starts. Step 2: Estimate your maximum risk per share, the stop loss, in dollars, from your entry. I will explain later in this book what the stop loss should be depending upon which specific strategy you are planning to trade. Step 3: Divide “1” by “2” to find the absolute maximum number of shares you are allowed to trade each time. To better illustrate this, let’s return to the example of MOH from a few pages back. If you have a $40,000 account, the 2% rule will limit your risk on any trade to $800. Let’s assume you want to be conservative and risk only 1% of that account, or $400. That will be Step 1. As you monitor MOH, you see a situation develop where the VWAP Strategy (see Chapter 7) may very well work in your favor. You decide to sell short the stock at $50, and you want to cover them at $48.82, with a stop loss at $50.40. You will be risking $0.40 per share. That will be Step 2 of risk control. For Step 3, calculate your share size by dividing “Step 1” by “Step 2” to find the maximum size you may trade. In this example, you will be allowed to buy a maximum of 1,000 shares. In this case, you may not have enough cash or buying power to buy 1,000 shares of MOH at $50 (because you have only $40,000 in your account). So instead you will buy 800 shares or, perhaps, even 500 shares. Remember, you can always risk less, but you are not allowed to risk more than 2% of your account under any circumstance.
AMS Publishing Group (Intelligent Stock Market Trading and Investment: Quick and Easy Guide to Stock Market Investment for Absolute Beginners)
You’ve probably heard the stories about lottery winners losing it all. They’re not urban legends; they really happen. The depths people fall to after big lottery winnings are heartbreaking and mindboggling. And it isn’t only lottery winners. You’ve also heard the stories about famous movie stars, recording stars, or star athletes who make incredible fortunes, literally hundreds of millions of dollars, and somehow manage to wind up broke and in debt. And when you heard those stories, you probably thought the same thing I did: “Man, I don’t know how they pulled that off, but if I made that kind of money I sure wouldn’t squander it all like that!” But let me ask you a tough question: are you sure about that? Speaking as one who’s made it to the top and then seen it all evaporate, all I can say is, you might be surprised. There’s a reason those lottery winners lose it all again, a reason those shining stars plummet to those dark places: they may have had the big breaks, but they didn’t grasp the slight edge. Their winnings changed their bank account balance—but it didn’t change their philosophy. The purpose of this book is to show you the slight edge philosophy, show you how it works, give you plenty of examples, and show you exactly how to make it a core part of how you see the world and how you live your life every day. Throughout this book, if you look carefully you’ll find dozens of statements that embody this philosophy, statements like “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” Here are a few more examples that you’ll come across in the following pages: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
International labor mobility What’s the problem? Increased levels of migration from poor to rich countries would provide substantial benefits for the poorest people in the world, as well as substantial increases in global economic output. However, almost all developed countries pose heavy restrictions on who can enter the country to work. Scale: Very large. Eighty-five percent of the global variation in earnings is due to location rather than other factors: the extremely poor are poor simply because they don’t live in an environment that enables them to be productive. Economists Michael Clemens, Claudio Montenegro, and Lant Pritchett have estimated what they call the place premium—the wage gain for foreign workers who move to the United States. For an average person in Haiti, relocation to the United States would increase income by about 680 percent; for a Nigerian, it would increase income by 1,000 percent. Some other developing countries have comparatively lower place premiums, but they are still high enough to dramatically benefit migrants. Most migrants would also earn enough to send remittances to family members, thus helping many of those who do not migrate. An estimated six hundred million people worldwide would migrate if they were able to. Several economists have estimated that the total economic gains from free mobility of labor across borders would be greater than a 50 percent increase in world GDP. Even if these estimates were extremely optimistic, the economic gains from substantially increased immigration would be measured in trillions of dollars per year. (I discuss some objections to increased levels of immigration in the endnotes.) Neglectedness: Very neglected. Though a number of organizations work on immigration issues, very few focus on the benefits to future migrants of relaxing migration policy, instead focusing on migrants who are currently living in the United States. Tractability: Not very tractable. Increased levels of immigration are incredibly unpopular in developed countries, with the majority of people in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom favoring reduced immigration. Among developed countries, Canada is most sympathetic to increased levels of immigration; but even there only 20 percent of people favor increasing immigration, while 42 percent favor reducing it. This makes political change on this issue in the near term seem unlikely. What promising organizations are working on it? ImmigrationWorks (accepts donations) organizes, represents, and advocates on behalf of small-business owners who would benefit from being able to hire lower-skill migrant workers more easily, with the aim of “bringing America’s annual legal intake of foreign workers more realistically into line with the country’s labor needs.” The Center for Global Development (accepts donations) conducts policy-relevant research and policy analysis on topics relevant to improving the lives of the global poor, including on immigration reform, then makes recommendations to policy makers.
William MacAskill (Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference)
There’s a principle called Parkinson’s Law, after the man who coined it, Professor Cyril Northcote Parkinson. Parkinson’s Law goes like this: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Here’s how that looks when you apply it to the world of personal finances: Whatever I have, I spend. Actually, in today’s world it usually means something more like this: Whatever I have, I spend that—plus a little more. How hard is it to put aside a few dollars a day, or a little each week? Ridiculously easy. Yet most of us don’t do it. The United States has one of the highest per capita income rates in the world—and one of the lowest savings rates. Why is that?
