Tag Archives: financial education

Creating a Void

Seven categories grabbed my attention when I started this website. They were

  • Spirituality
  • Future
  • Finance
  • United States
  • World
  • Leisure
  • Opinion

I had a certain perspective about each category and I had questions too. Over the past two years, I have thought about, researched, and written about each of these categories. As a final ceremony to closing this chapter of my writing, I am looking at each of these seven categories and reflecting upon what I learned during these two years.


Finance – Part Three

I ended my last article by saying that serving other people, as opposed to saving resources, is a more efficient way of preparing for the future.

Service keeps our minds sharp and our spirit open to the flexibility of change. Service allows us to practice the synergistic energy exchange of love with people in our environment. Service provides opportunity to give out of our abundance and create a void into which we can receive.

This practice is the heart of an idea introduced to me through the writings of Charles Eisenstein. I call it Living Within the Gift.

The outline of this idea is as follows:

  • Each person has many gifts.
  • Gifts only benefit other people when they are given
  • We would give our gifts even if we didn’t receive payment for them.
  • Gifts come from inspiration. This literally means they are from God’s Spirit.
  • We deserve to be paid for giving them.
  • No amount of payment is sufficient for the gift.

When I wrote about this idea in January and February of 2012, I explained practical ways of practicing this idea and I gave examples of how other people are Living Within the Gift by establishing innovative pricing structures and Paying it Forward

Since then, I have identified another key part of this process.

It is giving out of our abundance so that we create a void into which we can receive.

I have noticed that when people crave change they look for the new to arrive without making space for it by releasing the old.

The old may be a relationship, possessions, a job, or any other thing that no longer serves a person beyond providing a façade of security. Within this clinging, an individual often experiences two consequences.

First, he becomes stuck in the rut that accompanies that old thing.

Second, she makes it impossible to experience the new thing she desires.

A person experiencing these consequences stagnates. He becomes stuck in a story loop without resolution.

She doesn’t grow.

In this place of scarcity, he shrivels, withdraws, and saves for the future.

This inability to become empty makes it impossible for her to receive. Moreover, her fearful constriction reduces her capacity to receive.

When one lives within the gift, he changes the perspective of what he has.

Whether she has a little or a lot, she considers that she has an abundance out of which she can give.

And, he gives.

This giving changes the focus from herself to another person, another part of herself.

As he empties himself, he creates a void.

Initially, this is a frightening feeling. It is the feeling of emptiness.

abundance landing padThen, because nature abhors a vacuum, because life functions in cycles, because last-minute provision is the natural course of life, the new comes rushing into the void because the void is a landing pad for abundance.

We often ignore this natural order of things because there is another financial paradigm that dominates our world’s landscape.

We find it when we look at the country I call home: the United States. I’ll write about it in my next article.

Fearful Savings

Seven categories grabbed my attention when I started this website. They were

  • Spirituality
  • Future
  • Finance
  • United States
  • World
  • Leisure
  • Opinion

I had a certain perspective about each category and I had questions too. Over the past two years, I have thought about, researched, and written about each of these categories. As a final ceremony to closing this chapter of my writing, I am looking at each of these seven categories and reflecting upon what I learned during these two years.


Finance – Part One

Once I understood that determining my future didn’t require societal large-scale predictions and, instead, was an inside job, this provided clarity for financial strategy.

This is not unusual.

In fact, in my more than thirty years of experience in preparing taxes, performing accounting services, and providing financial advice, I have found that a person’s perspective of life, including his or her opinion of the future, is the primary determining factor for how that person financially plans.

financial fearThis personal perspective – one’s belief system – often grounded in fear, usually overrides common sense.

If a person believes the world’s economic structure will collapse, she is afraid there won’t be enough food and water to live through that crisis and she is more likely to accumulate and store necessities.

If a person believes he will live a long time, he is afraid he won’t have enough resources for old age, and he is more likely to plan for retirement.

