As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!


Knight Kiplinger’s Solution to the Economic Crisis (and America in General)

by Luke Landes

Knight Kiplinger is the editor in chief of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and Kiplinger.com, and in the November issue, he has published an editorial that gets to the core of what must be done to adapt to today’s economic reality. A link to the online edition of the article was sent to me by a ... Continue reading this article…

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The $700 Bailout Bill Proposed By the Senate is Not Good Enough

by Luke Landes

In the original version of this article, I was under the impression that the Senate had passed this bill already. It hasn’t; they have only just released the details to the public. A vote will come later. Over the weekend as I watched the Mets end a frustrating season with a disappointing final series, the ... Continue reading this article…

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Mark Cuban to Government: Show Us How the $700 Billion Will Be Spent

by Luke Landes

I swear I’m trying to write about topics other than the massive national bailout of the financial industry, but there always seems to be something interesting to say. Yesterday, it was Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and chairman of HDNet who offered interesting insight. He suggested that the United States Treasury Department list ... Continue reading this article…

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$700 Billion to Bail Out the Financial Industry: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, President Bush asked Congress to grant the United States Treasury Department the authority to purchase $700 billion in assets from troubled financial companies. The government would create a corporation, like 1933′s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, to buy mortgage-backed securities at a discount and sell them later for a profit. This is by ... Continue reading this article…

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seized by the Government: Likely Results

by Luke Landes

Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) are companies that buy mortgages from lenders. Those lenders, by selling loans to the companies, have more cash on hand to lend to other individuals. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac then “repackage” the mortgages and sell them as securities ... Continue reading this article…

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Bottled Water? What Was I Thinking?

by Smithee

A few years ago, when I started paying attention to my diet, I found that drinking at least a liter of water a day kept my brain functioning better, and in the case of two liters a day, kept me from gaining weight. Where I was living, the tap water was unpalatable, so I made ... Continue reading this article…

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What is the Value of a Human Life?

by Luke Landes

When the Environmental Protection Agency decides which regulations to create and enforce, just like any business deciding to pursue a project, it runs a cost-benefit analysis. While typical businesses might compare the costs of obtaining equipment and paying salaries with the anticipated income from the project, the EPA has to consider grander variables. If the ... Continue reading this article…

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Gas Stations’ Profits Hurting: Should Congress Intervene?

by Luke Landes

A recent article on CNN Money described the woes of independent gas station owners. The increasing cost of a gallon of gasoline results in less profit thanks to the processing fees credit card companies charge the merchants. I can appreciate that doing business in this type of environment is tough. With gas prices soaring to ... Continue reading this article…

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Will a Gas Tax Holiday or Taxing Oil Companies Help the Economy?

by Luke Landes

To help Americans pay for the increasing price of a gallon of gas, Hillary Clinton is suggesting a suspension of the 18.4 cent per gallon tax on gasoline and 24.4 cent per gallon tax on diesel from Memorial Day through Labor Day while enacting a “windfall profits” tax on the oil companies which have been ... Continue reading this article…

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Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Wants to Reform the Financial System

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve may soon become much more powerful if Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has his way. Earlier today, he released the “Blueprint for a Modernized Financial Regulatory Structure,” which includes a number of recommendations designed to take power away from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Paulson’s recommendations The Federal Reserve should be able ... Continue reading this article…

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15 Families Hit Hard Recently: Time to Adjust Expectations?

by Luke Landes

CNN Money is featuring stories of 15 households that are facing dire financial straits thanks to the economic downturn. Even a rebate check this summer won’t go far to help these families. While some better decisions may have helped them prepare for the direct effects of a recession, hindsight is always 20/20. Here are the ... Continue reading this article…

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Middle-Class Millionaires are Concerned for Their Future

by Luke Landes

Are you concerned about your ability to maintain your current financial position? I am. Sure, I have an emergency fund, a significant cash cushion beyond the emergency fund, and steady income. But I have taken on risk. My long term investments are invested in the stock market which has proven to be more than a ... Continue reading this article…

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How the Future U.S. President Wants to Tax You

by Luke Landes

There’s no need for me to explain in detail the favored tax policy by each of the four leading candidates for the President of the United States for two reasons. First, Jeanne Sahadi wrote an excellent tax policy summary for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Secondly, the candidates’ stances now may ... Continue reading this article…

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Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate Calculator

by Luke Landes

Welcome! If you’re new here, please consider subscribing to the Consumerism Commentary RSS feed! This article is for tax year 2008. For 2009 and beyond, see our roundup of 8 (or more) Ways to Benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (AKA Stimulus Plan). Updated March 18, 2008 with an estimated schedule ... Continue reading this article…

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Economic Stimulus Package Has Not Been Finalized

by Luke Landes

I’m glad everyone is excited about receiving checks from the government in June or July, but there seems to be a misunderstanding amongst people I talk to. While President Bush and a contingent of the legistlative branch have agreed on the propsed details, the bill still has to pass the House and the Senate. None ... Continue reading this article…

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Economic Stimulus (and Blog Roundup)

by Luke Landes

President Bush is suggesting a $145 billion rebate to taxpayers in order to stimulate the economy and avoid economic recession in 2008. About $100 billion is reserved for individual tax payers and the rest is for businesses. This could come to the masses in the form of a $800 tax rebate check for each individual ... Continue reading this article…

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Toll Hikes Coming to N.J. Turnpike, G.S. Parkway, A.C. Expressway, and Route 440

by Luke Landes

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine announced yesterday a plan to raise money in New Jersey to issue bonds in a public benefits corporation that will manage the toll roads. The bonds will be paid back through a series of toll increases. Starting in 2010 and every four years until 2022, toll prices on the New ... Continue reading this article…

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Ignore the Inflation Rate

by Luke Landes

Forget what the government tells you about the inflation rate, known to economists as the CPI. The CPI may come into play when dealing with economical issues, but don’t expect your real expenses to increase at a rate nearly as low as the rate quoted by officials. First of all, the CPI doesn’t include food ... Continue reading this article…

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The Decline and Fall of the U.S. Dollar

by Sasha

The U.S. dollar hit record lows today due to concerns that China might shift its foreign exchange holdings elsewhere. I’d been concerned before when I first heard that the Canadian dollar was ahead of our own, but today, The Guardian reported that the American dollar had reached a 26-year low against the British pound: By ... Continue reading this article…

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Former Big Spenders Trading Down

by Luke Landes

Newsweek in an upcoming article has taken note of a changing trend. Americans who in the past several years would choose certain items important to them on an individual level and spend more, this behavior is changing. Expensive coffee drinks, shoes, entertainment are some examples. People with a passion for a product have had no ... Continue reading this article…

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