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
Cade rolled his eyes. “Don’t tell me you’ve gone starry-eyed, too. What is it about this guy? The half-billion dollars? The hair? Do you know that I used to get death threats from crazed, angry women calling me the Antichrist and demanding Rhodes’s immediate release from prison?” He held up his hand. “Swear to God.” “Now, that’s definitely something the Antichrist wouldn’t do. She set the open bottle of India Ink between them, on top of the wooden bistro table she had purchased the previous weekend. She’d also picked up a few planters and some flowers, transforming the deck into an urban minigarden. “I like it out here,” Kyle said, sitting back in his chair with his glass of wine. “That’s the one downside of my apartment—no outdoor living space. Trust me, you notice that quickly when serving home detention for two straight weeks.” “I’ve seen the penthouse, Dimples. I’m not exactly crying a river.” “More tough love from Prosecutrix Pierce,” he said. “Shocking.” Rylann laughed. ” ‘Prosecutrix Pierce’? Is that what you call me?” “I find it has a certain authoritative ring that suits you.
Julie James (About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3))
When managers and consultants fail, government frequently responds with legislation, policies, and regulations. In earlier times, the federal government limited its formal influence to national concerns such as the Homestead Act and the Post Office. Now constituents badger elected officials to “do something” about a variety of ills: pollution, dangerous products, hazardous working conditions, and chaotic schools, to name a few. Governing bodies respond by making “policy.” But policymakers often don’t understand the problem well enough to get the solution right, and a sizable body of research records a continuing saga of perverse ways in which the implementation process undermines even good solutions (Bardach, 1977; Elmore, 1978; Freudenberg and Gramling, 1994; Peters, 1999; Pressman and Wildavsky, 1973). Policymakers, for example, have been trying for decades to reform U.S. public schools. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent. The result? About as successful as America’s switch to the metric system. In the 1950s Congress passed legislation mandating adoption of metric standards and measures. More than six decades later, if you know what a hectare is, or can visualize the size of a three-hundred-gram package of crackers, you’re ahead of most Americans. Legislators did not factor into their solution what it would take to get their decision implemented.
Lee G. Bolman (Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership (JOSSEY-BASS BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT SERIES))
When you make the decision to start something new, first figure out the jobs you want to do. Then position yourself to play where no one else is playing. Despite our love affair with the certainty of competitive risk, the natural world, business research, and brain science all tell us that trying something new is less risky and ultimately more satisfying. It's the difference between a friends-and-family lemonade stand that earns a few dollars and one that takes in multiples of that—because customers are truly thirsty for what you know how to do, and because you're the only one serving it up.
Whitney Johnson (Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work)
marginal ideas that would be produced if only they earned a few dollars more, then go ahead and insist that we trade with China and India only after they adopt our ever-increasing intellectual property terms. We looked at data, and we looked at theory, and then we looked at data again; we discovered that China and India are a lot of people, and that the great marginal ideas that do not get produced just because they do not make those few extra bucks are quite rare, at best. Hence, we concluded, we are a lot better off with lower intellectual property protection when the market size increases, not vice versa.
Michele Boldrin (Against Intellectual Monopoly)
A few years ago, Dan and a research assistant went to a Toyota dealership and asked people what they would give up if they purchased a new car. None of the shoppers had spent any significant time considering that the thousands of dollars they were about to spend on a car could be spent on other things. ... Most people answered that if they bought a Toyota, then they would not be able to buy a Honda, or some other simple substitution. Few people answered that they wouldn't be able to go to Spain that summer or Hawaii the year after, or that they wouldn't go out to a nice restaurant twice a month for the next few years, or that they would be paying their college loans for five more years.
Dan Ariely (Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter)
They would need a logo for the app, something that instantly enticed users to download and use Picaboo. Reggie and Evan sat together and created the logo over the course of a few hours, going back and forth on ways to symbolize the disappearing nature of the app. They settled on a friendly ghost who was smiling and sticking out its tongue. Evan drew the ghost in Adobe InDesign while Reggie tossed in ideas. Reggie named the ghost Ghostface Chillah, after the Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ghostface Killah. Evan studied the hundred most popular apps in the app store and noticed that none had yellow logos. To make Picaboo stand out, he put the Ghostface Chillah logo on a bright yellow background. Reggie slapped the logo on Facebook and Twitter pages he made for the app. While Evan worked hard on the design and vision for the product and Bobby coded, Reggie contributed less. Plenty of successful Silicon Valley founders do not write code; but they play other roles, relentless hustling in the early days of their companies, dominating nontechnical jobs like marketing and user growth. Reggie simply wasn’t doing that. Having recently turned twenty-one, he wanted to enjoy the Los Angeles nightlife, and he stayed out into the wee hours of the morning. While Evan and Bobby lived the plot of Silicon Valley, Reggie was more Entourage. Evan had always remembered and valued what Clarence Carter had told him when he worked at Red Bull, “When everyone is tired and the night is over, who stays and helps out? Because those are your true friends. Those are the hard workers, the people that believe that working hard is the right thing to do.” His co-founders felt Reggie was not pulling his weight, and it was beginning to cause resentment.