These attempts, built upon the idea that we can save for the future, have an innate flaw. They attempt to take the energy of this present moment and somehow preserve it for another time.

And, while this is possible, it is extremely inefficient.

Food with an extended shelf life is, by necessity, dead so that it can’t spoil. It may provide life-sustaining calories. However, its nutritional value is questionable.

Retirement plans provide a vehicle to save for one’s latter years. However, inflation and the unreliability of the markets mean there is no guarantee the funds will be there and, even if they are, that they will be enough to sustain a person so that he or she doesn’t have to work.

When I started this website, I said, “Traditional retirement accounts, including Social Security, are the worst place to put your money if you want to retire comfortably.”

Events during the past two years have confirmed this statement.

MF Global stole a couple billion dollars in client funds.

Banks in Cyprus stole their depositors’ funds.

Then, in both situations, legal authorities justified those thefts, providing precedents that allow other financial institutions to do the same thing if they need to do so.

Furthermore, I have watched as the retirement age to receive full Social Security benefits has inched upward from 62 to 65 to 70.

In spite of these systems’ drawbacks, financial planners market this retirement system to Americans as a necessity while the U.S. Government provides tax breaks to those who put money into it and all employees and employers must contribute into Social Security.

The reason is simple.

Social Security and retirement plan contributions provide a consistent generous influx of capital for government coffers and Wall Street bankers.

In other words, individual savings is less important for the individual and more important for government and large corporations.

And, while it is possible to have a truly self-directed retirement plan that doesn’t feed Wall Street, the dire warnings associated with such accounts scare most people away from using them.

This fear-based focus on saving necessities, and especially upon saving money, distracts humanity from a successful financial belief system taught through all religious and spiritual traditions.

This idea will be increasingly vital should we experience a financial crisis or need resources in our latter years.

I’ll explain that idea in my next article.

Examining the Winning Ideas

Those who are celebrating the reopening of government may want to look closer at the details of Thursday night’s deal.

I wrote yesterday that the last-minute agreement solved none of the underlying issues that closed government. It only pushed the issues a few months into the future. Obviously, these issues have to do with government spending more than its income.

winnings ideas

As reviewed these issues, I noticed there are various underlying and conflicting philosophies that caused this crisis. Today, I define and contrast those philosophies and take a look at which ideas won.

Government Debt

There are two main ideas regarding government debt.

The first is that the current debt-based economy works. There is no need to fix it. It is possible we will never have to repay the debt.

The world’s increasing population and productivity growth allow debt to increase indefinitely.

Within this idea is the thought that the pain of repaying the debt is too great. Therefore, we must do anything but repay it.

The second idea is that the Federal Government will eventually have to repay the debt. Therefore, we need to quit increasing the debt, cut expenses, and work through the consequences of those actions.

This idea, perpetuated by Tea Party Republicans, was the primary reason for the recent government shutdown.

Obamacare

There are two main ideas regarding Obamacare.

The first is that we must have Obamacare to guarantee America’s future health. Everyone should have free healthcare, especially those life-saving treatments that are traditionally the most expensive. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t a viable way to fund the healthcare plan.

The second is that Obamacare is ineffective healthcare because it is not affordable for our country. Its underfunding will increase government debt because the financial model is unsustainable and will cause the quality of healthcare to decline.

In addition, Obamacare will eliminate the little bit of privacy we currently have. The current areas of privacy in our country are medical and financial. Obamacare will erode both of those. Medical records will be in a national database and, since Obamacare has income eligibility requirements, financial records will be in that database too.

In fact, a clarification in income verification policy was the one “victory” Republicans claimed out of the deal that reopened the government.

Budget

There are two main ideas regarding the government budget.

The first is that government does not need a budget to operate. The federal government hasn’t had a budget for several years. The reason is simple. Government expenses are more than government revenues. Congress has gotten around this issue by issuing Continuing Resolutions that gives it permission to spend money.

The second is that government needs a budget to operate. It seems reasonable to assume that a budget is a requirement to spend money. However, as stated above, this is no longer the case.

