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All posts in "Policy Analysis"

Bologna: The Deli Meat That Could

Published April 1, 2017 in Policy Analysis - 4 Comments
April Fool's Day 2017

Today, I’d like to mix it up a bit and tell you all about something dear to me.  Being the Cash Flow Celt, it’s not strange idea that I’m very frugal.  With the every rising costs of food, I’m always looking for great ways to eat cheap.  Enter the man, the myth, the legend…Mr. Bologna Sandwich

Due to the variation of bologna around the world, as well as its versatility, I wanted to take a moment and sing the praises of the unsung hero.  The mystery meat gets a lot of flak, but stands strong as the fourth most popular lunch meat garnering 10% of all deli meat sales.  Ham and Turkey make up 59% of all total sales. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day 2017: Pick-up Lines for Champions

Published February 14, 2017 in Policy Analysis - 0 Comments

I promised you all an extra post for Valentine’s Day in my last article.  I’m nothing if not a man of my word.

So, in tune for our special, sappy holiday I’d like to present you some pick-up lines.  Not just ANY pick-up lines of course.  These are special.  They’re all finance and economics related!  Use these on any lovely lady you find and you’re sure to shoot above your production possibilities curve!  Most of these are written by yours truly.  A couple of been rehashed through the years.

….On another note, if you end up slapped or cold and wet due to the use of the lines, I am in no way responsible.  I’m blaming your delivery – these are golden.

Let me know what you think of ‘em!

Econ Pick-up Lines

  1. In a closed system of me and you, we’ll have to increase our unemployment targets. We’re about to introduce some friction in the economy.
  2. Love is a highly inefficient marketplace; equilibrium never intrudes. Well, we have no shortages in our market even with my price floor set on loving you.
  3. X Marx the spot, Cupid must have got me in his view. I’d like to get more than just Das Kapital invested in you.
  4. Don’t look to the Fed ‘cause this inflation won’t quit. We’re on the Road to Serfdom; my interest in you is at 100%
  5. I could think of baskets of X* and Y* all day, but I’m indifferent to them all because I still end up with U*
  6. Dang girl, the way you looking my demand is inelastic. I’ll pay any price you charge ‘cause you lookin’ fantastic.
  7. Compared to other men I’m the wealthiest of all and by more than a small sum. You can tell Lorenz you broke the curve ‘cause you keep my Gini at 1.
  8. You look great; getting ready must be a labor of love. Supply curves aren’t the only thing bending backwards for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Identity Theft – Awareness is Safety

Published December 19, 2016 in Credit , Policy Analysis - 2 Comments
Staying Safe Online Requires Virtual Awareness

It’s December and that means the holiday season.  A season where happiness reigns for a brief moment, and neighbors get along a smidge better.  It’s also the season of giving and being thankful for what you have.  Just be careful not to give away too much.  December is the Identity Theft and Awareness month after all.

In my last article I talked about how to take care of your finances once your identity has been compromised.  Knowing how to repair a hole in the ship is all well and good.  However, the best way to keep smooth sailing through life is to avoid the hole-making object in the first place!  That’s why I would like to share a few tips and tricks to keeping your identity safe.  The best way to do that is by maintaining awareness of the crime! Continue reading

Single Payer Healthcare and the Repeal of Obamacare

Published November 14, 2016 in Government , Policy Analysis - 1 Comment
Would a Single Payer System Make Pills Cheaper?

Trump is the president of the United States.  I’ll add that to the list of “Things I thought I’d Never Say”.  Now that it has happened I’d like to say a few things without getting too into the weeds of political debauchery.  I didn’t vote for him, but I will stand behind him.  That said, I absolutely understand the fears of all the minorities that he openly degraded and threatened – I stand behind them too.  I will call out any attacks I see on people through a Trump presidency.  At this point though, he hasn’t done anything except rhetoric.  At this point he’s not a bad president.  I’m willing to give him benefit of the doubt to see what happens.  He has already changed his view on repealing Obamacare.  Perhaps he can change his mind on other things too.  Maybe he will be more pragmatic than people believed; just as Obama was more pragmatic than his idealistic campaign set out.

There.  Now back onto some sweet, sweet finance!  On topic though, I’d like to talk about Obamacare and why I fear what Trump may do to our healthcare system.  I am going to take a direct positional stance on how I feel healthcare should be run.  Many of you may disagree – I welcome that – and if that’s the case, let me know in the comments.  Continue reading

Restaurant Tipping and all of its Inefficiencies

Published October 3, 2016 in Policy Analysis - 4 Comments
Nobody likes tipping

Lady Celt and I were in Olive Garden the other day getting a quick lunch before going to BJ’s to stock up on non-perishables.  Being the financially savvy guy I am, I know that going to a wholesale store on an empty stomach is bad news bears.  Buying 15 boxes of Goldfish crackers “because I was hungry” probably won’t go over smoothly once I get home.  So we’re in Olive Garden, munching away.  Our service isn’t bad, but I also don’t think it was great.  While there I began thinking about our service at another Olive Garden a month or so prior (don’t judge me.  We’re trying to use gift cards from last Christmas).  At that meal, our server was excellent.  She interacted with Mini-Celt nearly every time she was at the table and was friendly and prompt.  While thinking about this, I got kind of annoyed.  Our so-so server got a 15% tip, while our server before got 20%.  That 5% difference is worth $1.50, maybe.  Yet the service was markedly different and left vastly different impressions on us.  And then I remembered something. . . That’s exactly why I hate tipping.