Billy Gallagher (How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story)
Reggie hired James Lee, an up-and-coming partner at Lee Tran & Liang, as his lawyer in the case. Lee had begun his career as an LAPD detective; when he started studying at Stanford Law School, the Palo Alto campus was so quiet it gave him insomnia. Evan and Bobby still retained Cooley LLP, who responded to Reggie’s letter in May 2012, as their lawyers for Snapchat. The ensuing discovery and depositions cost Snapchat significant time and money, but perhaps most importantly it weighed heavily on Evan at a pivotal point for the company. On April 5, Evan, Bobby, and their attorneys from Cooley, along with Reggie and his attorneys from Lee Tran & Liang, filed into a conference room in Cooley’s offices in downtown Santa Monica. Outside, tourists strolled up and down Santa Monica Boulevard, stopping in the trendy neighborhood’s upscale shops, restaurants, and bars; they might walk down the palm-tree-lined street to the beach or the famous pier. Inside the conference room the temperature was more frigid. Cooley’s Mike Rhodes began deposing Reggie, attempting to establish that Reggie had accomplished little since graduation: “What is your current employment, if any?” “Well, currently I’m working in the South Carolina attorney general’s office.” “And how long have you worked there?” “I guess about a month at this point.” “And what is your position?” “It’s basically an intern/ clerk position.” “Is that a nonpaying position?” “Yes, it is.” “And again, what was your approximate start date?” “A few weeks ago. Probably about a month.” “So early March?” “Yes.” “And what were you doing, if anything, for employment prior to that date?” “Well, I was applying to law school.” “Were you working?” “No.” Reggie became distracted midway through answering a question about which lawyers he had spoken with. A naked man had chosen the sidewalk across from the Cooley office as his performance stage for the day and was gesturing at Reggie through the window. The lawyers hastily closed the blinds and continued the deposition much less eventfully.
Billy Gallagher (How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story)
When Jeremy Liew and Lightspeed had invested just a few weeks prior, Liew had included terms giving Lightspeed the right of first refusal to invest in Snapchat’s next round of funding, as well as rights to take 50 percent of the next round. Essentially, Lightspeed controlled Snapchat’s next round of funding and made Snapchat unattractive to other investors, who would want to take a larger stake in the Series A round. Evan was furious. He felt betrayed and taken advantage of. Liew had told him these terms were standard. Evan would warn other students about this betrayal for years to come, as he did in a keynote address at a Stanford Women in Business conference in 2013: One of my biggest mistakes as an entrepreneur involved a term sheet. This particular term sheet was our first. And when we talked to the venture capitalists, and we talked to our lawyers, they took refuge in the notion of Standard. When I asked a question because I didn’t understand something, I was reassured that the term was standard, and therefore agreeable. I forgot that the idea of STANDARD is a construct. It simply does not exist. So rather than attempt to further understand the document, I accepted it. It wasn’t until a bit later, when the company had grown and we needed more capital—that I realized I had made a very expensive mistake. He also warned in a 2015 talk at the University of Southern California, “If you hear the words ‘standard terms,’ then figure out actually what the terms are, because they are probably not standard and the person explaining [them] to you probably doesn’t know how they work.” Teo and General Catalyst put Evan in touch with lawyers who would help him escape the blocking structure with a new round of funding. Evan struck a deal with Jeremy Liew to sell Lightspeed a limited number of Snapchat shares at a discount in exchange for removing the onerous terms. Feeling stung by Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Evan then put the deal with General Catalyst on hold and put together a group of angel investors from Los Angeles, including his father, John Spiegel, and the CEO of Sony Entertainment, Michael Lynton.
Billy Gallagher (How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story)
Prepare yourself to be a winner You may be in a lower-position job, doing something that seems insignificant. But you know you have so much more in you. It would be easy to slack off and think, “There’s no future here. I’ll prepare as soon as I get out of this place, when good breaks come my way, or when the boss promotes me. Maybe then I’ll take some courses, lose a few pounds, have a better attitude, and buy some nicer clothes.” That’s backward. You must start improving right where you are. Start sharpening your skills while you’re waiting. Study your manager’s work habits. Study your best supervisor. Learn how to do their jobs. Be ready to step into those shoes. When God sees you prepare yourself, then He opens new doors. The scripture says, “A man’s gifts makes room for him.” If no new doors are opening, don’t be discouraged. Just develop your gifts in a new way. Improve your skills. You might feel that your supervisors aren’t going anywhere right now, but if you outgrow them, outperform them, out produce them, and know more than them, your gifts will make room for you. Somewhere, somehow, and some way God will open a door and get you where He wants you to be. Don’t worry about who is ahead of you or when your time will come. Just keep growing, learning, and preparing. When you are ready, the right doors will open. The fact is God may not want you to have your supervisor’s position. That may be too low for you. He may want to thrust you right past your boss and put you at a whole new level. I know former receptionists who went from answering the phones to running multi-million-dollar companies. You can. You will. Develop what’s in you, and you’ll go farther than you can imagine. Have you come down with destination disease? You’re comfortable, not learning anything new. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have so much more in you.