The Winning Ideas

The Thursday night deal favored those who hold to the first idea in each of the above issues.

  • The debt based economy works. Therefore, we don’t need to be concerned with repaying government debt as long as government makes payments on the interest.
  • Obamacare must move forward. It doesn’t matter if government has the funding for it.
  • Government does not need a budget to operate.

This raises many questions about how the United States Government views money.

I’ll write about those in tomorrow’s article.

Addressing None of the Issues

At around 8:00 PM Tuesday evening, I received a call from someone doing a three-minute political survey.  

Any other time, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. However, Tuesday was the deadline for extended tax returns and I make my living offering certain financial services, including tax preparation. Usually, the October 15 deadline is more hectic than the April deadline.

This year was no exception.

I had started my day at 3 AM so I could write for this website and then have plenty of time to prepare and file tax returns.

By 8 that evening, I still had at least another hour of work ahead of me.

In spite of this, I participated in the “three-minute survey.” Looking back at it, maybe I needed the break.

government shutdown dealThe questions were about whom I voted for in the previous election and whether I blamed the Republicans or the Democrats for the current budgetary crisis.

None of my answers fit the surveyor’s choices for a response.

In fact, it was apparent that either the survey company didn’t understand the situation or they were attempting to use the survey to spin the participants. I say this because the survey didn’t address any of the underlying issues related to the crisis.

It didn’t mention that America has not had a budget for several years.

It didn’t mention that America is using Continuing Resolutions (CRs) to legally spend money.

It didn’t mention that America has incurred a debt that is more than eight times its annual income.

It only wanted to establish blame for the current situation.

I wouldn’t pick the Democratic or Republican response. I said, “Both sides are at fault. This isn’t a one-time crisis. This is the result of an ongoing issue. The United States has serious financial problems and we are afraid of the pain we might experience if we resolve them.”

The survey company employee nervously chuckled at my responses, thanked me for my time, and quickly ended the call.

As I hung up the phone, I was reminded of a conversation I recently had with an associate who has degrees in Finance and Accounting, as well as an MBA. She said the resolution of these issues should be a priority for politicians, no matter what the pain.

I agree in principal with my associate’s opinion and I understand why politicians won’t deal with the real issues.

They don’t want to be the ones responsible for the pain that will be necessary to fix the broken system.

The United States is a credit-based economy. This economy has its flaws. However, an increasing population base, along with a growing economy, allows this credit-based economy to work.

And, even though the debt total is soaring above 17 trillion dollars, the economy continues to function. Financial experts say the increasing debt is unsustainable and that if government doesn’t solve this situation, an outside force will collapse the system.

In the wake of this advice, politicians must choose between purposely fixing the situation or allowing some outside force to collapse the system.

Either way, the result will be pain and suffering as government spending decreases. Those who make their livelihood from that spending will be forced to look elsewhere for resources.

If politicians resolve this issue, the short-term pain will likely ruin their careers as they become the scapegoats.

If an outside force does it, that outside force becomes the scapegoat and the politicians can play hero.

Obviously, we can see the preferred political choice. Politicians would rather be heroes than scapegoats.

Therefore, they passed a last-minute deal last night, just hours before government would have defaulted on its debts.

The deal funds the country through January 15. It raises the debt ceiling into February and possibly into March. It puts slight restrictions on Obamacare. It schedules a December budget conference.

And, it resolves none of the issues that caused this crisis in the first place.

Understanding Unemployment

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. - Mark Twain, among others

Statistics, even accurate statistics, generally don’t tell the full story.

We may twist, turn, and manipulate them to prove whatever point we wish to prove.

unemployment lineIn the case of unemployment numbers, Mainstream Media (MSM) uses those statistics to communicate the poor state of the economy.

As I suggested yesterday, something else may be going on here.

The productivity that comes from the combination of human ingenuity and technological development is eliminating jobs.

