small change toward a rich life

Tag: economy

  1. Retrospective rubbernecking at the subprime mortgage disaster

    17 November 2011

    As I mentioned once before, I have a block on ‘formal’ book reviews, so consider this just a friendly little chat, okay? I trust Stacy’s opinions implicitly, particularly on matters of journalism, so when in passing she praised Michael Lewis’ The Big Short, the very next thing I did was hit the library web site […]

  2. An unflinching look at America’s dangerous fascination with ‘cheap’

    5 September 2009

    Even before I’d finished Ellen Ruppel Shell’s new book Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, I decided I should review it on Pocketmint. I then spent two weeks artfully procrastinating on doing so. Apparently I have a block on writing formal ‘book reviews’. I have no trouble discussing books, verbally and informally, but the […]

  3. To buy or to rent: failing to predict the future of housing

    26 June 2009

    In the last month I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that purchasing this house when we did was a huge financial error. It’s been hard, and I’ve engaged in a lot of self-flagellation over the subject. We closed on this house December 1, 2006. Two and a half years later, we’ve paid […]

  4. Movie helps kids relate to economic woes

    24 June 2009

    If tough economic times are causing you stress, you can bet your kids are picking up on the tension as well. Knowing how much to tell them about financial matters can be tricky; you don’t want to overburden and worry them, but neither do you want to leave them surprised and unprepared. I thought the […]

  5. Less income, more savings

    6 June 2009

    Yesterday I promised to give an update on our personal financial situation and how it’s changed over the last half-year. In November I wrote that we were down to a quarter of our prior income, as Jak’s employer had cut his hours by half just as I’d been summarily dismissed from my full-time job. I […]

  6. I believe this qualifies as an emergency

    14 November 2008

    I’ve been quiet for a while, going through a number of struggles that have left me without the — in the vernacular of my childhood, the ‘gumption’ — to keep writing frequently.  I’m trying really hard to get the spark back now, because I know in the long run the Pocketmint project is important to […]

  7. Which President would economists pick?

    19 October 2008

    The presidential candidates have finally figured out that the top concern of most Americans right now is our floundering economy, and predictably they’ve both claimed to have the best economic solution. As I wrote before, I’m skeptical about how much influence the President has over the economy, especially in the short term. But I’m just […]

  8. Economics and the Presidency: can one person make a difference?

    18 September 2008

    Okay, so we’re all worried about the economy right now, for obvious reasons. And because it’s a Presidential election year, we’re hearing the usual promises from both candidates about how their administrations will improve it. There’s a lot of discussion about whether Obama or McCain will be better — for the national economy as a […]

  9. Should we worry about WaMu? and other disasters

    16 September 2008

    Sorry for the recent silence; I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks on the Life front. No financial crises, though, at least not yet! Thanks for all the recent comments — it cheers me up to see so many people reading. This week got off to an interesting start for us with the early-buzzard […]

  10. The giant sucking sound at the bottom of the global pool

    22 August 2008

    If you’re not a regular listener of This American Life, you may have missed the May episode entitled “The Giant Pool of Money”. It explains why what we have now isn’t just a ‘sub-prime mortgage lending crisis’ but a ‘worldwide credit crisis.’ It’s masterfully written, taking all the jargon and translating it into plain, often […]

  11. If I were the President … if I were Queen for a day …

    12 August 2008

    Do you ever get frustrated by the way Congress and the President spend your tax dollars? Do you ever read about tax legislation in the news and think, “Geez, even I could do better”? National Public Radio’s Marketplace has developed an online game that will let you do exactly that. In Budget Hero, you start […]

  12. Inflation or unemployment: pick one

    8 August 2008

    The last time the economy took a sharp downturn it hit me hard. With dot-coms failing right and left, suddenly there was a huge glut of Internet-industry workers. Employment levels took four or five years to fully rebound, during which I got by on intermittent income and credit-card debt. This time, though Jak and I […]

  13. Minimum wage gain and pain

    24 July 2008

    Millions of Americans got a raise today. I am grateful to not be one of them. I’ve worked for minimum wage. During and just after college, I waited tables in Texas where ‘tipped employees’ were paid just $2.13 an hour. That number hasn’t changed at all in the last twenty years, and guess what? Today’s […]

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