Joel Osteen (You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner)
To Cicotte, who had known Burns over the years, his performance was baffling. He had never sensed that the drawling Texan was capable of anything like this. Burns could make a dozen mistakes, find himself in a manure pile of troubles, yet now he came up clean. Cicotte need slip only once, and they'd be cutting him up in pieces. On the mound, Cicotte was king. Year after year, they hadn't come any better. Burns had been a sloppy, very mediocre, third-rate nothing. Was the difference all in the skill of the pitching arm? What changed the pattern when it came to really staying alive? The answer to that was the answer to the whole story of Cicotte's life. He had grown up believing it was talent that made a man big. If you were good enough, and dedicated yourself, you could get to the top. Wasn't that enough of a reward? But when he got there, he had found otherwise. They all fed off him, the men who ran the show and pulled the strings that kept it working. They used him and used him and when they had used him up, they would dump him. In the few years he had been up, they had always praised him and made him feel like a hero to the people of America. But all the time they paid him peanuts. The newspapermen who came to watch him pitch and wrote stories about him made more money than he did. Meanwhile, Comiskey made a half million dollars a year on Cicotte's right arm. Burns knew how to operate. So did Gandil. Cicotte didn't. That was the answer.
Eliot Asinof (Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series)
ake an hour or so at a discount card shop or dollar store and load up on all kinds of greeting cards-birthday, anniversary, friends, and pets. Store them in a convenient place and use them as special occasions arise. You'll save a lot of time by having them when you need them. ave a "gift shelf" in your home. Load it up with boxes of stationery, stuffed toys, small items-whatever is useful and on sale so when occasions arise, you'll be ready. When grandchildren drop by, let them pick a little gift off your shelf he Bible says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21). The Bible also says we're to live in harmony and love. Here are a few thoughts to contemplate. • A good marriage is not a gift; it's an achievement by God's grace. • Marriage is not for children; it takes guts and maturity. • Marriage is tested daily by the ability to compromise. • Being a family means giving, and-more importantly-forgiving. • It's time for parents to take charge of their families and redeem them for the Lord.
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
Are you in the direction of Air Miles Acquisition paper overeating? Looks better, a few miles to increase mileage in this way without saying that you are not able to earn the cost of airline tickets for family members or family holiday gathering efforts. What airline miles and what is its value? Optimum power line now compatible passenger miles for sale, but experts say that potential buyers should be displayed accurately, just before reaching that point. Officials said the line often offer better stop is set, but the best known travelers. How is miles loyalty so important? It is very easy to talk to you as quickly towards'll surprising that thought must buy miles, experts say. The cost of 3 cents per line in the street when every little thing considered, despite the fact that sometimes people great importance plain as 1.2 cents per mile. At another in their progress how’re understood that the movement to victory in just 3 cents less the fair value of miles, pay shellfire lot. Unfortunately also bomb a thousand you can also join the effort and hard work disappeared, essentially, if you have the same range of expensive premium tickets mile. If you are right, they say, at a distance of 1,000 miles in a manner much more to offer holiday and forces us to choose dishes for $ 27 that direction, you'll need it. In total, although experts say the promotion of continuous comfortable Aviator is the direction of the air ducts in the direction of the dollar, even if the payment is actually only insignificant. Miles of sales is incredibly useful to respiratory system. A buyer may pay $ 750 is required for the transition to a specificity generally 25,000 to the climate issue, training the limited train ticket home-related typical cost associated with $ 350 to invest, To really help society thousand pad portfolio gain and not the back row. In other words, as will be pleasantly values, taxes included your check that the expense to get a ticket directly thousand subsequent behavior. This usually works effectively for the world tickets, especially in the office or just a price, of course. 1. e-Book seat, then move to award miles, all the time, in his own book can be turned off and on their own, at least 72 hours of service a thousand pay fares. Buy in advance, the visual aspect; certainly you can gather second practice against Miles. All mass models [of travelers continues] contain a large network of online golf stores, welcomed the participants have to produce when you buy online. To show yourselfer miles and I need a pair of khakis? Good movement and deserves few miles. Or maybe just get to buy Christmas a handful of previous weeks. Some people in the United States and face what is probably a thousand very wealthy useful resources, The course design is very good, there are tours cost is perfect, but informed consumer, you are on the right before buying yourself ... side to fly and fly well there.