Therefore, unemployment numbers are up because businesses need fewer employees to fulfill their orders and complete their tasks.

The peaceful response to this situation requires developing an understanding that is only possible with a change in perspective.

If we go back to the 1940s, we see a booming industrial and manufacturing sector in the United States. This boom grew out of the effort needed to win World War II.

While men fought on the foreign battlefields, women manned the domestic assembly lines.

When the men came home, most of the women stepped aside so the men could fill their roles.

The prosperity of the 1950s created a mindset that said jobs are the way to make a living.

Work for the company and they’ll take care of you.

Work long enough and they’ll even continue paying you after you quit working for the company.

In the heart of this prosperous age, humanity invented the integrated circuit and began putting them on computer chips.

Since then, the number of integrated circuits manufacturers may put on a chip has doubled at least every two years.

Gordon Moore, who eventually became the co-founder of Intel, first noted this phenomenon in 1965 when the doubling was taking place every year. Thus, it is named Moore’s Law.

The practical application of Moore’s Law is that the computer I buy today is twice as fast as the computer I paid the same amount of money for two years ago.

In addition, the rapid ascent of computer technology over the past sixty years means that the mindset of the 1950s is no longer relevant.

Obviously, a significant part of the culture hasn’t realized this yet.

Therefore, we continue to see unemployment statistics as an economic indicator.

They aren’t.

These numbers are only significant for those who believe they must look to large corporations for support.

Those with this belief haven’t yet realized that industry is no longer equipped to provide livelihood as it once did.

Without these corporate jobs, they turn to government – another large corporation – for their livelihood by filing for unemployment benefits.

The government subsidies and welfare checks received, intended as temporary stopgaps, have become a livelihood for an increasingly large number of the population.

In many cases, the recipients perceive these payments as wages for their “work.”

Look closely and you will see the same attitude in them as you see in the employee who punches the clock to earn a paycheck.

These people are the ones measured in the unemployment numbers.

They are the statistics.

This attitude of relying upon corporate entities for livelihood is the perspective that must change if we are going to develop a peaceful response to unemployment.

In fact, those who refuse to make this change may not only experience conflict and difficulty with their livelihoods.

They may not survive in our current world.

I’ll explain why in tomorrow’s writing.

Taking Care of Business

Business goes where it is wanted and it stays where it is well taken care of.

This phrase, often spoken by one of my former business partners, explains why the survival of the petrodollar is not possible.

It also explains why the attack on Syria is not necessary if its purpose is to save the petrodollar.

Nations around the world are looking for other currencies to use in their trading because those who own the petrodollar are no longer taking care of them.

The United States once created an atmosphere that was so business friendly that people flocked here from around the world.

These immigrants knew they could chase their dreams in America.

However, along the way, something changed.

As the dreams got bigger and the need for employees rose, immigrants came looking for jobs.

While some of these jobs were the stuff of dreams, many were not.

If an individual works at a job that is not part of his or her dream, the job ceases being a job.

It becomes a paycheck.

At this point, an increasing tax base allowed the United States to begin its war on poverty. This war developed into an ever-expanding welfare program.

Today, immigrants no longer come to America looking for jobs.

They come looking for checks and other government benefits.

When money and benefits are given for free, those resources take on the value of their price.

value of dollar

This explains, in part, why inflation is so rampant in the United States and why the purchasing power of the petrodollar continues to decline.

It is reflecting its actual market value.

Therefore, an American attack on Syria, while establishing a temporary increase in perceived value in the eyes of the world, will not restore the value of the U.S. dollar.

Only a change in business practices can restore dollar’s value.

Astute legislators will understand that a vote against attacks on Syria is a vote that accelerates the international collapse of the dollar.

Especially astute legislators, if there are any, will understand that, long-term, attacking Syria won’t help the dollar at all.

This is a business issue.

Therefore, an attack on Syria is not necessary to save the petrodollar.

It can’t be saved.

Even though an attack will not save the petrodollar, I still believe the attack will happen.

