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Plan for the Payroll Tax Cut Expiring in 2013

by Luke Landes

Missing from discussions about the so-called fiscal cliff is the option to continue the payroll tax cut. To boost the economy, President Obama and Congress introduced a stimulus bill in 2010 that reduced the payroll tax, money collected at the time of each paycheck from employers and employees (workers with W2 forms). The employee’s share […]

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Your Credit Score Affects Your Love Life

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, credit scores were taboo. The idea that a credit score could be used for more than just determining qualification for a loan was at best unfair and at worst discriminatory. Employers in some circumstances can use credit scores or credit reports to determine whether to offer jobs to applicants. If you […]

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Aftermath of Sandy: Check Your Insurance Coverage Before the Storm

by Luke Landes

I hope all Consumerism Commentary readers affected by Hurricane slash Extra-Tropical Storm slash Low-Pressure System Sandy are alive and safe and have avoided damage. I lost power for sixteen to eighteen hours, and although I live near a canal, flood waters didn’t reach me. Many of my local friends are still without power, and my […]

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Go to College for Free

by Luke Landes

Welcome new readers. Be sure to subscribe to Consumerism Commentary via RSS. New readers should start here. I enjoyed my experience as an undergraduate at a “state-assisted, privately governed” university. As I did not live in that university’s state prior to attending, my tuition fees were higher than many of my classmates’ fees. To attend […]

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Why I Don’t Make Your Financial Decisions For You

by Luke Landes

Some feedback over the nine years of writing about money on Consumerism Commentary indicates that there are some readers — not necessarily daily readers and fans of a website, but those who are searching online about some finance-related topic and are at best passing by any particular website — are looking for quick answers. People […]

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5 Tips for Dealing With the Job Shift Away From the Middle Class

by Luke Landes

The middle class fared the worst in terms of job losses throughout the recession. The National Employment Law Project has consolidated findings from its studies and found that while there has been some economic recovery in the employment sector following the recession, the recovery changed the nature of the job market. Jobs with a mid-tier […]

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You Can’t Take It With You

by Luke Landes

According to a recent study by the National Bureau for Economic Research, 46.1 percent of retirees die with a net worth of less than $10,000. There are two ways to achieve this outcome. The first is for those with a comfortable level of wealth in retirement. Wealth does an individual no good after he or […]

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Should Congress Eliminate the Capital Gains Income Tax?

by Luke Landes

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected a running mate, Paul Ryan, who has proposed eliminating the income tax on capital gains. The Vice President of the United States doesn’t have the authority to change the tax law, of course, so there’s no reason to think this idea or the rest of Ryan’s fiscal plan will […]

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Should Rich Families Leave Their Wealth to Their Children?

by Luke Landes
Cash

One of the great promises of the United States of America is economic mobility. In the Land of Opportunity, in theory, you can design your life’s economic fate. Immigrants from Europe looked forward to leaving economic and religious oppression in their past, as they came to the land that is or would become the United […]

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The Importance, or Lack Thereof, of Making Money

by Luke Landes
Cash in hand

In my article earlier today about the recession era bail-out programs, I touched on the idea that sometimes, there are methods to judge a decision outside of its immediate profitability. The bail-outs may have provided a return on investment for taxpayers or they might not have. The idea that the programs could earn money was […]

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