Some viewed Chinese investors as the latest “dumb money” to hit Hollywood. It is no doubt true that financing movies is not the smartest way for any investor, from anywhere in the world, to earn the best returns. Others had a different theory—that some wealthy Chinese individuals and businesses were seeking to get their money out of China, where an autocratic government could still steal anyone’s wealth at any time, for any reason. Certainly Hollywood had long been a destination for legal money laundering. But those who worked most closely with the Chinese knew that the biggest reason for these investments was a form of reverse-colonialism. After more than a decade as a place for Hollywood to make money, China wanted to turn the tables. The United States had already proved the power of pop culture to help establish a nation’s global dominance. Now China wanted to do the same. The Beijing government considered art and culture to be a form of “soft power,” whereby it could extend influence around the world without the use of weapons. Over the past few years, locally produced Chinese films had become more successful at the box office there. But most were culturally specific comedies and love stories that didn’t translate anywhere else. China had yet to produce a global blockbuster. And with box-office growth in that country slowing in 2016 and early 2017, hits that resonated internationally would be critical if the Communist nation was to grow its movie business and use it to become the kind of global power it wanted to be. So Chinese companies, with the backing of the government, started investing in Hollywood, with a mission to learn how experienced hands there made blockbusters that thrived worldwide. Within a few years, they figured, China would learn how to do that without anyone’s help. “Working with a company like Universal will help us elevate our skill set in moviemaking,” the head of the Chinese entertainment company Perfect World Pictures said, while investing $250 million in a slate of upcoming films from the American studio. Getting there wouldn’t be easy. One of the highest-profile efforts to produce a worldwide hit out of China was The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon and made by Wanda’s Legendary Pictures. The $150 million film, about a war against monsters set on the Chinese historic landmark, grossed an underwhelming $171 million and a disastrous $45 million in the United States. Then, to create another obstacle, Chinese government currency controls established in early 2017 slowed, at least temporarily, the flow of money from China into Hollywood. But by then it was too late to turn back. As seemed to always be true when it came to Hollywood’s relationship with China, the Americans had no choice but to keep playing along. Nobody else was willing to pour billions of dollars into the struggling movie business in the mid-2010s, particularly for original or lower-budget productions.
Ben Fritz (The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies)
Michelle Phan grew up in California with her Vietnamese parents. The classic American immigrant story of the impoverished but hardworking parents who toil to create a better life for the next generation was marred, in Phan’s case, by her father’s gambling addiction. The Phan clan moved from city to city, state to state, downsizing and recapitalizing and dodging creditors and downsizing some more. Eventually, Phan found herself sleeping on a hard floor, age 16, living with her mother, who earned rent money as a nail salon worker and bought groceries with food stamps. Throughout primary and secondary school, Phan escaped from her problems through art. She loved to watch PBS, where painter Bob Ross calmly drew happy little trees. “He made everything so positive,” Phan recalls. “If you wanted to learn how to paint, and you wanted to also calm down and have a therapeutic session at home, you watched Bob Ross.” She started drawing and painting herself, often using the notes pages in the back of the telephone book as her canvas. And, imitating Ross, she started making tutorials for her friends and posting them on her blog. Drawing, making Halloween costumes, applying cosmetics—the topic didn’t matter. For three years, she blogged her problems away, fancying herself an amateur teacher of her peers and gaining a modest teenage following. This and odd jobs were her life, until a kind uncle gave her mother a few thousand dollars to buy furniture, which was used instead to send Phan to Ringling College of Art and Design. Prepared to study hard and survive on a shoestring, Phan, on her first day at Ringling, encountered a street team which was handing out free MacBook laptops, complete with front-facing webcams, from an anonymous donor. Phan later told me, with moist eyes, “If I had not gotten that laptop, I wouldn’t be here today.
Shane Snow (Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success)
If you had an Internet connection and lived in North America at the time, you may have seen it. Vasquez is the man behind the “Double Rainbow” video, which at last check had 38 million views. In the clip, Vasquez pans his camera back and forth to show twin rainbows he’d discovered outside his house, first whispering in awe, then escalating in volume and emotion as he’s swept away in the moment. He hoots with delight, monologues about the rainbows’ beauty, sobs, and eventually waxes existential. “What does it mean?” Vasquez crows into the camera toward the end of the clip, voice filled with tears of sheer joy, marveling at rainbows like no man ever has or probably ever will again. It’s hard to watch without cracking up. That same month, the viral blog BuzzFeed boosted a different YouTuber’s visibility. Michelle Phan, a 23-year-old Vietnamese American makeup artist, posted a home video tutorial about how to apply makeup to re-create music star Lady Gaga’s look from the recently popular music video “Bad Romance.” BuzzFeed gushed, its followers shared, and Lady Gaga’s massive fanbase caught wind of the young Asian girl who taught you how to transform into Gaga. Once again, the Internet took the video and ran with it. Phan’s clip eventually clocked in at roughly the same number of views as “Double Rainbow.” These two YouTube sensations shared a spotlight in the same summer. Tens of millions of people watched them, because of a couple of superconnectors. So where are Vasquez and Phan now? Bear Vasquez has posted more than 1,300 videos now, inspired by the runaway success of “Double Rainbow.” But most of them have been completely ignored. After Kimmel and the subsequent media flurry, Vasquez spent the next few years trying to recapture the magic—and inadvertent comedy—of that moment. But his monologues about wild turkeys or clips of himself swimming in lakes just don’t seem to find their way to the chuckling masses like “Double Rainbow” did. He sells “Double Rainbow” T-shirts. And wears them. Today, Michelle Phan is widely considered the cosmetic queen of the Internet, and is the second-most-watched female YouTuber in the world. Her videos have a collective 800 million views. She amassed 5 million YouTube subscribers, and became the official video makeup artist for Lancôme, one of the largest cosmetics brands in the world. Phan has since founded the beauty-sample delivery company, which has more than 150,000 paying subscribers, and created her own line of Sephora cosmetics. She continues to run her video business—now a full-blown production company—which has brought in millions of dollars from advertising. She’s shot to the top of a hypercompetitive industry at an improbably young age. And she’s still climbing. Bear Vasquez is still cheerful. But he’s not been able to capitalize on his one-time success. Michelle Phan could be the next Estée Lauder. This chapter is about what she did differently.
