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Worth Reading – Jobs Are Not Enough!

Investing some time to read these authors’ articles can help you keep current with issues that affect your money.

Who’s Profiting From Your 401(k)?

By: Dan Solin, The Huffington Post     Published: Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 | 12:11 PM ET
“Workers in their sixties with more than 30 years of tenure with their current employers had average account balances of $202,329 at the end of 2011. … At a prudent withdrawal rate of 4.5 percent of savings, they had better be prepared to live on $9,100 a year ($758) a month, plus Social Security and any other savings. At this income level, a family of two would be close to or below the 2012 poverty guidelines of $15,130 set by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services. …

A key reason for the low balances of the even those at the top of the pecking order for 401(k) plans is unconscionable fees imposed by the mutual fund industry. According to a report by Demos, the average mutual fund earns a 7 percent return but, after fees, the net return is only 4.5 percent.

Think of it this way: You work hard. You contribute the minimum to your 401(k) plan necessary to get the maximum contribution from your employer. The mutual fund industry takes over a third of the total returns they generate. …”

Jobs Are Not Enough

By Paul Glastris and Phillip Longman, Washington Monthly     July/August 2012
“The obvious lesson for our own time is that whatever we might do to stimulate the economy—through direct federal spending, as Democrats want, or tax cuts, as Republicans demand—won’t be enough to put us back on a path to healthy growth. We’ll also need policies that specifically and directly help ordinary Americans both to avoid ruinous debt and to accumulate productive assets.”

Mortgage deal could bring billions in relief

By Chris Isidore and Jennifer Liberto @CNNMoney     February 15, 2012 | 3:17 PM ET
“WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — In the largest deal to date aimed at addressing the housing meltdown, federal and state officials on Thursday announced a $26 billion foreclosure settlement with five of the largest home lenders.”

Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners

By Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica and Chris Arnold, NPR News     Jan. 30, 2012 | 5 a.m.
This story was co-published with NPR News. Liz Day of ProPublica contributed to this story.
“Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well above current rates.”

Obama administration bolsters homeowner lifeline

By Margaret Chadbourn     WASHINGTON | Fri Jan 27, 2012 | 10:31pm EST
(Reuters) – “The administration said it would extend the life of the Home Affordable Mortgage Program by a year through 2013 and widen it to reach more heavily indebted homeowners.” The Obama administration also “pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive mortgage debt.”

Furor surrounds Amazon’s price-comparison app

By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times     December 9, 2011 | 6:20 p.m.
“Retailers and a senator denounce a one-day promotional offer that will give discounts to Amazon customers who use the Price Check app while browsing at physical stores.”

Why Wall Street still doesn’t get it

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan     NEW YORK | Fri Nov 18, 2011 | 7:59am EST
(Reuters) – “It was a telling moment at the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests. … Whatever its future, it’s clear that so far, the Occupiers haven’t changed many minds on Wall Street over blame for the country’s hard times. The cognitive disconnect between the protesters and the captains of finance is alive and well.”

America’s ‘Oh Sh*t!’ Moment

Author: Niall Ferguson     11/02/2011
Is the U.S. deleting the very things that made/make it great? Niall Ferguson addresses how America can avoid imminent collapse.

What’s Luck Got to Do With It?

By JIM COLLINS and MORTEN T. HANSEN     Published: October 29, 2011 (Essay)
“The very nature of this study — how some people thrive in uncertainty, lead in chaos, deal with a world full of big, disruptive forces that we cannot predict or control — led us to smack into the question, ‘Just what is the role of luck?’”

Geothermal potential reaches coast to coast

by Martin LaMonica, CNET     October 26, 2011 | 8:37 AM PDT
“By sifting through oil and natural gas drilling data, a Google-funded study found that geothermal power in the U.S. could produce ten times the capacity of coal plants today.”

Who owns America? Hint: It’s not China

By Tom Mucha, Global Post     July 21st, 2011 | 4:30 PM ET
“Many people — politicians and pundits alike — prattle on that China and, to a lesser extent Japan, own most of America’s $14.3 trillion in government debt.

But there’s one little problem with that conventional wisdom: it’s just not true. While the Chinese, Japanese and plenty of other foreigners own substantial amounts, it’s really Americans who hold most of America’s debt.”

It’s the Inequality, Stupid

By Dave Gilson and Carolyn Perot
“Eleven charts that explain what’s wrong with America.”

Wealth, Income, and Power

by G. William Domhoff     First posted September 2005; most recently updated November 2011
“This document presents details on the wealth and income distributions in the United States, and explains how we use these two distributions as power indicators.”


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