So on the drive to BJ’s I began to think about the varying levels of service and quality of restaurants.  We were at a more upscale restaurant back in August for Lady Celt’s birthday.  We had the Mini-Celt so we decided to go just before the dinner rush to avoid upsetting everyone trying to enjoy their Friday night dinner.  Our server was training this new fellow.  Not terrible I suppose, this is an upscale establishment – he probably has experience; I’ll cut him some slack if he fumbles over the menu.  He clearly lacked server skills.  However, his trainer was professional and tried to make up for his shortcomings.  They got 18% on a bill over $100.

These stories all reinforce how much I hate tipping.  It’s not efficient, it’s not economic, and it’s not based in meritocracy.  Rather, it’s got a murkier past. Continue reading

Why Wells Fargo Should get the Death Penalty

Published September 14, 2016 in Government , Policy Analysis - 5 Comments
Wells Fargo Grave

I love a good bank drama.  Watching executives get called up to Capitol Hill and watching question after question fired at them and seeing them squirm; it’s great fun.  I’m by no means anti-banking though.  I went to school for economics and even got offered a job at a boutique firm up in NYC as an investment analyst.  I even refuse to use mobile deposit and avoid drive-thrus if possible because I just enjoy the face-to-face interaction of a bank visit.  Frankly, I just find it amusing to watch a guy making $6Million a year try to justify a crooked action that needlessly cost people, and cities, money.

Thus, when Wells Fargo got busted for their most recent lapse in judgment I got giddy with excitement.  This hasn’t been a good year for Wells Fargo after getting smacked with two other settlements this year.  However, this new one is a little disappointing because there was really no reason for it.  Wells Fargo, in an attempt to reach their sales quotas, was conducting fraud by opening unasked for customer accounts and then closing them shortly after.  It was purely a numbers game. Continue reading

The Apple Tax – Is $15 Billion Fair?

Published September 9, 2016 in Government , Policy Analysis , Taxes - 3 Comments
Measuring the Apple Tax

Between Brock Turner’s release from jail and Kaepernick’s refusal to stand the EU Apple tax went under the radar for many people.  It’s actually a fairly interesting case though!  This “Apple tax” is to the tune of $15Billion dollars.  Which is a fairly small portion of Apple’s oversea industries.  They could pay this tax, repatriate all of their offshore earnings at 35%, and still have over $100 billion left over for dividends and investments.  So the money isn’t the issue.

The issue is one of fairness and paying your share.  To be fair, I don’t think news sources are doing this case justice.  Those who are for the tax aren’t being considerate of the fact that Apple acted in good faith.  Those who are against the tax aren’t taking into consideration the special treatment and tax evasion that Apple went through.

Personally, I refuse to buy Apple products.  I think they’re morally perverse and I find their product quality versus their product pricing to be flawed.  You pay more for less.  However, the EU commission is going about this the wrong way.  They’re trying to enforce a rule that doesn’t exist, for actions that preceded the current version of the EU. Continue reading

Tax Free Weekend: The Dastardly Political Deed

Published August 5, 2016 in Government , Policy Analysis - 0 Comments

It’s August and it’s nearly back to school.  Parents shall soon be free of their little gremlins.  Free of babysitting or summer camp costs associated with the summer and free of Timmy and Suzy complaining of being bored.  Free, free, freeeee!  As parents wait with giddy anticipation for the start of school, many states around the country are also sharing goodwill through tax-free weekends (or week as the case may be).

These tax free weekends are intended to drive sales for retailers.  The money that would ordinarily be paid to taxes is, in theory, then spent on other purchases.  What actually happens is far short of that.  I despise tax holidays.  I despise them primarily because they don’t provide economic benefit.  However, they’ve also become useful political tools for a paltry 6-7% discount.  It’s like the bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy. Continue reading

Student Debt: What Politicians Get Wrong

Published July 22, 2016 in Budget , Government , Policy Analysis - 4 Comments
Child looking at student debt

I was reading in the news the other day that the White House was tooting their own horn when it comes to education.  This particular tooting was specific to the student debt currently in the economy.  The thing that struck me as particularly odd was that the White House said that student debt is, in fact, great for the economy!  A foul toot indeed.

This report, published by the Council of Economic Advisers, was chock-full of graphs and statistics to validate their claims.  I read through it and it seems to present a fairly straightforward argument.  My problem with the published report is that it just repeated the same benefits of education over and over.  Everyone knows education is good in some aspect.  This report just feels like Ivory Tower academics who are unable to see that what may be good for them, is not good for everyone else. Continue reading

How to Make Money Using Common Sense Investing Strategies

Who knows more about the Brexit today than they did two weeks ago?  Probably all of us.  In the days that have followed, specifically trading days, we have seen so much volatility and price fluctuations it is reminiscent of the August 2015 crash.  What it means for the average investor is that there are easy ways to help your financial situation just by using some common sense investing tactics.  The gravy train on the Brexit has probably left the station; however, it doesn’t mean you can’t be ready to jump on the next opportunity.

It’s so rare when something of this magnitude comes along.  In preparation for it, I exited most of my positions that I don’t intend to hold for a few years and had cash waiting on the sideline.  In just two trading days, I was able to make 32%.  Hooah!  That’s some serious cash.  Want to know the amazing thing though?  I only traded two different stocks. Continue reading

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