Shane Snow (Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success)
It has since you and Clancy got me in this job,” Corker said. “Who’s Brewer fighting?” “I told you earlier. Harley Shaker.” “Right. The bricklayer from Newport.” “Yeah.” “I’ve seen Shaker fight. Ain’t ever seen him lose.” “Should be interesting,” Penn said. “The gate looks pretty good today.” “Be more than thirty thousand dollars. Once we figure up the vig on the bets, we should have a real good day.” Corker heard footsteps coming up the back stairs and turned to see Stephen Morris, the district attorney, walk into the room. Morris was wearing blue jeans and a black T-shirt. “And there stands the last man I expected to see here today,” Corker said. “What brings you out to our little playground?” “Have you heard about Darren Street?” Morris said. “The lawyer? The guy everybody thinks has killed a few folks and gotten away with it?” “That’s him,” Morris said. “I think he just killed another one, but that’s not the big problem.” “What is the big problem?” “Can we have the room?” Morris said to
Scott Pratt (Justice Lost (Darren Street #3))
Did you see the fight yesterday, when Lem Johnson didn’t want to cross the river?” Joellen nodded. “I was hiding in the supply wagon, and I watched the whole thing. You were masterful.” “If you saw what happened, you know nobody defies my orders and gets away with it. And I don’t let people tell lies about me, either.” Joellen swallowed, but she still looked besotted. Steven was about to cure her of that. He sat down on the bench, clasped Joellen by the wrist, and flung her down across his lap. She was so startled that, for a moment, she just lay there with her fanny upended. But when she looked back over her shoulder, she saw Steven’s hand descending and yelped in anticipation of the pain. His palm made a satisfying thwack, so Steven gave her another swat. Joellen squirmed and shrieked, more in anger than suffering, but he kept her legs scissored between his thighs and went right on spanking her. In the street, wagons rolled past, their occupants staring at Joellen and Steven, but he didn’t give a damn. In fact, he gave Joellen five more solid swats before letting her up. He felt guilty looking at the tear streaks on her dirty cheeks, but only a little. “Monster! Fiend! I wouldn’t marry you if you could buy and sell my daddy five times over!” Joellen screamed, her hands knotted into fists at her sides. In a few years, when she was of age, she was going to make somebody a fine and spirited wife. Steven rose from the bench and sighed as he pulled his gloves back on. “Good-bye, Joellen,” he said. Taking his wallet from the inside pocket of his leather vest, he pulled out a twenty-dollar bill. “This will keep you until Big John gets here.” For a moment, she looked as if she was going to spit in his face. But then, at the last second, Joellen snatched the money from his hand. “I hate you!” she cried. Steven grinned as he walked away. In six months Joellen Lenahan not only wouldn’t hate him, she wouldn’t remember his name. Wearily,
Linda Lael Miller (Emma And The Outlaw (Orphan Train, #2))
Benefits of Going Green The benefits of going green are sometimes not similar to obvious right away. For some people, because of this that going green can be so difficult. They have to see immediate or near immediate results of their green efforts. Unfortunately, some benefits take a while and dedication. Now and dedication can be a good thing about going green in itself. When we become more commited to an environmentally friendly lifestyle we study that lifestyle, the aspects of the life-style that is effective on our behalf and then we study new tips that make the lifestyle much better to create. Other merits of going green can be found especially zones of green lifestyles. Benefits of Going Green at Home Going green at your home is among the few places that green lifestyle benefits are shown quickly or in the next short space of time. The first home benefit that many individuals who go green see, is a drop in utility bills and spending. As people commence to make subtle and full blown changes in the volume of energy they use and the manner they make use of it, the utility bills will drop. This benefit shows itself within the first three billing cycles no matter the effective changes. Spending also reduces. The spending pattern of green lifestyles shows a spending reduction because of switching from disposable items to reusable items, pricey chemical items for DIY natural options and swapping out appliances for higher energy levels effiencent models. Simply not only are the advantages observed in healthier lifestyle options, but on top of that they are seen in healthier financial options. Benefits to Going Green at Work Going green at work is problematic to implement and hard to see immediate results from. However, the avantages of going green in the workplace might be incredibly financially beneficial regarding the business. A clear benefit for businesses going green that is the alleviates clutter and increased organization. By utilizing green techniques in your business such as cloud storage, going paperless and energy usage techniques a business will save many dollars each month. This is a clear benefit, but the additional advantage is increased business. Consumers, businesses and sales professionals love aligning themselves with green businesses. It shows an ecological awareness and connection and it has verified that the green business cares about the approach to life of their total clients. The green business logo and concept means the advantage of a higher customer base and increased sales. Advantages and benefits of Going Green within the Community Community advantages and benefits of going green are the explanation as to why many individuals begin contribution in the green movement. Community efforts do take time and effort to develop. Recycling centers, landscaping endeavors and urban gardening projects take community efforts and dedication. These projects can build wonderful benefits regarding the community. Initially the advantages will show in areas similar to a decrease in waste, increased organic gardening options and recycling endeavors to diminish waste in landfills. Eventually the avantages of going green locally can present a residential district bonding, closer knit communities and environmental benefits which will reach to reduced air pollution. There can also be an increase in local food production and local companies booming which helps the regional economy. There are numerous other benefits of going green. These benefits might be comprehensive and might change the thought of how communities, states and personal lifestyles are changed.