The energy has built.

The protests have mounted.

We are putting too much into it for it not to move forward.

The average shelf life of a news story is about 72 hours – three days.

The Syria story is approaching three weeks.

This means the Matrix is manipulating and managing the story, giving it additional impetus as needed to keep it in the headlines.

As I have written previously, if the U.S. action doesn’t gain Congressional support this week, we enter an especially tumultuous time.

We may expect a false flag operation to create support for the attack. Mainstream Media will frame this either as a chemical weapons attack from Syria or as a nuclear attack from Iran.

Within this drama, the American dollar will eventually falter internationally.

Economic experts believe this will cause the U.S. economy to head downstream at an unprecedented rate.

I’m not sure that it will.

In fact, the end of the petrodollar may the best economic news American can receive.

Financial Uncertainty

With all of the talk about military actions, impeachment, and protests, I haven’t recently addressed the economic conditions currently swirling in the background.

These conditions have the potential to disrupt every individual in the United States and, subsequently, throughout the world.

I have previously written numerous articles about how this disruption could last for days, weeks, months, and possibly longer.

A terrorist attack on the stock market, a sudden catastrophic natural event, a radical currency revaluation, or war could cause this disruption.

My lack of attention to this topic comes partially from the fact that I’ve written so much about it in the past and partially from so many other websites “crying wolf” over this issue.

While doing the research for prior articles, I discovered numerous theories for what was taking place in our world and I came to the opinion that most of them were uninformed exaggerations written from an Alternative Media (AM viewpoint) using unsourced rumors.

Iraqi DinarIn many cases, they made failed predictions of a currency revaluation (an RV – usually the Iraqi dinar) that would bring wealth to the world.

They explained away every failed prediction by saying the strength of the current bankers (often referred to as banksters – a combination of the words bankers and gangsters) was keeping the RV from happening.

Several blog sites actively report this information and the cyclic script has continued, with little variance, for the almost two years I have been watching this story.

It goes like this:

  • The RV will happen soon – likely over the upcoming weekend.
  • My friend, who works for a bank, says it is on his screens and ready to go on Monday.
  • The banks, President Obama, or The Fed have blocked the RV. This should be resolved before the upcoming weekend.
  • Repeat.

These sites repost every financial news story about a new currency, Basel III, or anything unusual that happens in the markets. They then explain how that information is an indicator of the RV.

They have a religious dedication to this process as they peddle hope to the naïve while dispensing innuendo and rumor as secret knowledge.

Some of these groups take it further by linking the RV to prosperity packages like NESARA and St. Germaine’s Trust.

Those websites post weekly articles about how to cash in dinars when the RV takes place and they offer applications for people to complete so they can be sure to receive their part of the prosperity packages.

Others, like David Wilcock and Benjamin Fulford, tell stories of hidden gold, the Chinese Dragons, and huge denomination U.S. Treasury Bonds.

They link The Fed to the Bank of International Settlements to the European Union.

They cite massive lawsuits designed to take down these international bankers and give wealth back to the general public.

Even though the information is interesting, possibly even accurate, I’ve seen little to substantiate the prosperity claims.

However, I give these crying wolf websites attention because I believe in pure potential.

Moreover, within these groups, I have found common threads that have a ring of truth to them.

The first is that American currency revalues in a downward trend via inflation. This devalues the dollar, cuts spending power, and turns savers into losers.

The second is that there are signs that our world has more resources than we realize. This is part of The Law of Abundance

The third is that sudden and unexpected financial shenanigans are possible within our financial system because it is tenuous. It is a propped up belief system.

Because of this uncertainty, we hear stories of large-scale collapse.

We read rumors of the Pentagon and Homeland Security preparing to respond to economic breakdown.

As we sit on the edge of the history that is likely to take place new week, I believe it is important we realize we are facing a catalyst that could cause an unprecedented economic crisis.

I’ll tell you what that crisis may be in tomorrow’s writing.