When the tax man wants a piece of your iPhone.

As the economy continues to stall state and local governments are feeling the pinch.  As a result they are getting more and more creative about where to make up the shortfall.  Of course the only way they have to raise revenue is by raising taxes (no, cutting the waste and bloat of an inefficient government won’t do the trick). The newest potential for an increase, technology products that make our lives easier, and are just plain cool. “Governments are putting their hands into a variety of pockets, and they’re looking at what’s new and hot. . .” Read more here on how the government plans to raise taxes on cell phones, ebook readers and other hot technologies....

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What’s in your wallet? The guy next to you may know.

As we move farther and farther away from cash to electronic methods of payments we must be continuously vigilant in their security. The thieves are getting smarter, and we too must try to stay one step ahead of them.  Unfortunately, it is too easy for a thief to “skim” your card and go on a shopping spree for themselves.  And unlike cash, when a thief gets a hold of your electronic information you are at risk of not just losing that $20 in your wallet, but the entire balance in your account. This article from the Wall Street Journal gives some good advice on what steps to take to protect yourself....

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Customer approval ratings for banks increasing? I don’t think so.

Oh the beloved bedrocks of our society, the banks.  The commercials will have you thinking everything is great for their customers.  The beaming customer and the all too friendly tellers making it happen for you, but is this the reality? The banks have found loophole after loophole in order to charge their customers fee after fee.  They have been bailed out by the government so their profits never go down.  It reminds me of the happy pre-revolutionary slave owner drinking their iced-tea on the porch enjoying the good life, while you don’t see that they do this by taking advantage of their biggest asset their customers. Banks have been taking advantage of the customers and taking a greater percentage of their deposited money for the past several years at an alarming rate, but hey everything’s great right? That’s what the latest bank PR would have you believe, as they released a new survey showing that Bank Approval Ratings are steadily climbing and everyone’s happy.  But let’s look at the reality, let’s look at how they are able to spin this non-sense and sell it to an unsuspecting public. The truth is that the banks have been hammering their customers for so long that all of the dissatisfied ones have already jumped ship and gone to smaller community banks and credit unions, leaving only the lambs as the banks current customers.  And we all know that lambs don’t complain, that is until it’s too late and they have already been slaughtered. Don’t be a lamb!  Read this article from the Wall Street Journal to see how bank’s are fooling us into thinking that they’re doing such a great...

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Ready for your parents to move in with you?

The fallout of the economic crisis continues to hit families hard, but are you ready for your parents to move in with you? We all know of 20 and 30 somethings moving in with their parents as they try to get on their feet and save money, but it appears that what goes around comes around.  As more and more retirees have seen their portfolios wiped out, the tough decision of how to make ends meet has come home to roost. The tough decision to sell the home and move in with your adult children has become an option for many.  Of course this decision has many far reaching implications reaching beyond economics. “What we’re seeing here is they don’t have confidence in what they think of as the public safety net ? a pension plan,” says Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center. “So they are reverting to the age old private safety net, and that’s the family.” Click here to read more on this...

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