Green Living
My father's generation grew up with certain beliefs. One of those beliefs is that the amount of money one earns is a rough guide to one's contribution to the welfare and prosperity of our society. I grew up unusually close to my father. Each evening I would plop into a chair near him, sweaty from a game of baseball in the front yard, and listen to him explain why such and such was true and such and such was not. One thing that was almost always true was that people who made a lot of money were neat. Horatio Alger and all that. It took watching his son being paid 225 grand at the age of twenty-seven, after two years on the job, to shake his faith in money. He has only recently recovered from the shock. I haven't. When you sit, as I did, at the center of what has been possibly the most absurd money game ever and benefit out of all proportion to your value to society (as much as I'd like to think I got only what I deserved, I don't), when hundreds of equally undeserving people around you are all raking it in faster than they can count it, what happens to the money belief? Well, that depends. For some, good fortune simply reinforces the belief. They take the funny money seriously, as evidence that they are worthy citizens of the Republic. It becomes their guiding assumption-for it couldn't possibly be clearly thought out-that a talent for making money come out of a telephone is a reflection of merit on a grander scale. It is tempting to believe that people who think this way eventually suffer their comeuppance. They don't. They just get richer. I'm sure most of them die fat and happy. For me, however, the belief in the meaning of making dollars crumbled; the proposition that the more money you earn, the better the life you are leading was refuted by too much hard evidence to the contrary. And without that belief, I lost the need to make huge sums of money. The funny thing is that I was largely unaware how heavily influenced I was by the money belief until it had vanished. It is a small piece of education, but still the most useful thing I picked up at Salomon Brothers. Almost everything else I learned I left behind. I became fairly handy with a few hundred million dollars, but I'm still lost when I have to decide what to do with a few thousand. I learned humility briefly in the training program but forgot it as soon as I was given a chance. And I learned that people can be corrupted by organizations, but since I remain willing to join organizations and even to be corrupted by them (mildly, please), I'm not sure what practical benefit will come from this lesson.
Michael Lewis (Liar's Poker)
So far, the smallest memory device known to be evolved and used in the wild is the genome of the bacterium Candidatus Carsonella ruddii, storing about 40 kilobytes, whereas our human DNA stores about 1.6 gigabytes, comparable to a downloaded movie. As mentioned in the last chapter, our brains store much more information than our genes: in the ballpark of 10 gigabytes electrically (specifying which of your 100 billion neurons are firing at any one time) and 100 terabytes chemically/biologically (specifying how strongly different neurons are linked by synapses). Comparing these numbers with the machine memories shows that the world’s best computers can now out-remember any biological system—at a cost that’s rapidly dropping and was a few thousand dollars in 2016.
Max Tegmark (Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence)
All the same, Kiev was a melancholy city. Its defining features were failures, absences. Some were obvious: only one supermarket (dollars only), few private cars (six at an intersection counted as a traffic jam), a joke of a postal service (to send a letter, one went to the railway station, and handed it to a friendly face going in the right direction). Others one only felt the force of after a time. With benefits and pensions virtually non-existent, the crudest health care (drugs had to be paid for; doctors wanted bribes), and no insurance (a few private firms had sprung up, but nobody trusted them with their money), Kievans were living lives of a precariousness unknown in the West, destitution never more than an illness or a family quarrel away. It showed in their wiry bodies and pinched, alert, Depression-era faces; the faces of people who get by on cheap vodka and stale cigarettes, and know they have to look after themselves, for nobody else will do it for them.
Anna Reid (Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine)
If we can show we’re paying interns a living wage, then that makes our offensive that much more credible,” I said. Polly rubbed her temples, which is something she does when her headache pain returns. “Before you seriously consider just how much of a financial hit we would take in paying interns,” she said, “and what that would do to payroll, including my job, you should check your privilege. After you do that, get back to work.” At first, I didn’t know why my privilege had anything to do with anything, but I checked it anyway, because it’s always a good idea. I decided that she was right. A minimum-wage increase would do more to help low-income workers than the issue of whether or not my fellow interns and I were able to earn a few more dollars a week, and anything I could do to help get the legislation passed--even saying nice things about Mitt Romney!--was more important than ideological consistency and purity.
Curtis Edmonds (Snowflake's Chance: The 2016 Campaign Diary of Justin T. Fairchild, Social Justice Warrior)
more complex deal. Xerox’s venture capital division wanted to be part of the second round of Apple financing during the summer of 1979. Jobs made an offer: “I will let you invest a million dollars in Apple if you will open the kimono at PARC.” Xerox accepted. It agreed to show Apple its new technology and in return got to buy 100,000 shares at about $10 each. By the time Apple went public a year later, Xerox’s $1 million worth of shares were worth $17.6 million. But Apple got the better end of the bargain. Jobs and his colleagues went to see Xerox PARC’s technology in December 1979 and, when Jobs realized he hadn’t been shown enough, got an even fuller demonstration a few days later. Larry Tesler was one of the Xerox scientists called upon to do the briefings, and he was thrilled to show off the work that his bosses back east had never seemed to appreciate. But the other briefer, Adele Goldberg, was appalled that her company seemed willing to give away its crown jewels. “It was incredibly stupid, completely nuts, and I fought to prevent giving Jobs much of anything,” she recalled.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
My wife and I are pretty simple. Very few people in our circle would believe we have over a million dollars, much less 8.7 million dollars. We bought a home for our daughter and her husband and gifted money to two nephews to help them buy homes. Our passion is helping others with education expenses. Being able to give is so much more rewarding than wishing you were able to give! —John, $8.7 million net worth
Chris Hogan (Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—and How You Can Too)
What are your feelings from Bush to Obama? Besides being responsible for the death of half a million people, I feel like Bush dealt a huge economic and social blow to the USA, one from which we may never fully recover. He directly flushed 3 trillion dollars down the toilet on hopeless, pointlessly destructive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq …and they’re not even over! For years to come, we’ll be paying costs for all the injured veterans (over 50,000) and destabilizing three countries, because you have to look at the impact that the Afghan war has on Pakistan. Bush expanded the use of torture, and created a whole new layer of government bureaucracy (the “Department of Homeland Security”) to spy on Americans. He created Indefinite Detention (at Guantanamo and other US military bases) and expanded the use of executive-ordered assassinations using the new drone technology. On economic issues, his administration allowed corporations to run things and regulate themselves. The agency that was supposed to regulate oil drilling had lobbyist-paid prostitutes sleeping with employees while oil industry lobbyists basically ran the agency. Energy companies like Enron, and the country’s investment banks were deregulated at the end of the Clinton administration and Bush allowed them to run wild. Above all, he was incompetent and appointed some really stupid people to important positions at every level of government. Certainly, Obama has been involved in many of these same activities. A few he’s increased, such as the use of drone assassinations, but most of them he has at least tried to scale back. At the beginning of his first term, he tried to close the Guantanamo prison and have trials for many of the detainees in the United States but conservatives (including many Democrats) stirred up public resistance and blocked this from happening. He tried to get some kind of universal healthcare because over 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance. This is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcies and foreclosures because someone gets sick in a family, loses their job, loses their health insurance (because American employers are source of most people’s healthcare) and they can’t pay their health bills or their mortgage. Or they use up all their money caring for a sick family member. So many people in the US wanted health insurance reform or single-payer, universal health care similar to what you have in the UK. Members of Obama’s own party (The Democrats) joined with Republicans to narrowly block “The public option” but they managed to pass a half-assed but not-unsubstantial reform of health insurance that would prevent insurers from denying you coverage when you’re sick or have a “preexisting condition.” The minute it was signed into law, Republicans sued in the courts (all the way to the supreme court) and fought, tooth and nail to block its implementation. Same thing with gun control, even as we’re one of the most violent industrial countries in the world. (Among industrial countries, our murder rate is second only to Russia). Obama has managed to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan over Republican opposition but, literally, everything he tries to do, they blast it in the media and fight it in Congress. So, while I have a lot of criticisms of Obama, he is many orders of magnitude less awful than Bush and many of the positive things he’s tried to do have been blocked. That said, the Democratic and Republican parties agree on more things than they disagree. Both signed off on the Afghan and Iraq wars. Both signed off on deregulation of banks, of derivatives, of mortgage regulations and of the energy and telecom business …and we’ve been living with the consequences ever since. I’m guessing it’s the same thing with Labor and Conservatives in the UK. Labor or Democrats will SAY they stand for certain “progressive” things but they end up supporting the same old crap... (2014 interview with iamhiphop)
Andy Singer
A WORLD OF SLOWER GROWTH AND HIGHER INFLATION If triple-digit oil prices are the true culprit behind the recent recession, what happens if oil prices recover to triple-digit levels or even close to them when the economy recovers? Does the economy slip right back into recession again? Everything else being equal—or ceteris paribus, as they say in the economics textbooks—that’s probably as good a forecast as any. Every oil shock has produced a global recession, and the record price increase of the past few years may produce the biggest one of all. But recessions, no matter how severe, are finite events. Ultimately, we face a far more challenging economic verdict from oil. Any way you cut it, a return to triple-digit oil prices means a much slower-growing world economy than before. And not just for a couple of quarters of recession. That’s because virtually every dollar of world GDP requires energy to produce. Not all of that energy, of course, comes from oil, but far too much does for world GDP not to be affected by oil’s growing scarcity. And there is nothing at the end of the day that we can do about depletion. Big tax cuts and big spending increases can mitigate triple-digit oil’s bite, but the deficits they inevitably produce ultimately lead to tax hikes and spending cuts that just make the suffering all the more painful down the road. Taking out a loan to pay your mortgage might defer your problems for a month or so, but in the end, it often makes your difficulties more acute. Borrowing from the future just turns today’s problems into tomorrow’s, and by the time tomorrow comes, they’ve become a lot bigger than if we had dealt with them today. Trillion-dollar-plus deficits, just like a near-zero percent federal funds rate, can mask the impact of high energy prices for a while, but ultimately they can’t protect economies that still run on oil from the impact of higher energy prices and the toll that they take.
Jeff Rubin (Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization)